Thursday, March 25, 2010

Denial... Deep denial at that... I did say I'm gay

I really don't know what to say about my mom. Over the past couple days I've been very bold.

Last Saturday when I was going to WEHO I told my parents I was going to go to the Grammy Museum and dinner. I said I'd probably be back after midnight- that's a pretty standard response. I give my parents an idea of where I'm going, and when I'll be back usually, and they're cool with it. My dad must have been looking around to cause trouble and he said something along the lines of "anything else?" I said there was. I said I was going to a club. My mom asked "a gay club," to which I replied "yes." She asked no more questions. NOW HOW MUCH BOLDER COULD I HAVE BEEN? It was not easy to tell my mom that! The next morning my dad asked me if I was hungover, and that was the only discussion about the clubbing issue the night before.

Then there was the car incident the other day.

Then this morning I was still storming around frustrated about it. I decided I was going to make it clear to my mom I was still upset by the comment in the car. I laid in my room until about 8:30 this morning with the door closed watching TV and reading some blogs. My mom knocked on my door to tell me she was leaving to go to the dentist. I ignored her. She continued to knock, then opened the door and asked if I was ok. I tended to act, which I do when I'm bothered, and I already had the cover over my head, curled up in a ball, acting like I couldn't hear her. She came over, sat down on my bed and asked what's going on. She really didn't give me a chance to say anything before she said that she knows I've been having a difficult time lately with school, friends, and work, and she wants to be here for me. She said sometimes it is just so hard when I tell my dad things I won't tell her. She said that I only tell her something after I've done it. I just sort of hid under my cover. She continued asking what was going on and how I know I can talk to her. I ignored her and broke down in tears. She asked what was going on and I said "I'm gay." I felt so bold when I said it, especially because I haven't been able to say it to anyone yet because the words just get choked up inside. Without skipping a beat she told me that I was not, I was just going through a rough time. I told her that still, I said the words, I'm identifying with liking guys, I have identified with a sexual identity, and it cannot be changed. I said that identifying with a sexual identity is where kids struggle the most because people try to tell them that they are not, therefore are not accepted, and struggle. I had so much more I wanted to say, but kept my mouth shut on this issue. UGH. This is not how I wanted it to go. Of course there were a lot of things I could have said like "I'm still the same person," etc. etc., but I didn't.

She sat on my bed rubbing my back and telling me she'll be here for me when I change my mind and I just lay curled in a ball under my covers. I got up once she left and was out waxing my car when she got home. No discussion of it since then and everything seems perfectly normal. She got out of the car and played with the dogs, told me they looked like they were guarding my car while I was waxing it. Once I was done I came in and she talked about cooking ravioli and shrimp for dinner. She's on the computer in the dining room now, I'm in my bedroom putting this post up, and about to head outside to do some yardwork. WTF? I'm so confused, frustrated, and hurt.

Maybe my mom just doesn't know how to handle it and she thinks by saying what she is it'll help?


rlp340 said...

Wow first off you should be very proud for having come out it's never easy and your courage in doing it is very telling.

Your moms response is unfourtanate and her "acting like everything is normal" is her way of avoiding the topic. Good chance you'll have to bring it up again if you want to discuss it. She may need time to come around to this revelation is all. You just broke a huge thing to her and we all respond differently. Granted she should have been more supportive but her reaction is her way of dealing with it.

It seems your gonna have to just go on being you and let her come around in her own time.

Bruce said...

She's in DEEP denial. It is going to take her a long time to come to terms with it. You need to get her some reading material. "Now that you know" is an excellent book for parents with GLBT kids. You might also find your local chapter of PFLAG. The movie "Prayers for Bobby" is a great look at acceptance from a religious perspective.

Keep bringing up the subject and be willing to talk about it and answer questions. Be strong in your statements that this is not a phase you will grow out of and also not a choice. But remember, it took you a long time to come to terms with it, so you need to give your parents that time as well. Good Luck, call me if you want to talk.

Just Me said...

Hi! I ran across your blog and I wanted to share my opinion. My mom had the exact same reaction when I come out when I was 18 and it took a while before she came around. She was in deep denial and asked if something had happened to me that made me "that way". She came around after a couple of years and now she is confortable with the situation. I am not going to say she is 100% on board but she loves my partner of 3 years comes spend time with us at our home when she visits from California.

It gets better. You jut have to be willing to talk to her about your feelings. Give her time though, even though she probably always knew you were gay it may take some time for her to come around.

Anonymous said...

It definitely takes time Mike. She will come around but right now she just can't deal with it.

As hard as it is, you need to deal with her reactions and give her time. I'm not saying live a lie but realize that you've had your whole life to come to terms with who you are and she just has started to understand this piece of you.

