My Transgender male to female daughter

What I am about to write I will apologise in advance to Josie our daughter for referring to her with her previous name and male pronouns. I am telling the story as it was in our belief at the time and I don’t wish to cause her or anyone reading this any offense.)

In July 2015 our lives changed beyond recognition in one single second!

We were on a family holiday in a caravan. We had just had a meal together my husband, my son Jacob aged 21 and younger daughter Ella and I.

I felt happy and relaxed. We had been looking forward to a week away all together. We couldn’t afford foreign holidays but being together was precious to me and it may be the last time we were able to have our eldest child Jacob with us.

After our meal my husband took my daughter back to the caravan while I finished my desert. Jacob stayed with me.

Jacob is at university, he has Aspergers and we are so proud of how he had grown and developed despite his difficulties. I hadn’t spent much time with him over the recent few months. He is finishing this summer and with any luck will then be working who knows where in the world and so it was very important to me that this holiday was a nice one with happy memories made. Little did I know as these thoughts passed through my mind what was afoot.

I casually asked how life was going for Jacob as we sat there together. I was so proud of the amazing young person he had become. Richard and I had recently talked and congratulated ourselves on getting one child to successful adulthood.

Jacob’s reply as to how things were for him changed everything in a split second as if I’d slammed at speed into a concrete wall. Everything around me became a blur and time seemed to halt. That single moment I will never forget for the rest of my life. You see Jacob said to me in an obviously nervous way “How would it be if I changed my name to Amy? It doesn’t have to be Amy” I laughed momentarily in confusion and then my eyes met his and that’s when time changed forever. I stopped laughing and confusion and terror filled my heart and every fibre of my body. What was my gorgeous 21 year old 6ft tall handsome son telling me? In those few seconds the realisation hit that he wasn’t joking he was telling me that he is Transgender.

I’d heard of Transgender people and I’ve known of a couple on the outskirts of my life and I certainly know and have many gay people as friends but I didn’t truly understand.

I got into my wheelchair and we set off to the caravan. My mind was reeling. I blurted out several sentences and questions which made no sense to me saying them and Jacob suddenly stopped pushing me and came around in front of me. I made a huge mistake in my confused state by saying “But you are male!” I meant that Jacob’s body is male but Jacob heard me disbelieving him. (I must apologise here that I am using the male pronouns here but up until this point I had brought up or so I believed a son and at this time there was no way my brain could cope with the change yet.)

Jacob standing there in front of me was clearly angry at me and said “Do you want to push yourself back to the van?” I was confused by his anger and hurt because surely he could understand I was struggling. How could I have heard what I just had and get it all right.

We went back to the caravan and I was in a stunned daze. Nothing in the world, my world made sense just a few minutes after I had believed I knew where I was, where we were. The strange existence I suddenly found myself in was unexplainable. I was hovering with one foot in two different worlds not knowing which foot to move to join the other or even how to do so.

I couldn’t keep this from my husband Richard it was too big to bear alone. I couldn’t pretend all was as he believed about our child and our family. I had to be in the same world as him in order to know how to move from the frozen spot betwixt realities. It was as though I had traversed an alternative universe and I was lost.

I told Richard and watched his face probably similarly to how mine had been cross over from our known existence into the place I found myself in. If I could have softened the blow for him I would have done but I had no choice but to break his world. His face confused and desperately trying to make sense and hear what I was saying to him and react in that second to be the strong rock that he is. I cried, he held me his mind reeling as mine was as to what did this new reality mean?

We both spoke to Jacob, I told him I couldn’t hold it on my own and I think that was understood. I remember asking him if he couldn’t just be a feminine man? I asked if he was gay? I asked if he wanted to be a mother! The questions poured out from me amongst my tears of confusion and anguish. Jacob replied to each question and it was clear from his responses that he wasn’t joking with us as my poor mind and heart was still desperately hanging on to.

He was visibly shaking and I knew I had to somehow pull myself together and be who he needed me to be. I held him trying to be the mother I now wasn’t even sure I knew how to be. I was no longer the mother of a son and a daughter but in an instant a mother of two daughters. I didn’t know how to get my head around the fact that this was not the role I thought I’d had for 21 years.

