Tuesday, December 4, 2007

There Are No Good Titles For This Post

Last Thursday I was having a really bad day. I started the day by talking with my counselor, and naturally he got me to opening up about a few things and thinking about a few things that I'd been trying to bottle up. We talked for about an hour and that was that. I then sat around for a few hours considering everything we'd talked about. Then my brother stopped by later on that evening and told me some of his problems. Worry then sat in, and the next thing I knew I was so depressed I couldn't see straight. I felt lifeless. Completely lifeless.


When my Dad got home, the two of us went for a drive and I started talking to him about a lot of the things that's been bothering me lately. Things dealing with work, church, my brother, the future, you name it. And then I told him I'm attracted to other men. For about a minute you could have heard a pin drop. Then he got to asking me a few questions, the usual sort of things probably everyone is asked dealing with this. He was actually handling the news fairly well. I told him about my brother finding out, about my counselor, about my past, about everything. And of all of that, what seemed to bother him most was that I'd never told him before. He kept beating around the bush concerning that, and I really didn't know how to answer him. What exactly was I to say to him? I was worried you'd beat me up or hate me. Or, I was worried you'd do some other dumb thing I knew in my heart you'd never do. I was afraid. So, anyway, I couldn't really answer him on that one. He eventually asked about my mom, and said he thought she should know. I agreed and asked if he would tell her. He said he would, and then before everything was over and done with, he let me know he loved me.


It was all rather comforting in a way that I hadn't expected. Surreal would probably be a better choice of expressions. Or, perhaps odd? It wasn't at all how I'd imagined. My dad's overall response hasn't been anything like I'd imagined. It's almost like this is a non-issue to him. Like it doesn't matter. He hasn't treated me different at all, in any way. There has been a comfort to that, but I'll admit I'm a little torn by it as well. Shouldn't he be just as mad about this as I've been? Shouldn't he show some sort of feelings about this? I mean, it's as if I'd never told him. Then again, I'm worried he's just in denial, and then when it all sinks in, that's when the s**t is going to hit the fan.


I'm reasonably sure he told my mom last Sunday night. They came home from a church meeting and pretty much went straight to their room, which was unusual for them. And then yesterday, when mom came home from work, she seemed to make it her mission to avoid me. I knew my mom would have trouble with this news. She worries and gets stressed out about everything, and always takes everything so personally. I take after her in that regard. But still, I'm a little worried about where this is going to go. I'm not sure telling them was a good thing or a bad thing. After talking with my brother about this today, he seemed to be inclined to think it was a good thing that I told them.


I am trying to be optimistic. I don't want to fall to pieces over this. I'm just hoping that maybe it'll draw me closer to my parents the same way it's drawn me closer to my brother. And I do feel relieved that its out there now. It's not something I have to keep a secret from them anymore. In that regard, telling them is a great thing. I do see this as a possible step in the right direction. Being more honest and open with people usually is so much better than the alternative.


All I know is that my emotions have been all over the place the last few days, and I'm tired. I have been developing several new writing ideas, so I've been excited about that. I've actually been writing like crazy since I got laid off from work. I'm also really getting into the Christmas season. All the decorations are up and I've been listening to Christmas songs and movies. And I've also been hoping for snow. I thought it was going to the other day, but it went a little bit north of us.


While I'm at it, I want to thank everyone out there who have been praying for me and encouraging me, and putting up with my negative thinking here the last few weeks. And I especially want to thank Rik for all the help he's giving me. I also want to thank God for leading some of you to write about some of the things you've written about recently. I've read a lot of posts that really have lifted me up and got me to thinking more clearly about a few things. So, God bless all of you for everything.

8 comments:

RikFleming said...

Brandon,

You say "All I know is that my emotions have been all over the place the last few days"

Bro - this is common and you're going to be on a roller coaster for a while. If you need to vent, write me or call me.

Most Christians, especially our old fart parents, are not mentally or emotionally equipped to deal with these issues.

Also, it is not uncommon for parents to blame themselves for their sons having SSA. So pray for them. Your dad may be bottling up all his emotions and still in a state of shock.

Let them know that you love them and that you still love Jesus and might even vote republican. That will help them a lot.

If your mom is keeping her distance, just hug her and tell her that you love her without any justification for it. If she wants to cry, let her cry.

For yourself, keep busy and don't let yourself go back into your old habits for dealing with emotional stress.

You and your parents are going to get through this and I am praying for you.

If your parents need someone to talk to - they can call or write me too!

Keep the faith!

Rik

jennypo said...

Wow, Brandon, I am so glad for you! Congratulations! It must be wonderful to have that out in the open, even if it makes things uncomfortable for a while. Of course it will take your parents time to adjust, but how amazing they are to accept your news so well.

I'll be praying for you. It encourages me to see you struggling forward as you are. Even though I'm not dealing with SSA, this old life is a tough one all the way around. Seeing you crawl forward when you have no strength and sometimes fly when you do have it gives me hope that I can, too. God bless you. You rock.

