30 December 2011

Don't Look Down

So I need to have a conversation with my parents and I'm not really looking forward to it.

I'm still gay and it's not changing.  I've still got a girlfriend, and it's not changing.  So my girlfriend and I are making changes that focus on the fact that we're still together and we're going to be together for a very long time.  And it's time to have a conversation with the parents before the moving van shows up to get my stuff on Tuesday.

I've been having mixed feelings about possible consequences.  I know that I haven't turned out in a way that is ideal for my parents.  I still want to make them proud.  I try to live in a good and honest way and hope that this will somehow make up for the parts of my life that we don't talk about at family parties.

Part of me thinks that maybe it's time to get over the unrealistic expectation that someday I'll be good enough as I am when it comes to my family.  That sounds harsher than how I feel it is, but I think it also describes where I'm at right now.  I know that me and my girlfriend will never be seen in the same way that my sisters are with their husbands.  I get it.  And I can't let that stop me from living my life.

Now, I'm not looking to be disrespectful when it comes to the religious beliefs of my family.  I think it's great that they can go to church every Sunday, study, learn, teach, do all of it.  I have no problem with it.  In fact, I want them to.  I know that there are some parents who decide that if their child can't be accepted by a religion, they'll leave it.  That's great for them.  But I believe that this is something that would be detrimental to my parents and my sisters, and so I'm happy that they stay.  I'm happy that they make decision in their lives that better their lives.  I'm happy that they're happy.  The Church enriches their lives and I appreciate that.  I would never ask them to turn their back on something that they truly and deeply care about.

And I genuinely feel that way.  I don't extend that sentiment for the sole purpose of hoping for the same courtesy in return (although it would be nice).  I can be happy that my family is happy, even when they find joy in a path that I found sorrow in.  I'm not jealous about it, I'm not upset about it.  I am really okay with it, which surprises me sometimes, but I am.

So why is it that I find myself so concerned with this next step in my life?  I find myself thinking that my girlfriend and I have been together for two and a half years, that we're building our life together, that we're seriously committed to each other.  The more this doesn't change, the more I think my family will just get used to it.  But is it selfish to ask them to just get used to it?  But then, why should I sacrifice my own purpose and happiness and comfort so they can be more comfortable?  Is it wrong to feel like I have the right to sleep at night?

I hate walking this tightrope.  But I suppose the best way to get from one point to another is to not look down, and not look back.  I'm hoping I can find a way to make the best of an uncomfortable conversation and the consequences, good or bad, will be bearable.


A.J. said...

life is short do what makes you happy

jen said...

I like what you say about your family: You are really are happy that they find happiness in the church. You don't need them to change, and you're not doing that in order to get them to change. I think that's awesome!

I understood that wanting to be loved and accepted by my family was asking a lot, and I still wanted it. I knew that asking my dad to love me even if I wasn't a member of the church would force him to face things that could be hard for him, and I still wanted that from him.

I gave them the choice. I told them I understood how hard it would be for them to accept, and I hated putting them through that, AND I wanted their love. And then I let them choose. I feel pretty darn lucky that they went through their own "stuff". My dad prayed hard, and he has read a TON of books on how to deal with your child straying, and then came to the conclusion that he loved ME. He'd rather me be happy than Mormon, and he still loves the church and all that it stands for.