The Picture Wall

Her eldest child is a highly functioning autistic adult. But this book isn’t about autism.

Her eldest child, at age twenty, changed genders, transitioning from a male to a female body. Then a year later, they identified themselves as non-binary, neither male nor female. But this isn’t a book about being transgender.

Her eldest child also lives with mental illness. But this isn’t a book about mental health.

This is one woman’s story of being his her their mother. It’s about how being parent to a transgender child who is autistic and mentally ill has transformed her perspective, taught her about expecting the unexpected, and reshaped the family’s identity. This is a story for anyone who can relate to or is curious about the emotional rollercoaster that is motherhood.

In The Picture Wall: One Woman’s Story of Being His, Her, Their Mother, author C.A. Gibbs exposes what life is like when you’re parent of a child who lives outside societal norms and expectations, and how this shaped her as a mother and a person.

From wanting nothing more than motherhood but having to overcome major health obstacles first, to knowing something wasn’t right with her toddler but struggling to get doctors to take her concerns seriously. Gibbs finally comes to terms with her son’s atypical development and behavior. Their relationship and family life settle into a rhythm, with peaks and valleys of mood swings, outbursts, bullying, and tradition all carefully chronicled in the pages of scrapbooks and displayed on the family picture wall.

But her son had kept a secret for years. The bombshell, delivered shortly after he left for college, left Gibbs questioning everything she had thought was real. Wrestling with fear, anxiety, faith, loss, and grief, Gibbs finds peace in acceptance, in sharing the bittersweet experience of when her adult child changed sexes, names, and legal identities.

The Picture Wall: One Woman’s Story of Being His, Her, Their Mother takes us on Gibbs’ journey as she comes to terms with what it really means to let her child grow up and live their own authentic life.

Her eldest child is a highly functioning autistic adult. But this book isn’t about autism.

Her eldest child, at age twenty, changed genders, transitioning from a male to a female body. Then a year later, they identified themselves as non-binary, neither male nor female. But this isn’t a book about being transgender.

Her eldest child also lives with mental illness. But this isn’t a book about mental health.

This is one woman’s story of being his her their mother. It’s about how being parent to a transgender child who is autistic and mentally ill has transformed her perspective, taught her about expecting the unexpected, and reshaped the family’s identity. This is a story for anyone who can relate to or is curious about the emotional rollercoaster that is motherhood.

In The Picture Wall: One Woman’s Story of Being His, Her, Their Mother, author C.A. Gibbs exposes what life is like when you’re parent of a child who lives outside societal norms and expectations, and how this shaped her as a mother and a person.

From wanting nothing more than motherhood but having to overcome major health obstacles first, to knowing something wasn’t right with her toddler but struggling to get doctors to take her concerns seriously. Gibbs finally comes to terms with her son’s atypical development and behavior. Their relationship and family life settle into a rhythm, with peaks and valleys of mood swings, outbursts, bullying, and tradition all carefully chronicled in the pages of scrapbooks and displayed on the family picture wall.

But her son had kept a secret for years. The bombshell, delivered shortly after he left for college, left Gibbs questioning everything she had thought was real. Wrestling with fear, anxiety, faith, loss, and grief, Gibbs finds peace in acceptance, in sharing the bittersweet experience of when her adult child changed sexes, names, and legal identities.

The Picture Wall: One Woman’s Story of Being His, Her, Their Mother takes us on Gibbs’ journey as she comes to terms with what it really means to let her child grow up and live their own authentic life.

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