Just Parents in Life

Journey through our trials and triumphs of raising a transgender child and his two sisters.

Words are so powerful

My BFF is amazing at articulating just the right words to create a powerful message, it’s what she does for a living. Recently, I sent her one paragraph that I wrote in a moment of anger and hurt, that I wanted to share with those around us about our son. I knew it was time to start addressing the folks in our community as school is going to start soon and I was going to be bombarded with questions about why my child was no longer at the school. I also learned that some kids found out about our son and were talking amongst each other and I wanted to set the record straight for their parents. My hubby didn’t like my paragraph as it was too aggressive. I was so hurt, that I didn’t care if it came off aggressive. I was in momma bear mode and didn’t like knowing people were talking about us instead of to us about what they had heard. I am sure he was right and that I shouldn’t send the paragraph, so, I asked my talented BFF to edit it. She took that one lousy paragraph and turned it into a masterpiece. It was so beautiful that when I read it, I was moved to tears. Instead of me sending out a letter to let parents know about our child, it was a letter that was sure to get people thinking and hit them right in their heart. It was powerful.

Recently, I started sending the letter out in small batches to those parents that had children that were friends with our child. The responses back were immediate and filled with love. I spent the entire day in tears, reading these parents words of support and encouragement, their comments on how brave our child is and how they stand beside us. I would read the comments to our son and I could see the light turning on in his eyes. So, I decided to send it out to more than just our school community and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Some replied to my message, some reached out via text and some picked up the phone and called to offer support. I don’t think I have ever cried so many tears of happiness.

This journey has not been easy, nor will it ever be easy, but this is not a lifestyle choice, this is who our child was born to be and making him be anything less than what he was born to be is just not fair. Our son has been battling some serious depression lately and when we went to the doctor that monitors this, yesterday, I brought up the concern that we had been having. I also told the doctor that it seems recently though, he has been doing better. He has seemed a little bit happier and less dark than what we had been dealing with. The doctor asked our son what he thinks may be making him feel better and our son told the doctor about the letter we had been sending out and that all the messages of love back to us/him has really made him feel so much better. I almost cried. As a mom, I want to protect my child from all the hurt that I can. I drug my feet in telling the world, in an effort to protect him from hurt within our community. It was that reluctance that was weighing him down. Now, he feels free to be himself, he feels loved and supported by those that matter and even those that don’t know him and is just a little bit happier, thanks to that letter.

I wanted to share some of the wonderful words of support we have received back from those that received the letter. Words are so powerful and have the ability to lift up someone as easily as tear them down. These words have been so uplifting, I am incredibly thankful for that. The words back to us were just as powerful as our message we sent out ::

“I wanted to let you know that I raise my girls to not hate or to discriminate in any way what so ever. The girls and I are believers and attend church regularly and believe God loves everyone no matter their gender etc.”

“I guarantee me & my children are behind him 100%. ❤️”

“Your message had me in tears, not just because opening up like this has to be scary for you .. but because you’re helping your child live his best life.”

“I am blown away by his courage at such a young age to have the strength and understanding to come to this decision. It speaks volumes of your family and you and your husband as parents.”

“Love is Love and I’m happy he is surrounded by incredibly supportive parents.”

“What a brave, courageous and absolutely amazing boy you have! You must be soooo proud! I know that I am proud to call him my friend. You have my support 110% and I can’t even imagine the pride you must be feeling.”

“Tell your son that he has our full support and what a brave human being he is.”

“I am glad that you are open-minded and support him in his decision to live his life as he feels.”

“He is so super brave for taking this journey that most adults who are facing these feelings are too fearful to begin.”

“I want you to know that you will only get love and support from my whole family. I can only pray that you get the same from everyone else. I believe my job on this planet is to love my neighbor as myself. And I don’t think that means only if they are just like me.”

I don’t know how to articulate how awesome I think you all are. Wow… Just, wow. The absolute definition of true, unconditional love.

With love,

Just Parents ❤︎

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Now, we wait.

