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Wierd but good family holiday visit


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So, this year my partner and I finally made our trip to the midwest to visit my family -- parents and two brothers, sister came from her home as well.

I haven't had much contact with my parents over the last seven or eight years, and have never been close to my brothers. We had planned to do this last year, but I was so crazy suicidal we had to cancel at the last minute.

We flew out there, rented a car, checked into a hotel. My parents were glad to see me, and didn't do anything negative about my parnter. The second night one brother and his wife decide to drive back to their home, my father insists that we move into the guest bedroom they've just vacated instead of continuing to pay the hotel. Somehow, we end up in the guest bedroom with a double bed, while my sister sleeps (alone) in the one with two twin beds. Mother tolerates this, says nothing, but also doesn't go downstairs (where guest rooms are).

Later, my mother starts being outright *nice* to my partner -- asking her about cooking for my vegetarian and MAOI diet and generally being very friendly. Strange.

My father is more friendly than I've seen him with anyone for any reason in years. He's still intimidating and quiet, or so I'm told, but he was practically a social butterfly with my partner. And several times (even once to non-family) he referred to my sister, my partner, and I as "his girls." When we left he even gave her a genuine hug. My brothers were likewise friendly, more so than they've been to me in years.

Amazing. I'm not sure who these people are (maybe buying a new house helped?) but I'm also not sure they're my relatives.

Fiona

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Fiona,

Huzzah to you for a good family visit. I've noticed in general that more and more older folk are becoming tolerant and reluctantly accepting of gay and lesbian people in general and family members in particular. Hey. Look on the bright side - even parents can grow up!

Greeny

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sounds like Mom and Dad finally grew up and realized what is truly important in life...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Maybe so.... It's been 10 years getting here, but my partner says that a number of her friends/acquaintances from college found that it took their parents (and hers as well) about that long to really settle with it all. I think it helps that they met and liked her before they realized we were a couple.

My mom even showed my partner how to cook "treats" like fried eggs the way my much beloved grandfather did. Turns out she even sat and talked to my partner about my grandfather, among other things, because she knows how much he meant to me and how few people there are to remember him.

And my father took my partner aside to tell her that he really wants a relationship with me, but that they don't want to overstep my boundaries (that not talking to them thing) so they're going to wait and let me set what happens next.

My partner says he also told her they'd come to a ceremony for us if we held one, but I still think he was talking about my graduation.

I know what's next -- a long talk with my therapist tomorrow!

Fiona

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i think the idea of acceptance .. being like, a thing that either IS, or is NOT.. is kind of unrealistic, eh.

my parents' support and acceptance has been spotty. i mean, not that they don't try. i think sometimes, the awkward, first steps of trying are the hardest, because while a person doesn't want to be rude or offensive, and they want to be supportive, they aren't quite.. sure.. how... so they stumble around and sometimes step forward and offer something up, only to withdraw quickly if it doesn't seem quite right. i've seen it.

it's been ten years for us, and my parents were never conservative and intolerant, just liberal and in 'not our daughter' denial.

we still have the awkward dance, on occasion -- after my parents made a very supportive speech at our wedding two and a half years ago.

still questions of whether they see us as 'legitimate' as a couple, and the recognition of certain things in my sister's hetero relationship of um, three months or so, that they didn't do with us. of course, we will be hypersensitive in some ways to the differences.

and then there's the MI, i think my parents still wonder whether it's HER making me unhappy, or if i'm in the 'wrong relationship'. easier than realizing how genetic this MI stuff really is and it's not just me.

but this news sounds encouraging for you, Fiona, especially the cooking and the talk about your grandfather; hope tdoc was productive for you.

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i think the idea of acceptance .. being like, a thing that either IS, or is NOT.. is kind of unrealistic, eh.

I think some kind of acceptance has to come before the part about any kind of support. And it's not necessarily support I'm looking for, I have plenty of that in my life -- I've survived on minimal contact with them for years. I just want to have a relationship with my parents that doesn't tear me into tiny pieces at every contact. And we may be close to achieving that, certainly didn't happen during the visit.

it's been ten years for us, and my parents were never conservative and intolerant, just liberal and in 'not our daughter' denial.
My parents started at the conservative part. My mom has had to let go a lot of ideas about what she wanted for her children and since I'm the youngest she had pinned all of them on me. Then I went my own way. I suspect Dad has been different from the start, but there's no going around my mother in our family.

still questions of whether they see us as 'legitimate' as a couple, and the recognition of certain things in my sister's hetero relationship of um, three months or so, that they didn't do with us.

Yes, although one of my brother's did us the favor of getting married to a woman the family barely knew back in July without telling anyone in the family about it. We looked pretty tame established and 'normal' in comparison. (I spent some time with her, she's a very nice woman by the way.)

and then there's the MI, i think my parents still wonder whether it's HER making me unhappy, or if i'm in the 'wrong relationship'. easier than realizing how genetic this MI stuff really is and it's not just me.
Yep. Exactly!

but this news sounds encouraging for you, Fiona, especially the cooking and the talk about your grandfather; hope tdoc was productive for you.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Tdoc was very helpful, and will continue to be I think. He's been right there through the whole thing with my parents and family and depression and partner. Yes, I've known him for 10 years, but haven't been in continuous treatment with him through that time.

Thanks for the good words.

Fiona

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