Compressing the breasts so they are less obvious or nonexistent.
Time passes since Shila opened up and came out about not wanting to be a woman anymore. About how she didnít feel like one. The two of us have spent much time working it out in our heads. I have had to think about it more than she has because I donít really comprehend. I mean I try, but I have never wanted to be a man. I donít like men and so with that why would I ever want to be a man? Come on really not when men are sexist pigs and everything else and the only thing that they think about is sex. Yes I know that Shila is a pig at times, but for some reason I make an exception. I canít really explain it, but I do.
We have changed how we go about lovemaking and guidelines have been set as in what Shila will allow and what she wonít. I try to abide, even though it is kind of hard because I have been with her so long that everything comes so natural. Now I donít know what I can get away with and what I canít. It is as though I end up asking at every move.
"May I touch you here. . .?" I ask referring to some place on her body that in the past I would automatically touch without asking."
I have learned that I have to be more sensitive because she has become more emotional as time passes. It is as though since she has come out to me she kind of has become bitchier around her period. It is as though that is the time she is more sensitive about her gender. We both have spent time on the net researching this. Looking to see what resources are available. Where we can turn and who can help. I have learned a lot and I think I am at a point that I am willing to do anything that she wants as in call her by a more masculine name or by the male pronoun.
She wakes up one Saturday morning, quite early I must say. I only find her in the bathroom because I realize that I need it.
" Um. . . do you think that I could use the toilet?"
" Ya sure give me a minuet OK?"
"Make it fast I really need to piss."
"OK. OK You donít have to be so insistent."
"Well I have to when I donít want to make a mess!"Shila comes out and she doesnít have her shirt on. Instead she has an ace bandage wrapped around her chest. I drop my jaw and the thought of, "Why do you have an ace bandage wrapped around your chest?" fills my mind."
"This is what you call binding. I am doing this to decrease my breasts since I donít have the money for top surgery."
"So do I pass? As in do I look like a man?"
"Um. . . you are always going to be a woman to me in my mind. It doesnít matter how much you do to transition."
Tears start raining from her eyes and she starts to vocalize. I come towards her and put my arms around her. She throws me off. I leave her alone in the hallway and head back to the bedroom and get onto the Internet. Meantime she gets dressed. Shila leans against the door jam and I hear her as she does. She holds an open pocketknife in her hand, kind of playing with it. I stare at her and then the knife.
"I Ďll. put away it away."
She comes into the room and sits on the bed. I come and sit with her and start to talk to her.
"Donít hurt yourself. That wonít get you anywhere. That will only hurt you and you have no reason to hurt yourself."
She just sits next to me and sobs as I put my arm around her. She pulls me down on top of her. I end up falling asleep.
I wake up with Shila gone. I find her in the living room.
"Guess what I am using now to bind?"
"Do I want to know?"
I drop my jaw. Literally drop it and do I not know what to think. Actually I do know what to think and that is to tell her that she is passing.
"You know that skin might come off when you take the tape off? Where did you get that idea anyway?"
"You know that email list that I joined? They suggest it there. Actually they suggest duck tape, but since we donít have any duck tape I thought I would use this instead."
"Um. . . I think you have it on too tight. You are grasping for air and you are going to faint. So why donít we take it off?"
"No it works and I like it. I have nothing else to use."
" I will go to the pharmacy and buy you a binder. I think I read about it when looking at one of the websites on trans issues."
We go into the bedroom and I lift up her shirt and then I see her arms.
" Baby, what did you do to your arms? You werenít cutting were you?"
" I am not going to stop! They are my arms. You canít make me!"
I try to keep my cool. Try not to lecture even though that is what I really want to do. I canít watch her cut herself. I just canít.
"Promise that you wonít cut yourself. Promise OK baby?"
The rest of the day passes. Shila goes to the store to do grocery shopping and I clean the house while she is out. I end up hurting my back while doing so because I am so frustrated and donít know what do about Shila. She is not helping herself by hurting herself. She is not getting anywhere by what she is doing. I have to explain to her the dangers of cutting . But. . . she is old enough to know of the diseases like HIV/AIDS that she could contract through blood. I really shouldnít have to remind her about them.
"I bought spaghetti."
"I canít eat spaghetti because I am on a diet."
"Just once wonít hurt you."
Oh well I say to myself. Just once canít hurt me. I really need to stay away from carbohydrates. I am tired of dieting and wish it is easier to lose the 40 pounds that I so want to and need to lose.
Shila calls to me that dinner is done and we sit at the table. As we eat we talk about nothing in particular. She really wants to avoid the topic of cutting that I really want to discuss.
"You know, we need to talk about this afternoon. . ."
I donít want to talk about it OK! Just leave it, donít start!"
I move my eyes to my food and stare it. Knowing that I need to bring this topic up again and wishing that there was a manual on this type of thing. Or I bet there is one, but I donít have one on me when I really need it. That is how it always is. Whenever anyone needs a thing like this they can never find it or donít know where to look.
Right after dinner Shila decides to go to bed. So I go into the living room and turn on the television. I realize that I have not had my fill of news so I turn to CNN Headline News. They are talking about Israel and the problems with the Jews and Christians. I kind of listen and I kind of space out because I am tired of hearing about it and donít really know what I can do about it. Oh I guess I could participate in a protest, but there is usually violence involved and I donít want anything to do with it.After a half-hour of flipping through the channels I get bored and decide to surf the net. I go into the bedroom and glance over at the bed. What do I see? I donít see Shila. She is no where to be found in the room. I sit at the computer and log on thinking that she will be in a few. She must have had to use the bathroom. Ten minuets pass and she does not come back in. I saunter into the hallway. The bathroom door is closed. OK I am thinking and also I donít hear anything.
" Hey dear are you alright?"
"I am fine."
"What are you doing in there anyway? I donít hear any water? Are you trying to bind or something like that?"
"Are you cutting?"
"Leave me alone!"
"I am coming in unless you open up. I am starting to get concerned whether you are concerned or not."
"Put the blade down, no buts!" I order."
She puts the blade down on the counter as blood dribbles down her arm. She starts to cry also. I grab a tissue and press it on the asterisk-like design that she has carved into her arm. As I do that I throw the blade in the garbage.
"Hold this you hear and donít let go!"
"Let me have you arm and I will rinse it with water and soap. I will put this junk on it to keep infection from starting."
She winces as I washes it since the soap stings, but this is a must do if these cuts are to stay clean. I bandage the arm up. She calms down.
"Hand over the blades. I am going to flush them down the toilet. There is no way that I am going to let you cut yourself. I just canít bear watching you do this to yourself."
She hands over the blades. I feel relieved as I flush them down the toilet. I think in my mind, what can happen next? I love her dearly and I just canít stand seeing her hurt herself. I am thinking that we need to go to therapy or at least I do to under stand this. I donít really understand the pain that she feels even though I kick myself because I feel that I should. It shouldnít be that hard to understand.
By the time this whole ordeal is over it is 10 p.m. and I am wasted. I some how manage to undress and drop my body in the bed and fall asleep I listen to Shila snore.