Last week, we finally got to go to *Children’s Hospital Los Angeles* and meet the doctor and staff at *The Center for Transyouth Health and Development*. We have been waiting for this appointment for 10 weeks. Our appointment was at 3pm on a Friday. If you are familiar with Los Angeles, then you can understand what that entails. It took us almost 2 hours to get there and just over 2 hours to get home. We were all a little nervous. My hubby had a lot of questions and I had anxiety at just the unknown of it all. Our son told us in the lobby that he was nervous too.

The staff was beyond amazing. They were all friendly and tried to make us feel at ease. I was under the impression that the doctor would rush through our appointment, like most doctors have to do, so when she walked in and asked what our story was, I started with “Well, the short story is…” and she cut me off and said she would like to hear the long story, pulled up her chair and sat down to listen. It was in that moment that my anxiety eased, but my emotions skyrocketed. She wanted to listen. She cared about our story. It was a breath of fresh air and I had to try really hard to not let the build up of my emotions come pouring out of my eyes. I knew in that moment, that she was going to walk this journey with us and that we were not alone in the fight for the care that our son is going to need throughout his journey. She spent about 40 minutes with us, never rushed us and answered all the questions we had. She reassured us that all was going to be ok. I loved her and could have hugged her upon our goodbye, but thought that that might have been a little much for our first visit 😂.

Today, we had his blood drawn to start the process of hormone blockers. He has never had to give blood before (thank goodness for his healthy body), so he was nervous. The tech was wonderful and explained the whole process while showing us a bit of a comedic side. She tried to ease his anxiety. He did amazing. He gave 6 vials of blood, never looked at the needle in his arm and only had a few tears leak out his eyes. I looked him in the eyes afterwards and said to him that this is just the beginning of his long journey and that he will always need to remember to be brave as this is something that will become the norm for him. 😕 I hated having to tell him that. He is still struggling with depression and feelings of sadness as to why he couldn’t have just been born “right”. I assured him that I will always be by his side and that he will never have to undergo any sort of medical care without me there to support him.

So, now, we wait. We wait for lab results. We wait for insurance approval. We are hopeful that since we are in California and our insurance is based in California, that they will approve the procedure the first time it is submitted. However, our new doctor assured us that they are there every step of the way and will help appeal the insurance if a denial is received. Our fingers are crossed that California is progressive enough in their transgender care that they will approve on the first request and that we can get our son on the road to feeling more like a boy. But, if that is not the case, this momma bear is ready to fight for our sons medical rights. Fingers are crossed that it all goes smoothly. We will update once we hear back from our insurance, so in the meantime, please keep us in your positive thoughts for a speedy approval process.

❤︎ Just Parents

Making friends

Last week, our son was in his room playing legos and I (mom) went in to check on him. He seemed down, so I asked what was bothering him. He looked up at me with those sad, big eyes and said “I’m just lonely.” Ugh…my heart broke in half hearing those words. He doesn’t really have any close friends, nobody has reached out to him since school got out and now more than ever, he needs a friend or two that he can count on. He needs to feel like he fits in somewhere, that he belongs somewhere, somewhere that is safe for him to be himself. I told him we will start trying to find new friends and we decided to go to a support meeting that was coming up.

So, last night, I took our son to his first local PFLAG meeting that offers support to adults and those under 18. I had not been back since my initial meeting back in March and was hoping that the teens/tweens would show up and more importantly be kind to our son. When we walked through the door, we were greeted by my first friend and confidant, who got me to that meeting and we were both surprised and happy to see each other. Neither of us had been back since that meeting a few months ago. It made my heart happy to see her and she took our son right into the room where some teens were already at and introduced him to those she knew and said to take good care of him. I felt at peace as we sat down for our meeting. Several times, throughout our meeting, we could hear loud laughter coming from their room and that made me happy to hear that they are sharing fun things with each other as well as the heavy, deep stuff that comes from being LGBTQ.

