Frustrations; experiences/advice (Stereotypes, LGBT, Therianthropy)(3 Posts)
Hello! I'm a young teenager myself, asexual-agender-therianthrope so everything I'll be talking about are things I am emotional about, I'm fourteen years of age, and I recently stumbled upon this website while Googling some things... Anyways, I have a few issues with common beliefs about teenagers and parenting them. They're stereotypes, really, despite how often they pop up, there will always be an exception to the rules (like me, in more ways than one!). I do hope this thread is posted in the right category, forgive me if it shouldn't be here.
While stereotypes surrounding teenagers are often true I find it offensive when they are applied to me. All girls are nasty or rude, desperate for boyfriends, boys have nothing but sex on their minds, teenagers are wild partiers who need to be disciplined and monitored. Teenagers can't think ahead and will try anything. I will be the first to admit that these stereotypes are largely true, but they're just that - stereotypes.
My mother fit them, and I'm raised by my grandmother so of course.. She thinks I'm going to be just like that (or already am). I'm never taken seriously and she thinks I'm just going to get worse. I can be in a bad mood sometimes, but can't we all? When a teenager is irritated, it's always "puberty" or some silly thing. How about, were human beings and as such, are allowed to not be happy ALL the time.
I'm not, however, trying to justify the hell that kids put their parents and other adults through. They deserve consequences because it is UNACCEPTABLE to abuse anyone, especially people who take care of you. But a slip of the tongue is not worthy of a lecture like "oh you stupid teenager!". That's not appropriate either on the adult's part.
And then when you have a quiet withdrawn teen (I've seen some threads like that here), you wonder if there's something WRONG with them. Can't you just be happy they're not causing trouble? As long as they are happy, I don't feel like being social is very important. The introverted children, or even adults, are often more creative and intelligent. Fact is, not everyone "changes" and not everything is a "phase", even if you want it to be.
I feel like homo/bi/pansexuality is becoming more accepted in the eyes of parents, and in general. And that's great, because we all deserved to feel accepted by our loved ones, and like we can tell them anything.. Bit I do have a negative experience and I don't want this ringside to anyone else.. When I came out as agender last year, I was accepted by my family pretty well. However, they completely disregard what I say in the next few months. Soon enough, my dad starts talking about my "wedding", and my grandmother is mentioning boyfriends and girlfriends, and whether or not I'm having kids when I'm older. No, just no.
Proof that they don't value a word of what I say, ever, and just think I don't have a clue on what I'm talking about. Maybe I am a little young, so what? Most kids know that they're straight at age nine when the girls are obsessing with Justin Bieber and the boys start watching porn a few years later. No one has a problem with their sexual orientation then, right? So if a kid can know they're straight, they can know they're gay at the exact same age. They might not come to terms with it, but if you're attracted to someone, that's just how it is.
So why can't I know that I'm asexual? Not interested, period. I have very valid reasons as to why I find sex disgusting, and romantic relationships worthless. Unnecessary. Why am I disregarded?
What do i need to do to convince these people?
Parents who react well to their child being gay/bi/ect. may not react the same way if they're transgender/genderqueer. In a way, I can understand that it's a big jump. At the same time maybe people need to do their research instead of making horrible, scarring misinformed remarks at their child's gender identity. Again, you can't just say "it's a phase" and pretend it's all okay because there's a good chance it's not. You WILL damage your child's self-esteem and teach them to always doubt themselves and not take their feelings seriously. Before I became aware of being agender and other non-binary identities, I identified "MtF" transgender. When I came out to my grandmother, all I got was a screaming fit that brought be to tears and all I was told was "Men don't cry over such insignificant things."
And my identity was comletely disregarded by my father, who didn't understand and had no interest whatsoever, carrying the "it's a phase" mentality. It true that I did come to realize I was of a different gender than what I believed at the time, but I don't think I deserved what I got. I'm now back in the closet (my family kind of forgot about it after a while) and don't plan on coming back out until I'm on my own and not dependent anymore.
Also, cross-dressing. Since I was very young, I liked to wear boys clothes and was met with criticism by my mother. If you have a kid who likes to act or dress as the opposite/different gender, ITS NOT A "PROBLEM. YOU DONT NEED "THERAPY. Just no.
Apologies for the caps, but it had to be said.
My point is, you need to see things from your child's point of view when dealing with identity because it is a VERY delicate thing that they've trusted you with by choice. Don't crush that trust.
The touchiest subject of all.. I saw a thread on this and I was pretty infuriated by it, being a therian, and many of the folks here are misinformed.
If you don't know, Therianthropy is the spiritual or psycological belief that you are in some NON-PHYSICAL way, you are a non-human animal. Any animal, people have different methods of finding their "Theriotype". I, personally am a Norway rat therian. It's actually very logical, don't be so concerned.
You can't disprove therianthropy with science, it just doesn't work. You can disprove physical Shapeshifting, but most therians don't believe that and are very intelligent and realistic people. Not the immature escapists you might be thinking of.
