Saturday, July 30, 2011

One (Lord Make Us One) with Lyrics by Chris Sligh

Just a song that really spoke to me today. I don't particularly like this video, but I like the fact that it had words. I hope you like.


I'm a lot of things. Mother, hard worker, worrier, partier, reader, prayer warrior, and most of all, Control Freak!
My baby is in LA doing the geek convention thing, and guess what? She's not feeling well. I can't do anything about it. I'm stuck in Seattle doing the worrier thing, yet knowing that sending out prayers to my friends on facebook (and my own prayers) will get the job done.
I think that what this thing called motherhood is teaching me, is that I need to let go and let God. I know, they taught me that when I was doing Eating Disorders Anonymous, but we forget that it pertains to our WHOLE LIFE! I remember my friend Bryan telling me that worrying is an agnostic move. If we start worrying and then don't give it to God to control, it's pointless. MUST. REMEMBER. THAT!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Just a short funny....

M went to check into the hotel, and we had some problems with the credit card. When I was talking to the manager, he went to say the he pronoun and then corrected himself. M didn't have a binder, but it obviously is showing in how she presents. Not much else to say today. Went to counseling, so I'm all pooped out when it comes to talking.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Roll your eyes. I know you want to!! If you've never seen my profile, I'm a freak of Twilight. Yes--It's one of those obsessions that is truly sick and twisted. I do try to rein myself in. I now have my life-size Edward hanging in the closet instead of in my room on my wall-which was a gift-I draw the line at buying myself lifesize replicas of R-Pattz, but keep that in mind for future gift-giving that I never look a gift horse in the mouth. ;P
I started thinking about this the other night. I realized that, if you're familiar with these books, that Bella, who, just for the record, was a character I didn't like until the 4th book, made a huge transition that she felt made her stronger. If you're not familiar with these books, (CUE THE "DAYS OF OUR LIVES" MUSIC!) Bella is a depressed (not that it says that, but it's pretty much implied if you know what depression is like) teen who seemed to be totally out of her element as a person, per se. She happens to be the "singer", or bloodlust, of a vampire (Edward, who falls in love w/ her) whose coven is a family that does not drink human blood. They feed off animals. Anyway, long story short, Bella is very needy in the fact that the 2nd book, when her vamp boyfriend Edward leaves her in order not to hurt her (I know, no human can get away with that line, but he's a killer vampire, mind you), she befriends Jake, who happens to shift into a wolf who protects his Native tribe from vampires, and Bella seems to not be able to live without either of them (though it's not romantic w/ Jake, even though he wants it to be). Have I lost you yet?? Sorry....There's a lot more to the story, but the point that I'm making is that Bella never felt right as a human. When she gets Edward back, they end up getting married in the 4th book, and she gets changed into a really kick-ass vampire, which I fall in love with! To me, she becomes the epitome of strength that she should be.
I'm seeing that in M. M is finally becoming the person that s/he needs to be. It's going to be a long road, but I was assured that we will get through it. I believe we will, not unscathed, but with more wisdom and openness that is important in this new phase of our lives.
I'm going to be an empty nester in the next year or 2. Because M has been gone with her Godparents until this week, and will be gone this weekend, I'm really feeling the effects of what that's like. It's scary and a little lonely. I hope that this next year gives M the readiness for the future and what's in store, and I hope and pray that it's good!
As for me, feeling the effects of empty-nest makes me want to really figure out what I want to be a part of in the coming years. Whether I make a career change, or become a part of something outside of my career.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I got a book that was rec'd by M's therapist called the Transgender Child by Stephanie A. Brill and Rachel Pepper. I'm only on page 8 and am already toting it to whoever may need it out in the world. I even rec it to the parents of grown transgenders. It will help them understand the growth and they may even say...ah HA!!!