When our meeting was over, my son came bouncing out with the biggest smile I had ever seen. His face was lit up! The teens were in tow right behind him and he asked if he could go to In N Out with all of them. I looked up and saw a group of teens that were clearly older than our son, but they were all smiling just as much. When I asked for the details, they let me know that they all fell in love with our son and think he is adorable and funny and that they were going to eat some burgers and wanted him to come too. So, we followed the teens over to eat some burgers. I sat at a nearby table to give him some space, but be close enough to sort of listen in. This group of kids were wonderful! They were fun, they were all cracking jokes and sharing fun stories, they made up names for each other and were all assigned a role in our sons life. He was given a mom, dad, aunt, uncle, godmother and godfather. They exchanged social media information since our son does not have a phone yet and just had a great time. One of the boys came over near me and I thanked him for being so kind and welcoming to our son and he genuinely said that although he just met him, he really likes him and thinks he is a great kid. My heart melted. These teens all had something in common – kind hearts, big personalities, loving souls.  You just can’t ask for more than that out of a teenager!

Before we left, they all took a group selfie, gave hugs and told our son that they hope to see him at the next meeting. Sometimes, you just need to feel like you belong and these teens did so much for our sons spirit. I can’t thank them enough…

❤︎ Just Parents

It was worth the drive…

This past Sunday, my hubby, myself and our son went to our first transgender family support group hosted by some affiliates of the Hospital that will be treating our son through his transition. The hospital, with no traffic, is an hour and a half away and on a Sunday afternoon, can be a bit of a mess to get to. We have been planning to go for several weeks because there is a group for us parents and a group for our tween to find support. This was going to be his first experience with meeting others just like him. He was so excited and counting down the days.

When we woke up Sunday morning, we woke up to the devastation that happened to our LGBTQ family in Orlando. I (mom) found myself a sobbing mess most of the morning. I cried into my husbands shoulders about how heartbroken I was and how scared I was. How that could have been my brother and brother in law, how that could have been my brothers friends, that have become our friends over the years, that it could be our son one day. It was just too much for me. I really felt broken. I reached out to my brother to tell him how much I love him and how sad I was. We texted back and forth for a little bit and then, we saw the news about the man arrested in Los Angeles earlier that morning and I started crying again, this time feeling really defeated. How could there be so much hate in this world?!?! Why?!?! What is wrong with people?!?!  We were heading to LA in just a few hours and my hubby said we shouldn’t go, so, of course,  I cried some more. But, then I said, we have to. We can’t live in fear, we are not going to be super close to the Pride Festivities, so we have to go. I am so glad we did.

When we walked into the support group meeting, we were immediately overwhelmed with how many families were there! My first thought was that there is this huge underground transgender community that nobody knows about. Now, I know that is an exaggeration, but it made me giggle and feel a little better. It made us feel good, less alone and proud that so many families were here for the same thing, to give support to their child and get support for themselves. We knew we were going to be ok, that these people were so welcoming and that it was worth the long drive.

When the meeting was over, we couldn’t wait to find our son and see how his group went. I (mom) was overwhelmed with how many people were in the hallway, when we exited our meeting room, and my eyes started frantically skimming over everyone looking for my baby. Then, we found him. Smiling and laughing. Talking to two other boys. My heart swelled. He said goodbye to his new friends and we headed out. The whole ride home was wonderful. He shared a lot of what they talked about, the other kids names and ages, where they are at in their transition as it relates to his, what he learned, what he shared, etc etc. He just kept smiling and then, he said something that was music to our ears. “Im just so happy. I can’t stop smiling.” My heart melted. It was amazing to hear your child, who has struggled for years to feel like he fits in, feel like he’s fitting in.

I asked my husband what his thoughts were on the meeting, what he liked or didn’t like about it, what he took away from the meeting, and he said he felt that we didn’t have it as bad as many of the other families that shared their stories. That made me feel good. Every single day is something new. Some days are good. Some days are a struggle, but after hearing so many other families stories, we were able to see that we are truly blessed with some amazing family and friends who have rallied around us and offered nothing but love and support. We will be going back. For our son, for us. It was worth the drive…

❤︎ Just Parents

 

What’s in a name…

Since our child told us he is transgender, he said he needed a new name. That his name reminded him of all things girl and he just needed a new name. We tried to reason with him that maybe one of the reasons all our daughters were named gender neutral names, was because we somehow knew and that his name could easily pass for a male name as well. It didn’t work. We have spent months pondering a new name. I (mom)  had requirements for what needed to be in the name. Some may think that is crazy or selfish, but I don’t care. 😉 I told my child that my one right after birthing my baby was to choose whatever name I WANTED. I told him, he can change his name, but I have to approve of it.

