Awful email from my mom. How do I respond?

  • oreilly546

    Posts: 11

    Mar 22, 2013 11:32 PM GMT
    A little back story: I'm 24, originally from Kentucky (where my family still lives) and have been "in and out" of the closet with my parents since I was 17. I was outed at 17 after my parents read an email I had written. I was put through ex-gay therapy (pretty awful) until I left for college.

    My sexual orientation was not talked about until 2009 (I was 20), and I went to a rally against Prop 8 in downtown Louisville when the CA Supreme Court upheld Prop 8 that year. My mom found out about my attendance and went full-bitch on me. Not much has been said since then. I called my dad two nights ago and told him I'm gay (he obviously already knew and took it fairly well). My mom is very religious, and my dad must have talked to her about my phone call. This is the email I got from her yesterday morning:

    My mom:
    Do not give up the battle to live a holy and blameless life. I do not doubt you have same sex attractions. You do not have to be identified by your attractions. The only lie you are living is that you can find happiness & contentment living the life you are pursuing. I still love you and so does God. I know for a fact that any life apart from God is worthless and like chasing the wind.

    Steve, do not be deceived. Your life will never be the same. Any life apart from God is wrought with land mines. Dad & I will always be here for you as will God.


    My question is: how do I respond to this? I want a mature response that tells her I'm not willing to put up with bs like this from her anymore.
  • tazzari

    Posts: 2929

    Mar 22, 2013 11:39 PM GMT
    Ignore it. You can't reason with her.

    If religion is an issue to you, there are churches which fully accept gay people, such as the Episcopal Church. You can live a holy and blameless life only by living it honestly and being who you are, whether gay or straight.

    I am sorry you deal with this; I deal with a brother who thinks this way. he - and your Mom - are wrong.

    Be you. Live with dignity and honesty. That's what we're called to do.
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    Mar 22, 2013 11:56 PM GMT
    Yeah you don't have to respond at all.
  • Apparition

    Posts: 3516

    Mar 23, 2013 12:09 AM GMT
    Send her what you just posted.




    -----------------

    If you want to play her game though, tell her that you cannot accept her risking hell with her current blasphemy of public, church, and group or family prayer against god's wishes, and that for the sake of her soul she has to stop it immediately.

    Matthew 6:5-6

    King James Version (KJV)

    5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

    6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

    ---------------------

    Or tell her that you love her and that you will agree to agree never to talk about your lovelife directly ever again and that any boy you bring home will be treated as any other guest, and you can just be civil to each other because you love each other.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2013 12:13 AM GMT
    Block her e-mail address, block her number, and leave her out of your life forever.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Mar 23, 2013 1:08 AM GMT
    My family are also fundamentalists (southern Indiana, not far from Louisville, actually). Compared to emails and letters I've gotten from my family, particularly my older sisters (my parents are both dead now), your mother is being relatively open and reasonable. Obviously she is stating what she believes to be true.

    But is it true?

    Also, from what you've written, I'm not sure where your own religious feelings or beliefs lie.

    Somewhere on RJ someone posted a google video, couple years old now, of a young gay man giving a presentation to a congregation that theologically deconstructs the prevailing Christian attitude toward homosexuality. He goes into detail about the six (as I recall) pieces of scripture that appear to condemn homosexual behavior. Sorry, I don't remember the details so don't know how to point you to it... perhaps someone else knows what I'm talking about.

    I suggest you watch the video yourself, if you haven't already, and understand his exegesis. Then, if you feel it would be the right thing to do, at some point you may want to watch it WITH your parents.

    Part of the problem is most Christians of the fundamentalist sort either don't know any gay people (or don't know that they do because they are closeted) and consequently only have the stereotypes presented to them by media.

    I guess what I'm saying is, I think there is hope for your mother to come to accept you for who you are. Tell her you love her (if you do) and how what she is saying makes you feel. I understand this could be a long road and perhaps not an easy one. So, it really depends on you, what you want, how patient you are. Do you need to set boundaries with her? (E.g., "Mom I don't want to hear this kind of thing from you. My sexuality isn't any of your business. My relationship with God isn't any of your business." etc.)

    Personally, I have very little to do with my family and haven't for a very long time. Their attitude toward me has been so mean, vicious and hateful, it was best for me to have as little to do with them as possible. However, your situation may be quite different.

    Best of luck and feel free to email me if you want to exchange ideas less publicly.


    ETA: Found the video:

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    Mar 23, 2013 1:18 AM GMT
    Not much you can tell her !

