It was a bit of a rough weekend. And this week might get a little rough too.
Saturday night I didn’t sleep much after going around a bit with my 17-year-old. I was woken up at about 11:30 (after sleeping for like 30 minutes) and then the circus began for about an hour and I was still awake 2 hours afterward.
I’m thankful that I never swear at my children and I never lose my temper to the point where I say something really bad. But when I get woken up and then when my child refuses to listen to me and then says he doesn’t ever have to listen to me, it took me to a place maybe two streets over from completely losing my shit. And I did say 3 things that I wished I hadn’t said. And my child said a ton of things that I’d never dream of saying to my parents – now as an adult or EVER.
I apologized yesterday… twice. My child did not. And my child feels like it was all my fault and there is nothing to apologize for.
Can I admit I have no idea what to do as a parent?
I do not. Not a clue.
This is a child who was born female but now identifies as male. Coming from a very conservative Catholic family, that was a difficult thing… to put it mildly. In fact, I’d gladly take a root canal everyday for a month in exchange. And it was a difficult thing for me to accept. But eventually I accepted the new male name and I adopted male pronouns and all the rest. I was told it would help my child’s mental health. It did not.
Then a few months ago my child said he hadn’t felt like a boy in months and he was going back to female. That lasted a day. A day that saw his internet “friends” on social media blow-up at him for being a liar and a poser and many other things.
Here’s the thing: There is a lot of help out there for kids to come out as gay or trans or whatever but there is zero help out there for anyone who decides they want to go back. It is awesome that there is so much help for people who are part of the LGBTQ community. That help has saved so many lives. But it’s so unfortunate that there isn’t help when a kid decides they may have been wrong. And it’s even more unfortunate that some kids (and adults too, I’m sure) who are a part of the LGBTQ community bully kids who are thinking of “leaving” the community. In my child’s case, he was thinking of going back to identifying as female but still being attracted to females, which would mean he would be gay. But even trying to change that resulted in bullying.
And while we’re on the topic, I have to say I’m extremely disappointed with the attitude of some of the non-profit LGBTQ groups. Whenever I would question if he was truly trans, it was always my issue. I have to grow. I have to open my mind. I have to change.
And I admit, I did need to grow. My mind did need to be opened. And I did need to change. But my child also struggles with mental health and stating he was trans did allow him to deflect his other issues and may have allowed him to run away from his real issues. My concerns were and still are legitimate but too often my concerns were just dismissed as ignorance or small mindedness.
I truly feel like thinking he is trans might be hurting my child. And nobody cares. It’s not politically correct to care. It’s not the new fad to care.
But at the end of the day, it’s my child’s journey. If he wishes to be seen as a guy and called a guy then I will do that. But don’t I have an obligation to at least mention to him that it’s okay if he isn’t trans and that maybe it’s about self esteem and just getting back to looking inside and finding him (or her) self and liking him (or her) self?
I did bring it up and it did not go well.
I am not judging. Really. I would never take sides against my kid.
Gay? I love my child unconditionally. Trans? I love my food unconditionally. Bisexual? Yep. I love my child unconditionally.
No matter what. I love my child. And I will always be there for him. Unconditionally.
Its not about that. Not for me. At least I don’t think so. But I’ll keep examining that and checking myself. I will.
It’s so tough. I just want my child to grow into a happy, healthy adult. As happy and healthy as possible. I just want my child to be true to himself or herself.
Clearly, right now he is lost. Clearly he is not happy. And that makes me so sad.
But I am trying. I am.
Here I am on this rainy Monday, getting an IV infusion and typing this on my phone. (So I apologize for the choppiness. I’m literally typing with one thumb and it’s sooooo slow).
The medicine will kick my ass for the next day or so. But I’ll keep going.
And my child has court this week. I’m afraid about how that might turnout. And I’m sure he is scared too. That played a role in what happened Saturday night, I’m sure.
But I’m going to keep trying. I’ll talk to him tonight. Maybe we’ll go somewhere and grab a couple shakes and try to figure sone things out. Or actually, we don’t have to figure things out. We just have to talk. And I just want him to know I love him. Always. No matter what. And I want him to know I’m not going to stop trying.
I will keep trying. That’s all I can do. Keep trying.
Because as a single father, I feel pretty weak right now. I’m out of ideas. But I’ll keep trying. And that’s a step forward for me. Because yesterday I was pretty much ready to give up. But I won’t. I can’t. I will keep trying. I promise.