We made the decision that once school was out, he could start living completely in his new name and new pronouns, but we just couldn’t decide on that name. Who knew so much thoughts and opinions would go into a name?!?! Not only was it my husband and I trying to decide, we now how to include our son in this new naming process. It is so hard to find a perfect name for your baby, but it is even harder to name your child 11 years later.

We were driving last week, two days before school got out, and I threw out a name and added the name our child wanted as the middle name. He liked it! Our youngest daughter was in the car and she like it too! So, we got home and talked to Daddy. He pondered it for a minute and I started to worry that he didn’t like it and we would be back to square one. He said the name out loud and shook his head yes and said he liked it. That was it! We named our 11 year old son for the first time, in the garage on a Tuesday evening. LOL Whew! I felt a sense of relief and that we were finally ready to start our Summer with our son and two daughters.

❤︎ Just Parents

Telling the grandparents

So, we have been living with this big secret for the last several months, or so we thought. Our child told us in February that she is really a he, that he is transgender. We only told a couple very close family members at first. We didn’t want to tell anyone until we were able to sit in what this meant, until we could tell our other two children and had a grasp on what path we were taking. We decided that after school is out, that our child can fully transition to male and that we would ask everyone to start using correct pronouns and name choice. Well, school is almost out and we haven’t told either side of grandparents yet.

I (mom) have been so afraid to tell my parents. I kept coming up with excuses as to why it should be next week…First a birthday, then Mother’s Day, then my moms birthday. I knew I had to tell them, but nerves kept getting the best of me. What would they say? Would their old school thinking make this hard to understand? What questions are they going to have for me? How can I get through this quickly? I knew I had to do it, but just couldn’t muster up the strength, until today.

Today, my mom called to chat. I was talking to her on the phone while driving and something came over me. I decided in that moment to start driving to her house. I asked if my dad was home and what they were doing. I didn’t tell my mom I was coming over until I was almost there. I waited until my dad entered the room and asked if he could sit down because I needed to talk to them. They both looked scared for a second and my dad, the jokester that he is, said “You’re pregnant!” and we all laughed. It helped break the worry that was leaking into the air.  I told him no, but that might be easier news to hear. Then, I just took a deep breath and started speaking.

My parents know our child has been suffering for many years, but like us, wasn’t really sure what the issue was. They saw our struggles with raising our child, they knew about therapy sessions, ADHD diagnosis and depression issues. My mom has said many times, I wish I knew what was inside this childs head. So, I started with all of this and how we have all wondered what the root of our childs issues were and then I just said it. Our child was born in the wrong body and is a boy. My parents reaction was beautiful. My mom said “we love our grandchildren, no matter what.” It was music to my ears. They didn’t have any fear in their faces, they didn’t push back with any sort of “are you sure?” moments. They just embraced what I was saying and listened intently. I explained everything that is and has been going on. I filled them in on how our two daughters handled it, what our plan for next school year is, doctors appointments that are coming up and the support groups we have found to help us.

My mom shared that she was having a conversation with a co-worker last week and told her friend that her granddaughter looks like a boy and prefers boy things. It made me happy to hear that and that my mom is not ashamed of the fact. I am realizing that people around us are seeing this slow transition over the last several years and that it really isn’t all that shocking or surprising to them once we tell them and a few have approached me with their support without me ever saying a word to them.

The only question they asked was by my dad who wanted to know what exactly does transgender mean and how does that affect his grandchild. I took the time to explain gender identity versus sexual identity and that we are not talking about sexual identity. We are not sure who our child is sexually attracted to yet, and really are not concerned with that. We are working with a child whose gender that was assigned at birth does not match the brain this child was assigned. I explained that his gender expression has been predominately male for the last several years and that we have now realized that we need to support a full gender transition to male. I explained that we need to start working on proper pronouns (he/him) and will need to start referring to him with a new name that has yet to be agreed upon.

