Went shopping yesterday-we got the mens shirts & trousers, but I cried when we got to the boxer shorts

(152 Posts)
Floundering Tue 20-May-14 18:18:27

.....they are for my 17 year old DD. sad

My gorgeous sassy funny not so little girl has confided in me that she feels she is a boy trapped in a woman's body. Gender Dysphoria is our new buzz phrase.

Since she told me 10 days ago we've had doctors appointments for me & her, to arrange counselling, talked long and tearfully (both of us) and gone shopping. She wants to cut off her beautiful glossy mane, bind her chest and eventually start hormones. Luckily she favour the baggy shirts & jeans look so no vast difference yet.

I can't bear it.

I'm in a fog, wanting to support her but also wanting to shake some sense into her.

(BTW not bothered about me, but have NC for this I did post a one off post on another thread the night it all happened but forgot to NC & got it pulled so if you saw that please don't out me for her sake. )

Since puberty she has had massive gynae issues, multiple A&E visits and admissions for various operations. Part of me wonders whether she has had such a shit time as a female that subconsciously she feels being male would be easier. But then I wonder if I'm in denial as I can't get my head round it. She says she is sure.

I have been researching transkids and it seems if they get to late teens and are sure then they rarely change back.

I am in so much pain at the thought of what she wants to do & the fact that the poor love is so mentally unhappy she is prepared to do it.

Not sure why I'm posting except I need to find someone who can share their experiences as the mum of a trans kid. I know the technical side of things, I worked on some of the first sex change ops back in the day and that makes things worse in a way.(although I know things have refined since then & yes its waaay down the line)

I'll stop now I'm waffling but please dear nest of vipers if you have any crumb of comfort bung it my way. This will be a long haul whichever way it goes.

Can't find the MN guidebook for this one confused

Sparklingbrook Tue 20-May-14 18:23:42

Floundering I am really sorry I have nothing useful to say so how about a ((hug))?

She told you-which is a massive step, and she isn't going through this alone as others must do. xx

Floundering Tue 20-May-14 18:27:42

Hugs always welcome thanks, sparkling

Yes she did take a HUGE step & I hope whichever way we go the fact she hasn't had years of having to live a lie & pretend to be something she isn't might in some small way help.

I just wish I could stop bloody crying! I'm much better about not showing it in front of her, she feels guilty enough, but it creeps up on me when I'm alone.

SunshineOutdoors Tue 20-May-14 18:30:10

You sound like you're being great and supportive to your dd. I think it's also really positive that you're being honest about finding it hard, rather than pretending to yourself it's fine and bottling it all up.

Sorry I can't provide any help or advice but just wanted to tell you you sound like you're being a great mum.

There surely must be somewhere you can find people going through similar. Someone more knowledgeable will hopefully be along soon with the details

<hug> (not going to say it's unmumsnetty, because it isn't if done in the right circumstance)

I'm really sorry you feel like this and that your DD is going through a difficult time.

I don't have a great deal of first-hand experience but I just wanted to reassure you that there is a whole spectrum of gender identity within transgender. Some trans people just want to be androgynous, some borrow from both genders, others simply identify with a non-biologically-assigned gender and dress that way, while some want to become physically that gender as much as possible through surgery etc.

At her age I assume she may be going off to university soon, in which case she may be able to engage with people who have similar experiences, through LGBT groups etc.

Whatever she feels is right, it WILL be ok. But it is a big leap between wearing boxers and actually transitioning, and she might find herself comfortably existing somewhere else along that spectrum with the right support and engagement.

Tealady1983 Tue 20-May-14 18:49:31

Again I am sorry as I have no experience but wanted to say what a fabulous mum you must be for her to be able to open up and share with you. It must be a very scary time for you both but having you on side regardless of how hard your finding it will be an amazing comfort and support to your darling daughter x

Floundering Tue 20-May-14 19:25:50

Mackeral thanks, yes I've tried to say that to her that even just being more androgynous might be enough & whatever stop along the way she feels comfortable with (including complete reversal back to her birth state) is OK as long as she is happy.

I guess its the just not knowing & her being SO adamant , as only teens can be, that she is sure that she wants to transition. It will all become clearer when she gets her counselling. I know it's a long job but I'm hoping even just taking those first steps will help her feel she is being taken seriously and is supported.

