Annie and James Rushden were man and wife, until James revealed he was transsexual. Annie writes about the experience of falling in love all over again with her partner Claire. Same soul, different gift wrap.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It's snowing in Atlanta :)

What a cool couple of weeks. We bought a nice new bed, Claire had her Spiro doubled, and tonight it's snowing.

This poor little gardenia is pretty darn cold.

I played and left a message for Claire while I was out with the puppies. That's a paw print from one of our shepherds to the left of the word Claire. Totally by accident but looked really cool. Shh, don't tell Claire I didn't plan it that way.

Not much else to tell this week. Been really busy - doing another big project at work that will be over Tuesday, and been working on my metalsmithing business. Good stuff, that metalsmithing.

Have a great rest of the week everyone! Oh, and a special shout-out to my buddies Brian and Frances back home. Miss you guys.


Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Year!

I love metalworking, really love it. I'm glad Christmas is over though so I can stop rushing to fill orders and can go back to really enjoying my craft. Next year I'll be more prepared.

We spent our first Christmas together this year with Claire being really and truly Claire. No half the day as James, half the day as Claire. I can't tell you how nice it is that we don't have to do that anymore.

Keeping up the sham of having her pretend to be someone we both know she's not was rough. It's really nice now to just *be*.

I do miss the mornings and afternoons together sometimes though, since we used to carpool. However, now I get to come home and have a hot cup of tea waiting for me and dinner on the stove, doggies already fed and nothing to do but relax. I think our arrangement is working out great right now. It's good for Claire right now as she deals with self-esteem and anxiety issues, and it's been pretty good for me stress wise. The time we do have together now is really wonderful.

The other morning I ran into a table corner--train wreck with two german shepherds rushing through a narrow area--and I got a pretty rough contusion on my leg that hurt like hell all day at work. It left a goose egg on my thigh big enough for coworkers to see through slacks. I was hurting, and was really exhausted coming home from work. I called Claire from the train station, like I always do, to let her know I was on the way home. I offered to stop at the store if she needed anything, and I felt like I needed to because we were out of a couple of things. She insisted I come straight home. Imagine my surprise when I walked in only to be led straight to a bathroom with a hot bubble bath, a snack and a bottle of water waiting for me.

I know that most people going through transition don't have the luxury of taking time off, and some probably don't really need it, but Claire was really emotionally dead for years. Think walking dead and you pretty much sum "James" up. I think it's been a good trade-off moving and doing this the way we did. I know she's not very comfortable in Atlanta and really didn't want to move to a big city, but it does give me the chance to give her the gift of taking at least a year off while she goes through the rough spots. The difference in the last 6 months has been amazing.

I have to stop and think about how wonderful my family has been to Claire. The love and acceptance they've shown her I'm sure doesn't completely replace her entire biological family, but I know it means the world to her. We're really blessed to have them in our lives.

Christmas Eve was the seventh anniversary of our first kiss. I'm far happier than I ever thought I would be right now. I think had Claire not finally broken down and told me what was so very wrong in her life, we'd probably be divorced or she'd be dead. Although I loved "James" it was getting to the point where the depression was so incredibly severe it was seriously interfering with living.

I came home from work on Monday, opened the door to see my tall, willowy blonde with a sparkle in her eyes and a smile on her lips, and my breath actually caught.

I'm a lucky girl. My soulmate's still with me, and she's finally alive. Happy New Year. Life is good :)


PS - as I just finished this up, the song "My Girl" came on. Pretty funny, huh?