Tuesday, February 17, 2009

One Step Back....Two Steps Forward

About a week ago I emailed my parents to let them know I was moving and that I would like to get together with them before I move. I knew that I wouldn't hear from my Mom and the only reason I included her email address was because I didn't want her to come back at some point and say, "well you never included me in your emails." I didn't tell them where I was moving to, just that I was moving 2.5 hours away. I received an email from my Dad yesterday. He said that he would like to get together with me to see what has been going on with me. He then asked me if I was buying a ranch. I was kind of excited by the email, but then I got to thinking and maybe I should have never emailed them.

My family has always had very poor boundaries. They believe in keeping everything private from the outside world, but in our own family there is no privacy. Does that make sense? I remember the first email I received from my Mom after I came out to them and she was asking about how lesbians have safe sex. Seriously, I was 31 years old and my sex life is none of her concern. About 4 months after I was kicked out of the church and my family disowned me, Laura and I ran into my Dad while we were having lunch. He was there eating by himself and we invited him over to our table. He did come over and it was a very awkward lunch. One of the first things he asked me was, "where are you working and how much are you making now?" It's almost as if my parents refuse to see that I am an adult and will always view me as the young Caroline who should be telling her parents everything.

I am not sure what I was expecting when I emailed them. Sometimes I wonder why I can't just let things rest. Maybe it's because deep down the little Caroline is still wanting to be loved by her parents and to have their approval. I think I am realizing that I will probably never meet their very high expectations.

It's hard when your parents disown you and I don't think you know how you would handle it unless you were in the same situation. It's really hard to accept something that you simply can not understand.

The positive in all of this, I don't think I am as emotional about the whole situation as I was even just a year ago. I guess it's true that sometimes in life you need to take one step back in order to take two forward.

As far as meeting my Dad, I don't think I am going to meet him. I know it sounds crazy since I was the one that emailed him, but I really don't think I want to open the can of worms that this could open. Because really, if we did meet it's not like we would have a normal relationship. He would just find out more things about me that he has no right to know. At least no right since he disowned me almost 5 years ago.

Some things are best left in the past. And I need to remember that 5 years ago my family made this decision.


Bobbie said...

Its hard. I dont know what I would do you in your situation. Part of me would still go to lunch and refuse to answer questions that made you uncomfortable. I would like to think you might be able to salvage some of your relationship with your dad. The other part would be just to ignore it. Good luck in whatever you choose.

Teaberry said...

I can't imagine what that might be like.... You're probably right, though, that, despite our adulthood, we still want our parents approval somehow. But, you're right, too, when you say they made the choice. But, I suspect that doesn't make it easier at all...

However, you know you have a GREAT adventure ahead of you, where you will create the family you deserve!!!

MJ said...

Gosh, that's a tough one. I've always kind of seen your dad as a possible connection to your past but he follows your mom so closely and the boundaries would be an issue. I guess the question would be do you really want to have any connection with you past, if even for a minute? You don't have to answer anything you don't want to and you can leave anytime you want to. You are in control. I hope what ever you decide to do is the right decision for you.

Lynilu said...

I don't know what to say. If you think you could just have lunch, visit, without feeling it necessary to divulge where you are going or other things that they don't need to know, it would be alright. I don't know it if that would be possible. It might just stir up more trouble than you need. I don't think your dad is the one who would push too hard.

If you want to see him, do so, but remember *you* have boundaries in your life, whether they do or now, and you have every right to stick to those protective boundaries. Don't feel bad about it.

But if you choose to not see him, don't feel bad about that, either. It is your life, and whatever makes it feel right IS right. Be true to yourself first.

BTW, don't feel bad if they still make you feel like a kid. That is kinda normal. Even when the relationship is healthy, it is hard to not feel like a kid around parents, especially when they disagree with something. Be OK with owning your adulthood. It is YOUR adulthood.

One more thing for the record. I think the worst decisions you made in your life were when you were still their "little girl." You made a lot of decisions *for them* rather than for your own happiness. Look where that lead. Yes, you've made some mistakes since then, but as you've grown more secure in your decision making abilities (i.e., you've grown up!!), you have made fewer mistakes. That is the best part of it all. :)

Whatever you decide is good.

trinity2 said...

I think that's a great decision on your part. Why open yourself up to that? I know how you feel as I have never been that close to my family.
Hey, again sorry for the mixup on my blog password and thanks for inviting me to read yours!

amy h said...

Parents will always make their kids feel like kids around them -- I think that is just how it is. :) And while I think your dad could ask those questions more tactfully, they are not unusual questions for a parent to ask. My mom asks those things, too -- just in a more tactful, caring way. I don't think it is a step back to ask him to lunch or to still go with him to lunch. Obviously, a parental relationship is a very tough thing to let go of (perhaps impossible), so if you can't let go, maybe you can make it manageable? I don't know. :)

Julie said...

It seems you already have some great advice here, but I'll throw in my two cents: I think that you should go too, but also keep the things private that you want to keep private. Can you control the conversation or would that be too hard?