I got a comment from Lori about how fast I'm accepting all this. Ironic, as I had been thinking the same thing. However, I have to realize that it wasn't in March, when M told me that she thought that she was confused that I knew this. I can look back and tell you that M was never your typical child. M was totally different. Sports was huge in M's life. M was also on the BOYS lacrosse team from 4th-the beginning season of 7th grade because they didn't have a girl's team until 8th grade. She did 8th, but hated it. She didn't like the girls' dynamics in both the sport or the attitude. Looking back, I can see the depression started when she quit the boys lacrosse. M was treated so poorly by the team, that she actually felt sexually harassed. When I confronted the coaches, they told her to go to the girls team. Back then I had a hard time dealing with anything that would be involving the law and ethics, so M just transferred to the girls' team, and enjoyed the first year. After 2nd year, M lost all interest in sports.
Needless to say, up until a couple years ago, it's been a tough road, but we're stronger, and M is stronger because now M has an identity, and I have the acceptance to finally face it.
Because this isn't anything new in what I consider M's way of living, I think I've been able to understand things faster. In actuality, I honestly think that the binder will be something that M isn't ready for, only because it is something that will physically make her look different (we actually aren't endowed in that dept, so it's not going to be a huge shocker when it's on). It's more something that shows her that I'm okay with this, and M can work through the steps that are necessary.

Make sense? Would love your comments or concerns. BTW, didn't get to Capitol Hill today, only because I didn't realize how behind on summer school she is and vid-con's hanging in the air like a golden carrot to a horse.


M is going to L.A. for a vid-con next weekend. I'm very excited to see her go out into the world without me. I'm one of those people that either holds her kid too close like a mother bear, or drops it out of the nest like an eagle.
This is something that has been anticipated because it will mark M's first time as going someplace where s/he will go as M, the young man. I'm excited for this, yet rather scared at the same time. I trust M will make good decisions, so I anticipate M to not take any drinks from people (preferably non-alcoholic), check in each evening when getting back, and get help when needed. Today we are going up to Capital Hill to a store that sells binders. M doesn't know we're doing that yet, but I think it's important. In my view, it's something that I've procrastinated on. But first, we're going to church and having dinner with the family.
I told M's aunt, who is a good friend of mine (father's sister) about M. I'm glad I talked to her because she told me that I may not want to tell other people in the family besides M's uncle, as the family is quite conservative and may blame me and stuff. Good pointers. I do know that M's grandma tends to look at how people raise their children and the problems they have. I could say some things about her 2nd offspring, but that's the old Gretchen who tries very hard not to judge. Marcia is Marcia, and she's still very much a part of our life, and always will be, even if M comes out to her.
Anyway, I continue to feel overwhelmed and appreciative of the support and pointers that I'm given by you. It's been the community of followers, blogs, and professionals that have helped me take a big leap in the past few weeks by stepping back and seeing what I need to do to continue supporting M.

Thank you, and I actually am in the middle of writing another entry that I may put on tonight or tomorrow. You will probably see more this week just because this is an outlet, and there's a lot of stress going on in the household. M needs to finish her summer school before going to L.A., and I know that's gonna be a drama in our household. My house will be a stage this week with all of it, I'm sure.

Take care!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

न्यू थिंग्स

Okay, I'm not sure why my title is in Arabic, but it's 11:30 and I don't care, but it says "New Things".
Anyway, about 25 years ago, when I lived in Yakima, WA, which is 100 or so miles from Seattle, I helped some friends' brother move to where I live now, in Bellevue. I just moved hear from another Seattle Suburb, and the other day I was thinking that I didn't know where in the world the place in Bellevue was that we moved the friend all those years ago. Today, my friend Dave and I went driving around and I found it. The reason I recognized it was because of the view from the street we were on. Really pretty view of an inlet from Lake Washington.

I've worked in Bellevue for 6 years, and until tonight, I never ventured beyond Bellevue Way. Huh...New stuff. I then proceeded to tell Dave that we had to hurry home in order to hang out with the new cat. Did I mention that he's 20 pounds? M's gonna be very excited. I really don't feel that s/he'll appreciate sharing a bed with Jack, though, because it's like sleeping with another person, he's so big. BTW, today I thought that I am now outnumbered 2-1.


