My husband and I are happily married. After years of severe infertility and seven miscarriages, I adopted two infants now in their early 20s. One child is away at college. The younger child is in college part-time, lives at home and is unemployed.
Both recently came out as transgender. The older as woman to man, the younger as man to woman. The younger one struggles with being bipolar, is on meds for being schizo affective, steals, and is angry and abusive to us.
How do I or we begin to deal with all this!
We know not all of society is open to transgender. The older son is making this change while away at school, thoughtfully, with tons of support from us and LGBT where he lives. The younger child is unhappy, moody and frustrated with his/her life and blames us for not “fixing” it.
Our younger child sees a therapist, but they seem to feel he/she is not stable enough for drastic changes. This child does not want to see a gender specialist and move forward on his/her own.
I am saddened that there will never be grandchildren, although I know this is never owed me but I had hoped…and I do dote on neighbors’ kids already. It feels like our 15 years of infertility and loss all over again.
How do I wrap my head around all this and the concept of being “thrilled” about both unique situations? You could call me “No One’s Mom.”
Sandy, we knew a man with a parent, uncles and aunts, nephews and nieces, siblings and cousins with various forms of cancer. The cancers occurred at every age from childhood to early 40s. Many resulted in death. Still, each member of the family as they reached maturity started a family.
The desire to reproduce is that strong in most people.
You made a heroic effort to have children. You might have accepted that children weren’t in your future. Many people do, but you were resistant to accepting that your marriage would be just you and your husband.
It seems like the fates had a message for you. We are not guaranteed anything in life, not even life itself. You lost nothing because nothing was ever promised to you. At this point all you can do is say, I accept my life for what it is. I can’t have children. Neither will my children.
It’s not a tragedy. It’s a reality, like accepting how tall you are.
Our gut feeling is the older child may well be transgender and the younger one almost surely is not. But you be the judge. You have known these children from infancy. You are the expert on what they are like.
The younger child may be following the path of his sibling or trying to get under your skin. He may resist seeing a gender specialist because he knows that does not fit him, though he may think that is the community where he will find acceptance and care.
Your issue is not, where are my grandbabies? Your issue is how to handle a child who is angry, not in school full-time, with mental health issues. Your son doesn’t get to be mad at other people for what his life is. He has to accept what his life is.
As must you.
You can’t let him make you his servant. You can’t put up with a child who is abusive or angry because he will treat you as badly as you let him. What you can do with both children is let them know you accept them for who they are.
Don’t let your kids feel they are a disappointment. Don’t make them carry the burden of your pining. Once we act on what is within our power, nothing is left to be done.
What is in your power is to finally embrace reality.
~ Wayne & Tamara
Column for the week of September 5, 2016
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