Tonight is the family Christmas party for my dad's side of the family. Since I didn't find out about it until about five days ago, I'm not going. I have other plans. I kind of wish I was available to go, but I'm also kind of relieved that I'm not going to be there. The fear of the unknown gives me more anxiety that practically anything. I get nervous around them, because I never know what to expect, and now that feels even more true than before.
Some of my dad's family knows. What would their reaction be if they all knew? I imagine it as a wide spectrum. My personal idea is that I think there would be more misunderstanding than anything. In my experience with them, they tend to take the "react first, think about the consequences later" approach. That doesn't always bode well for a softie like me. I've always felt like there is a lot of judgment instead of unconditional love. Just my observations.
I worry about my dad though. It's his family after all. I know he's having a really hard time with everything that's going on with me. Some days, he will hardly speak to me. He gets really weird and the feeling I get is that he doesn't want to be around me. Some days, it's like it was before, when we were buds. I just try to ride the waves as they come and be understanding. I know that where my life is now is never where my parents planned I would be. But it is what it is.
I don't know if it will come up at all. I really really hope that it doesn't. But it doesn't really matter to me one way or the other. I'm still going to live my life. And I guess if they are talking about me, they won't be talking about anyone else, and that might be a good thing. Not everyone has a picture perfect life, you know? If you're going to speculate about someone's life, talk about my dirty laundry instead of someone else's. That won't bother me.
If anything gets said tonight, in any sort of negative or demeaning way, I have no doubt in my mind that my mom will stand up for me and defend me and fight for me if that's what it comes to. She's tough that way, and I know she loves me. I think my relationship with her has improved so much since I came out. It's better now that it probably has ever been, even back when I was being straight. She'll turn into Mama Bear for any of her kids. But I'm not sure what my dad will do. I would hope first and foremost that nothing will get said to them at all. But if it does, I don't know my dad's response would be.
It's a crazy thing to have doubts about the love you get from a parent. It's even difficult to try to explain. The deep down love I know is still there. I know he loves me. I know he's having a hard time showing it. It's just weird sometimes, a really weird feeling.
But I will say this, and if any of my dad's family ever reads this, I would hope that this is what they would remember:
I am gay and that is no one's fault. My parents had absolutely nothing to do with it. They didn't make me gay by the way they raised me. They didn't choose it and I didn't choose it, and we're accepting it and doing the best that we can. We're just doing the best that we can. What more can you ask?
I'm crossing every finger and every toe that there won't be drama. I really really really hope that it can just be a nice family Christmas party, with laughter and good food, Grandma and Grandpa playing Jingle Bells on their harmonicas, my dad blowing everyone away on his saxophone, and everyone leaving happy.