I came back from my parents’ house after Thanksgiving with a pit in my stomach. I enjoyed seeing my parents but I felt invisible while I was at home. I told my parents I was gay 26 years ago and I feel that my folks simply ignore talking about serious issues.
I know that I can’t expect all parents to fully embrace their gay kids with open arms and my parents made it clear that they love me and value me as their son. But there’s just this painful tension I experience when I’m around them. Its as if there’s a giant dancing elephant in the room and no one can see it.
Someone asked me what I wanted from my parents. And I think the main thing is I just want to feel like I’m heard. That my parents KNEW me, really knew me. What I like, who I date, my dreams, goals – just make an attempt to delve deeper into the person that I am. I need to have an honest talk with them and express how I feel.
I’ve talked with several people over the past few weeks, therapist, sponsor, chaplain, best friend and all of them agreed that the discussion of honesty with my parents is more about speaking my truth than anything else. I need to cleanse myself of these negative feelings, not in anger, but in truth. I think my unwillingness to confront people has led to me pushing down feelings over a course of years and years. And that has led to some unhealthy coping mechanisms – drinking, overeating, overspending. That has to stop. I can no longer expect to live a full and happy life if I am not speaking from my heart.