    What you can do is show her by living a long, happy, successful life.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Mar 23, 2013 1:41 AM GMT
    Take the high road. Tell you love her and that you appreciate she is concerned for you, but that your life is yours and you will not discuss this topic with her.
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    Mar 23, 2013 1:51 AM GMT
    Your mother has stated that she loves you. How wonderful.

    Tell your mom that you love her too. That you love God. And that you love yourself. Tell your mom that are comfortable with the relationship you have with yourself, that you are comfortable with the wonderful and loving relationship you have with God as you understand God to be. That you are living your life just the way God made you. And that you hope that your mother continues to love and to accept the love from her Gay son who God blessed her life with.
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    Mar 23, 2013 1:52 AM GMT
    oreilly546 saidA little back story: I'm 24, originally from Kentucky (where my family still lives) and have been "in and out" of the closet with my parents since I was 17. I was outed at 17 after my parents read an email I had written. I was put through ex-gay therapy (pretty awful) until I left for college.

    My sexual orientation was not talked about until 2009 (I was 20), and I went to a rally against Prop 8 in downtown Louisville when the CA Supreme Court upheld Prop 8 that year. My mom found out about my attendance and went full-bitch on me. Not much has been said since then. I called my dad two nights ago and told him I'm gay (he obviously already knew and took it fairly well). My mom is very religious, and my dad must have talked to her about my phone call. This is the email I got from her yesterday morning:

    My mom:
    Do not give up the battle to live a holy and blameless life. I do not doubt you have same sex attractions. You do not have to be identified by your attractions. The only lie you are living is that you can find happiness & contentment living the life you are pursuing. I still love you and so does God. I know for a fact that any life apart from God is worthless and like chasing the wind.

    Steve, do not be deceived. Your life will never be the same. Any life apart from God is wrought with land mines. Dad & I will always be here for you as will God.


    My question is: how do I respond to this? I want a mature response that tells her I'm not willing to put up with bs like this from her anymore.


    Example...

    Dear Mom,

    I too love both you and Dad very much, and thank you for expressing your love through your concern for my salvation. Be assured that God and I are in communion.

    Your's in Christ,

    creilly546


    Parrot the same message each time she fails to remember that judgement is reserved for the Lord.
  • oreilly546

    Posts: 11

    Mar 23, 2013 2:37 AM GMT
    Thanks for input I have received. In response to a question raised, no, I am not religious at all. Arguments or beliefs based in religion do not hold sway over me.

    I think I will write her an email in which I take the high road like Timbales suggested. It seems like the best approach.

    At this point I think distancing myself even further is probably the best option until we can reach a point at which she doesn't give me such bs. This has occurred periodically for a lot of my life (17 years old on), and I'm pretty sick of it. I'm just not going suck up to them anymore.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2013 2:40 AM GMT
    Tell her that you appreciate that she wrote the letter out of love. But other things can be done out of love too, like acceptance.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Mar 23, 2013 2:46 AM GMT
    oreilly546 said...At this point I think distancing myself even further is probably the best option until we can reach a point at which she doesn't give me such bs. This has occurred periodically for a lot of my life (17 years old on), and I'm pretty sick of it. I'm just not going suck up to them anymore.

    In that case it is a matter of setting good boundaries and maintaining them. For me that has meant minimal contact for most of my adult life. I wish it could have been otherwise but I don't regret that decision.
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    Mar 23, 2013 2:51 AM GMT
    Some great advice here. You also might want to send her this clip:

  • Rhi_Bran

    Posts: 904

    Mar 23, 2013 3:15 AM GMT
    Tell her that she can either accept you for who you are or you can full well find friends (if you haven't already) who do and stick with them as family. It's her that's got to change, not you, because you can't change your sexual orientation. She can keep her religious fervor to herself, and if she can't keep on a lid on it for her own son, then her priorities are in the proverbial shitter.

    Do NOT quote scripture at her. That would be a mistake. People can interpret any religious text any way they please, and they will do it for their own gratification, regardless of their relation to you or the soundness of their interpretation.

    It sounds like your dad's pretty chill about it, so you might want to talk over your mom problems with him since he's probs the most influential person in her life.

    Just remember that acceptance does not always come instantly, even from family.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2013 3:19 AM GMT
    At this point you've gone back and forth it seems a few times and you are both at the same point. I'd say ignore it. There's no use beating a dead horse.

