Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Truth...Part VI

Before I continue with the story I wanted to make a clarification. Julie had commented that she thought Laura was my first girlfriend. I had actually dated several women between 2000-2002, but I will say that Laura was my first serious relationship with a woman. OK, on with the story.

On the 4th of July in 2004 I spoke with my Mother several times. In one of the conversations I mentioned that Laura was thinking of moving in with me. My Mom's first question was "Which room is she going to sleep in?" I really didn't know what to say, so I told her I wasn't sure. I remember feeling like a teenager and I hated that feeling. When my Mom and I got off the phone Laura and I talked about the situation and I decided that I was tired of hiding who I really was and my family needed to know the truth. (I really think they knew, but were in denial) Within a couple minutes of my Mom and I hanging up the phone rang and it was my brothers wife. She told me that my Mom had just talked with her and had said, "if this is some kind of lesbian thing I will have nothing to do with her again." I knew what my Mom was saying was true and she would have nothing to do with me, but I needed to be honest with myself. It was time I stopped being ashamed of who I was.

I called my Mom and told her that Laura and I were partners and I was gay. There was silence on the other end of the phone. The next thing I knew my Mom hung up on me. I tried to call her back several times, but she would not answer the phone. At one point my Dad did answer and his only response was, "What in the world did you do?" I knew at this point there was no turning back.

I tried to call my Mom all that night and most of the next day, but she would not answer my calls. Laura kept telling me that she would eventually come around, but I knew deep in my heart that my Mom would never talk to me again.

Two days later I finally heard from my Mom. She sent me 3 emails telling me exactly what she thought of me. The emails were really hard to read, but it made me realize my Mom never really knew who I was. In one of the emails she told me I had one week to call the elders and tell them. I had no plans on calling the elders because I felt that what I was doing was not wrong.

As it turned out, my Mom didn't even give me a week because 5 days later one of the elders called me. This elder said that my Mom had called and discussed with him what I was doing. I explained to the elder that what I was doing was not wrong and I was not sorry about anything. He then explained that I would need to meet with the elders because a decision needed to be made. I am not sure why I agreed to it, but I told him I would meet with the elders.

After an hour meeting with the elders I waited 45 minutes while the three of them met in private to make a decision. Their decision was to disfellowship me for not repenting of my sins. I was not surprised and really had no emotion about their decision. I was not sad about being kicked out of the church again, but I knew it was going to be hard having to say goodbye to my family again. When I walked out the door that night the elders told me two things:

1) God would not hear my prayers
2) God would no longer love me

When you are disfellowshipped there is an announcement made to the congregation. I was told that my announcement would be made on July 29. I debated about not going, but decided to go since I had nothing to be ashamed about. I also was hoping to salvage some sort of relationship with my Mom and I felt that if I went for her then she would see that I did still love and need her. I walked in about 5 minutes before the announcement and sat next to my Mom. Right before the announcement was made my Mom reached over and grabbed my hand. The announcement took maybe thirty seconds and the second it was over my Mom let go of my hand. I truly believe that is when she let go of me completely and from that point on I was no longer her daughter. I then got up and walked out the door.

As I walked out I thought about what the elders had told me. As much as I didn't want to believe them, there was still a small part that wondered if they were right. I struggled with whether God loved me for months and months. When something would go wrong I would say it happened because God no longer loved me. It would take something big for me to realize that God did love me. Something big did happen and on June 10, 2005 I finally realized that God did love me and he did hear my prayers; all of them.

.........to be continued


Lynilu said...

I remember that I thought your mom/family would come around, too. I still struggle to understand that a parent can just stop having a loving relationship with a child of any age. By now you know, of course, that JWs don't have the slightest idea about how God "works." None at all.

At this point, may I remind you that the SIL and your brother were actually just fine with your relationship with Laura, but were hiding that from your parents. It remained that way until numb-nuts figured out that he had a chance to be the "favored child" for the first time. So they soon did an about face, became the perfect (HA!!!) little family for your parents benefit! He is such a false, opportunistic person. spit, spit, bad taste in my mouth over that!