I had no memories or photos of my daughter, my firstborn growing up. Everything felt wrong. Of course I know now that my child was always my child irrespective of what she wore on the outside. I hadn’t lost my child but in that moment everything just felt wrong.

We asked Jacob to speak to his sister. We were in a caravan with very thin walls and she had heard my tears and our talking. Ella reacted as many children do with a simple “Oh I’ll always love you, what’s for tea?” She traversed into our new world almost instantaneously. Ella is Autistic and has a progressive brain mobility condition and is younger than her chronological age in emotional and mental development.

How could we have not known that our child was struggling with something as huge as this since a young child. There had been absolutely no clues as to this growing up.

The next few weeks and months were beyond painful. The guilt of not knowing my child was so unhappy when I had done everything in my power to make life stable and secure and happy.

The reactions from family and some friends were painful and in some cases extremely heartless and damaging. I won’t discuss this but suffice to say the hurt we were struggling to cope with was increased tenfold by some people. Damage caused irreparably.

We are now 8 months down the line and we are learning to accept that we have a new daughter and that we never actually had a son.

We know now that Josie was never actually a boy. At 5 weeks of pregnancy the fetus’ body is flooded with the hormones to determine the sex of the baby. There occurs a genetic fault in Trans people where the brain doesn’t receive the same hormones as the body. Josie always knew she was female just as I know I’m female.

If I’d never seen my body I would know I’m female because my brain is female. Josie was always my daughter.

I am still struggling. I’m still feeling extreme guilt that I didn’t know this of my child. I thought my relationship with her was close and that I truly knew and understood her. I still can’t look at my photos of my precious Jacob because even though my child was always there she wasn’t how she should be.

I feel I’ve failed her so badly. I’ll never truly forgive myself.

I miss my Jacob so desperately, my heart aches for Jacob to walk through the door and put his arms around me as I lean on his chest towering above me my heart bursting with pride.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Josie with all my heart. I am even more proud of her for being brave enough to come out to us. I am learning to cope and accept that I have a 6ft tall beautiful daughter.

There is a long and at times very difficult journey ahead for Josie facing treatment and eventual surgery and all the physical and emotional anguish to cope with.

All Richard and I and dear Ella want is to be able to travel with Josie along the road ahead. I want to take her in my arms and shield her from as much of the pain and difficulty as I possibly can because I am a mum and whatever her age I will always be her mum.

I want to help her in any way that I can along the way. I want her to know we are here for her. I want her to know how proud we are and how much we love her. I love her until my heart aches.

The hardest part now is that despite how much I want to support her and be there for her I can only do that if she lets me.

What I can do unconditionally is to love her. Love her with all my heart.

I just hope and pray that Josie can forgive me for not seeing or hearing or understanding her pain. For not being the good mum I truly believed I was. I worked so hard to be a good mum but feel I got it so wrong. I can only hope that she can put her beautiful arms around me one day and not only tell me but feel that I am a good mum and that I did my absolute best. That’s all I can hope for now.

Josie, I love you so much my beautiful brave girl!

Mum xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nervous of new adventure but it’s not mine or is it?

Well, tomorrow and Friday my son aged 19 and 11 months is off on his first ever road trip on motorways on his own!
I am feeling very slightly, enormously paranoid!!!
I’ve told him countless times to be careful and to text me when he’s there etc all to the response of “Yes Mummi!”

I took my paranoia one step further today and made him take a shortish motorway practice drive with me this afternoon. I pleaded with him to appease his mum’s paranoia and he reluctantly agreed.
He was fine, he tolerated my warnings and advice tips of which there were many. Some he of course said he knew but just maybe he didn’t know it all.
Amazingly he did actually utter the words “well, I think I know it all but maybe I don’t!”
Anyway, we took the trip out on and off the motorway and dual carriageway and sort of had a giggle at my paranoia as well as his attitude of knowing it all anyway.

