Chloe Cole and I Share Something In Common: The Experts Failed Us As Children
Last night I had a conversation with de-transitioner Chloe Cole and we shared something in common: The experts failed us as children.
For me, the experts told my mother to send me to a mental institution for 3 months at the age of 6.
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I still remember how I felt as a child being sent into the arms of strangers at a facility, not knowing when I'd be home or even where I was. It's still the most confusing moment of my entire life and a moment that I blocked out for many years.
When I realized where I was, all I could think about was going back home to my mommy. I knew that being defiant in this facility would cause them to keep me there longer, so I just did whatever they told me to do in hopes that tomorrow would be the day my mom would take me home.
A mental health expert advised my mother to admit me to a mental hospital after I told my mother I wanted to die. With my illogical child-like thinking, I told my mom that I wanted to get under my bed and hope for it to fall on top of me. But, why was I expressing this?
Children are inexperienced with expressing their emotions properly or even comprehending completely the world around them. By the time I was 6, we had moved to two states, became homeless for a period of time and my father was nowhere to be found: My life was chaotic and unstable.
According to my mother, since I don't remember, school was difficult for me, and I may have experienced some bullying. So, when you understand just this brief description of what my life was like, is it any surprise that I wanted to end it all? I'm just reacting to my environment.
Chloe's parents and my mother trusted the experts to help guide them in helping their child overcome an emotional obstacle, but the experts only led them to inflict more trauma on their children. Chloe went to multiple therapists who only affirmed her identity choice.
Chloe struggled with connecting with other children in her school, faced peer bullying, and didn't know how to overcome the emotional hurdles in her life. Yet, the experts pushed those issues to the side to do nothing but affirm what she wasn't and advocate for a life of trauma.
We both had parents who loved us enough to want to help us and turned to the people who were supposed to have the answers, only to make our lives worse than they were before.
My experience taught me that sharing your feelings can get you locked up, making me very reserved and careful with whom I emotionally opened up. Chloe learned that sharing your feelings gets you nowhere because no one truly addressed the root of her problems as a child.
There are no perfect people in this world and even experts can be wrong: we saw this firsthand during the pandemic. However, when you're a child who comes into contact with multiple experts and they all fail you, it feels like the entire system is flawed and no one holds the answers.
I didn't need to be locked away for months, I just needed stability and I needed my father in my life. Chloe didn't need cross-sex hormones and to have her breasts removed as a child to become what she wasn't. She just needed someone to actually listen to what was ailing her.
Today, it's still difficult for me to write or talk about this singular experience without crying (I admit, I did while writing this) because it's a wound that will never completely heal. However, Chloe and I are trying to turn our childhood pain into something positive.
We are both advocating for the safety of children by advocating for parental rights and holding the experts accountable for their failures. Neither of us wants any child to go through what we experienced and we are willing to relive our traumatic experiences to prevent it.
The full episode of our conversation will be released weeks from now. Keep an eye out for this episode of “Breaking Bread”. In my opinion, one of the best ones I’ve had thus far. Stay tuned!