Anonymous said...

I still feel like god doesn't love me. I mostly wonder if there is a god now. You are being very brave my dear. Brava.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry about what your mom did to you.

A good parent wants their child to grow up to live a fulfilling, authentic life. We all deserve that.

Thank you for sharing your journey with us. You are a amazing strong woman and I wish you all the best.

(P.S.: My brother-in-law and his family are JWs.)

freshie said...

I can't wait to hear what happened on June 10th 2005....as that is my son's birthday.....thank you for sharing.....I think about your mom and I don't understand....but if you read my story...you will see I am so extremely the opposite....thats not a good thing either....balance is always the key.

Lynn said...

I'm so sorry you were treated in such a horrible manner, Caroline. That was really wrong of your church and your family as well. AND it tells the truth about who it is who does not love. Some folks like to lay everything off on God when THEY are the ones who are doing the things that hurt people. The elders did not love you and then they passed the buck to God. How convenient for them.

Julie said...

What a crap religion that is. What kind of human being has the right to tell ANY other human being that God wont answer their prayers? I mean honestly, what a joke. It is just as crazy and scientology in my opinion - all these people walking around, thinking they have it figured out while judging and making all sorts of rules for other people.
I know you are still going through the tough part, but man, it is just so OBVIOUS to me that you are the one who will rise above all of this.

SassyFemme said...

Those elders were full of shit, pure and simple. God loves everyone and God hears all prayers.

B.E.C.K. said...

Just as in most negative interactions, what the elders said to you was about them and not about you. Still, I know how difficult it is to take a stand on personal matters and to basically reshape one's paradigm. The more I read your blog, the more I admire your strength, bravery and kind spirit. *hug*

Patti said...

It still boggles my mind that she could just let go of her daughter like that. I could'nt imagine doing that to Madison. Ever.

Boy those elders and other cult members are in for a BIG surprise when they get to heaven.. wait...

Jane said...


it's so amazing that you share this story with us. I feel bad for your family and for those who are so phobic that they have to make up lies about God not loving you or listening to your prayers.

The sad thing is that this thinking goes beyond the issue of homosexuality in our society. I have a person who has been very close to me for many years and he also happens to be black. My parents like him as a friend but would have a very hard time accepting him as a partner. The bottom line here is that we all have to see inside of ourselves and act on what feels best for us. I'm so happy you came out and stood up to your church and family.

Fern said...

Those elders were really doing some dangerous stuff in stating, as if they knew, who God loves and whose prayers He hears. Wow. A quick read through the New Testament makes it pretty clear that was a load of crap. It sure does mess with your head and heart, though.

And I think I'm just emotional tonight, but I am sitting here crying for you and especially for your mom. The part about her grabbing your hand just broke my heart. She loves you so much and she's caught in this awful cult that is making her choose between her God and her daughter, probably by calling out the Bible verses that talk about leaving your children to follow God... Twisting the truth. I am so, so sorry this has happened. And I am so sorry she is hateful to you, but I understand it. They have messed with her mind so much, and if she didn't care about you she would be over this whole thing. But she is so angry at you for making this separation between you two, and in her mind this is probably a choice you've made, or at least acting on it and being out about it is a choice, and she is lashing out at you because the separation between you hurts so much.

I really have this sense, though, that she loves you SO MUCH, as any mother loves and cherishes her daughter. It is the evil of the cult doing this to her -- I don't believe it is indicative of how she feels for you.

For whatever that's worth! But I just get really strong feelings or ideas about other people's motivations sometimes, and so I thought I'd share in case it gives you any comfort.

(And not that it is right, or that you should hide your relationships, or anything! It's just the sense I get, based on similarities with my own mom and stuff and blah blah... I'll step away from the keyboard now!)