Family Relations/Issues with my mother

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Hello Dr. Simonsen, thanks in advance for taking the time to read this question, I very much appreciate it.

Some background: I'm a 17 year old girl. My mother and I have always had a turbulent relationship. I feel very strongly that I have always been her least favorite child (I am the only girl, and also the middle child, between two brothers, aged 27 and 11). Our relationship during the past few years has been, simply put, abysmal. It's only just gotten to the point where we don't want to jump off the roof because of each other on a daily basis. These days, very rarely we casually chat with each other or exchange hugs, but otherwise we don't talk or spend time together. I think this is because both of us are afraid of doing or saying anything that might cause things to go back to the horror they were before. Now, my family in general is pretty dysfunctional, and my mother, bless her heart, has been through a LOT. I don't want to hurt her any more, but I've found myself in a situation where I'm not sure how to avoid doing so, and was hoping you could steer me in the right direction: My mother is extremely homophobic. I am bisexual. And I don't know which option will cause her more pain: Telling her, or not. It will absolutely break her heart should she find out, but which is worse? Telling your parent the truth and breaking their hearts, or lying and allowing them to live blissfully unaware of this fact about their child? Being a parent, I don't know if she would want to know the truth even if it did cause her heartache, especially since she has so many other things to deal with. But should I decide to never tell her, there's always the possibility of her finding out from some other source some day, and then knowing that for all these years I've been lying to her. I just don't want our relationship to be worse than it already is, or for my home an family situation to become even crazier and more stressful and thus, potentially worse for everyone involved.

Any thoughts?

Thanks much,

- Alora

Answer
Alora,

You telling her the "truth" is not in her best interest it is in yours. You have not really given a compelling reason to tell her this information other than you simply want to. I would also suggest that you are not at an age where you can simply determine that you are bisexual. I have worked with many adults who have told me that there was a time in their lives that they was some confusion about their sexuality. At the time it didn't seem like confusion, but as they matured, they recognized the confusion. Thus, I would suggest you wait until you get to a more mature place in your life.

David

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Dr. David Simonsen

Expertise

I am a licensed Marriage & Family therapist with a Ph.D. in Psychology. I work primarily with teens and families on a weekly basis. You will get the straight truth. I will not pull punches.

Experience

I have been working daily with teens and families for the last 10 years.

Organizations
AAMFT; AACC; WAMFT

Education/Credentials
M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy; Ph.D. Psychology

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