I Wish I Had Been Abused By Gender Ideology

The American College of Pediatricians announced, “Gender Ideology Harms Children.”

In fact, they labeled families who endorse it or have children who struggle with disorders that might embrace gender ideology as “abusive.”

I’m not a scholar, and I certainly do not write for the American Psychological Association, but I have some expertise in the area. If you ask me, the notion is lacking and dangerous.

As a child, I could have used some gender ideology in my home.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome started causing hormonal imbalance by the age of eight. A disorder that medical professionals and researchers still do not know much about today; a disorder not so uncommon to those who struggle with gender identity or who fall amongst the transgender community.

So, I want to tell you about being abusive firsthand.

Abusive is when a disorder or illness is ignored because of cosmetic ideations based on social and cultural norms. Abusive is watching your child become a disfigured “woman” because medical treatments go uncovered or unattempted.

Abusive is watching your child live so uncomfortably in his/her own skin that he/she cannot look in the mirror, go to school every day, go on a date, attend prom or hang out at the mall with friends, but doing absolutely nothing to change it.

Abusive is a system so concerned with professional (and financial) acceptance that it labels those who struggle with finding themselves, those who struggle with feeling like a boy or a girl, abnormal. Freaks. Sinners. Impure.

Abusive is a system that leaves those who struggle with gender identity holding up help signs in the middle of busy streets while their screams are being ignored!

We had a lot of that kind of abuse in my family. The cuts and the bruises still have not healed.

I wish I had been abused by gender ideology.

I wish I had been abused by controversial perspectives and unorthodox treatment options, instead of a mother who made me feel like a boy. I wish I had been abused by something that gave me a little hope in this darkened world! But I wasn’t.

I was, however, abused by the system. I was abused by religious culture, broken health care policies, and systematic neglect like the American College of Pediatricians just set the foundation for, and I’m writing this today, in case I never get my doctorate, to say this:

We are not all the same, and many of us out there need medical professionals to remember what and who they are fighting for.

Oklahoma cited this research when writing yet another state bill to fight against coed bathrooms in schools. Oklahoma used this research to justify why it is okay that state discrimination and abuse of the transgender and LGBT community continues to go ignored.

I hold the American College of Pediatricians responsible.


Brecheen, J. (2017). SJR 36. oklegislature.gov. Retrieved 14 February 2017, from http://www.oklegislature.gov/BillInfo.aspx?Bill=sjr36

Gender Ideology Harms Children. (2016). American College of Pediatricians. Retrieved 14 February 2017, from https://www.acpeds.org/…/pos…/gender-ideology-harms-children

Dissociative Identity Disorder: I Think I’m Me

It took 15 years of avoidance, the view from the end of a very long rope, and one newborn baby, to make me face my Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and to realize most people who have DID do not act like the main character of the Showtime series United States of Tara.

Before my child was born, I did not know anything about it and I didn’t want to. The only thing I knew about Multi Personality Disorder (now known as DID) was that every time I’d heard mention of it, the context of the conversation could pretty much be summed up like this:

“Those people are crazy.”

False. I’m not. In fact, I’m very intelligent and the process my mind created for me over the course of eighteen years of my life is meticulously and intellectually organized and understandable after coming to terms with the trauma that caused it.

Furthermore, the other “me.” is still me, and she is a teenager. I’m not a doctor, but now that I am learning more about the condition, my research would suggest that she is teen because that is the time in my life in which I endured some of the most severe trauma, and my mind felt the need to protect me.

Therefore, when I am dissociated, my emotional coping skills, social cues, and communication, reflect that of my teenage self around that particular time of trauma.

For me, the problem is that my teen-self was just as articulate and just as smart. As a teen, I was developing the guts to defend myself against my father via my mouth. (It usually ended up in the need to outrun him.)

Thus, she is the me who steps in now when Dissociative Identity Disorder wins the boxing round.

It sucks. It’s humiliating. It’s embarrassing. It’s enabling and disabling all at the same time. It causes me to lose track of days, projects, deadlines, commitments, forget whole conversations, say things I don’t mean, and lose my cool when I’m in a verbal altercation and someone throws the right words with their punches.

“She” is the side of myself that I hate. The side who would kill you with words and read you your book, and she knows how to hit where it hurts. She will destroy you and spit words in such a way that after you are done defending yourself, you will still play in your head over and over because they were accurate, but expressed in the most destructive way.

She’s not crazy, either, but she is a victim. She is scared, defenseless, and angry, so my mind’s choice to become her is dangerous. She will do anything it takes to defend herself or me from one more bad thing, but she’s a fraud and she knows it. She’s helpless, vicious, emotional, cold, careless, and reckless.

She is my DID, and if she wasn’t as smart as me, professionals could just feel sorry for me or write me off as “another crazy.” But I understand DID more than most people in the psychology field because I live it, and it seems to create even more of a struggle for me.

I do not take medication. I don’t write notes to my other selves or have conversations like Jekyll and Hyde situations you see on TV. I haven’t followed the DSM-5 method of treatment or integration. I don’t do any of those things.

I face the pain behind it head-on and I do that because my daughter’s future demanded it. That doesn’t mean that I can always control it. Understanding and the ability of articulation do not negate or invalidate the challenges of any mental health diagnosis, and neither should stigmas or personal biases against established mental health conditions.

