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Failing my child

(9 Posts)
PleaseListen Mon 09-Nov-15 01:01:22

I'm not sure I am looking for answers - I think I just need someone to talk to - someone who won't judge, just listen - please. My baby (well my big baby - he is 13) asked me in January (a few days after the new baby was born) what I would have called them if they had been a boy (he was born a she). I told them the name (not really knowing where it was going) and they told me that they wanted to be a boy. He (I am using he - but at home I am finding it really really hard and sometimes say girl, sometimes child when talking about them, sometimes sibling instead of brother or sister - very very rarely I will use their name that they now want)

I love them so much but this last 10 months has been so hard. My eldest saying he wants to be a boy and apparently looking into it (which is fine - please I am not against gender dysphoria - just struggling a little (read a lot)) and my little baby struggling to gain weight, struggling to feed, hospital appointments to get to the bottom of her health issues, continually attached to a pump for 8 months so that she could have breast milk. I have recently come off anti depressants which I began when baby was 11 days old . I know I should just treat them as they want to be - I have always been very strongly for equality and practically drummed it into him growing up that it is ok to be different, that it is ok for men to love men, women to love woman, religion, race, nothing matters except treating everybody equally, everybody deserves respect, love and acceptance and yet here I am failing at the first hurdle.

I am trying to get used to the fact that my daughter is leaving and that I am getting a son. He is currently seeing a psychologist (Cahms rejected the referral and bounced it to a psychologist) as he has been suffering depression amongst other health issues and struggling at school (not academically just socially). I have also told him if he wants we can go back and see the doctor - see if anything can be done to halt puberty (I haven't really looked into it properly - not yet - I know puberty can be halted before it reaches a certain point but he has periods, and he has developed small breasts) - he doesn't want to go just yet he said, he is quite feminine in the house - I think he is as confused as I am.

I'm sorry for going on and on, I'm sorry if it doesn't make sense - I just needed to get some stuff out of my head I think before I move forward to help him - i can't really help him if I am an emotional wreck .

RiaOverTheRainbow Mon 09-Nov-15 03:22:53

You're clearly trying hard, and you sound supportive. Finding changes you never expected difficult doesn't make you a bad mum. It's great that your ds feels able to be open with you. Have you considered getting counseling for yourself too?

Italiangreyhound Wed 11-Nov-15 00:00:41

PleaseListen I am so sorry you are going through all this, it does sound very hard. I think counselling does sound like a good idea for you. Someone who can help you work through this without pushing you to a conclusion that they have already made.

I am not an expert at all, I am not trans and I only know about this subject what I have read, on line, and the limited number of trans people who I have met in real life.

In your shoes I would be as supportive to your child as you can be but I would also want to allow things at home to be as 'gender' neutral as possible. By that I mean allow your child to dress and act as they ike and not try and draw too many conclusions from that.

I have read other threads on mumsnet about this topic and at least one thread from at least one person whose child thinks they might be trans and I wonder if you can find support from other parents who are in a similar boat to you.

Can I ask if your daughter as identifying as a boy before the news of the arrival of the new baby? Is the new baby a boy or girl? Could some of this be tied up in the arrival of the new baby or is this something that was happening before, being talked about before etc?

Also, can I ask, are you married/living with the father of your new child and are they also the father of your older child? I am asking this because I am wondering if there are any upheavals in your older child's life that may account for some degree of 'confusion' - e.g. your child wants to feminine at home but also wants to identify as boy?

Of course you need to accept your child as they are but from what you say it is not very clear that they totally identify as a boy.

I am someone who would want to be very supportive of anyone who was genuinely trans but I am also aware that puberty, periods, breasts, perhaps unwanted attention from the opposite sex, because of breasts etc, could make it quite hard for someone who is female to accept being female. This does not mean they are necessarily trans, it means they are questioning about life, and you sound like an amazingly supportive mum. Ten months is not a long time to be questioning of something that could be so major so in shoes I would encourage them to go slowly and just see how things pan out.

All best wishes.

Italiangreyhound Wed 11-Nov-15 00:12:45

PS you called this 'Failing my child' thread and I wanted you say you are definitely not failing your child.

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Wed 11-Nov-15 20:20:32

Please don't think you're failing your child

You love them. Of course you're allowed to be sad at "losing" the daughter you had, even as you love the son you're "finding". But you are prioritising their feelings above your own, as is the difficult role of a parent.

Can you see the psychologist yourself? It does sound like you need support anyway, especially to help understand this.

Is he a boy at school and with friends, or just at home?

Italiangreyhound Wed 11-Nov-15 21:26:51

How you doing PleaseListen?

ZoeFreeWoman Fri 13-Nov-15 10:41:59

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

eversomuch Mon 30-Nov-15 10:26:06

PleaseListen, You might find it helpful to get in touch with Mermaids:

They're a support group for parents of trans and gender-non-conforming children. You'll find lots of people going through a similar experience, or who have been there.

Sounds like you are amazing and supportive and doing your very best for your kid, so please don't feel like you're failing!

Italiangreyhound Mon 30-Nov-15 17:49:36

Hi PleaseListen how are things going with you?

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