Friday, September 6, 2019

Dealing with a Non-Binary Child

Like most advice columnists New York Magazine’s Ask Polly often prescribes a warm bath of empathy. Feel your feelings, the dimwitted Polly always recommends. And feel other people’s feelings, she often appends. Ostensibly, Polly speaks for the therapy culture. If so, the therapy culture, if it had the least sense of decency, would pack up its bags and go home. 

It is not going to do so, because its mission has nothing to do with healing psychic wounds or even promoting emotional serenity. As for helping people to function more effectively in the world, the thought has never crossed its mind.

The therapy culture has become an indoctrination mill, a brainwashing factory whose goal is to teach you to think politically correct thoughts, and to proselytize the true woke faith.

If you deviate from the dogmas of the Church of the Liberal Pieties, as I call it, you are going to be thrashed to within an inch of your sanity. No empathy for you, bunky.

So, this week a woman writes to Polly to confess to an inability to get over the fact that her 25 year old daughter has decided that she is really a man. Or, in other words, that she is non-binary. Said daughter rejects all gendered pronouns and imposes her mindless tyranny on her mother. Said mother, not exactly a member of the vast right wing conspiracy, is a true feminist, progressive to the depth of her marrow. She does not say that she feels any guilt for her daughter’s deviation from biology, her war against reality. So, we will not tax her with responsibility.

In truth, the culture has been created by people who believe that sexuality is merely a social construction has naturally produced increasing numbers of confused young people who think that they can decide what they are, even if it has nothing to do with their biology. 

Apparently, the distraught mother, who is watching her daughter destroy herself, has her own problems. Otherwise why would she ask the advice of an imbecile like Polly.

So, here’s the letter:

I am at the age, and of a generation, where seemingly every discussion, every quick hello, every post on social media focuses on the successes of my friends’ and acquaintances’ young-adult children, their milestones (careers, marriages), and their children. We are baby-boomers in retirement or pre-retirement and the central focus is FAMILY. It is a constant litany of gratitude and feeling blessed. A nonstop river of joy and bursting-at-the-seams pride over the kids, the kids, the kids. And the grandkids. Given my unique situation, all I want to do is to avoid family gatherings, dinner-party invites, and the like and eliminate all social media from my life. I want to disappear.

Because, unlike all these folks, my 25-year-old daughter came out as nonbinary about two years ago and eschews all feminine descriptions (i.e., daughter, girl, woman) and feminine pronouns. My darling girl, my only child, is now a “they,” with a very masculine appearance, and a new life that is unfamiliar to all I know. I felt lost, bewildered, and deeply sad when they came out, and I have not been able to recover. What makes it all so much worse is that I feel extremely guilty about my sadness, and afraid that any acknowledgment of it, even inadvertently, will immediately label me a transphobe, which I am not.

The emotional experience of losing my daughter has been brutal. However, it is clear to me that my grief is not allowed. I am a progressive, living in a blue environment, and I wouldn’t be at home anywhere else. Nevertheless, the message from the environment is clear: Get over it, get on with it, and embrace the cause. I also get this message implicitly from my child, who I see about once a month and chat with on the phone. I am who I want to be, Mom, and it is great. About my being a girl, yeah, stop using that word and all similar references, because I am not, was what I was told early on. With that, a huge piece of me was summarily dismissed, and I was supposed to carry on without blinking an eye.

I want my child to be happy. I want them to live the life they were meant to live. But as a nonbinary, they have turned their back on a shared history, a shared female language, a commitment to feminism, a connection that is gender-specific and deep. It feels like a wholesale rejection not only of their life, but also of mine, as their mother. As if giving birth to and raising a beautiful girl never happened.

Please understand: I love my child unconditionally, and always will. I believe to my core in the sanctity of all human beings. Everyone deserves a life of dignity and respect, and the right to live their truth. Any form of prejudice is abhorrent to me. The depth of my grief has surprised even me. I have turned to counseling, prayer, and secret Facebook groups where parents of transgender and gender-nonconforming kids insist that the pain and grief go away. It gets easier, they say, but closing in on two years, it has not.

When I am not with my child, who lives independently, the ability to squelch my feelings becomes exhausting. I keep a smile on my face and an upbeat tone, but I cannot keep up the ruse all day, every day. Despite getting support from friends, a therapist, my spouse (their stepfather), the sadness remains. It robs me of sleep, a sense of well-being, and even a sliver of hope for a fulfilling future.

In fact, it gets harder as friends’ kids get good jobs, get engaged, get married, have kids of their own. It is not that I am chomping at the bit to be a grandmother, I just feel weird and embarrassed. I feel exposed in some strange way, and I do not want people to ask, and learn, and see what is going on here. And I feel guilty for feeling this way at all.

Added to the raw emotion of this life event is the fact that I am now in late middle age, and acutely aware of time passing. I was so excited about the beauty, promise, and potential of my daughter. Rather than looking back with fondness, I feel shame at the realities of my family situation, embarrassment over my child’s odd look and pronouns, and gnawing guilt over how I cannot get onboard with the new reality.

