11-14-2017 01:26 AM
I want to take it seriously, Because I feel like I am holding a bomb that could go off with the slightest wrong movement. . . . .
She is 13, has engaged in no relationships what so ever as of yet. So how she has defined herself in this way I think is a whole issue. we live in a sleepy little town in the Midwest. Yet somehow she feels she is attracted to transgenders?
I am trying to figure out how to best handle this. If I am not careful it could become a big mess in a couple directions. If I take any action towards it it is going to push her away. But I know she is walking down a very narrow dangerous path as well. She is going to be starting high school in the fall and they have this whole club for these things. I worry that association with such will draw her bullying, and I also know that most of the other kids involved are just messed up little campers trying to be different and raise their parents stress levels. I also know that substance abuse and suicide runs rampant in those circles.
She is very easily influenced. I've long worried about that. I worry that setting her free to follow her feelings is also exposing her to bad influences.
Sad thing is I know she is getting all this from her internet obsessions. Part of me thinks its a phase that will come and go like her love for Dora, One Direction other similar things she no longer cares about. But part of me worries that it may lead her to a deeper darker obsession (Like drugs, alcohol, depression.)
Ya always look at parents with train wrecks of kids and you wonder, 'Why didn't they see the signs? Why didn't they prevent the problem before it got to where it did. I feel like I am at one of those check points where I need to do SOMETHING. Accepting/supporting and trusting her sister to be eyes and ears is one option. I feel like she EXPECTS me to try to stand in her way and she is prepared to rebel.
Trying to figure out how to best handle this. At this point all I've done is tell her I loved her unconditionally and accept who she feels she is. She seems relieved. I'm hoping that with that the novelty might wear off (She doesn't have an I came out and my parents are a mess sob story to share with the others online.
I love my daughter deeply and could easily accept the idea if it is legit. I just worry that she is playing a role for attention (I gotta be different, just like everyone else) that will lead her to bad places.
Worried that it could be a gateway to worse and worse influence.
11-14-2017 06:51 PM
Hi @Robmitch561, welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing. I just wanted to let you know that we're an Australian site so unfortunately some of our resources won't be useful for you. We can still offer you support, that's universal, so please feel free to stay!
It can be a really confusing time for teens and parents, as teens work out who they are. I love that you are being so supportive and letting your daughter know how much you love her as she's exploring these thoughts and feelings.
There is some great information here you might like to have a read through. There's also another thread here that offers some great advice so wanted to hook you up with that. I hope the links can be helpful for you.
11-14-2017 07:03 PM
The theme I got from your post was definitely "Unconditional love", which is so beautiful and such a wonderful gift to give your daughter. All of your concerns are understandable, I think the best thing to do in these situation's is have a good look from every lens; but also provide yourself with self care and understanding if you can't quite get your head around it. So long as your Daughter feels loved and supported it sounds like the outcome will be positive for both of you.
Have you been able to have another conversation with her since the other night?
Look forward to hearing from you.
11-15-2017 12:29 AM
Thank for the supportive words and warm welcome.
This has been weighing heavily on my mind but not for the most obvious reasons. If this is truly who she is and how she feels I can very easily support it. But having given it a lot of thought, not out of denial I have to wonder if she even has any idea. I think it is more of trying to be 'different' like everyone else she looks up to, if that makes sense.
She spends a great deal of time watching online videos, Youtubers of sort. she is a very obsessive one, she can't like anything a little, she either does not like it or she is obsessed with it, one day it was Dora, seems the next is was One Direction, Then something else, then something else, NOW it is these on liners, and Stranger things. I know a lot of her online obsessions are trans. I mean its perfectly natural to be born and prefer one gender over another, but her having not engaged in any sorts of relationships what so ever I find it difficult to believe that she's had this life long yearning and attraction to trans. After all we live in sleepy Ohio, her only exposure to them is when I take her to a show to see the kids she watches live. Meet and greets they call them here. I'm sure they have similar south of the equator.
There has been no additional discussion. She has seemed cheerful, maybe relieved? I worried she might be DISAPPOINTED, hoping to share in the common pain of her online piers in having a household melt down over the introduction of the idea. At this point I am just loving her and acting as though its not a big deal, because in reality it really isn't be it real or an act of confirmation.
