Sunday, 1 June 2014

I should be shunned

I haven't written much for a while and I've certainly not written anything serious.  I thought I'd got most things out of my system and there was nothing of any great consequence left to report.  These things are often phases I guess and you just need something to be able to get things off your mind and written down.

The problem is that being a parent and transexual is apparently so unspeakably wrong and hurtful that I can be considered sub-human and therefore ignored and treated like a worthless person because of this most heinous crime.

Okay, this is not entirely what has happened, rather it's how I feel I am being treated.  What has happened, which I was convinced wouldn't (I'm different, my ex is a nice person, it can't happen to me, I'm a nice person, why would such horrible thing befall me, etc, pick your delusion), is that I have reached the point where my son is not wanting to see me nor even send me an e-mail, txt, or even answer my phone calls.

This hurts. 

I've had to deal with a general background level of dislike, blame, suspicion, distrust, disconnection, secrecy, blame (again), and a general up-hill struggle to have my feelings, rights, and thoughts even accepted as worth considering (it's all my choice and therefore my fault after-all folks, what was I thinking to expect it to be otherwise).  So, because of this, I've developed a reasonably thick skin or probably just naive optimism or out and and out denial.  Also, in complete fairness, I have been lucky and preoccupied with many other things in life being hard work but good and having battles to fight but with the odd victory.  In short, I've just dealt with things the best I could and tried to keep on trucking (metaphorically rather than literally, my in charge of a truck would be a dangerous prospect).

There are two things that are frustrating and extremely hurtful about the recent turn of events.  The first is that I tried, maybe not in all the right ways, but at least put the effort into looking after my son (and my ex) as best I could.  I tried to be fair in the divorce and not just let the solicitor grab everything they legally could (trust me, divorce is a horrible, almost blood-thirsty thing).  I've tried to be a 'good' person throughout and no matter what contribution I've made it's either something like "the least you could do" or "not enough".  No gratitude, just an expectation that I should do that.

The second issue is that any problem is my fault.  Everything is down to what I have done.  There isn't the slightest thought that maybe my behaviour isn't the complete picture, there might actually be other peoples opinions and actions that have led to some of the problems.

Children hear and pick-up on lots of things, how others talk (or fail to) about someone is something they are going to feel.  Given that I have been shouted at and told-off in front of my son it's quite possible my name is mud in the family generally.  The fact that all contact has been severed and that I'm treated 'differently' is probably enough of a negative things that it's had an impact.

Related to this is the fact that there is the constant message that it's understandable for my son to be upset at me and that it's okay to be sad and want me to be the way I was before and to exhibit all sorts of emotions and have these be a reason not to see me, to phone, or to talk about things.  That's acceptable, I'm in the wrong, I've done a terrible and hurtful thing.

My ex once commented that it would have been better if I'd had an affair.  Really I think she is right, that would have been more socially acceptable in hers and her families eyes.  In fact it often seems that lots of 'bad' things would have been better than this.  Seriously, how fucked up is that?  When someone dealing with a diagnosed mental illness, to wit, Gender Identity Disorder, and having (there is no choice, everyone please understand this concept if you don't, this isn't a lifestyle option) is "wrong" and cheating is actually better than that.

Technically adultery is a sin yet it's more socially acceptable these days than someone having treatment for a condition that can be (and thankfully wasn't in my case) life-threatening due to sufferers often having to deal with depression and suicidal tendencies also.  Maybe if I had more extreme symptoms it would have been acceptable then?

However, I'm getting off the point.

I have reached the stage where I feel there is a very real possibility that my son will not want to see me and either the visits/calls will reduce to such an infrequent rate or will stop all together.  I never thought I'd get to this, I didn't believe it could happen.

For anyone else out there going through a similar journey, trust me, you could reach this point too.

So, what is the solution.  Well, in the short term there probably isn't one.  I'm wrong remember, I'm the "bad" one here all of this is my fault.  Why should anyone do anything to help me, I brought this all on myself.  Starting from this point of view nothing is ever going to change.  So until my ex and family and all the people on the "other" "side" make a conscious effort to try and learn any understand what I went through and why and drop their bigotry and ignorance then nothing will change for me.

The overall solution is education and awareness; someone once said trans is the next gay - there has been a long hard fight for equal rights for gay individuals and couples.  It seems lots of progress has been made in this country and some others.  There are still things to fight for but there is at least some important equality in law and at the very least a much greater awareness.  Famous people are coming out as gay, it's becoming more acceptable and hopefully better understood.

This progress has also had a positive knock-on affect on trans people too and there is more awareness out there.  Speaking from a personal point of view my life would be better if awareness, understanding, and acceptance developed in very specific areas/people and that's going to be the same for anyone whose family, friends, and children are faced with this.

I did a little bit of research (should probably do more) and found the following resources that hopefully may be of some help:

GIRES - Gender Identity Research Education Society

Kid's Of Trans - seems America-centric on the whole but still useful information and explanations

A gay or trans person is still a person, they still have feelings and emotions just like everyone else and their dealing with their sexuality or gender identity doesn't suddenly render them unworthy of consideration, compassion or just being treated like a fellow human being.

A gay or trans parent is still your parent who loves you and hopes with all their heart that you still love them.