Thanks for telling me. Let's talk before you do anything to alter your natural body chemistry.
Remember that you're not even 20 years old. I know you think you know what you want for the rest of your life, but in reality nobody knows what the future brings, even when they're 40 or 60. I'm mostly just saying don't rush things, especially anything permanent.
Also, odds are anything you're considering is likely NOT covered by insurance - and I'm at a point where I may be changing jobs very soon and who knows what any new insurance may cover. Considering that you're unemployed and want to go to Iceland to spend another 3 or 4 years getting a degree in ( what subject now? ), you want to think long and hard about these sorts of things and when they make sense both with what's going in in your life and your finances.
Give me a call.
One more thing - don't tell the whole family this at this time. I know you want everyone's support, but this would really tear up Grandpa Herb and I'd like to think his last days are as good as possible. I know him well enough to know that this would be pretty traumatic for him and I'd like to spare him anything like that, and no matter what you do or don't do his time is likely short enough that he can be blissfully ignorant of these things when his time comes.
I'm sorry that some people aren't so accepting, but remember he's from a different time and belief system than the rest of us - and everyone ( including you ) as the right to believe in what they want.
I lost alot of sleep over this last night. We do need to talk as soon as possible.
I know about grandpa Herb.
And even if I started hormones at the end of the school year if we visited in summer the effect most likely wouldn't be noticable.
When we talk I'm going to be wanting to hear how you intend to pay for this as an unemployed college student who wants to move to another country. I also want to understand what kind of counselor you're seeing and how far along that is.
I've been applying for lots of jobs now that I've turned eighteen and I can also throw fundraisers.
I've been seeing a counselor that specializes in this subject, she just got me an appointment with a doctor she knows for tomorrow so I can talk with that doctor about hormones. If I don't like that doctor the counselor can help me find another one or I can find another one on my own, but I asked around and everyone says the doctor is amazing plus I trust my counselor's judgement so I think I'll like them.
you're obviously not in school at the moment. Call me.
I leave for school in less than half an hour, I'm eating breakfast and packing up then I have to go.
My counselor is Angie Canelli at the Seattle Counseling Service and the doctor she recommended to me is Dr. Jessica Rongitsch at the Pac Med clinic if you want to look up their reputations.
Well I am not going to act like I am suprised because I have known YOUyour entire life. I just want to make sure anything you do is safe for your body, so hopefully you have done plenty of research as I am sure you have. I Imagine that eventually you will have to have surgery If you want a penis but I am not sure because I have not done research on the subject. Hopefully the hormones are safe long term because you are very young and will need to be on them for a very long time.
I know that we don't have a very close relationship but I have always been here for you if youv'e needed or wanted me and that will never change no matter what. I love you unconditionally. I am glad that you have started counseling because I can't imagine how hard it is to be growing up with these feelings over your head in the society that we live in. It is hard enough growing up"normal" as people would call it. I have been visiting WA a lot more recentlly and I hope that on one of my trips you will decide to spend some time with me. Love, MOM<
By the way I stalked her facebook to see if she was saying shit about me. Her horoscope basically said "something bad will happen today" and her comment was basically "the worst thing that could happen already happened".
Choice words from dad over IM:
from my perspective you've essentially repeated many of the same mistakes that you did with the Iceland trip. I'm currently feeling like I've been taken advantage of - especially considering that I get this bombshell the day after making a big payment for your school, rent, etc - then you make yourself inaccessible to even talk to me. You again have a massive amount of damage control to do.
It's hard to support you when I can't trust you and I feel like I'm merely a cash resource.
I figured you would want to know before I went to the doctor's for the first time and I can't ignore school to talk to you or you'd be getting mad about that in addition to this stuff.
I had all of last weekend to talk.
you had lots of time to tell me. Just like Iceland, I found out the day before.
Yes, I do want to know these things - but I don't want to know at the last minute.
I figured if I had told you much earlier you wouldn't have thought I was serious about it.
When have I not taken you seriously when you've seemed serious about something?
do I treat you like you're not serious about Iceland?
Didn't I take you seriously when you said you wanted to have that other surgery?
Even the way you initially replied to the Email implies that you think I'm too young to really know if I'm serious. Or about Iceland, sometimes you talk like I'll just be there for a year then change my mind and come back.
I think you're serious - but I think you have an 18 year old perspective. They're two different things.
when I was your age I was moving to Australia. Just like your Iceland thing.