Enough with the heavy, Gretch! ;)

Today we got a cat. His name is Captain Jack, as in Harkness, not Sparrow. His name originally is Max. M loves Torchwood, so Max is now Jack. I really hope he likes his name. If he doesn't, I hope that he has the voice to tell us, and, with all the support we can get, we accept his name as Max.
Am I sounding a little passive-aggressive right now? I'm thankful for all the support I've been getting from all of you, whether good or bad. I didn't think that when I wrote this blog, that I would get comments about my parenting skills. This is the last entry that I'm going to make regarding a reply to a comment, but I want to assure you that 18 years ago, when I had a baby girl, I did not worry about whether her gender was going to be a choice in her life. I worried about the fact that her father was a threat to us as a human being, who I would give custody to if I died, whether or not she was going to have sex as a teen, and what career path she would choose. And most of all, everyday, I always questioned my parenting skills. Because of that, it has prepared me for what has been going on in M's life now. I can truly say that my choice of becoming a parent has been a roller coaster all of that time, and I LOVE riding it. The mistakes I have made have nothing to do with what kind of person M is now, and the decision on becoming a mother altogether is another story. One that was not made lightly. God has been the center of our lives, and because of that, I have been able to be challenged and keep coming back to the same conclusion, of loving my child.
This is the 2nd heavy blog I've made in a row. I planned on approaching this subject with a mix of humor and angst, which, in future posts you will see that.
Thank you to all who support and respond. Remember, I don't reject criticism, but I do reject judgment from people that do not have a clue of my personal feelings and life as a parent.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


As I've been writing this blog, I have been aware that I don't use male pronouns. This has not been in the disrespect of my child or to anyone reading this. M is well aware of the fact that this is a hurdle that I have yet to leap. I'm fortunate that I have an understanding child, and that through counseling, we've both been made aware of what we are able to take in. Using female pronouns is my way of not letting go of the daughter that I still see sometimes. It may be selfish, but it's the last thing I have that I'm grasping onto. You know when you're fighting in a tug-of-war with something, and you picture all 10 fingers holding firm to whatever it is you're trying to grasp? I'm still doing that. But it's not w/ 10 fingers anymore. It's with maybe 6, 7, or 8. It's been through the support of my followers and other friends, who DO use the male pronouns when they are talking to or about M, that I have been able to start letting go. I am envious of the parents that I read about that were accepting from the beginning. I wish I had felt that way, and I am learning from them and others.
To those who have taken offense, I still need you to comment and help me through this transition to full acceptance. That may mean that you will still cringe or be upset when I say "she". I'm too empathic not to know that my female pronouns may affect others' feelings, but this blog is for my processing more than M's. Stick with me. I am selfish, but I also adore and am very much in love with who M is becoming. But it's a huge contrast to the baby pics of pink and ribbons that are hanging on my bedroom wall-which, by the way, was a compromise between us. M doesn't want the "girl" pics in a public part of the house.

I do ask the trans-gender community how you or your families have dealt with things as simple as pictures. Will M start accepting the past as the metamorphosis (thx HC84 for that term-I love it) gets stronger?

Love, Gretchen

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Apples, cereal, milk, CAR INSURANCE!!

As I was driving home from work on Friday, I started making my weekly grocery list in my head. Car insurance then popped up. Car insurance. My child doesn't have her/his license yet, but I thought about the difference in car insurance between males and females. So before I go on, please, anyone, let me know about what gender you would put on for insurance. I know in medical situations, as I work in that field, M will always be female by medical standards, at least to my knowledge where I work. But how does car insurance work?

