Wise Counsel From Susan Quilliam: I’ve not come out to my parents
My first, wonderful lesbian relationship has just ended because my lover has gone to the US to do her Phd – and though I’m devastated on one level, on another level I’m really happy for her… plus I feel quite relieved. I’ve not come out to my Mum and Dad yet and it’s much easier not to have to hide everything from them. At the same time, I feel guilty that I haven’t told them yet. I’m out to everyone else, so why not to my parents? I’m a failure.
What you’re describing isn’t bad news. You’ve loved your lesbian lover… you’ve presumably had a great time with her, made her happy, been made happy by her… cared for her enough to let her go and wish her well. All these are not in any way failures but happy successes – and my guess is that the turmoil you’re feeling is probably underpinned by losing that happiness and needing to come to terms with your loss.
So you haven’t told your parents yet? Again, don’t blame yourself. Some people never come out to their families. Some people – maybe you’re one of them – realise that to come out to their families would be to make waves that aren’t worth making.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t come out. I’m not saying never come out. My guess is that one day you’ll be ready – and so will your parents – and then it will be time. For now, concentrate on mourning the loss of a great relationship and preparing for your next love.
Susan Quilliam also offers email, phone and face-to-face coaching on relationship and sexuality issues. Contact her here.