Monday, July 23, 2007

One step towards telling my family I'm gay

I do not want my weekend to end. It was really great as far as "alone, SARK" weekends go. Beyond my previous post: I went running twice, went to the beach to read twice, painted (which felt so great! like meditating), had wine, coffee, read tons of books, took walks, prayed, journaled a ton (you would think I would run out of things to write), rollerbladed a bit... Good times.

The most significant things I did this weekend however, was write a first draft of the letter I am going to send my parents and brother and sister-in-law to tell them I am gay. And secondly I called my sister-in-law's mom "C" to tell her verbally on the phone. Which might seem odd but this is why.

"C" is amazing. She has been a counselor for a long time and is very well respected. She's adopted me in some ways and she knows my family. I called her up and I said "I'm going to out myself to my parents soon and I wanted to see if you had any advice." She was really wonderful to talk to about my various family members, had some advice and agreed with my plan.

My plan is this: My parents go on a cruise Aug/Sept. After their cruise (Sept.) I will send the letters I've written, and some books. Then since I'm going to Belgium for Thanksgiving, they will have until Christmas to process it.

C agreed with my plan. She reminded me of how much they love me, how they won't disown me. We talked about how it's probably best to tell them stuff in stages. (eg. They probably will be able to adjust to me being gay, but it will take a lot longer for them to adjust to me ever dating.) Stage one: I'm gay. (Stage three... I'm dating - when/if I end up dating). I'm not dating right now so that's actually helpful. A lot of people I've talked to lately are increasingly ok with me being gay if I am celibate. And that is an entirely different blog post for some day in the future. What a lonely painful life! Ug.

Ironically enough this semester for my counseling degree I am taking "Family Therapy" which will come in handy I think. :)

The thing that was most striking about my conversation with C was this. Three years ago at my brother and sister-in-law's wedding I met one of C's longtime friends. I had one conversation with her, and it was about counseling in general (my schooling). This woman is also a long-time, well respected counselor. And she is really intuitive! After that one conversation, in which I never mentioned being gay at all. She said to C, "One of these days she is going to come out." And they discussed it and me and how I would be. So basically these two amazing counselors have known and cared about the future day I was going to tell people for the last three years! I kind of like that.

It's going to be a crazy fall!


Zuzu said...

I think that's whack... "it's okay if you're gay if you're celibate." I'd give it right back to 'em... "well, I'd be more okay with you being straight if you were celibate too, so I understand your feelings... and how totally unrealistic and WHACK they are." heh. - Zu

just me said...

When I read this I sat at my desk and laughed out loud! Yes it's whack.

I also know that I have had years to adjust, and so the whole stages thing makes sense to me... C had no problem with me dating it seemed. But my sister-in-law currently does (at least according to her mom).

Who knows if she will say that to me though. I find it very funny what people say when they don't know about me verses what they say when they do. (but that's another blog post) :)

JJ said...

The celibacy option is the one that pretty much all my Christian friends espouse to. While, as you know, I am still debating it... I find it really hurtful how quickly they toss that at me, like it shouldn't be a big deal at all. Like, "all that I'm saying is that you need to be celibate"... without in anyway stopping to think what that means. I would honestly feel much better about it if they would acknowledge that it is a big deal, and not exactly something I can "get over".

just me said...

jj - Yes, too true. It is a very big deal. And they don't have to live the rest of life without anyone to be with like that. Friends of mine have found what they think is a work around by being partnered but they try to not have sex. If they do they confess it. I get why they do it because it gives them both things they want (sortof) but to me that's just not quite right either. Less painful, but somehow not emotionally coherent. (Did you know your side bars on your blog drop down off the blog?)

M said...

The thing that gets me about telling my parents in stages is how my dad has gotten between me and my mom. I would have been able to tell my mom at the same time as my dad that I was dating. He knows I've been with her for years. But my mom doesn't. So when we live together, it will be, "Oh yeah, mom, btw, I'm dating, we've been together for 2 years, we're committed, we're moving in together and planning for a family. Okay? Bye!"


Stages are good. You do that.

M said...

Oh and I'm so close to lying to my dad and telling him that, although partnered, I'm celibate. I can't do that because it would be sacrificing a part of my integrity, but he would be so much more okay with it.

Which I hate.

just me said...

Wow, M. As you know from my comments on your blog how hard! I get the integrity thing. These are all reasons flowing into my telling them now. Pre-some serious relationship. Plus some other blogger (I think rainbow unbroken - who it looks like when off line) said something to me about how it really helpful to tell your parents when you are not dating someone so they can adjust to that first and so your partner doesn't have to go through it. But really this is all in an idealistic world and maybe in the end doesn't matter. For me. Letters for everyone in Sept. And about 20 books for them to read. OK maybe just 2 or 3. :) Thanks for commenting.

M said...

Yes I told them when I wasn't dating anyone but the great wall of silence descended and then when I decided to "re-tell" them a year later, my dad found out I was dating someone but kept it from my mom.

C'est la vie.

I was thinking of giving my parents some more books to read, too. *laugh* Have you read _My Son Eric_? Give it a look over, it might (or might not) help them too. The middle is iffy, but it seems to have a resounding ending.

just me said...

M thanks. Hmmm. I know this "great wall of silence". Is it gray colored? :) And I'll check out the book.