Coming Out: A Mother’s Love?

To say I have contemplated coming out for a while is probably a bit of an understatement. The reality is that I have agonized about whether or not I should. I have gone on back and forth about coming out and for the most part had resolved myself to keeping it a secret – or at the most on a need to know basis. I have previously mentioned that only a few people in my real life are aware of my sexuality, but most of those are therapists. I’ve literally told my wife, my therapists (3 of them), a friend from college and only one other person – a TaeKwon-Do friend of mine that I am also connected to on Facebook and Twitter. Obviously, any guys I have been with sexually would know too. There might be people that have suspected it about me, but no one has really said or if they mentioned it, I probably denied it profusely. I have mentioned before that I fly really low on the “gaydar” of people. And although I come off as very gay-ish and effeminate online, I portray myelf 180 degrees differently in real life. In fact, I feel good about how I portray myself in real life, but it is a bit of a lie. A couple of days ago, I asked people what they thought about me coming out to my parents and I finally made the decision to do so by telling my mother first.

That day was yesterday.

I tweeted about it a bit yesterday and to say I’m feeling anxious about doing so is another understatement. Honestly, I’m completely scared that I screwed up and maybe should have kept it quiet even longer. But, I’ll give you a brief synopsis about how it went down:

I called my mom and asked if I could stop by for a visit. She seemed happy about doing so. I had a little time before meeting with my wife for lunch and my mom lives a literal block from where my wife works. So, I went over. Of course, there were pleasant greetings like anyone would do with their parents and then I decided to get right into it. I decided to tell her about my alcoholism first.

I explained to my mom that I had been really struggling with drinking the past 10 years, and especially the past five as I began experiencing the loss of career and several jobs. I expressed that my entire life seems to be falling down around me – financially, personally and other. I told my mom about mine and my wife’s argument (mentioned in one of the links above) and that my wife had threatened to tell her and my dad a couple of secrets I had – one of those being my alcoholism. I expressed that I have been attending AA meetings and trying to work the AA program, but have truly struggled. I expressed to my mother that I felt it was really important that she and my dad heard directly from me and not my wife during any outburst of vindictive anger on my wife’s part. Of course my mom is aware of mine and my wife’s marriage, but I stopped discussing my marital problems with my parents about 15 years ago out of respect for a request my wife made of me.

My mom seemed really understanding, having dealt with her own addiction to pain pills. She went on to say she understood and then rattled off about other family members that have dealt with alcoholism and addictions – my aunt, my cousin, an uncle of hers and her grandfather (I don’t claim this pedophile after what he had done to my cousin). She could see the possible genetic link in the addictive behaviors I could have. She followed up with that it wasn’t my wife’s place to tell anyone about me unless I wanted it. I asked my mom to keep the conversation between she and I and that my wife and I are still trying to work through our problems. I expressed that the only reason I am telling her any of this is because I didn’t want her to have to be surprised by anything my wife shared with her or my dad about me.

She expressed understanding.

Then I told her the next thing I had to tell her made me much more nervous and was probably the most difficult thing I have ever had to tell her. I began to tell her that I spent a lot of time in therapy trying to work through it and trying to accept myself, and I had been confused about a lot because of the sexual abuse I had faced as a child. And to my surprise, she knew exactly what I had been referring to when it came to the babysitter. She told me she knew about it, because her and my dad had caught me acting out, I really didn’t need to hear the details of how I was acting out, but she said her and my dad had found me playing with myself and I was aroused. She mentioned they had asked me how I had learned to do this and I had said the babysitter had taught me how. She went on to say that she had called my aunt and told her that the babysitter had hurt me and apparently read my aunt the riot act. I was somewhat relieved to know and hear that my mom had known and did what she knew how to do to protect me. It was relieving to know this.

