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Please give me the strength to go downstairs and carry on being supportive to my anorexic transgender child

(92 Posts)
workingtowards Sun 24-Jun-18 20:36:56

I have just screamed at that I am a 'fucking cunt' in our back garden by my fourteen year old. The neighbours also now know that I am a 'Fucking bitch, who nobody likes or respects'. This is because the sprinkler was at the wrong angle and got the table wet.

I am at my wit's end. My daughter/son is anorexic, transgender, self harming, depressive and on the autistic spectrum. She / he is sporadically violent to both myself and my husband. I have spent the past 5 months out of work, trying to support her through her gastro-nasal refeeding and to reintegrate her/him her back into school. I have to monitor six meals a day, for some one who doesn't want to eat.

I am told by CAMHS to suppress my own emotions in a situation like tonight, as my daughter / son can't deal with other's emotions and will cut herself / stop eating/drinking. But I am worn out. Work is in pieces. My mother has dementia (my father was killed in a road traffic accident ten years ago). If I am honest, I don't understand transgenderism.

I am not sure why I am posting this. I think I am just right on the edge. Anyone else been here?

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Rainatnight Sun 24-Jun-18 20:44:13

I'm so sorry, I have no advice but I didn't want to read and run. It sounds incredibly difficult and I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't be at their wits end.

Do you get any support at all?

I hope someone with more experience will be along shortly. flowers

mittensofsteel Sun 24-Jun-18 20:52:42

I have no experience to share but hand holding instead. It sounds very, very heartbreaking and difficult for you. flowers

workingtowards Sun 24-Jun-18 20:52:50

Thank you Rainatnight. To be honest, just a kind voice is nice to hear. We have an eating disorder team from the hospital supporting us, who are mostly brilliant, but they can't really help with all the other issues. We are in the queue for CAMHS counselling.

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TheNoseyProject Sun 24-Jun-18 20:55:48

Hells teeth that is really really hard. Well done to you for going up stairs and not meeting that with your own anger/emotions. You may not feel it but that is so hard and you are an incredibly strong woman.

Hats off to you. Seriously.

I’m afraid I have no advice? Do they need you right now? If they’re safe this second can you stay up stairs and have a little time?

Sorry if that’s crap advice/question’s.

workingtowards Sun 24-Jun-18 20:57:24

It's beyond bad. I don't understand how we got here. Everything started with his/her suicide attempt the Easter before last. We didn't have a clue anything was wrong before that. I'm just decimated, but need to stay strong.

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ClownStar Sun 24-Jun-18 20:58:01

That sounds exhausting.

I have ASD and spent some time (as an adult!) wondering if I must be transgender because I am so bad at managing the social stereotypes associated with femaleness. But because I'm an adult I was also able to work out that it's probably because I am so bad at managing social stereotypes full stop. Boys on the spectrum seem to have a lot more "permission" than girls to act out, while girls act in, and it seems like your DC is now in the worst of both worlds, acting outwards with aggression to you and inwards with aggression to herself in the form of self harm and anorexia.

I don't know what to say or suggest. Just that I hear you and I hope that CAMHS can help. flowers

Getoffthetableplease Sun 24-Jun-18 20:59:59

Oh my, it's no wonder you feel like that we so much to deal with. I'm sorry you're going through such a tough time right now. You sound like you're doing everything you can, I hope things get easier for you all soon.x

birdbandit Sun 24-Jun-18 21:00:04

I'm so sorry for you.

All I can suggest short term, is to get a nap or do whatever you need to do to "reset" you, this situation must be completely mentally and emotionally exhausting.

It's like they always say on the plane, put on your oxygen mask first before helping others. It is counter intuitive, but please look after yourself so that you have the strength battle for your child's mental health. X

DramaAlpaca Sun 24-Jun-18 21:00:11

I'm sorry, I can't offer anything more than a handhold but just wanted to say it sounds really tough and that you have been so strong so far by the sounds of it flowers

Hopefully CAMHS will come through soon.

Littleredboat Sun 24-Jun-18 21:02:46

It sounds horrifically hard.
Can you see a counsellor for you? Have you got any support just for getting you through it?

Dilligaf81 Sun 24-Jun-18 21:02:59

What support are you and you husband getting through this situation? Your child is at the centre but if you both break then they can't be helped.
You need to get as much help from anyone who will help.
Are you a member of any support groups? Plenty out there for each individual need your child has. These can be online or face to face groups.

Dementia help are also a great place to see what help you can get with your mum.

Don't try to do this without a support network for yourselves, you need to be people when this is all working again not empty husks.

Good luck op xx

workingtowards Sun 24-Jun-18 21:07:39

Hello ClownStar. What you say is really interesting. My daughter/son is very adamant about not being 'female', but I really do wonder what stereotypes she is applying to think herself 'not female'. What rule is she using to judge herself? What does it mean to be 'male' or 'female'?

My husband has put a film on downstairs and is with the children. I am going to stay up here on my own for a bit to have a break.

