Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My parents DID get me a Christmas present

DISCLAIMER: Transition is NOT all about roses and perfume. There are always hardships that come with the joy. My main hardship has been the lack of acceptance from my parents. On my blog and video logs, I talk a lot about the good things but the following post is an example of a more negative aspect.

Yesterday, I received a package from my parents. It was addressed to J***** of course and I have to admit I approached opening it with hesitance. Inside was some homemade chocolate fudge my mom made, a Tully's gift card for $25, as well as a letter from my mother. In the letter, my mom addressed a few key points.

She mentioned that she had watched a couple of my Autotransography videos but that when she came across the part where I talk about playing with barbies and being given a Ken doll, she said she stopped watching because she didn't remember that at all. On one hand, I'm happy that she does keep up tabs with my blog once in a while but on the other hand, I'm rather sad that she gave up watching those videos after she came across only one contradiction based simply on not remembering something that I did.

She also mentioned that she hated being called my "biological mom" because it made it sound like I was adopted and never knew my real parents. She also vented a little about me "replacing her" with my adopted mom. I guess what she said makes a little sense. She and Dad did after all raise me and were in my life up until I turned 28, when they chose to abandon me unless I continued living a facade. And as much as I love my new mother, she is in no way a "replacement" for my biological mother. Several months after they decided that they couldn't handle my change so much that they did not want me in their lives anymore, I did meet a lovely women who happened to be around the same age as my parents and we did end up in a mother-daughter relationship that I am more than grateful for. That relationship was created out of pure need...the need a daughter has (esp one that's going through puberty) for her mother. And if she only knew that my adopted mother respects both of my parents and praises them constantly for how they raised me because so much of it has made me the person I am today.

She did also address the fact that I'm having surgery and her words were actually "in a few months you won't be our son anymore". That statement kind of struck me in a few different ways.

1. She is making a distinction that she will think of me differently (not her son? not male?) after surgery.
2. It also shows a little ignorance in another way and my impulse is to educate. Surgery doesn't make me a woman, I am a woman already.

Lastly, she addressed my complaints about "her only making me fudge for Christmas" and how I was acting like a total brat. She said that it was hard to buy things for me and that she knew only Grandma and I really liked her fudge so she had the idea to make it for me. I actually was very touched at reading this portion of the letter and it definitely made me feel guilty. I had been a brat about it. I guess it had seemed to me the way she offhandedly said it, that it was a last second thing or something.

I read this letter and cried and cried and cried. It opened old wounds in my heart that never really healed. When I say that the hardest thing about transition has been the loss of my parents, I really mean it. It's so hard.

My first reaction was to write her back an email defending myself across all of these points but I realized that would only begin more arguing. She really has these views and I have my views and we both have people that agree with us, I suppose. Most of these things we had already argued about over and over and there was no seeing eye to eye.

So instead, I wrote an email that simply thanked her for the fudge and gift card and apologized for being a brat. It was a true, heartfelt apology. I really was grateful that she thought of me.


Agent J said...

Sometimes we need to let our loved ones come to terms in their own way. I don't care for that view either, but I'll (grudgingly) let my parents have it if it helps them to be there for me.

I'm wishing you the best. I'll be telling mine this Saturday.

Teagan said...

Sounds like you handled this well. You guys have the rest of your lives to work on this. And it sounds like she is at least trying.

Dana Andra said...

What really blows me away is that your mother can watch even a few of your videos and not see what an incredibly sweet, lovely person you have become. As a parent, i understand that your children are unique beings in your mind's eye, and I knew that as my son grew older, I would mourn the loss of that cute little boy who used to run around the house and say the funniest things. I can barely look at pictures from that time without getting tears in my eyes. But I also now love young man he is becoming, and relish the time we have together and the conversations we have in which he still says the funniest things. He's grown and evolved, and while I miss the boy, I love the young man no less. And if he were to come to us and tell us that he's either gay or trans, he would be no less our child. I would say the same thing whether I was trans myself or not. I just know that I would accept him as he accepts himself.

The time may yet come when your parents will be able to accept you as the charming, beautiful woman you have grown up to be. However long it might take, I can't imagine how they couldn't.

Big hug...

the CFG said...

Only *you* know your own parents... Although, I'm not sure any of us really do... After all, in my case too, they were presented with a baby boy all those years ago. We can't imagine what that feels like.
My mum had counselling, and is ok, but still struggles. Your mum said "it was hard to buy things for you", so the gift card was a great idea!
Oh, and why on earth is she reading and watching your v/blogs? I think there's too much here for a parent personally, and I've managed what my mother knows. Kinder that way.
You say "surgery doesn't make me a woman, I am a woman already". Well, I agree. Of course. But it's final, and my ex felt so too. It's a mourning process. I can understand that, can't you? And the "biological mom" thing...hmmm...that's a tricky one. I totally get what you're saying about needing (and needing to reform) a mother-daughter relationship. I *so* needed my own mother particularly before surgery, but she wasn't so up to the job really. She couldn't help herself but call me by my old name as she comforted me (awkwardly) through my tears and hormone deprival days before surgery. Understandable, but hard too to tolerate.
But, you seem like you have a reasonable chance for improvement, and maybe you *have* been a brat! Not for me to say though...I'd imagine I was quite similar lol
So so nice that you wrote back to her kindly, and were wise enough to not continue any argument :-)

Debra said...

Thanks everyone. Yet another emotional hurdle to get past.

Valeta said...


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