I turned 30 in February and it seems as though my mother hears my biological clock ticking (or better yet, is expecting it to break). After returning to school at the age of 28, one would think my mother would be understanding of my commitment to finishing my education and the need for me to focus on my career… yet the nagging questions of, “so when are you going to settle down and have kids with someone?” seem to get more and more frequent. It’s as if she doesn’t believe that I want any of those things for myself (even if it is a tad bit different than how she envisions it). Frankly, I’m not entirely sure I understand what she thinks!
Last night, my mom asked me about a certain someone I adore; she asked if we’d spoken recently and if he was a potential son-in-law. To be honest, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. While my feelings are evident and he means the world to me, what he and I share doesn’t even remotely resemble something my mom would understand. We have a connection based in caring and shared affection, yet it isn’t concrete or defined. She doesn’t understand why that is (usually) okay with me, nor would she understand the many circumstances of his life. Considering her response to our discussion last weekend, I shudder to think what she would say if she knew more. *sigh*
Which leads me to this morning…. I started to sob on my way to work as I contemplated my life, my desires, and the disappointment of the previous weekends’ conversation in which I realized my mom stated her disapproval of my intended career in LGBTQ healthcare (and by extension, me as well.) If she can not accept me wishing to work within the LGBTQ community, she would never accept me. She would never understand if I chose a primary partner that wasn’t male. I’ve long known that she was okay with me being bisexual so long as I dated cisgendered men, but it finally dawned on me today what it would be like to come out as lesbian or poly to my mother. If I did not choose to settle down with a man so as to have the appearance of a normal/traditonal life, my relationship with her would never be the same. I don’t think she would accept it… and therefore, never accept me. And that kills me.
My mother is my best friend. She and I have been through a lot of shit over the years. Despite the age difference, through thick and thin, we’ve always been close; however, the last 8-10 years have felt increasingly more distant as my kink/poly/queer identity has became more and more a fundamental part of who I am. Not being able to share fully is slowly tearing us apart… and is killing me inside. I feel like I can’t be myself, nor can I truly feel loved because I know she is missing core elements of who and what I am. *sigh*
What if I choose a partner that is a woman or trans, join a couple, or form a tribe and live in co-housing community? Only the future will reveal what is to come…. but until then. how do I shake this nagging feeling that I’m going to dash her hopes and dreams and break her heart? How can I ever feel truly loved and accepted if I know she doesn’t really know all of me… and that, if she did, she wouldn’t approve?