Heartbreak – an Unintended Consequence

January 10th, 2019 Posted by Susan's Musings 26 comments

When I was nine or ten, my friend’s mother delivered a stillborn child. I remember the shock and the discomfort of not being sure what to say. Over the next decade, as the risks of smoking during pregnancy received a lot of attention, I wondered what this woman, who often had a cigarette in hand, felt as she read those articles.

On a larger scale, part of growing up is accepting the idea that adults, rather than being all-knowing, make mistakes and have to live with the consequences. Since adults are parents, leaders, politicians and teachers, the victims of those mistakes are often the next generation. That is a harsh reality of life that inevitably affects all human beings in their personal lives. At its best it leads us to mature reflection on the importance of our actions and ideas. When, however, we rush instead to embrace revolutionary societal change, the tragic results can overwhelm us.

Journalist Abigail Shrier wrote a heart-rending piece about politically progressive mothers struggling as their daughters identify as ROGD – rapid onset gender dysphoria. These mothers, who actively embraced societal change on social issues like homosexuality and raised their children to reject rigid ideas of traditional right and wrong, suddenly find themselves heartbroken as their daughters, seemingly overnight, decide that they are actually male. These daughters are often anxious, unhappy and desperate to relieve emotional pain. While, as a society, we might well ask why our teens and young adults seem to be struggling so much, even a few years ago this would have been recognized as a cry for help. Not so today.

Our liberated society, rather than suggesting counseling (how judgmental!) or even slow and steady deliberation (We want change. When do we want it? NOW) rapidly offers these girls hormones and even surgery.  And these mothers stand helplessly by as they watch their daughters take irreversible steps that will shape the rest of their lives, cheered on by an adoring group of psychologists, professors and social scientists. In fact, in the eyes of the Left, if these mothers even question their daughters’ actions, they suddenly morph from being cutting-edge, progressive activists into being part of the deplorable nation. Ms. Shrier writes of how alone they feel, unable to share their anguish with others.

I am a mother. I feel no sense of schadenfreude when I read of these women suffering. I do wonder if they connect the dots. Do they realize that this tragedy is a natural next step of believing that traditional ideas are, by definition, archaic; that medical science should be subjective and politically influenced; and that social barriers must be shattered without ever expecting there to be unintended consequences? Do they celebrate as an increasing number of cities and states allow parents to register their newborns as gender-neutral or do they recognize that while they would have applauded this five years ago, maybe they would have been wrong to do so? Do they look in the children’s section of the library and feel queasy knowing that the ideas they avidly supported for decades will bequeath trauma on the young children being propagandized at every turn? Or do they protect themselves by thinking that everything they supported was correct; it is only now that things have moved too far?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I do pray that these women find the strength to “come out.” Our culture is in desperate need of change. These mothers’ suffering can serve a purpose if they have the courage to follow in the footsteps of John Newton and declare, “I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see.”

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26 comments

A González says:

So true and so sad! We must pray and we need to start at home with Godly principles that everyone today seems to be so offended by. I would think we would want people that embrace the Word of God and the truth of it. Sadly, we have been so passive for so many year- we have lost so much ground in normalacy. I pray that eyes will be opened, hearts will be touched and hope will be restored in this country and around the world. What 5 years was a shocking idea is normal today-scary!

Susan Lapin says:

I don’t even think that we accept the idea that there is a “normal” anymore. Which makes life uncertain, unpredictable and scary, especially for children.

Dennis Fite says:

Thank you, Susan, for addressing the confusion of the age we live in. There is cause and effect in all our decisions. Like all generations before us, we will watch our children pay the price for our foolishness. My prayer is not only for the mothers (and fathers) in this quandary but for us all to begin to again embrace the Truth that so many teach no longer is relevant. God’s Word is Truth because God is truth. Remove Him from society and you are left with lie propagated by the Father of Lies. John Newton had his eyes opened to the Truth and so can we!

Susan Lapin says:

Dennis, the argument is that truth is relative. Those of us who know it is not, do need to open and out there.

