She thanked her profusely for never following through with her suicidal thoughts. She couldn’t bring herself to ask if there were actual attempts. She just let her brain assume so, but prayed there weren’t and won’t be anymore. Fear…
These two are so freakishly alike it’s a beautiful harmonious connection. They’ve shared those thoughts as if these were good bonding moments. Really what it says is, “I know better than anyone, and understand your heavy heart, the devastating pain and deepest hurts you’re feeling”. Her mama couldn’t possibly know how she felt exactly, but the agony resonated. The feelings of complete despair and just a desire for the pain to stop. Yeah, that she gets. Confusion…
Mama sits with her, she’s learning to listen, really hear her child’s anguish, obstacles, fears and all the past that floods her head and it all pours out. Sometimes her words are accompanied with anger and outbursts still, almost always with tears and probably for a long while still with confusion of what to do next. “Take it slow, but definitely at your pace”, she encourages her. Processing…
Let her just vomit her words so the poison is extracted. “It’s ok”, she tells her, “I can hold it for you sweetie, I can take it”. Mama knows her frustration isn’t about her necessarily. She can be her sounding board, but not her punching bag or doormat. She’s learned that part of detachment pretty well. It’s not without difficulty when it’s your own child. Unconditional…
Ever since she was 12 her favorite expression was, “I got this mom”. And you know, she always has. Mama smiles intently at her, “I know baby, but it’s ok not to have it all figured out right here right now. Give time time and let things come to you naturally when you can. Forcing solutions can be frustrating as hell, as can sitting still, I know”. Wisdom…
Their talks are more frequent now and her mama is grateful for the relief she sees in her child’s face more often, now and then, here and there. This is only the beginning of all the transitions ahead, yet the only thing that ever matters to her mama is her children’s happiness, contentment and feeling loved, all of them. Closeness…
She gave birth to her and her brothers, she has them all on borrowed time and she knows this too well. Time is fleeting and life is precious. How quickly it can disappear, how fragile it actually is. Guilt consumes her some days. The “if only’s” play out in her head and she cries. Sadness overwhelms her at times and she makes time to call her child just to say I love you. She can’t seem to hug her tight enough when she sees her. Never again will she ever feel her mama’s absence, nor will her brothers. Available…
She thinks they still need her as they always have, but really it’s mama who’s needing them more. Present…
He was two, his vocabulary off the charts. A beautiful little child, expressive with a smile that sparked her mama’s heart, yet in the same breath, an unexplainable sadness about him. The frustrations were more frequent and the ability to comfort and soothe him were becoming increasingly difficult. At times he was inconsolable.
He was the middle child with a brother on either side. While the games they played were rough and tumble, he never much enjoyed them. As he grew, so did his sensitivity level. Mama became increasingly concerned. She began to wonder if her sweet little one needed therapy, for a toddler, a preschooler and eventually an adolescent? She was tormented and torn by his unexplainable agony, but this paled in comparison to what her child was dealing with, severe emotional pain, trauma, inner turmoil and self abuse with increasing suicidal tendencies.
She blamed the father of their three children. After all, he was the more broken one, the one who drank too much and often didn’t come home. Of course this child felt the tension and abandonment repeatedly. She missed the clues, they were so blatant, but only in retrospect.
Guilt washed over her, protect her babies from suffering was her obsession. Her focus had become tunneled, her energy consumed by what he was and was not doing for her, for them. Divorce became inevitable and so it came.
These three were the center of mama’s universe. Her sole purpose for being and now, she was all they had. With two tweens and a teen, they embarked with a fresh start, but it was becoming increasingly more challenging.
They were finding their footing, though mama was very strict, she was highly encouraging and supportive of their individuality. This same child seemed more devastated with every passing year, constantly testing her patience, he was heightened by his emotions, defiant yet fragile, sensitive and loving, with such rage and anger. He had become hell bent on breaking out and fighting for independence. Life was hard at times, but they were a team, the four of them. They always found their way, together.
Mama taught them about choices, they were theirs to make, but to know, the consequences also belonged to them, regardless, so try to choose wisely.
Her then 16 year old came home one day, his girlfriend beside him to announce they were having a baby. Six weeks after they graduated high school, a beautiful baby girl blessed all our lives, drawing them even closer as a family. This precious little girl was the joy that his mama thought was beginning to ground him, bring him a new purpose and a reason for living a wonderful life. Though it made a new set of challenges and difficulties, he took his role as a daddy very seriously and still does.
By age 27, this amazing person found a new sense of courage. A brave stand that would allow him the freedom to get very real and honest with himself after a lifetime of denying his true identity. The words he braced mama for, the ones that took four hours that night to find the courage to speak, four hours and nearly 27 years. With tears of relief streaming down his eyes, he blurted them out, “Mom, I’m a woman.”
And her mama sat there just listening to the words as they washed over her. A smile emerged from her lips, while a single tear rolled down her cheek and a sigh of relief escaped her breath. In that moment, “I love you sweetie” was all her child needed to hear as she herself melted for the acceptance from the woman who raised her…
Sex describes the biological sex a person was assigned at birth. It’s based on biological characteristics of maleness or femaleness as indicated by chromosomes, gonads, hormones and genitals.
Gender identity is a component of gender that describes a person’s psychological sense of their gender.
Seems fairly straightforward. So why the confusion? I’m going with, fears, doubts, unwillingness to be educated and the only real “choice” surrounding this hot topic is being open minded. Instead they face the closed mindedness and ignorance, uneducated, uninformed, prejudice, homophobic, gender phobic, stubbornness and whole lot of uncomfortableness for truth in their daily lives. They fight battles they shouldn’t have to, struggles, obstinacy and cruelty as if they aren’t human with all the same basic rights of equality, peace, love and respect every person deserves.
