I really wanted to go. As much as she didn’t want to go, I did.
There is something very special about this group. It’s hard for me to find the words to describe what it’s like to sit among them. We are all at different points in our stories. Some have been in the group for years and are real friends now, often going out for dinner afterwards. Their children are in a different place than E as well, many on hormone blockers, some on cross hormones. They share their experiences with their doctors, their insurance companies, their school administrators. They can talk about what it feels like to have their child harassed at school and the whole room is filled with nodding heads. We can toss around what it means for our kids to be “out” or to be “stealth.” These are all complicated for us in the same way. Even though we have different experiences and our kids are on all different parts of the spectrum, we all “get it” on some level together. It feels like we are really doing something important.
This month, there were some in the group who were newer than us. One person had an older child who just revealed that she wanted to transition. We learned this early in the meeting as we all introduced ourselves. I noticed him. For most of the meeting he seemed in a daze. I’m sure he was taking it all in. There was a ton of information being offered, a barrage questions being raised. Mostly, he kept his eyes resting on the floor. He shifted quietly in his chair.
It brought me back to those first few months after E shared her inner self with me. That swirl of pain and confusion mixed with love and protection. The pressure, the intense pressure, that somehow I had to get this right. It would bring me to my knees, the gravity of this emotion. When he finally spoke, I could see that this poor dad was right there, in that moment.
And I realized that I wasn’t. That rickety bridge that I talked about? We have navigated through that part without falling in. I no longer feel the responsibility is on me: do not mess this up. It’s not mine. E will get it right all on her own. It is such a relief to let that one go.