I know what it's like to be serious at that age - I was that age too, that's why I do actually take you seriously.
I thought you were serious about finishing college as a primary goal that you were focused on. I now wonder if the whole Iceland thing is just another angle on this new gender situation. As I said, now I can't trust you - I don't know if you want to go to Iceland for Iceland, for college, for the friends you have there, or for some kind of thing related to this latest announcement.
as I said, I have no idea any more. It's hard to be supportive when I'm in the dark and get thrown curve balls.
Finishing college is a priority. Moving to Iceland wouldn't help me on this subject.
what about Vancouver? Was that really to see a friend, or was that related to this too? Notice I didn't make a stink about blowing money to go up there when you don't have an income and you're supposed to be getting ready for Iceland.
That was a friend unrelated to this
I don't think you've taken me as seriously as I've taken you all these years. I'm going to have to take some time to figure out how I'm going to adjust to what clearly isn't as open of a relationship as I tried to build with you for the last 18 years.
And again it's not about WHAT you want to do, it's about HOW you've gotten to this point and how you've treated me in the process.
In my case I can't see what I could have done differently. You would have asked me all kinds of questions that I wouldn't have had the knowledge to answer yet or you wouldn't have taken me seriously. And if I had told you later then it wouldn't even need telling, it would have been apparent and that would have been worse.
When you're older you'll see what you could have done differently.
Additionally, you should also prepared for the cash flow to dry up. And I don't know what will happen with insurance going forward if I change jobs. Embarking on a potentially expensive treatment plan with no income is putting the cart before the horse - at a minimum you should have finances in order instead of hoping they come through somehow.
(sent to dad through Email seeing as he went offline after a while)
Now that I'm finally able to do what I want everything I try seems to be met by opposition from you. You disapproved of me spending money and going to Iceland, you're seemingly disapproving of this, you seem to switch between acting like going to Iceland for school is a good idea and that going to it isn't, and you say to wait on everything even though this is something I definitely don't want to wait on. I've been waiting for this for a long time already. Even if somehow I do change my mind, I could stop taking the hormones and my body would eventually go back to how it was before I started taking them.
I know that it's stupid to spend money when I don't have a job or to go on vacation but I'm not going into debt. I think they're overall wise choices because traveling isn't going to be cheaper in the future, it's going to be more expensive, and I'm also going to have more responsibilities that will limit my time. Who knows if I will have the friends I do now that let me stay at their houses and things like that in the future, too. You're making it sound like you disapprove of the idea but you don't want me to know that so you're going to cut my funding and make it harder for me in a different way than just voicing your disapproval.
It was hard enough to just tell you about this part of myself because it's a huge deal to me. And now that I'm telling you things like this you are disapproving of them, which is why I didn't want to tell you in the first place.
If I had thought you were just a cash resource than I wouldn't have told you at all until the absolute last possible minute for fear the money would be cut.
Even after all our conversations it's clear from your comments that you still don't understand my concerns about Iceland - my single big concern is that since you don't seem to know exactly what you're working towards, and the degrees there are very oriented towards Icelandic things, you would spend years of your life working on a certificate or field that wouldn't be used. I can't put it any simpler than that, and that would be the same even if you want to a school in another part of the world.
Regarding this latest issue, please look at things from my perspective for a moment. You feel that this was announced with lots of lead time since you clearly have been researching this for some time and know the process and timeline, but from my perspective it was announced 2 days before you go talk to a doctor to begin the process. 2 days doesn't feel like a bunch of lead time to the person who didn't know it was coming. I fully respect a person's right to do these things even if that person happens to be my daughter - but I certainly have very strong feelings about WHEN this happens, especially when I still really know nothing about the situation. I could certainly come around a bit if you gave me a little time and information but you haven't given me that chance, you've essentially just said "oh, by the way, I'm doing this, deal with it and it's your fault you didn't hear about it sooner or immediately understand the situation".
I fully appreciate that it was hard and likely scary to tell me about what you want to do and I'm glad you let me know - but at the same time, it's hard and scary for me as well since I really know nothing about all this other than our few exchanges in the last day. You've not even given me a chance to work through this without immediately condemning me and accusing me of not being honest with you, when after finding out that you've been researching and planning this for quite a while I feel like you've not been honest with me. It very much reminds me of the feelings I had when I found out you'd had your iceland tickets for months but were hiding it from all of us not only for the weeks prior but when we were together on that family trip.
