And then i thought that, while a number of you have shared the journey with me, many of you missed some of these adventures. So i thought i'd share here.
So first, some context dates:
1991-12-21 Christine & i married
[The early years, for some other time. Includes my first depression diagnosis.]
2000-03 I'm 32 years old
2000-04 through 05 Christine & i move to California
2001-04 began working for "The Minnow" and my "boss"
2002-06-05 began my LiveJournal
2002-08-27 The beginning of Christine's transition
2002-11-2X Dad's colon cancer surgery
2002-12-2X Christine & i came out to sisters
2003-04-2X I came out to my parents and brothers
2003-08ish We came out to Christine's siblings
2003-09-30 Christine's name change
There's actually some intense work here, and the move from The Presidio to Mountain View.
2006-07-01 "The Minnow" merged with "The Whale"
Just after the merger, there was a strong sense of "proving our worth" as California employees who were on a much higher payscale due to cost of living. There was a great deal of stress, but i also took that time to do some personal therapeutic work on resolving issues with my childhood.
In early 2009 i stopped working on a project that had to do with orphaned copyright works. There had been a lawsuit about the Google Book scanning project which created some uncertainty, drying up our funding. I transitioned to working into the area of identity and access management, something my boss had identified as an area our California office could specialize in and remain critical to The Whale, whereas other work might be more easily moved to other developers in a lay off. In some ways, it was a very insightful move. In others -- well, most of the developers have not found anything to enjoy in the work.
I realize that i don't have one of the most critical dates marked, when the VP change occurred that brought in the very incompetent VP. A little digging implies this was May of 2009.
This VP, for whom i must have had a code name--the tag is "Z-hell" apparently--seemed most interested in cost cutting by staff reduction. A year after he started, he demoted my boss. My boss had effectively been VP of Engineering at "The Minnow." I don't think my boss would have dealt well with being VP at "The Whale" but i think he was a far better judge of character.
The lousy VP promoted up a particular manager who would have done well in sales, but who was particularly bad at listening and keeping his word and proactively preventing problems. A year after my boss had been demoted, a mysterious calendar entry on a Friday telegraphed to me that a reorg was coming. My worst outcome was that my boss would be laid off and i'd report to that particular manager. Indeed, in May of 2011, my boss of ten years was laid off and the particularly incompetent manager became a director whom i referred to as "New Director."
Backing up a bit, though --
2011-03-31 Christine's gender confirmation surgery.
I'm intrigued that my memories of Christine's surgery and recovery are so separated from my memory of my boss' lay off and the acquisition of the New Director. The next few years sent me into a deep depression as i felt stuck in management, didn't see any thing i could point to to get a job elsewhere, felt that if i left the California team would be picked off by cost cutting vultures.
Meanwhile, Christine bloomed. She worried about me, and slowly i got some help, including a return to antidepressants.
2013-09-26 The "New Director" was replaced with the "Newer Director". I remember my team's awe at meeting him. "He seems REASONABLE," they said with shock. It wasn't just me who had been terrorized by "New Director."
2013-11 Christine's crisis began.
Just as i started having hope at work with the "Newer Director", Christine plunged into a very dark place.
2014-07-05 i posted about "the elephant in the room," that Christine was having issues which i didn't want to share, but they affected me, which i did want to share. The level of care taking the next few years was nontrivial.
2014-11-30 Christine's mother died, which just added more weight to the crisis.
At that same time, i traded jobs and left management. (The person with whom i traded became my manager and has since become a director as well.) This job shift was a huge relief for me, and i can recall how i felt a little guilty throwing the person with whom i traded into the deep-end as i was away for the funeral.
It's hard for me to recognize that i have been in this non-management role longer than i was working for the "New Director."
In summer of 2015 the housing situation in Silicon Valley was nipping at our heels. We spent time making contingency plans, as we watched a neighbor struggle to find housing after her lease was terminated.
2016-03-02 Our contingency plan was triggered by the rent increase.
2016-03-14 to 20 I get permission to move to North Carolina and we tell our family about our plans.
2016-03-22 to 24 I see this house listed on Zillow. My parents check the house out and give thumbs up, we make our offer with many others, our offer is accepted. 30 days of due diligence.
2016-03-24 NC passes the trans-hostile HB2
Yeah, HB2 passed the day we made the offer on the house.
2016-04-07 Home inspection
2016-04-11 Technical offer from The Whale to move to North Carolina
2016-04-24 House closing
2016-05-20 We begin our move to North Carolina
2016-05-26 We arrive
So, that's right, in less than three months from engaging the contingency plan, we were living in North Carolina. Talk about a shock.
Once we got here, i think Christine started making much more progress on the Elephant.
2016-11 In late 2016 -- not just the US politics but also an accident -- re-triggered some issues around the Elephant.
2016-12-21 Our twenty fifth anniversary
2017-03 The documentary film about how Christine's transition affected her family was released out to film festivals, and the festivals continued through the fall. Revisiting some of the painful challenges of the transition week after week, answering questions in after film discussions, and so on was not easy on Christine.
2018-03 I'm 50 years old
So, here we are.
Not all of that reflection was about "the elephant in the room," but part of what inspired this was for me to get a sense of how long this elephant has been hanging around as well as how long i was in the crisis that put me on antidepressants to begin with.
I think Christine has made a great deal of progress out of her crisis. Admittedly, after this much time, "crisis" is no longer really a good term. Some time back i did accept to myself that this is a long term condition. I do see improvement though, and i see her making great efforts to cope. The most hard thing, i think, is that she wakes with panic attacks more often than not. She has changed from a CPAP to the more fancy thing (heated! humidified! variable pressure!) which has a little bit of improvement, but the change didn't solve the issue.
There are things left out -- my time line of involvement in Quaker meetings stands out as something significant. My Dad's surgery is important because it came just before i my body seemed to hit middle age. There are a number of things about my health -- when did i do the diet exclusion test? When were various therapists? -- but i actually think those are in another file. My siblings' marriages, their children's birth, deaths of Christine's father and my grandfather -- those are important markers, too.
What this does, though, it take some events that have duration -- the process of coming out and how long before Christine had confirmation surgery, my work misery, her crisis -- and helps me see how my sense of duration is so skewed.
--== ∞ ==--
So if i keep journaling here for another eighteen years, i will have documented half my life on LiveJournal and its descendant DreamWidth. LJ was launched nineteen years ago. (I was actually blogging on geocities in 1999. No one read it, but i was writing there.)