Nightmares: A Child Torn Apart by Ideology
As the transgender trend sweeps the world, young children are suffering, too…
Most people cannot fathom what it’s like to live in fear of losing your child to an ideology. It is a place where you wake up in the middle of the night with a feeling in your chest that feels as if it could stop your breath cold. A terror as heavy and unyielding as stone. It is the stuff of nightmares and silent screams.
My story started with a divorce from a terribly toxic and damaged woman. We had joint legal and physical custody, but my ex did everything in her power to undermine me and to take complete control over our only child. Our son, only 4 at the time, was attending a progressive preschool in our small New England town. The director of the school had a young trans-identified child and took every opportunity to talk about gender to the 3 and 4 year olds in her care. The children were taught that they could “switch” genders and that doctors were only guessing at the sex of a baby when it was born. Of course, I learned about all of this much later.
About a month after our traumatic split, the director of my son’s school informed me, via a text message, that my son had informed her that he was a girl. This alleged announcement came seemingly out of nowhere but I believe the timing is relevant as my child was experiencing great turmoil in the midst of his parents’ breakup. I later found out that my ex and this director were in close contact, positioning themselves as managers of my son’s emerging “gender exploration” as well as their perception that I was unaccepting of my son’s statement that he was female. At my home, our child manifested no gender dysphoria or confusion whatsoever. This was the beginning of my decent into many nightmares. My reality as our son’s other parent, was denied again and again by every legal, therapeutic and educational professional. My ex threatened that I would lose my child if I did not accept “her” as transgender. I was perpetually terrified.
Some of my nightmares:
I am in a nightmare where you scream and scream, but no one notices that your foot is being eaten by a monster.
I told every professional and my ex that I had never witnessed any signs of confusion while our son was with me. He displayed absolutely none of the criteria for Gender Dysphoria (GD). The only thing in question was that he stated — and only to some — that he wanted a girl’s name and for people to use female pronouns. Again, that was never a request that I personally heard. From all outward appearances, he was a stereotypical garden-variety boy. He was drawn to playing mostly with boys, loved hitting things with sticks, was obsessed with male superheroes and swords, and was a rough and tumble kid. Incredulously, when I pointed out these facts to the preschool director, she said, “your daughter is likely a tomboy.”
This is the nightmare where you reach for something and it dissolves in your hands.
My ex informed me, also via a text, that my son had chosen a girl’s name. From that point on, he was only referred to by this name and female pronouns were used exclusively in preschool through the third grade. This declaration occurred about three months after our break-up.
This is the nightmare where you find yourself in a cave with a tiger and your back is against the wall.
I agreed to take our child to a gender clinic with the express hope that they would take my very young son’s sudden declaration that he was a girl into careful consideration, along with his inconsistent presentation. I wrongly assumed that the concurrent trauma from the divorce, along with my ex’s strident advocacy that our son was trans would be explored. I came quickly to understand how naive I was. My son was given a bogus diagnosis of gender dysphoria and the trans train ride began.
This is the nightmare where everyone is speaking another language and no-one understands you.
Early on, we consulted with many therapists. Most stated that they were more concerned with the state of my mental health, due to my apparent unwillingness to accept that my preschooler was transgender. If we found a more nuanced therapist who was not as eager to slap a label onto a very young child, my ex refused to work with them. I was told over and over that I needed to celebrate my trans child’s identity and to work harder at accepting this reality. My attempts to at least slow down the speed of the train earned me the titles of ‘narcissist’ and ‘transphobe.’
This is the nightmare where you are in a world where nothing is connected to anything real.
On two separate occasions, I was told by the gender clinic we attended that I should start thinking about puberty blockers for our child (he was then 7). This so-called professional advice was offered for a child who had never exhibited any body dysmorphia or gender dysphoria.
This is the nightmare where you want to wake up, but you can’t.
I advocated hard for things to simply remain open for my son. To allow for his identity to remain a question while he was so young. Let him play freely, wear whatever he wanted, and continue to use the gorgeous name we had chosen for him at birth (my ex insisted that that name was now his “dead name” and was not to be used). No-one would acknowledge that our son was confused and presented differently with each of us. It was a battle where the adversaries kept on coming.
This is the nightmare where there is no gravity.
Not once were my son’s real issues of abandonment and loss ever addressed.
I never gave up. I am not brave, but I knew that I was the only one who could, if possible, find a way to protect my son. I believe I had angels sent to help me. Namely, a woman who came into my life and educated me about what was going on in the dangerous world of trans ideology as it currently relates to children. She stood by me and held me up when I felt I had lost my ability to advocate. She had an unceasing belief that truth and love are ultimately stronger than lies and fear. She asked me repeatedly if I was ready for the fight of our lives. She found story after story about parents like me who were questioning their children’s sudden and bewildering change in gender expression, and I began to comprehend that I was actually not as alone as I had once believed. After many false starts, I also found a lawyer who actually took the time to listen to my story and who was willing to fight for my son. I had a retirement fund that almost covered the lawsuit.
After two years of litigation and a trial, I was awarded sole legal custody. My son is no longer in danger of early medicalization in the form of puberty blocking drugs. It is sobering to know that it could so easily have gone the other way. My beautiful child, who has always been very happy in the body he was born with, would have started on puberty blockers right about now. The court could have forced me to comply. Doctors and therapists would have stood by, ready to support this order. My son would have been completely damaged through a completely unproven treatment on vulnerable children that halts the natural process of puberty. I would have been made to live with despair every day of my life, knowing that I had failed to stop this from happening. I also know that many, many others are traveling on that road right now and have been unable to stop the train of medicalization. How is it that there are so many loving and concerned parents who are being systematically shut out from advocating for the kids they know better than anyone else? Is there any other ideology that works to keep parents of minors from being involved in life-altering medical decisions for their young children and teens? The answer to that is no.
My Son Today
My son is now 10 years old. After five years of his other mom affirming him as a girl, his fractured life continues. She still refuses to use his male name and male pronouns, despite the fact that he is very comfortable as a boy everywhere else in his life. One might wonder if a skilled therapist could be helpful in sorting this out and explain how dangerous it is to split a young child in two. I have come to fear therapists — and legitimately so. It is important to understand that when it comes to identity, parents are now at the bottom rung in advocating for their kids, and a therapist’s or doctor’s role is often to “bring the obstructing parent along” so the child can receive medical treatment. Quietly, in your very own town or city, scores of young children and teens are being taught and groomed to believe that they can change their sex and that this is to be celebrated. Rational, nuanced views from teachers, counselors and doctors are shadowed in fear due to wide acceptance of the affirmation model which has no scientifically proven benefits.
My fervent wish is that my son will grow stronger as he matures in mind and body and be able to pry himself from the insidious tentacles of an ideology that blinded his other mom to who he is and always has been. To be fair, I have no idea where my son will land, but I am certain that he is not a girl and has never wished to be one. The long and painful years of schools and clinicians completely affirming him as a girl child did nothing to bolster his self-confidence. In fact, it had the opposite effect and he learned to cope by shutting down to any and all topics that are emotionally laden. Predictably, the therapist he worked with for three years was never able to break through this wall and help him to feel safe enough to speak. The nightmare continues for our family as it does for so many others. My truth was silenced for years, but as I hope for my son, I will find my voice again. I am always grateful and humbled when someone is willing to listen.