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A few weeks ago, it was my 48th Birthday. My family had organised a birthday meal out and my brother, his partner and little girl were there too. A few days beforehand, I told my parents I would be coming as Melanie, in a skirt and blouse.
My dad was a little surprised but said he would “warn” the rest of my family. I turned up in a pink blouse, floral pattern skirt, lingerie and hold-up stockings. It felt amazing and no-one in the restaurant batted an eyelid.
Later that evening, my mum started a row, calling me “selfish” for living my authentic life. She’s horrified about my decision, probably because she has no control over it. She was also very sceptical about my career change to be a mental health counsellor.
To deflect from her transphobia, she and dad began undermining my childhood memories of what today would be regarded as child abuse, sustained between 1977 ( when I first knew I didn’t fit as male) until 1989 when I first fought back). Being strangled, thrown around, having my arms twisted behind my back, threatened with borstall ( young offenders) are seared into my memory yet somehow these things “didn’t happen”, that I’m a ” fantasist” for believing these things.
I get it that mum and dad are lashing out against what they don’t understand or approve of, that they are using my mental illness against me to discredit me and label my transitioning as me being “crazy”.
It’s a toxic relationship right now so I’m staxing away for the time being. There’s no point talking to them whilst they are in the “deny, defend, defame” mode. I want them in my life but I don’t NEED them. There is a difference.
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