I talked with mom last night, twice actually. Lately we've only been talking about every other week or so, and only for a few scarce minutes at that. Since the ordeal with her mammogram and my stepdad's heart attack, I simply backed away from previous issues that were on the table, primarily that of my relationship with F. I love my mom. We did not have an easy relationship growing up. After her car accident, for many years, there was sporadic but ongoing physical, verbal, and emotional abuse. Most days, I feel that I've reconciled myself with all that took place. Other days, it makes me aware of why Jesus said to forgive those who harm you 70x7 times - that's how often the pain can rear its head in your life, and each time takes forgiving them again. My relationship with mom is no different.
Shortly before Memorial day, my parents came to the city to visit me for the first time since I've truly lived on my own (dorms don't count to me, and even then, they rarely visited there). More importantly, this is the first time they have met a significant other. By that point in time, F. and I had been together almost 9 months (we will hit a year right around the Fall Equinox). In my mind he's not going anywhere, and he confirms this on a regular basis. This is where the challenge with my family comes in.
During the visit, my parents, though cordial, were distance and not engaged. I could tell the felt uncomfortable and awkward, and I tried my best to assuage as much of this as possible. When they left after the weekend was done, I thought it had gone well. Yet a couple of days later, in conversation with Mom, I realized it had not. They could not and would not accept my relationship as valid or right. Their claims while I was a child of "wanting me to be happy" apparently had conditions and stipulations that had not been previously made known to me. They said that F. was not welcome in their home and that this was an indefinite decision. I don't think my heart had ever been broken that badly before. It's most definitely still on the mend.
F. has been the most supportive individual I think I've ever had in my life. He put up with my schooling before while working full time, my crabbiness, my confusion and fear about the correct career path to take. And now, while still in the midst of pain caused by my family, he shows me more love and grace than any human has before, and in it, in him, I see a grace and love somewhat comparable to that of the Father, of Jesus. My neo-pagan gay partner shows me a more perfect version of Christ's love than many straight Christians I know. Think on that one for a minute...
In the meantime, back to my talk with mom last night. She said, "So you really don't think you'll ever change..." "No, I don't. If I wasn't with F., it would be someone else. But right now, I have no desire and don't see it being with anyone else but him." She cried, as she does sometimes. I know there is a loss there, a mourning and grieving that she must go through. This grieving for her, however, has gone on for somewhere between 11-17 years, the first signs of my identity and personhood showing up when I was as young as 9, maybe even earlier. I told her that I loved her, but that from here on out, I was part of a packaged deal. I could not and would not come alone again. That was my truth. It would not change that I loved her and Dad, and that I respected their wishes. But ultimately, the kind of relationship they had with me was no longer dependent upon my actions and decisions, but upon theirs. They would choose how involved and how close and how intimate they were with me. The second conversation happened mainly because I've been trying to determine the best way of getting the money I owed them from my tuition deposit to them in a timely and dependable fashion. It ended with my again reassuring mom that I loved her and was there for her and Dad in whatever way I could be, and that I appreciated their help financially.
F. and I went out last night because last minute he was asked to help with a demo at Touche. I was glad to go and spend time with his friends, whom I have been getting closer to over the past year, who have welcomed me into their world and given me space to wonder and question and learn and explore. Now I'm an open person to begin with, but a rough conversation with Mom and a couple of drinks, and that's definitely intensified. Yet they did not shy away from hearing a glimpse of was was happening in my life, but rather listened intently and offered empathy, advice, and support. At the end of the night, Frankie did the same when I shared discomfort of having him help me financially so often lately. The term partner definitely fits him perfectly.
It's nice to feel that I have developed a family here in my own locale, between his friends/brothers and my own friends from college, from GCN, and from Holy Covenant. Yet there is still a hole present from feeling as if I have lost a part of my family, a gap that right now hurts and seems to outweigh the parts of me that are filled up and that have been mended and healed. I would like to hope that things will change and get better. I don't know if that will be the case though. In the waiting though, God makes himself known as both the strong Father that I want to show me the way, and as the nurturing mother that yearns to share and alleviate my pain, placing people in my life to help along the way and remind me of how not alone I am...
All that being said, thanks be to God.