This morning after breakfast dad asked me if I had figured out what I wanted to do with my life. Never has that question had so different a meaning than the questioner intended. In his eyes, he sees his niece throwing her life away for some unknown reason. When I told him that I just wasn't sure yet, I could see the disappointment on his face. I guess his love for Kat was the same as it had been... is for my sister and I. What really hurt me, though, is that I couldn't tell him what was really troubling me... what was really causing this huge deviation in my life... our lives. Not because he wouldn't believe me (well, maybe that too), but because I, honestly, had no clue what to do about the future.
I could feel my emotions welling-up as I considered our exchange and my own current situation. I decided that I didn't want to lose-it in front of the parents, so I went for a walk up the hill. I used to go there to enjoy the wonderful views of nature at work, and to think and dream. Our dogs, ever vigilant, seemed to sense I was in need of comfort and accompanied me - I wonder if they know who I really am... I wonder if they'd even care... somehow, I think the answer to both those questions is "yes".
When we neared the top, the dogs took chase of a rabbit, leaving me alone to sit and think. I thought through what I could do about my future, trying to decide what to do. I weighed what I wanted and what I valued:
Yes, I could have my old life back... maybe. If I did that, I may have a bit to clean-up from not having been able to take care of things - but I would be me again. I'm sure that it would take a bit to get back into the swing of things after having to pretend to be someone else for so many months. But that would leave Frank in limbo, having to find another body and to adjust again. What would that body be like - he could end up worse-off than he's ever been. And Dorris, Dorris and Frank might be separated. I've seen them together and as weird as it is to see them together (I just really never see Jadyn & I being a couple), they seem to pull it off so well. If I got my own body back, that would mean that someone new would have to become Kat. Kat would almost-certainly get mad at me, but since she's the one who took advantage of me, and got me into this fine mess in the first place - I should be able to disregard her opinion about my life... after all, she did give it to me. I don't think I could do that though, I love her too damn much to hurt her in such a possibly permanent way. Barring that, what if the new Kat was completely different and wanted nothing to do with our family, or otherwise did something that was hurtful to the people I love. I'm not sure I want to live with that much guilt.
I don't know if any of you remember this, but I've long had this strange curiosity about what it would be like to be a girl. So it should be a certainty that I'd be happy if I got to stay permanently, right? Wrong. I don't like periods - I think I found that out the first day of my first one. I don't think Kat was ever as moody and irritable as I am. This hair is a pain, it takes forever to dry and the tangles. Having to deal with make-up and screwed-up fasteners, zippers, & hooks on some of the clothes is a major hassle - albeit, I get very lucky that I don't have to deal with them every day. It sucks being short, well okay, 5'7" isn't really short for a girl, but it makes it tough for me to reach things I used to have no problem with. If I decided to keep things as they are, I may have to wear make-up and style my unruly mane every day... and not just once a day, mind you - that stuff needs maintenance throughout the day.
What about having a family? I'd have to choke-down my mental aversion to making out with a guy, and somehow convince myself that what I was doing was normal. I would have to let this hairy, sweaty beast have sex with me. I would have to let him get me pregnant - and this wouldn't just be a try on a maternity-sympathy-suit thingy for a day or two - this would be 9-months of dealing with whatever changes my body would go through... living with it every day, 24-hours-a-day. Knowing that when the pregnancy is over, I'd experience labor and child-birth... not as a father who looks on helplessly as his wife struggles with effort... and pain - but as the mother who is suffering through the ordeal, wanting it to be done already. And this would happen for each son or daughter that we had. I think if it was temporary and I could experience pregnancy for a short period of time, a small slice of the pregnancy - I would be tickled - but having to live the entire experience is a bit... frightening, I guess would be the right word. Sure I could pass on the whole having kids thing - or even the getting-married part, but I don't think my body will let me. I know that if I decide to become Kat, it won't be long before I give in to my carnal desires. I just hope that I can convince myself that I'm her enough that I forget that I'm not... or wasn't.
I briefly considered suicide - it would end my problems - Frank & Dorris get to remain happy. But Kat would be pissed beyond belief, and my family would devastated. It's rather selfish, and sure as hell ends any aspirations I had of seeing many of the wonders of the world.
It's not much of a choice: Take a chance at regaining what I'd lost, risk hurting my family and friends and losing thing that I hold dear; or play with the hand that's been dealt to me, and risk... well, nothing that any other woman doesn't risk in her life... the only thing that I risk is losing myself... losing my old self.
And that's the thing, you see - I guess this is somewhat like losing a limb or a sense or becoming paralyzed or afflicted by some disease... it's a life-changing event, you will probably never be the same as you once were - and you can't go back... you have to just take that next step, you have to move-on. You have to set a new course through life and set-sail.
That's what I have to do. I have to accept that trying to go back to the way things were will hurt the ones I love and in-turn myself. I have to accept that this is my new life, and that I face no greater threat to my well-being than any other woman. I have to face the fact that I should re-examine my goals and then take that next step.
Given what I value most, I have but one direction in which to move... forward.