She has a supportive big sister to keep an eye out for her as well.
01-10-2018 05:40 AM
Thank you for posting. We too are dealing with gender issues with our daughter. She is pansexual, which for our family isn't really an issue. I find it lovely that she can love someone based on who they are inside regardless of gender/sex. We found out by accident and she was ashamed and still doesn't want to talk about it even though its been a few years and she has a girl friend.
Our current issue has been gender confusion. She is a senior and has attended an alternative small charter HS. Which is great for her social anxiety. Since attending this school though she has found some friendly people that are trans, fluid etc. She never had gender issues that I could see as a younger child and I wonder if she has been influenced by her school, internet, anime/cosplay etc. She doesn't have many "physical" friends and is constantly on her phone with her internet friends. She has been using a binder and calling herself by a male name at school, which I just found out about and is a bit shocking as she tried to lie about it. I think I'm just venting at this point. She has asked about therapy because she is confused and we are currently trying to find a good therapist with a good fit and "no harm" attitude (surgery/hormones).
My husband says we just need to love and support her and she will figure it out, but I'm having such a hard time and its on my mind constantly.
01-10-2018 10:24 AM
Welcome @CSculptor, thanks for joining the conversation! Like @Robmitch561, there is so much unconditional love coming across in your post. It sounds like you're doing all the right things - finding a good therapist, keeping the lines of communication open (well, as much as that is possible with a teenager!), making sure they know they have your love and support.
I notice you're based in the US too, so I don't have any local support links on hand but have you checked out PFLAG or similar organisations?
02-24-2018 02:59 PM
I too wonder if it’s an attention seeking behavior. I sometimes find messages and memes on her phone that imply her family doesn’t accept her. Like she has some tragic life where her family has deemed her an embarrassment. This is so far from it, in my opinion. I constantly tell her I accept her, I’m proud of her, and that we will love her no matter what. I mean it too. She doesn’t want her dad to know about it however. I of course have confided in him since he is my husband/best friend.
A previous person shared that they felt children that identify in this way sometimes appear troubled. I couldn’t agree more. That’s what I worry about. Did I not give her enough attention? Did (insert stressful life event) have an effect on her?
I consider myself a “single married mom” due to my husband being deployed or forced to live separately due to my husband being reassigned. I wonder if this has more of an impact than I realize.
Raising children is so stressful! I will be the first to admit that I care what others think too much. It helps to vent. Thanks all for listening.
02-24-2018 03:34 PM
Hi @Momto2 @Robmitch561 @CSculptor it's great to see you all supporting each other on this forum. I just thought it might be helpful to add this RO resource to the mix as it helps to define sexuality concepts and has some key things to remember about external influences (parenting, friends, society) and sexuality.
Namely, that research suggests that sexuality is not a choice rather our sexual orientation (and our gender id) is most likely "caused" by a biological factor that starts before birth. So rather than being "troubled" I believe these young people may be feeling isolated, misunderstood, different or stigmatised, which may then lead to negative outcomes.
Supportive parenting can significantly impact your teen’s ability to have a positive outlook on their lives, so keep doing what you're doing (love, compassion and seeking out support and knowledge)
12-18-2018 01:52 AM
12-18-2018 05:15 AM
Well, the situation is just “there”. She’s 19 now and lives at home while going college. She doesn’t discuss any of the gender stuff at all, but lives different lives. When she goes to school she wears a binder and goes by a different first name. At home and at work she goes by her given name.
I failed to mention that she is also Bipolar 2. That along with the anxiety is just hard to manage in a living situation.
She saw a therapist for some time, but she doesn’t want to go anymore. She won’t make an appointment with her psychiatrist because she doesn’t want to call, so she’s not taking her medication.
I can only imagine how hard it is for you with an 11 year old that is confused. I think therapy and talking is a good step! Talk a lot, now while they are young. Just about everything and also bring up the gender confusion stuff. A lot of this is normal, but not permanent. They can live a fluid life without hormones and permanent surgery.
Sorry if I’m not much help...