…and it’s not even noon yet. :/ It seems like this has been an insanely busy day, even though not a lot of time has passed. First off, I finally came out to the last manager I needed to talk to about being trans. So, that conversation happened. And it seemed to go fairly well. He’s going to be bringing up my preferences to the rest of the tech people at a meeting while I’m on my ‘visit the inlaws’ vacation.
Or rather “vacation.” I’m not really looking forward to it. In fact, I’m all for canceling the trip and having some genuine fun and relaxation at home. Unfortunately, I won’t be the one getting flack for that decision, even if I’m very clear about it being my decision.
See, Jae’s family is fond of gaslighting her and for some godawful reason they still do it. And she gets guilt trips for the most insane things — seriously, Jae was afraid her dad might start a fight over something (he can be an incredible asshat over social justice issues) if she spent time with him, and her mom told Jae not to start anything around her grandma, because grandma’s health is frail and she might die.
…because if Jae’s dad jumps in and starts being a dick it’s Jae’s fault? Because if Jae’s grandma dies (who is going to die — it sucks, but we’re all mortal and, frankly: she’s elderly, frail, and has been diagnosed with terminal cancer) it’s somehow Jae’s fault? That’s one hell of a super power. Shoot, if Jae can control death like that then why isn’t the government paying us billions of dollars to protect our allies and destroy or enemies — or just not to fry people who’s politics we disagree with?
Oh, yeah: because Jae can’t do that, because that’s insane.
It’s also a more extreme example (though Jae has been told often enough lately that she’s going to kill her grandma if she doesn’t come visit, or that she has to be nice to her dad or her grandma will die or just… absolute bullshit). But Jae has gotten blamed for me staying up late and playing video games, she’s been guilted for spending a little money on herself instead of on me (and never mind that we’d budgeted a small allowance for ‘fun’ items for each of us at the time, and I was perfectly happy with my manga), and been accused of all sorts of things that are just blatantly false from her childhood on forward.
It just… I get angry, and then that deflates into emptiness because my background is to avoid confrontation at all costs, so I’m really good at playing the ‘voice of reason’ (more bullshit: emotional response doesn’t mean an unreasonable response, even if people try to claim that kind of shit when they use tone policing to shut people up) but really bad at expressing my anger in any way, helpful or not. ~_~ Which sucks, because then I internalize it and hold long standing grudges that don’t prevent me from being perfectly friendly with people, but which do prevent me from ever really giving a shit what happens to them. And in this particular case it sucks even more because even if I did express my anger — something I’ve been getting better at, now that I get to be myself and spend less time trying to keep everything locked down so my status as a transperson is hidden — Jae is the one who would get blow back for it.
Out of everyone we’re going to go visit, the only one I’d really care to spend time with is my sister in law. I really want to just cut off contact between Jae and most of her family, because they are so damn toxic most of the time. :/ I’d happily filter that crap out and only forward messages on when they have the decency to be decent people and lay off with the guilt trips and gaslighting, but so far Jae is reluctant to take that big of a step.
I keep thinking that one of these days I should just do it, but then I worry about the line between protecting and caring for Jae and if that would be stepping across it into invalidating her autonomy.
:/ I don’t know what to do about all of that, other than be there for Jae and try not to hold back in the moment when I see that kind of shit going on. Who knows, maybe they’ll kick us out this year if I call them on their crap often enough.
Anyway, sorry for grumping so much. Thanks for listening.