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.