Updated: July 19, 2013 3:26PM
Dear Cheryl: My adult daughter just came out of the closet to my husband and me. We talked and talked and as we did, I flashed on different moments of her childhood. I don’t know why I didn’t realize she was gay. I love her so much.
It pained me to think that she had to go through this alone. I’ve always tried to be there for her, but she didn’t feel she could confide in me. Maybe it’s because we have a very traditional, Old World family and they would have a field day ripping me apart as well as her if they knew. I don’t care.
Still, I wonder, where do I go from here? I feel overwhelmed by so many conflicting emotions.
MIXED UP MOM
Dear Mixed Up Mom: Your confusion and conflicting emotions are natural considering what you’re going through. All your assumptions about your daughter and your expectations for her life have been turned upside-down.
Give yourself time to adjust to the new normal. In the meantime, ask your daughter as many questions as you feel comfortable asking and she feels comfortable answering. Let her know you want to be part of her life. That means getting to know her friends and partners when you’re ready.
Lean on your husband and allow him to lean on you, too. If you’re having a difficult time with the adjustment, look into a group like PFLAG: Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
As far as your family is concerned, you don’t owe them anything. Your daughter didn’t come out to them. You don’t need to say anything to them until you’re completely comfortable with your daughter being gay.
Dear Cheryl: I’m morbidly obese. I choose to stay home. I’m depressed and on medication. My great friends try to get me out, but walking and breathing are so hard for me. They don’t understand. I feel like a burden to them and can’t seem to enjoy going out.
When I do go, I worry about fitting into a seat in a restaurant or a movie theater and wonder if it will hold me. In restaurants, the skinny hostesses try to seat me in a booth. That’s embarrassing. I have to ask for a table.
Some stores have motorized shopping carts. When they do, I use them. I get strange looks from some people.
I take care of myself. I keep clean and do what I can. I live alone except for my cat. I lost my parents whom I depended upon for financial support since I can’t work.
Dating sites are out for me. I don’t need a man to survive the way most women do. Of course I would love to have a great man someday, one who understands me and loves me whether I’m skinny or heavy.
Some men are sweet at first, but after they marry you, they do a 180 and beat you or verbally abuse you or run around with other women.
Now, don’t get me wrong. If a man was raised right, he’ ll treat you with respect and love. I’m a Christian lady and I believe that God will send me somebody when I’m ready for him. I just hope that one day I’ll be ready.
BIG AND LONELY
Dear Big and Lonely: It seems like you’re expecting God to do all the work. What are you doing to get ready?
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