Parental Mental Collapse
There are now hundreds of excellent posts on the PITT substack.
As the parent of a gender questioning kid, PITT is one of my lifelines. In a society filled with people moronically chanting “trans women [men] are women” and waving what I like to call the “penis flag” (have a look at it – you’ll figure it out), the many parent stories help me to feel that I am not alone in this dystopian nightmare.
During my latest bout of “I cannot do this anymore” thoughts, I looked back over one of my favorite PITT pieces entitled “Trans: The Family Destroyer”. It was written over a year ago now. As the author tells us;
I have yet to meet a family, where one or both parents hasn’t had a complete mental collapse following their child’s announcement. Many have contemplated suicide, some seriously. Many parents, moms especially, have had to seek out mental health therapy and anti-depression or anti-anxiety drugs to cope with daily life, in a world where there is a physical threat to their child AND all of society, seemingly, is aligned against them. I am one of those parents that needed to Xanax myself into oblivion for a period of weeks just to cope with daily life. Strife between parents is also common, breaking down marriages and sibling relationships.
Why are the parents losing it? Because in this movement, our confused kids, having been indoctrinated in the false belief that they can literally become the other sex and magically fix all of their problems, will seek out and easily obtain drugs that will chemically castrate them, break down their bones, and degrade their brain function. They can do this without any gatekeeping, without our permission, and without any real mental health screening or therapy.
The family unit is under siege, as parents wrangle with life or death decisions for their children, with no evidence-based information available, and tons of public pressure. Children are given a parent-ectomy; told to reject their loving parents and to trust outsiders that do not have their long-term best interests in mind. Some of these children are seriously mentally ill, with other conditions that may be the root causes of their trans identity feelings, but they cannot get real mental health help — only a shove toward hormones and surgery. It’s appalling.
This is such a good summary of the effects of this pernicious cult on the family members of those captured by it that I initially felt I had little to add. On reflection, though, I realized there is one thing I can say: one year later, it hasn’t really gotten any better.
There are a few hopeful signs, notably in the UK where the infamous Tavistock pediatric gender service is set close. But in most places across the West, as Abigail Shrier so succinctly puts it, the gender cult marches on. Numbers of trans identified kids are continuing to skyrocket, supercharged by the Covid lockdowns. Numbers of detransitioners are (not surprisingly) also surging. The lawsuits are starting. No doubt, the families of many of these people are suffering, as documented in the new stories added to the PITT Substack every weekday. The harm is continuing to mount. Yet the cult (which has now infiltrated no less that the US government) is doubling down. Ideologues do not give in without a fight—and this one is going to be long and nasty.
My child has been trans identified for years now, and I am exhausted. My mental health has slowly but surely deteriorated to the point where I function at nothing like the level I did before. Life is an ongoing struggle. I have thought a lot about why this situation seems so uniquely emotionally devastating. One sentence from the PITT piece quoted above seems to really sum up the hopelessness I feel: in a world where there is a physical threat to their child AND all of society, seemingly, is aligned against them.
Humans are uniquely prosocial. We evolved to live in groups where members support each other. Usually when there is a crisis, people can count on others to help. This tends to be true even in our socially fragmented modern societies. If my child had cancer for example, friends and family would gather around. Health services would most certainly help, not harm. The school would provide support and special accommodations to ensure that learning could continue.
But when it comes to trans, the opposite occurs. My child’s school promotes trans ideology—indeed they are legally mandated to do so. Doctors at the local gender clinic are sterilizing kids like mine. I have lost friends over this (though, mercifully, I still have some who are likeminded and can provide emotional support). The cult even reaches into our home, via the internet. It feels like the threat centre in my brain (the amygdala) is on high alert much of the time, due to the sense of constant threats to my child coming from all around me. This cannot be good for me. When my child was younger, the terror of wondering if she could be abducted by the state if some busybody decided I was not "affirming" enough simply defied description.
Grief and disillusionment is part of it too. The knowledge that society can fall so easily to such a vicious ideology is profoundly distressing. Watching people you know and respect (and in some cases love) mindlessly submit without a whimper hurts like hell— and often you have to remain silent. The wise Carl Jung (as related by Lisa Marchiano) has warned that “mass psychoses” are one of the main threats facing humanity. We are in the middle of yet another one now, and it is a doozy. Humanity, it seems, has learned nothing from previous catastrophes like the mass psychosis that allowed the spread of Nazi ideology in the 1930s.
