This incident changed my mother’s, my elder sister’s, and my own life forever. My elder sister was married, so she never was as much affected since she didn’t have to face my dad’s problems every day, but my mom and I had to go through a lot of trouble — emotional, as well as physical, mental, and financial.
One day, Dad suddenly suffered a stroke and had to be admitted to the hospital. His condition didn’t improve, so I brought him to a bigger hospital in my city as I lived in a bigger city than my hometown. I also invited my mother to live with me where I was living with my girlfriend. Since then, my sister has withdrawn herself from us gradually, and one day she moved abroad with her child and her husband. She never even came to see Dad in the hospital.
My girlfriend helped us a lot by cooking and calming down my mom and me, etc. My mom used to think we were good friends until the day she discovered a letter written by my girlfriend and realized that we’re lesbians. Her attitude changed towards us from that day onwards. One day, she confessed to me that she knows everything and she won’t allow such a thing in her presence. My girlfriend moved to her own place immediately since she didn’t want to live with us by then. Also, my girlfriend didn’t give me enough time so that I could convince mom about everything. My mom had other health issues such as high blood pressure, high sugar, and mental stress, and I didn’t want to add to her stress, so I decided I should set my relationship aside for a few days. Also, I cut down meeting my friends to give my dad and mom more time. I made all the sacrifices and performed all the duties I could, but I still had to hear my mom’s different theories about me:
1) She thinks that my girlfriend has made me a lesbian and that keeping her away will make me straight.
2) I hate men because I probably had a bad experience with them.
3) I have suppressed my “straight” sexual desires due to a fear of society and have chosen to sleep with women so that I relieve my sexual urges.
4) If I meet the “right guy,” I shall be straight again.
She makes me spend so many sleepless nights arguing so that I should agree to her terms, thus justifying her theories.
It breaks my heart, but at the same time I can’t even leave her since my father is in a bad state and I love him a lot and don’t want to leave him the way my sister did. My mom manipulates the issue by crying and saying she’s already going through a lot, and I have made her life more miserable by being gay.
How can I make her understand that being gay is not my choice but who I am? And also, I hate to listen to all the sick theories she has made up. — This is Who I Am
Unfortunately, I’m not sure you ever will be able to make your mother understand that being gay is not a choice. But that doesn’t mean you have to listen to her dumb theories or put up with her bullshit or give up on ever having a loving, more functional relationship with her, for that matter. You can’t change your mother or her behavior and the way she treats you, but you CAN change the way you react to her, and it’s in your reaction where you can begin to set boundaries and begin to show her that you don’t have to defend yourself because you’re proud of who you are and you’re proud of whom you love and you’re proud of the life you’ve created for yourself.
Stop arguing with your mother. Stop engaging her in these battles about who and what you are. Stop being apologetic. Start living your life for YOU. Tell your mother that, if she can’t live in your presence exactly how you are — how you were created, she can find somewhere else to stay. Tell her you love her very much but that you love yourself too and you will no longer allow her to treat you as though actively loving whom you love is wrong and immoral. You have been a loving and courageous and generous daughter and I appreciate how much you want to support both your parents, but you can’t offer them your support at the risk of your own emotional well-being.
You can’t continue being an emotional punching bag for your mother. You need to take a stand for yourself. And you need to accept that your mother may never understand you, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you. There’s a difference. And as nice as it would be to have parents who can understand and accept you for who are, the truth is that not everyone is so lucky. You can’t convince someone to accept you. But you can decide that you won’t allow their bigotry to define you or affect your happiness. You can decide that the acceptance and love and understanding you receive from your girlfriend and from the family you’ve created of friends and peers will lift you and guide you and support you through rough times. You can accept that the people we love can’t always be everything to us that we’d like them to be — that we are all flawed (some more than others) and all a product of our own upbringings and personal strengths and limitations. If your parents can’t give you the understanding you desire, find it elsewhere.
Finally, if you’re able to, please consider finding a new living situation for your mother. She can’t continue living with you indefinitely. Not only is her presence having an affect on your emotional well-being, but it’s also taking a toll on your relationship with your girlfriend. Start talking about a more longer-term solution for her, especially in relation to your father’s declining health. Is he still in the hospital? Is it time for him to live in a nursing home or an assisted living facility? If he’s better and can go home, what kind of help can be enlisted so the responsibility of caring for him isn’t solely on your mother (and/or you). As your mother’s burden is lifted, there’s a good chance her mood will improve and she’ll stop taking out her frustration and sadness and anger on you. You can further help the situation by setting clear boundaries and disengaging in her bullying behavior. Good luck.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.