I have had so much happen to me in the last 4 weeks my mind is reeling!
My biological family has rejected me.
My 2nd family accepted me and for the last 14 years I have been the father/mother figure in all their teenage lives and their children, my grandchildren. "Step-, ect.. is not how I see myself". No Way! I take ownership and responsibility of each of their lives!
Including the loss of our 2 precious grandchildren, Kayden and Harley, in a very hot custody hearing with the paternal grandfather. The help we have given, that the paternal grandfather never has since I arrived and obviously never did for them in their preteen years. We have given the kids help whenever needed to encourage them to make themselves better persons than what their father is right now, an alcoholic and drug user. Most recently the last 2 weeks I have all 3 wanting to get their lives moving in the right direction, at the same time. I have been waiting for this for 10 years and of course I am here for them. In doing so, their father immediately declared we were all in 'collusion' against him and 'barred' all of us access to Kayden and Harley (my 2 grandchildren mentioned above)? He said to his daughter "He wanted nothing to do with any of us anymore"?!
I am appalled and sad that a man can be this way to the father and aunts of Kayden and Harley, let alone originally blocking the maternal grandmother and myself after my wife and I have sacrificed so much to do the things he never has.
These tensions, stresses and emotions sent me into a deep resolve to understand 'who' I am and what 'role' am I playing in this family.
I am 59 years old and knew I was different from the other boys at 5 years old, then again things confirmed an even greater belief that I was not supposed to be a male at all during 10 years old and 16 years of age. I hid this feeling of dread and disappointment throughout my adult life doing what I was forced to do, build a career and good life for my 1st wife and our 2 lovely children. When that marriage collapsed in 1998 I met a girl that was vibrant and I could share my true feelings with. But as many of us know sharing your most intimate secrets is hard task and it sent me to seek Therapy so I could find myself in 2001. In the next 7 years I struggled with Therapists whom I considered unable to carry on an intelligent conversation, clinical Therapy was not what I needed. In 2008, maybe a stroke of luck, but they hired a Therapist with a Degree in Behavioral science specializing in GLBT or Gender-Id disorder ( I hate that word disorder). From the moment she met me she recognized that I was truly Transgender and for the next 3 years she worked tirelessly to help me understand who I was and why, she never sugar coated any of my struggles in my life and kept me moving forward to accept myself. I had found my intellectual equal and she moved me rapidly towards HRT and beyond. I owe her a lifetime of gratitude!
As I said previously, I truly have struggled with the question of 'Who I am totally' This last 2 weeks of seeing the kids rise up and ask me for help and my complete thoughts of all my most intimate feelings came out to my new Therapist when she asked me 1 question. My life has been ruled by my desire and love for the next generation and I said I cannot move from that belief, even given the toughest task I have had for the last 14 years. Her question caught me off guard, "Have you ever wished you could have birthed a child of your own.", wow! My answer and all the feelings of disappointment came streaming out with my tears.
The answer was and is a resounding YES! I am a total woman inside living without the satisfaction of being in the correct body!
My name is Renae Michele McKinney and I now know who I really am and the roles I have played as a mother and grandmother! Life is so clear to me now and I can move forward knowing I found my true self.