The ups and downs

It’s been a strange few weeks, for me at least.

I was approached to participate in work being done by Church of Scotland to produce a pastoral care guide focused on trans people.

I was approached to give the perspective of a parent of a trans child, and more specifically non-binary.

I arranged the meeting, feeling so positive about the impact I could have and also about where we are as a family.

During the week of the interview the story about the child on the Isle of Wight became a sensation. The interview was focusing on my experience as a parent and I struggled with that, as I am so used to focusing on R and their experience of things. The interviewer was particularly interested in the impact of the coming out process on us as a family, but also the impact of that on my marriage. These are all things we have processed and put away but thinking about them definitely affected me. A combination of  being taken back to a place where things weren’t so easy as they are now (and easy is a relative term) and seeing the press coverage brought about by the case on the Isle of Wight touched a nerve, it hurt and it made me sad all over again.

I left the interview feeling good about the progress R has made, that we have made as a family and being proud of our progress and the tiny difference we might make to others through this interview.

It also left me feeling a little bit raw, almost wondering why me? Why us? Why is it my kid that’s trans? Why do we have to be doing all this work? I went to bed that night feeling pretty sorry for myself, but then I woke up and I saw the support from my virtual Mermaids family and I remembered all the positive things and I felt okay again.

I won’t say I felt good, because I probably haven’t felt good since long before R came out, and I won’t feel ‘good’ for a long time to come. I did feel like things would be okay, that while it is horrendous being the trailblazer in school or any other situation, I know that R will benefit from any improvement, but that any other young person struggling and thinking about talking to or coming out to someone will find that easier because we drove school to change and improve.

I was taken aback by that down, it hit me at an unexpected time, but it reminded me that everything is not what it seems, it’s not all good or bad, not all this or that, things are a mixture and we have to embrace that. It’s that mixture between male and female that I ask others to accept my child as.

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