Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rehashing Pro-nouns--NEED FEEDBACK!!

The counselor doesn't feel that I'm trying hard enough to use male pronouns. I know there's been contention due to this on this blog. I'm at a loss for words. In my head, M is a he. Is it a heart thing? I don't try to make excuses when it comes to this, but having to explain myself when I use female pronouns is tiring. I wish my head had a window so people could see that I'm saying he/him/his in it.

On this blog, I don't even say it. I speak from the heart on this blog, and I guess my heart still calls M a her/she/hers.

I'm a very proud person, and being called out by the counselor really humbled me. I'm telling you this, because I know that some of you are going FINALLY! She HAS to listen!
No more words. Just need feedback. I know there are lurkers. Gimme the feedback you feel I need that can help me get it from the head to the heart. Lori's great at it, but I need the ones who don't comment much, or have even let me have it. PLEASE???


  1. I've said before, forced is NOT what I personally need. You are right it is about the heart, when it comes from there, that's when it matters. IMHO (and this will be unpopular) tell the therapist to go jump in a lake, you'll get there when you're ready.

  2. I'm going to say that being supportive is all that matters, and the rest are details. At the same time, M doesn't always know what is in your heart. By using the wrong pronouns M might perceive that you're not quite all there yet. So you have to *show* your support, and you can do this by using the right pronouns, or the very least make a big effort to do so.

    It might feel weird for you, and that's fine. It's good to separate the feeling from the doing, and if what you feel is still something you have to work out take all the time you need, but DO support your child in any way you can.

  3. When you work out how to to go from it being a head thing to a heart thing can you let us know because that's the biggest problem that my son seems to be envisaging when I transition and go full time, what is he going to call me.

    I don't expect him to get it right all the time, I don't expect anyone to, I do expect them to try though. If they aren't willing to do that, or deliberately refer to me by the wrong pronouns then I'll get upset.

    It sounds from your posts that you are trying to come to terms with things, just be open with M and keep a dialogue going so that M knows that you are being supportive and working at it.

  4. Thinking differently causes us to act differently, but it also works the other way around. We can change our brains by acting differently -- deliberately, as a sort of training exercise.

    Even though you say that in your heart you see M as a he, perhaps you really aren't quite there. And that's understandable. This is your child, whom you've known since birth (or before). Parents (and siblings) typically have a difficult time seeing changes in their children. They tend to see with eyes from the past. They tend to see the person they've always seen.

    If you want to get there, though, you can make a conscious effort. As I wrote, it's training. The more you do it, the easier it becomes, and it helps your brain to adjust.

    One question: does M look like a he? If not, that's a tough one to overcome. We make an unconscious decision on the sex of another person in a split second, based on all the cues we perceive. It's especially difficult to contradict our perceptions. But again, we can nudge ourselves in tht direction if we want.

    Perhaps you can try harder. But don't let anyone beat you up about it.

  5. Thank you for the feedback so far. I had a breakthrough at my own therapist's today, but too tired to blog. Will have it up tomorrow or Saturday. (Hint: I skipped the Anger equation in the grief process...)

  6. I'll offer that while it is hard, good intentions do little to quell the pain and heartbreak when its your pronouns that are being confused. When someone gets them right, especially early on when you're not really all that used to it, it bolsters confidence, self-acceptance, and a sense of accomplishment. But when someone gets them wrong, it feels like your failure, not theirs. It's not going to happen overnight but like Ariel says, you're not likely to just wake up one day and make the switch. It takes practice and conscious effort. It is, however, a gift your son is unlikely to forget.