Here it is 00:30 and I am awake with anxiety, uncomfortable dreams and still amped from my day. I feel distracted and to be honest emotional (evidently distracted enough that it is now 02:00 because I just sat here zoning out for 90 minutes).
This isn’t uncommon for me when I have to deal with family. Ever since my parents passed I haven’t had many good experiences (barring with my younger niece and nephew). The difference is today it felt like we got past something, maybe things are changing. Even if they aren’t, I think I am gaining the ability to just let things go.
Yesterday started decently, if not a bit early. I was up by 4am (anxiety about going up to visit parents grave). Hung out with husband a bit until I left later then normal (after 8am) to drive up to Bellingham (about a 130 mile drive one way). It is the first time I have been out and about by myself dressed female without my husband (barring work).
It started with going to the gas station at Safeway. Two different guys are filling up cars and they notice me. One guy just smiled, the other guy chuckled to his friend inside their truck. Fuck them I don’t care (actually not too much at least). Went inside the little store area to look for a Coke Zero, none where there. The older guy behind the counter asked me what I am looking for, I told him and he said “Honey, they are outside” and went out and got me the last Coke Zero. It was nice that he didn’t even hesitate, I wasn’t sure with him being older how he would react, then he yelled at one of the guys at the gas pump so I knew he wasn’t super nice all the time.
I then drove up to Bellingham and on my way stopped by a grocery store for flowers for my parents grave and a Starbucks. Everyone was nice and the florist lady called me Honey. Is that normal to have so many people use that term?
For some reason (maybe its hrt, or maybe I am old) I had to stop again to pee. This time at a rest stop. This is where things got twitchy. I am parked and four asian ladies in a Canadian plated van step out and smoke three fee from my window. I then get up to go to the bathroom and I get stared at by a bunch of rednecks when I go into the bathroom, and when I get out of the rest area bathroom there are three different guys from different group standing there watching me.
I think the one advantage is none of them realized I was taller than them, and I have a lot of tattoos. They just stared at me, but didn’t say a word… so neither did I. I got out of the rest area as soon as possible though.
I got to Bellingham and picked up my brother. This was a funny part. I swing into his apartment complex and he almost walks past me. He is staring at me like he is trying to figure out who I am. This is the first time he has seen me dressed in makeup and a skirt.
He got in the car and laughed about it. He said that he saw me from outside his apartment, he thought he recognized the car but when he saw only one person and he thought it was a woman, he didn’t think it was me. I knew he was telling the truth because when he walked past me I saw the moment when he recognized me.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I pass in general, but it was nice to see evidently I can feminize well enough.
We then met with my niece at Bob’s Burgers and had a great lunch. She also had a confused look when she saw me and she congratulated me on how I looked. We then had lunch and she talked about her life, my brother’s life and mine. I feel like we got past some previous family stuff. Don’t get me wrong there is still stuff that hurts and I will eventually talk about here, but you try and get past it.
Neither my niece or brother wanted to go to the cemetery so I took my brother home. On the way home we stopped by his kid’s house and I got to say hi to my younger set of nephew/niece combination (they also didn’t recognize me at first, not saying I passed as a woman, but that I didn’t look like who I was). Once done there we had to stop at three places to pick him up a bus pass and we said farewell.
Finally I got to go to the cemetery. I was supposed to come up a couple of months ago, but with all the surgeries, medical visits, etc I never made it. I spent a good hour or so there, cleaning up the headstone of my parents, taking pictures and dropping my excess flowers on obviously unvisited graves. I think I want to go up there and do a full photo layout of the cemetery. It is still the single most beautiful graveyard/cemetery (I don’t know the difference) that I have seen in person in my life.
Finally I drove home (took 3 hours to get anywhere) and got to see the husband. It was a 12 hour day that felt like 16, but I felt better. I think I want to go up there a little more regularly.
What I did find was my family I met with seemed ok with me walking around with them with a skirt on. I didn’t realize how anxious I was about how they would react (and I still don’t know why I care). It was a good experience though and I am glad I did it.
Oh, and there will be photos later!