Sunshine & Tea thanks for your kind words, I don't feel a terribly good mum at the moment, far too much wine & takeaways /quick suppers being consumed just now.

We live in a small market town with very lovely but conventional community. Normally I don't give a stuff what folks think, but it was bad enough dealing with the gossip when I divorced her father, christ knows what this will do to the grapevine grin

.... but joking aside I am worried about how she will deal with the inevitable nastiness. She is somewhat sheltered in that we have very accepting, liberal equality minded friends & family
(although I dread how her Dad will take it -all my fault it will be) so although she KNOWS about bigotry and all the foul homophobic/racist/misogynistic crap that some folks have to deal with daily , she has never personally encountered it.

But I'm jumping ahead again, I go round in circles at the moment, sorry.

WolfMoon Tue 20-May-14 20:42:12

Floundering, you sound like an amazing mum. One of my friends was the same, a man born in a woman's body. I have sadly lost touch with him since he moved abroad, but the last I heard he was living with his partner and their son, who they adopted without issue. He used to say that whilst he had expected to get some abuse from people, he was pleasantly surprised by how little people cared - not in a nasty, disinterested way, just that they had their own lives to be living! You sound like you doing a fabulous job so far, and what a credit to you it is that your daughter knew it was safe to tell you. thanks

chocoluvva Tue 20-May-14 21:13:13

A thought re other people's attitudes to your DD which might be a crumb of comfort - just that most young people I know are much more open-minded about issues of gender than when we were their age. Think how much attitudes to gay relationships have changed in the last ten or twenty years. Hopefully attitudes to all LGBT people will benefit.

I'm sure it's normal and healthy for you to mourn the loss of the future you hoped your DD would have.

Hugs from me too.

Rosieliveson Tue 20-May-14 21:16:38

I'm so sorry that you're facing such a difficult time.

I'm afraid I have no words of wisdom on the subject but when I read your post, I was struck by how lucky your DD is to have a mother she can talk to and rely on for support.

I know it is a very trivial thought but when/if she decides to have her beautiful hair cut off you could consider having it made into a wig for cancer suffers?
Might make any nasty gossipers think twice about what they say too.
You sound an amazing Mum,I would find it very hard too and I wish you both well.

Floundering Tue 20-May-14 22:19:47

snuffle thanks all.

Funnily enough stayathome she suggested that herself! She wants me to book her in when I next go to the hairdressers & explain what she is doing. She has found a charity & got the instructions. We measured her hair the other day & its long enough. They plait it & cut it at the nape of the neck then the stylist can shape the rest. Problem will be getting a not too girly shape for her. But I've told her she can always wash it out after & muss it up!!

snowmummy Tue 20-May-14 22:27:33

You sound lovely. And with your support your DD will be fine.

BertieBotts Tue 20-May-14 22:29:40

She could look at getting it done in a unisex hair salon or a barber's instead, they might be more used to doing men's styles so could help find something she likes?

mineofuselessinformation Tue 20-May-14 22:31:12

Not much advice here, but I'm sorry you feel in pain. I guess you feel a bit lost, knowing you have lost your 'daughter'?
She's been incredibly brave you know, and it's a huge compliment to you that she felt she could tell you.
You sound so supportive. I guess the next few months will be hard for both of you, maybe shedding tears in private and together too.
Don't worry about her dad, just to continue to support her/him.
Sending you strength, courage and wisdom OP.

dexter73 Wed 21-May-14 09:35:48

I agree with the others that you sound lovely. I have seen this website mentioned on here before. I don't know if you have already seen it but it might be of some help.

Floundering Wed 21-May-14 19:36:20

Bad day today.

DD has said to the doctor ( I sat in on the check up at her, DD's, request) that she has had thoughts of self harming, but thankfully as yet not carried it through.

But if she can't have treatment she can't see the point of carrying on as life would be unbearable. sad

I had to work for a few hours but rushed back home dreading what I'd find, but she is Ok, and has gone to her dads for the night. So I am going to have an early supper & a few glasses of wine & get to bed early if I can. I feel like a collapsed balloon.

beanynamechange Wed 21-May-14 21:46:27

The fact that she asked you to be there for that was incredible, she would have been working up to telling that to someone for some time.. And she wanted you to know, which is amazingly important. Your doing so well, I don't mean it to sound patronising I'm aware it does but keep your head up, you and your dd will pull through smile

mineofuselessinformation Wed 21-May-14 22:32:12

Try not to think of it as a bad day - your daughter has reached out for help and that can only be a good thing.
As the mother of a child who has self- harmed, and kept it totally secret, I would say she is trying to work out her feelings before they get to the point of actually doing something.
You are both in huge turmoil at the moment. Give yourself the time to process it, and your daughter too.
As long as you both keep talking about it, you will get there in the end.

