Monday, June 13, 2011

The Part Where I Came Out To My Dad

This happened today.

Well, the beginning didn't.

Last night I had another severe episode of depression. I've been dealing with them with increasing frequency all summer. Depression, anxiety, self-loathing... Last night I made the determination that things need to change. I decided to take control of my life. I decided to stop the lies. And I decided to come out.

(As an aside, if my depression symptoms are still this bad in two weeks, I'm also going to talk to my doctor about starting medication.)

When I woke up this morning, I felt better. But the resolve was still there. I knew that I couldn't keep hiding forever. Today was my dad's first day of work with his new job. A day of new beginnings.

When he asked me to pick him up from dropping his car off at the company's main building downtown, I saw my opportunity.

Oh, god, that drive down to pick him up was the worst thing ever. I almost had to pull over to throw up. My mouth was dry, I simultaneously needed to throw up and poop, and my hands and feet were all sweaty. I was so shaky I wasn't entirely sure how the car was still going straight.

I retrieved my dad and as we pulled out of the parking lot, I asked him if he could pull into a parking lot. I said, "I need to talk to you. It's really important."

So we pulled into a gas station. He parked the car. I pulled out my ipod, with my coming out letter saved to it...and I talked.

I didn't stick to my script, it seemed trite in real time. But it was a good outline.

First I told him up front, "I'm not straight. I know that's a weird way of phrasing it, but I don't know any other way to say it. I don't know what label applies to me. All I know is that I am physically and emotionally attracted to women." I talked to him about how I had experienced this since I was about thirteen, but had tried to ignore it because I knew that the church taught it was evil.

I told him how when I was seventeen I couldn't ignore it anymore because I developed a crush that wouldn't go away. A crush that lasted for more than a year.

I told him about her.

I told him how I chose to go to BYU so that I could be as far from her as possible. Because I was terrified that if I picked a state school, I would only be picking it to stay close to her so we could stay together.

I told him how I had met with my bishop every single week at BYU after I confessed to him. I told him how I saw a counselor at school who specialized in same-sex attraction.

And then I apologized for lying. I told him how much I hated myself for the lies and the secrets. And this was the part where I couldn't contain myself anymore and I just broke down sobbing.

And this was the part where the miracle happened.

He took me into his arms. He held me so tight. And told me over and over again that he loved me. That was all he said for a really long time. I was crying too hard to say anything, and he just kept telling me that he loved me.

He told me that he loved me. That I'm his daughter and he will always love me. He said that he understands this is a part of me and I can't change it. He said, "I don't know why Heavenly Father gave you this challenge. I can't even imagine how much it must hurt you. I'm so sorry."

He did bear testimony to me that Heavenly Father and Jesus love me and they will always love me and always be waiting to welcome me back, no matter what I do. He assured me that he knows that God's plan is for me to marry a boy.

And we talked. We talked about what I want in the future. We talked about here and now and...everything.

He assured me several times that he knows I can't change this and that I didn't choose this. He said that his time in the bishopric taught him to be much more accepting. He said, "I know that you can't wish this away anymore than I can wish to not be bald anymore."

He said, "I accept you, and God accepts you. I don't think you accept you, though."

He said that what he thinks I should do in the coming months is move with my family to Utah and take a semester off (because I was planning on taking a semester off anyway) out there and take care of my mom and sister during the transition and then go to UVU. I don't think I want that. But I'll consider it.

He wants to talk to us. As a couple.

The only thing he wanted was he said he wanted us to "cool it" physically. And I said, "I really don't know if I can do that, Daddy. Because all I want right now is to go cry in her arms."

And he said, "I don't find that objectionable at all."

He just wants us to not have sex.

He said if I do go to Utah, he'll fly her out to see me a couple times.

(I still don't want to do it...)

I mean, he told me he's not ready to attend a wedding or anything...but that I'm also not ready to have a wedding. And I agree with that.

We're not telling my mom. Not now. Not for a long time. He took it well. She will not. He knows that and I know that. We can't tell her yet.

He suspected. He's suspected for a long time. Years, he said. He said, "Maybe someone who doesn't know you as well as I do wouldn't be able to see it."  He also said his first reaction was almost, "Well, duh."

It went so well. So much better than I could have ever imagined. Considering my expectations going in were, "It would be friggin' sweet if nobody hit me."

It was incredible. I already feel so much freer. I'm so glad I told him. I don't know what I was waiting for. He told me that I underestimated him. He was right.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing. I teared up reading about your dad holding you and telling you he loves you.


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