Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Notes from a Different Perspective Part Two.

More from Mary.


Saturday May 9, 1959

First time I have seen his tutor since that horrible day. He looks fine and is even sadder if it is possible. I think he recognizes me from the hospital but I am not sure. Kevin seemed to dote on her. Weird! Very weird! If am I honest with myself this is very hard to deal with. We try to be understanding but how understanding does one have to be to accept this? What kind of a mistake brought this child into this world? He seems so totally lost.

Thursday June 11, 1959 (P)

We needed a weekend to ourselves. My husband has been stressed beyond belief and I have been a ticking emotional bomb. We are going to the Cape for a long weekend and leaving Kevin alone against my better judgment. He said he has a big test on Friday and what boy wants to be with his parents on a hopefully romantic getaway for us. Guess that answers the question.

Sunday June 14, 1959 (P)

Disaster or it would appear so.  We got home late Sunday afternoon and Kevin was waiting for us and I am not sure how to put this in a diary. Details are too weird to write down but yesterday Kevin and his tutor took the step any parent would be worried about. My head is whirling and my poor husband is sitting there with a stunned look and I guess I am also. I think female pronouns are appropriate from now on. Probably just to keep my sanity.

Kevin kissed his tutor under rather unusual circumstances and she had just fallen apart and opened up to my son like he was her father confessor. She had done something for them pretending to be a girl and I gather she pretended quite well because Kevin has fallen for her, not that he probably already had not. Something about she is a girl, heard that from her mom, and wants to be a girl, very weird, and would rather be dead than have to live her life as a boy. Pretty deep stuff for a just turned 17 year old and god she is not even 14. First time I have seen my husband cry in years.

I told him one kiss was not a big deal and Kevin said it was not one kiss and I had visions of ugly things but they only made out when they got back to our house which somehow doesn’t seem as bad when I consider the ugly thoughts I had.

God, what are we going to do?

Monday June 15, 1959 (P)

Martha called around 8 PM and said we needed to talk. What an understatement that is! We arranged to meet on Wednesday.

Tuesday June 16, 1959 (P)

Shortly after school was out Kevin’s tutor came looking for Kevin. Kevin was doing an errand and I told her to go to the Study and wait.  I think she could sense the edginess in my voice because I was not friendly to her. There was an ugly bruise on one of her arms and she had been crying. God I have never seen a child so sad. I had to leave for work before Kevin made it home but I thought I heard her crying in the Study.  This is really sad and I cannot believe it but I feel guilty for being so curt with her. I so want to say him.

Wednesday June 17, 1959 (P)

We met with Martha and she was quite distraught. We had seen the photo in the paper on Monday and she handed us an old photo of herself and her son looks exactly like her and that was what had been bothering me. I recognized the child but I didn’t recognize the child as the spitting image of my best friend in High School.  I just could not make that connection. Martha was the prettiest girl in school, cheerleader,  Homecoming Queen and all that kind of stuff. They could be twins.

Martha told us she was writing to a doctor in NYC named Benjamin and he called her a transsexual. Wasn’t that what Jorgensen was? Did not know this was something that could happen to a child.  It is beginning to make some sense now.

Martha wants her son cured but what kind of a life can a boy have when they look so convincingly female? Would it change with puberty and testosterone?

Martha asked what was going on or if anything was going on between Kevin and her son. I suggested for decency sake we should consider the child a girl for now.  That was not an easy decision.

She had told Martha over a year ago she was attracted to boys.  I guess it fits if she is a girl. It is very confusing for all of us. I told her what we knew and she did not seem surprised.

The term awkward does not do justice to what just happened. 

Wednesday July 1, 1959 (P)

Kevin has been very quiet. His tutor is off on a vacation with her two brothers and Martha in Europe and Kevin misses her. We are just going to have to deal with it somehow. I keep forgetting she is not even 14. It has been a rather miserable summer vacation in Quebec. Kevin is moping around and his father and I are in a state of shock. Our son likes a girl that is not a girl. God help us all!

Sunday August 2, 1959 (P)

Kevin seemed more upbeat and happier this last week or so and I know why. Martha called after they arrived home yesterday and she said we needed to talk this week. I asked how the vacation went and the only word she emphasized was “enlightening”. We arranged to meet Wednesday evening.