I know that I can’t be there with him on his trip tomorrow (I think I would rather cramp his style as he visits his girlfriend and her family for the first time). I can’t control what others on the road do and if he’ll be truly prepared to deal with it. I can’t help him avoid an accident happening which is beyond his control. But, I just feel that little tiny bit happier that I had a little practice and a pep talk with him. Maybe, just maybe he’ll hear my voice in his head and it just might help to keep him safe?
Ok, I’m trying to convince myself of that and of course i’ll be mentally climbing the walls until I know he’s reached his destination and made the return journey safely.

So, tomorrow morning I will of course repeat the drive carefully speech but I’ll try my best to smile and say “Have a lovely time”. Then, I’ll watch him drive off out of my reach, my sight, my control and say my prayers for his safety and close that door and try to get on with my day. Of course i’ll have my mobile phone glued to my side all morning waiting to hear from him and will be holding my breath just a little bit until I know he’s there.

Let’s hope that my next post is a thankful one for his safe journey and I can breath a little easier.

Good luck Jacob! I love you so very much
Mum xxx

2014 Happy New Year!

Another new year and not sure what to do with my life!

It’s not really a decision that is mine to make since having Fibromyalgia and Lymphoedema has meant that my choice of what to do with my life has rather been taken out of my hands.

I feel very unwell and am in constant pain and so I only have short bursts of time between needing to rest that I actually feel up to doing anything much.

I can’t drive anymore and so unless I’m up to a short trip out on my mobility scooter i’m stuck in the four walls.

With my disabled daughter at home two days in the week I can’t venture out and leave her on those days and so feel a little stuck to say the least.

I sound like i’m having a moan about my lot and anyone who knows me will know that this is not me, I am stubborn and wouldn’t let this condition beat me but I have to give in to it at times despite my better nature.

I’d love a project I can do from home but there isn’t many options. I enjoy craft and when my hands aren’t too sore that’s what I try to do to make things to sell at the church fete etc but I couldn’t make enough to be able to go in to business or anything and don’t feel that what I create is good enough for people to buy.

Here I go sounding defeatist again!

Right, I need to snooze or i’ll end up having to go to bed by the time my husband gets home from work and that wouldn’t be good as I wouldn’t get to spend any time with him.

I’ll be back soon

xxx

Monday blues and whinges!

So the start of yet another week and another day where I have to practically push my daughter out of the door to school, Not wanting to go because it’s been half term and she’s happy to stay at home in her cave safe! I made her take her walking stick as suggested by the doctors so she left swinging the stick under her arm! not going to help much there I don’t think bless her.

So a friend called, she’s cleared her diary for the day and asked if I was free but when I told her I had plans she played the guilt trip on me. Not being funny, don’t people sometimes need a bit of notice? I don’t sit home waiting for her to clear her diary for me. Not least because I get so down home on my own and book things to do so that I’m not sitting home alone waiting for her to call and tell me last minute that my diary is clear for her.

What’s more, She doesn’t understand that my husband can’t be late to school where he is currently acting headmaster and take me to her house for the day. He has a responsible job, he can’t just do that. Also, she wants me at hers so she can carry on doing jobs while I’m there. I can’t drive to hers but she can drive to me so what’s that all about?

Why should I feel guilty that I have things arranged and can’t drop them at the last minute. I’m sick of being made to feel I’m the bad guy!! I offered another day that she can’t do so it works two ways. Some people need to get real.

Huh another day, another whinge, more stress but I’m not going to feel guilty anymore. I’m sorry i’m too ill to drive and can’t be there for everyone all the time. That’s just the way it is.

An ordinary woman with a complicated life!

Hi, I’m a 42 year old woman, married with 2 kids. Well, I say kids, one is a 19 year old son at Uni who has Aspergers and one is a 16 year old girl who is Autistic and has Spinocerebellar Ataxia, a progressive brain/mobility disorder. I suffer with emotional intensity disorder and severe depression. I also have Fibromyalgia and Lymphoedema and I am registered disabled now and am unable to work anymore. so in just my first paragraph you can see that life for me is not boring and normal. More later!