The Laurels Gender Identity Clinic Visit 14 - Child Abuse, with Transgender Model & Artist Sophie Lawson

Future me here *waves* in this diary entry I talk about Child Abuse I suffered in 1993, aged 13. Talking about it openly on my website, and a few years later, facing it head on via Lucid Dreaming, where I could relive the child abuse in 1st person or 3rd person view, were the best things I ever did. I even got to sit down with my Mum and talk about it … something we had never done before. It’s now 2021, I can tell there is still some unresolved issue inside, but facing deep trauma really gives you confidence, because you know no matter what happens, you will find a way to overcome it. 

*end of future me*

This was a very special session; I feel it may be the most important session I will ever have with my gender therapist. It’s funny how things pan out, before I went into this session I wrote loads in my diary about what I wanted to talk about today. The past few weeks since my last visit, have been horrible. Suicidal thoughts, depression, loneliness. It hasn’t been fun. The new site was finished a few weeks ago, so I decided to take a break from everything and play some video games. I finished Until Dawn, Uncharted 4 and Need for Speed on PS4, along with Virtue’s Last Reward on the PSVita. It was nice to play games again, it’s been a while :)


We started talking about how I’ve been feeling, I said I feel like I’ve died inside. As I spoke I kept getting crying fits. I brought up Dad and Mum, I didn’t really want to talk about them today. I mentioned them in passing and wanted to move on, but my gender therapist had other ideas. The topic returned to my child abuse, where I was strangled at age 13. She asked me, how did you feel in that moment? I realised something. I can’t remember. I don’t know what I felt in that moment, or even what I feel about it now. I tend not to dwell on the past, but for the first time in my life, something clicked. I got a sense that now is the time to go there and find some answers. I can’t really explain it, but it’s as if I finally got a glimpse of the source of my anxiety.

I feel the answers to my fear, anxiety, lack of self worth, all the negative beliefs I have about myself may require me to go back to that moment in 1993 and just see what I find. See what comes up. My therapist said she feels if I don’t get over this anxiety, I will not be able to transition. I loved that she said this. She is being honest. She’s not pretending that I can make it with this baggage from the past. I’ve been aware of this for years now, but try as I may, I’ve never been able to find the source of the anxiety and fear. Was I looking in the wrong place all this time? Have I hidden that memory deep in my sub conscious due to the pain?

I’ve locked that child abuse away somewhere deep inside. I need to find it, open the wound and heal it. I think this is the only way I can move forward. I’ve been saying for ages I could sense my anxiety wasn’t anything to do with my gender. I couldn’t explain it but I could feel it. I didn’t think it was the child abuse as I honestly, always saw that as just a moment in my life. Something that happened. In fact, in 2013 when I was seeing a counsellor to try and sort out my anxiety, I even said to her, “I was strangled when I was thirteen, but I don’t if that has anything to do with it.” She stopped me at the time and said, “Kevin, listen to what you just said.”

It’s also coincidental that in 2008 I developed a mysterious virus in my throat that needed multiple operations. Was that my body telling me where to look for the source of my anxiety? I was so focused on getting to grips with my gender that I always blamed everything on being transgender. Now that I’ve accepted myself as being trans, I guess I’ve become more and more aware the anxiety and lack of self worth must be linked to something else.

I’ve mentioned my child abuse briefly before, but I’m going to write it down now, partly for me to start processing it. It’s worth noting, I hold nothing at all against anyone for things that happen in the past, what’s done is done.

In 1993, my Mum and her boyfriend were arguing. Mum said she was going to ring her mum up for help, but her boyfriend took the phone and wouldn’t let her use it. Mum was getting angry, so I reached out and grabbed the phone to give it to my Mum. He turned and strangled me in the kitchen. Had me up in the air. All I can remember, is being back on the floor and looking up to see he had ran out the front door and my Mum running out up the street after him, leaving me on the kitchen floor. When I think about that, how did she let this happen? I don’t have a child, but if I had a girlfriend and she did that in front of me to my Nephew or Niece, she would be out the house and never allowed back in, ever.

