When your mentally ill adult child rejects you

My trans daughter isn’t speaking to me right now. She’s not even coming home. All her stuff is here except obviously some clothes, medications and a few fluffy toys. She’s staying with trans friends because apparently last week I hurt her so much she can’t bear to be near me.

She had a “panic attack” at work, started cutting herself and had to be fired by her very understanding boss, who cannot in all conscience be responsible for a person self-harming on the job. I got really angry with my daughter because she did not take personal responsibility for her actions, she swore at her boss, and she was a danger to herself and others. Essentially, she didn’t want to go to work, so she made it impossible to be employable. I had to cancel my afternoon’s teaching, and wanted to take her home, but she told me to fuck off and I haven’t seen her since.

And I’m in terrible grief and sadness that she won’t talk to me. But I could kinda see it coming. Over the last few weeks she has spent very little time at home, staying with friends and couch surfing. She’s nearly 23, it should be fine, but she doesn’t have enough money to fully move out, and at the moment she’s not returning my messages. I’m so concerned for her well being, I’ve even called her psychiatrist.

My friend who mans a LGBTIQ counselling hotline gets quite a few phone calls from supporting parents of trans children who all of a sudden just up and reject the family. He says this is a normal stage in the transformation of self for trans people, where isolation and rejection of what they were can also include the sloughing off of supportive families.

It’s tragic but true. What shits me is that I then get the blame. Something I’ve noticed over the last year is my daughter’s headlong dive into victimhood and a quite negative and destructive trans community. Everything always happens to her, it’s not her fault, it’s the fault of society, it’s all about ‘woe is me’, ‘I’m ill and therefore can’t work’, ‘I’m being marginalised by society’. That sort of thing. As my friend comments of these environments: “Where is the joy?”. Where indeed.

My daughter becomes very shouty at me if I misgender a friend or make even the smallest mistake in conversations with her. She has become wafty and sad and much more depressed than before, she’s cutting herself and hating herself and turning on me. I suppose it had to happen – after all, I did this to my own mother when I was 17. And look how THAT turned out! I guess my daughter is at the 16 years-old phase now. Still 6 years behind. She was always a late bloomer (Leo the late bloomer is a book for children. Very cute story).

But after all is said and done, I love my daughter so very much. I fear for her safety and I hope she won’t try to kill herself. Because that is my worst fear – that she will end her life and I won’t know.

That she will end her life and I won’t know.