Parenting --Teens/My mother and I

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Hi Kjirstin, I just wanna say thanks in advance, I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and I'm sorry if this isn't the best place to ask. I am not a parent, I am the child in this case. You see, what I'm here to ask is something that I feel quite sure can only properly be answered from a parent's point of view, and who better to ask than a parent? While kids my own age might be able to provide their own kind of advice, there's no way they can truly know what a parent feels or goes on inside their heads, having never been one. So, I hope you'll bear with me.

I'm a 17 year old girl, and simply put, my mother and I have never had the greatest relationship- it's pretty obvious to anyone with eyes that she prefers my brothers to me (aged 27 and 11). We love each other, no doubt about that, but we don't like each other. Aged 12-15 was particularly torturous for the both of us. I prefer not to go into detail about exactly what transpired, but our relationship has never healed, and I don't think it ever will. It's only been in the last two years or so that it got the point where we weren't literally lying in the floor sobbing or wanted to jump off the roof because of each other. These days we aren't at each others' throats anymore, but we don't aside from the occasional casual chat, and we don't spend time together beyond: "Hi, mom." "Hi, dear." *we smile, and exchange a quick hug. Then we both just walk away*. I think this is because neither of us wants to risk potentially doing anything that might cause things to go back to the way they were before- it was truly horrible. And I'm alright with that. Everything that happened still hurts me, and I know it hurts her, too. I don't want either of us to hurt each other anymore. But because of that, I find myself in a bit of a predicament...

Several times my mother has accused me of being a lesbian- she is quite homophobic. Every time, I denied it, and she seems to no longer have any such suspicions. Well,  I'm not a lesbian- but I am bisexual. It would completely break my mother's heart if she found out- she believes it's a fad, a mental illness (how a mental illness can be a fad is beyond me, but okay), and a sin. We are actually both born again Christians, but obviously my views differ a bit from hers.

Sorry about the wall of text, but I thought it would be best for me to provide some context.

My question is: For my mother's own sake, should I tell her? It's not about me, it's not about her accepting me, it's about not hurting her. As a parent, would you rather have your child tell you the truth and break your heart, or lie and live blissfully unaware of that fact about them? And there's always the possibility of her finding out later on in my life, so perhaps it's just a question of whether she gets her heart broken now, or later. What should I do? What does this situation look like from a parent's point of view?

Thanks very much,

- Alora

Answer
Hello, Alora-

Thanks for writing, and sharing details. This is always helpful in weighing my response.

First, every mother, every person, is different. If you were my daughter, yes, I would want the full truth because that's just who I am and how I roll. From what you have told me of the relationship between your mother and yourself, I would put off telling her, for several reasons.

1) She may not even believe you, but feel you are only saying it to come up with yet another way to stab her in the heart. (See? I know her, don't I? No, but I do know her type from your description.)

2) Bisexual or Pansexuality is quite common at seventeen, particularly among women, and especially women who have a background of strict moral teachings. (Building walls around yourself to prevent men from "going too far" can sometimes result in a greater interest and even attraction to women.)  

3) You need to give yourself time to become yourself. You may find someone, male or female, with whom you wish to spend your whole life, marry, and raise children. This is actually a preferred outcome. People with true pansexuality never grow attachments, and live a sad life of one-night-stands. They "act" and "play" like the happiest and most content people because they "have it both ways" but they have some of the highest rates of suicide, and report the most self-loathing of any sexual-attraction group seeking psychiatric therapy.

Another thing to consider is your childhood. If it was so obvious to everyone that your mother preferred your brothers to you, you may have mommy-issues. Girls who grow up with an emotionally distant father can develop daddy-issues, where they sleep around with everything in pants looking for the love they never got from their fathers.

This is something you may want to consider as you look at your same-sex attractions. You may discover you are really heterosexual and trust me; in spite of the current trends and "Rah-rah, we're Gay!" it is a difficult lifestyle in so very many ways, you can't begin to count them all. I have never met a  homosexual or bisexual person who wouldn't prefer being heterosexual. One friend told me just last Saturday he considered it his "cross to bear" and as much as he loved his new husband, they both would have preferred to marry women and have children. Neither can respond sexually to a female. It was just sad, and he cried while I hugged him.

If, in a few years (your brain catches up with your sexual impulses by about 26 or 27) you have some therapy (I would strongly suggest you seek care while you are still on your family's medical plan-which can last until you are 23 if you stay in school-but wait until you are 18 and tell the therapist your case is not to be discussed with anyone but you.) If it turns out you are currently a confused heterosexual, you may just surprise yourself one day and find a guy who is quirky in all the right ways, and you will want nothing more than to spend forever together. I did, and we've been married over 34 years. I still wake up smiling every day. I wish you that same happiness no matter who you one day become, Alora, and hope for the best possible outcome.

P.S. It's okay to share a quick hug with Mom and go on your way. Your mother doesn't seem to want more, either, so enjoy what you do have. I've seen moms and daughters who mouth kiss, and, well, it kinda gags me, but whatever. Some families are just closer than others. Times always change, and you'll grow together sometimes, and apart others. You are getting old enough now you need to separate, and she understands this, too.  

Parenting --Teens

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My own dysfunctional youth in an alcoholic family helped me decide to raise my children with love, acceptance, and honesty. It must have worked. We`ve got terrific kids. Those I've answered on this site usually feel I've been helpful in their unique situations. Our world is so much better when we lift instead of crushing. Every child is worth more than any bank can hold. If I can help at all, it will be in teaching both parent and child of their own personal value to humanity, and how to punch through the noise of the moment to find their greater purpose. Together, we can all make a better world.

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