Bitter Sweet

Early last week I was going to write a purely positive post, but as things often happen, life makes things a bit more challenging.  Last week my wife’s sister came into town and stayed with us in order to help celebrate my wife’s graduation.  I was so proud to see K walk across the stage as she was able to close another chapter in her life as a new one prepared to be written.  We were also happy to be able to host her sister to help show support for what has been a long road to a degree.

As her sister was going to stay in our apartment, I decided ahead of time that I was not going to hide Katie’s things from site.  I have a closet full of clothes, shoes, along with a bathroom full of makeup and brushes.  If she saw any of these things and asked questions, I wasn’t going to shy away. I was going to open up to her.  As it happened, big sis was helping K pick out an outfit to go out on Beale Street when she saw some heels that clearly didn’t belong to K.  The cat was out of the bag, and I told her all about Katie.  She responded very positively, saying that we all need to be true to ourselves.  She even got some use out of my massive collection of makeup and jewelry.

"Hey little Sis, who does these gigantic heels belong to?"

“Hey little Sis, who does these gigantic heels belong to?” Can you guess which ones are mine? LOL

As the week progressed, K and my attitude changed.  The emotional high of the weekend, going out and seeing the sites, was replaced by the worry for her sister’s future.  She is unemployed, with no insurance, overweight, and likely with many undiagnosed heath issues.  We have tried to help her over the years to improve her life style choices, but to no avail.  How much responsibility does one have to help a family member?  We’ve tried talking to her about proper foods and exercise, but there has been no change in attitude.  By the time she left, K and I were demoralized and allowed ourselves to think it was hopeless.  K came to the realization that her sister will not be around much longer if things don’t change quickly.

I have often felt, especially as a couple living far away from friends and family, how much should we do to help those close to us?  At what point does one say, “it’s their responsibility, and I’ve done the best I could”?  Yes, one has to take responsibility for their own life, but it is so hard to see someone close to you who is not, and it’s hard to just let them be, even when they are an adult, making conscious choices about their own life.  We let our guard down for a moment, giving up on her and her situation, thinking things were hopeless, but the more I think about it, the more I think that was a mistake.  The best thing we can do for those around us is to love them.  In the end, big sis did come to Memphis to show her love and support for K as she advanced in her life goals, we should at least return the favor.  And if they feel that love and support, hopefully they will someday find the will to improve their life, on their own terms.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend everyone,



About katieinthehall

I'm a rediscovered crossdresser in my early 30's looking to express my thoughts as I move through this journey of discovery.

Posted on May 25, 2013, in crossdressing, Family/Friends, Heels and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Hi Katie! You are right, you cannot live someone’s life for them, and they are responsible for the choices they make. It’s wonderful you want to help and wonderful you tried, but you probably didn’t tell her anything she didn’t already know. Just be there for her when she does start making the changes she needs to make.

    Love, Hannah

  2. John (don't really have a femme name, these days)

    Hi Katie. If I may defend your sister-in-law for a moment, I would beg you guys to check out any writing by the science journalist Gary Taubes. His ultimate message is to try a low-carb diet, and his writing exposes how broken the cycle of low-fat eating and calorie restriction is. Maybe check out his article he wrote for the New York Times magazine from about 10 years ago: I wish I had known of this material while my obese mother was still alive. Sorry, just my 2 cents.

    • Thanks for your input, John. I appreciate any comment. I remember trying the Atkins diet years ago, but just had trouble sticking to it. I found my own way through wait loss years later, after reading “In Defense Of Food”, and I hope that my sister-in-law will find her own way, whichever way that might be. We all have to find what works best for us.

  3. It is so hard when you want someone to change for the better more than they do. Maybe ask her to join in a challenge for health for support? And so cool you were open about Katie! Yay!

    • Thanks Anna, always great to hear from you. I find that it’s better, in some cases, to be indirect about somethings. I think we’ll try to ask her sister, from time to time, how things are going, has she been going out for walks in the park, has she been laying off the soda, that sort of thing. I have found that lecturing to people doesn’t work so well. Love you Anna!

  4. This would be difficult for you to do. Because on one hand she’s not judging you for being who you are, so it would be complicated for you to turn around and judge her for being her.

    Granted what you’re doing isn’t physically unhealthy, unless of course you ran into a group of really bad guys in an alley one night, whereas what she is doing sounds physically unhealthy.

    Tread lightly I would say. Otherwise she will probably feel judged. Some people have a hard time taking advice from others when it is something they are always aware of and sensitive about. They can turn it back in on themselves and use it to make themelves feel even worse. So it’s hard. But if you do say something, I think your best approach would just be straight up honesty “we really care about you and we’re concerned, we want you to stick around for a long time” kind of thing.

    • Thank you for your thoughts. I totally agree with your point of being gentle and supportive, not judgmental. Lecturing to someone on how they should live their life is something I wouldn’t want anyone doing to me, so I sure won’t be doing it to those around me. We’ll keep showing our support, love, and celebrate any forward momentum she takes. And I’ll keep an eye out for those guys in the dark alleyways.

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