Added March 26, 2011
Well, here we go. At a young age I knew I was gay and just like everyone else, I had to hide it; either due to embarrassing my folks or shaming them or just a fear? It wasn’t so much about my mom because she treated me like crap my whole childhood. So yeah, it was my dad I didn’t want to hurt. I was his little girl..ya know? Even though I didn’t see myself in that way, I wanted to grow up and be just like my dad. I learned at very young age that my parents didn’t know what to do with me in any way, shape, or form. In their mind as long as there was a roof over my head, food in my stomach, and clothes on my back I didn’t “need” anything else. Truth of the matter is, I did! But this was the way my parents were; never a conversation of “how was your day?” , no kisses, no hugs, no “good job”, nothing! Don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot from them, everything from how to manage money to how to change my oil, but never love, it just wasn’t there. So i did the only thing I knew that I had complete control over; I sunk my soul in to country music, and poetry. It was the only place or thing they couldn’t affect. I was right, they didn’t. It was almost like they didn’t care. So this was how I handled my time for the longest time.
Then when I was 10 we joined a campground. At the time I didn’t know how much being in that environment would open me up. When I was younger I didn’t have any friends. I wasn’t allowed to play with other kids. I eventually met new kids whose parents treated them totally different. So what was I doing wrong? The kids I was hanging out with acted worse than I ever did or even thought of being. Yet there was love there. I just didn’t understand.
The years went by and I began to come into my own with help of friends. I fell in love with a girl, at the campground, when I was 15, as she did with me. We were inseparable. You didn’t find one of us without the other. We were able to hide from everybody for a while; until one day my mom was looking all over for me, which was out of the ordinary. Normally they’d leave me note back at the camper, but not this time. You see, with this girl I didn’t have to hide. I could be myself, and I guess I got wrapped up in the moment. Basically, my mom caught a glimpse of us thru a mini blind kissing. BUSTED!!!! My mom yelled at me until I came outside. Then calmingly she said ” you (me), at the camper….now” and you (my friend)….”I don’t care where you go”. I followed my mom and the whole time she’s mumbling “wait till your dad hears about this” and the whole time I’m thinking “she going to freaking kill me, and throw me in the woods….oh god, nobody will ever find me”. But then out of the blue it hit me like a brick wall; why is she caring now? Why is she caring what I’m doing? The past 15 yrs I’ve been ignored. Why now? We had a good half mile walk, so the more I thought about it the madder I got. Then the closer I got to the camper, the more I kept hearing (in my head) “I’m going to kill you”. I wanted to run because I knew if my mom got her hands on me that she’d hurt me a lot more than what she had in the past. But I didn’t. We walked up to the camper and I sat down outside. I was a little bit safer out there. My mom grabbed my dad and went inside. I could hear mom say “Guess what I just caught our daughter doing?”. I wish my dad hadn’t been blindsided like that. This wasn’t the way for him, or them, to find out. But it was out of my hands by this point so I sat there as the world around me just kind of stopped.
I remember thinking, and worrying about the girl? What’s going to happen? Can they stop me from seeing her? But on the other hand, what can they do? This wasn’t going to be the first or last girl in my life. I was gay. I knew it. I’ve known it. It was time for me. It was time that my parents realized that I, there one and only daughter, was gay. It was now or never. I was tired of being hurt by them. With every ounce of my being I took a deep breath, came back to reality, and waited for the worst. Then the camper door swung open. There I was face-to-face with my parents. Dad was yelling “What were you thinking? She’s a girl!!!” and all i could say was “I know dad. I know. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” I wasn’t sorry for being who I am. I was sorry for the way they found out. Dad said “I don’t want this to ever, ever happen again!” Now not only did my parents know I was gay, but so did everyone else around us in the campsite. I remember dad’s eyes. They sunk down in disappointment. I had hurt him. But I knew it had to be done and I had rather they find out from me and not someone else.
The deed was done. The silence was broke. My dad decided that he was going to go fishing, which was his way of dealing with things. He started to pull off while moms asking him “What do I do with her now?” Dad replied, as calm as he could “I don’t care.” Dad drove off and my mother went back in to the camper. She then comes right back out and yelled “You’re grounded to the camper!” I’d never been “grounded” before in my life! What where that talking about? Moments later my friend (the one I was kissing) pulled up in her car and asked if everything was ok? “No!” I said, “I am grounded to the camper!” Before we could breathe my mom came out the camper and said “I think you need to leave. You’re a good girl and you need to go before I get your parents involved.” My mother knew what she was doing because she knew that my friend would leave. She knew just how to get to me and it worked. My friend drove off and it didn’t me much because I knew I’d be able to see her the next weekend.
