I (mom) had a conversation with our child recently and it is one that will stick with me forever. He asked me one simple question. The words out of his mouth cut through my heart like a dagger. I felt a heaviness in my gut, sadness in my heart and had to fight back tears in my eyes. But, in my typical mom fashion, I did not outwardly display my feelings and instead jumped into my quick witted mode to respond.
We were driving home from the eye doctor recently. It had been a great appointment. It was a new office, so we made the appointment as a male. He got to go in there and be his authentic self. He loved that. He loved hearing the staff using the correct pro-nouns. It made him feel good, I could see it in his big beautiful brown eyes. He picked out a rad new pair of glasses and we were excited when we left the office. But, just as I was merging onto the freeway, he looked at me with sadness in those eyes and said “Why am I so broken?” Hearing those words took my breath away…Those five words will haunt me forever.
As I safely entered the freeway, I asked him why he would feel like he is “broken”. His response was so honest and I could see why he would feel that way. In summary, he said he needs medicine to focus, he needs glasses to see, and his body was not made right. His words were “nothing is right with me…” Ugh…even writing this now, brings the tears back to my eyes. You see, he is right. Years ago, when we were at the pediatrician for his physical to get into kindergarten, we learned he had vision issues. Once we went to the eye doctor, we realized how severe his eyes were and that everything had always been out of focus for him. Glasses are a necessity for him to function. He was diagnosed with ADHD in second grade and needs daily meds to help him stay on track. And recently, we have learned that his body does not match his brain either. He is transgender. He feels broken and I don’t blame him for feeling that way. He sure was dealt a crappy hand of the cards of life. (This is where I hope the skeptics realize no person would CHOOSE to be transgender. They are BORN this way. Another post on this will come soon.)
I had to quickly come up with something that would make my son feel better because there is no way I want him walking around through this crazy life feeling broken. I want him to know he is far from broken. That nobody is perfect. That normal is boring. That being different is amazing. That through struggles you will find triumph. I want him to feel anything besides broken. I shared that his struggles are only obstacles and that he is overcoming ALL of his obstacles. Nothing will stop him or break him or define him. Together, we will help him through all of life’s challenges, one at a time. I then shared how I feel like when it is time for him to ‘adult’, he will be so much more prepared and ready than the ‘normal’ kids who live in a bubble. I explained how life can be challenging for everyone, but those who have had more obstacles placed in front of them at such young ages, will be able to adjust to the struggles of becoming an adult easier than those kids that just skipped through their childhood merrily. I reassured him he is NOT broken, but that he is being faced with challenges that are testing his strength and that he is doing a marvelous job with all that is thrown his way. I then reminded him how much he is loved and that nobody in our family will ever allow you to become broken.
I hope he believed me because I know he is not broken. He is strong, courageous, brave, unique, amazing, kind hearted and loving. None of those sound broken to me…
❤︎ Just Parents