Monday August 3, 1959 (P)

Kevin borrowed my husband’s Corvette without permission and a friend told me he witnessed Kevin and a pretty blond girl heading south on Route 3A near the shipyard.  That darn car is my husband’s pride and joy. I think he washes the car 3 times a week in the summer. I was not home when Kevin got home but his father was and happy is not how I would describe him. 

What is happening to our son?

What did they do together?

Wednesday August 5, 1959 (P)

What a surprise we had meeting with Martha. She brought her to the meeting. The difference in this child from our last interaction and today is striking. Even the waitress assumed she was Martha’s daughter. She is strikingly beautiful up close and weirdly I do not believe she has a clue she is. 

What a sweet girl was my immediate perception. In a weird way the sort of male cloths she wears make her look more feminine if that is possible. Talking to her is a one way street. I talk and she says nothing unless Martha encourages her.  I think she is afraid of me.

She is just so delicate and feminine. How can this be? I tried to get information on transsexual at the local Library and asked several doctors and nobody had a clue. It is obvious this is just not a boy or certainly a different kind of boy. 

Kevin Sr. shocked me when he whispered she seems so sad I feel like I want to just hold her and tell her everything will be okay. God I think she sort of seduced my husband. Yikes!
I fear nothing okay will come out of this.

Friday August 7, 1959 (P)

What a shock today. Kevin sat down with me and told me some in depth details about how confused and hurting his tutor was. She told him she was not growing up to be a man and would make sure of that. She had told him there was no help for someone like her and she would never be what she was not. The poor child does not know she is transsexual while her mother does. Maybe Martha does not believe it?

I called Martha and asked why she had not told her son about Dr. Benjamin and that she was transsexual and I realized Martha was trying or hoping to cure her “son”. She then drops the bombshell that her son has basically the same testosterone levels as a girl her age and now it makes some sense. I could not get an answer why she had not told her.

We are all so afraid of the unknown. I should heed this advice myself.

Saturday August 14, 1959 (P)

Martha came to our home and we had a long talk. Poor woman was in tears most of the time. She thanked us for not hurting her daughter. Yes, she said daughter. Shocking in a way but not shocking in other ways.

She told us her daughter was seeing another Psychiatrist but regardless of what he said she wanted to arrange a meeting with this Dr. Benjamin in NYC but it was really impossible with the situation in her home. Martha’s mother is a piece of work. Remind me to never get on her bad side.

We offered to help if we could.  I hope that is not something foolish.

Sunday October 4, 1959 (P)

First time I have seen Kevin’s tutor in a while and she is even more beautiful if possible. Kevin lights up whenever I see them together. If possible she seems to be even sadder. The only time she seems to smile is when Kevin is talking with her.

Whatever happens will happen I guess. I feel like there is a bomb in my house and when it goes off my family will be destroyed. I wish I never asked the school for a tutor.

A strange thing happened when she left today. She turned to me and said she could never hurt Kevin and ran out the door. There were tears in her eyes and it was the first time she has looked directly at me. I think she knows how concerned we are for Kevin. I sometimes wonder who is concerned for her!

Thursday November 12, 1959 (P)

I received a strange call from Martha today. Seems the latest Psychiatrist had said some hurtful things to her daughter and she wanted us to tell Kevin to keep an eye on her.
What have we gotten ourselves into? Martha is worried about another suicide attempt. Not sure I want Kevin around this if it happens.

Friday November 27, 1959 (P)

It was just a nightmarish Thanksgiving yesterday. I was so exhausted when the day was over I fell asleep on the couch with Kevin crying his heart out.

I am not sure what happened but from what Kevin said relatives had said some ugly things to Liz (Kevin calls her that now) and she had run away in the afternoon and everyone knew she was going to try to kill herself.

That child is so desperate it breaks your heart. It was a big media event because of who the family is.

Kevin found her trying to throw herself into the outbound tide at Black’s Creek near the bridge which was a certain death sentence. Kevin stopped her and drove her home and got into a fight with someone.

The poor boy cannot understand why she does not want to live. How do you explain this to a 17 year old?

