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son is cutting my lingerie.


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my 13 year old is going through puberty. I've never once questioned his sexuality - always believed he was straight, thought hasn't shown much interest in girls yet. He's generally just a normal kid -though pretty introverted - not very social.  He plays a lot of video games and has only a few real friends. Covid times have been stressful and he's not been in school since last March so he doesn't have many social outlets.  He's an only child so he is lonely when we are busy with work, etc.   We have a family laundry bin in his room.   Recently I found 2 pairs of my underwear totally shredded and hidden in one of this bookshelf bins - this was the first sign of anything that led me to suspect something might be going on.  I know he's anxious right now and fearful of someone breaking into the apartment (lots of neighborhood crime), so he still sleeps with this stuffed animals/lovies.  My husband made his bed the other day and found my bra in there.   Then today I found he had taken a pair of my very soft thin leggings and cut the legs off to make a pair of "underwear". The legs were in the trashcan in his room (not hidden). The "underwear" part was hidden in his bookshelf.    I'm not sure what to make of this. I'm worried about the "cutting" part. He's never harmed himself - just my stuff!  Is this normal teen sexual fantasy stuff or initial signs of trans behavior?  I'm really at a loss - no idea. My husband just told me to not leave any lingerie out (which is impossible in a small apartment with one bathroom).  I'm fearful of bringing anything up to my son. I don't want to embarrass him. I just am concerned and want to help him deal with any anxieties or worries he might have.  Thinking I'll sign him up for some therapy sessions just for good measure for his "mental health during covid" or something....but would love any thoughts (by the way, we took the underwear and bra....but I left the "panties made from my leggings..." where I found them.

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Hello @gwennyJ and welcome to the forum.  I applaud you for seeking out advice rather than ignoring or chastising your son.  I think this may be an opening to have a talk, a conversation with him.  Let him know you found the things he took and while you may be upset you're more concerned for him and how he feels.  Its all right to question one's place in the world, and one's gender.  I've done both and I've turned out pretty well if I do say so.  Don't force him into counseling quite yet if he balks.  He may be embarrassed to speak of this with a stranger, probably more so than with you.  I know raising an only child can be difficult as we certainly made errors along the way with ours.  But keeping an open line of communication and letting him know you will be non-judgmental and on his side will go a long way.  

 

Jani

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  • Admin

The part that grabbed my eye was about your both needing to work and leave him alone.  This prompts my question of how much time you can and do give him and if it is good quality time.  I was there 25 years ago as a single parent trying to work with three teenagers and I absolutely had to make time for each of them.  Things did get out of hand a time or two so I know how it can go and am not finger pointing.  Thirteen year olds are experiencing an onslaught of the hazardous chemicals of PUBERTY.  My grandson is there now.  It is possible that your son (since we have no basis just yet to say daughter) is having fantasies and allowing free play of his new chemistry, and underwear fantasies are common.  I would not paint a devil on a door post just yet as to his Trans potential if all he is doing is the lingerie stuff just now.  There is plenty of teen talk about the rite of passage for young males gaining adult function and he may be reading and listening to it.  What is most likely needed would be some family time where his new body functions can be gently discussed, and if your medical insurance covers it, getting him in to see an Adolescent Medicine physician and clinic.  Putting that team together (you two and him and a competent doctor) will help unlock what is going on.  You can be ready to accept him and support him wherever that goes, and yes, he can be charged for the ruined underwear by extra chores or __________??????

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huh...I don't want to be am alarmist but i did the same thing. I too was concert  a "Normal Kid" but underneath i was so stress out that some one would find i was CD , wearing women stuff. I was 50 when i decided to come out but there was a lot of stress mistakes and self sabotages pre to that decision and the older you get the worse the dystonia get. Good luck

The women above me know their stuff so please take their advice to heart as well

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22 hours ago, gwennyJ said:

I'm fearful of bringing anything up to my son. I don't want to embarrass him. I just am concerned and want to help him deal with any anxieties or worries he might have.  Thinking I'll sign him up for some therapy sessions just for good measure for his "mental health during covid" or something....but would love any thoughts (by the way, we took the underwear and bra....but I left the "panties made from my leggings..." where I found them

Hi @gwennyJ, I’m glad you reached out and just want to say Thank You! for being so considerate of the embarrassment and anxieties a confrontation might cause for your child. It is so important how you go about any discussion with them. It can hurt your child deeply for many years.

