It’s Called Acceptance

K came home for a visit this past week so he could be there for Andrew’s graduation. I hadn’t seen K since I left him in Orlando for a college internship back in January. I wasn’t sure what to expect. This was K’s first time living in an apartment, on his own, with other guys. And these guys don’t know the truth about him either. This was also K’s first time since beginning to take testosterone injections almost 2 years ago that he would be living away from us free to just be himself (out from under Mom’s watchful eyes). 

I didn’t have anything to worry about, My middle child, my changeling, my son was still the same old K he was for the past 21 years. 🙂

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We went antiquing one afternoon. K was quite proud of his camera bag, which he carries his journal in, and his lion earrings, which he found on clearance at Old Navy. Although it was in the upper 70’s he wore a knit cap and he had just added the temporary tattoo of flowers, which he loves, on the back of his neck. He has his own sense of style and it’s very unique. It’s just one of the many things I love about him. He has always been like this, even as a young child. Looking back at pictures over the years, his individual sense of style comes shining through. He might get strange glances from time to time but guess what- he gets just as many compliments! So there! 

We have traveled a rocky road with our families. The last time I invited them to a party was at K’s own graduation party back before he came out to us. In honor of Andrew’s graduation, I invited family for the first time in 3 years. My siblings were unable to come but my in-laws came out in full force (never ones to pass up a party- even if it was at MY house). 

Over the past few years they have said all the right words and made all the proper sounds but it has always rang a bit empty and superficial to me, for the most part. Although we have seen them at family functions over the last 3 years, this is the first time they were invited into our home in that time. Early on, I noticed that K was sitting at the counter in the kitchen nearby and wasn’t really interacting with any family or they with him. After awhile he disappeared. I found him sitting in his room, writing in his notebook. I asked if he was okay.

He said there really wasn’t anyone here that he wanted to talk to, that although they asked how he was doing, they weren’t really interested in hearing what he had to say. My heart ached for him. These were his aunts and uncles- his father’s siblings. They were his cousins, who he grew up with. Wasn’t this family? Shouldn’t he feel safe and loved with these people? 

After a long while, one of the cousins came and asked him to play a card game with her and the other cousins and K accepted. I thought that maybe things had turned around. I was mistaken. It was later when we were in the car that K admitted that some of his cousins and even his grandmother had made him feel judged. They had questioned his earrings and why he was wearing them- they just couldn’t let him be. And I know exactly what they were thinking because time and time again I have had people say things like, “He can’t go back and forth. If he’s a boy, he can’t do girl things.” Guys wear earrings. Get over it!

And don’t even get me started on the careless comment made by one of them regarding the upcoming birth of our grandchild and how my husband would be a “real” grandfather then. 

There’s a reason they weren’t invited into our home for 3 years. I’m not sure when I will invite them again, if ever. And whether it’s K because he is a boy, CJ because he has a different last name or Jasmine because her skin is darker,  I want my children and grandchildren to always feel loved, cherished, safe and accepted in my home and I don’t need anyone there who isn’t on our team. 

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10 thoughts on “It’s Called Acceptance

  1. Jeremy’s not quite 17 years old and hasn’t sorted out his sexual orientation or his gender yet. I remember posting on a forum for advice (I don’t think I specified it was for my son, just someone young that I knew) and one poster commented that with that much confusion he was likely either bisexual or some flavour of trans* and I’m slowly beginning to think the poster hit two out of two.

    I love my family but if Jeremy turns out to be trans*, they’re going to collectively lose their freaking minds. I’m reading your post and thinking, “That could be us in another few years”. I’m so glad he’s got you and your husband and his brothers.

    The outfit and earrings look great (from what I can see in the picture).

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    1. The trans issue definitely pushes people out of their comfort zone. My world got really small really fast but I would rather have it small and filled with people I know I can trust- ones that truly care about K.

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  2. Oh boy. I’m sorry things went south for you guys. I find that with family they pretty much act they way the always have…not a lot of change happening regardless of any negative fallout. Family members just feel the NEED to say things and do things that are unloving and often inappropriate.

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    1. Mind you- this is the politically correct and proper side of the family! Neither side really wants to change or have even tried- except for the grandparents. And I give them a lot of credit because they are of a generation that these topics are really hard to comprehend. The bottom line for me is that I don’t need to subject my family to that crap.

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    1. They are the ones who are missing out and it is very sad. Reality can be scary and some people don’t like what they see when they look at it.

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  3. I love this conclusion…much respect for your courage and love, and I will remember you and yours in my prayers. Keep your chin up, cus you are on the right road, fraught with pot holes and hardships it might be. Your end will be whole relationships, whilst others at their end find they have a sack full of stuff and an armful of loneliness.

    Grace and Peace, Charissa

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    1. I think that’s important- that we are much better off having gone through all of this. And I believe we are. (Not to mention a lot of “family” members lighter.)

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  4. What a really honest post (again). Your acceptance of your children, whoever they are is wonderful. Obviously K hasn’t taken the easiest path in life and I would imagine your support is a great help. I find it so sad when families can’t be accepting just because it doesn’t fit into their life view.

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    1. I;m sure there are times when my kids wish I wasn’t quite so honest but after having a child live for 18 years uncomfortable in his own body and trying to be something he wasn’t because he felt he had no choice, I really need all of my kids to go for total honesty. If we can get through the last 3 years, we can handle it!

      And as for those people who do not accept some of us, I don’t need them in my life.

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