I went on to express that my cousin had been involved in this too, but I never talked to her about it, because of my cousin’s victimization from my great grandfather and I didn’t want it to be triggering in anyways. I also told her that I had kept it a secret and never discussed it because I didn’t understand. I then went on to tell her that it wasn’t the only time I had been sexually assaulted by someone. I went on to tell her about Brandon touching me, but I did not mention being date-raped by David (I just felt it might have been too much for her). I expressed that because of these things, I felt like it really confused me about my sexuality and that I had been confused about what I liked sexually. I went on to tell her that I didn’t understand my sexual attraction to some guys, but I couldn’t help but feel like these things had a lot to do with it. I then told her that I didn’t think I was gay, because I knew I liked women a lot. I informed her that I felt, however, that I sent on a lot of sexually charged streaks with women because I felt I had to prove to myself I was straight. And then I began to tell her that I was bisexual. I told her that the thing is, I’m not straight, but I knew I wasn’t gay. I told her that I had to go to therapy to work through my feelings and I had to come to terms with myself, and then I said it:

“Mom, I’m bisexual.”

It felt terrifying and relieving all at the same time.

My mom’s eyes got big for a moment and she replied with, “Okay. You’re bisexual. I don’t know what that means, but okay.” And then, oddly she wanted to change the subject and I was looking for her acceptance and understanding. I don’t know that I got it, but she went on to talk to me about her will. I am currently the executor on her will and she expressed that she wanted to replace me with my brother-in-law, my sister’s husband. And, almost as if she were rubbing it in and reminding me of all my career failures and financial collapse, she said, “Well, if I die and this place needs to be sold, I know you don’t have any money and can’t really fix this place up to be sold.” She said she had been talking to my BIL and that she had expressed that she to him how she wanted her assets divided. She wants 1/3 going to me, 1/3 going to my late brother’s daughter and 1/3 going to my sister and BIL.

I was taken aback, a little, but it’s always been obvious to me she sees my BIL as more of a son to her than she sees me. She asked if I was okay with it and I told her I was a little hurt by it but I would always respect what she wanted done after she passed away. I told her it’s always been my belief to try and honor the deceased’s wishes and that I would never fight my sister for anything. I had already assumed that my sister could have anything she wanted and I would sell my portion of her assets. But, she asked me to think about her request and let her know. She also told me that she didn’t want me telling my wife about this (My mom and my wife despise each other, but remain cordial for my sake).

I felt dismissed. I can’t tell if my mom came up with this “change” on the spot after my revelation or if she is telling the truth and simply has horrible timing. But, I certainly do not feel supported by her in my revelation to her. She promised she wouldn’t tell anyone, but I know that’s not her norm and I feel like I fucked up telling her.

And now, I’m left feeling like I may have made the worst mistake of my life…

I just don’t know.

29 thoughts on “Coming Out: A Mother’s Love?

  1. Jeez Louise!

    I didn’t realize you were telling her all of that. I will say this, if you were looking for validation or affirmation, she obviously wasn’t the one to provide that. She reminds me of my grandmother, who is 93. I could tell her the most personal thing, and what she will do is change the subject and start talking about herself. I’m telling you this because I think it’s a generational/age thing. They don’t know how to deal.

    Please know that there are people out here, who even though we don’t know you, support you 100% in whatever you choose to do with your life ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I read this and thought, “No… he didn’t, did he?” Yeah, he did! And now he feels like he screwed the pooch… and I’m not surprised one bit. K. E. Garland hit it right on the nose: Parents from my generation (and yours) are disconnected from such things. I don’t know what reaction you expected from your mother but, yeah, you must be feeling some kind of way over her swiftly changing the subject to anything other than the one you wanted to really talk about.

    And now you know why I said that there are some people who just do not need to know. The good thing – I hope – is that you won’t let the whole conversation fuck with your head too much. I didn’t as much come out to my mom as she came out and asked me about it. Wasn’t gonna lie to her so I said that I’ve always been bisexual. She said, “Hmm, well, that’s what I thought. I hope you know what you’re doing.”

    All I said was, “I do, Mom – not to worry.” End of conversation. I expected fire and brimstone to rain down on me and I considered myself damned lucky because I know most parents of her generation would not accept or understand this – and all holy hell would break loose.

    But you did it and I give you props for doing it. Now what?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah, I thought so – kinda. Just a word, if I may? If you think moms can be… weird about this, dads can be even weirder. I know a lot of guys who’ve come out to their fathers… and the news wasn’t taken kindly at all because, again, that’s considered to be a total failure by those of that generation. Yep, I had this conversation with my own father and it made him very uncomfortable but it wasn’t as if he didn’t know that guys can go both ways and he did say that it was just one of the many things he failed at.

