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When Pink Turns Blue, What Do You Do? - Part 4


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I want to start by saying I was still of the mindset that this would pass and was not what God had in store for my child. However, I spent a lot of time while he was in the new facility questioning God and listening as well. 

To this point, Patton had been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, psychosis, self-harm, dissociative identity disorder, and gender dysphoria

He and I still argued a lot about a lot of things. Name changes, pronoun changes, oh my! It was not an easy time. My desire was to show him unconditional love, but my pride and religion got in the way. It would be at least two more years before I reached that goal. That two-year journey started while I was in this place questioning God and being there for Patton.

I felt alone. So alone. I didn’t know anyone else going through this. My friends and family didn’t know how to help or support me. They were of the same mindset of it is a sin and he was confused. I know now that the brain is an organ and it can have all the kinds of issues other organs have. It isn’t always sin or something spiritual, it can be physical and physiological, but that is what I heard from everyone in my life, so that is what I was living. What a lonely place it was. Thank God my husband and I were in it together.

So...the new facility. Now he had a room with a roommate, but at least he could change in peace and have semi-privacy. He met with a therapist daily in group sessions with others that were going through what he was. There were nice nurses and horrible nurses. He formed a friendship with one of them and trusted him. They did put him in a female dorm, which he was chagrined about, but I was okay with. I didn’t really want my son (with female parts) in with a bunch of boys, but it was hard for him. 

I could visit for one hour each day. I looked forward to the time with him. He would come out, we would sit on a couch and he would tell me about his day and I would share about mine. My favorite part was we would hold hands the whole time. He told me that he now knew I did love him because I basically quit my job and moved mountains to be there with him. I guess actions really do speak louder than words! 

In my questioning of God and studying the way Jesus loved, I began to hear the Lord say that I am called to LOVE my child. I had already laid a firm foundation and now I just needed to love him and continue praying for God’s will in his life. It was not my job to try to change him or tell him he was wrong - passing judgment on what I did not understand. 

The church had hurt my child and he began to pull away from God saying that if that is the way people who follow God act, I don’t want anything to do with that God. So, my prayer became that God would sustain me and help me to love Patton well and show him that not everyone that follows God is that way. This began my journey to acceptance and love through the deconstruction of my religious thoughts. It would take two more years for me to truly walk in what the Lord stirred in my heart during this time. Relationship is more important than religion. River of Jordan by LeCrae became a theme song for me and still is to this day.

After the first few days in this facility, I began to notice new self-harming on his arms. When he would get anxious he would scratch at his arm until it broke the skin and bled. I questioned him about it and he said the place made him anxious and watching how others were treated sometimes created more anxiety than he usually had. GREAT! The place that is supposed to be helping him is causing more self-harm. I scheduled an appointment with the therapist and asked her about it. She said she had noticed and would meet with him one-on-one to try to help him with it, which she did, but it didn’t help him. 

Two weeks went by this way. He was so happy to get out of there. The day I checked him out, we went for whatever lunch he wanted and then went thrift store shopping and antiquing. Two of his favorite things to do. We talked and had a good time. He called his regular therapist to update him on his progress and that he was out of the facility. Again, the therapist apologized, both to him and me for the way things were handled and that he would never have suggested it if he’d know what would take place. We both forgave him and decided moving forward was best. 

We spent a couple of days on the marsh near Oak Island at a friend’s house or on the beach. It was very peaceful. He said it was a good way to end the whole ordeal...peace and solitude. He seemed more at peace and pensive too. I gave him space but also enjoyed every bit of time he wanted to spend with me. 

This chapter was over. He no longer had suicidal thoughts. He seemed to have a new outlook on life. It wasn’t the end...not even a little.

If you are going through a challenging time and can relate, please know you are not alone and I am praying for you and your family.


1 comment

  1. Does sound challenging for both of you. Looks like a beautiful place to visit.


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