It got even worse.  Martha called me and told me her daughter was rushed to the hospital this morning and is very sick. By the time I got to hospital she was in Intensive Care with double pneumonia with complications caused by asthma so she is on a mechanical ventilator which is an ominous sign.

Kevin insisted on coming with me and his red eyes were a tell tale sign of his emotional state. 

Monday November 30, 1959 

Things are quite ominous. One Doctor told me she does not seem to have the will to live which I always thought was a silly concept but I am not so sure any longer.

She actually went into cardiac arrest late today and was revived. I had a priest friend give her the last rites. I swear to god if she survives I will do anything to help her.

Wednesday December 2, 1959 

She seems to be slightly better but has not woken since being admitted. Among the staff she has become “the boy that should be a girl” which is beyond weird to hear but just so true. She is the talk of the entire staff. 

Friday December 4, 1959 (P)

Was talking with my brother Henri in Montreal and I mentioned the child and to my shock Henri said Maurice my oldest brother knew Dr. Benjamin quite well. I asked why and Henri said because as Physicians it interested both of them because of a paper they had read by Benjamin. Maurice had reached out to Benjamin and had visited him in NYC. Okay now it is really getting weird!

We had a very long talk and I finally understand what a transsexual is or at least I might have a clue. 

Her older brother Ray has not left her side when he is allowed to get near her. There is a very special bond there. He might be the most aware one in the family.

Saturday December 6, 1959 (P)

She is over the worst and has been moved out of Intensive Care. I tried visiting her but she will not talk with me. She seems even sadder if that is possible.

A Nurse friend said Kevin visited her and she perked up a little. I lied and told her Kevin was visiting his tutor but by the look they know it might be more than that. Now that is just wonderful!

Tuesday December 7, 1959 (P)

I had my own Pearl Harbor today. Another nurse asked why Kevin visited her every single day. I told her it was because she was his tutor but I could tell she knew it was not just that. Well I guess it is out there now. I kept getting these stiff smiles from all the staff.

It seems Kevin was, after her mom and brother Ray, the only one she was talking to. 

Thursday December 9, 1959 (P)

Talked with Maurice for an hour and explained everything. I then asked if there was any way he could help this child. I told him the mother had been writing to Benjamin. Maurice said he could arrange a meeting in Canada after learning of the family situation. The grandmother from hell needs to be kept in the dark. The kind of political power that woman carries around this area is very scary.

Saturday December 11, 1959

The child is recovering rapidly and should be out of hospital shortly. A nurse said she perks up immediately when your son shows up. Gee, thanks for that tidbit.

Sunday December 12, 1959 (P)

After Mass Kevin asked to talk with us about her. I kind of expected what was said.
He told us he thought he really liked her like a boy likes a girl. Look kids have no clue about love but I believed him for some obvious reasons. It was totally obvious it was true. Scary thought but maybe it is sympathy love. God, I hope so. I just used the "love" word. and in this scenario what good can possibly come from this kind of love?

Monday December 13, 1959 (P)

She was released today and I have never seen Kevin this happy. 

I called Martha and we met that evening and we decided together we needed her daughter to meet Benjamin or she would be lost eventually. I called Maurice and asked him to see if he could arrange something for the Xmas vacation that began December 23.

I told Martha I think Kevin is in love with her and she said if you had seen her in Europe you would realize boys like her and she likes boys. Okay, that was weird was my thought. What did she do in Europe?

Wednesday December 15, 1959 (P)

Maurice called and said he could arrange a meeting with Benjamin on December 27 if it was alright with the parent. Benjamin would fly into Montreal on the 27th and we would meet at the Ski Lodge that evening.

Martha was okay with that but said she could not possibly take the time off from work because of missed time because of the child’s illnesses. I volunteered and Kevin Sr. agreed we would just take her with us on our Xmas vacation skiing if she could get the Doctors to say it was okay.

The real question is how the child will handle all of this.

To be continued ....


Anne said...

Liz. I have to ask. Why are you posting this?

Anne said...

This is SO intensely personal. How...WHY???

Anna T. said...

@Anne : I don't know why she did it, but I'm extremely thankful that she did.