This is going to be a really disjointed post.
So Lora’s mom is coming to do a day trip tomorrow. She lives far enough away that she won’t ever just pop over, but she does come to visit every few months. Lora and her mom have a relationship that is…I’m still learning about it, as Lora and I talk more (though Jonathan and I have talked about it a bit).
Lora’s mom (and family) don’t know about her being poly. And Lora and her mom are…I would say they’re working on rebuilding their relationship, because when Lora was younger a lot of really shitty things happened, and there will things that her mom could have handled a lot better than she did, so a lot of damage happened to their relationship. As we’ve shared stories, it seems that our moms have a lot in comment when it comes to manipulation techniques and such. While I do believe that both of our moms love us, speaking for my relationship with my mom, I can safely say that my mom has been very heavy-handed and controlling when I was younger. It was all “for my own good” of course. And a lot it (for me – I’m not sure about Lora) was that my mom was living vicariously through me. So, in high school, for instance, I wanted to take pottery classes as my electives. But my mom always envisioned herself (and though herself, me) as being involved in music, so she made me take chorus, because she wanted me to sing. She refused to sign my class paperwork unless I took the classes she wanted. And it took flunking out of chorus for two years (which wasn’t easy, given that my chorus teacher practically gave away As) for her to let me choose my own electives (not that that was the most mature thing I could have done, but the level of control she tried to exert on me in all things was ridiculous and could be the subject of a whole series of posts).
To make a long story short, my mom and I also had to take some years to repair our relationship and for her to see me as an independent person, so I very much empathize with a lot of what Lora has said about her relationship with her mom.
Anyways, Lora’s mom’s trip. They’re going to meet at a restaurant for brunch, do some shopping, see a movie, grab dinner, & then part ways. The key thing here is that Lora’s mom isn’t coming to our home. And this is key, because when I learned that Lora hadn’t told her mom about being poly, I was…irate and extremely stressed at the idea of her mom coming over and me pretending to me a roommate or something. Through Jonathan (because Lora & I weren’t talking too much, and I think we were both so frightened of having this conversation face-to-face that it would have been impossible), we agreed that Lora’s mom wouldn’t come to our home until after Lora told her that she was poly. Lora has broached the subject of poly with her mom before, as a hypothetical debate (which isn’t as weird as that might sound. They often have conversations where they speculate on ways of living that they don’t participate in, and what it would be like to live that way). And her mom hypothetically understands it and is hypothetically OK with it. But I’ve seen that being hypothetically OK with something and being OK with it when it’s your child are two very different things.
I really want to ask Lora if she’s going to talk to her mom about being poly, but I’m also really afraid of that conversation. I’m afraid because I want her to tell her mom, but I also understand and respect why she hasn’t told her mom yet. I told my parents a few years ago (man, that was a tough year for them – I came out as both bi and poly, two things that they…let’s just say they weren’t thrilled, but they didn’t do anything outrightly shitty, and I suspect that they’re both secretly hoping that both of those things are a phase), but I’m a number of years older than Lora, so…I get that it takes time, and feeling safe and in control of your life, and a lot of courage-gathering to talk about those things with your loved ones (Jonathan was the early adopter, telling his parents in his very early 20s. They’re completely happy and supportive of anything that makes him happy and doesn’t hurt anybody else. Lucky guy, having such an awesome family). And even though I’m out to my parents, my mom asked me to keep it on the DL on places like Facebook – you know, where other family member can see. I told her that I probably wouldn’t expressly go on about it, because I’ve never been one to go on about my romantic relationships on Facebook much, but I also was not going to hide it.
I think I might ask Lora tonight, if we get a quiet moment. I just want to make sure that I emphasize to her that it’s totally OK with me if she isn’t ready to talk to her yet, but that I’m curious about how she’s feeling about it and also want to do anything I can do that would help (I’m going to just state as fact that Lora, Jonathan, and I all know that “anything” means “anything on the up-and-up”, so “anything” doesn’t include stuff like “pretending we don’t live together” or “pretending I’m just a friend of Jonathan’s”). Just thinking about having that conversation gives me a lot of anxiety, but…I think it’d be a good thing to try. I just have to grow myself some steel ovaries. Eeep.