He looked down at his sleeping daughter, Grace, amazed at the peace glowing softy on her face.
Disclaimer: This is fiction. All the characters and events portrayed here are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely accidental and unintentional As always my thanks goes out to Holly for helping proof and generally make this readable. Another big thanks goes to Paula who for some reason puts up me and my insane ranting about story ideas, Thanks Love! Any errors, or mistakes are mine alone so with that in mind, enjoy!
Robert softly opened the bedroom door. He looked down at his sleeping daughter, Grace, amazed at the peace glowing softy on her face. They’d both been though so much in the last year; his divorce from Patricia’s; their being ostracized by their church; the turmoil at Grace’s school. But all of this had begun a few short years before, when his daughter had been his son Mark.
Neither he nor his wife Patricia had known what to think when Mark had dropped his bomb on them. What had impressed Robert was the impassioned plea his son had made asking to see a doctor specializing in gender ‘difficulties.’
A part of him had felt guilty because of all the long hours he’d spent at work, and he’d wondered if Mark’s problems were due to his not spending enough time at home. At least that job did ensure that if Mark needed medical attention he would be able to afford it.
Patricia had taken Mark’s request much harder, saying he was only going though a phase and seeking attention. Robert hadn’t believed that at all, although he’d wondered about her sometimes. Well, He did think from time to time that he and Mark were nothing more than trophies and tools for her status seeking socialite ambitions. Certainly his position at the local plant and past sports prowess helped her with that, but Mark had never been the athletic type even though he’d always been an smart kid.
In the end, Patricia had agreed, believing the psychologist would only confirmed her amateur diagnosis. While he’d been mildly surprised at the Doctor’s analysis, Patricia had been out right shocked. She’d been more concerned what her friends would think, than with their child’s well being.
It was the Doctor revealing the trials and heartaches those like Mark go though in life that convinced him that Mark should receive treatment. Just the statistics regarding suicide was enough to give him ulcers. Patricia reluctantly went along.
At first, treatment consisted only of visits to the doctor, but later progressed to hormone blockers when they became convinced Mark was a transsexual and might need transition.
Robert marveled he had grown closer to his daughter then he ever had his son. He was saddened it had taken something like this to awaken him to needs of his family, and it grieved him that in many ways it’d been too late.
Patricia had always been more active in their church than he, and when word got out about Mark, things got bad. He’d always known she cared more about what others thought than was healthy, but things really didn’t start going down hill until Mark started presenting as Grace.
Mark had known from the beginning that his mom was having problems with all that was going on. When she began her transition, she took the name Grace from her maternal grandmother, in a attempt to reach her mother. Like Robert had said before, a smart kid.
He guessed he shouldn’t been surprised when members of the church congregation began objecting to Grace’s transition, or when Patricia began to cave in to their peer pressure, it’d been his own research, and witnessing how much happier his child was now that made him certain it was the right thing for Grace to continue.
The entire mess dissolved into chaos when Patricia sued for divorce and custody of their only child. Grace had changed schools when she began her transition, but word had gotten out anyway. That had been, to say the least, a stressful experience for them.
The divorce had been as nasty and unpleasant as such things tend to be, but poor Grace had been caught in the middle of it all, even more so than children usually are in such affairs.
In the end, the courts had awarded him sole custody after Patricia had stated in rather impolite terms her intention of stopping Grace’s transition and treatment. Thankfully, his attorney had maneuvered for the right judge, and the testimony of not one, but three experts in gender related medical problems and issues had done the job.
There’d been just so much pain for the two of them, but at last the legal battles were over. Tomorrow both he and his daughter would begin their move to a new home and future.
Putting aside his wool gathering and looking at his sleeping child, he knew it had all been worth it. He carefully shut her door, not wanting to disturb the peace and sweet dreams she’d found in sleep, whispering tenderly to her, “Goodnight Grace.”
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