I do not want to waste the rest of my life feeling despair over what I thought I had, and what I lost. I do not want to move through my last years despondent and jealous of all the families not contending with this issue — yes, I will say it — the cisgender families with cisgender children. I do not want to cringe every time I see my child. I want to embrace, to feel bold, fierce, and proud of my child and myself.

However, I do not see a way out of this dark place. Can you help?

Lost and Grieving in a Binary World

It takes a heart of pure stone not to feel for this woman. No matter how she expresses herself, no matter which social conventions she sees her daughter defying, she feels for her daughter. She is helpless to counter the brainwashing that has fostered a delusional belief in her child. And she can do nothing to help her to change her mind, to think differently, to stop pretending to be something she is not.

Said daughter is not merely at war with social custom and convention, as the lame brained Polly will have it. The girl is at war with reality, with her biological reality. This mother knows, as you and I and anyone with any sense knows, that this is going to turn out very badly. The girl’s friends will go off to live conventional lives and she will be ostracized from their society.

The mother wants to embrace her daughter for what she is. But, she cannot. Her sanity, her hold on reality is hanging by a thread. She is wrong to attempt to buy into the delusion. And she should not allow herself to be oppressed by this contemporary cultural tyranny. 

In most columns, Polly and her advice columnist brethren tend to tell people to be true to their feelings. Not in this case. Polly will chastise this woman for not being as stupid as Polly herself is. She will tell her that changing gender identities is like changing your pants. She tells her to deny her feelings and to buy into wokeness. Clearly, the mother is trying to do so. And that is why she has been trying to use the correct pronouns, etc. She should stop trying to buy into the delusion, even if it risks alienating her from her child.

Anyway, Polly thinks that it’s all a mindless social convention, imposed for no good reason on all human communities from the dawn of time.

She opens thusly:

Because I think the binary world is a little bit worn out and stupid, it’s tempting for me to berate you for your attachment to it. I can’t help but say, “Daughter things, girl things, weddings? This is what you’re mourning? The whole world is burning down, and you want your princess back?”

"Worn out and stupid" describes Polly herself, aptly. The binary world is not over. It is being systematically suppressed by culture warriors who are hellbent on destroying our civilization. When it comes back from the dead, there will be a serious reckoning.

A world that takes Polly seriously is probably in serious trouble, but, allow me to quote what the world takes seriously as advice:

In order to stay open and accept and connect with you, I have to question the ways you privilege conformity and tradition over self-determination. Why does your kid being a girl matter so much to your memory of them? What’s so good about girl stuff and woman stuff that it could become more important than having raised a human being with the confidence to define themselves outside of strict boundaries of gender? Have you ascribed some motive to their choices and ideas and tastes and desires independently that makes them look weak or ill-considered to you? Do you experience these aspects of your child as rigid or unlikable? Do you have some overarching concerns about what these traits and wants and interests mean about who your kid is, personality-wise?

I’m curious about your own attachment to gender, and what it means to you. I wonder why the relatively small identity shift involved here would drown out your pride over having raised a child who has the courage to say what they will and won’t accept, who has the bravery to forge their own path and describe their own experience in a whole new language.

Self-determination, be whatever you want to be… even if the world knows that you are at war with your own biological reality. Polly thinks that it’s all about privilege. And she thinks that it’s all a “relatively small identity shift.” How stupid can you be? As for the notion that this woman has raised a child who is capable of buying a delusion, a delusion that has no basis in reality, a delusion that effectively will marginalize her for life from normal society… this has nothing to do with self-determination. It is very bad news. 

The mother has some sense that her daughter is making a grievous mistake. She thinks that she should go along, but she knows better. What is she supposed to say about her daughter when she is socializing with friends whose daughters are leading normal lives? Her daughter’s brainwashing is having a direct effect on her life too. By the way, is there a father in the picture? Or is that too much to ask?

As for having a normally conventional life, Polly can offer nothing but contempt:

And why do you find your friends’ offspring so compelling and worthy of their pride? What’s so precious about following the herd into steady jobs and steady marriages and childbearing and predictable hairstyles and fashions? Why is there special pride to be taken in the son who finished med school and found a nice wife, who mimics the sounds and behaviors of the herd perfectly, who may not have dreamt up a single original thought in his entire life and who may not know who he is or why he’s living the life he’s living even once he reaches the age of 75? Why is there a special shame inherent to raising a person who knows, at least, what they do not want, what they have never wanted, what they reject with every cell of their being?

As for every cell of the daughter’s being, how does Polly know this? She does not. Being especially stupid she does not even recognize that every cell in the girl’s body has XX chromosomes. The latest in woke delusions, coupled with Polly's appalling stupidity of Polly cannot change that.


Dan Patterson said...