It’s common for people to confuse sex, gender, and gender identity. But they’re actually all different things.
Sex is a label — male or female — that you’re assigned by a doctor at birth based on the genitals you’re born with and the chromosomes you have. It goes on your birth certificate.
Gender is much more complex: It’s a social and legal status, and set of expectations from society, about behaviors, characteristics, and thoughts. Each culture has standards about the way that people should behave based on their gender. This is also generally male or female. But instead of being about body parts, it’s more about how you’re expected to act, because of your sex.
This topic has been created to be an issue for many generations now when the fact is, it simply needs to be understood as truth for humans. Changing minds could be the goal, but really it is acceptance and the ability to evolve.
Rarely do people like to be told they’re wrong, but if you think gender identity is a choice, you’d be incorrect.
Live and let live. Why do I even have to say that?
I sat there on the couch, feet up, cuddled by the warmth of my favorite blanket watching nothing in particular on the tv, apparently it was for the background noise . The quietness outside competed with the sound of your car as you pulled into the drive. I took a semi deep breath and remained calm, both of which have been difficult to accomplish these days.
Typically you come by, with your usual demeanor, the inability to just be. I feel the energy coming at me before you enter the door, but this time you remained in your car. Curious as to what you were doing, I casually strolled past the window a time or two to take a glance, ah, you’re on the phone. This could be awhile, and it was. I took notice as I confirmed what had your attention. There was something different about you, but I’ll wait I thought. My intuition is pretty strong and my emotional intellect even higher. After all, you are my child, grown or not, I carried you in my body for 9 months. Little gets past me and even less surprises me.
Finally you made your way through the door and I was correct about your person although I wasn’t quite sure what it was, not yet. We got beyond the formalities of hi’s and hugs and found ourselves sitting now, a little awkwardly and I was eager to know why. Clearly you have a heavy heart, a burden you’re struggling to balance and even hold. You’d begin talking incessantly, this is never new to me, but there was a nervousness about you and I just listened. This has become our routine. You talk, I listen and soon it turns into a long threaded rant on nearly every topic from childhood to current time. Whew. Catch a wave pal, you’re drifting. I remain quiet, taking in what I can, paying attention to my own breath, facial expressions arms and body language. This child is working up to something heavy and deep as the words keep flying, but not much is being said.
There’s that moment when someone is trying desperately to unload something, but fear has stymied what is needing to be shared and so the conversation goes in circles and backtracks, then the trickles begin. The questions fly, do you remember when I was such and such and age and this and that happened? I’m trying to keep up, really focus on what’s being said or rather what’s being eluded to but not fully comprehending the message. I’m working on my patience. My unconditional love for this grown child pouring out from me while the fumbling keeps happening. This went on for 4 hours. God have mercy on this child and help the words just flow, please Lord.
At last the personal revelation and truth emerged from this poor child’s lips. I sit silently as I feel my shoulders relax and I grin, hoping my quiet response was loving and supportive. I nodded in agreement or maybe it was acceptance, but either way, I felt a wave of relief wash over me. At last we have a reason, the reason for all the peculiar, relentless, angry behavior that has consumed this child for nearly 25 years.
Did you know the child you birthed, may not be whom you thought they were? Can you understand they may be struggling with something more powerful, cunning and baffling than their own imagination? Do you accept what they perceive and actually know to be their truth, yet they’ve suppressed it for so long?
If you are further confused by what is seemingly bizarre and unexplainable behavior from a loved one, especially your own flesh and blood, the offspring you thought you knew, and you find yourself in constant concern, wonder and worry, you’re not alone, but they may feel as if they are.
Has you child come to you with a secret so deep they can’t muster up the words to speak so they stammer and stumble as they try to explain. You look at them perplexed, coaxing them to just say the words, assuring them it’s ok because you love them so much. You take notice the fear consuming them and yet you persuade them to trust you, hoping they feel safe. At last they just vomit the thing they wanted to share because in doing so they know, or at least can imagine, the relief they’ll feel once they open their busting heart.
Finally they blurt it out, the suppression they’ve been hiding behind, the one they could feel, but never knew why. They’ve felt crazy, like their own skin holding them together doesn’t really belong to them. They’re so uncomfortable they wish they could peel it away just to reveal what’s deep down within. Suddenly its out there and you can’t un-know the things you’ve been told and somehow you manage to take a gulp of air and exhale. You have little emotion, no true reaction yet as your heart begins to sing and you smile feeling their relief.
Terrified to tell you, but so desperate to get it out, they wait for you to say something, anything and the only thought to share is how much you love them. What else would a doting parent do? Reject this child or embrace them as you’ve always done? The choice is obviously the latter and so you choose that card and take the gamble. This child of yours is a sure bet so you feel pretty good about this decision.
For the past too many years to count, this child has been tormented inside, but by what? You pray for them and pour love into their souls. You cry over them, fret, worry and obsess over their very well being and still, until this blessed day would come, you continue to lose sleep and suffer for their pain.
They stray and stay away until they come back, wounded and confused, but you love them through it all. Because of you they can venture out to test the water and find their crooked way, but still you love them unconditionally because in a sense, they’re still yours. They face fear and they run, we watch and we wait, but somehow we find our way back to the other to touch home plate and feel that safety net wrap us up until we part another day.
Rest assured this path is their journey. They are never alone as we stand on the sidelines, cheering them along. They’ll find their way in the darkness and the light. Despite all the trials they will triumph in the night. Sleep well and take comfort they will be alright.
A loving, devoted mama bear. I share because I care.