We were at church, and M is so loved by so many people there! We go to a great church where it's affirming and welcoming, because that's what Christ wants! It's almost like the last 12 years that we've been there has led up to this whole moment of M's coming to grips w/ who s/he is. If you're not from Seattle, you probably hear that it's a very liberal and affirming place to live for people who are different. It is. However, Seattle has suburbs and outlying areas that aren't always as welcoming--I actually would compare Seattle to Washington State as Austin is to Texas. We lived (we just moved so I could be closer to my job) in a more conservative community, but due to family and friends, we still go to church there. This was the first Sunday where we "commuted" to church---stick with me, the point is in the next paragraph.

Since Thursday, when we went to the gender therapist, I've had a few days to digest what Doc Marcia has said. Things such as M feels s/he's lying to herself, the continuity of these feelings since childhood, etc. Because of that, at church, it was weird to actually talk to people and hear them and myself talking about M as a female. Obviously most people don't know about it, so it's no big deal about the pronoun issue, and M understands, but then I was getting befuddled. LOL!! What was going on in my ADD brain was quite amusing, actually. We were decorating for vacation bible school, and M was helping out and when s/he was around, and someone said how wonderful SHE is....and I felt torn as whether to correct the person. It's almost like, if that person would say HE, I would be more inclined to say HE. I'm proud of M's accomplishments. There's a good head on those shoulders, and I realized, as I was hanging up paper lanterns, that I need to, at this moment, concentrate on M's accomplishments, and trust God that s/he knows how to handle this in her life, and s/he will rely on Him. There was a scripture today (Proverbs is all that I know, and then Luke--I was too caught up in the scripture to remember the chapters) that I thought about a lot, and then it was reiterated on a forum (shout out to y'all! you know who you are!), but it talks about the shame and sin is taken away through Christ, and He wants us to come to him as we are! Made me feel better.

This week, I'm actually childless, as M is a crew leader at Vacation Bible School, and is staying w/ her Godparents, but I'm sure my blog will be ongoing as I continue to question, grieve, rejoice, and fellowship with God and the new friends I'm making.

Thank you to all who are reading and commenting. It means a lot to me!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Good Life

Today was the day we went to the gender therapist. S/he definitely has what is called gender identity disorder, which, I really don't feel is a disorder. I know it's who she is.
What freaked me out is that the doc, when talking about her, said his, him, he...out of respect for her patient, obviously, and it was really tough to hear, but at the same time, it was a relief. Does that make sense? I think it's because I now am accepting that this is for real.
I think it's hard in some respects, though, because I still see the girl in many ways. The way she calls me mommy (you know, the manipulative way when they want something), or just some of the neediness that is part of a daughter, not a son. I'm really tired and at a loss for words. Today was a lot to take in, and then when M was going to the HP opener (which isn't even open here yet, as it's 11pm PDT) and couldn't figure out how to catch the bus there, I about lost it. I know something as little as that doesn't make sense, but it was a pain for me today. PMS anyone?? So, on that note, I turned on the radio on the way home and found this song. Put me in a great mood, and made me quite happy!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Drawing the line at Axe

Sometimes I work with high school kids. High school boys have a loyal following to Axe body products. Deodorants, aftershave, body wash. Somehow, the girls love the smell, so the boy thinks that the more he puts on, the more girls will be turned on.....I guess. Anyway, the other day, we were in the drugstore, and all of a sudden "Mom, I want to get Axe deodorant" was heard out of the mouth of my child. Needless to say, I had a tough time with this. Axe is for boys. That's what my child (obviously) thinks she is, which is fine. I've let her shop in the men's departments since she was 10, and now she wants to make the shift over to men's deodorant. Not sure what I think of that.
You may think that it's trivial, but it's hard. I'm losing a daughter when I say yes to each masculine thing that she wants. As much as I am relieved about all this, and that I can joke at some level, I am still hurting that I'm losing a daughter---the hope that she will wear a wedding dress to her wedding, or want children someday. And if you think she's too young to make this decision, well, I thought so, too, but if I really, REALLY think about it, this decision was made a VERY long time ago. I sometimes still hold my breath. I see the mother instinct she has toward children, but I know that she wouldn't put up with them for long, but that's about it. She's always been different.
But I'm not ready to buy her Axe.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hitting Home

We are in the transition of moving from one part of the Seattle area to the other. I want to be closer to my job, which will cost me about $300 more in rent, but it pays off for the gas and time that is spent to get home.

