Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Holiday Anxiety

It's that time of year again. Thanksgiving is right around the corner. For me, that means that my family is going to start trying to invite me to functions. Thanksgiving Day and Christmas eve were always pretty huge in my family. These holidays are the few times a year that we would all get together without someone being dead or married.

I am only “officially out to my older sister and my younger brother. When my husband and I got married, I let them know what was going on. Not only was I embarking on a whole new and wonderful chapter of my life, I was about to head out on a 1700 mile round trip. I know that accidents can happen when you are driving and I wanted my family to be aware that I was about to undertake this awesome adventure. I wrote about that last year here .

Now it's holiday time again. Now the phone calls and texts are going to start again. I honestly still haven't processed through the anger I feel toward my family. I am afraid that they will try to force the issue. I am afraid that they will try to break my self-imposed exile from them. I am afraid that they are going to force me to burn a bridge that I would much rather see stay damaged, but intact.

So, now I am dealing with anxiety. I run through scenarios in my head where a member of the family knocks on my door. None of the scenarios end well. I don't know if I will ever be able to talk to anyone in my family any time soon. I don't know if I will be able to welcome them into my home without feeling anger and resentment and a little shame.

You want to know what happens when a parent doesn't support a gay child? I can tell you, because I know first hand. That child begins to feel outcast. That child feels worthless. That child feels like his feelings, his true feelings, don't matter. That child begins to feel ashamed of himself.

Years of feeling outcast and ostracized can take a toll on a person. Right now I want to crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head, and not come out until New Year's. But I am not going to do that. I am going to continue to live my life in the best way that I know how. I am going to continue to love the man that I married. We are going to forge a life together. If my family wants to be a part of my life, they will have to do so on my terms now. I  no longer have a roommate, I have a husband. Together, my husband and I will continue to fulfill our foray.