As @Jani mentioned, they would likely be more receptive to a very private talk with you before revealing this deepest part of themselves with a counselor. I’m betting that if you feel you have a good trusting relationship with your child, you (and you alone) might be able to open a dialog with them very privately and in a way that would not seem in any way judging or condescending. Going into this dialog, I wouldn’t expect too much at first. It’s obvious that your child has an interest in these objects or what they represent to them and there is nothing wrong or unnatural about that at all.

After breaching the topic very delicately, they may deny it. You might in this early part of the dialog let them know you understand their needs. You could do something at this point that sounds very unorthodox but might help in this type of situation. You might offer to quietly purchase some of these items for them if they would like. They may reject your offer and that’s fine. It’s the offer that you want them to remember. I know that sounds strange but for one, it’s better than having them secretly taking yours and secondly, it shows that you do not disapprove with their having these items at all.

 

If the taking of your intimates continues, you can repeat the same offer. They just may be more receptive after a bit of time has passed between attempts. You can start another dialog keeping the theme of judgment free assistance. They will have likely taken time to process what happened during your first dialog. I would not ever double up on them with your spouse because that would likely cause them to retract and use the “deny and suppress” defense. That would be a setback. It is important to keep this between you and your child until you can get them talking. When that occurs, there might be a possibility of them seeing a counselor if you gain their trust with this most intimate topic.

 

Getting a helpful dialog with your child will take some additional quality time and effort on your part. It’s not something that can be solved overnight. Many of us here can attest to that. This is just my take on your situation so take my advice with a grain of salt. However, I lived through a very embarrassing and similar experience when I was 17 and it didn’t go well because I was purposefully humiliated by my parent which caused a lot of damage throughout my life.

 

I am so happy that you’re one of those parents who genuinely wants what’s best for their child and loves them unconditionally.

 

Warmest Regards,

Susan R🌷

 

 

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If you need to hear it from more of us, I also agree with what has been said. Susan's idea about purchasing something for them is actually an excellent idea.

 

I also applaud you for seeking information before acting on impulse. This is not what normally happens and can drive a teenager into total denial and make it harder for them to open up to anyone.

 

Hugs,

Mike

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7 hours ago, Susan R said:

 

After breaching the topic very delicately . . You might offer to quietly purchase some of these items for them if they would like. They may reject your offer and that’s fine. It’s the offer that you want them to remember.

@gwennyJ  Notice the lack of 'pronouns' that Susan R uses above? Could be "applicable" or not but, the idea being good, alternately just don't ask at all and buy some likeable things that "fit" and, leaving them to find, perhaps your 13 yr old will sense an "ok/acceptence" on your part and might brouch the subject of interest on their own?

I suspect crossdressing amoung boys is probably quite common at that age but "TS" not so much . . If "isolated" and lacking in any real identity and/or sexuality based interactions or attractions with other boys or girls perhaps you could also ask of topics of interest seen "online?

My two chirldren, a boy & girl, were each having grandbabies @ 16/17 respectively so only 3 years difference is not a huge stretch these days!

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Hi @gwennyJ.  I think you are a great example of a caring parent to reach out seeking information that might help in their relationship with their child, and their well being. .. so I commend you.
I was also an introverted adolescent and about the same age as your son when I first started digging into my mothers lingerie whenever I was home alone (both my parents worked).  I never kept or cut up anything, but the desire to dress and the comfort I felt when I did was very strong.
The experiences the other Members gave you are all great, so I will try not to add on or duplicate that, but I can give you an example of how to open the conversation from an experience with my adolescent son.
One night when I got up late to get a drink of water I caught my son watching porn on the family computer and masturbating.  He was embarassed, and I didn't say anything other than .."its late, and you should probably go to bed". 
A day or two later when I was giving him a ride to school I assured him "ya' know, looking at porn and masturbating is a natural thing to do, specially for men.  Its important though that it doesn't become a habit or addictive behavior... and please do it in your own room, OK?"  that was it. 
If I was your son, and if it was my mother so many years ago who caught me, I would hope she would've said something similiar "you know, some boys like to try on new things, and even women's clothing.  I want you to know .. its OK.  I don't mind, but I don't want you to cut up or keep my things.  Is there something I can buy you that you would like to wear?  Would it make you feel better?"
Not sure how your son would respond, but if he felt relief from guilt or embarrassment, then from that point I would hope a deeper conversation about the "Why" part could eventually start.  I have no idea about your son's "Why" so I am not going to offer that.  A family therapist would be very helpful with this at some point, and if needed then a gender therapist if that is your son's main reason for dressing or taking your things.  Then again, it could be something else.
Also ... gender identity has nothing to do with sexual preference/identity.  We all have our own unique sexual preferences, but  a repressed gender identity can be a lifelong struggle of guilt and anxiety, as many of us here on this Forum have experienced.  A loving, open and compassionate parent can make all the difference is their child's future happiness.

