I thought I was ready for anything. I was prepared for anger, I was prepared for rejection.
I wasn’t prepared for the quiet disappointment…
Let me back up.
So I literally got home a few hours ago- home meaning my parents’ house- and decided to just get right to the point.
I’d been on the phone with Mom on and off all day, talking about life stuff, work nonsense and other inconsequentials. When the car pulled up in the driveway, I didn’t intend to just start the whole week visit with “oh, hi Mom! Guess what? I’m gender male and I’m bisexual” conversation. I thought I’d wait a few days, sink back into the routine and break it to her sometime before I left on Sunday.
And then I was walking into the house and Mom was giving me a hug and asking me about my Spanish rice recipe. In the kitchen going through the process of rinsing rice and adding oil and spices, I asked her if we could sit down and talk for a few minutes.
Sure, after we put the rice on, she said.
A few moments later we were in the living room, sitting next to each other on the couch. I took a deep breath and told her that after much time of self reflection I had come to realize some things about myself- that I’m gender male and bisexual.
She was very calm, which I was grateful for. My worst case scenario in my mind started with yelling, so I was glad she didn’t yell.
In hindsight, I almost wish she had.
The gender male component went well, she asked me why I thought I was, and I explained that it was something I’d always known but hadn’t necessary pinned words to. I gave examples, I tried to give the abridged version of years of thoughts and feelings condensed into 3 examples and words. She seemed to react well to that.She did state that god doesn’t make mistakes and that there are only two genders: male and female and nothing in between. A few sentences. This, for her, is a good reaction.
She wasn’t as good with the bisexual part…
I went into this knowing that she’d react strongly to the bisexuality, and she did. The majority of the dialogue was referencing her biblical knowledge and her beliefs from that. She talked about her constant fears and concerns for me, how she always felt that I needed so much more focus and prayer because she felt that the devil had always fought hard for my soul. She talked a lot about her beliefs on homosexuality, how she doesn’t approve, that it’s a sin, that it’s the signal of the end tines.
Dear reader, I let her speak. I came into this conversation knowing that I wasn’t going to change her mind on this. I came into the conversation so that she would know and that I could convey that this isn’t just a fluke, a wild phase that I’ll grow out of. I wanted to share the truth that I know about myself with her so that she would fully know the person she loved.
I say loved, but it should be loves. If there’s one thing I’m glad for is that she hugged me and told me that she still loves me at the end.
She asked that we see a counselor, asked because she recognizes that I’m an adult and that this is a mutual decision process. She asked that we review scripture- which devolved into a long dialogue about truth and interpretation thereof. I told her that a counselor would be fine, so long as they’re certified and not religious quacks (I didn’t say it like that but been there, done that, not ever again!). I let her know that if she wanted to review scripture, that’s fine, but that it wouldn’t change what I know about myself.
The one thing I consistently said, was that I am not here to change her views or beliefs, I’m here to share myself and what I know about myself at this time. My intention is not to challenge or convert, but to share; likewise, I don’t intend to recant my truth. I respect her beliefs and truth, I’m not here to change it, I’m just here to share my beliefs and truth so she knows.
After concluding our talk with intentions to resume at a later time, we went back to the kitchen and finished cooking, reviewed plans for tomorrow, and planning thanksgiving.
It didn’t go badly, so why am I crying so much?
It wasn’t necessarily what Mom said, but that palpable thread of disappointment. This is the same Mom who was proud of me always, even when I didn’t make the best grades and even when I failed. Through all my high points and low points and just fucked-up points, she’s always had that sparkle of pride in her eye, because I was her golden child that she could always be proud of in some way, despite everything.
I saw that sparkle die when we spoke.
A blade couldn’t cut me so deeply.
I was sitting there, feeling just… awful. And that’s when doubt came for a pit stop. Self doubt came again accompanied by fear that she wouldn’t love me. I sat there, thinking just say that you love me, please.
I’m glad she did, I’d be shattered if she didn’t.
So I’m not feeling great right now. I hardly cry, and I held it in even when I was talking with Mom, but writing about it here… I have to keep stopping to wipe my face.
I’ll be fine tomorrow. I’ll feel a lot better- I hope- but right now I feel like I just burned my world down.
I’m not going to eat, gobbling comfort food would only be a temporary solution and a long term problem that I’ll regret. I’m not going to do anything drastic. I’m just going to let the tears out and watch a movie/tv show or something.
I’m sorry for blanket statementing here -I like to call by name, forgive my emotional state that makes me unable to do so now- but I want to thank everyone who’s been commenting on my “Identity” series. I leaned heavily on your words of support even while I was in that conversation with Mom. In those moments, I wished for your eloquence, but in the end, I think I was able to say all that I wanted to say.
You say I’m brave and courageous. I say that I was able to draw so much strength and courage from you so that I could take this step. Thank you.
I’ll be able to post happier things and get back on the Writing Challenges 17-18 soon. But for now, I’ve got to give myself a moment.