What’s wrong with me? Why am I not allowed to be happy?

Nov 30, 2011


Q:
I have some problems with my mom. I am out to everyone in my family except my dads side of the family. They really hurt my brother and disowned him when he came out. My dad knows I’m gay but doesn’t know about my girlfriend. My mom uses that against me, saying she will tell my dad if I don’t do this or that. She is so supportive of my brother, and it seems like they get along better since he’s come out. I don’t really have anyone to talk to about me being gay, but she won’t talk about it unless she has something negative to say towards me. It’s making me super depressed because I can’t be myself at home. I mean, she accepts my brother so what’s wrong with me? Why am I not allowed to be happy? Also, she will say stuff about my dads side saying I shouldn’t come out because she will be hurt again. She’s not afraid for me to be hurt, she’s afraid of what they will think of her. Not only does she have one gay child, but she has two. I’m like the broken one it feels like? What should I do?

A: Dear I don’t know what to do,

The very first thing to do is accept and believe that you are entitled to happiness in spite of anyone else’s ideas. Neither your Mom nor you Dad can prevent you from being happy. Since you claim that your brother has been embraced and accepted by your family, start this journey by talking to him. Find out what he did that enabled him to have a good relationship with your parents. Clearly he has already gone through this, so start there. If your Dad knows you are gay and he is ok with it then ask him to explain it to the rest of his family. It is always a parents job to protect their children, so let him do that for you. As far as your mother goes, you are not responsible for her happiness. All children want the love and support of their parents but that is not always possible. The more you allow your mother to manipulate you, the more she will. She has a lot to gain by continuing to reject your sexual orientation, if she knows she can get you to do whatever she wants. There is no incentive for her to be any different. The only one who can inspire change here is you. Be proud. Love yourself. Accept that you are entitled to happiness and love and it is your job to make that happen in your life. If this situation continues and you are frought with pain, find a therapist to whom you can talk or join a group for people coming out. Find a support system. Maybe you could ask your dad to talk to your Mom. Be in charge of your life. You may find that the stronger you get, the more respect you will get. Don’t cave, you can do this, it is your moral and spiritual responsibility to take care of your self first. Best of luck.