When mental health professionals or educational institutions allow those things to cloud their judgment in providing services or meeting the needs of those who struggle with uncommon mental health diagnoses, it is people like me who suffer the consequences.

It is children like my beautiful 3-year-old daughter who are robbed of their futures because their parents cannot break through socialized perceptions of mental health conditions that have become common belief and spilled over into common practice.

We are not all the same! What helped me face it? Facebook. After 6 years of therapy had failed me, spilling my thoughts and being able to track my conversations on Facebook saved me. I helped myself, and I’m nobody.

I’m a mental health patient. I’m a suicide loss survivor. I’m a child abuse victim. I’m a domestic violence survivor. I’m a rape survivor. I am a “disabled” person.

I am a lot of things, but what I am not is a psychologist, a suicidologist, a doctor, an LCP, MSW, MD, any other certification or title, you name it! I’m not any of those people.

I’m someone who can be (no, someone who is!) part of the answer educational institutions and medical researchers are looking for. So goes the same for every single person with a mental health condition or illness.

We are a million different people, not one diagnosis, and there is no single solution.

Love Changes People

Evade, avoid, repeat. That’s my motto. Lately, it’s become more of an anthem. Some days, it works.

Tonight, for example, I didn’t notice that my open letter to my friends and my family wasn’t liked by even one of my family members on any of six social media outlets. I didn’t notice that out of 338 Facebook friends, only a handful read my letter or liked it.

In fact, It almost slipped right by me that out of my last 20 posts, only three family members interacted and the exact same 25 people.

No, I didn’t notice at all. It doesn’t bother me…

“It’s just Facebook!”

I also didn’t notice when child abuse, domestic abuse, and violence, started trending and not many shared my message then, either.

A few wrote to tell me “I wanted to share it, but…” I understood. It’s hard to think about that kind of violence.

I would know. I struggled to write it.

Approximately 3 million reports are made annually, which include more than 6 million children. But we all just continue to watch. Meanwhile, CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman, an “expert,” wants to refer to the line between discipline and abuse as a gray blur?

I guess she’s never been a victim.


The same thing happened the first time my work was published by Elite Daily. #YesALLWomen began trending on Twitter, sparked by the Isla Vista Shooting.

Instead of mourning the victims, we placed gender against gender and one kind of pain against another, rather than addressing that we have a culture of violence.

#YesALLWomen is an important and meaningful hashtag. As a woman and a survivor of sexual assault, I understood that. But as someone who experienced the death of two classmates and the tragedy of the Columbine Massacre when I was a high school student, it was frustrating to watch the world divert the attention away from the lives that were lost.

When I was 15, I remember thinking to myself that what I was hearing about would be a part of history one day. I never imagined we would allow it to become a way of life.

My friends and family struggled to congratulate me or share it the same then, too.

I called my mother and father and told them that day, even gave them the link to read it. Six hours later . . . silence.

No big deal. People forget how you made them feel, right? Maya Angelou reminds us that’s not true:

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

We all deserve to feel loved.


When I began advocating for suicide prevention, I blogged an article to kick it off:

Everyone is Talking About Homosexuality, But No One Is Talking About What Matters.

Less than 24 hours later, I realized that if I wanted my message to be heard, I needed to change the title. People wouldn’t read it and they definitely wouldn’t share it, if it alluded to a lifestyle they consider immoral, sinful, or perverse.

If I reference homosexuality or if I advocate on behalf of a transgender adolescent, I must be one of those people:

Leftward thinking people truly do whatever it takes when it comes to convincing others that their lifestyle — and other lifestyles — are simply equal expressions of human life.

As expressed by a Christian blogger.

Telling someone Jesus loves them is not the same as telling them you love them. Jesus can’t tell our children how much we love them or how important they are to us. Jesus can’t tell them how much they matter to us.

That’s our job.

Leelah just needed to know her parents loved her. She screamed it. She needed to know that her life mattered to them; she mattered.

When I was her age, I attempted suicide. It has taken fifteen years to admit that, but it took my church seconds to deem me unfit for ministry contract I had signed. In fine ink, it disclosed, “Perfection required.”

I guess I wasn’t called or anointed. I guess I’m not a leader. I’m just a sinner. My life didn’t matter. I didn’t matter. Only good Christians mattered.

At least that’s the message they sent. Now, as an adult, I know they were wrong, but back then I didn’t. I hid the truth, carried the guilt and blamed myself. I wish I hadn’t.

I’ve read the bible. For me, this was the verse that screamed among everything else:

Three things remain: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.

I can’t help but wonder how many people viewed Leelah’s suicide note the night before her death and chose to ignore it.

It doesn’t take a Bible or a hashtag to share your faith, show love or save people. If you want to change the world, it’s simple.

Go spread love throughout it.


Someone in your life is sitting at home right now and they’re wondering why they should go on living. They’re suffering in silence and painting a smile because that is what we’ve come to believe is normal, polite and expected. But they’re lying. They’re desperate, broken, hurting and alone, and silently thinking,

I don’t matter. No one cares. If I die tomorrow, nobody will notice. 

They say pain changes people.  I’ve come to find it true myself.

But so does love.



“Even God Must Get the Blues”