01 October 2015

ObserVation: Did my Mother know?

his post was triggered by Stana’s post about 'How could she not know'.

When I was living at home I explored my femininity as best as I could by borrowing my mother’s clothes and makeup whenever I had the opportunity. I have related some of my adventures/close calls here under my 'Windows:' posts. Over all those years at home I can’t recollect any panic concerning tearing or ruining of her things, only panic of direct detection and confrontation. Not once did I have the feeling that she ‘knew’ what was going on. We were very close after the early death of my father and I think I would have felt it if she knew what I was getting up to. 

Either I was really really good at leaving no traces or just suppressed them at the moment they occurred (selective erasure). Looking back I just can’t believe I didn’t make mistakes with relocation, lipstick use, and all those little signs that turn up over time and collect into a pattern on one’s radar. 

My conclusion, she must have known, but she hid it well.

vAt my last visit before her death (I didn’t know it was going to be the last visit) we talked about everything under the sun apart from the girl in me. Over the two day visit I wore when possible pantyhose under my jeans, maybe I was trying to tell myself something. 

The whole time it nagged me, but I just did not dare bring up the subject. I was very scared to let it all out in an uncontrolled babble punctured with fits of crying something my boy upbringing wouldn’t allow.. 

At that time there was no Abigale as such. I think now, with her coming of age, blogging and making good friends with similar experiences and their collective constructive support that I could handle such a talk much better and explain myself to her in a way that I hope she would have understood. 

Before Abigale brought things together and handed me a roadmap I didn’t understand myself so how was I to explain ‘me’ to another. Thinking about it, my mother had 40 years of social counselling behind her, she probably had heard it all before anyway! 

I can’t turn back the clock, but I often wish I could.
Sometimes I rehearse the talk with me mum in my mind.
Every time I learn a little more about myself.


  1. One the saddest conversations a lifelong CD could possibly have in late middle age goes something like this,
    "Mum, there's something I really need to tell you.."
    "Yes, dear. I've known ever since you were little. I've always wondered if you would ever mention it."
    All those lost years of hiding from your own parents...

    For myself, I can't believe I was always that careful that I never left any traces.

    1. Your right Susie it is sad. One could say 'better later than never', but that doesn't help those who are not clear in what and how to tell their parents. Maybe never had the chance to talk it through with a close friend or family member, as a sort of dress rehearsal before springing it on them. One can guarantee that the 'Talk' would be an extreme emotional rollacoaster that could get out of control unless one is in someway prepared. And there is of course the When.
      With the traces Susie, maybe you have come to the same conclusion as I. The question is can you still do something about it?

  2. So, I thought my mum knew and that telling her would come as no surprise, but when I did eventually tell her a couple of years ago, she responded absolutely fantastically, but didn't know. She told how she was even more proud of me knowing that I'd dealt with such a difficult thing and that I could have told her before etc, but for I needed to come to a point where I knew what I was telling her and maybe the fact that I did was what led to that level of acceptance - she could see the determination with which I wear Rhiannon. Great post Mrs x

    1. Rhi lovely to hear from you! I'm glad you took the chance to talk to your mum. By the sound of it you have a wonderful mum that understood what you were going through and was proud that you took the courage to tell her. Yes, she accepted the fact that you were committed to being Rhiannon and stood by you. I think my mum would have reacted like yours, but I will never know, but you do and thats good x

  3. My mother and her sisters always knew that I was not like all their other children, they should not discus such things with quiet hidden children about. I thought it was going to be my mother who was breaking the ice since I clearly had never showed any interest in bringing any girls home. She asked if I was gay and with a negative reply she was off before I could get out" well actually..." She never did find out.

    1. Thanks for the comment Coline. It seems your mother concentrated on the one possible cause she saw for not bringing girl’s home, that of being gay. She only want the Yes/No answer and with your “no” it cleared her mind of the worry and for her that was that. It’s a shame she disassociated herself from the real reason by not allowing you to explain.
      On the one hand it’s possible that with your answer, that the reason was more complex than “just” gay or not gay and realised she was out of her depth and therefore was reluctant to go on. On the other hand it could also have been she was so relieved that you were not gay that nothing else mattered and ticked off the “problem” as resolved.