Joe said...

God bless you Brandon. I think it was wise to get this out in the open at the beginning of December.

I'll be praying everyone in your family is little less "unsettled" about the whole issue in a few weeks and you all have a wonderful Christmas.

RikFleming said...

Brandon,

I was thinking about you last night and this morning on my way to work. I am praying for ya buddy.

Tell me if any of this sounds familiar:

Are you having thoughts like “I can’t believe I told them, I can’t believe I told them, I can’t believe I told them...” or “They know, they know, they know....” or perhaps regrets, “Why did I tell them,? Why did I tell them? Why did I tell them?...”

If so, these “buyer’s regrets” are normal and they are part of the shame that we tend to feel which stems from the fear that has kept us in a prison for so long.

In time this will pass, but you’d be a lot better off if you had some close friends to reassure you. Since I know you don’t have any. Let me try to do the best that I can from a long ways away.

I love you Brandon and Jesus loves you. THAT will never change.

Your father may be wondering, “Why didn’t Brandon tell me sooner?” and it bothers him that you kept this burden to yourself for so long. He may also be blaming himself, examining his worth as a father and wondering, “Where did I go wrong?”

These too are normal reactions of a father.

I think parents also have dreams that their children will get married one day and give them grandchildren. Then when they hear that one of their children is gay or has homosexual temptations that dream is lost and reality is hard to face.

Right now I am struggling with having feelings of resentment towards both of my parents. My father was a coward who abdicated his role as head of the household and my mother, in trying to save the family, emasculated him by keeping him from having to deal with the consequences of his failure. Hence, while my mother was trying to help she actually undermined his role and responsibility and took the reins as head of the household. It is going to take some time, but eventually I’ll get beyond this and realize that they didn’t have godly parents either and were clueless as parents. So, what I need to do is learn form their mistakes and sins and not repeat them.

Brandon, you are NOT alone. I wish I could be there to give you a big hug and then buy you a beer or something. But, I’m out here in Californication where the best wine in the world is made and you’re out there where they make great whiskey.

Hang in there... you will get through this. Keep praying, read His word and watch some Mark Driscoll videos on the net. This dude cracks me up!

Love ya bro!

Rik

Brandon said...

Rik, you've been really great, and I could never thank you enough. Hug right back at ya. I couldn't help but laugh at the prospect of still voting Republican. Being Republican, yep that's probably still going to happen. And yeah, the whiskey here in KY is pretty good.

You're right about the things you said. My parents are probably feeling a lot of things about this, and probably ARE questioning themselves and worrying some. It's gonna take time.

I have had a little bit of "buyer's remorse" about this, but I do think it was a good thing that I told them. Or, at least I HOPE it was a good thing.

Thanks for being there for me, Rik.

Jennypo, I'm glad I've been able to encourage you. You're actually the first person to ever call me a "Rock". That's encouraging for me, in terms of relating that to Peter when Jesus called HIM that. Being able to fight and move forward and to know that God is helping me all the way. Thanks.

Joe, yeah, I wasn't actually thinking about Christmas when I told them, but I did after the fact. That sort of got me to wondering if I should have bit my lip a little harder and waited until after the new year. But I'm glad I didn't wait. I'd rather end the year on this note, rather than begin one that way. But, I am glad it had to be at the beginning of the month instead of any closer to Christmas. Yeah, I don't think that would have been too good.

Thanks everyone.

Learner Man said...

Well done mate, it took guts to share that with your folks. I know I'm not there yet. My parents aren't really walking with God just now and so I find the thought of sharing this with them quite hard. I want a sound, Godly response. To be honest, I don't know how they would react. I've a feeling they wouldn't feel any different towards me but they also wouldn't be able to do anything to help me or move me forwards so them knowing seems pretty pointless.

I don't know if I can be that vulnerable with them yet... all in good time.

Haven't been able to blog myself recently as have been extremely busy (well I think I have). Have also applied a filter to my computer and am waiting for my flatmate to adjust the settings so I can access my own blog. Things are goin great though. Can't wait to tell everyone about it all.

Once again, well done mate, I'm chuffed for ya! I must say however, that the best whisky comes from this side of the Atlantic!!! :p.

Bless you,

Dave

Brandon said...

Learner Man,

Good to hear from you. Your thoughts about telling your parents were exactly as mine. I don't think I ever really thought they'd handle it bad, but I wasn't sure the positives to telling them would outweigh the negatives. Really, if for no other reason, just being able to no longer keep this a secret from them has made it worth telling them. I can just relax now and not worry so much about having to cover my tracks and the like. They know now, so it's a weight off my shoulders. Thing is, don't tell them until your comfortable about telling them.

I'm glad that things are going great for you. That really is good news. Oh, and I beg to differ with you about who has the best whiskey. Kentucky's the best all the way ;)

God bless ya.

MR said...

It was good to hear you were honest with your parents. When they see God at work to help you, now they will appreciate it even more.

I am praying.