Mental illness was once treated, now it is celebrated.
And we are all stained by that change.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Non-binary insanity now even trumps a mother’s greatest desires for her daughter — to start a new family: get married, build a home with a good man, bear children, grow with them, and watch those children bring forth a new generation. This is how a parent realizes the fullest satisfaction in life. Sure, can stuff happen along the way. Life is not perfect. But this used to be the way of the world in human life, and the basis for a thriving, stable society. Now we celebrate people abandoning that, and it’s the parents problem fir wanting them to perpetuate that society through forming their own family, procreating, and raising the next generation. For this passé desire of 99.9% of the world’s parental population, this parent is scolded for being narrow-minded and somehow selfish —for wanting a real, meaningful life for her daughter. For wanting her daughter to grow into full adulthood, caring for someone greater than herself.

And Polly’s all in on this nonsense — pronouncing her moral magnificence (her “wokeness”) — for all to see. She’s bought into it hook, line and sinker, and will justly be accepted by all the right people, at all the right cocktail parties. And she’s an advice columnist. Good grief.

Thus celebration of the non-binary world — and the shaming of binary people wanting to perpetuate a “worn out and stupid” binary world that has existed since the dawn of home sapient — was brought to you by the ideological and cultural Left.

The Left hates humanity.

UbuMaccabee said...

Put me in the heart of stone category. These two losers are reaping what they’ve sown. Leftists do not have developed souls, so it doesn’t really matter when their lives are ruined by self-inflicted stupidity. Also, put me down for thinking unconditional love is contemptible. When God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah these were the sorts of people who lives in those places. Walk on.

Sam L. said...

The Left is crazy, and insidious. Polly, well, she's drunk the Left's Kool-Ade.

Good question about "where's the father". All we know is there IS a step-father. I suspect he's hands-off and in another room just to stay out of this in some semblance of safety.

ASM826 said...

The only way out is through it. Out non-binary the non-binary offspring. Mom needs to get on the far side of her offspring's behavior. Go #woke. Tell the offspring she's completely right and you've realized it. Cut the hair. Start wearing gender neutral clothes. Pick a pronoun.

Refuse to be called mom. Refuse all efforts to be boxed into a female nurturing role as evidence that the offspring is still trapped by the patriarchy. Respond to all gender related issues and comments from they(sic) with, "I know, right? It happens to me all the time."

Ride this thing into the ground like Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove.

Walt said...

Reading Polly's answer actually made me sick to my stomach (okay, I admit I've got a stomach virus, but still...) She didn't help the woman; she just yelled at her. But her thesis--that living happily in the sex you were born to and doing the things that naturally, not to mention biologically, go along with that sex is just mindless gutless conformity--that scrambled my brain. Sort of like saying that for water, being wet is just unoriginal thinking.

DocVinny said...

The only way to fix this is to just say no. Yes, it's hard to tell your kid who is coming home from college where ze is studying for a degree in some unemployable major while either you or your kid is going into debt to pay for it that reality is not what you feel it should be, and that you're perfectly woke enough to recognise bullcrap when your kid spouts it. The best thing she can do for her kids is sit her kids down and give them a dose of reality.

Yes it's going to be uncomfortable. If your kids have any ability to think critically you might actually make a difference in their life by giving them important data at a critical time in their life.

You also have to face the fact that your kid may be lost to you because they believe this crap. Sometimes truth hurts.

n.n said...

Binary sex: male, female. Binary gender: masculine, feminine. And a transgender spectrum ("rainbow"), including transversal physical and/or mental attributes. That said, it's a clear and progressive problem that these social activists are targeting adolescent and prepubescent children for indoctrination and even medical corruption in order to normalize their beliefs. Transphobia is a projection condition, where the individual or group hates or fears that the transversal attributes will be tolerated, but not normalized (i.e. promoted). Oh, well. Once you go Pro-Choice (e.g. selective/planned-child, recycled-child, diversity), it's a progressive path.

n.n said...

Ride this thing into the ground like Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove.

The nuclear option. In the meantime, there is a wicked solution for sex equivalence, and indoctrination and medical corruption to force normalization of the transgender spectrum. Here's to progress. Perhaps a great leap.

n.n said...

The only way to fix this is to just say no

It won't work. They will choose a path of least resistance, because there is already enough inertia to cope with. The best you can hope for is to instill the right principles, and hope they will reconcile them. You will probably need to drop minor preferences to avoid forcing stress fractures that may beak them or trigger the "rebel with a cause" for its own sake rebellious phase.

Anonymous said...

Am I selfish to think these are precious years, and each one of us should make the most of them? Why is this woman (and her friends) focused on the lives of others (even though they are their "children") instead of their own? Have they stopped being people in their own right?

I'd be bored to tears with people who only talk about other people....Even if they're their children, seems more like gossip. Wouldn't talking ideas be more...interesting?

My instinct is to say -- get some interests! Of your own! I'm loving these years with no responsibilities, no one but my husband and myself, not having to get up and deal with the drama caused by other people.I'm relearning the piano and progressing further than I did before, debating political issues online, and am a constant reader, thinker,observer of life events, and scholar. What is this woman interested in? All we know is that she has a daughter and her friends only want to talk about their adult children. Boring.