Healthy coping mechanisms for being a trans teen
August 16, 2012 1:34 PM Subscribe
How to help a trans teenager feel like he has more control over his life?
posted by lover to health & fitness (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a Trusted Adult Friend for an amazing, thoughtful, friendly, trans teen who is active and engaged in various volunteer-based communities in our city and who openly cuts and has not-eating problems. I'll call him "Fred."
He doesn't have control over his home life and isn't moving out until he graduates next June. His parents are nice enough and raised a great kid, but they don't seem to understand his needs. They raised him as a girl and don't seem to know what to do about his cutting and eating problems. I can't tell if it's him, his parents, or some combination, but therapy isn't an option at this time. It hasn't worked out for him in the past.
I might try to arrange to talk to them at some point (we've met on multiple occasions, I could pick them out of a crowd, but I only see him when he's out in the community) but I don't really know how to go about doing that. Since Fred says he feels shut down when he tries to talk to his parents at his convenience and clams up when they try to talk to him at their convenience, I might offer to go along for a chat if that's something if they wanted it.
Fred is good about reaching out to his friends but often feels alone. That's when he cuts. He knows all about the "it gets better" message but doesn't relate to it.
Based on my experiences conversing with Fred, my thought is that perhaps it's an outlet for giving himself a sense of control over his life. It also sounds like this is his reaction to feeling lonely. I just don't know how to approach this with him. He's looking for advice and I don't have it. I know it's his problem to solve, but he's looking for solutions and I thought y'all might have some useful advice I could pass along.
I would be particularly interested in resources for trans+teen+cutting or trans+cutting or trans+eating disorder ... that is, it really sounds like the cutting and the eating disorder came about as a result of not feeling accepted as trans by his parents and a large chunk of society.
I have read this thread: http://ask.metafilter.com/209639/Help-me-help-my-transgendered-cousin-in-need