New Year

December 30, 2009 dstevens11
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Many decisions and anticipated changes coming up this year, that in some ways I do not want this year to end. As I stated in my first blog, my daughter Jamie is still presenting as a boy at home and at school, but this will most likely be the last year she will be doing so. The plan is to have her finish her sophmore year in June, then start her hormone therapy and living her “RLT”, real life test this summer. We do not know yet how to handle school in the fall, but we are exploring a home schooling option as she transitions. SCARY STUFF!! I am not sure if I will have the family support needed, or the financial resources to do it. I know I want to do the best for Jamie. Her father has been no help. 

I can almost sense an emerging confidence in Jamie, knowing she is going to start on her journey soon. She is such a shy kid, very sweet and loving, outgoing with her family but a lot of times real quiet socially. She is obviously not comfortable with who she is now, but I sense that is all going to change as she changes. One of the new developments I have been noticing, is how Jamie and my youngest daughter Aly have been using the word “cute”. Everything is “cute”, cute sweater, cute room, cute shoes mom…etc. Normal girl stuff. But what else is being said cute, are boys. That Jamie would have an interest in boys, would be no shock to me, but to actually hear it in conversation, was admittedly a little uncomfortable for me. I am not really sure how to handle the conversation or “talk” with her about it. She is becoming much more open to me about her feelings, which is sooo huge for me. Aly has no problem talking to her about it, and they seem to have common interest in boys. They both have loved High School Musical the last couple of years, but to hear them both talk gushingly about how cute Zac Effron is, threw me off. I’m happy she is discovering her interests though.

Jamie never talks like that is front of her brother Drew or her father, she just goes into a cocoon around them. It’s almost panful to witness. I pray that they will come around. I try to be real compliant in making sure Jamie sees her father on their scheduled visits, but I do not think anyone is getting what they need out of the relationship. My ex will continue to make sure Jamie does “boys” activities, like he is going to change her. My ex has football season tickets with his job, and several times a year will take Jamie and Drew to the games. Jamie dreads going, and gets very stressed out. When I asked Jamie why does she get so stressed, she told me that she “hates having to use the men’s restroom.” The thought never crossed my mind. She has said to me before that she is only comfortable “sitting down” and will not use a urinal, and hates the men’s stalls because they are “disgusting.” I have no reference. So she either tries to hold it, or be miserable. I feel horrible for her. When she came back from the game this past Sunday, I asked her how the game went, her first response was “I couldn’t believe what they made the cheerleaders wear, their outfits were cute but they must have been sooo cold.” We live near Philadelphia. 

When my ex dropped the kids off and I asked him how it went, he said “I can’t stand back and watch us lose “Jimmy” (he can’t use the name Jamie) like this. All that kid did was sit in his seat and cross his legs the whole game, or clap like a girl.” I kept telling him, he needs to come to terms with it soon, or he may lose a child. But that was another sign of Jamie’s confidence building, she has been acting more and more feminine around her father. I feel good for her. My ex thought time would heal, and this would pass over. It is just a phase, he kept telling me. He can’t come to terms with it.

This year should be extremely interesting, please pray for our family. Love, Dana

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Entry Filed under: gender identity,gender variance,hormones,trans youth,transgender,transition

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. progressivescholar  |  January 1, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    I just want to say what a wonderful mother you are to your daughter, allowing her to be who she really is instead of forcing her into predetermined boxes. Your love and support will mean more to her than anything else in the world.

    Gender transitions are psychologically confusing and all around difficult – and a therapist who has expertise in gender identity might help Jamie and you both through the process.

    In terms of how Jamie’s father and brother interact with her, it is very disappointing and I can understand your desire to protect Jamie from them while at the same time keeping the family cohesive. I recently read this book and it really helped me to understand that I should not allow people to treat me any way they want just because they are family (or just because she’s the boss, etc.). Jamie will need to learn how to protect her own boundaries so that she can maintain her awesome sense of self and not become wounded by other people’s ignorance and hate.

    Good luck to you both on this incredible journey!

    • 2. dstevens11  |  January 1, 2010 at 8:07 pm

      Thanks for the kind words, and the recommendation for the book. I looked at the link, it looks real interesting. It definitely captures what we are dealing with at home. Any help I can get is helpful. I am learning everyday, and keep trying to capture as much information as I can. We do have a really good therapist who specializes in gender identity, she has been awesome. She has been a huge proponent of taking this slow, but as I state in my blogs, this is the year we have building towards the last few years. It’s honestly scary, but I am trying to do what’s best for all of my family. It’s not an easy thing for people to understand. Thanks again, Happy New year! – Dana

  • 3. Lori D  |  January 2, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    I will most assuredly keep you all in my prayers. Reading about Jamie doing simple things like cross her legs and clap “like a girl” is encouraging to know she’s finding the confidence to be herself. I wish I was there to attend the football game with her! And I don’t see Jamie necessarily growing up to avoid “boy stuff,” even women can enjoy football games and sports – but I bet Jamie wearing a pink jersey and ball cap would make her feel like one of the rest of the girls!

    Jamie sounds like she is exactly where I was – hating to use the men’s restroom, and having to be forced to crossdress in mens’s clothes. Let’s face it, she has a female gender identity – wearing boy’s clothing is the equivalent of CDing to her.

    I’m hoping that Jamie is able to write and communicate with other trans children who can relate to what she’s going through. I believe there will be a lot of strength Jamie can draw from others in her situation…plus she’ll finally not feel alone.

  • 4. Abby  |  January 2, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Dana, If you haven’t already, I encourage you to contact TransYouth Family Allies (http://imatyfa.org/index.html). Kim Pearson is a friend of mine and TYFA’s executive director. She is also the mother of a trans boy (FTM). TYFA can provide support for you by connecting you with other parents of trans kids, providing information and in other ways. They can also help make Jamie’s transition at school go smoothly, including coming to your town to help train teachers and staff. Finally, TYFA can help Jamie connect with other trans kids her age to support her through her transition.

    Again, Jamie is lucky to have you as a mom.

    Blessings,
    Abby

  • 5. calie  |  January 2, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Dana,

    I recently did a blog post titled, “I Remember”. Your ex needs to get go of Jimmy and embrace Jamie. If he truly cares for Jamie, and I bet he does, he will understand in time. But time, right now, is critical prior to puberty. It sounds like you have agreed to delay puberty and that is good. Both of you don’t want Jimmy to be remembering the kind of thoughts I mention in this post. The early years of an adult TS can be so trumatic.

    Calie xx

    • 6. dstevens11  |  January 3, 2010 at 12:47 pm

      Hi Calie – I read your “I remember” post, pretty amazing and honest communication. WOW! Definitely articulates the pain and confusion Jamie must feel. She has not been that honest with me, but I know she has been with her therapist. My heart breaks. Thanks for the forward. Love, Dana

  • 7. Jerica  |  January 19, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Dana

    I will definitely be praying for you and your family. I can definitely relate to the men’s restroom problems.

    Also, growing up I really withdrew into my shell and was a homebody. Once I began transition, I found out I was a whole lot more outgoing. I guess that’s just how it is when you can finally be yourself.


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