        But, sure, some dads can be more… understanding since they used to be young boys, too… and some dads have that secret they’d rather no one ever find out about if ya know what I mean. But parents have expectations of their children and it can be quite a blow to them when they learn that their expectations weren’t as fulfilled as they thought they were and especially in this. It’s not that some dads can’t understand this – it’s just a question of how they think knowing that their son is – and has been – bisexual “all along” is going to reflect on them as both a man and a father. You won’t know until you say something to your dad about this but I feel it’s fair to warn you that he could be okay with it, be indifferent about it (you’re a grown ass man and you’re responsible for any decisions you make about your life) or you might need a fire-proof suit.

        Choose wisely and don’t assume that your mother isn’t or won’t tell him about the conversation you had with her.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it’s awesome that your spoke your feelings. Parents don’t always act how they want to…and sometimes the first things they say can be the wrong things. It is hard.

    As for the will, perhaps she feels the bil is a more unbiased party…as long as everything is clearly in the will it wouldn’t matter. Hopefully she will live many more years and it will become irrelevant.

    I may have asked before, but why stay married if you are unhappy and feel trapped? Many people, myself included, get divorced. It frees you to follow your heart.

    Hugs
    Anne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment Anne. I’m not too upset by mom’s reaction – I realize it’s mixed with my own expectation and I realize that, but I won’t deny it either. I’m simply trying to accept things as they are.

      As to my marriage, I think we still value one another and I think we still love each other – even in it’s imperfections. I honestly am not sure what will happen and I haven’t grasped how to handle the aftermath of asking for a divorce, but I don’t have too many resources right now and I’m not sure if it’s even what we want. I’m trying to be more open about my own feelings and trying to be more honest about the boundaries I want. Right now, I think we are both considering that this is an evolving situation and not sure where to go with it at the moment.

      Like

  4. Congratulations for speaking your truth and coming out to your mom. I also have to give your mom credit for being honest about what happened to you and acknowledging what happened to you as a kid. I know it’s possible she swept your coming out under the carpet but keep an open mind. Like you, she didn’t know what to say. Other than responding by saying “ok you’re bisexual”. In my opinion she accepted it but didn’t elaborate on it because like so many people she didn’t know what to say to you. As for the will maybe she seized the opportunity of your honesty to be honest with you too and voice her concerns about the will. Don’t make assumptions. Find the gratitude in the fact that she didn’t shun you. She accepted you as bi-sexual. She acknowledged what happened to you as a child and owned it. In my opinion I don’t think changing the executor has anything to do with liking your brother in law more. I think it’s just out of concern. You are going through a hard time right now. Maybe she didn’t want to burden you. I think you both have to process all this. It was a big day for both of you. The four agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz are as follows: be impeccable w your word. (What other people say or think is their opinion, their truth not yours) don’t take things personally. Don’t make assumptions and always do your best. If you can live by those four agreements you will be fine. Keep an open mind. Gosh this was huge for both of you. The best part your wife will not hold this over your head. I have a feeling deep down your mom knew. I’ll bet she loves you and always will. Just be patient and let her process this information. She will. Let the universe step in. Today is a new beginning for you. I’m proud of you

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well like any mom it’s easy for her to take it personally. She’s a mom. I can relate to feeling like a failure at times. I think it’s good that you reassure her. As a mom myself. She needs to know and believe she’s not a failure. Keep reassuring her and watch your relationship grow. It’s my guess the closer you feel to your mom you will find the easier it will be to accept the new and true you.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I, for one, am extremely proud of you for coming out to your mom. It takes an open mind to accept one for who they are. Her generation was, at most, staunchly raised, with a wag of a finger if one strayed from what was considered the norm of society. It’s good that you gave her the Reader’s Digest version. If she wants to know more she’ll ask. Don’t take her (or anyone else’s) ignorance personally. Your wife’s holding your sexuality and alcoholism hostage, shows her lack of character and lack of compassion for others. Always got your back Sweetie.

    Liked by 1 person

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