Therians practice mental shifting, which is basically shifting your mindset over to your animal's, as well as meditations and such. Therianthropy IS NOT A CHOICE, you can't choose how you feel. I was deppressed for a whike but I learned to embrace my human side as well as my spiritual/psychological rat side.
Therians are not always spiritual, and this is NOT a cult or religion. You can be Christian, Jewish, Pagan, atheist, whatever and still be a therian. For some, it's purely psychological. I know quite a few atheist therians.
It's not a phase (though some people experiment with it and decide it's not for them though). It doesn't need to be "cured", therians are often VERY proud of who they are. Don't drag them to therapy, this isn't an illness, it's no worse then being gay or transgender.
I've been a therian my whole life. I always had a strong compassion for nature, animals and freedom, I didn't just want to be around them, I felt I was one of them. That feeling of belonging, y'know? Family. I cannot really bond well with humans, and I valued wildlife more than people, even before I knew anything else, I knew I didn't belong here. In this society..
So when I was right years old I was on the internet, and I started looking up things like "animal in a human body", or "not really human". And I found a small community of therians, very close-knit. Immediately I gravitated to them, after all - I could relate to everything. They were mostly older teenagers, some adults. We used to video and voice chat,
so we knew we were all who we said we were. Despite being a bratty little kid... They accepted me. They weren't inappropriate like most teens are on the internet, it was like. Having long-distance siblings. They taught me so much, and it was (and still is) a healthy experience for me. We laughed together and cried together, it was a family.
Aside from that community, I've been apart of many others. The folks there are generally quiet, curious people who are rather accepting. They're honest and upfront, and if your child is part of the therian community, they are probably more than thrilled to have you there too if you insist on monitoring.
I know about almost every good otherkin forum out there, it's great being with others like you. Therianthropy is a large part of your identity and you don't need to get rid of it.
And the conclusion...
Thanks for staying with my this long! Do you agree? Disagree? Please let me know. I'm unsure if there's much bigotry here on this site, but I'm ready for whatever I get. If you have by questions at all, please ask! I'm happy to direct you to a therian site I know as well, if you're interested. I hope I helped SOMEONE out there, that was the whole point of this... If nothing else, I made my voice heard.
I'm sorry about all the spelling mistakes and weird words in random places! It's my autocorrect on my phone. I should've looked harder before I posted this. :-P
Interesting to hear your pov and I can understand it being difficult if your family don't seem to understand you.
A couple of points though, about why we parents of teenagers speak like we do.
"My mother fit them, and I'm raised by my grandmother so of course.. She thinks I'm going to be just like that (or already am). I'm never taken seriously and she thinks I'm just going to get worse. I can be in a bad mood sometimes, but can't we all? When a teenager is irritated, it's always "puberty" or some silly thing. How about, were human beings and as such, are allowed to not be happy ALL the time."
The difference is that adult human beings will get very dire consequences if they let their emotions run away with them the way (some) teenagers do.
If I didn't go around with a warm welcoming smile however shitty I feel inside, I would lose my job, and then I wouldn't have anywhere to live. My teenagers having somewhere safe to live and food when they need it depends on my being able not to show when I'm in a bad mood.
If my husband swore at me or didn't do his share of the housework, I wouldn't be giving him a lecture about stupid behaviour: I'd divorce him. I don't have to be married to someone whose behaviour I don't like and I wouldn't want to.
When we joke about teen grumpiness it is to remind ourselves that we can't always apply adult standards: that we do have obligations towards them which do not depend on their always observing the behaviour we would expect from adults. It's to remind ourselves that we can't, and wouldn't really want to, sack or divorce our teenagers, though we would under similar circumstances sack an employee or walk out on a partner.
"And then when you have a quiet withdrawn teen (I've seen some threads like that here), you wonder if there's something WRONG with them. Can't you just be happy they're not causing trouble? As long as they are happy, I don't feel like being social is very important."
Yes, but first we need to feel sure that they are happy. It is our responsibility to make sure they are safe. When my dd became very quiet and withdrawn, it turned out she was sinking into depression and self-harming. Eventually she tried to commit suicide. Her little brother (who was several years younger than you) came home and found her. Two years later he is still having flashbacks. Do you suppose I don't feel bad about that?
A friend's dd became quiet and withdrawn and it turned out she had become anorexic: she very nearly died.
This sort of thing doesn't just happen to special families who are so unlike yours that the adults of your family should know it could never happen. Ok, so it's great that it's not happening to you, but they can't know that. Just cut them some slack. I've been through their worst fears and it's shit.
As for their remarks about children- maybe it's tactless at a time when you are still getting to grips with the immediate circumstances of your own life. But the thought itself doesn't seem that odd to me. To most adults there isn't such a strong link between children and sexuality: I wouldn't see any reason why somebody who was agender might not still want to be a parent. And tbh though many people know about their sexuality from an early age, the desire for a child (or lack of desire) is often something that doesn't get finally settled until people are in their 30's and 40's. We have people of all sorts of different sexualities on MN; many of them are parents.
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