Stressfully Complicated

I am perhaps the most stressed I’ve ever been right now.

It’s nine days before MFM. I play a really critical role there, and I’m already feeling pressure from it. But I’m used to it, and MFM by itself is usually not a huge deal.

Three months ago my Dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He was in surgery a few days later to have it removed. In some ways it was a happy thing, as he’d been having all kinds of weird issues going on – like randomly falling down – and the brain tumor accounted for all of them. The surgery got out 90% of it, and pathology confirmed that it was the slowest growing type of this type of tumor. We were hopeful that maybe this was the last we’d hear of it.

While all of this was going down, I really wanted to go rushing off to DFW to see my folks, because, you know, brain tumor and my Dad. But my folks insisted that I not come, and I didn’t want to stress them out any more by going against their wishes. So I was good and stayed here in the Bay Area.

What I did instead was work out a way for me to come see them on the way to MFM. I’m flying into Dallas, going to spend two nights at their place, and then drive to Memphis from there. Then after the con I’ll drive back to their house, spend the night, and take off for the airport to fly home the following day. I was going to burn two more days of my vacation time (I only get 15 a year), but that was okay. I really wanted to see my Dad after all of this.

I confirmed all the dates with my folks months ago. We’ve talked a few times about how they’re excited to see me and all that.

Fast forward to a few days ago on Saturday.

I get a frantic series of texts from my Mom asking me when I’m going to be in Memphis. It was mostly incoherent babble, so I called her. We talked for over an hour.

Last Thursday my Dad bought a bus ticket to Memphis to go “look for work.” Mom was up all night trying to talk him out of it. We’re guessing he has friends in the area, but we don’t really know for sure. He left on Friday.

Why Memphis I have no idea. Apparently he has decided that’s the place to be if you’re 62 years old, recovering from major surgery, and looking for work. (He was laid off a number of years ago.) We assume he’s staying with people he knows. He’s promised to text my Mom each time he applies for a job.

He was ignoring phone calls, but Mom told me she was able to do FaceTime with him this morning, so that’s a step in the right direction, I suppose.

My Mom is now applying pressure on me to “try to go see him” while I’m in Memphis. I had to basically tell her no this afternoon. I said that while at MFM I’m so busy I usually have a hard time getting a good meal, and I certainly don’t have time to go drive across town to do a big emotional thing.

My Mom, sister and I have been in contact more in the last 48 hours than we have all year. We’ve kicked around the idea that if we can get his doctor to say that sudden changes in behavior is part of the recovery from the cancer we could file a Missing Persons report for medical reasons and basically force him to come home, but none of us want to do that at this point.

Emotionally this has been really hard on me. I spent a lot of money (hundreds of dollars) and burned two vacation days to go see my Dad, and he’s not even going to be there. I’m not calling it a waste as I’ll still get to spend time with my Mom (but I’m doubting it’ll be relaxing time now), but gaaaah this sucks. It’s like at no point did he think “Oh, humm, Bunny’s gonna be here in 14 days, maybe I should be here.” I’m just angry and upset and don’t really know what to think.

The thought has crossed my mind that maybe this is transphobia (this is my first time seeing my folks since starting HRT), but I really really really hope that is not the case… because that’ll dictate how a lot of my life with them is going to go from here.

There is one sliver lining here… my Mom has started doing her best to call me my name. Even in text messages. She messes it up a lot, but at least she’s trying. I told her that means so much to me and thanked her a zillion times.

I’m just planning on being me when I go to Texas next week, and what happens, happens. It’ll be the first time presenting female in front of my family.

As Jimmy Buffet says, life’s not over, it’s just simply complicated.

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