I am wishing you all the best ... Deep breaths ... one step at a time❤️

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gina-nicole-t
11 hours ago, KayC said:

One night when I got up late to get a drink of water I caught my son watching porn on the family computer and masturbating.  He was embarassed, and I didn't say anything other than .."its late, and you should probably go to bed". 
A day or two later when I was giving him a ride to school I assured him "ya' know, looking at porn and masturbating is a natural thing to do, specially for men.  Its important though that it doesn't become a habit or addictive behavior... and please do it in your own room, OK?

If I would have had a mother that understanding instead of mentally and verbally abusive to me it would have saved me a lot of anxiety and pain growing up. Truth is both my parents we just downright abusive to me because they thought religion gave them that right to be that way. 

I also tried on my mom's underwear when they were gone on long trips and left me at the house alone. It was my way of feeling the way I knew how I truly meant to feel. I always had to be super careful to make sure they were put back the same way they came out for fear of what would happen to me. Of course now I have my own and am very happy to own them. 

@gwennyJ I would not presume to tell you how to approach your child in this matter. I would just say do it privately and with love and don't shame him for this. As a child who experienced more than his fair share of shame before transitioning, it has long lasting mental effects. Who knows if you do decide to offer to purchase some of these items for him he might take you up on it for Christmas. 

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thanks all for your feedback. Today I found some more underwear and another bra (not cut) with the hidden "underwear made from leggings". I assume he must've just added this in the last few days since I last looked.  I'm not putting my things in the hamper in his room anymore so he must be somehow taking them from my drawer.  Not sure when/how as we are generally home 24/7 these days in covid lockdown.  I took my bra back (because, hello, I need it) but left the underwear. Maybe doing this will give him a subtle clue that I know he's taking them, but not making a big deal about it?  he clearly will NOT be ready to discuss this (as he pretty much hates talking about anything).....I'm guessing at this point he's wearing things.... (and not just 'cutting' it...)...

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There is going to have to be some dialog soon or both (Parentals and child) segments of this will be under some heavy stress.  If you are up to this, there is a documentary entitled Transhood that is showing just now (I don't have a link at the minute) but it goes through the lives of several young people who are pretty out and open. 

 

Take the time and watch it as a family, but without you and dad really saying anything toward your child, but sharing how you feel about the children and parents in it, and inviting your child to join the discussion, but not insisting on it.  That will accomplish two things, some family time and letting your child know how those lives resonate with your life.  Letting you child know they will be safe and loved even if they identify as Trans or Non-binary.  Having your child see you reacting to others who may be like your child will be helpful.  You may not get an answer immediately, but all of it will lead to dialog that is needed.

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@VickySGV

I haven’t seen this movie Transhood yet but I have to say... I like this idea very much. Obviously, @gwennyJ will have to decide if it’s something she thinks her child would do—watch a trans movie with mom/dad. It’s somewhat more subtle than asking to have a conversation. It doesn’t necessarily require direct or immediate conversation as required by any conversation between mom or dad with their child. IMHO, I think it might be less intimidating if mom alone (or perhaps dad if he’s less intimidating) watched it with them. I myself never liked it when both my parent confronted me about anything together. Maybe their family dynamics are different enough to accommodate that and make it work.

 

I really think this is a great idea assuming the movie itself works for the parents and they think it might lead to an eventual dialog about this topic.

 

Susan R🌷

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gina-nicole-t

I agree with everyone else. @gwennyJ you are going to have to talk to you child soon, and sooner the better. If he is not feeling right in his assigned gender better to find out now then he waits, possibly get married and the relationship implodes because he would never talk about his true feelings now.  I am not saying this video of my friend Kayla Autumn Ward is for him, but it gives you an idea of a young person who waited and like me turned into a beautiful woman. Maybe show him that it gets better. There is the https://itgetsbetter.org/ to show him there is light on the other side of the tunnel. 

 

Gina

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Once again

Everyone above is right. I just know that at yr child ages I was doing the same thing, but I couldn't use my mom stuff cause I  was afraid.  So I would take stuff from  my N.bors, or my friends sisters and it got worse I started breaking into laundry rooms and even women's house . All of the time my mom would find my stash and throw it away,  ignorant the fact that there women underwear, bras and dresses stuff inside my mattress  and I was not going to bring it up.

