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Wedding Woes

Don't pressure yourself to respond in any timeframe.

Dear Prudence,

Nearly 20 years ago, I came out to my parents. Their reaction was brutal and swift. I was immediately disowned and kicked out. I was 17, scared, homeless, and alone. My friends took me in for the remainder of my senior year. I went to college, earned my master’s, married my husband years ago, and recently had twins via surrogate. A few weeks ago I received a letter in the mail from my mother wanting to patch things up and get together over the holidays. Prudie, I have no idea how she even found me! I haven’t talked to my parents since the day I came out. I even moved across the country after college because it was too painful to stay in my home state. My husband says he’ll support whatever I decide, but I’m not sure I’m ready to forgive them.

—Bigoted Family Wants to Reconnect

Re: Don't pressure yourself to respond in any timeframe.

  • Respond when you're ready.   Maybe write to Mom when the time permits and suggest a meeting in a public location.   Or maybe begin to email if you want to begin baby steps - but how to move forward is on the LW with no pressure to reconcile.  

    My hope is that the mom is having a change of heart but I wouldn't book plane tickets without a full scale conversation about how wrong and cruel they were to their son.
    STARMOON44eileenrob
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    I agree with you, Banana. Definitely take your time here, LW. And, you can have a conversation with your mother without letting her into your life. This ball is 100% in your court. 

    One thing I'd also consider if I were LW, is how I'd feel if my parents died tomorrow. Would I regret not having that closure with them? Or would I already have that closure knowing that they couldn't support who I am? 
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    short+sassyeileenrob
  • I agree with you, Banana. Definitely take your time here, LW. And, you can have a conversation with your mother without letting her into your life. This ball is 100% in your court. 

    One thing I'd also consider if I were LW, is how I'd feel if my parents died tomorrow. Would I regret not having that closure with them? Or would I already have that closure knowing that they couldn't support who I am? 
    And beyond that - what's the parents' stance here? 

    Is it "I love you but I feel guilty as I'm aging and I want you in my life in spite of that whole gay thing"?   Or is Mom thinking that she really screwed up with her child that being gay is who he is and that she lives her own child with no strings attached?  Is mom ready to say that the nearly two decades of silence and emotional abuse of disowning her child rest solely on her and her husband's shoulders?   Because they do.   And I know I wouldn't book a cross country flight without the knowledge that I had my parents' unconditional love. 

    This letter HURTS.   A dear friend of the family came out to her parents at about that age.   They disowned her and kept in minimal contact with her as she had two other siblings.   She put herself through college and law school and is now married.   Her father is an ass and still is cruel to her when she's come to town to attend events for the extended family.   I didn't know any of this through my teen and young adult years and now that I do my opinion of my parents' friends has changed so dramatically for the worst.    
  • Whoa!  I just read this letter a second time.  The first time, I had it in my head that the mother was reaching out to hopefully mend fences and start building a relationship.  But, after reading the PP responses, I see she actually wants to jump right into a visit and over the holidays.

    Oh, HELL no!  If the LW still isn't sure how he feels, one way or the other, I think he should still at least respond.  Even if it is just to say something like, "I received your letter.  But am not sure yet if I can let you back into my life.  Please don't contact me again.  I will reach out to you if and when I'm ready."

    It would be such a kindness to at least respond.  And, while his mother doesn't deserve any kindness, he will be a better person for it.  I also think the letter will stop haunting him as much, if he replies with something.  Even if it is to put off the decision.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    MyNameIsNotcharlotte989875
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited November 29
    I agree with respond to say that I will respond later. It's smart to wait until after the holidays to chew on this a bit, and then, if LW decides to, start with a phone call or meet in a public place. Full on getting the family together is a distant possibility after other rebuilding goes well, not something to get done in 2018. 

    Outside of it being an undeserved kindness to the mother, I would send the non-response response because I would worry that mother would be wondering if LW got the letter, and then start trying other means of contact. The last thing LW needs while thinking this through is another letter at work, FB messages, or phone calls. 

    If I were LW I might agree to meet for coffee, but there is no way in hell I'd be subjecting my kids to these horrible people. I don't care how sorry they are; what they did to LW is atrocious, and they should feel guilty. They're lucky LW's life turned out ok; lots of other kids in this situation end up ruined or dead. 

    ETA: And I sure wouldn't be flying there. They can come to me if they want to see me.
    eileenrobshort+sassy
  • It sounds like Mom is moving incredibly quickly and that makes me think she doesn’t really understand the gravity of the decision she made. 

    Take your time deciding first if you even want to respond, and if you do what are you terms. LW gets to decide how this goes and if it were me I’d proceed extremely slowly if at all. 
    short+sassyShesSoCold
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Yeah, that's a no from me. She kicked out her CHILD. He was still in HS! And now she wants to patch things up and visit?! 

    Casadenamrsconn23
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    This is something I don't think I could ever forgive. Mom lost the right to know anything about LWs life when she kicked him out. If LW decides they want to pursue a meeting, they should do it, but they shouldn't feel pressured. They owe this woman nothing. 


    image
    eileenrob
  • Did anyone else catch that he and his husband just had twins and suddenly a letter from his mom appears?  Quite the coincidence, don't you think?

    20 bucks and my favorite vintage hat mom has one motive, make that two motives BAAAAABBBBIEEESSS! GIVE ME THE BABIES!!!!!
    Yeah, that's why I said not to trot out the grandkids.  I've seen this happen before in my friend's lives. This doesn't mean either grandparent has worked through any homophobia.
    eileenrobbanana468charlotte989875
  • @drunkenwitch, Nice to see you again!

    I didn't even think about the new babies and "coincidental timing" of the letter.  I wonder if mom has been quietly keeping tabs on him through social media.  Or maybe the LW is still in touch with other family members or mutual friends, who occasionally give her updates.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Honestly, my heart breaks every time I hear of parents disowning a child for being LGBT+. If I were in LW's shoes, I'm not sure I would be able to forgive my parents for this.

    That said, I'm not sure there's a right or wrong choice here. I do agree with PP's that LW may want to approach this more slowly - maybe communicate over phone and email for a while, see if they can gauge what Mom really wants and whether they want to rebuild the relationship with her. And definitely do not start off by getting together over the holidays.
    image
    short+sassy
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