It seems the hardest part of my relationship with my partner is going to be the people on the outside looking in.

This past week has moved incredibly fast. As soon as we had our deep discussion about HRT, medication was prescribed, lots of one on one discussions with people have been had, and we’ve talked about everything from stealing each other’s accessories, to travel, to co-breastfeeding (it’s so neat that that’s a possible thing!). And, as positive as it has all been for the two of us, it is really emotionally draining. And right now I kind of feel like I’m in a snow globe that’s been picked up and shaken. I’m still here, I’m fine, but it’ll be a while until everything settles back down. So I’m pulling back from a lot of things, like activism meetings and community building sessions. I also have my own health to take care of, so I have a therapist lined up and I have a follow-up appointment with my sleep doctor about some ongoing issues.

One of the groups I work with holds significant personal value, but it can get really exhausting to regularly carry on supporting other people when I have my own stuff to deal with. I’ve been invited to a week-long leadership training a few months, but I just don’t have the energy to commit financially or mentally to anything so big right now. I had a long talk with my mentor about what is going on in my personal life and her response kinda stung. We talk a lot in this group about how we, as women, take significant value in self-sacrifice and putting other’s needs before our own. And she reflected back on my description of what is happening (partner going through transitioning and that pushing a few year’s worth of conversation to be moved into the forefront) as me taking a back seat for someone else to move ahead.

Let me be absolutely clear: my partner has in no way impeded anything in my life whatsoever. It was my decision to talk about the future of our relationship and we worked together to plan and strategize the next few months/years of our lives together in a truncated time period. Because it had to be done, and I love talking to him about the future.

This is no way me sacrificing myself for someone else to live in their own truth. In fact, it’s been my decision to pull back from meetings, and not commit over a thousand dollars to a trip I’m not totally clear will absolutely benefit me when my life is currently rattled. And I don’t feel ready to take my personal story and wrap it up in a neat, marketable package to tell to a wider and more public audience in the name of leadership.

After a thorough discussion about how she sees my relationship from the outside, I think I got her to stop projecting her past experiences onto me. But it still felt shitty. Later that night my partner and I went out to trivia with some friends, and I cried on the way there because I didn’t have time to tell my partner about how bad I was made to feel for the emotional labor I am putting in. We played trivia and won second place, which got my mind off of everything. It was really necessary. We discussed why I was so upset when we got home.

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Fuck, it’s been a week. I’m an adult making autonomous choices where I want to prioritize my relationship over my own ambitions for a couple of goddamn weeks. Can’t everyone one else just back off until it stops snowing?