Do you think I am being hyperbolic and disrespectful by drawing parallels with Naziism? If so, I ask you to listen to Miriam Ben-Shalom, a Jewish lesbian, compare “gender affirming” surgeries with Mengele’s medical experiments in the death camps (at 34 minutes)—and then watch the shocking exposé discussed in this PITT Substack essay about the horrors of “gender affirming” surgeries.
The worst part of all is watching my child being emotionally abused. What, your child is being abused, you say? Why are you as a parent allowing this? Withdraw her from the situation, report the abusers to the police, and get her the psychological support she needs to heal! you say self-righteously.
Well there is only one problem—it is society itself that is abusing her. The police and mental health professionals are abusers, as are the schools, her friends and their parents, the government of my country…everyone. They tell her that she was born wrong. They interfere with her chances of developing a healthy identity as an adult female by telling her that her sex was “assigned at birth”, that the doctors might have made a mistake and she might really be male (or nonbinary, genderqueer or some other such nonsense).
They tell her that her distress over her normal, healthy breasts mean they must be cut off. They tell her that her distress over managing her periods (likely due to sensory issues so common in the neuro-diverse) is “period dysphoria”. No problem—testosterone will probably stop her periods (along with causing permanent bodily changes and many side effects), and in a few years, she can have a hysterectomy (which will permanently sterilize her).
By gaslighting her in this way, these people are CAUSING mental dysfunction in my child. This is abuse, pure and simple. As often occurs with abuse, it is an escalating process. It starts with the emotional and psychological—insidious messages designed to undermine confidence and mental stability. Then it escalates to physical abuse—in this case, with body altering medications and mutilating unnecessary surgeries.
I am not the only one who sees it this way. As detransitioner Athena (who has probably been permanently sterilized by testosterone) tells us, “I don’t understand how people don’t realize how abusive this is”.
I have seen people online berating us parents for supposedly allowing this abuse to occur. Withdraw her from the school, they say! Sure, we could do that—but then she will sit in her room on the internet, soaking up even more harmful gender nonsense. (there IS no school in our area which is safe). Well then, cut off the internet, they say. Sure, we could do that—but given the ubiquity of the internet these days, and the fact that kids rely on it to contact their friends, doing that would drive a wedge between us, forcing her further into the arms of the cult. At the moment, her relationships with her family are all that protects her from the forces arrayed against her. So, as is often the case, it is not as simple as it seems. We really are, to a large extent, trapped. That feeling—of being trapped in a nightmare—is what underlies the uniquely debilitating effects on parental mental health and wellbeing.
My child has complex neuro-developmental and mental health issues. In a sane society, there would be no risk at all that she would be allowed to take hormones or have healthy body parts amputated as a teenager. But this is not a sane society. The constant strain of trying to secure the supports that she needs without subjecting her to active grooming from moronic gender cult adherents, who have essentially had their brains sucked out but continue to impersonate health professionals, is honestly starting to tell.
My child is simply not getting the help she needs for her many issues (which really have nothing to do with “gender”), due to the infiltration of gender ideology into health care. This is a hidden and often ignored cost of the spread of this movement. She can never get this time back. Even if she comes out the other side of this and is physically unscathed, the years of adolescence that she spent beholden to the gender cult, not getting the help she needs, her development towards healthy adulthood stalled, will be gone forever. I grieve for this loss on her behalf because, at the moment, she does not have the insight to do so herself.
There are some things that help me, as a parent, to keep going. Knowing I am on the right side of history, that I am fighting the good fight, is a comfort. Knowing that I have not joined the many who are selling out kids for feel-good woke points, for safety, or just because they are too lazy or preoccupied to care. The wonderful community of parents and others who are fighting this thing is also a source of strength. It restores my faith in humanity to know that at least some people still have courage and integrity. When I have time and energy, I join with them in doing what I can to fight the scourge of gender ideology. My therapist (who totally gets the trans cult) is an absolute godsend, as are a few family and friends who are safe to confide in.
But still it is so, so hard. Most of the time it feels like treading water—just holding back the tide until (maybe) my child’s frontal lobes mature enough for her to be able to see through this cult. But when so many (supposedly) sane adults are mindlessly captured, hoping for this outcome sometimes seems like a pipe dream.
In my darker moments, I fantasize about running away—about uprooting the family and taking my child away from all this to a safe place. But for complex reasons, this is not possible for us. Besides, where would we go?
So, we struggle on.