Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A girls gotta do

I have struggled all my life with what I now recognise as the *unreasonable expectations of my mother; and my coming out to her has coincided with my decision to stop torturing myself so I can make her happy.

That said, when I came out to her a few weeks ago she took it well but since then we've had a few intense conversations where she hinted that I was being selfish in "choosing" to be gay, because otherwise I would have thought about how it would affect the people who love me, and if I had thought and cared about how it would affect them clearly as a good daughter/sibling I would have continued to stifle myself in the name of their happiness. Before that line of conversation got out of hand I cut it off by summing up my sentiments thusly:
If I could be different to make you happy I would, but that's not an option and I'm not going to change, I don't care what you think of it or if you call it a choice, I don't care how you want to rationalise it and how you think we can fix it, forget about all that cause I'm not interested in changing. I love you very much, and I know this is difficult for you and we're just as the beginning of this process. I'm not asking you to accept it or like it. But this is where we are, I'm gay and I'm not changing and you don't like it, so use your energy to figure out how we move forward from here.

Since that conversation she has been very silent, I've called her twice and gotten the lukewarm shoulder. I understand that this is very difficult for her because of her personality [sic disfunction] as well as her religious beliefs. But the thing is, after all these years of angsty bending over backwards to see to her comfort and make her happy, I suddenly find that I am fresh out of the desire to see to any one's comfort but my own. I love my mother dearly, and I know I need to allow room for this to be difficult for her, but now that I recognise how unfair our relationship has been all these years I feel like it's her turn to deal with not getting what she wants so I can be happy.

So, if she's gonna be frosty to me because I came out and told her don't waste her time trying to manipulate me straight, then that's her problem now, and I won't spend my time calling her out of guilt, and suffering because I feel like I'm being an unreasonable daughter. I'm gonna take all that valuable time and emotional energy to accept that I am actually not an unreasonable daughter and I have every right to follow my own path wrong or right, and I deserve to be happy because THIS is my life. Mine. Even though it makes her unhappy because if she wants to be happy, that's not my purpose, she's got her own life for that.

*In an nutshell she's always made it seem like every mistake I've made or choice that she didn't agree with was a huge trangression against her and meant that I didn't truly care about her, because if I loved her I would never do anything to make her unhappy (and I mean EVERY, y'know like not washing dishes, or cleaning my room). Nobody wants to hurt or disappoint a parent and it's a great point of suffering for all of us if we ever do, and after dealing with her reactions a few times, I bought into the idea that if you loved someone you never did anything to hurt them. So if I ever had any desires that were contrary to what I knew would make her happy I struggled with the guilt of being a bad daughter. And more, I truly love and appreciate my mother, and the idea that she wouldn't know that was intolerable to me so I was willing to do anything to prove it. So for most of my life I've had to deal with that terrible feeling that every choice I made was potentially something terrible I was doing to her. Unless you've a similar relationship with your mom you cannot begin to understand what a huge burden that is.