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Support for parents of trans children

(12 Posts)
ComeOnGran Mon 05-Jul-21 07:53:27

Without going in to too much detail my DS went through a messy break up with DIL during lockdown a year ago. He has now ‘come out’ as being trans/bi, and while I do support him in his choices it is really hard for me to understand and come to terms with. He lives 200 miles away so I don’t see him often, but since he went home after a recent visit I have barely slept. His mental health is poor and I worry an awful lot.
So I guess two slightly different questions:
Has anyone had experience of their child coming out like this, or does anyone know of any organisations/support groups that would help me as his parent?
How can I support my own mental health?

Shelflife Mon 05-Jul-21 09:28:52

ComeOn Gran, I can' hear ' your distress. This is massive for you. I have no experience of trans people but I do understand how difficult it is for you to come to terms with. When we discover our children are not what we thought they were it is a monumental shock!! However I feel sure you will come to accept and support the situation your son is in - he needs that so much. Please access some support for yourself , counselling may give you much needed help. Your mind is in distress and turmoil so please be kind to yourself . Your GP should be able to point you in the right direction. Your son must be in such distress and has been very brave in coming out. I know that your emotions will be highly charged just now and I am 'putting my arms around you' and wishing you and your son well. Remember ' this too will pass' and it will ! You will slowly begin to get your head round this trauma and your life will settle down. Don't waste your emotional energy worrying about what other people will think , perhaps confide in a trusted friend ? Those who are unable to support you are not important! Can't emphasize enough the importance have getting appropriate support for yourself. When that happens you will be able to give your son the love and help he wants and needs , then hopefully his mental health will improve. Hope I have not gone on too long! It will get better, you will not feel like this forever. I send you lots of ' hugs' be brave and please consider counselling.

Shelflife Mon 05-Jul-21 09:31:19

of not have - apology.

trisher Mon 05-Jul-21 09:50:41

What a devastating time for you Shelflife firstly the marrage break up and then your son's revelation. I've no experience of this but I send you lots of sympathy.I believe Mermaids helps with transgender issues. I hope your son/daughter is getting the help he needs to make the changes in his life and to help with his mental health issues. You are at such a difficult stage but perhaps when he has come through this time and emerged the person he wants to be you all will find more happiness in your lives. Do go and see your GP and ask for some help and counselling. And be very proud of the fact that your son has trusted you with this information it shows how much he loves and trusts you.

Shelflife Mon 05-Jul-21 09:57:06

trisher, not me who is the OP. However I agree with all you have said - an easy mistake !

PurpleStar Mon 05-Jul-21 09:59:24

ComeOnGran,I have a Transgender member of the family.Once the initial surprising shock has settled you will find it easier to deal with.I would advise not to dismiss your DS feelings,liston to what he is saying,take time to digest it all.I assume that even saying 'he' is wrong.Our family member who came out as "He" and changed his name and had surgery is now living a great life as a man,has experienced alot of positivity and to be honest you wouldn't know he wasn't born a "he" it takes time to get used to the new pronouns.Before a Transgender person can get any hormone treatment they have to have several,very indepth,appointments with experts.If someone is living in the wrong skin,try to imagine how impossible hard it must feel,and how incredibly hard it is for them to tell anyone how they feel.Be kind,be patient,and be there.Once our family member chose a male name and told us that's what he wanted to be known as,there was no looking back.Even the elderly members of the family took it in their stride.Apart from one work colleague,he has had no issues or negativity.Now it just feels like he has always been this way.We are now 6 years with the new way of life for himself and it's not an issue at all.You can find help and support online and there has been many documentaries with Transgender families that might help.I thought I would almost morn the loss of the beautiful girl we used to have,but now she is a "he" and is happy and honestly to us now,it makes no difference.
Don't overthink things,try to understand your DS and respect his true feelings.
Sending a hug as I do know how the earlier days felt flowers

trisher Mon 05-Jul-21 11:29:49

Sorry Shelflife senior moment. Apologies toComeOnGran as well.

ComeOnGran Mon 05-Jul-21 11:34:00

Thank you for your lovely replies, you’ve no idea how they’ve helped. I read them during a coffee break (I’m working from home) and I have had a big cry that I didn’t know I needed. Your caring-ness has helped me so much. DH (not DS’s father) is a retired mental health practitioner who sees it very much in those terms - I just needed someone to put their arms round me and listen rather than analyse. Thank you all, you’ve done that for me.

PurpleStar Mon 05-Jul-21 13:45:39

Good that your DH can offer some help and sound advise.It takes time to get your head around it all,it is a big change,especially when it's out of blue! It's hard to comprehend how to feel at first.All our friends have been amazing too,even the ones we thought wouldn't understand have been great! It's certainly a learning curve.Ive always had an attitude of "live and let live" as long as you're a good person! We don't lose the person they once were,they are still here and need support more than ever.
Wishing you all the best.Take one day at a time and it will get easier and make more sense.If only all parents of Transgender children were willing to help,support and liston x

nanna8 Mon 05-Jul-21 13:53:11

Our friend is transgender and for her it took years and years to come out. She married as a male and had 2 children who will have nothing whatsoever to do with her. What I am thinking is it would have saved a lot of heartache if she had come out earlier but in those days that was how it was. She told me she knew she was meant to be female about the age of 4 but it was so socially unacceptable she hid it until she was 50 or so. Sad and traumatic but she is happy now.

Shelflife Mon 05-Jul-21 15:34:50

ComeOn Gran , you will get there. Your child is and always will be yours, still the same person you know and love. He/she hasn't really changed but has or will become the person
' they were meant to be' and in time I feel sure you will celebrate that. It must be a very large pill to swallow but you sound a very sensible woman and will do the right thing
The love you have for your 'child' will be the priority. All will be well .

JillEH Tue 06-Jul-21 21:02:33

Read around the subject. I have recently read this

it was a good start.