I have been looking for information and support services that I can add to my website. What I have found so far comes primarily from the USA and UK, there is comparatively little from Australia and what there is, is years old. There was of course even less when our journey began just over nine years ago.
What I find disappointing is that what is available seems to rely on assumptions and subjective data collection. Effectively the responsibility for the breakdown of family relationships is put down to the inability or unwillingness of partners and children to understand the need for transition. This concerns me because I know from my experience that nothing could be further from the truth.
Like all family relationships, the relationships between partners and those between parents and children are complex and different for every family and in fact every family member. In our case, although I thought they were pretty simple it turned out these relationships were quite complex to begin with; the addition of the transition of the husband and father in the group from male to female added a whole new level of difficulty that took some time to get a handle on.
It was difficult not because we were unable or unwilling to accept the need for transition but because the person with whom we had the relationship disappeared before our eyes and the person who replaced them was a very different person to the one we had known and loved.
When you lose a loved one the grief can be overwhelming and for that reason alone the people who are left behind deserve more consideration than they are currently afforded by "the experts". I think the time has come to get a more balanced view on the agenda.
Over the next few months I will be researching the information currently available and looking at how I can encourage others to share their experiences so that the other side of the story can be told. I wrote my book to get my story out there and now I want to give a voice to other families who supported their loved one to make their transition but have not been able to express their grief at the loss of the person and the life they had before "the change".
Your partner or parent's need to transition is important, it's vital for their health and their existence that they be able to achieve the life they have desperately wanted for so long. I cannot imagine what it must be like to wonder everyday why you must live a life that is so foreign to your heart however I hope that reading my story may waken in you the belief that you and your children matter. Your happiness matters and does not have to be sacrificed to ensure the happiness of the other.
Let's get some actual information out there and also give some support to those who continue to struggle with the loss of not just what was but was going to be.