It finally broke me
I threw my son out. I am not proud of that. Months of pain, grief, confusion and fury turned me into a powder keg that exploded one afternoon.
My son was born with high functioning autism and ADHD. He developed anxiety and depression very early in life. He struggled his whole life with schooling and friendships. He was also aggressive, lazy, stubborn, disobedient and vindictive. The school rang me almost every day with problems of stealing, violence, disobedience and melt downs. I was shunned by the other mothers at the school and lost many friendships. My son was never invited on play dates and never had a birthday party as nobody would come. He was invited to two birthday parties in his life. Both times he was new to the school and the child had invited the whole class. This same child, my beautiful son, was also energetic, bright, creative, intelligent and extremely funny, like a younger Jim Carrey. He was also athletic and dexterous; my sister thought he would be a professional athlete. Although he was a handful, I intensely loved his free spirit and his spontaneity.
As a single mother, it was very tough. I was fired from my job for taking too much time off to look after him. I was at breaking point by then anyway, trying to get childcare for him during school holidays and after school. Care centres refused to take him and nannies cost too much. My own family had banned me from their homes due to his behaviour and called me a bad parent. I had zero support.
For the next 10 years, I devoted myself to getting him help. I went through all my savings seeing numerous pediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and school counsellors. We visited a nutritionist, ADHD coach, chiropractor, sleep disorder doctor to name a few. We had 40 sessions of neurofeedback and did social skills courses. We tried umpteen drugs and combinations of drugs. I rang all the charities and begged for help. Most had good intentions but few ideas.
When he was asked to leave another mainstream school at around 15, I finally found a special school that would take him. They promised the world in help. In actual fact, they had their hands full with all the other students and just let my son sit on his computer all day watching YouTube videos. By that point I didn't care. I knew school was not for him but I hoped he would find his feet when he finished. While at school, he started Googling topics he was interested in and quickly became knowledgeable about the solar system, Chinese mythology and bee keeping, yes bee keeping of all things. That's my quirky, spontaneous son. We had a relatively peaceful two years and I started to sleep through the nights for the first time in over a decade.
But then he graduated from that school and COIVD hit. The rest of the country struggled with losing their jobs, money issues, social isolation, being stuck at home and not having holidays. We had already lived like that for years and years. Lockdown was not even a blip on the radar in our lives. (The last time I had taken my son out to the movies, he had become overwhelmed by the crowds and pushed somebody away from him. That somebody fell onto a busy road and was nearly hit by a car. That ended our outings once and for all.)
So, what happened next? Well, as you guessed, my son decided to become a woman. He grew his hair long and started shaving his legs. I found out completely by accident when I was putting laundry in his room. I still remember my disbelief and horror. I can still feel the nausea in my throat when I think of him with a penis and boobies. He wouldn't discuss the trans issue with me, just said it was his life choice. He went to a woke doctor, got a referral to an endocrinologist, had his blood tests and got his hormones. All using money I had saved for his first car. There were no questions asked and no counselling offered. Had they asked him for examples from his past of wanting to be a girl, he would have been honest and said he didn’t have any. Had they questioned him, they may have found that his motivation is mostly not wanting to get a job. His thinking is that women don't have to work, they can just stay at home doing nothing (like me apparently!).