"I recently came out to my mom, she went insane. For the past two days she has been emailing me saying that I have betrayed her and fooled her into believing I was her "perfect little girl". I’m starting to think I made a huge mistake, should I have just kept it to myself?!"
- Question submitted by Anonymous
I want to state, for the record: your mother is wrong.
You did not make a mistake coming out to her, you did everything right and now she is going through something SLASH taking it out on you in a completely inappropriate way. We all need time to process coming out. We do, our parents do, our friends do, strangers, EVERYONE needs a little time, I totally get that and I don’t want to say your mother isn’t allowed that time to process. HOWEVER, I can tell you from experience, this whole thing is extremely emotionally damaging.
I’m not a therapist. In fact, I went to school for theatre, I literally know NOTHING, unless you need advice on which song to pick for your musical audition. BUT I DO KNOW THIS, I went through a tiny bit of hell with my mother for a very long time. I couldn’t change her opinion or make her be more respectful or explain to her why she was wrong, so i stopped trying. It was important for me (and I think for you, too) to realize that this wasn’t my “fault,” and I did nothing “wrong.”
You were honest with your mother, you tried to include her in a part of your life, you wanted her to understand you, and I PROMISE you did everything the right way. I’m sorry your mother’s reaction is the worst and I hope like hell she realizes the error of her ways. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, I want you to know how perfect and wonderful you are, and how much of a mistake you DID NOT make. I am 100% on your side and I am sorry you’re going through this with your mom. I hope she gets her shit together.
I am so sorry.
When I came out to my mom she was also extremely upset, and not in control of her emotions at all. The first few months were absolutely HORRIBLE, and all we did was scream at each other and cry and slam doors and say things that we didn’t mean. I don’t know that I ever wished that I hadn’t come out to her… but I did feel completely misunderstood, judged for reasons that were exceptionally hurtful, and furious that my own mother was acting out in such extreme ways.
Turns out emotions make us do some pretty effed up things sometimes. I am not trying to tell you that you shouldn’t be hurting over your mother’s words — those words would hurt anyone, and it isn’t fair that you have to hear them. I am, though, saying that sometimes people lash out before they are able to take a deep breath and look at the situation in a more logical and level manner.
Don’t justify her words by arguing back with them. Tell her that you love her and that they words she is saying are hurting you in ways that will take a long time to heal. Explain to her, whether in a letter or by speaking to her, that you shared a part of yourself with her because you respect and care for her and your relationship. Tell her that you understand she might need some time, but that you don’t want to speak about these things until she can do so without lashing out at you.
I know it seems like it will be like this forever, but that is not always the case. My mother screamed and cried and argued with me for months, and things were not the best for years… but today my mother speaks to me about my relationships, has the people I love over for holidays, and has placed her focus on what makes me happy — instead of what she wanted to make her happy. Believe that your mom can get there, too. Give her some time, express how her words are hurting you, and don’t engage in the conversations where she is lashing out.
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