For the first time, I’ve tried to put myself in Mum’s shoes, which is easy for me to imagine seeing as I always used to wear her high heels as a child :) heehee, but seriously, if I do that, I can’t understand how she could leave me there. As my Therapist said, she wouldn’t even do that to a cockroach, she would have to check to make sure the cockroach was ok. My therapist asked, how did I feel in that moment, or how did I feel just thinking about it. My mind was blank. Nothing at all. No emotion what so ever. I just couldn’t think of anything. The only thing I felt was guilt. I could feel what my Mum was feeling, because I felt sorry for her as she was going through a lot at the time.

I than explained how when my Mum returned home with her boyfriend, she made me say sorry for taking the phone off him. So not only did my Mum leave me there on my own after being strangled, she even blamed me for it. No wonder I emotionally shut down.

My therapist said I need to sit with my Mum and have her say sorry. I need to take control. She got quite angry, swearing a lot. She said, try thinking about putting your mum in a chair and standing up to her. I said I don’t want to get angry. She said, get angry. You need to feel what it felt like. You can always work through the anger later. I intend to start meditating on this.

The problem has always been, in 1993 I was thirteen, after this happened, I was taken out of my Mums and stayed with my Nan, than moved in with my Dad. I changed schools, and was than hit with panic attacks and severe anxiety. As I was 13, I was just starting to get body hair too, so being transgender and seeing my body turn into a male, I guess my mind was all over the place. I could never understand if my panic attacks were because of being transgender, because I was in a new school, or because of the child abuse. I was always so focused on my gender issues, I never paid the strangling any attention, yet it always kept coming up.

I said to my therapist. I love the universe. I love the animals. Why can’t I love myself this same way? My Gender Therapist replied, “You’re going for full enlightenment there.”

I found that funny, but why not aim for enlightenment? Aim for the stars :) Go all the way. I could actually see me becoming a monk you know. Do they have female monks? lol Honestly, I could see a future where I give up everything and become a female monk. So this ended up being the main topic today, not me becoming a monk, but Mum and Dad. With my Dad, no matter what I did it was never good enough. Everything I did was pointless. To the extent where I if I heard him coming up the stairs, I used to hide the fact I was even playing video games. Being transgender, you become skilled at the art of listening for footsteps at a very early age, I’m sure we’d make good ninjas :)

I was always trying to please my Dad, everything I did was trying to please him, at the expense of what I really wanted. Around 1998, I started drawing Formula One cars, but my Dad said drawing was pointless so many times that I gave it up. Never drew again for 15 years, and now look. Art is the thing that’s setting me free! Art is far from pointless, probably the most powerful thing that will ever exist in my life.

I guess my mind is stuck believing things that are not true about myself. I need to love myself. I need to believe in myself. I need to be myself. Everything I have tried so far, my mind, or something inside of me always sabotages my efforts. It’s really annoying. My therapist said, the way she sees it, the reason I’m struggling so much is because, either a) I’m actually non binary and need bits of both Kevin and Sophie in my life, or b) Kevin is dying but I’m not Sophie enough to replace him, and my beliefs from the past are holding me back.

She said, becoming Sophie is so far away from who I am, that it’s challenging all my beliefs about myself. This is why I’m so scared. Sophie will have to love herself so much, because, as my gender therapist said, if someone shouts across the street at me, you freak or something, you need to believe in yourself so much that it means nothing. I guess transitioning for me is so much more than just physical, it’s a mental transformation that seems impossible, because of all these sub conscious believes. Many of which may be linked to that child abuse I’ve blocked out.

I said to my therapist, this is the fear I’ve been feeling during meditation. It’s the fear of needing that mindset, that courage, that fearlessness, it doesn’t seem possible. It feels so scary. Like a million baby steps away. It seems impossible. I said I can do all these baby steps, but I’m aware at some point, I will need to be that person who loves themselves so much they can just be at peace no matter how they look, or what people think of them. It will require so much courage.

I feel like today was the most honest I’ve ever been with my therapist. I was just speaking, and crying, from the heart.

Visit fifteen took place on the 19th of February 2017, and was the ‘whatever‘ visit


Satoru Fujinuma