(My counselor suggested I write a letter to my mom about how I felt she treated me the other week. This is the third, non-angry letter and incorporates feedback from my wife and other friends on and offline. You can read the second one here. I’m planning on sending this version.)
It’s hard to know where to begin, so I’ll start with what comes to me first.
I’m feeling hurt, angry, sad, and abandoned.
I’m hurt that you said I’m a freak, will end up friendless, and will bring shame and ridicule to my family just for being who I am. Your piling on with “being too smart for [my] own good” denigrated one of my talents and added to the hurt.
I’m angry that of all the ways you could have expressed yourself and your feelings about me, you approached me with anger and ignorance instead of compassion and a desire to learn about and understand my condition.
The part of your behavior that weighs the heaviest on me and makes me sad is that the turning away of you from me has been a recurrent pattern throughout my life. When I’ve shared my feelings, desires, and life plans, and looked for emotional support from you, more often than not I’ve received negativity instead of guidance and support. Our conversation reminded me of how abandoned I feel because there’s hardly anyone in our family that won’t drop or reject me emotionally when I open up to them.
What I fear most is that our conversation revealed what you might really think of me: someone who makes you uncomfortable because I’m a social skills idiot and freak.
What I’m going through is real and it’s emotionally hard. I need support, not rejection, ridicule, and scorn driven by ignorance and fear. I am willing to help educate you about the ups, downs, and sideways of being transgender and talk about our family dynamics and history, and how that colors things if you’re willing.
If you are unwilling to work with me on our relationship, I don’t want to be around you. I want people in my life who build me up instead of tear me down. I will facilitate you seeing your grandchildren as much as you would like, but do not expect me to spend much time around you.
I don’t want things between us to be that way. I don’t want our relationship to be only about tolerating one another, but a loving, mutually supportive one. I hope you do, too. The choice is yours.