Yes, she's strange and different...but not THAT different.

28 July 2006


I never saw it coming. It just snuck up on me and slugged me in the mouth and suddenly I was angry – really angry – when I had no right to be. And that made me angry, too. It’s not fair when anger slides in when you’re not looking and blindsides you. I don’t like it. Of course, I’ve never been one to fight fair anyway, so I guess maybe it’s karmic that I’ve managed to get mad at myself for getting mad. Or perhaps it’s just ironic.

When we first met, we were kids – or near enough to not make any difference – but we fell in love, either because of or in spite of that fact. To make a long story short, we ended up together, really close together and committed our lives to each other. We moved around the country, following my “career” in the Navy, and we had a lot of good times. We were happy. Things were damned near perfect. Yeah, there was that transgender thing, but we dealt with it. (We dealt, we deal, we keep moving.)

We got out of the Navy, started a solid life and a number of different things started to happen. She got hurt – badly - in a car wreck that wasn't her fault. Her neck was dislocated, her back muscles were torn, a disk was compressed; her neck and back would never be normal again. She found out that her thyroid was screwed up; it took a while to find out what was wrong but that got fixed by killing her thyroid gland. She fell and shattered her foot, which required having screws inserted to put it back together. She fell again and broke her back (compression fractures); it generates constant pain now and really will never be normal. Her dislocated neck caused temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ). She had an episode of superventricular tachycardia that hospitalized her for weeks but was never explained. And we couldn’t have kids.

But I love her. We adopted kids. I don’t care that she can’t pick up anything heavier than a cereal box. I can pick those things up. I don’t care that she’s prescribed daily heavy narcotics to handle the pain. She handles the pain and isn’t an addict. I don’t care that she sleeps a lot. I don’t need that much sleep. I don’t care that I can’t really kiss her deeply because it makes her jaw hurt. I can deal with her absences and her bad temper and her medical bills. I love her. I do … really.

But it truly surprised and hurt me when I found myself getting angry at her for those things after a quarter of a century together. How could I be angry? She can’t help it that our life has turned shitty on a physical level. Well, I realize now that I’m human and I can’t always help how I react either. No, I’m not angry all the time, but I do get angry at both circumstances and sometimes even at her – for the things she does and for the things she doesn’t do. I feel guilty about all that, but I feel better, too.

We’ve run metamorphosis in reverse: our butterfly life crawled back into the cocoon and struggled out as a caterpillar. So maybe we won’t ever fly again, but we’re not going to sit here and wait to die, either. We may have to crawl now, but we’re gonna crawl a lot of places. But sometimes I’ll get mad because I can’t fly.

  • On 7/28/2006 3:25 PM, Blogger Tonya said…

    Anyone human would cross that line over and over again in your shoes. Your a good person.

  • On 7/28/2006 3:36 PM, Blogger DeniseUMLaw said…

    I'm sorry, Honey. I'm proud of you that you recognize the humanity in you -- and in her. Anger is part of that; it just is.

    You know, you can call me anytime you need to just talk.


  • On 7/29/2006 12:28 PM, Blogger She says said…

    That was a beautiful expression of your love for her, not just the words saying that you love her but how your actions and reactions speak of your love for her.

    All relationships evolve, and the beauty is that you two have changed together. And you've both accepted each other's and your own changes along the way. That's really love.

  • On 8/01/2006 3:25 PM, Blogger konagod said…

    Wow Jami. Heavy stuff. But that's what makes you a strong person.

    How long ago was that car accident?

  • On 8/01/2006 10:15 PM, Blogger Jami said…

    Tonya - thanks! Coming from you that means a lot.

    Denise - I know you're there, and I'm thankful for it. You know I love you, too.

    She - Yes, we love each other but we also realize that our whole relationship could change tomorrow. We do our best and hope that's enough.

    Konagod - The accident happened 17 years ago.

  • On 8/02/2006 12:59 PM, Blogger konagod said…

    I know there's nothing at all funny about this, but in situations like this I can't help but remember the Woody Allen line about the world being divided up between the horrible and the miserable. And be thankful that you're just miserable. Horrible is always worse.

    After 17 years, you deserve a moment of anger. I have no idea what else to say except, you're both alive. You gotta keep trying to enjoy it, regardless.

  • On 8/02/2006 8:04 PM, Blogger MichaelBains said…

    You're so human. {-; It sucks sometimes, but it sure beats any realistic alternative I can imagine.

    And hey! You're really not that different, are ya?

    Thanks for sharin' Jami. I love being able to "know" people like you.

    Take care.

  • On 8/04/2006 4:12 PM, Blogger Jen said…

    Lovely, Jami. I am thrilled to see such straightforward writing from a caretaker. I adore you for the person you are, including the ways that this path has changed you and the choices you've made.

  • On 8/04/2006 8:26 PM, Blogger Popess Lilith said…

    To quote DEVO: "Love without anger isn't love at all." I thought that was pure bitterness when I was younger. Now that I'm married to someone with her own unique and sometimes extreme health issues, I see the wisdom in those few words: True Love is never sycophantic and almost always has its fair share of tension and frustration, sometimes turning to anger. There's nothing rational about it, and it's understandable--but you recognize it and can deal with it maturely. So I think you two will be all right.


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