Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Gift in Return...part 4 of the posts about my dad...

Some of you will have read this, as it was a response to Alissia's comment to part three on the blog about my Dad - "On Words and Silence", (tags: family, GLBT). When I wrote this response, I suddenly realized that I had found a way to reframe this struggle I carry with me of not being Out to my Dad in such a way that it made sense, and gave me a perspective that I could live with, and move forward with in love. That was so important, that I thought I would lift the comment I wrote and make a post of it - and I thank Alissia for her words that gave me the beginnings of this thought!
"I think I can live with him not ever knowing [ that I am gay and trans ] , rather than run the risk of spending last years we have in this life together with our relationship divided, separated, grieving and angry. I would rather see the lines here and there of color that mark that aspect of our lives, my dad and me, rather than see the memories drowned in darkness and sorrow.
Remember - with his views and his stubbornness, and his beliefs, unless we could pull off a reconciliation - which I am not willing to gamble on - he would go to his grave, heartbroken, shattered, thinking I am ''going to hell'', blaming himself for whatever reason why I might be *that way*...my silence is not selfish self protection - it is the choice for me to bear the burden of silence rather than him bearing the burden of knowledge.
True...he might come around. He might surprise me. Stranger, more miraculous things have happened. Lets put it this way - if I am ever Outed, one way or another - then that miracle will become all my hope and prayer and everything I will work for. But until then - he bore so many painful burdensome things for me - he carried me in a body cast up those stairs all those years ago and never counted the cost - maybe it would have been easier to leave me in my room those 8 weeks. Maybe it would have been easier to move me downstairs for the duration.
Instead, he normalized what might have been my darkest most uncomfortable moments, by carrying me down the stairs every morning so that I was truly a part of the family and up the stairs every night so that I could be in my own room.
My turn to bear the burden, when he is immobilized and frozen in time and space by his own blindspots and sociatal schemas. My turn to normalize our day to day interactions and never show the strain of the weight I bear in doing so. My turn...and my gift, back to him."


  1. I believe you have assessed this situation correctly - while some reading this may think it's heroic or something to charge in and blast the poor old man with the truth, truth is a malleable thing of incomplete value. The truth is that you're his child, and you've got a different perspective and more experience (weird that-he's 40 years older than you). The burden, or maybe the responsibility is on you to keep your relationship intact. Let it ease your heart that you are doing the right thing. He loves you the best that he knows how - like an old horse with blinders on. The person he sees when he looks at you - it's not a false image - just a portion of the bigger picture. You're too big a painting to fit in his frame, that's all.

  2. Thanks! That is a wonderful affirmation of what I have written - I treasure your words!

  3. Hrm...I would hate to know the person who would think it heroic to destroy an old man...probably why I've never understood some of those in 'the community' to out others who live in shadow.

    I think your choice Cameron is commendable. I would that the situation was not as it is, but I definitely understand. As I stated in my original response I did not confront my own deamons fully until my mother had passed (my father died back in the 70's).

    We can only deal with as much as we can handle. That is true for you, for your father, for me. For Dreamweaver.

    As I type this response my eyes shifted to the side and reread the quote next to where this will be posted and I smiled. I don't think in this situation there is a better quote I'd rather be next to.

    Be safe and well.