Retreat- When your Sanity Matters!
Being a parent to a gender non-conforming child is a frightening journey. It requires one to draw on every ounce of courage, patience and skill in order to survive the onslaught of this ideology. An ideology that has left reality behind and is determined to quickly affirm and transition our children. Parental authority is no longer recognized by otherwise reasonable adults or lawmakers or by the highly politicized trans movement. Parents are left to navigate myriad terms and ideas they have never heard before, terms that seems to defy reality. It is a world where new labels, concepts and genders arise frequently and seem to be created out of pure fantasy.
My journey began in the March of 2020. The year had begun with a beautiful family holiday in January. My daughter was then 12 years old, with long flowing hair and dressed like any other girl her age. She seemed very content being a girl. She had been dancing for the past five years and had won National level competitions the year before. Life was great for us until one day, out of the blue, my beautiful daughter looked at me and said, “Mom, I have to tell you something. I am a boy”. As naive as I was, and unaware of the insidious nature of this obsession, I casually asked her to finish her schoolwork and told her that we would talk about this later as a family. I assumed that this fantasy would soon pass. Surely, my daughter knew she was a girl and that it was not possible for this to change purely because one desired it. I was wrong.
The tentacles of the trans movement were strong, gripping, and are forever mutating to adapt and survive. These radical ideas had firmly taken hold of my daughter during the isolation of COVID. I thought I had kept my daughter safe at home but was very wrong. My daughter had met another girl at school who was a year or two older. At first there were casual mentions of this child and of the fact that she considered herself non-binary. Soon my daughter had a list of demands and was furious that we did not immediately get her testosterone, a chest binder, or if we ever questioned the claim that she was a boy trapped in a girl’s body. Earlier our daughter had no discomfort with breasts but now they were the source of unbearable dysphoria for her.
Floundering, we took our daughter to a therapist, who, after one session with her that lasted only 30 minutes, informed us that our daughter knew what she was talking about and that we should get her a binder. She said this would keep our daughter mentally healthy. We foolishly relented and purchased the binder. After all, a professional had told us we needed to do so. However, doubts soon crept in and I decided to go online to research these issues further. As fate would have it, I stumbled across a documentary called Dysphoric. Here I heard Sasha Ayad speak on the phenomenon of ROGD, and how this was an epidemic affecting teenage girls. What she said immediately resonated with me and I decided to write Sasha a detailed email explaining my situation. To my relief, Sasha responded. Suddenly my world which had been spinning violently out of control started to make sense. Soon I joined Sasha’s parent coaching group and, by watching her videos and attending the monthly Q&A’s, I was able to take control of our situation. Soon the demands by my daughter for immediate action on her desire to transition stopped.
In 2022, I decided to attend a retreat for parents arranged by Sasha, Stella O’Malley and Lisa Marchiano. It was an amazing experience. I met many parents with stories very similar to mine, all fighting to protect their children against the hordes outside baying for the transition of our kids. I knew then that I was not alone. We were not crazy people but sane parents fighting to save our children. This brought a sense of validation and strength to me.
For the next few days we asked questions, shared stories and found the support we needed. Sasha, Stella and Lisa were absolutely amazing and a source of great knowledge and wisdom.
Many new ideas emerged as did new bonds of friendship. I especially remember a moment where Lisa spoke of holding the tension of opposites, and I realized, because I was unable to do that, I could have actually been reducing the likelihood of my daughter changing her mind. I became more comfortable with the tension and it really helped the situation with my daughter.
I came away from the retreat filled with new thoughts and ideas on coping positively with the reality of my situation. My family and I had unfortunately been caught up in one of the most terrifying contagions of our times. While I had no doubt that history would look back at this tragedy and at our children who fell prey to this betrayal with sadness and disbelief, I had to believe there was hope yet for me and my daughter. Being at the Wider Lens retreat had filled me with new hope and the strength to go on fighting for what I believed was right.
The effect of my learnings and insight and their practical application has led to great bonding and an improvement in our relationship with our child. She is a happier person now. We are confident that we will overcome this huge challenge our family now faces.
If your story is similar to mine, I do believe that attending this retreat is essential for you and your family. The road ahead is long and hard and we need all the support we can find. The retreat offers you the chance to be with others who understand and share your concern. We often find the strength we need within a community. Here is your opportunity to find yours.