Struggling While Parenting
Editor's note: Trigger warning - This story includes the use of derogatory language about members of the LGBTQIA community.
Hello Family, this is your girl Octavia, signing on and checking in. The last couple of days have been somewhat of a whirlwind for me. I have been struggling with being the best parent I can. However, in doing so it has not been easy.
Conflicting parenting styles
It hasn't been easy to confront a lot of the things that I was taught as a child growing up. We were raised to believe that everything was gendered. That children are to be seen but not heard. I know many of us can recognize not being heard, especially with our diagnosis.
I am teaching my boys to have open and honest dialogues with me even if I don’t always agree with them. That’s the part that leaves me feeling uneasy because it’s in those moments that I think of the many times that I wish I could have been more open and honest with my parents and grandparents. However, when I was coming up there was no room for the types of discussions that my boys and I have because it was taught that your parents and elders know best and that you are to do what you’re told.
Open and honest dialogue with my sons
So, one of my sons called the other a f*ggot and I didn’t understand where he heard that word from because I don’t use that word in my home, nor do I have them around people that use that word.
We had a meeting where all of us sat around the kitchen table and talked about how that word was not something to ever use, period. I explained to them that, that word was the last word that some people heard before they left this earth. I explained to them how that word brought up feelings of worthlessness for me. Every time I heard that word, it was in disgust.
That’s why I explained to my boys that even mommy is still learning how to unlearn some of the things in which she was taught growing up. I explained to them that it was ok for some boys to love boys and some girls to love girls. Also that it was never ok to make them feel less than because it’s not what you do.
A new kind of parenting
In that moment, I was left with the feeling that all I wanted was just to be accepted growing up. I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t repeat what was done to me. I would always be willing to have uncomfortable conversations with my boys.
So, I have been struggling with how to raise my boys to be their authentic selves while trying not to harm others in the process. I found how to forgive my parents and grandparents for not being able to hear me.
So Family, we all have a lot to unlearn but within the process give yourself the space to heal. I know that this journey will be one that may last a lifetime. But at least I know where to begin...
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