    I came out when I was 18, 10 years later my mother still pretends like it never happened. Anytime it's brought up its like some big surprise or something.icon_rolleyes.gif

    It's frustrating and sadly...it is what it is. No one else in my family could give two shits at my being gay. Live your life for you, and not for your mom.

  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Mar 23, 2013 3:22 AM GMT
    I think taht telling her that you will be living your own way, however you say it, is just going to throw fuel on the fire. I you have to replay, try something like "Thanks, Mom. I have always known that you love me and we both know that God loves us all. Give my love to Dad." Then drop it. She is simply not going to change her view because of something that you say. After you have given it a good bit of time--more than months--you may be able to talk with your father about her reaction, but that is not a necessity.

    It will always astound me that people who find God to be so condemning forget the stories of Mary Magdelene, the woman at the well, and Zaccheus so easily. We are who we are.
  • Kairr

    Posts: 239

    Mar 23, 2013 3:24 AM GMT
    sigh people still have to deal with these things today...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2013 3:27 AM GMT
    Simple. Tell her to watch this movie, "Prayers for Bobby." That'll soften her up for you.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2013 3:27 AM GMT
    oreilly546 saidA little back story: I'm 24, originally from Kentucky (where my family still lives) and have been "in and out" of the closet with my parents since I was 17. I was outed at 17 after my parents read an email I had written. I was put through ex-gay therapy (pretty awful) until I left for college.

    My sexual orientation was not talked about until 2009 (I was 20), and I went to a rally against Prop 8 in downtown Louisville when the CA Supreme Court upheld Prop 8 that year. My mom found out about my attendance and went full-bitch on me. Not much has been said since then. I called my dad two nights ago and told him I'm gay (he obviously already knew and took it fairly well). My mom is very religious, and my dad must have talked to her about my phone call. This is the email I got from her yesterday morning:

    My mom:
    Do not give up the battle to live a holy and blameless life. I do not doubt you have same sex attractions. You do not have to be identified by your attractions. The only lie you are living is that you can find happiness & contentment living the life you are pursuing. I still love you and so does God. I know for a fact that any life apart from God is worthless and like chasing the wind.

    Steve, do not be deceived. Your life will never be the same. Any life apart from God is wrought with land mines. Dad & I will always be here for you as will God.


    My question is: how do I respond to this? I want a mature response that tells her I'm not willing to put up with bs like this from her anymore.


    I'd just say, "Ain't nobody got time for that!"
  • josephmovie

    Posts: 533

    Mar 23, 2013 3:28 AM GMT
    You have to respond - she is your mother after all and will be in your life for a very long time. Don't let this be the email that causes a major rift that will only become harder to mend as you get older. I would keep it simple:

    "Thanks for your concern Mom. I will always be here for you and Dad too."

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2013 3:36 AM GMT
    It appears the cat has been out of the bag for a while now. What you have not described, is the relationship you have with your folks. Are you close? Do they mean the world to you and vice-versa? If you are close, do not ignore the email or the love they are projecting. In a weird (and religious way) they ARE reaching out to you, whether or not it is the fashion that you would prefer. Look at this as an opportunity for you educate them...slowly. Turn your folks onto the local PFLAG chapter. Let them learn from other parents that they are not alone. They are probably lashing out in fear because they don't know how else to react. If you are close to them, they are and always will be your parents.
    If you're not close to them, then they don't deserve your love.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2013 3:40 AM GMT
    tazzari saidIgnore it. You can't reason with her.

    If religion is an issue to you, there are churches which fully accept gay people, such as the Episcopal Church. You can live a holy and blameless life only by living it honestly and being who you are, whether gay or straight.

    I am sorry you deal with this; I deal with a brother who thinks this way. he - and your Mom - are wrong.

    Be you. Live with dignity and honesty. That's what we're called to do.


    yeah, agreed. in this case, you gotta walk away. forgive your parents for their ignorance. it's NOT your problem, man. *hugs*
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2013 3:46 AM GMT
    Tell her your a Buddhist now
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2013 3:46 AM GMT
    As a practical matter, you will not be able to reason with her. Your mother will not change her religious beliefs.

    The best approach depends on what you want:

    1. If you want to maintain a relationship with her, agree that your sexual orientation and anything related to it are completely off topic and that you will not entertain any discussion of it.

    2. If you dont want to maintain a relationship with her, simply tell her that you will live your life how you choose and when she decides to put this behind her that you will fully accept her back into your life.

    With that said, I wish you the best. You'll see that as you become older and more independent, this will weigh on you less.