Jean says:

What’s scary to me is that so-called “progressivism” is impacting hard science as well. I had a conversation with a practicing veterinarian who also taught biological sciences at a university. Her undergrad students were so steeped in social justice thinking that when a discussion of quarantines for living material that crosses the border came up, the teacher was called “racist” (she did throw in that places like Ellis Island were created to keep unfamiliar disease agents out of the human population, and the same theory was the reason for the animal and plant regulations in place.) Ironically, a left-leaning MD has been issuing warnings in a similar vein, specifically relating to San Francisco with its large transient population, the problem it has with human waste littering the streets and the growing rodent population that has followed. The reaction to his statements has been similarly dismissive. It may take the cold, hard reality of a disease outbreak to slap people back into the realization that there are some things that are true, no matter how you “feel” about them.

Susan Lapin says:

Jean, we may very well face diseases that we haven’t had to deal with in a long time. In S. Africa, they have decided that math needs to be “decolonized.” For a while, the hard sciences were a safer place. That is increasingly not true.

David J says:

Progressivism has infected engineering education too. My son studied bioengineering at UCLA. He was required to take a course in “engineering ethics”. (I am an engineer too.) I was shocked when he told me he had to take such a course. Is there also “math ethics”, or “chemistry ethics”, etc.? That just does not compute in my mind. I took it as a way of forcing Progressive indoctrination upon those that used to escape it (students of the hard sciences or engineering).

I also find it odd that believers in “unaided materialistic evolution” (tm, Rabbi Lapin) seem to get all sanctimonious, believing they have found THE way with respect to ethics and morality, or that they even believe in ethics or morality. What are ethics or morality if our existence is just a freak accident of nature?

Beverly Langley says:

Such a good writing on the present day progressive thinking and the harm that results. May their eyes be opened to the truth as John Newton was.

Susan Lapin says:

This is really scary stuff, Beverly. It’s one thing (though tragic) when a parent messes a child’s life. But the forces of government and medicine are allying against very confused kids.

James says:

OUCH! Certainly there is a problem when gender roles are stereotypically set in stone, petrified. Like my wife as a child being forbidden via slapped hand to play with her cousin’s toy train set: ‘These toys are for boys!’ So we allowed some variation. Our youngest daughter at age two transited a tomboy phase at age 3 when she developed a fascination, even on obsession for tiny metal vehicles. So over two Christmases she developed an awe-inspiring collection of English Matchbox® and Hot Wheels® cars. Suddenly, about age 4 her interest in these ‘boy-toys’ mysteriously evaporated and she graduated overnight to Barbie® dolls and other girl-toys. Most humbly I submit to you that she is richer for that early incursion into automotive engineering. She made friends with hammer, screwdriver and technology and is now a doctor in an institute for the neurologically challenged AND a wife and mother. The point is that ‘cross-gender’ incursions might occur, yet so many of them are temporary in nature and most will resolve themselves in their own time.

I am sure the problem exists also for little boys. Another problem for all children is rigid gender expectations of parents. A mother wants a little girl but receives a little boy and then decides: ‘I wanted a girl, so by cracky, now I’m gonna make one!’ How much of this ungodly behavior is near the root cause of some cases of transexuality, I cannot help but wonder. But after you reach for the surgeon’s knife, there is no way back, is there? You are so right that poor children are now frontline cannon fodder in a vehement political campaign, as various medical communities conspire with psychology and sociology to destroy gender boundaries. The bottom line is: the enigmatic transsexual condition applies to less than 1% of our population; let’s not push it arbitrarily toward 5%. Let the patients approach psychological maturity before they receive the knife.

Susan Lapin says:

James, I have to disagree with you that a girl being interested in trains or a boy pushing a carriage is “cross-gender.” I think not allowing children to play as they wish (within the boundaries that must be made) was a mistake of past generations. In a weird way, we are now promoting exactly what we moved on from: the idea that if you want to play with trains you must really be a boy. There is nothing that negates being a girl by being interested in climbing trees or playing with trains and nothing that negates being a boy in playing with a toy kitchen.

The dilemma of waiting for psychological maturity is that fewer and fewer people actually ever reach it at all.