So let me be absolutely clear - with the information I have now, which is very little, I certainly disapprove of these actions at this time ( the key words are "at this time" ). With some further knowledge about what you've been struggling with as well as what is involved in the process I may get on board, but you have to give me a chance without condemning me before I even understand the situation.
I love you with all my heart and I want to be a part of your life, but I need you to give me a chance. Please.
Note: I'm planning on going to University in Iceland.
Even if I got a degree in, say, math, I have no interest in math so that wouldn't be used either. Wouldn't it be better to major in something that I'll at least like for a few years before wanting to go back and get a different one than have to major in something I have no real interest in and that I won't like from the very start? On the majors it feels like what I want to do is not what you want me to do so I can't do it. But if I can't get a degree in something I like I'm going to never use the degree I do get, instead I'll just wait until I can go back to school and get a different one. And unfortunately all the degrees I want are in specific categories while you want them in broader ones. It's the same with Spanish. I hate Spanish so I'm not going to use it, but somehow it seems that you think that making me learn it will also make me use it. It feels like you're trying to make me learn from your mistakes but you're not letting me make my own mistakes to learn from.
"...but from my perspective it was announced 2 days before you go talk to a doctor to begin the process."
I told you, even if hormones do happen soon it wouldn't start for around three months from now. It's not like I will go to the doctor tomorrow and get a shot. It's more like the doctor will tell me about any options I haven't heard about, prices, side effects, et cetera. Then it's back to the counselor again for them to see if I liked the doctor or not. If I do, then great. If not, then I find another one. I don't know how it works after I say I like the doctor so I can't say exactly how fast it will move after that. I know it's not like ten years worth of warning but at the same time ten years ago I would have had very little information to tell you. For example, before I started visiting the counselor I thought I would have to visit them for two years before there was any hope of getting hormones but I found out that was wrong. I'd rather not misinform you.
I'm not expecting you to immediately understand. It's possible you might never understand, who knows. I'm willing to give you the information I know, but I need to know what you want to know first. That includes if you have questions for me to ask the counselor or doctor. And as I said earlier I don't want to call you because I won't remember a lot of information and I'll probably get too emotional.
" It feels like you're trying to make me learn from your mistakes but you're not letting me make my own mistakes to learn from."
You have no idea how incorrect the 2nd half of your statement is - I'm giving you the opportunity to learn from both our mistakes, but you're intent on not learning from either.
I can't continue this exchange in this manner and since you've decided you can't talk to me any more I'm going to give up on attempting that for the time being as well. Hopefully soon we'll be able to talk again, just let me know.
I'd like to discuss this with your counselor and doctor if you'll let me. Due to patient confidentiality restrictions there is no point in me attempting to contact them because they wouldn't even admit that they're seeing you, but if you asked them to give me a call to talk with me they might do so. I'd just like to get their perspective to help understand if they feel is the right thing to do, and if so, why that is the case.
In spite of how I feel about all this I'm not going to attempt to stop you, but at this point I'm not inclined to help either - so you're on your own.
PS: At some point the family should be informed and I have no idea how to do that without breaking some hearts. This is going to destroy Grandma Sue as well as a few others so please plan that out very carefully - they don't deserve to go through the pain, frustration, and agony that I am at this point just trying to communicate and understand. I remember how devasating it was on Grandma when I had to tell her your mother and I were getting a divorce - and this will be far worse. Please be very careful with people's feelings, everyone loves you and it's going to be tough and confusing for all - just as it is with me.
I need to go now as I can't do this any more, it's just too painful at the moment.
I'm willing to talk, just not over the phone. If I wasn't then I wouldn't have answered any of these Emails. If we talk on the phone I'll just end up crying the whole time and then later I won't remember anything we said. If you have any questions or anything you can just make a list and ask me them. But I can't talk over the phone.
What do you want to know from the counselor and doctor? Because I might be able to answer at least some of your questions right now. I haven't even met with the doctor yet and they might not be my real doctor so it doesn't make sense to have them call you on a first meeting. I can talk to the counselor and see how we can get a phone conversation together. Or if you have questions for the doctor I can ask them when I'm there.
I don't think there's a "gentle" way I can talk about this subject so I wouldn't know how to break it to them.