Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Memories and special people

I have lots of memories because I have been around for a while and they run the full spectrum from good to bad. Monday was a very special day for me and I was reminded of this on Christmas day by the mother of the boy that was instrumental in me actually being alive to write this blog.

Mary is the mother of Kevin who was the focus of the "A boy I knew and loved" post made a while back. We both live in the Carolina's now and I will admit she is one of the reasons I chose the area along with lots of golf courses and normally mild winters although that has not been the case lately. Mary was my second mother in so many ways along with being my mom's best friend.

We were together for Christmas and it was a wonderful reminder of how much I owe to some very kind and caring people who stepped out onto a very slim ledge and helped a really scared kid.  Mary was the nurse in the local Hospital Emergency Room where they patched me up after I was abused by confused bullies, raped by my neighbor, and pumped my stomach after multiple suicide attempts. Mary was quite up front and involved in my life before I knew she was involved in my life. She cared about me before her son and I fell in love which is amazing for the time.

We had an enjoyable time Saturday remembering the good times and there were a lot of them despite my situation because she was intimately involved in saving me along with my mom and her son. We met at my home and she told me she had something that I did not know even existed. Pictures of Mary, Kevin, and me taken in Massachusetts and up North. Nothing brings back memories like pictures and for some reason I am not a picture taker and really never have been but she sure was.

I have been told they are mine when her time comes which I hope is quite a while from now but it is funny what emotions come out when you see photos of yourself. I drove over to her home this evening and I am still in a little bit of shock after looking through photo albums. It has been a long time since I have seen a picture of me as a boy of 13 and it was kind of weird. I can write about those days but I am not sure I ever wanted to view pictures from those days and I did get to ask her the one question I have always wanted to ask which was simple.

Why did you join my mom and help me?

I am never going to go into details about what was said except she said it was the right thing to do because it was quite obvious you were a girl. Sometimes we lose sight of the fact people do stand up and help some of us.  I wish there were more but there are good people out there.  Well, there certainly were in my life.

This Monday was December 27, 2010 and 51 years earlier it was my mom and Mary that arranged my meeting with Dr. Benjamin just a few days short of my 14th birthday. It was one day after I did what can best be described as a short term transition which started on December 26, 1959 and moved from Massachusetts to the cold North.

In many ways Mary knew more of my secrets than my mother did.  It was her son that I loved and who loved me. Mary is the person that handed me my first dosage of estrogen at 3 AM in the morning on December 28, 1959 when she found me crying on the couch because I was still certain something bad would happen because I was so distrustful of doctors of any kind. Despite my meeting with Benjamin it was Mary that assured me that everything would be fine. Initially I cannot say I fully trusted Harry because Physicians up until that point in my life had only harmed me.

Mary saw the changes in my physical and psychological being over the next 3 plus years and shared my horror and pain when her son and my boyfriend died in Southeast Asia senselessly. She was the woman that taught me an awful lot about being a girl and she held my hand when I had to return to Massachusetts to my androgyny. Based on the pictures and her comments the only person I fooled was myself.

She was the Nurse that supplied the Physician's letter that excused me from gym because my body did not look very boy in shorts and a tee-shirt and she knew how dangerous it was for me after the hormones began changing me even more dramatically.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday and it is not a bad time of year to think about all of those that helped any of us. Sometimes we think we are all alone when struggling with the nightmare that is being born transsexual but I am sure many of us have people or friends that were there for us and I know the best moment of this weekedn was when I got the chance to finally say "Thank You".


Anne said...

Wow! Liz. I can't even imagine how poignant this meeting must have been. Good on ya, Liz. Good on you and yours.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful post! And yes, I always remember those who helped me.