Over new year, my Mum said she had something to tell me – and announced that she’s in love with a woman.
She and Dad have been divorced for ten years, and since then she’s never had a boyfriend – but I thought that was just because she was too busy looking after my brother and me and seeing us off to Uni.
It’s been a total shock, and even though I want to be glad for her, I’m not. I know there’s nothing wrong with being gay – one of my closest friends is a gay guy – and I love my Mum to bits. So why am I finding it so difficult to come to terms with this?
What you’re feeling isn’t just about your Mum being gay. It’s about thinking you knew your Mum, and now finding you don’t – about thinking you knew what was happening all these years and now finding you didn’t. Everything you believed is now in doubt, and the woman you loved most in all the world turns out to be someone who also loves another woman.
That said, you’re doing the most important thing, which is trying to understand what you’re feeling – and also trying to understand your Mum. Hang on in there, keep talking to her, and also talk to your gay friend about his experience, and how he came out.
Remember too that the fact your Mum has a new partner doesn’t mean that she loves you any less. It’s clear that she held back on forming a relationship until she’d done right by you and your brother – her devotion to you isn’t in doubt (and, from your email, your devotion to her isn’t in doubt either).
It will take time to come to terms with this. But you will come through. Because you want your Mum to be happy – and by the sound of it, for the first time, she’s going to find the partner happiness she deserves.
Susan Quilliam also offers email, phone and face-to-face coaching on relationship and sexuality issues. Contact her here