“Do you have time to talk?” My stomach hits the floor as I read these words from my children’s school. All of my readers out there who are parents know that feeling, don’t you? The heart quickens, the sweat starts to bead up on your forehead. I feel like this feeling intensifies when it pertains to my trans child. It has been a difficult couple of weeks with multiple doctor appointments and the start of counseling. In short, they are entering the stage where their body begins to change and defy their identity. This is an emotionally difficult time in the life of a transgender person. They are in the thick of it and everything is hard. To clarify, we are in the process of starting trans puberty classes, talking about hormones, and having conversations about mental health and in hindsight, I see that it was a lot to digest.
Friends, fight or flight is no joke. Of course, when it comes to your children, flight is never an option, so I steady myself as I respond to the text. “Please,” I plead to myself. “Please let them be in trouble for rolling around on the floor, sleeping in music, or refusing to participate in PE.”
“Yes,” I shakily respond. “What did they do?” Meanwhile, I patiently wait for hours for a response. Who am I kidding…it was 5 minutes and I am anything but patient, so I call.
Thankfully, the gentle, calm, familiar voice of our beloved psychologist greets me on the other end of the line. “They have disclosed to some other children.” It is worth noting that as I navigate this life and the hills and valleys that come with it, I am constantly reminded of the importance of having a steady support group. Whether it be a psychologist that just “gets” your child and will help guide and soothe them when you can’t be there or a trans parent support group that has walked your walk and can guide you along the way, the importance of a steady support group is essential.
So back to the call. It was one of those calls that made me sob in my car as I stuffed copious amounts of french fries into my body. A call that sent me directly to my trans support group for guidance. It was the first of what I know will be many calls, but it just didn’t make it any easier. We all knew this day would come and I know we are ready to help them navigate this process, but it still felt very scary.
It’s funny how fight or flight works. As I was reunited with my child, the fight instinct took over. I gently reminded my baby that they are the sun and the moon and the stars. That they are light and love and that the world without them would be dark. Above all, I reminded them that their father and I support them every step of the way and that we will help them write their story and that together we can move mountains.
Friends, are you walking through a dark time right now? Perhaps your dark time doesn’t include conversations about hormones, disclosure, or body changes that don’t feel right. Maybe it is grief, or fear, or hopelessness. A reminder to you. All are welcome. We all need that steady support group. Moreover, if you find yourself in need of such a group, email me or comment below. We are all in this together.