Elbow: Conversations With Mom

Monday, December 03, 2007

Conversations With Mom

I know that my mom is going through a hard time with me being gay and I'm trying to be sensitive and I'm trying to be as supportive as I can through all of this. It's been hard for me to forget about myself in all of this and focus on what she needs from me. It's been frustrating because I feel as though she's sad around me and that she is trying to be supportive, but all I feel from here is judgment and dissapointment.

I was with her this weekend, and we were driving to Salt Lake and she was droping me off and when I got out of the car she saw I wasn't wearing garments and she asked me if I was wearing garments and I just said "yes" cause I didn't want to have the conversation, but she asked again cause she saw that I wasn't wearing garments and she asked why and I said "it's a long story" and she said: "that's sad" and she walked away and got in the car and drove away and didn't look back. It made me feel really bad. I don't regret not wearing garments, but I do regret the way I handled the situation. I should have said upfront "mom I'm not wearing garments and it's my choice and I'm happier about this decision and there's nothing to worry about." I'm a little upset that she said "that's sad" and the just drove away. I cried a little bit and just couldn't really peice together what I was feeling. I felt so alone and hurt because I just don't feel love from her. This is what she wrote back:

...You mentioned that I am sad around you and you need to to realize that I am going through a sort of grieving process. I am grieving for the life I had hoped and dreamed for you. So it does bring me a lot of sadness. It does not mean that I do not love you.

You have to know that as your mother my first concern is for your eternal progression so we can be an eternal family. That will never change!! So this is harder for me to deal with than for others.

...in July you told me that you have a strong testimony and you were planning on keeping the commandments and trying to be happy with what you were dealt with. That gave me some peace knowing we could still be together as a family. I still hope for that for our family.

It deeply saddens me that you have chosen to break the covenents you have made. You have served a mission and you have worked in the Temple. You know the sacredness if those covenents and how important they are. I pray that you will be able to go to the temple again and fill of the peace there. I hope for that for our family...

This is what I wrote her back:
About what you wrote me; what I want you to know mom is that I do understand that this is hard for you. It's hard that I'm gay and it's hard that I'm struggling with how to live my life. I lament the fact that you have to worry about me and that you are disappointed with the way my life as turned out.

I am trying to be sensitive to that fact and I'm sorry if there are things that I do that make this situation harder for you than it already is.

I want you to know that I love the gospel and I love the things that the Church has taught me, but for me, the Church isn't the culmination of living the gospel. The Church is a good place to learn about the gospel, but it's not everything. I'm in a different place than you are and a lot of the members of the Church are at. I've served a mission, I've been close to the Lord and yet those the Church doesn't make me happy or define my happiness. What the gospel is to me is living a life that is honest and true loving my fellow man and honoring my Heavenly Father with my actions. And those are the parts of the gospel that I want to emulate and seek after in my life. And those are the things that bring me happiness.

As far as I feel and as far as I'm concerned, I feel worthy to go to the temple and to worship my Heavenly Father just as much as I always have. And perhaps feel more prepared to do so because I'm taking extra measures to be more honest and to recognize my relationship with the Savior without the context of the Church but on a more personal and individual level.

I don't wear my garments because I don't think that my garments are the way for me to be close to God or to "obey commandments." The temple is a great place, but it's not the only spiritual place in the world to find God and while I do believe that the Church is good, it's hard for me to trust what they have to say since the Church told me to get married and Church says that I should not seek out male relationships in my life.

I've learned from the gospel that I should ask God and that I should listen to the spirit and the spirit tells me that I should be honest and that "it is not good for man to be alone." I don't know what my life holds or what may come, but I plan on being true to myself and living in the happiest and most high vibrational way possible.

I don't think that there is anything wrong with loving someone of your own gender. I just don't get why that's wrong. And the spirit tells me it's not wrong. And that's what makes me concerned with what the Church is telling people. My Heavenly Father loves me regardless of who I choose to love and while I'm not in love with anyone at the moment, I feel that I will one day want to be with someone who I can share my life with.

This may not be what you want to hear, but I want to be honest with you because I love you and I want you to know what I'm going through because I don't want to shy away from this conversation and as a result distance myself from our relationship. You mean so much to me, mommy and I love you like crazy! I respect you and honor you and feel so lucky to have you as my mom!

Thank you for being strong in your convictions and for being courageous to live in a way that you feel is right. I hope you can feel the same way about me in that I know I'm living in a way that I believe is right for me and I don't want to compromise myself and loose an ounce of happiness because I'm afraid of what others think of me.

Please write me all the time non-stop and know that I love you always!"

I don't know if this is the best thing to write right now, but it's how I feel and I want to share my life with my mom because she's so important to me. We'll see what she writes back...


Blogger Abelard Enigma said...

It's important to be honest with your family - even if it's not what they want to hear. It's also important to let your family know how much you love them.

The email to your mother does both - I pray she will be able to accept it in the spirit it was intended.

5:30 AM  
Blogger J G-W said...

Your mom does love you, and deep down inside she wants you to be the happiest you can possibly be. She wants you to live at the "highest vibrational level"! You can always count on the love of a mother. It will carry her through to the other side, and to a place of understanding, just like it carried my mother along the same path your mom has started on.

I can see the love, strength, and peace in your life too. And the faith! Your trust in God, in the Spirit, and your trust in listening and being honest will carry you through to the other side too.

6:09 AM  
Blogger Scot said...

This is a wrenching predicament and I think you handled it well in your letter, Elbow.

In my observations, such conflict within family almost always diminishes with each week. It takes most gay men a good long while to come to terms with themselves, and family just needs time too. I think those who do react harshly do so out of love, and most often come to wish they could take back some of what they said. In the end, I’m sure your relationship with your parents will heal, and probably be stronger for the trial.

7:11 AM  
Blogger One of So Many said...

I hope you are able to get over this difficulty in your relationship with your mother. It's always a needed relationship to have.

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The most important thing you can do at this time is to continue to hold onto your integrity and be honest. After your family softens then you will be so glad you did not try to hide things from them because the relationship will be built on a secure foundation and will be much more open and loving.

The sadness you and they have now will work to your favor and the love will be increased.

Blessings are coming your way for doing the right thing.

12:08 AM  
Blogger Distinguishing Preoccupation said...

That was a really well written response to your mom's letter. My mother also said that she is going through a grieving process and having to change the vision of what she had hoped for me in my life.

From what I've heard from others, eventually families catch up. They may not always immediately, but if they love you and listen they'll catch up.

Best of luck


11:47 AM  

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