My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer when our daughter was 9-years-old. Although breast cancer was foremost in our minds after the diagnosis, it was only one of many medical conditions that my wife suffered over the last years of her life. My wife died when my daughter was 12-years-old. A good death, if there is such a thing, would have been bad enough. My wife did not have a good death. There were many unnecessary layers of trauma inflicted on my daughter surrounding my wife’s illness and death.
Even before my wife’s illness, I had been my daughter’s primary caregiver for most of her life. Shortly after our daughter’s birth, my wife returned to work, and I began my career as a free-lancer. I was able to make my own hours, and most of those hours were spent at home with my infant daughter. Once my wife died, I was, of course, my daughter’s only caregiver.
A good death, if there is such a thing, would have been bad enough. My wife did not have a good death.
My daughter did spend a lot of time on the internet in the months after her mother’s death. I was aware of it, but felt that if we continued our candid relationship that it was better that she experience social media while I could still help her work through the pitfalls. Due to her mother’s illness, she had been given a cell phone while still in grade school. This isn’t something that I would have allowed normally, but we were not in what I considered to be a normal situation.
My daughter started counseling about two years before my wife died. She was ten-and-a-half, and the counselling was aimed at helping her deal with her mother’s illness. She continued seeing a counselor through my wife’s death, and then stopped shortly thereafter. At age 14, she decided she needed more counseling. At the intake meeting, she was asked what her sexual orientation was. She stated that it was heterosexual. This was at a time when everyone understood that to mean that she was a girl who was attracted to boys. This was not a surprise. There was never any indication that she was anything else.
At 14 ½ my daughter began cutting herself to relieve stress. Later, we talked about her first instance of cutting herself, and she told me that she did it while thinking about her mother’s death.
A couple of months after beginning to cut herself, my daughter made a new female friend that was transgender and had changed her name. Like my daughter, this girl had no masculine behaviors or characteristics.
A couple of months after beginning to cut herself, my daughter made a new female friend that was transgender and had changed her name. Like my daughter, this girl had no masculine behaviors or characteristics. Within a month, my daughter asked me to call her by a different name. I said that I would consider it. She said that she was going to change her name at school, and was in the process of telling her teachers. A few days later, I told her I’ve decided to continue calling her by her given name and I explained why. For their part, the school changed her name and gender on her official records without even notifying me.
At age 15 my daughter’s mental health issues boiled over. We spent some time in the psychiatric ward of a hospital. My approach to dealing with her delusions and hallucinations has been to acknowledge that they exist, but to deny that they contain any internal truth: “Yes, you are having an hallucination, but the thing that you are hallucinating is not really happening.” This approach has since been validated by the psychiatrists at the hospital. I was given techniques to help “ground” my daughter in reality. This involves bringing her back from a psychotic episode to the world of reality based on the things around her which her senses tell her are real. She has been taking anti-psychotics since her trip to the hospital. She has been provisionally diagnosed as having Borderline Personality Disorder. The diagnosis is provisional because, technically, minors cannot be diagnosed with mental disorders.
My approach to dealing with her delusions and hallucinations has been to acknowledge that they exist, but to deny that they contain any internal truth: “Yes, you are having an hallucination, but the thing that you are hallucinating is not really happening.”
At age 16 my daughter told me that she was transgender. She wanted to have hormone treatment and top surgery. She told me that she was worried that having told me this, that I would not support her. I told her that I will always support her, but that doesn’t mean that she will necessarily like what my support looks like. We don’t always like what is good for us.
Her family doctor gave her a referral to the gender clinic at a local hospital based on nothing more than a conversation that the two of them had. I was not consulted. The hospital called me, ready to have me sign papers so she could be given hormones. The person on the other end of the phone sounded chipper and upbeat. When they asked me to make an appointment, I asked what the appointment was for. Was it for treatment (hormones)? Or was it for counseling? I was told that it was for treatment, and not for counseling. I declined the opportunity to make an appointment. The voice on the other end was no longer chipper, and it seemed clear to me that I had just become the bad guy.
At age 16 ½ my daughter made an announcement to the whole family via text message that she was a transgender male who was using male pronouns. She didn’t send the text to me: just to the rest of the family. As far as I know, they are all going along with this. Only one person even bothered to tell me that they would now be using that name and those pronouns. No one even felt it necessary to call and ask what I thought would be best. It isn’t for nothing that I’m calling her by her given name and matching pronouns. I don’t consider this delusion to be different from her other delusions. I’m using the same techniques to ground her regarding this delusion as with the others. And I’m trying to prevent my child from having unnecessary surgery and dangerous hormone treatment.
It isn’t for nothing that I’m calling her by her given name and matching pronouns. I don’t consider this delusion to be different from her other delusions. I’m using the same techniques to ground her regarding this delusion as with the others.
I met with my daughter’s counseling team to enlist their help in slowing down her rush to permanent, dangerous, irreversible “treatment”. They told me that they can do nothing other than affirm her. In a previous meeting, one of my daughter’s counselors did make a point of communicating to me that if I did not accept my daughter’s transgender status that I was risking her attempting suicide. They claim that they are not supporting transition; they are only providing resources. I tell them that if I walked in and claimed to be a giraffe, they would direct me to a giraffe support group: that is support.
Their position was that my daughter is capable of making this decision, and that all they could offer me was assistance in accepting that fact. I told them that I have found myself alone in doing what is right for my daughter before, and I’ll do this on my own too. Prior to this time, I was considered (I’m not making this up, and I’m really quoting them) the “model parent”.
Their position was that my daughter is capable of making this decision, and that all they could offer me was assistance in accepting that fact.
I allow my daughter to dress and behave as she likes. I don’t put restrictions on her “gender-expression”. At this point almost everybody else does refer to her with a different name and mismatched pronouns. My approach to dealing with her transgenderism is consistent with my approach to her other delusions and hallucinations. I acknowledge its existence without acting as if it contains any internal truth. There is no one else in her life that does this. I am her only remaining parent, so I should be leading this effort and shouldering the majority of the responsibility. However, it never occurred to me that I would be alone in this effort: the only one on this side of sanity.
After a particularly adamant episode of my daughter screaming that she wanted to cut off her breasts, I thought that I would have to find some way to help her work through her desire for medical intervention before she turns 18 and the decision is no longer in my hands. We sat down and discussed things that we might do prior to using hormones or surgery. I wanted to show her that we could work up to things gradually. I suggested that there were some behaviors and activities that she could try that were more masculine. She angrily insisted that there were no typically masculine behaviors, and that she should not be asked to “over compensate” simply because she had never behaved in a way that I considered masculine. I took a step back and asked her, “OK, since I don’t know what a boy is, what do you consider to be a boy?” She said, “Someone who wants people to refer to them using masculine pronouns.” That was it. That is the only thing that divides male from female: a desire to be referred to using masculine pronouns.
I am her only remaining parent, so I should be leading this effort and shouldering the majority of the responsibility. However, it never occurred to me that I would be alone in this effort: the only one on this side of sanity.
My daughter’s background now makes her a poster-child for ROGD: the condition appeared suddenly; she has no masculine qualities or behaviors; she has suffered a significant amount of childhood trauma; she spent too much time on the internet and with social media; she engages in cutting; she has depression; she has anxiety; she has BPD; and, prior to discovering her transgender state, she had friends with the same condition.
On 4thWavenow’s website there is an article regarding transgenderism. At the bottom of the article is a picture of a woman with a sign. It says, “I love my transgender child”. I thought, I love my transgender child too: too much to abuse her by affirming her delusions.