Pasupatidasi's Blog

thoughts, poetry, life as it is…

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i hate monday.

some days i feel like simply pulling my hair out by fistfuls!!!

what, you might ask, has this usually calm and centered person so frustrated that such an exclamation is made?

as many of you may know who are regular readers of this blog, i have a young daughter.  she’s lovely, transgender and has autism.  the transgender part of this statement causes me discomfort because of the pain she feels at having what are, for her, the wrong genitalia.  the autistic part of this statement causes much more frustration on my part, as she is unable to tolerate a school environment (altho i don’t think schools are the best places for children anyway) and therefore is homeschooling, with me as teacher.  it is this last part, that is giving me the screaming fits right about now.

many high-functioning autistic persons have difficulty with schedules that are arranged by others, or by situations over which they have no control.  many high-functioning autistic persons are NOT like ‘rain man’ and actually have great difficulty transferring short term memory input into long term memory storage.  thus my daughter, altho very intelligent and absolutely comprehending maths and algebraic formulae must still refer to a multiplication table and counting on fingers to accomplish these lessons…altho reading at about a 9th or 10th grade level, has problems remembering how to spell ‘because’ or any other sight word.

i have plenty of patience for this…it is her absolute refusal to come to the table and actually cooperate with the lesson plans that bothers…er, drives me crazy.  for example, today’s lessons were prefaced by an entire 3/4 of an hour of her trying to convince me to double up tomorrow’s lessons and let her slide today.  and that whole process was prefaced by 15 minutes wherein she accused me about lying when i told her it was Monday, and thus a lesson day.

already she only does about 4 hour’s worth of actual lessons on any given day…did she not include the many fits and tantrums that amount of time would define her entire ‘school day’.  but after adding on the time she spends in bargaining, angry reprisals and resistance, her day is stretched to about 6 hours!

it is almost a given that on lesson days there will be a fight.  she will require me to raise my voice and be sternly resolute about the fact that the work will be done.  it is almost a given these days that i will have to remind her that she either learns from me or is enrolled in public school. that there are laws to which i must adhere to ensure that she gets an education,…my way or theirs. no matter that i have tried to raise her and all my children without threats, when it comes to her cooperation with lessons i am almost always reduced to the “therefores” that sound so menacing…

no video games, no t.v., no ‘this’, no ‘that’…and “i’ll have to enroll you in school”

so today, another monday…another sesssion of futile bargaining…and another morning of raising my voice…

gods! i hate monday!

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forward and back

today was one of those days…you know the kind…where things seem to be of two very different natures. 

first there was the relief of ziona’s lab work showing that she is still pre-pubertal, thus no need yet of testosterone blockers to keep her from developing the largely unreversible male attributes of deeper voice, larger feet hands and facial bone structure, facial hair  et cetera.  this means that the decision of whether to go with monthly injections or trust that she can accommodate the gnr implant can be safely put off for at least another 6 months.  this was the good part.

the bad part came when, for the first time since she was about 3 1/2 years old, she threatened to cut off “that thing”, as she calls it.  it’s no secret that she is disturbed on a daily basis by the presence of a part that is so obviously NOT a girl part, in her mind.  she can’t bear to bathe without a tub full of bubbles to keep it out of view.  she has me dress her too lest she catch glimpse of it.  altho, since her 10th birthday almost a year ago now, we have had a deal wherein she dresses herself most days, but on the days she feels the most dysphoric i dress her.

i thought i had helped her not to feel so angry at her genitalia by explaining to her that the ‘stuff’ that she has there now will later be used to fashion her girl parts.  we’ve been referring to it as her “girl garden”.  and for a while that seemed to work.  but as she begins to experience inadvertent ‘stiffies’ more as she gets older, her level of dysphoria rises.  today she once again threatened to ‘cut it off’. 

i guess did i believe she would be capable of doing this to her self, i might be more alarmed.  i might be tempted to hide every sharp edge in the house.  but really it is just her way of saying that on a scale of 1 through 10 her discomfort…her psychic pain is at about 11.  her inability to tolerate physical pain of any sort would keep her from actually being able to maim herself.  but the days of her being able to simply accept her body as it is for now, knowing that in the future all would be set right seem over for the moment.

so i shared a secret with her from my adolescent past.  the fact that, altho i’m not transgender and never wanted to be a boy, i was very disturbed when my breasts started to develop.  i actually hated it!  well into my adulthood this feeling of distance between my self and my *thankfully small* breasts persisted.  i told her, in all honesty, how only after my first daughter was suckling at them did i feel any sense of acceptance and connection to them.  

she seemed genuinely surprised at this revelation.  guess she’d always figured that since i’m a girl in a body with the parts usually associated with a girl, i must feel okay about them.  i told her that to this day i only feel happy about the fact that they are relatively small.  that i would be okay with merely having nipples, like guys do.

this was a mixed day.  altho relieved about the fact that puberty is still not immanent, i feel her pain…not as acutely of course. i am not, after all, in the body of a gender with which i don’t identify.  and hearing her plaintive threat to rid herself of that member again after so many years and so much therapy only adds to the anxiety i feel…about whether anything i or her counselors have said has been of any benefit.  but just when i’m beginning to doubt my parenting, i say the right thing and am able to breathe a sigh of relief.  

ziona needed to know that she is not alone…she needed to hear what i blurted out without thinking.  the fact that i don’t like my breasts.  she realised that there’s no ‘cure’ for that!  but that for her, there is a way forward.  someday, (she wishes it were tomorrow,) she will have the right parts for the girl she is.


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On Being “Sure”

check this out…and if you do, please leave your thoughts in the comments…i am curious about how many trans-folk there are that ‘weren’t sure’

Gender Blog by Darlene Tando, LCSW

One of the first things that comes to most loved ones’ minds when told about someone’s transgender identity or plans to transition is “Are you sure??” In fact, this is often a question many of my pre-transition clients are asking themselves; “Am I sure??”. The question is worth asking, but the answer may not be a simple “yes” or “no”.

Most people are pretty darn sure of their gender identity. Cisgender and transgender alike, most are pretty darn sure. What confounds things is that only transgender people have to navigate through having a brain gender identity that differs from their birth sex, and having to first understand and then explain this to others. Still, most are pretty darn sure. Remember, gender identity is different than making the decision to transition. Often times, knowing one’s gender identity is the “easy” part. Pursuing a life to align one’s gender presentation with…

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