They were so loving and supportive and my mom even said she was sorry that we were carrying the weight of this alone for so many months. On my way home, I had a moment of relief wash over me and realized just how hard it must have been for our child to find the strength to tell us. I am so proud of him for being so brave at such a young age. It is not easy to share something with your parents when there is fear of rejection, even as an adult. I couldn’t have been more relieved to hear and feel their love and support and cannot wait for our child to come home from school so I can share the good news with him.

❤︎ Just Parents

Is school out yet?!?!

So, about that manual?!?! We could sure use one sometimes…The issues that arise from raising a transgender child are all consuming and sometimes overwhelming. We are counting down the days for school to get out. It has been an extremely rough last half of the school year. Our son has been transitioning and we haven’t announced it to the world yet, so the school children are seeing our child as even more different than they already did.

The boys don’t want our child to play with them citing “no girls allowed” and the girls don’t want to play with our child because they don’t like to play, they like to hang out and talk about “girl stuff” according to our son. Our child wants to play. Play soccer, play kickball, play basketball, play anything. He does not want to sit around and talk about girl stuff. It’s heartbreaking to hear that he doesn’t fit in anywhere and we cannot wait for this school year to end.

Hearing about kids pointing their finger and laughing at your child are harsh. Hearing about kids making fun of our child makes our blood boil. Hearing that our child is spending his recesses alone is heartbreaking. Watching our child sit alone is the worst. I (mom) have seen it with my own eyes when I have been on campus.

It is so hard to figure out if we are doing the right thing. Should we have announced to the school he is transgender and will now be referred to as male? Should we have pulled him from school to prevent the sadness? What is the right thing to do? What is the wrong thing to do? So many questions that nobody holds the answer to. It’s times like these that we wish there was a manual.

We are excited to finish out fifth grade so that there can be a full transition. The plan is to start sixth grade at a new school (still figuring this out and that manual could be useful) as a boy. Hopefully, the stresses of school ending will eliminate some of the moodiness and behavior issues our son has been experiencing. Wish us luck as we try to navigate the other school options that exist. We only have one more week of school as a girl who looks like a boy, we hope we can make it…

❤︎ Just Parents

 

Broken

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

 

 

Through the eyes of a child

It truly is amazing if you stop and think about life through the eyes of a child. They don’t lead with hate or prejudice or fear or worry. They just lead with their heart and that is a beautiful lesson for all of us to try to remember. Children are born pure and innocent. Life makes that all go away…

We were trying to figure out a way to tell our seven year old daughter about her sister wanting to become her brother. We bought two books that we thought would help. RED :: A Crayons Story by Michael Hall –  is about a blue crayon mistakenly labeled a red crayon and how he suffers an identity crisis trying to figure out his true color. It is a cute book and geared toward younger children. We also bought I AM JAZZ by the amazing teen activist, Jazz Jennings, a transgender girl that is the face of trans youth.

We had been dropping little hints here and there about how sister is more like a boy and it never fazed our youngest, nor did it ever spark any conversation with her. So, a couple weeks ago, on a Saturday, we sat her down in her room and read her the crayon book. Afterwards, we asked if it reminded her of anyone. She had a hesitation about herself, as if she wanted to say something, but didn’t at first. So, we asked again and she said her sisters name with a question in her voice. We nodded and said yes, it does. Then, we read I AM JAZZ and afterwards asked the same question. Our daughter said it reminds her of her sister except the “opposite”. We said YES! You’re right. We talked briefly about how this is how sister feels and that we are going to start letting her be a boy and become her brother. It all just rolled off her shoulders with such ease that it was a breath of fresh air compared to telling her big sister. She asked about the new name we would call him and we said we didn’t know and that maybe she could ask herself. She skipped down the hall, opened sisters door and asked what the new name was going to be. They closed the door and went right back into playing together as if nothing ever happened.

My hubby was worried she didn’t really understand.  A few hours later, we caught her reading the crayon book again by herself. Then, she read the Jazz book, again, by herself. I asked her if she had any questions and she said “No. I just like this book.” We figured it was her way of processing it all and we just let her be.

