I have about 8 partial blog posts in my draft folder. I have never been that person…the one who starts posts and then drafts them to finish later. So I’m pulling them out and putting them here. Unfinished.
Draft 1. Written December 24, 2013. I think my thoughts changed directions midblog and instead of changing this post, I saved this one and started a new one.
It’s been 4 years since I told my parents I was gay. I was about to leave my husband and seek a divorce, and I felt like they deserved to know why. I couldn’t hide it from them. I was beyond nervous because I didn’t know what their reactions would be. I had psyched myself up for a complete and total rejection and that’s not really what happened. They were hurt and sad more than anything. I get that. All of a sudden I wasn’t who they thought I was.
I let my parents tell my siblings because I was emotionally drained just from talking to them. I didn’t have the strength to say it all again and again. My brothers were both silent on the issue. I think they didn’t know what to say so they just didn’t say anything. My sister told me I was sinning. She said that I knew the truth and was turning my back on that truth. She said that she wouldn’t be able to see me or fellowship with me because that is what she felt God was leading her to do. It was an emotional time for me, but I certainly didn’t want to force anyone to do anything they weren’t comfortable with. Heck, I wasn’t even really comfortable yet. I needed to figure out who I was.
I was seeing someone at the time of my divorce, but I never told anyone. If anyone asked about her, I called her my friend. Because there was a bit of an age difference, it was believable. Mostly though, nobody asked about her. My kids knew her as my friend, and my ex-husband knew her as my friend, but truth be told, nobody else even knew her. I kept her hidden in that closet that I was slowly venturing out of.
During this time, I also found myself avoiding all of my old friends. I figured that they probably wouldn’t want to have anything to do with me so I saved myself from rejection by avoiding those who could hurt me. Most people didn’t know what happened, just that my husband and I divorced after I left him. I got a couple of emails and Facebook messages from various friends and the message was either one of friendship or one pointing me to my sin. I didn’t know who knew and who didn’t so I didn’t trust those offering me their friendship. I was certain they would change their minds once they found out I was gay. How could they continue to be friends with someone who went from being a Christian to being gay? It didn’t make sense to me so I went out of my way to ignore them. If I saw someone I knew in a store, I quickly turned and walked the other way. If I couldn’t hide from them quick enough, I smiled and made pleasantries until I could make an escape.
Two years after I came out to my family, I ended up coming out to a couple of people at work but only because I was backed into a corner. I was terrified that I would be ostracized once everyone knew, but that never happened. The people I told never treated me any differently, and as far as I could tell, they never told anyone else. Later I was brave enough to share that I was gay with another coworker. She, too, accepted me and kept quiet. My girlfriend at the time brought me lunch occasionally and participated in a few work functions but nobody ever said a word. I heard that people wondered behind my back, but I was never treated like I was less than.
Around the same time, my kids discovered that I was gay. I was extremely worried about their reactions. I was their mother. I felt like I already had a precarious relationship with them because I was the one who left their father. We shared custody, but I was scared that they would decide they would rather live with him than me. I knew that the courts had set up a schedule, but since we lived so close to each other, we were mostly just winging it when it came to where they spent their time. I didn’t want to have to force them to see me. That would have killed me.
And now here it is 4 years later and I feel like I’ve come so far. I didn’t realize that the coming out process would be such a long, arduous task. I didn’t know that I would have to come out over and over. I never anticipated all the situations I’d find myself in.