Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Coming out to my family, Part 3

Yo dudes, what's up?  This is gonna be a long post, so bear with me....

So I said in my last post that I would talk more about my mom in the next post. Well, here it is;  my mom's awesome, she's somewhat of a free spirit, and she's a really good person - one of those people that others are drawn towards and that love life no matter what.  Here's the catch though... she's dying of brain cancer.

That's right, as I've been struggling with my sexuality I have also had to try to accept the fact that my mother isn't going to be around for too long.

3 years ago I was going to be a sophomore in college when, without my parents permission, I withdrew from my school to take some time off and do some traveling.  They weren't too happy with me, but eventually, they came around.  So I moved back into my parent's house and decided to focus on working out, getting healthy, and chilling with some friends who didn't go to colleges too far from where we live.  I planned on hitting up few cool spots I had been wanting to get to in other parts of the world. But, that all went to shit mid January.  It was a mad cold day and we had just had a snow storm that dumped a couple feet of snow on us.  So this one afternoon, about a week after my sister went back to school from winter break, I couldn't find my mom around the house.  I checked everywhere.

I decided to go out to our barn and see if she was there, well no more then 25 feet from the side door of our house, there she was.  I saw my mom lying on the ground, unconscious, half on a snow bank with a bloody knee, nose, and forehead.  It didn't look like she was breathing.  Naturally, I freaked out and thought she had died.  Luckily she hadn't and she started to move as I was on the phone with 911.  She tried to get up but I told her to just stay on the ground, that it wasn't safe to move and that help was on the way.  She had no idea who I was or where she was, although she could remember her own name.  Once I was off the phone with 911 I immediately called my dad and told him that mother was being rushed to the emergency room and to meet us there.  A few days later after a shit ton of testing, it came back that she had a brain tumor.

Within two weeks she was in surgery in one of the best hospitals in the world and was being taken care of by a truly great neurosurgeon.  We're pretty lucky that she was so fortunate to have been seen so quickly.  Not sure if any of you know about brain surgery, but once it happens, it forever alters the persons personality, even if just a little bit. Not to mention, the cancer was doing a pretty good job on that front as well.  So here I am three years later after making the decision to stay at my parents house and help take care of my mom so that my sister could focus on her studies and so that my dad wouldn't have to rely solely on himself and hired help.  Sometimes I resent having the last 3 years of what should have been the time of my life, taken away to help take care of her.  But I just try to remind myself that I'm honoring her and giving back to a women who gave so much of her own self to be able have my sister and I.  It turns out, these past 3 years have been the best of my life.  I was able to get close with my mom in a way that I hadn't been in the past, I really had an awesome chance to get to know this amazing woman.  I wouldn't change anything about this time we've shared together.  I've met a lot of really great people in this world, and only a very few can hold a candle to my mother.

Mom doesn't have the same personality as before the tumor, but there are still pieces of it there, and as the past few years have progressed, so has the cancer. The change to her personality is pretty obvious.  The night that I came out to my sister we talked about when a good time to tell mom would be.  She told me that mom was becoming more and more worried for me, that she didn't understand why I was having such bad anxiety and panic attacks and why my anger and depression were getting worse.  I had planned on waiting to come out to her until Christmas, but my sister made a good point, that our mother wasn't getting any better and now was better then ever.  So the next morning after a failed attempt to get over my anxiety I sat down with my sister and told my mom that I'm gay.

Her response was def not as enthusiastic as it would have been if she didn't have this cancer, but it is what it is.  She first asked me if I was kidding (I have a dry sense of humor and am pretty sarcastic at times) and then asked me if I was really gay.  I told her this was not a joke and that I have been struggling for years with this.  I asked if she ever suspected anything and she said yes.  Her only reason though was that I hadn't had a girlfriend in 3 years and didn't seem to be dating.  She assured me that I do not come off as anything like the stereotype and other than the fact that I hadn't dated in a while, she would have never guessed.  She didn't have much to say other than she was happy that I told her and doesn't care at all, that she loves me even more now, cause she knows more of me.  My mom has always been on the side of gay rights and has never seen people's skin color, sexual orientation, or religion as something to be judged.  I couldn't come from a more accepting family and I am mad grateful for that cause I know not everyone is as lucky.

In the end, I am happy that I have come out to my family, especially my mom.  She deserves to know the whole of the son she gave birth to before she dies.  This has given me a chance to make peace with her for all the crap over the years.

If you want to know what my family is like just check out The Family Stone.  Its a tear jerker, a comedy, and yeah a chick flick, but still an all around great movie.  My mom is just like the mom, my dad is pretty much the dad, my sister is more or less Amy, and well I guess that would make me a cross between Thad, the gay son and Ben, another son.  Just wish I had all those other siblings, man it would have been great to have grown up in a big family, really wish my parents had more kids.

Here's the trailer:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Coming out to my family, Part 2

Here's part 2 of my coming out to my family.  My sister is pretty freaking awesome, she's a year younger than me and is a lot of times my voice of reason in a sea of self-doubt.  She tells it like it is and has no problem in doing so.

She was coming home for the weekend from college and knew that I had been dealing with a ton of panic attacks and couldn't understand why, but she was pissed that I was having them.  She would say things like "What do you honestly have to panic about, I don't understand where this is coming from, just get over it!" ha ha if only she knew.... So I decided to take her to a favorite spot of mine on the ocean and we just sat around talking for a bit about life and our mom (I'll talk more about her in part 3).

So in the middle of our conversation I took a page from Average Gay Dude's book and came out with the line, "If I were to die tomorrow, would there be anything that you would want to know about me that you didn't think you already knew".  Well, she started to get upset and asked me if I was going to kill myself.  I just laughed and said no, no worries on that front, just answer the question.  She said "no, what's going on...?".  That's when I came out with it;  I said I'm gay and all the blood rushed to her face, she looked like a deer caught in headlights and blurted out "What!? Wait....really?".

I said yes really and we talked for a bit about all the stuff I went over with our dad.  Earlier that night, before I came out to her, I asked her how my voice sounded.  She seemed confused by this and said "What do you mean?  You sound like a dude",  I said really, like my voice is deep and masculine and all?, to which she responded with, "uh, yeah and I am pretty sure your voice is deeper than my boyfriends".  Phew, I was in the clear on that one....so now back to that spot on the ocean.

When we were talking she became super stoked and happy, she said "I always wanted a gay best friend/brother and now I have one!"  I assured her that just because I'm gay doesn't mean that I'm not still a dude and that I wouldn't be going shopping with her or talking about hair and make-up.  I'll leave that stuff to her girl friends and other gay guys, if thats what they're into.  She's chill with that, she's just wicked happy to have a gay bro.  She's always talking about how much she loves the gays!  So after this we went to grab a bite to eat at a great local place and just talked more about what had just happened.  I feel so much closer with her and it feels really good that she now knows all of me.  She's the best, we have our issues, like any siblings but I def don't know what I would do without her.

Part 3 is coming!

ps I'm pretty sure the most upsetting thing about this for her was that I didn't go off on her gaydar, which she says is always spot on lol