(Updated August 31, 2014: on the advice of my counselor, I wrote some letters to my mom to help me think through how this encounter made me feel. The first one was really angry and I’m going to destroy it. The second version was calmer, but still not as welcoming as I would like. The third version is the one I’ll send to her. I appreciate everyone’s feedback on them. – N.)
Monday saw my mom come to visit me to have a chat, and I’m still angry and hurt about it. Instead of approaching me with a spirit of compassion and understanding, I received judgement, anger, guilt, and projections of her own ignorance and fears. Along the way, she hurt and invalidated my feelings.
It was horrible, and I’m now trying to decide where to go with my relationship with her.
We started with her reading a psychological profile I had done for myself a year ago, where it clearly states that I need to address my gender feelings in either learning to come to terms with living as a man or transition. I also told her that the path I’m on is about moving towards happiness, and that while transition was likely, I still wasn’t sure where I’d end up.
With that as a base, she launched into a diatribe of how selfish I was being, how it was hurting my wife and my kids, how unfair it would be to my kids growing up and that they’d be teased about me, that I’d be a “freak”, that I should wait a decade until my kids are grown up, implied that I would lose all my friends and be friendless, that I was too smart for my own good, and said to pretty much buck up and deal with the psychic pain of dysphoria.
Whew and wow.
While I wasn’t expecting all sunshine and roses, the sheer magnitude of her guilt, shame, ignorance, and fears projected onto me was breathtaking. I’m also clear that it’s all her shit, not mine.
I patiently explained the three decades compartmentalizing my gender dysphoria and how I eventually keep breaking down in my ability to do so. How that there is no other treatment than transition, and that yes, that can also be a bag of shit. That I’m aware of stepping into social ostracization, sexism, and misogyny. That if there were any other way to deal with this, I would, and that I’ve tried them all. And that me being a parent for my kids is better than me not being around at all, and…and…and…none of that mattered.
So much for unconditional love and support as your child seeks happiness.
Realizing that she wasn’t going to change my mind, she ended the conversation about it. For me, it marked the now complete emotional estrangement I have with my immediate biological family.
I can only hope she’ll come around and want to move out of ignorance and prejudice. I’ll wait for that, but I will not hold much optimism that it will come to pass. I’ve been let down before and I’m beyond tired of being dropped.