My hubby and I  discussed how there is no preconceived notions for our little girl because she doesn’t know or understand the struggles and trials of being transgender. In her heart, her sister is the same person because she’s always thought of her as more a boy. The eyes of a child, the way they see the world is HOW the world really should be. It’s hurtful to know that one day, she will be broken down to the harsh realities of life and will learn what the struggles are for her brother. But, by then, she will be so well adjusted, that we can only hope she will be an advocate for her big brother and help spread kindness, awareness and understanding. If only we could all see through the eyes of a child…

❤︎ Just Parents

 

An unexpected reaction

Having your child come out as transgender brings about more emotions than one can even begin to explain. We want our children to feel loved and accepted within our four walls. So, telling our two daughters was important because we needed our child to be able to be his authentic self, at least in our own home. How do we tell them? What do we say? How will they react? What can we proactively do now to help? All these questions came to our minds. My husband thought our youngest would be most affected and I thought our oldest would be. But, we had confidence that we have raised all our children to be loving and accepting and have always supported equality for all. Our child’s therapist had me role play how to tell our teen and thought I had a good handle on it. She left us with a profound quote…”Someone’s initial reaction is not always their final reaction.”

We decided to tell our teenager first…It was awful. She immediately shut down. She couldn’t stop crying. Her head fell into her hands and she sat on the edge of the couch for over 30 minutes, sobbing. My husband and I looked at each other with dumbfounded looks. We would gently and quietly say things to help her understand what is happening. My husband even left the room and motioned for me to go over and hug her, with the hopes that she might open up to me. She didn’t. All we could get out of her was she was so confused. We excused her to her room with a printout that helps understand gender identity versus sexual identity after she refused to discuss the matter with us. We felt awful. I cried. I cried a lot that night…but, the therapists words repeated in my head, over and over.

What transpired over the next two weeks was devastating. She shunned her sibling. She was mean, angry and hostile towards all of us, but especially towards her brother. We reached out to her therapist to see if she had experience in this and could help us. She did and she could, but not until the following week. We tried not to bombard her with information, but did send a video here and there for her to watch. She was so closed off, that we didn’t think she was even listening to what the videos were talking about. The therapist met with her and told me afterwards that what we need to urge her to do at this point is acknowledge her sibling. Tell him that she is still processing the information and needs more time. She never did that. But, we did have a break through one night where the two shared some laughter over a funny video that my teenager made. It made our son so happy to share in a moment of laughter with his big sister. He misses her. He is sad. But, we keep repeating what the therapist told us and we find comfort in that.

This past weekend, I (mom) couldn’t take the meanness another second and lost my shit with her. I told her that I was so disappointed in her and that I raised her better than this. I can’t believe I have a child with so much hate in her heart. I was devastated. Devastated that my son is hurting, that my daughter is hurting, hell, I was hurting. I decided it was intervention time. I sat them both down on the couch, made them look at each other and asked our son to tell our daughter how he has felt over these last few weeks. Through tears, he shared that he was sad and hurt and misses her and that he is sorry. Ugh. That hurt me. Sorry?!?! He should never feel sorry for being his authentic self, but he was, because he has a kind heart and he could see his sister is hurting. He felt bad. I then asked my teen to share her feelings. She was so upset, started crying and said she didn’t want to talk about it, but after much reassurance that whatever she was feeling was valid and that I wouldn’t be mad at her for being honest, we got her to open up. She told us she feels ashamed and embarrassed that her sister wants to be a boy and she feels ashamed and embarrassed for feeling ashamed and embarrassed of her sister.  She is also worried about what her friends will think and how to tell her friends. FINALLY.  A breakthrough we can work with. We told her we appreciated her sharing her feelings and that we will help her along the way as best as we can.

I sent them back to their own rooms for a bit to process their feelings and settle back down. I know it wasn’t easy for our son to hear those words from his sisters mouth, just as it wasn’t easy for our tough, closed off teenager to share hers, but we repeated the therapists words again and we know that with time, it will get better. It’s not easy to be transgender. It’s not easy for the family either. There are so many hurdles and obstacles and road blocks and worries and fears and, and, and…I could go on forever. But, we made a breakthrough and hope that sooner, rather than later, our teenager will come around again…

❤︎ Just Parents