Having a loving, supportive and on-going relationship with their parents is just as important to adults as it was for them as babies and very young children. Parents have a hugely influential role in the overall development of their children and many adults still seek the approval of their parents in much of their decision making.
We all want to be accepted for who we are as valuable human beings and none more so than by our parents.
Imagine then, the difficulty and mental anguish being faced by transgender people who are at the point in their own life journey that they need to tell their parents what is happening to them. Regardless of the many clues that were present right throughout their childhood, most transgender people acknowledge that their parents, if they were aware, chose to ignore these signs. For others, the parents simply had no clue.
Strong Core Self Belief Essential
The most important issue at this point for transgender people ready to confront parents is strengthening their self belief. This will help them deal with any negative responses while at the same time, hoping for positive ones. Some professional compassionate counselling is called for at this time, until that internal strength is rock solid.
It is important to be prepared for the worst, and to also understand that a revelation of this nature is a huge shock and will take some time for parents to process. Some transgender people found it easier to write an old-fashioned letter, beginning with the present situation then explaining the past in the context of their gender issues. This type of communication is still the norm for older generations, and gives them the space and time to consider their feelings and compose their response.
Acceptance at the Heart of Counselling
At the Centre for Human Potential counsellors specialising in transgender issues are available to work with all parties to guide them through the process of understanding and accepting their loved one. Essential to acceptance is the realisation that this is still the same loved one, with the same childhood memories, the same goals and ambitions and in most cases, the same friends as they had before they opened up to their parents. Counselling can be very helpful in assisting people to get to this position more quickly and with less anxiety than if they try to work through it alone.
This is a complex issue that can either unite a family or tear it apart. The aim of the professional team at the Centre for Human Potential is to help bridge any divide.