Jun 16, 2020
“Hi Lisa and Stella. This is not so much of a question, but a warm and heartfelt THANK YOU. I think (hope!) that we're slowly getting to the end of some really tough years.
Two years ago our youngest daughter at 13 rapidly developed anxiety and then presented herself as trans. Now I know it was pretty much the usual ROGD-story of no earlier signs, lots of internet contacts and a withdrawal from the family. But we didn't know that at the time. We felt so lonely and desperate, didn't know how to help her.
Our contacts with psychologists were the same: they went through their questionnaire, told us that she had anxiety and depression, affirmed her trans identity 100% and recommended us to contact a gender clinic. In a time where we needed to be at our best as parents, these meetings really made us feel like we didn't understand anything about our child. Then I found a group of ROGD-parents in my country and media started to investigate the gender issue. We slowly got back on our feet, set some boundaries (like not going to gender clinic), allowed her to use a boys name in school and dress as she liked, and found a way of not using ”she” and her birth name but also nut using her boys name at home (because we really couldn’t). We also found a better psychologist at last, who helped our child und us with a somewhat broader view at her difficulties. And most important for me: I found you Lisa and Stella, along with Sasha Ayad and Benjamin Boyce. You have helped me through this, sometimes I have literally felt that you're holding my hand. Your mantra “Stay connected” has helped me focus on the most important. I cried and laughed when you talked about adolescences, and said that about one out of three gets through puberty easily, one with ”normal” problems and one of three really has the shittiest time. My three children really tick those boxes. You have reminded me again and again that it's the world right now – not us parents – that is crazy. You have made me feel less alone.
Now my daughter is slowly exploring the possibilities of being a girl again. She has started to wear more girly clothes, skirts, dresses, stockings and even underwear. I think she still identifies as a boy, but I also think maybe she has to do that for a while to be able to meet the world as a girl? I feel sure that she will do this in her way and her pace. She seems so much more happy, openhearted and confident now when she is experimenting with girl identity, than when she went down the trans path and didn't want to talk or even be with us. And of course, the other week Stella gave some really good advice about not asking or talking so much about this, ”saving face” and so on. Just in time when I needed it!
These years have made me reflect a lot about girls adolescence, how shocking – almost violent – it can be for a young girl, and how all the new expectations and gender roles can be just too much to handle. This time has been really tough for our child, and by far the worst and hardest in my entire life as a mother. But in a way I feel proud today over her braveness. She refused to accept the rules, and now she is inventing her own, slowly adapting to her new body and person in a way that suits her. Standing up for herself.
Thank you again, for your wisdom, warmth and experience.
I truly don’t know where I would have been today without
Lisa’s patreon about ROGD kids and young adults: https://www.patreon.com/LisaMarchiano