Monday, June 02, 2008

Celebration.....Part II

So after almost 4 years I pull into my parents driveway. Their house is kind of in an H shape and you have to walk up to this big deck that is surrounded by windows of the living room. I notice that my Mom is asleep in her chair and I also that she just looks older. I ring the door bell and no one comes to the door. I then knock on the door and my Mom answers the door. I could tell that she was not expecting to see me when she opened the door. I don't remember who said something first, but at some point I told her that I wanted to talk with her and Dad. Right when I said that my Dad walked up. His response was so different then my Moms. He put his arms out for a big hug and said that I should have called because he would have put another steak on the grill. I think I was really surprised by his response to seeing me. I think I have seen my Dad once or twice in the last 4 years and it was only because I ran into him at the store and his response was never this happy to see me. For a minute I was taken back to what it used to be like when I would stop by.

I followed my parents into their living room and as we walked back I noticed that my Mom was walking with a cane. This really surprised and kind of shocked me. I then just told them that I needed for them to know that I loved them and I was not angry about anything anymore and that four years is a really long time for us not to be talking. I told them about going out with some friends to celebrate the fact that I had wonderful parents who gave me a great start in life. They both just kind of stood there and didn't say anything. I really think they were expecting me to be angry and/or upset, but I was the calmest I probably have ever been. My Dad said he was so happy that I decided to stop by and tell them that and they really appreciated it. My Mom just kind of sat there and looked at me and then said, "You are the one that walked away from us." She then got up and walked out of the room. She told me that she did not want to be in the same room as me. I told her that it was OK and that I just wanted her to know that I loved her.

My Dad and I then started talking about their cats; all of who I do not know. It's sad to know that the cats they had 4 years ago are no longer around. He was in complete shock that Bonk was still alive and he asked "how old is that damn cat?" I told him that I had a couple of friends in the car and we had just gone out to celebrate them as my parents and he really seemed touched by what I was saying to him. We made small talk for a bit and then I told him to call me and we would get together for lunch or something.

As we were saying goodbye my Mom opened the front door again. She wanted to know the motives behind me stopping by. I explained again that I just wanted to let them know that I loved them. It seemed really hard for my Mom to look at me while we were talking and I felt really sad for her. I could see the pain and the struggle she is having. I know she is torn about what to do and I just wanted her to know that I understood that struggle and still loved her.

My Mom tried to say things that would be hurtful, but I remained calmed and just kept reminding her that I loved her. She brought up the usual religion stuff and I told her that my issues with the religion had nothing to do with her. She then reminded me that being a Jehovah's Witness is "what she is". I know I will never win that fight. She then said she could not have a relationship with someone that is agnostic. I told her that I very much so believe in God and she found that very surprising. I don't understand why people think that just because someone is gay then they have no relationship with God. (I think I will have to write a post about my view on this.) I did tell her that she should just ask me some questions because she really hasn't asked and has just assumed so many things. My Mom tried to argue about what the Bible says and I just stopped her and told that I did not come by to argue. We then said goodbye and I walked to my car. One funny thing though.....she did ask who was in the car waiting for me. I told her it was a couple friends and her response was, "Are they lesbians, too??" I think it's funny that people automatically assume that everyone I hang out with is gay as well. (This would be another good post)

For 4 years I have had absolutely no hope in having a relationship with my parents. But tonight I have this small glimmer of hope. I don't know if my parents will ever call me or if we will ever have a relationship again, but they know I love them and that is all that matters right now. Letting go of this horrible anger I had for my family was huge for me. My heart feels so much lighter and I feel like I can breathe again. I really think the anger I had for my parents had this huge hold on my heart and I now realize I have lost so much because of closing off my heart.

That will never happen again.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Caroline, this didnt end quite the way I was hoping, but it is a start in the right direction. I'm hoping your Dad is open to having you in his life again, and maybe Mom will realize what she has been missing for 4 years. Good for you to have the courage to make the effort and I'm sure God is smiling.

Anonymous said...

oops forgot again

from Ruth

Julie said...

Wow, for the first time, I really feel sorry for your mom. She has a pretty long way to go with all of this and her views are holding her back from so much! It must be hard to be that set in your beliefs about what God wants. And not having relationships with ppl who are agnostic? Oy.
Good for you for making this step though, I think it brings you more peace. You made me cry good tears!

MJ said...

Again, I think it is a great step for you and that is what is important for you. They will miss out if they don't have further contact with you.

redfrog said...

I agree with the others its a great step.Something in my life that happened close to 16 years ago needs to be addressed and a person forgiven its funny how fate just suddenly bangs you on the head and says deal with this when you thought it was dealt with

Caroline said...

ruth--i am actually very happy with the way things turned out. i said what i needed to say and it seems that maybe my dad is open to having a relationship again.

julie--i also was very sad for my mom. it hurts to see her so sad and torn

mj--i think that is the important thing...this is just the beginning of the changes in my life...

redfrog--it did just kind of hit me that i needed to talk to them. and i love that my friends were with me on this part of the journey.

