Me and my transgender child part 4.

Whoops. Sorry folks, I wrote my last blog post some weeks ago and went to press publish, but as often happens on WordPress, my log-in time had expired. Therefore I lost all my lovely jubbly 500 words. Because I hadn’t copied and pasted to a word file before pressing the publish button. Damn it. Sometimes I spend hours crafting a half-way good blog post only to have this happen when I go to bed and forget to save and log off from WP. So I’ve been quietly sulking in a corner.

Anyhoo, that’s not really why I’m here. We need to talk about Mara. My baby has moved up here to live with us during her transition and I’m very aware of her myriad needs right now. She’s very young. She’s 21  years old but in reality her brain is stuck at age 15. Until her transition is complete I’m not sure how well she will mature because there are things she is just not able to process. Things like getting a job, or waking up in the morning, or getting out of the house. I had a huge dummy spit last week when the removalists came to the house to drop off her stuff and she was asleep and didn’t hear them at all. The dog was barking, I’m sure the cat was wailing, and there was quite a lot of banging on the door, to no avail. They came twice. Once in the morning and once in the afternoon. She slept through the lot. I was furious! I tore through her like tissue paper, poor girl. She was shaking and crying and I realised how lost she really is right now, how depressed and frightened she feels.

Anyway, I’ve bullied her into doing four things per day. 1/ get up in the morning, no matter how tired she feels. 2/ look for a job every day. 3/ eat well and regularly. 4/ get out of the house every day – one errand, one dog walk, one visit to a doctor or a friend. Anything to keep moving and be active. I am terrified my darling girl – whom I always seemed to know needed nurturing and extra care – is falling so deeply into depression she knows no way out. On the plus side, she seems to be picking at her skin less and it’s beginning to clear up. I hate bullying her though. I am a believer in benign neglect – that is, openly loving your kids but leaving them to learn how to live without undue interference. Having to be strict with her about her own life’s journey is doing my head in. Plus I have an ongoing roiling feeling in my belly that my daughter will one day just not wake up, and that she will suicide. Lots of transgender people do. So my anxiety, already high from doing my PhD and the usual worrying about finances/house stuff/employment, is even higher now. (Not that I have high anxiety usually, but I’m really skittish right now).

I must confess to feeling a little lost about this whole thing right now, myself, and not sure how best to proceed. One of the things you are not given as a parent of adult transitioning people is a list of sympathetic counsellors or places to go for advice. Luckily the interweb has SOME stuff but here in QLD there’s not much. Still, I’m thrilled to say there is an association called Rainbow Bridge which provides some information. The trick is here that although Mara is relatively well supported by us, the LGBTIQ community and others, we parents, families and friends are rather less so.

So, while I’ve been writing about Mara, I’m really writing about me. I’m terribly worried, a bit lost, frustrated – and there’s probably a bunch of other stuff down there percolating away but I’m not letting it out because Mara needs me too much. That being said, I’ve finally taken the step to contact someone for counselling. Because if I’m going to help Mara become the woman she wants to be, I’m going to need help too.

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