I’m back from visiting the family and have been for almost a week now… Had to get back into the regular routine of life and I think I’m just about there. I only took 4 days off of work but it’s so hard to get back to the morning grind, probably enhanced by the fact that I hardly ever take time off of work. Guess I’m somewhat of a workaholic then… At least I like what I do.
I went down to visit my family for my dad’s birthday in the glorious city of Redding. And I use the term glorious city very loosely… More like a backwards, boring, hellaciously hot, redneck town attempted to portray an image of an upscale suburban mecca. The “famous,” “world-renowned” Sundial Bridge only thing the city officials can use draw people in to visit the area. And the people living there aren’t exactly the most open-minded sort… Glad to be out of there in any case.
The visit went well for the most part. My family was very happy to see me again so there was no issue with any standoffish behaviors. The main issue I had was constantly being referred to as she and my birth name. My grandma was great about calling me Em and my grandpa didn’t say much. Then again, he doesn’t usually say much unless it pertains to the topic at hand. While I was down there, I went with my mom to the school she works at to drop my brother off for a couple hours of classes and to pick up her power cord for her laptop. She started working there when I was finishing up high school at another school in the area, so I’ve been there a few times and the staff know me. Or rather they know who I was prior to transitioning. And apparently I still look pretty similar to the last time they all saw me because they all recognized me and asked my how I was and how I was doing, was I liking Portland, etc. The women at this school (it’s pretty small) are all interested in the lives and family of each other so I’m sure my mom has talked about me. However, I highly doubt that my mom has told them that I’m transitioning as I was referred to as she and birth name more in about an hour’s span than I have since I moved from Medford. I almost wonder if my mom isn’t somewhat afraid of what the other staff members would think if she were to tell them, despite not really caring overly much about the opinions of others. Seems like most of the others are highly religious to the point where they project their own beliefs/moral code/opinions on to others, whether or not their views/judgments were asked for. I think she’s afraid of what others will think of her, as a parent. And I suppose the possibility remains that she’s still coming to terms with my transitioning. She does acknowledge that fact that I am transitioning… When the 2 of us are alone somewhere… After we left the school, Mom and I went to get a coffee like we did every week when I was going to college and living in the same town but not the same place. After we finished our coffee and were driving back to the school to pick up my brother again, she asked me when I was getting top surgery. She couldn’t imagine that binding every day could be to comfortable and had to be aggravating considering the physical changes that were taking place. That one time she acknowledged my transitioning and the changes that were becoming obvious. However, after that little chat in the car, I think she decreased how often she referred to me, either by female pronouns or at all. I like to think she made an effort to at least decreasing the female identifiers. Maybe she really will make more of an effort to use my chosen markers. The biggest highlight of the visit came near the end. The night I was scheduled to depart in the indecent hours of the morning (about 3:15), we were all slowly making our way to bed to catch a few hours of sleep. My dad said good night to me and told me that he would be up to see me off and he called me Emmett. He is the first person in my family to call me Emmett. Not just Em, but Emmett. That was a breakthrough for me. I hope that after this, everyone in my family will be more inclined to call me Emmett and refer to me as I choose. That is my sincerest wish at this moment in time.