Layers of Alienation
In June of 2022, PITT published my essay “Layers of Sadness” after my son started wrong sex hormones during his freshman year of college. Since that time, my son has deteriorated mentally and physically. He would say otherwise as he grips his fantasy of being a woman and my "daughter." Alienation grips me as I witness my son’s decline.
In my bizarre ordeal, what alienates is feeling both connected and disconnected from others and myself. PITT parents understand the visceral emotions after their child is indoctrinated into the gender cult, while others are indifferent, ignorant, or sanctioning this hijacking of your son or daughter. As a retired psychologist, I’m appalled that the mental health field is infiltrated with gender ideology. Do I push away those who will not acknowledge the magnitude of what’s actually going on? It’s a conundrum heaped onto the lurking shadow of sorrow. Certainly, I could not befriend anyone working at Planned Parenthood, my son’s drug dealer. But I do consider what a relationship can offer because it would be even worse to add more loneliness to the solitude of my grief. Alienation still smolders.
With his cult-induced narrative, my son distorts our intertwined history. I was overjoyed after giving birth to my healthy son. He sullies that milestone with his outrageous delusion that he was born a girl, but he was erroneously “assigned” as male. Nineteen years of effort caring for my son is tainted. But it’s an untenable injustice to edit raising my son out of my consciousness. Grappling with holding the past leaves me alienated from cherishing memories of mothering and pride about my close family.
Alienation is acute during visits with my son at college. He has gained weight, common after males take estrogen. His stereotypical feminine clothing is paired with scraggly longer hair and disturbing “breasts.” During sparse time together, I dissociate from the horrid “transition” of my once handsome over six feet tall son. “You’re on fire, and Dad, and I can still help,” I yearn to say. Instead, I am alienated from my parental instinct to restate cogent reasons for him to reconsider wrong sex hormones. To preserve my son’s willingness to meet for lunch, I tiptoe around the "trans" truth wars. I also tiptoe around addressing him by his chosen "female" name which came from a video game and is emblematic of his mental collapse. Nor do I use his shunned actual name. A conversation without his name (or pronouns) is not only awkward but alienates me from the primal connection of countless times addressing my son with the name chosen to welcome him into the world. When my husband and I privately refer to our son with this name we hold dear, it stings to know my son considers this name “dead.” The echoes of alienation are relentless.
Alienation from my son emerges as a struggle between anger and love. Since his birth, my husband and I have treated him with kind attentiveness, yet he dismissed our guidance about managing his distress in less intrusive ways to instead pursue his fantasy of being “female.” The gender cult is infectious and pervasive, but I'm still hurt by my son’s terrible choices. Does he have any agency despite his autistic traits? I hate that he gave up on himself. I hate that a societally endorsed cult inflicts this unnecessary ambiguous loss. Occasional phone calls, emails or visits with my son require extra resilience. At the very least, time with his mother is time my son is with a person rooted in reality who actually cares deeply about him. Maybe this thread of connection will be therapeutic someday. In the meantime, I am alienated from a parental instinct to protect my son and help him thrive. He remains stuck in delusions that fuel his diminished life. My heart feels twisted as I wonder if my son’s life imploding even more would realign his self-preservation instinct needed to free himself from a devouring cult.
Even before I meet people, alienation looms. To cheer myself up, I enrolled in a walking class, and the teacher’s initial hello email included her pronouns (she/her) as if it wasn’t obvious from her photo. She hyperlinked the word “pronouns" to a list of nuances about this gaslighting and policing of speech. Her virtue signaling that endorses a cult is anything but virtuous. At the first class, I block out knowing the teacher buys into the nonsense. She does not ask for my pronouns, and I find solace during mindful walking in the woods.
At a writing workshop, the teacher started class by asking participants to share our pronouns. Two females shared their “they/them” pronouns. With its mangling of English, a plural pronoun for an individual reveals the gender cult’s Orwellian “2+2=5” authoritarian tactics. They dismantle reality to demoralize and destabilize the populace. When I see absurd pronouns, I see a HIM or a HER endorsing “health providers” who prescribe harmful drugs to vulnerable people and surgeons who amputate healthy breasts and mutilate genitals. While I ignored the writing teacher’s request for pronouns, neither did I highlight his intrusiveness (though I did so on the class evaluation.) If I had, I would likely have been asked to leave for disrupting the “safe space” of his classroom. Alienated from my instinct to push back on this teacher’s assault on reality, I grappled with feeling complicit in the horror. I’m still sorting out the dilemma of how to manage ludicrous predicaments.
