I suffer from parental dysphoria.
Parental Dysphoria is a new condition, growing in frequency as the transgender trend that is indoctrinating our children picks up steam. Specifically, it’s the discomfort with your sense of self and view of reality that results from your child’s sudden announcement that he or she is transgender.
Parental Dysphoria commonly results from the immense societal pressure to unquestioningly support your child’s “gender journey”, up to and including social transition to the opposite gender (or non-binary), wrong-sex hormones, and surgeries.
Parental dysphoria involves the extended state of having to stay silent about something that you know will lead to tragedy, to avoid losing your child, your friends, your extended family, and your marriage—everything you’ve worked to build. You do this to preserve some small chance of having an impact, to keep your child close enough to eventually help them find their way out of this delusion. It’s living with fear—fear of loss, fear of estrangement, fear of losing your own mind, of losing your integrity by denying your own instincts.
Those who suffer from this condition, myself included, know this to be the most awful feeling you’ve ever experienced in your life.
If you suffer from Parental Dysphoria, you wish to say “you were not born in the wrong body—that’s impossible!” But you also know your child wants so badly to believe this that you aren’t sure whether to lie or tell the truth about how you see things. So, instead, you say very little and pray every day that your child will find peace in his or her own body before it is too late, before they deny and destroy their own sexual function, fertility, and poison their own bodies with synthetic hormones.
It’s the pain surging through your very being as you pray this ideology will release your child from their delusion and give you your child back. It’s the tears you choke back as you do your best to support your child despite their best efforts to push you away. It’s holding your breath, not even knowing how you can carry on. It’s a feeling of hopelessness you have never felt before.
It’s the horror of dealing with being told YOU are the one who isn’t being loving and supportive by your other child, who serves as the pronoun police in your own home. It’s the shame of realizing that you’ve lost your ability to be the adult in the room. It’s feeling that the liberal, progressive values you instilled in your children are being used against you in a way you could never have seen coming.
It’s disheartening, destabilizing and destructive.
Parental Dysphoria is what happens when you are advised by a professional to call your child by a new name, one that represents to you a symbol of their deep pain, a name that likely gets its origin from Pokémon instead of the family heritage you tried to pass on to them. It is the dissonance of having to validate a decision to transition at school made by a child going through a very confusing and difficult time in their lives. It’s the out-of-body experience of hearing your child say “I am not the person you raised, I am someone else entirely.” It’s the loneliness of being the only person who thinks all of this is damaging to your child, rather than it being brave and liberating.
It’s insane actually, this parental dysphoria. It’s insane to live with and to live through. It makes you gradually lose your own tether to reality, bit by bit, day by day.
We should all want to know why so many kids are declaring a trans identity, not simply accept this as normal, and certainly not teach it, nor enshrine it into law, until someone can prove a longitudinal study exists which makes any of it valid in the first place! At what point will we collectively stop and question this? It’s truly like living in an alternative universe!
So many of these young people are being led astray by the very people who are supposed to protect them. Doctors and psychologists are no longer experts to be trusted. Teachers and schools have not only betrayed their most vulnerable students by encouraging them down a path of self-sacrifice, they have destroyed the sacred bond they hold with parents to ensure the healthy growth and development of their children.
What is a parent to do when they suffer from parental dysphoria? Lean into the lie, hoping it will make it easier to keep the lines of communication open with our children as they mature, hoping that all the little questions you peppered in there along the way will help them to use their judgment and not their pain to make decisions about their own lives? Or do you try to cure your dysphoria with action to repair the rift, and to heal your child, despite the risk?
Parental Dysphoria is to be told you are wrong, when you know your instincts come from the deepest place a mother can ever draw from—the instinct to protect your own child. Our children, our friends and our society are being groomed to believe an ideology and they aren’t even aware that this is happening.
Even though it’s hard, I choose to treat my Parental Dysphoria, rather than to live with, to affirm, or validate it. That means I must keep speaking up. I must believe. I must never stop believing that my child’s dysphoria can be healed, and so can mine, that this cultural phenomenon will pass, as all trends pass, and our children will come back to us, hopefully still in one piece.
This article first appeared on the blog of Parents with Inconvenient Truths about Trans (PITT) and has been republished with permission.