Floundering Wed 21-May-14 23:14:52

Thanks Beany -not patronising at all grin don't feel I'm doing well at all but we're still upright & talking so all good.

Mine yes you're right, I guess I meant bad for me,hearing how bad she feels. But yes maybe we've intervened with support before it got too bad.

Thing I think is so confusing is I have always thought I understood trans peoples struggle ( As much as one can not going through it ) and admired their bravery in going through the stuff they needed to do to change gender.

But now its my own child I'm struggling to understand the depths of her anguish that make her want to (eventually) remove her perfectly healthy breasts,uterus & ovaries before she is out of her twenties.

Inapickle123 Thu 22-May-14 19:32:58

A young member of my immediate family is going through exactly the same thing; out of nowhere (according to her parents), she had decided that she wanted to be a boy.

She cut her hair, dressed in men's clothes, went by a different name etc. Like you, her parents were supportive but really struggled with such a dramatic transformation.

Prior to them agreeing going down the hormone route (she was and is under the age of medical consent) they all agreed to go through counselling.

This was invaluable in the sense that it made her identify and confront any reasons behind her decision to change. For her, lots had been going on out with her control and this was one thing she felt in control of.

Her desire to change gender is still there but she has decided to remain female for the time being, until she is 100% sure her decision is based on an intrinsic need to Be male, rather than outside factors influencing her attitude.

We love her anyway so couldn't give a monkeys whether she is boy/girl/wizard/cat as long as she's happy, but -and I'm sure you've already spoken about this with your DD-it was important to everyone that there was no doubt in her mind as once the decision is made, there isn't really any going back.

Perhaps counselling will help your DD address any issues she may have before she makes her final decision. Having had terrie gynae problems myself, I certainly understand how resentful of your gender you can be when you're in and out of hospital constantly.

My mum always says 'what will be will be'. If this is her final decision then she's very lucky to have such an understanding mum.

Mama1980 Thu 22-May-14 19:41:50

You sound like a amazing mum, the fact your dd wanted you with her at the appointment speaks volumes.
I had a flatmate at uni who was trans born a girl but lived as a boy. We were very protective but most people genuinely just didn't care. He's a happily married architect these days.
Best wishes to both of you

Floundering Fri 23-May-14 05:52:03

pickle thats us to a t.

mama good to hear your friend is doing well.

Yesterday things got a bit worse & better at the same time.
She got a date for initial assessment with CAMHS for 29th JULY!!!! This is supposedly an urgent referral , christ knows how long a routine one would take . She is so low I am worried for her mental well being, she is saying it would be easier to end it all. I am scared to leave her alone, but have to work for a few hours today ( s/emp need the money)

Will be on the phone to GP at 8 to see if we can get the MH crisis management team involved.

Inapickle123 Fri 23-May-14 11:29:00

The wait for a referral is absolutely shocking.

Hopefully your GP has managed to get the mental health team involved. If not, can I suggest you go direct to a&e as it'll speed up the referral process and your DD will get immediate access to youth psychological services.

Afallenknight Fri 23-May-14 11:55:50

I was originally born a girl, but had always felt like I was a boy since the age of six years old. I am now 23 and six months on testosterone after years of therapy and appointments with doctors and specialists.
My mother always knew, from the way I dressed and acted as a teenager, so she wasn't surprised, she simply waited until I was ready to tell her.
She has been my rock, and the most supportive light in my life, and because of her, I am able to work as the man I always saw myself as, as well as have a loving girlfriend, a beautiful two year old and another one on the way.
All I can say, is that it's a shock to the system for a mother. You carried her for 9 months, helped her grow and loved her. She is still that same girl you always loved, only her appearances are changing. She/He will continue to love you, and will lean on you for support and an ear to listen. Be the spectacular mother you have always been and nothing will change. I hope this helps and if you have any questions about hormones or surgery (I'm having a mastectomy on 21st August) just ask smile
Noah

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