Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I am a 25-year-old woman with two daughters. I became pregnant with my oldest when I was 20, but the relationship with her father fizzled. My current husband is a loving father and a good provider, but he comes from a troubled background, and we decided it was best to have only one more child. Both of my daughters had complications during delivery and almost died. We’re blessed to have them, but I felt a tubal ligation was the right thing to do.
People often ask me if I’m planning to have more children. When I politely respond, “No, I’ve had a tubal,” they frequently make negative comments, asking why I did that or why didn’t my husband get a vasectomy. I’m tired of explaining the pain of almost losing my daughters at birth, and quite frankly, I do not regret my choice. But I get so angry when people assume I did something selfish. How do I deal with their remarks? — Tired of Hearing It
Dear Tired: You are giving out way more information than necessary. It’s nobody’s business if you plan to have more children, if you’ve had a tubal, if your husband has had a vasectomy or anything else. When they ask if you are planning to have more children, plaster a big smile on your face and reply, “Why do you need to know?” If they are rude enough to persist, tell them that is a private matter between you and your husband.
Dear Annie: I’m a 23-year-old transsexual man, and my mother is actively sabotaging my life and transition. I came out to her six years ago, and despite my trying to keep the lines of conversation open, she has been making every effort to stop me.
She has outed me to employers, which eventually resulted in me losing my job. I’ve spent the past six months attempting to find employment while living under her roof to save money. This results in arguing and tears at almost every turn. I know she loves me, but this has to change.
My savings account is dwindling, and I am at the end of my rope. It’s a little late to go back in the closet, and I will not de-transition just to make her happy. How can I make her realize that by trying to get her daughter back, she’s completely alienating her son and ruining my life?
I’m completely stuck, with nowhere else to go. Please print this so parents of transgendered people will understand that they can seriously impact their children’s lives in a negative way. I’m hoping my mother reads this, because nothing coming from me gets through to her. — Carl, not Carol
Dear Carl: While your mother is not handling this well, please try to understand how upsetting and confusing your situation is for her. PFLAG (pflag.org) has a transgender support group that can offer some pointers for talking to your mother and helping her accept your decision. In the meantime, look for any job and start saving your money. You need to find other lodging as soon as possible.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “California,” a breast cancer survivor who resented the constant expectation that she talk about her illness. I am a 6-year breast cancer survivor, and I wear this badge with honor. I volunteer with the American Cancer Society and am proud to be a “Reach To Recovery” volunteer who calls newly referred breast cancer patients to talk about my experience and to share hope.
But I understand how “California” wants to be seen as more than her illness, and I have a solution for her. When people ask if my health is good, I smile and say, “Yes, thank you,” and then immediately turn the conversation onto them. I ask how they’ve been, showing genuine interest, and remark on how good, healthy or fit they appear. People love to talk about themselves. — Vermont
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 10.07.10