The thing that most surprises me and never surprises me at all is how other “wife of” stories are not at all like my story and totally like my story. Yep, the personal is universal, and indeed Anne M. Reid gets personal in her memoir “She Said, She Said: Love, Loss and Living My New Normal.”
An Australian expat living in rural Virginia (that’s a story alone!), Anne writes in almost real-time about her relationship with Paul, who became Paula. She navigates this surreal terrain while also raising their three young children. Anne writes in a very conversational, emotive style, which will appeal to women going through this or having gone through it. Every reaction she has, we’ve likely had or will, for those reading early on in the transition phase.
She aptly describes what she calls “living grief,” that is grieving for someone who is still there, but not. And, like most of us, she battles the “what-will-people-think” curse, converting to a same-sex marriage, and a change in physical and even emotional intimacy. And, as an expat myself, I deeply felt her personal and cultural isolation. I might have fled “home.” Overall, Anne is not afraid to show us her anger, vulnerabilities, and, most importantly, love.
Along with telling her deeply reflective personal story, Anne did exhaustive research into everything gender- and trans-related. And I do mean everything. Wow. So she’s really written two books in one – one focused on feelings and personal narrative and the other on much-needed education for spouses, families, children, friends, the workplace, the world! You’ll find it all in “She Said She Said.” (The second “She” refers to a portion that Paula wrote.)
Also, check out Anne’s website for a great collection of resources. Thanks for adding so much to the conversation, Anne!