After foolishly deluding myself yesterday that the reason I hadn’t heard from mum about my letter was because of a problem with royal mail I spoke to both my folks on the phone last night. Mum had in fact got the letter earlier that day, and sounded exceptionally upset and tearful, in fact she seemed a little more upset than she was when her father died. After I’d recovered from hearing her voicemail and called her back she also sounded a little drunk, which perhaps didn’t help.
Thinking about the pain and sadness in her voice is horrible. I now feel quite stupid that I really didn’t expect her to react quite so badly to this. I’d naively hoped that having already gone through this with one daughter she might be prepared to be understanding when it happened again. If anything she seems to be worse this time around.
I had very little idea of what dad’s reaction would be…I’m not sure which of the two was worse. To him though this was the perfect opportunity to point out to me that my life (ie job) is lacking direction and I need to get my act together, talking about my sexuality was ‘an irrelevant distraction from what I really need to do’. As well as listing these parts of my life that apparently make me a woeful disappointment as a person and the evidence of how self-indulgent I was, he felt a need to come out with some utterly breathtakingly hurtful comments about my ex. In particular ‘When I met him I knew he or should I say she, had something weird about him. That much was obvious’. Attacking someone who I always saw as, and always was a man, and a he, who I loved was just low and really unnecessary.
Today I’m still reeling from the whole thing, intermittently feeling like I want to burst into tears or be violently ill. There’s the blow to my self-esteem which in regards to my career was really not high before, the shame and sadness at the pain I’ve caused, and the anger and disgust I feel towards my dad, who I’m frankly ashamed to be related to.
I’m currently trying to remind myself that this will pass. As the youtube videos all say, it does indeed get better. I just never imagined, once the stress of anticipation had passed that I’d feel in this much pain.
My logical (as opposed to biological) family of friends have been nothing but brilliant. As a friend of mine put it when I remarked that I couldn’t understand why my dad felt a need to be such an arsehole ‘But he is an arsehole, you knew that already. That’s kind of what he does’.
I’m looking forward to spending some time with A, who is a constant reminder of how worthwhile this whole difficult process has been. With the interrupted, light, nightmare-filled sleep I’ve been having lately I’m quite tempted to go back to my doctors and ask about maybe getting a short prescription for sleeping tablets (not a cheering thought given that I’d hoped to be able to start the process of weaning off my anti-depressants in the spring, but might be necessary if I don’t get this sorted).
Comfort reading and other assorted blankee-like coping mechanisms beckon. Wearing a constant layer of war paint is helping (how on earth do men cope in a personal crisis without being able to apply a layer of slap to distract from their problems and put on a brave face to the world?).
My own letter wasn’t nearly so eloquent, and could never capture the experience of a generation like this letter does:
I urge anyone regardless of their orientation to read this, as somehow it still rings bells for me, and I imagine for so many people taking the first scary steps to come out to your parents.