She loves you and hasn't rejected you, so take those as really good signs. Things will improve. Don't hide whom you are, but don't push it for a little while. The columnist Dan Savage often recommends telling parents they have a year to deal with the issues, but after that, no more. Maybe consider telling your mom the same thing and offering her resources like PFLAG and books to look at.

Things will work out, it just won't be instantly.

Lots of love and hugs from a long-time reader of your blog,


JC said...

I am so proud of you for finally being able to officially come out to your mother. I know you have been struggling with doing this for quite some time. I can only imagine how much pain you were going through when you told her. However, you were able to muster up the courage and conviction to finally just say it. It is a huge hurdle you have crossed.

I know that your mom's reaction is not the response any of us would ever want. It is obvious that she loves you, and wants to be there for you. I agree with the previous comments that you mom is in some serious denial. I believe that she will come around and realize that you are still the same son she has always known. You've said it yourself...she is a woman of strong religious convictions. That is a hurdle that she will have to leap before she can come to terms.

Just be there for your mom and answer any questions she will have. It will not be instant. It will certainly take time. Just know that I will be here for you if you need to talk, vent, cry, scream, etc.

Love ya man!

Aek said...

Like others have said, it sounds like she's in denial. It may take a while, so be patient with her. Be tolerant that she doesn't agree, but don't take it lying down.

I'm proud of your courage and boldness. You should be proud of yourself too. :-)

Anonymous said...

This is her way of dealing with it. I believe that sooner or later she'll realize you're not "going through a phase" or "going to change." You might see if you can find a Christian Web site or something, iow something your mom can identify with, that tells Christian parents how to deal with (and accept) their gay children. It's just a thought, I sent my mom a link, and it actually made a big difference with her. It was someone speaking her language, but in no way backing down or confirming her thought that this was a "phase."

It's too bad you don't have your sister on your side. Mine has done a lot to set my mom straight as it were, I'm really thankful for that. But maybe your dad will plug for you.

Okay, there was a third piece of advice I had, but I lost it as I got distracted. I'll post it later when it comes to me...

El Genio said...

Uhg. I am so sorry things didn't go better for you. I can't imagine how I would have reacted if my parents had told me I wasn't gay. Hopefully with time things will get better. Sounds like I should have dropped by and taken you to Utah with me this weekend.

Or on second thought... maybe somewhere cooler than Utah lol.

My Time said...

You should be very proud of yourself that you came out!
I understand you are confused, frustrated and hurt. May be the next time it comes up sit down and try to talk to her and try to get her to understand the situation. I’m sure you will be fine. Good luck and don't worry everything will be fine
x T

Aaron said...

hey Mike, i've been reading all your posts and i have to say it breaks my heart reading all that. doode, i have all the respect for u for getting yourself together and putting yourself through this. being strong and all that. no doubt your mum's in denial but i think its good to have a break for both of u and let u find a good strategy to come out to your mum properly?

thinking of u, Mike and i hope you're ok.

Mike said...

I want to take a moment to thank all of you for the love and support. It is so cool to know that so many of you care for me!!! :) :) :)

rlp340: Thanks for the kind words and advice! I agree this is my mom's way of dealing with it, although not as supportive as I had hoped- what I expected I guess, though.

Bruce: Thanks for the book recommendations! B&N didn't have it tonight. I have yet to see Prayers for Bobby, but set it up to record on TIVO next time it is on. I may set up my Apple TV in the living room, download PFB on iTunes, and my mom may see it and watch it... hmmm. PFLAG is a great idea I hadn't considered, but found several options.

Just Me: Thanks for the support! Glad to hear someone's mom had the same reaction mine did. That helps ease the pain slightly.

Todd: Thanks for the hugs!!!! Going to have to check Dan Savage out too!

JC: Thanks!!! I'm sure we'll be in touch if last night was any indication. I just feel so disillusioned and unsure.

Masked Aek: Thanks buddy! We know I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut. I won't take it laying down! haha

James: Great idea. I should probably look at some websites that help break it down and provide a Christian perspective to help her. I may send those in an email that she can check at her leisure.

El Genio: Thanks!!! Maybe there's a last minute airfare special where you could still kidnap me?

My Time: Thanks!!! I'm waiting for the next opportunity to talk.

Aaron: Thanks buddy!!! Feeling rather disillusioned today, but trying to hold my head up. Going to be a long, difficult weekend no doubt.

B said...

Hey Mike, this is a little late but I'm glad to hear that you were able to tell her, and sorry it didn't go better. Best of luck, I'm sure she'll come around.