The dust has settled.
Or so I thought after telling my mother I was gay not too long ago. It felt too easy. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, and then… it did.
Not long after the “grand revelation” did my mother call to let me know she was hopping on the next plane and coming out to see me. She insisted we needed to “talk.”
Me, “About what?”
Mom, “About this. About what you told me. I don’t even know what to tell your brother.”
“Well, I wasn’t sure about how or when to tell him, but he needs to know.”
“We need to talk about this.”
“I’m not sure what there is to talk about. Why don’t you tell me now?”
“No. These things aren’t matters for over the phone.”
I give out a long sigh, unsure exactly where to start. I let her know I intend to travel to SoCal, rather than have her visit me. I understand she just started a new job not even two months ago, and she doesn’t really have the funds for something like this. We set the date out a month from then; May 11th.
The fact she couldn’t tell me what it was she wanted to discuss over the phone was torture. It haunted me. For the first few nights I kept having nightmares of being dragged by my mother’s friends in some sort of intervention; locked up in a church and drugged. It sounds funny as I type it out, but the fear was very real.
I’d imagine all the arguments, all the rationalizing I’d have to do. Even at that, I had NO idea what she wanted to talk about other than “about this.”
As the day loomed closer the more I wanted to call the whole thing off. I don’t want to visit SoCal. Although I miss my friends, I can’t begin to describe how sad, how torturous it is to return back. It’s my psychological junkyard–a graveyard of broken dreams and aspiration. It’s where I left my baggage, an emotional desolation that I still cannot return to. My mind begged with every fiber of its being; please, please don’t make me go back.
Me, “I don’t know why I need to go.” Another conversation as the day looms closer.
Mom, “We need to talk. I just need to talk to you.”
“Why? How do you feel about this?”
“I ask myself, what I did wrong? Did I fail as I mother? Was there something I could have done differently?”
“Of course not, Mom. This isn’t your fault. I’m not mad at your or dad. I don’t blame anyone. I’m not acting out. This isn’t something new! Mom, everyone has known. All my friends growing up. Coworkers. Everyone. Even my sister–”
“Your sister? And why didn’t she say anything?”
“Because we knew you’d act this way and that you had no clue.”
The revelation was meant to soften the blow, but as I blurted the words out I realized it was a bad move.
Mom, “You have to understand. I ask that you to be patient with me and put yourself in my shoes. This is all a shock. I’m in shock.”
And a part me does understand. I teeter between understanding the shock and being angry that she’s almost treating this whole thing about her–and then I’m angry for not being understanding–but frustrated I’m being made to feel guilty. It’s a back and forth battle for days.
Me, “Mom, I’m not going down there to argue this. I don’t know what there is to discuss.”
Mom, “You don’t just tell someone news like this. You don’t tell people things like their loved one has died or some terrible disease. Or…”
Gee, thanks; I think.
She bites her tongue, “I just need to talk to you.”
Me, “I’m not going down there to argue. Me coming down there to discuss this is like me going down there to discuss the fact my hair is black. I’m the same person. And this…” has already gotten more attention than it deserves.
Mom, “I don’t want you to feel pressured to come down here either. If you don’t want to come down here, that’s fine. Just know that this isn’t over and we will be discussing this.”
And that’s when this whole thing felt I had to rationalize and explain myself. That’s what this would be.
Me, “Then no. I’m not going down there. I have time off in July,” which would give her time to think and simmer, “you can come up the first full week. We can talk then. Bring my little brother too.”
She needs time to think, to let this sink in more than just a month. Perhaps even years, but either way I wasn’t going down there for this. I’m not going down there to coddle her. It feels the more I treat her reaction as an emergency that warrants an out of state flight, the more I enable her.
I’m done rationalizing my emotions–my existence to not only the world, but myself. Going down this path with her is detrimental. I’ve been through too many dark episodes, considered shock therapy and thoughts of suicide to run this gamut all over again. I’d rather put a handgun in her hands, take on the expression of “I brought you into this world and I’ll take you out,” and let her have the shot, than to torture myself through this crippling assent. Sorry to get so dark, but I’m very serious when I say I’m done and that I’ve been through my dark period. Done.
For now, I take the already allotted vacation time for myself. I’ll finish my edits. I’ll hang around good friends and company. I’ll be me.
The dust may have settled, but here comes the crazy fog.