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Friday, July 24, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Dealing with Family Rejection

A letter from Robin

Pride07 - 20Image by LaMenta3 via Flickr

I'm new on this website and have been lurking around a bit. I generally like the civility here. It feels like a caring and loving place, for the most part. Except for the few trolls, who are not even close to as bad as what I've seen... I'm really liking it here. Hell, I even like reading the troll responses... just so I can keep up on all of the insanity ;). It's rare to find this on anonymous forums. Very "Christ-like." I've felt for a long time that I'm a better "Christian" than they are... if we are gaging it by Christ's words... to help the poor, the sick, the disabled, the unfortunate... to love our neighbors as ourselves. Atheists and agnostics are fucking amazing people!!! But we knew that already, didn't we?

I'm gay, 44 and have been in a loving and committed relationship for over 5 years. I'm an agnostic, but a former fundamentalist Christian. My mother, two sisters and their respective families are all fundamentalist christians. They believe that I'm living an immoral lifestyle and am going to hell. They disowned me for 8 years. About 6 years ago my mother and I reconciled. Shortly after that she was diagnosed with cancer and I reconciled with my sisters and their families. I have been as supportive as I can from a distance. I visit every month or two and I've been helping my mother out financially with monthly checks.

I'm looking for a little advice/input from those who have experienced similar situations and how they've dealt with it. I feel like I've been as supportive as I could through all of the rough times I've had with my family, hoping that after they got to know me, they would accept me. I now realize that this will never happen. I have finally let go of that little bit of hope I've been holding on to for 15 years. They will never see me as anything other than misguided and headed for hell.

A month ago, I got into an argument with my mother and then my sister, about politics, and I hung up on both of them. I haven't spoken to them since. My sister left me an angry ranting phone message that I didn't listen to...raging about liberals (my girlfriend listened). We usually don't talk politics, but my mother was probing me about Obama. She thinks he is the precursor to the Antichrist. She defends Limbaugh and Savage (and others) as loving America. I told her that they love America as long as it is white. If it were up to them, every minority and gay person would be rounded up and exterminated, or deported, at the very least. It disgusts me that they align themselves with these men, who are far from "Christian". Hate is not a Christian value, but they are too blind to see that.

The hypocrisy is what drives me crazy. My mother (and siblings) align themselves with people who are diametrically opposed to their lifestyles . My mother lives on SS, Medicare and lives in subsidized housing, all the while collecting $200/month checks from her gay daughter for the past five years, who she believes doesn't deserve any equal rights. I am not rich by any means, I barely have any savings and almost live month-to-month. I wanted to do the "right" thing... what I thought was "right," anyway. In retrospect, I'm not sure they deserve me.

My family has never met my partner and they don't want to. She is not welcome at any family gatherings. They would rather I not talk about her, but I do anyway. They have not visited me in 15 years. I've probably had one phone call from each of them in that same time span. They do not support or accept me and never really have. I get nothing from them. If I go through hard times, it's because I made this choice and brought it on myself. It's God's retribution... meanwhile my brother has been "living in sin" for the past 12 years, but his girlfriend is welcome at family gatherings and he can do no wrong. I guess the gay thing is too much. What is family for anyway?

I have a large extended family of friends, some that I've known for almost 40 years. I have an aunt, her ex-husband, their two sons and their wives who are very supportive of me and my partner. My partner has two kids and two grandkids. Her grandson and I are crazy about one another!! We're all taking a family vacation at the beach together. I just finished visiting with many old friends in Boston and Cape Cod. I'm going to Atlanta over the December holidays to visit with my extended family.

I've had this pall of sadness hanging over my head for the past 15 years. I'm tired of it. My inclination is to no longer have anything to do with them. I don't need them and their judgments of me. I no longer want to be around people who think I'm living an immoral life. I don't need them for anything, nor do i expect anything from them. They do nothing but cause me pain and misery.

As a side-note, for those of you who are anti-marriage, this is one of the biggest reasons I would like to marry my partner... so these wackos have no say in what happens at the end of my life.

I'm conflicted over my mother and how to move forward. Part of me thinks I should call her but the other part of me is completely disgusted with her. I don't know what to say and don't even want to talk to her... but she probably won't live that much longer....

I understand intellectually that they're all brainwashed and that's how I've been treating them. Emotionally, I can't get beyond the hurt...

I've given this my best effort out of love and loyalty, I no longer think any of it is good for me. Are they worth it? What do all of you think?

Warmest regards.