April 21, 2019, marks four years since my first article was published. Part of me still regrets publishing it as I just wasn’t in a good place at the time, and I’ve never liked how cynical and angry I came across. It is what is, however, and I have to live with it.
I’m not sure I’ve accomplished much good in the last four years, but I will always have the satisfaction of knowing I tried. Sure, no one would know the story if David hadn’t slayed Goliath, but David could have at least died knowing he didn’t run away. Calm down, I’m not comparing myself to David.
In the last four years the loudest criticism has been that I’m actually just upset about my parents divorce, not really the fact my mom’s gay. That it was the divorce that hurt me, not her sexuality. I have spent hours trying to figure out how to explain this to people so that they can understand. At the end of the day we won’t believe things we simply don’t want to believe, so there’s always going to be a faction that won’t listen no matter how good of a job I do explaining, nonetheless, I’m going to try, one more time, and see how far I get.
My first memories are of the time period when my mom left my step dad and moved in with her first girlfriend. I have two solid memories of my stepdad, both of them occurring after they broke up. I recall being very happy during the time we lived with him. I was devastated when we moved. Initially I didn’t realize my mom was in a relationship with her best friend. I thought we were just living there til we could find our own place. It wasn’t until my mom came into my room naked one night after I’d had a nightmare that I realized there was something going on. I was four or five at the time. I vividly remember that night and remember how upset it made me that she was sleeping naked in bed with another girl. I didn’t like it at all.
My mom’s first girlfriend did not try to parent me. She had a daughter a little younger than me and basically they just each parented their own child. She was good to me however, and if I saw her today she would say hello and give me a hug. Their relationship, however, was not a safe place for children of any age, and when my mom finally left right before I turned seven, I was the happiest child on the planet. Unfortunately, that didn’t last long.
My mom went from her first girlfriend straight to her second. Her first girlfriend had been seeing someone else for a while, and it wasn’t until my mother managed to find a new relationship herself that we left. At first I was all for it. Her new girlfriend seemed nice and was fun to be around. Their relationship was a thousand times better than the previous one so I was relieved. It was nice seeing my mom happy. After all that I had been through though, I still didn’t understand exactly what my mother was, or what was really going on. And then one day when I was seven, it hit me. While I sitting on the toilet.
I was peeing and watching my mom put on what little makeup she wore. Even though I was done I sat and watched her for a long time and for some reason it suddenly clicked in my head what a lesbian was. I had heard the word before of course but never really got it. I said “Being a lesbian means you only like girls, doesn’t it?” She looked at me with the weirdest expression on her face and said “Yes. We’ve about this before.” To which I replied, “I know, but it never made any sense until just now.”
My seven-year old world was crushed. I had been holding onto this dream that someday she would start living with men again. All I wanted was a daddy. Speaking of my dad, I should probably clarify some things about him and his role, or lack thereof, during the first half of my life. After my parents divorced when I was one, my mom initially allowed my dad to have his court ordered visitation. I don’t know how many times she allowed him to get me on the weekends, but at some point before I was two she told him he couldn’t see me anymore. He didn’t have the money to take her to court and eventually he stopped trying to get me. He later told me he just couldn’t cope with how his life had fallen apart after the divorce and “he couldn’t fight the whole family to see me,” so he left, and moved to Wyoming. He mailed child support and each time she sent it back. We were poor as dirt and she mailed it back. Eventually he stopped trying altogether.
So the truth about my dad is that he tried, and she pushed him out of my life. How hard he really tried, I’ll never know, but I do know that he was madly in love with her, even after the divorce, and so I can sympathize to an extent with his struggle. He ended up meeting a very nice woman in Wyoming, getting married, having three more kids, and making a pretty nice life for himself. He and my stepmom are still married and going strong.
Back to my epiphany. So now I know she’s going to be with women forever. At seven years old I’m devastated. My hopes of having a daddy are gone. At this point in life I have more time that I can remember living with her girlfriends than I can remember living with my father and step-dad. In other words it’s not like I was twelve when she divorced my dad and started seeing women, and I had that much maturity under me to decide whether or not I preferred a stepmom over a stepdad. I had months of memory to work with and I chose men, hands down, no questions asked. I wanted a dad, not another mom.
I don’t like to share really personal stuff about my mom. I don’t like sharing that she came into my room naked, but I feel it’s almost a necessity to share some things to fully explain my experience and how I felt.
The first time I ever heard my mom having sex with one of her girlfriends was horrifying. It was with her second girlfriend and I was probably between ten and twelve. It was late at night and for some reason I woke up that night. Normally someone who could sleep through a tornado, I was shocked when I realized what I was hearing. As I laid in bed I got angrier and angrier. I kept thinking “why should I have to lay here and listen to this. This is so wrong.” My mom being with a woman repulsed me. I wanted to get out of bed, march into their room which was connected to mine through a doorway, turn on the light, and demand they stop. But I couldn’t. I was too freaked out my the sounds, I did not want an image to go along with it for the rest of my life. I buried my head under my pillow and tried to fall back to sleep.
I can already hear all the comments about how anyone hearing their parents have sex grosses them out, and blah, blah, blah. But I’ve asked friends with heterosexual parents what their reactions were and none of them ever became so angry they thought to demand their parents stop. They might’ve been grossed out but they realized it was normal. Two women having sex isn’t.
This feels like trying to explain to someone who’s color blind what a blue sky looks like, or trying to explain to the opposite sex what it’s like to be your gender. I have much more to say, but I think I’m going to stop here for now. I haven’t even touched on what it’s like being raised by butch lesbians, and the effect that had on me. This might end up being two or three parts.
Until next time.