Along with the reality-denying pronouns, flags around my town add salt to my wounds with their visible support for a mind virus and its sequelae of emotional destruction and heinous malpractice that targets even young children. While I walk my dog on a sunny autumn day, my agitated mind tries to ignore the objectionable flag in front of the house one street away. Since the gender cult stole my son, it’s an effort to sidestep alienation from remaining blessings.
I am also alienated from my erstwhile belief in the goodness and common sense of most people. I’m incredulous that people tolerate Rachel (Richard) Levine as the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health! In regard to “transitioning” at 54, Levine said: “I have no regrets because if I had transitioned when I was young then I wouldn’t have my children. I can’t imagine a life without my children.” Yet Levine is fine with my son and other young people being sterilized. I'm incredulous that people tolerate misogyny in a dress (though a man who identifies as a “woman” need not be dressed at all in a female locker room). I am alienated from trusting my country to uphold protected spaces for women and fairness in sports. Why are people putting up with these injustices? Along with greed, toxic compassion enables the ”trans” fiction, since medicalizing a confused person with puberty blockers, wrong sex hormones, and mutilating surgeries is actively cruel.
Dwelling on my disillusionment diminishes my precarious mental health. That said, there is some relief from alienation from others and my painful feelings as I write this essay. Though suffering since my son’s immersion in the gender cult can still seem murky and beyond words. Reading and commenting on other PITT essays offers an oasis of compassionate company. My alienation is also soothed with a transition that is actually possible: this is to a one issue voter. I will vote for whomever will help end the gender cult rather than enable its ongoing destruction.
In my day-to-day life, I need to alienate myself from the pull to submerge into sorrow. Sadness pierces even benign conversations, especially sharing about children, others or mine. I wince when others share cherishing their grandchildren, since my son was chemically castrated. At times, it feels like a kick in the gut when I see a healthy boy or young man. At times, it seems like I’m healing, and then I’m slammed with awareness that my son’s college years have been devastating for my husband and me, and we (my son included) will never recover this time, or that my daughter also copes with the trauma of our shattered family or worry about how the future will unfold for my son and my family. Metabolizing grief and rage are important to reclaim what life can still offer, yet I resist this. What’s happening to my son is unnatural. When my son was a toddler, I worried about him choking on a hot dog. l did not worry about him choking on a poisonous ideology. The absence of collective support in a society that has lost its collective mind heightens my alienation.
I am relieved my husband no longer sobs on the couch downstairs, which I would overhear in the early mornings during the beginning weeks of our nightmare. A therapist and an antidepressant are helping him. His heart, like mine, is broken, but he has been able to resume his woodworking hobby. Though I cannot forget the sound of him sobbing about his precious son, even when I try to alienate myself from this memory. We are both doing better than in the beginning of this mess, though intermittent tense discussions impose a layer of alienation between us as we mourn and cope differently. But we are able to tolerate pushback from each other. My sense is that males and females in the gender cult are unable to tolerate pushback because reality swiftly punctures their alienation from the truth of the sex binary, which He or She seeks to escape.
Alienation even hovers from people who have died. Would my deceased parents have supported me in the way I need about their confused grandson? Extending beyond the present to the past and the future, alienation is depleting. Perseverating about junctures in my son’s life alienates me from life-forward energy. I am trying to let go of draining thought loops.
This past September, I visited the sequoia trees in California, towering over 200 feet. Many of these enormous trees are over 2,000 years old. Some of them were seedlings at the same time as the ancient Greek civilization. These majestic giants, often bearing scars from fires, offered comfort through their centuries of endurance. I am grateful these wondrous trees were protected from the logging industry. They inspire hope that this dark period of history will someday end, and our children will be protected again. But my life is brief compared to a sequoia, and I do not know if I will witness the gender cult ending or if my son will ever wake up. I try to alienate myself from being preoccupied with both these possibilities.
Layers of alienation that burrow inside me are a jagged, congealed ache. Unlike my son and others enabling the gender cult, I know emotional pain is complex and cannot be erased with an illusory panacea. I also know that the integrity of my one healthy body is vital as I cope with psychological distress. I am alienated, yet I respect reality.