An anonymous letter from a struggling mama03.01.2018
I still think that I maybe at some point I must have done something wrong.
Perhaps it would have made a difference if I had painted her room pink or had her watch more Disney princesses.
I have these stupid thoughts, I cant avoid having these irrational and baseless thoughts. And I know they are ridiculous, and therefore I feel that there is not a soul that I can share them with, because just thinking about them makes me feel ashamed.
But then I snap back to reality. I thought I had a daughter, and I have been told I have a son.
To be honest, I still don´t believe it.
I know my reaction must be a phase, I am probably going through the cycle: first the denial, and the anger, and then sadness, and then hopefully, acceptance. And perhaps I will start all over again and in no order. There are days where I feel like I go through all the stages at the same time.
Then, one day, when I feel almost at peace, when things look bright and positive and I believe I can do this, I read the news.
I hear about my government not allowing my kid to go to the bathroom where he feels the most comfortable. And fear and anger creep in. And I wish that I didn´t have to be afraid that my kid could go to the man’s bathroom and someone will identify him as trans, and he could be in real danger. I am afraid someone can hurt my baby, hit him, just because he is different.
Because he is not what is expected.
And that fear terrifies me. How can they be afraid of my child? How can they hate my child without even knowing him? How could they wish him harm? You don´t know how much he has already suffered to come to this point in his life when he is willing to say: Mom, I am trans.
We, parents, want to think we have control, that we can manage and facilitate an environment in which our children can feel safe, and cared for, nurtured and celebrated. And this, his gender, is something I can´t control, and neither can he.
And that is when it hits me. I cannot be the person my child fears. I cannot be the person who knowingly hurts her child. Because I know I have hurt him. Every time I say her instead of him, every time I say I don’t understand. I cannot be that person. I cannot be the one who willingly makes him feel sad, afraid, rejected, alone. I can’t control the world. I want to control my reaction, my fears, my thoughts. But I don’t know how.
I find solace knowing that he knows I try. He knows I love him. I have said it many times, every day. Every morning he goes to school. But still, I am human. I was raised in a world where we didn’t even have a word for transgender. We called them freaks.
That is the world I grew up in. That is the world that surrounded me. And I fear that world. I fear for my child.
I am also afraid of my own thoughts, of my own feelings. I struggle and need to find some certainty. Because some days I don´t know if I am being too open minded, or I am being too closed minded. I don´t know if this is normal, or healthy, or if there is something I can do, or how I can do it.
I am afraid and I feel alone.
I need to find someone to talk to, a way to clear my head, to unburden my heart. I need a safe place where I won’t feel judged for saying the wrong thing, using the wrong name or for being a “liberal hippie mom who lets her kid do whatever trendy stuff he can come up”, as my neighbor has said.
No judgement. I seek no judgement, and yet, how hard it is for me to give full acceptance to my own flesh and blood?
“The world was not like this”, my own parents say, “we didn’t have this crazy stuff”. And I wonder, where we blind then? I certainly know I can’t count on them to help me through this one.
I want to see. I want to know, I want to ask questions, and learn from other´s experiences. Mostly, I don´t want to feel alone, I want someone who can tell me it will be ok. That it gets better and my child will be safe.
And that is why I am here, why I came to Strong Family Alliance. Because it gave me an outlet. A place where I could find other stories, read privately, think, and share openly. Here, I feel like there is hope for me.
That I can become the ally I wish to be. That I can give my child the support, the acceptance, the love that he will always, always need.