James says:

No, you are agreeing with me. I was trying to say the ‘cross-gender’ definitions of generations past were indeed much too rigid and stereotypical. Sorry ‘bout that.

Susan Lapin says:

Always happy to agree with you, James. Sorry I misunderstood.

James says:

No, I must actually admit that that today my home was GRAND CENTRAL STATION and my comment was interrupted at least three times. For example I should have said: ‘Our youngest daughter at age 2 transited a tomboy phase and at age 3 she developed a fascination, even an obsession for tiny metal vehicles.’ Alas, my right eye has not yet returned. Blessed be the name of the Lord, your prayers will help. Youse guys are the greatest!

Cheri Way says:

I am so glad that the current day cultural norms were not in effect when my mom was young. She was very much the Tomboy. She yearned for the freedoms that young boys had in the 1940s. And she was never into the frills or the pink colors. I was very much a tomboy, as was my daughter. And all three generations of us have been wonderful wives and mothers. This could be a terrifying time for a grandmother if her children were progressives. There are so many things being thrown at our children let’s say or not prepared for at such young ages. We are making them neurotic. It is a time for prayer for our nation and for our children.

Susan Lapin says:

Amen, Cheri. Kids have so much to go through by definition. How cruel to start throwing uncertainty over their very essence.

You always manage to hit it out of the park, Susan. Life advocates struggle mightily against secular society that does its level best to interfere with parent-child relationship and parents often find that Planned Parenthood and schools have conspired behind their back to get their daughters abortions. The life-long sequelae from that horrible experience will haunt the family for the rest of their lives but they are left alone to deal with it. Sequestering children to indoctrinate or propagandize them is right out of Rules for Radicals on how to topple a freedom-based and moral society.

Susan Lapin says:

Kristin, I’m afraid that many, many people aren’t able to see what’s going on until it hits them square on the head. And these poor mothers aren’t even able to share their feelings with others because their friends no longer believe in a difference of opinion but only in, “If you don’t agree with me you are bigoted, racist, sexist etc., etc., etc.

Mark Z says:

Susan,
G-d created us in His own image. Male and female He created us. Not only us but all mammals & birds, male and female. My daughter has two male dogs and I’m a little concerned about one of them.
Solomon teaches us to train up a child in the way he should go then when he grows old he will not depart from that. So what happens when we teach our children all progressive ideas?

Now for Science, The E.P.A. tells us that CO2 is a toxic gas and because the E.P.A. says so our Supreme Court agrees with them. Without CO2 all the lovely greenery that G-d created in Genesis 1:11 would die and so would this earth. The bye product of all of these green plants is Oxygen.

Susan Lapin says:

Mark, you have me worried about your daughter’s dogs.

Joanne nelson says:

Dear Susan!
Thank you for your beautiful courage and wisdom…!!!
🎶Joanne

Susan Lapin says:

Joanne, isn’t there something very wrong in our society when it takes courage to express an opinion that counters the prevailing tyranny?

Francis Paiva says:

Definitely, your actions have unchangeable consequences. As a childish and selfish man, I asked for an abortion of a casual relationship claiming that “my life would never be the same after a child and I didn’t want to lose my freedom of being a single guy”. Thankfully, the mother pointed her thoughts and “would never live with such a burden for the rest of his life”, the next day I wake up as a father and feel that strange and warm connection with every single child that I saw. Today that healthy little girl is the blessing and joy of the house. Nothing like the creation act itself to change an ex-atheist and open his eyes to a large meaning of life and spirituality. Thanks for the musing dear Susan, it’s really heart-touching.

Susan Lapin says:

Wow, Francis. I’m so glad that you were given the opportunity to grow.

Kristyn says:

It is certainly a difficult culture to raise children in. I am only 43 and it is a very different world than the one I grew up in. Thank you for this thoughtful article.

Susan Lapin says:

Kristyn, the speed at which things are changing is breathtaking. Hopefully, it will push people to realize that constantly pushing the barrier only means that nothing is safe, secure or predictable, which makes life seriously unpleasant.

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