- 7 months ago
This is my first post, but I have been visiting this board quite often. I have a bit of a problem and I hope to get some advice and/or perspective from you all!
I feel kind of embarrassed writing this, but here we go.
I (female, 31) was raised by a single mother and I’m an only child. When I was little my mother worked a lot to support us and she was always very strict. She comes from a different culture (we were not born in the same country). So I guess sometimes we have some cultural differences (we live in a very liberal and open country and I see this culture is as my culture). Because it was always just the two of us and she sacrificed a lot for my future, I feel like our relationship has always been different from other mother-daughter relationships I have seen around me. I guess probably more symbiotic (not particularly in the best way). She has always pushed me to do well in school and be a good person. Because she doesn’t have a partner, she relies on me for all kinds of practical things. And we are pretty close – to some extent. She gets on my nerves a lot with her demands, but I love her with all my heart and she is the strongest women I know.
But here’s the problem. I’m gay. When I finally had the courage to come out to her at age 25 (because I had feared a bad reaction and was scared), she 100% shut me down. She was ashamed of me, what would our family abroad say?, that this was harder on her than on me (????), I should have chosen a straight life etc., etc. Even though some of her best friends are gay, she just could not and would not deal with my sexuality. She said she’s tolerant until the point where it concerns me. In my opinion it makes her intolerant. For a few weeks after I tried to talk to her about it a lot, but she did not want to listen to me. It absolutely broke my heart as it felt like the worst rejection ever. It was just too much for me to handle, so I gave up trying to talk to her about it. After a while I moved out and we kind of settled in this situation where we would not discuss my love life at all. This has been going on for 6 years now. During this time I have had a few serious relationships that she did not know of.
Finally last year, I went to see a therapist. I felt like because I was turning 30 it was time to face my “demons” and give it another shot. Everyone around me knows about my sexuality and it felt weird that I was still hiding things from my mother, only because I was scared. The therapist and I have been working about not feeling responsible for my mother’s feelings (shame and sadness) etc, and starting the conversation with her again.
9 months ago I met a girl and I’m completely in love. She has been supporting and has shown me so much love. I’m done hiding it from my mother only because I’m scared to get rejected like that again. And I booked a holiday with my girlfriend for 4 weeks from now. I want to be honest to my mother and tell her that I met someone and that we have holiday plans and are potentially moving in together in a few months. I also don’t want my girlfriend to be my “dirty little secret”. And even though I’m making so much progress in therapy, I just can’t find the courage. It feels like I’ve climbed a very high diving board and that it’s time for the last part: jump.
Even though I’m usually a strong and confident person, this is just something that seems too hard for me to do. I’m scared of hurting her (because I love her), being rejected like that again and possibly having her break contact with me. I feel like if it goes down like last time, I will get angry too. And I’m also scared that I will not have the strength this time either to keep mentioning my girlfriend the weeks after coming out, and we’ll just end back where we are now.
I’m also not sure how much coming out I need to be doing again? She obviously already knows. Do I need to have a full conversation with her again, or just an fyi that I met someone and that we’re going on holiday?
I know this all must sound so weird coming from a 31-year old, but I just feel paralyzed by fear of getting hurt again.
Because I have no brothers or sisters, no dad and all my family lives abroad, she’s all the family I have.
Do you guys have any advice for this final step? Or on how to do something that scares you a lot? Or how to have this conversation? Thank so much.