Oh, mom.

(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.


About cistotrans

A Seattle-area trans woman seeking a happy spot to stay at along the path of transition.
This entry was posted in coming out, family, observations, personal history, transition and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Oh, mom.

  1. I really don’t know what to say to you my dear, words seems to race across my head ..

    This is all part of the risks of coming out, transition in general is more like two sides of a scale, at one side your happiness, self-acceptance, living as yourself, getting rid of the dysphoria, and at the other side how every one wants to see you, and their “potential” trouble (being teased around, peer pressure, etc), some look at it from sense of dependency (needing that male figure – even a dead male figure would make them feel OK) ..

    Some trans* may choose the side of everyone else (the later), several examples around the online community choose the 2nd side, yet try to compromise, by living part time (from my own point of view, this might just be temp, until they can’t take it anymore being part-time, they’ll just break down) .. And those (myself included) who’d choose their own side, personally it never turned out well for me every single time i choose others’ happiness over my own, i always end up devastated, consumed, depressed, and feeling just worthless ..

    As for your mom, i would stay in touch with her, keeping her know my progress, try to build that mom-daughter bond, no matter how thin that relation would be, after all you only have one mom ..

    I know if my mom was still alive i know for sure she wouldn’t take it very well (very religious and stuff), nevertheless, i’d try really hard with her, let her know how I feel, talk to her on any and every occasion, at some point in time she’ll eventually ease up .. may be i’m thinking this way because i lost my mom at age of 11, but this is just me thinking out loud ..

    Wishing you best of luck, and lots of hugs,


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