Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Family, Briefly

I am going to preface this post with a great big
because it cannot be overstated how important they are to me.

Still, like any family, they all have their moments, as do I, wherein we drive each other batty.  In my family, my mom and my sister are the only ones who have been "authorized" to know what I'm going through.  I'm 99% sure my brother knows as well, because we used to live together and that's a hard thing to hide, especially when you shared a computer and one of you used to be addicted to gay porn and sucked at clearing web history.  So, basically, I have a good support system of three people, two of whom I can actually speak to about it.
My sister is a wonderful person.  She was the first person I ever told about being gay.  And lately, most of our conversations have revolved around queer-mo, poor girl.  Regardless, she's been incredibly supportive and relays nothing but love to me whenever we talk.  She's told me on countless occasions that no matter which path I choose, she will always love me and root for my happiness.  That's a comforting thing to hear, especially when you call her with a confession that you're struggling with.

My mom has also been supportive, but she has a much harder time understanding than my sister.  My mom is blessed with a gift of faith.  Ever since she was a girl, she always just believed the Church was true.  She never really doubts or questions its tenets and puts a lot of trust in its teachings as she formulates her own testimony.  She is independent and strong in the Gospel, but she still has lots of faith.  I admire that.  However, it also makes it difficult for her to understand the motivation behind sin.  

My sister, on the other hand, has been to hell and back and now has a great perspective on coming back to church.  She knows what it's like to have to change, even if your body is motivating you to do that which is wrong.  And even though as a straight woman she will never really understand what it's like for me, she still can apply her acquired wisdom to some of my struggles, as the principle is similar.

Last night, when we were talking on the phone, I told my sister about this event that happened last month.  When I got done, I could almost hear her jaw drop from her face.  There was silence on the other line for a few seconds, which was broken when she said, "Who does Mom think she is?"  My sister has a funny sense of humor and she feels like each of the children in the family have had such bitter struggles because Mom needs to learn how to deal with them. 

Each of us kids has struggled with one or a combination of pornography, poor self-image and depression, infidelity, or violation of the law of chastity.  And my sister, in her twisted, hilarious sense of humor, says that we were given to Mom as children because she needed to learn compassion for the sinners and the weak.  I kind of like that thought, that we are a curse to her.  The vindictive part of me thinks that's pretty funny.

Lest you have the wrong idea, my family is incredibly supportive.  My mom, after I told her that I was gay but was still trying to do my best, started researching the subject.  She even read In Quiet Desperation in an effort to learn how to effectively help me or at least support me.  And I feel her prayers for me every day of my life.  I know she is looking out for my happiness the best way she knows how and I appreciate that so deeply.  

We are all muddling through this life, with its struggles and heartaches, the best way we know how and we act upon the knowledge with which we are endowed.  And we all need to make allowances for the weaknesses in others, knowing that not everyone knows what we know.  My mom needs to make so many allowances for me in my doubt and mistrust it's not even funny.  So for me to deny her mercy for her lack of understanding would be the height of ingratitude and selfishness.  

I have five incredibly supportive people who share my blood, and three of them know intimately what is going on for me and what I face.  That solidarity makes me incredibly grateful; I could waste time childishly complaining that my parents don't understand me, but to do so would be to ignore the blessings of support I receive already.

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