Gender Dysphoria… do you know what that is? Let me tell you what happened when and where I was when I learned what it is.
One afternoon Kam and I were at the psychiatrist’s office. Due to Kam’s anxiety and depression he began treatment with a psychiatrist. He begins talking with her. She is asking him all kinds of questions. How is school? How do you feel? Tell me about your sleep patterns. Are you talking to a counselor at school? At this point in Kam’s life he had started his first semester of college. It was a not so good start. I’ll let him blog about that.
Let me take you into the office with me. There’s a round table and two comfy chairs that I and Kam were sitting in. The doctor is across from us. In the background is the doctor’s desk and bookshelves. There is a big bowl of candy on the table along with her notepad and pen. As she and Kam are talking, I am looking around and listening to Kam speak. He is answering her questions. In my head I am hearing a bit of reluctance in his voice. I’m thinking maybe it’s because I am in the room, but he did invite me to be there. Finally a question that makes him reply with a firm answer. I cannot remember the question because when he answered, I died inside. His answer to her question was and I quote, “I believe I suffer from gender dysphoria”. UMMM WHAT???? My stomach hit the floor. Right away my thoughts went right to YOU ARE NOT TRANSGENDER. I felt sick to my stomach. What was going to happen to my child? Gender dysphoria? Never heard of it? Talk about being hit in the head with a hammer. I was numb. I cried, died, and laughed. I don’t know why I laughed. Nothing was funny at that point.
Before we left the office I asked the doctor what might be our next step. She referred us to a man that forever changed Kam’s life as well as mine and my husband’s. And I mean forever. This man was a psychologist that specializes in…wait for it… gender dysphoria! Crazy right? We hooked up with him right away. I wasted no time in getting Kam into his office. Kam began seeing him alone. My husband and I joined soon after. It was an interesting series of visits for both Kam and us. We learned a lot. I cried a lot. We laughed a lot. It was also very hard. I think that’s where most of my emotions came out. Most of all, he was helpful. He asked questions that were hard to answer. My feelings at first were much of denial. I felt like Kam didn’t know what he was feeling or thinking. I mean he was eighteen–so young, so innocent in his thoughts. Again my stomach was churning at each appointment. I was afraid of what might come out of my mouth. I also lost many tears over the fact that my child had been suffering inside for so long. Kam had to go through many thought-provoking activities during his time with this doctor. I remember he had to draw pictures and answer questions on paper. He had to provide something like a letter as to why he felt the way he felt. He was asked to recall certain times in his life up to that point. I thought all of this was quite an interesting process. It was during this process that I and my husband learned how much Kam really wanted to be male.
Of course with the way I deal with life’s mountains is to find something to help myself get educated and to find support. I asked the doctor if there was any other family going through this with in our area that would be willing to talk to us. We ended up meeting a terrific family and it was therapeutic for everyone involved. Kam was well on his way to transitioning at this point.
The next step for him, as told by the doctor, was to go out and live like a man. “You want to be a man? Show yourself and live like a man”. That’s exactly what he did and never looked back.