Eye of the Rainbow said...

Im so glad that everything went well!I knew you would have the courage to go through with it. I hope it all works out in the end. Who knows what the future holds. But you said what you had to say! :)

beans said...

WOW-what an amazing post. Thanks for sharing this with us. Forgiveness is an amazing thing . . .even more so when we remember that when it is true and real, we do it for ourselves, and that at times others will not understand and try to mess things up-such as it sounds like your mom did. But you knew that you were doing it for you, and that the struggle was hers.

I am proud of you-as I know this couldn't have been easy. I hope that you find the grace and peace that comes with such forgiveness. It is amazing, and life changing.

I can't wait to hear more . . .

Caroline said...

bobbie--my friends that went with me were saying how much courage i had/have and i really don't know where i got it, but i am glad i do have it

beans--thank you for reading and wanting to hear more. it makes me feel good that so many have been touched from my story.

Chelle said...

Congratulations. I know this is a huge step for you and I for one am really proud of you.

Anonymous said...

You are such an amazing and strong person.

Lynilu said...

I have to admit that it went much better than I thought it would, and I'm very happy for that. I'm so glad your dad opened his heart as he did. Perhaps over time your mom will relax, too. Whether anything ever happens with you and them from this point on, they will know that you love them, that you are no longer struggling with them. That, Caroline, is a blessing for all three of you.

I'll say it again .... your maturity over these last few years has skyrocketed! You're an amazing woman. Letting go of the past is so freeing, and I think that will allow you to really soar now! :)

I love who you are!

R said...

Cheers you!! THta's flipping fabulous!! I'm so happy for you that you did that and you can feel some freedom now. GOOD FOR You my friend!! Good for you!!

amy h said...

Caroline, I'm really proud of you! You have chosen to feel love rather than bitterness, and you stood your ground. It's clear your mom still has issues, but it's so much better for you not to turn her issues into how you feel about yourself. I think your viewpoint is right on. Nicely done.

I really think that our situations aren't what bring us happiness -- it is how we react to those situations. Someone could have a "perfect" life and not be happy, or someone could face lots of adversity and be very happy. I like to see you choosing happiness. You aren't denying the problems that exist with your parents, but you aren't letting baggage dictate your happiness. Keep it up!

Caroline said...

chelle--thank you so much

anonymous--i keep hearing this from people so it just be somewhat true

lynilu--i felt so sad for my mom because after 4 years she is still filled w/ so much anger...i could see it on her face and it just made me so sad. you know i love you too

renee--i was trying to find the word and you just said it...i have found freedom...and it feels wonderful

amy--thank you so much for the awesome comment. i am just happy that it only took me 4 years to choose love

Renaissance Woman said...

Caroline...I am very happy for you. I do wish that would it have ended with them both apologizing and hugging you, but I think that this is a start. Sounds like you are in such a great place. Talking with your parents and trying to get them to understand and support is hard. I have three good friends who are ex-witnesses (all gay) and they have had similar experiences. I am very sorry that your parents have missed out on your life for 4 years. This is a new start for you.

Caroline said...

renaissance woman--my mom has a lot to work through and i have finally come to a point where that is OK that she is not ready to have a relationship with me. but she does know i love her and that was the point of sunday.

Sonya said...

Way to go!

It sounds like it all turned out incredible. Sure, it may have been even better if your mom would have opened her arms. But even with her resistance you were able to take care of your needs, get it all out on the table, and most importantly not take on her issues. You've put it all out there and the ball is now in their court.

You've gotta lot of guts! How does it feel to be lifted from all that weight? I bet it feels amazing!

I wish I had 1/2 the guts you've got because man i've got some things that I need to get rid of!

Caroline said...

sonya--it feels amazing to have this huge weight lifted off my heart. thank you for the compliment on having guts. i always thought i was a coward until 4 years ago when i had the courage to leave the church and stay out for good.

Monogram Queen said...

Caroline I am so so so proud of you. That cannot have been easy for you. It could have gone better but it could have gone a whole lot worse.

Jen(ni)/Fern said...

You are awesome!!!! This is so fantastic! This is like the parable of the prodigal son, but twisted so the son (daughter!) is offering forgiveness with no strings, open arms, and the parents have to decide how to take it. It's like your dad is the prodigal son, and your mom is the son who had always stayed and was bitter about the welcome his brother got.

I am so proud of you. Words cannot express it! You should write your story (thus far) into an essay and submit it to some magazines.

traci said...

Wow. I am so proud of you. I understand completely the nerves you felt when driving up to their house. How far you have come to be able to say what you needed to say, accept what they had to say and let it be...just what it is. I can feel the peace in your words. Brava!

Caroline said...

patti--i thought it went really well. i said what i needed to say and they know i love them

fern--thank you so much for your comment. i do not handle pressure very well when it comes to writing. if i know i have to write something then i just freeze

traci--oh my gosh i was so nervous when i was walking up to the front door. but it all went well and i am so happy