- 6 years ago
- Wedding: May 2010
I am a regular poster. I decided to post anonymously as I have photos of myself and my bridal party under my regular name, and would like to keep my brother’s privacy in tact as he is not yet publically “out” to our whole family.
My parents are Catholic. I was raised Catholic. I fell away from the church a little over 10 years ago, when at 19 years old I had an abortion. It was one of the hardest decisions of my whole life. I did not come to that decision lightly, by any means. In fact, I spiraled down a path of severe depression and started to numb myself with alcohol for years after. I have just recently started to forgive myself, get past my depression, and have quit my self-destructive habits. I guess I am just telling you this as a bit of back story….I don’t want to be beat up for my past decisions, as I’ve done plenty of that to myself over the years. What I am telling you is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the emotional scars that were left by this ordeal.
I didn’t tell my parents. I was in a serious relationship at the time (in college) with a young man who was also Catholic. He also ended up having trouble dealing with this. But we were young, and we felt it was the best we could do at that time. I had been having serious problems with an eating disorder before I got pregnant (actually, didn’t even think I COULD become pregnant at the time, since I hadn’t had my period for over two years…this was before I was fully aware of how fertility works with amenorrhea). This factored into the decision. I was unsure I could carry to term given my active eating disorder, and was in no place mentally to take care of my pregnant body like a child deserved.
My parents snooped through my medical paperwork before I went in for a routine pap smear about a year later. I had listed on my paperwork “number of prior pregnancies and the outcome.” They pretty much freaked out. I felt extremely violated that they invaded my privacy, then judged me after. They also found out that I was on contraceptives at the time. My parents and I had a large falling out, and I have only recently started to repair this relationship with them. It took me moving to the other side of the country before I could finally try to open up communication with them again. I feel bad for saying this, as I DO love them. I don’t think they are bad people. I just cannot agree with them on some very core issues that they feel deeply about.
This brings me to my current dilemma. My younger brother is gay. He came out to me about 3 years ago, and soon after told my parents. This was before I had moved away, and at the time, I was doing much better with my eating disorder and was not drinking. Their reaction was even worse than when they found out about my abortion. Everything fell apart in my family. It was pretty horrible. My mom would call me (at work!) crying to me about how I needed to “fix” my brother (who, at the time, had moved in with me and my boyfriend). I couldn’t take it. The constant calls, emails, crying how it was “wrong” and “sinful” and he was just “confused” and “certainly NOT homosexual!”….well, I kind of mentally broke down and went back to my eating disorder and drinking to cope. I got so sick, I ended up in the hospital. I had no probelm accepting my brother for who he was. I actually ended up moving in with my brother and his boyfriend shortly after I broke up with my boyfriend. I, in no way, shape, or form, condemn their lifestyle. They are happy. They are in love. My little brother found a GOOD person who LOVES HIM, damnit, and I just can’t see how there is a problem with that. He is my brother, and I love him…all I want is for him to be happy! Couple with this, the fact that I have more than a handful of VERY close friends who are also homosexual or bisexual. It has never been an issue for me.
After I moved, I got married. I finally started talking to my parents on the phone again. Things seemed to be getting better, and for the most part, they know what to NOT talk to me about or preach at me. This is why I am so confused by what happened recently. They sent me a set of cd’s with a Catholic speaker talking about “The Homosexual Agenda.” My mom asked if I would please just listen to them, so I could see where they were coming from as Catholics with their thoughts on homosexuality and my brother’s relationship. I didn’t want to agree, but rather than cause more drama and splinter our relationship again…I said I would “try.” Well, a month went past and I hadn’t opened the cd’s. My mom asked me about it on the phone one evening, and I replied that I hadn’t had a chance to listen to them yet. I could tell she was really hurt. So, for the psat month…I avoided calling my parents so I could avoid the “have you listened to our cd’s yet?” question. I’ve been keeepng in touch through email instead (I know….chicken shit of me).
I finally decided to give it a shot on the car ride to work this morning. I popped the cd in my car’s player, and started my commute. Not 10 seconds passed before I felt like chucking the damn cd out the window! I can’t get through the first disc, let alone listen to all three that came in the series. It immediately dove into how homosexuality was an attack on life, much like contraception and abortion!! Since no child could come from a homosexual union, it was wrong and sinful…and an abomination in God’s eyes. It goes on to talk about abortion and contraception as well…and….well….I now feel like my stomach is in knots, my blood pressure is WAY up, and I am pretty damn angry!! There is no way I can sit and listen to the entire series and then have anything “nice” to say about it when my parents ask me!
I’m not trying to condemn anyone else’s beliefs on this matter. I promise. I am just trying to figure out how to best handle the situation. Do I continue to listen to the discs, begrudgingly? How do I respond to my parents? Am I wrong to be upset by this? I can’t keep avoiding the conversation, and I don’t want to go backwards with my relationship with them. But I don’t want to lie them and say that I wasn’t hurt by the discs. How would you handle this situation?