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NowtSalamander Sun 24-Jun-18 21:09:42

Christ on a bike. No wonder you’re feeling on the edge.

I don’t have this experience as a parent, but I do work in a school and have dealt with several girls who fit in this bracket (girls with SEN who go down the self harm route - trans is the currently fashionable self-harm for many teenage girls I work with). There are other parents out there that you can get online support from until you get RL support from Camhs. Look at transgendertrend and 4thwavenow to find these parents.

I’ve seen several girls go through this and come out the other side (with the ASD plus self harm, transgenderism is a new part of the cocktail). Many years of working with teenage girls has resulted in the opinion that 14 is the worst of it.

You are clearly being a fantastic parent - listening to her, caring about her feelings, trying to manage your own. You need to hang on to that.

ajandjjmum Sun 24-Jun-18 21:10:57

Glad you and your DH can support each other - must be terribly tough for you. wine

ClownStar Sun 24-Jun-18 21:29:16

I think the rigid thinking and categorising that go with ASD make gender difficult working. Particularly when it is undeniable that the socially successful types tend to be very gender conforming at the moment (not so much in the past perhaps? David Bowie etc) So for example, I wear men's clothes because i have sensory problems with women's clothes, and I get my hair cut at the barber because I prefer it. I don't "feel like" a woman because the parameters I have to assess that are based on what other women report, and I don't have much in common with them a lot of the time - more now but as a teenager I felt I had nothing in common with teenage girls at all. So does that make me..... a man? Non-binary? I don't actually believe gender exists, so am I agender? Pangender? The internet has thousands of possible permutations to obsess over. Going down this rabbit hole did my mental health no good at all and I was approaching 30.

I'm now fairly gender critical after seeing first hand how damaging this can be to autistic people. I am a woman who is gender non conforming, just like many women have been in the past and will be in the future.

Is returning to school mandatory for your DC? Is home school / an ASD specific school a possibility at all? Just wondering what demands could be removed from what sounds like an extremely demanding situation for all of you.

workingtowards Sun 24-Jun-18 21:51:41

Thank you everyone - I felt so nervous putting this up there.

Clownstar. I think that you have put you finger on it. Aren't many strong women gender non-conforming? Why does my daughter feel that because she doesn't conform to the stereotypes, she is not a woman? I would like her to take pride in what she is. I am scared of her trying to become an approximation of what she thinks she should be, rather than taking pride in her/himself.

There is no support for me. Just my completely shell-shocked husband and now you chaps, so thank you.

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Beamur Sun 24-Jun-18 21:58:33

I have no expertise in any of the things you are experiencing, but I can only sympathise with how very hard this must be for you all.

MajesticWhine Sun 24-Jun-18 22:03:32

What a heartbreaking situation. Please explore sources of support for yourself, to manage your own stress levels. It's hard to stay strong all the time and it would help you to have some counselling of your own. Might be worth asking your GP.

NotANaturalBlonde Sun 24-Jun-18 22:04:50

I have no constructive advice to give on this OP other than maybe trying to find an online forum for parents of children with mental health problems or maybe phoning the Samaritans or someone similar?

I hope you have a friend or two, even just to rant and have somebody listen xx


NotANaturalBlonde Sun 24-Jun-18 22:06:53

Also do you think your child would feel better if they knew somebody or made friends (even online) with another transgender teenager going through the same thing?

bumblenbean Sun 24-Jun-18 22:14:02

I’m sorry I have no useful advice but just wanted to say you sound like a lovely mum doing a great job in what must be an extremely hard situation. I hope you all manage to find some peace soon. Please be gentle with yourself flowers

workingtowards Sun 24-Jun-18 22:15:08

NotaNaturalBlonde: It seems there is a small group at school who are going through this together. Apparently at school, my daughter/son is to referred to as he by her friends, one of his/her friends is referred to as 'they' and another has taken on a masculine name, which my daughter/son also wants to do. I am not sure that the other parents know though.

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Badgerthebodger Sun 24-Jun-18 22:26:48

How very horribly difficult for you. It must be hell to watch your child go through this. I absolutely second the idea of looking at 4thwavenow and Transgender Trend, there are lots of very sensible people there who will help and will talk to you and support you.

Take the evening off tonight. Don’t engage, it will not end well. I think it might be worth having a very frank chat with your husband and explaining you need some time to recharge your batteries (as might he) so that needs to be scheduled in. Doesn’t matter what you do but as a bare minimum it should involve some time out of the house by yourself. If you both support each other in having some time out you will have more mental energy to support your daughter through this.

The feminism board on here might look scary but there are several parents there with teenagers who are transitioning, and they receive nothing but kindness and support when they post about it. We’re here, we’ll talk to you.

workingtowards Sun 24-Jun-18 22:35:22

Thank you Badger. I think that is good advice.

Can be honest with you though. As a feminist with a child declaring themselves as transgender, I have found the mn feminist boards on the subject really upsetting. There are many wise voices, but an undercurrent of fear, which seems to be blocking open dialogue sometimes.

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