Q Dear Gay Uncle,
I have been dealing with this growing situation for going on six years now. It has beaten me down and caused many of sleepless nights. I’ve seen therapist after therapist for it, and don’t seem to have made any progress. Unfortunately, it has been the root of my many suicide attempts as well.
I came out to my parents and they refused to accept it. Ultimately through a series of events it culminated with them throwing me out of the family home and refusing to speak to me.
Recently, I decided to visit my hometown again just to see old friends. I thought while I was there I would text my mom to see if we could meet up and just catch up and hopefully put the past behind us as well. Her response to my message was very disheartening. All she replied with was, “No, thank you.” It destroyed me, angered me, and I just don’t know why they won’t even agree to talk it out with me, to see if we can come to an amicable armistice to this wordless war we’ve been entangle with.
My biggest fear in all this is that they are going to let so much time pass to the point that they will take it to their death beds without any form of closure, healing, or acceptance.
Please continue to see your therapist. Talking therapy is a great form of release, and there are many activities and processes you can do to work through your family situation.
Your parents currently don’t seem to want to participate in this process, and it sounds as though the situation is still raw for everyone concerned.
You cannot force your parents to change, just as they can’t force you not to be gay. I completely understand the need and desire to maintain a relationship with them. My suggestion is maintain regular therapy sessions. Suicidal thoughts and actions are very worrying, and it would be wise to have a qualified support network to fall back on for when you experience those feelings.
As to your parents. Maintain contact with cards at birthdays, anniversaries, and over Christmas send a card with a yearly round up of what you’ve done that year and hope to do in the next year. Always leave any correspondence with a message that you are always their son and they are your parents. This will leave the door open for them to contact you and resume the family connection when ever they feel ready.
And, as always, try to build a “chosen family,” friends whom you trust and know well. While they won’t take the place of your biological family, they will provide you with a surrogate support system you need to help you through the holidays, emotions, and major events of your life. We aren’t meant to go through life completely on our own.
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JONATHAN WELFORD heads up GayAgonyUncle.com, a relationship and dating coaching practice. Writer and author, sometimes TV presenter, Jonathan is a trained Life Coach specializing in dating & relationships. He lives with his Scottish husband in Manchester, UK.