18 April 2010

Next Chapter: In Which Rob Replies To His Dad

Thanks to everyone for your time and suggestions, I really appreciate the care and concern. After due reflection, I decided that I just wasn't yet ready to re-engage on anything of substance with the family yet.

I have always been a conciliatory peacemaker within the family and I'm sure they expect I will just come around soon and agree to their terms for continued participation in the group. While I appreciate the advice that I should keep lots of communication flowing right now, my only leverage to prod my family off their prejudice and deafness toward dialogue and understanding is the presence of me and my kids in their lives. To step back from that for a while would be no hardship for us; we don't live close to any of them and don't see them that often. I don't know of any other way to demonstrate that I mean what I say, that I'm not going along with their demands that I act like I never came out and that I continue to self-censor whenever I'm around them. And since it would be so extremely unusual for me to simply withdraw for any length of time, eventually they'll understand I really am serious. Actually I've really enjoyed the last few weeks of peace and quiet, of not having to worry about any of this. It's been very restful and therapeutic. I need more of that.

So here's what I sent to my dad this morning:

Dear Dad:

I love you too. The kids and I are all doing fine, life continues as normal. I have felt so beaten up by the past month's events with the family that I need some time and space. I will be back in touch.


I love my dad and my family. And it's important that I not cede this issue to them.


Tim Trent said...

I want to say how grateful I am to you for your There are plenty of folk today with the same dilemma. They need to see what can happen and how one person has handled it.

You will never know whom you stopped form choosing suicide, they will never tell you. But your courage in sharing this with the world will help at least one person avoid self harm.

Was it the right message to send?


Will it bring you back towards the truly loving arms of your family?

No idea.

Do you feel nervous awaiting any reply?


You can't control what your father does nor what he thinks. But you can control and are controlling your own potential angry reactions while keeping the moral high ground.

Tim Trent said...

Wow, that first para was weird. It should have said "I want to say how grateful I am to you for your living this part of your life in public. There are plenty of folk today with the same dilemma. They need to see what can happen and how one person has handled it."

I must poofread (sic) better!

Horizon said...

I also want to add my appreciation for sharing this with us. Thanks!

Gay LDS Actor said...

I think you made the right call, Rob. I have been thinking about this since your last post, but didn't want to put my two cents in fro some reason. I like how you were respectful and just said you needed more time. I do think (and this is just my opinion) that it might do your family some good to see what a life would feel like without your presence for a bit. Perhaps it will soften their hearts a bit, and I think the time away will be good for you as well. Just as long as you continue to keep the lines of communication open and let them know that the distance is no reflection on how much you love them, I think it will work out well. Hope all goes well.

MoHoHawaii said...

This seems like a perfectly reasonable response. You kept the lines of communication open, and you are standing up for yourself in a way that they haven't seen before.

I'm really sorry you have to deal with this kind of trouble.