I'm really looking forward to it.
In the meantime, we are staying with some great friends who have been extreme supporters in our lives. Especially for my kid. Having them in our lives and depending on them as "surrogate parents" sometimes, makes me know that I've done right by her. This shows me that I can't blame my parenting all the time.

I know, I'm truly narcistic (sp?) when it comes to my skills and how she turned out. I know for a fact that I didn't always do right by her, but I'm learning to not worry about it anymore. How can that be possible? Well, I think it's the grace of God, really. My dependence on Him helps me tune out the bad and bring on the good points of going through this. Does it mean I'm in denial? Hell no! But beating myself up doesn't make me a better parent. Moving forward does. And if anyone knows me well enough, moving forward is one step, while looking back is at least 2 of them. I need to learn from my mistakes, but I don't need to live by them, which is what I'm trying to work on. Now, I just need to support and be supported.

I would love to know your thoughts. Please drop a line.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


I just realized something on the way home from work tonight. I've compared my child to so many people, and I realized that once she told me she didn't feel like a girl, I didn't feel like I was comparing. It blows me away. As much as I was upset about her "coming out", I felt relieved in so many other ways!
Just think, I don't have as many kids to compare her to-not that I should do that, but it's in my WASP nature. However, I realize how I really don't plan on doing that anymore. How can I compare? Why did I ever? I vowed all my life not to be like my mom and compare and be envious of people. I've not had the envy part. I like to live minimally, but I do compare my child and wish that she did more things, or was more a girly-girl, or whatever. No more. She's awesome. She's also 18. I need to start letting her fly. That's hard to do.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


As a Christian, I have felt the pressure of moral and ethical issues in many realms. I feel that all people have ethical rights, whether to marry, get insurance, keep a job. As a person who was raised by parents who saw potential in everything, I also have tried to abide by what I was raised with. Trans-gender issues were okay with me because they weren't happening to me. Boy, was I wrong. I have gone through the denial phase of the five stages of grief. My anger that I'm supposed to feel, was more of frustration. Frustration of "what will people think" or listening to people who deem this life unacceptable. I'm too worried about that stuff, and I don't know if I've gone through the depression stage yet....I'm thinking I have. I say I don't know because I have dealt with depression a lot, so triggering the topic to be the cause is not necessarily true. I know I feel the anxiety for her acceptance, if that makes any sense. I really pray for her to be accepted by her peers and also that she puts God first and foremost in her/his life.
I've found a home in a forum for people who are gay or transgender. I NEED TO MAKE IT PERFECTLY CLEAR FOR PEOPLE WHO AREN'T EDUCATED ON THIS TOPIC: GENDER IDENTITY AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION ARE NOT IN CORRELATION WITH EACH OTHER. I don't know why I find TQ topics under gay forums. Let me know why that is.
I'm tired, but really wanted to get this post up.


Hi! As you can read from the header, that's what I am. I can't let that define me, though. As a wonderful woman on a forum for LGBTQ (Lesbian,gay, bisexual, transgender questioning) site said "I am first and foremost a daughter of God."

I am straight as an arrow. I have already questioned my parenting skills and how they affected my child (I still say daughter-not because of denial, but because I am her mother, and I have yet to feel comfortable with male pronouns), but thanks to wonderful support, I know that it was nothing I did. Because of this, I feel good in knowing that I did the best I could with what I had, and God was always there watching me and taking care of me. He has worked his power through friends, family, and counselors that know how tough this can be.
I really hope that you enjoy my roller coaster ride through this life and change. I want to advocate and help her through this.