The next day we (my family and I) packed up and headed home. A few weeks of silence went by and we fell back into our old ways. I’d still get to see my friend on the weekends but only at my camper and not anywhere else. At the time I took what I could get. Sometime during all of this, my friend had told her parents that I was gay; not that we were together, just that I was gay and that my parents were treating me horribly. They agreed to “save” me for as long as they could. They’d come pick me up take me to their house for weeks at a time. They treated me like I was their own and it worked out for everybody. I got to spend time with my friend and they’d get extra help on the farm, and well, my folks…..they didn’t have to put up with me.
A few months of this went by and I could tell my friend was growing tired of the whole situation of only being able to see each other on weekends and so forth. During the week she would date a guy and on the weekends she’d date me. This didn’t last long because we both couldn’t take being weekend lovers. Even though we knew it would hurt, we decided to just be friends. We haven’t talked since then. I’m ok with that because I was able to learn how to love. Love was something I knew NOTHING about until then.
I started getting picked on more at school and at home. Anytime my mom could she’d take a “gay” shot at me with jokes and jesters right to my face. I wished for the silent treatment back. I begged for it. We got in more fights, but the more we fought, the meaner she was. It had gotten to the point where I was on house arrest. I wasn’t able to go out with friends and if there was an extra female in the group I couldn’t go. I was only allowed to leave the house with family.
This went on for about a year. It was everywhere. I couldn’t run from it. I thought coming out was hard but that was easy compared to what I was going thru now. I was lying in bed one night, feeling mad and hurt because of something mom said and I couldn’t take it any more so i got up, in the middle of the night, and went to the bathroom. There in the mirror was a person who was proud of who she was, but at the same time was dying because who she was. I grabbed a razor blade out of the cabinet and ran it hard across my wrist. I started bleeding instantly. For the first time in my life I felt relieved that I had no worries, that I wouldn’t be a burden to my parents anymore. Honestly, it felt great, but then I felt pain and light-headedness. I grabbed a rag and pressed it to my wrist as hard as I could while cleaning up the mess.
I knew my mom would be mad if she saw the mess…not me, the mess. After it was cleaned I stepped out of the bathroom and sat down in chair in the living room not knowing that my mom was sitting on the couch. She asked “What are you doing?” and I just turned to her and she saw my rag. She jumped up and went and got my dad. It was about 3 in the morning, so dad wasn’t happy to be woken up. They kept asking me over and over “What are you doing?” I couldn’t say a word. Mom grabbed me by the wrist. By this time it (my wrist) had stopped bleeding and she threw my arm at me. It hit my chest and fell to my lap. I remember not shedding a tear. I was completely calm, other than the screams inside my head and my heart, screaming for attention, love, help, something! But yet again I received nothing.
When we got back home my parents went back to bed and so did I. We got up the next morning and mom threw me a watch at me and said “Here, wear this today!” So I did. I wore a watch to cover up my pain. We went to breakfast like nothing ever happened. Luckily my aunt and uncle came over later and dad told them what had happened the night before. I remember my uncle coming up to me, put his arms around me, and said “Let’s go”. So I did. We went to a drive-in movie and I didn’t have to say a word. One thing about my uncle is that he had stood up for me A LOT when I couldn’t and I love him for that.
Some time went by. By this time I was 17, and mom and I were still going at it. But one good thing was it was only at home now; school was ok. My peers were starting to accept me. One day, out of nowhere, I met the love of my life. She was my safe place from the beginning. It took us a little while to get things going but once they did my life got better. I invited her to supper one night and I introduced her to my parents and said she was my girlfriend and she wasn’t going anywhere. Again there was no response from them, just the look of contempt. I was fine with that.
It wasn’t long after that I moved out of parent’s house. I just couldn’t deal with it any more. A situation came up and I had to move back in for a while and of course, I had rules. My girlfriend I continued to date for awhile and my parents started treating me a little better. Things were finally starting to feel good. I had a little more freedom and my parents actually liked my girlfriend. But I got jealous of the way others were talking and looking at her. I just couldn’t handle it, even though she loved me like nobody else could. I trusted her with my life. I did the one thing in my life that I regret and walked away from her.
11 or 12 years went by. My parents finally admitted they could “handle” me being gay but they couldn’t handle me being with some of the girls I was with. I guess that was their way of saying they accept me, so I took it for what it was worth. I’m now back with my old girlfriend (my high school sweetheart) but through the years, and the tears, I forgave my mom and have grown closer with my father. As for my girlfriend and I, well….were still going strong!