I didn't have a dad and my mom work 2jobs. She tried to have a N.bor give me the Birds and bee but that just confused me more. 

All of my drama, denial, could have  being avoid with sit down with a my mom or  train professional, but like i said she work all day and night and was to exhaust to deal with the issues...

.I say let yr husband talking to him /her, making him/ her aware that you know,,,

Cause he/ she knows you know, but like me . figures well is she's not mad or saying anything then there's nothing wrong.

I don't  know about watch a TG  movie that would of  made me very uncomfortable. 

I say let yr husband take the lead or both of you take the lead and sit down

Be cool, not angry or mad, or emotional just be cool.

I would have love that cause he/she are really afraid right and are filled with guilt like i was at his/her age.

Good luck   

 

 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, gwennyJ said:

. .  I took my bra back (because, hello, I need it) but left the underwear . . but not making a big deal about it?  he clearly will NOT be ready to discuss this . . 

       gwennyj this is a good plan, good start just discuss this with hubby and see where it goes. Know that after over 40yrs of 24/7 cross-underdressing and medical transition I still do not OPENLY TALK ABOUT the way I have always felt or EVER seriously sought out a therapist yet all in extended family, most EVERYONE, now assumes or otherwise "just knows" . . 

       My point is, especially when younger, I always held the way I felt as "special", a natural gift that would only be somehow lost/disillusioned if shared with another . . Shame is powerful, a healthy and normal thing while "identity/self-esteem" is very fragile just be watchful and give the space "him/her/they" (lol) needs to figure out on own?

 

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Hello,

    I was an only child and did some of the things you described but never any cutting. That may be a destroy the evidence kind of thing. I really am not sure.

    I think clarifying that you openly are supportive of who your child wants to be is important. The way you have written about this certainly suggests that you would be supportive. It's important for our children to see we have open minds, then they will feel comfortable with being themselves too. I also think there needs to be a certain amount of trust between parents and children. You might just want to do a one on one with them and ask if they would like to shop for some things. That way you can establish an understanding between you both about respecting each others space and clothes. That is my best advice. You can be supportive but, they have to admit to you that they want these things. It will be much easier for them to respect your things if they have their own and they may feel accepted and open up to you even more. The therapist will be helpful too but, they are a stranger to your child and will not love them as you and your husband do. A therapist is a great resource but a loving supportive family is a foundation.

 

Best of luck

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Abi i think your amazing.

But if my mom every took lingerie or girl shopping at that age and any of my friends or worse TEACHERS saw that i would have kill myself or ran away from home.....DON'T take him/ her shopping for fem stuff that's  waaayyyyyyyyy down the rode.

 

Sorry Abi always has great advice. ONCE AGAIN..i don't have kids been around plenty of then as pre-school aid and help a child foundation. But i am sorry what your child is going throw is one or two things. 

1) Puberty and their -excited-

2) Puberty abd his super confused..

I know cause being there. PLUS WE LIVE IN  L.A   lost of attractive  distraction both of the human kind and material kind  

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MomTGDaughter

No doubt he/she loves to be dress in women's garments. Perhaps you can get him/her own for Christmas. I bought my mtf daughter 2 outfits and under garments once I suspected she was a girl. I put it on her bed, told her to try them on and sure enough she loved it. The rest is history, she is now my daughter instead of my son. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks everyone for your feedback. SUPER helpful as we navigate this. I did discuss with my husband and we'll together figure out the best way forward. (OMG thank goodness for the  internet - what a great resource you all are!!!). I will take a look at the website and movie that were recommended.

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On 12/17/2020 at 9:20 AM, Lexi C said:

Abi i think your amazing.

But if my mom every took lingerie or girl shopping at that age and any of my friends or worse TEACHERS saw that i would have kill myself or ran away from home.....DON'T take him/ her shopping for fem stuff that's  waaayyyyyyyyy down the rode.

 

Sorry Abi always has great advice. ONCE AGAIN..i don't have kids been around plenty of then as pre-school aid and help a child foundation. But i am sorry what your child is going throw is one or two things. 

1) Puberty and their -excited-

2) Puberty abd his super confused..

I know cause being there. PLUS WE LIVE IN  L.A   lost of attractive  distraction both of the human kind and material kind  

I guess I should have clarified but, shopping online together would be very much the same kind of a bonding moment and less anxiety for them too. 

 

You have a very valid point Lexi. I would have been a bit embarrassed if people I was not ready to come out around saw me. At some point though, that feeling has to be dealt with. A strong loving support group makes that much easier.

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