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ocnblu

Unresolved issues with parents

42 posts in this topic

I am an honest man. I lied to my father.

As some of you know, I like to go camping at a particular campground in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. It's a gay/lesbian campground, and further, it is clothing optional. I go two or three times a season. Without being too specific, over the last four years I've been going I've been telling my parents (seperately, they're divorced) that I've been going "camping upstate"... which sufficed... until my dad mentioned one day that he delivers tires (he retired from Armstrong floor company after 41 years and now drives a pickup truck, delivering tires for a local merchant) to a customer in the same town. I spoke up and said "that's near where I go camping".

That was enough for him for about a year, but then he started asking more specific questions. That's when I made a fatal mistake. I told my father I camp at a local state park, which is only about 3 miles from where I really go. I didn't think anything of it, I assumed camping was allowed there.

As part of our recent family reunion, the whole family went to a local baseball game. As we sat and watched the game, enjoying the evening, he suddenly leans over and says to me "I was up at (that town) the other day, and my customer says you can't camp overnight at "__" State Park. Is that where you go?"

I panicked a bit and said "Yes! What the hell is he talking about!?" Dad said "Ok, if that's where you go, that's that." From that moment on, I felt like crap about it.

Last Wednesday when I got home there was a phone message on my machine. It was my dad calling to invite me out to dinner to celebrate my brother's birthday Friday. His message: "Hey Bill, this is dad. I'm calling from "___" State Park. I wanted to call and invite you to dinner..."

We had a nice dinner for my brother's birthday... we didn't talk about camping at all, but this is hanging out there, an unresolved issue that I am very uneasy about. I've always tried to keep certain things quiet, that's how I prefer them, but it pains me to know my dad knows I lied about it. Now it is going to color every interaction I have with him until... something happens. I am paranoid, thinking my dad's customer knows about "my" campground (even though it is not advertised locally to keep it private) and has told him of its proximity. There are other, conventional campgrounds clustered around the area as well.

Now I worry about what I've done to my dad. I love him and don't want to hurt him. This is horrible.

Edited by ocnblu
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I think I know how you feel. I try my best to always tell the truth because when I don't, there is a gnawing in my gut that eats away at me and drives me crazy. I hate that feeling.

I know all too well that telling your parents is a scary thing but if you told your dad that you're gay, what do you think he would do? Is he the old school type who couldn't handle it or is he the type to look beyond that and accept you and love you for who you are?

Edited by usonia
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Your parents don't need to know everything about your life once your an adult. Sometimes parents know and they choose to ignore it.

Leave well enough alone unless you Dad asks. Ignorance is bliss.

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$h!, that sucks.

I wish I had advice but.... being a complicated issue I have none. :huh:

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$h!, that sucks.

I wish I had advice but.... being a complicated issue I have none. :huh:

There are plenty of "bad" straight things they could be assuming you do.

You're still closeted to your parents, right?

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Don't you think your parents suspect already? You are over 40 years old after all and unattached. They most likely are trying to give you a chance to come clean, after all most parents know their kids. Besides, if I recall you and I spoke about something similar to this (about them knowing) on MSN once.

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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Your parents don't need to know everything about your life once your an adult. Sometimes parents know and they choose to ignore it.

Leave well enough alone unless you Dad asks. Ignorance is bliss.

===============================================================================

I agree, once you are an adult you don't need to tell them everything about you and everything you do. We certainly don't know everything about our parents. I have recently found out some things about my father I had never previously known, and had I known as a kid I would have been shocked, but thats life. "Blu, don't beat yourself up over it. You can't take it back, but what you can do now is enjoy the time you spend with your dad. Guilt is an ugly cloud that hangs over your head only if you let it. Don't let it because it gets in the way it will tear apart the closeness between you and your dad.

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If your father pushes it, tell him the name of the campground, since he clearly wants to know. If not, then let sleeping dogs lie.

He might surprise you by being okay with it and you might be hurting him more by not giving him the benefit of the doubt that he would accept and love his son, gay or straight.

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I can only suppose that it must get 'harder' to come out to your parents (or not to, as the case may be) as one gets older. I am fortunate that I was mistakenly outed when I was 15 (coincidentally over a camping trip I had taken with a friend, also 15, that I had a terrible crush on) so the pain and aggravation was over at an early age.

Your parents may surprise you. My dad was the inspiration for Archie Bunker. He hated Jews (his girlfriend was Jewish :blink: ), he hated blacks (his favorite sister-in-law was black), in fact he 'hated' everyone equally. Most of all, he had nothing good to say about 'fags.' It took him a couple years, but he came around. My folks separated when I was 6, but they pretty much found out at the same time. At the time (remember, I was 15 and this was 1976), my parents were determined to change me. My mother thought it was just a phase. She came around sooner than he did.

I would bet your parents have an inkling. Is there no close sibling, cousin or someone you can 'come out' too to help you break the ice, or suggest a course of action? For my mother, the breakthrough was meeting my boyfriend socially. We had been living together for nearly a year (he was 19; I was 17 - I was into older men then) and she wanted to see 'our' place. Although uncomfortable as hell, the first meeting went okay. My mother confided in her boss that she did not know what to do, and he set her 'straight,' saying that it was no big deal who I slept with. Eventually, my mother grew very fond of Bob and was quite devastated when we broke up after 5 years. Bob helped her to realize that gay people are not perverts. In fact, we used the same tactics on his parents: they met me socially as his friend, and then he told them I was his BF.

In the end, your parents will be shocked, but wouldn't it suck if they were more upset that you had lied to them all these years, rather than tell them? That was the reaction I had at my current job where, after about 2 years, I came out to my co-workers. Many of them were pissed that I had misled them all those years.

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I've decided to let sleeping dogs lie, so to speak. Shoot, I am old enough to make my own decisions. I'm not hurting anyone by camping there. I just wish he weren't so (naturally, he is a parent) curious. I just want to be my parents' son, not their gay son, ya know?

I truly appreciate the support and the advice, thank you folks.

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So, what kind of camping do you do, Ocn?

There are two gay campgrounds south of Toronto: Cedars, about an hour's drive from downtown (traffic Gods willing) and Turkey Point on Lake Erie - a lot further drive. I used to go to Cedars a lot. My ex and I were fixtures there. It is a bit rustic: no power in the trailers, sites, etc. and the lesbians run the swimming pool, but the dances at the renovated barn are legendary. People from all over come just for the Saturday night dances on the long weekends. Turkey Point is mostly men, has a clothing optional beach and a lot raunchier, so I've been told. I've never been. I've kind of grown out of sleeping on the ground.

Personally, I mostly go to those type of campgrounds to party, party, party. I was spoiled by the years I had my power boat and I used to cruise the 30,000 Islands on the eastern shore of Georgian Bay - lot of isolated, lonely islands to moor to and be alone with a couple friends: that was real camping with nobody around for miles.

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I have a tent that pitches in the bed of my pickup truck bed. I posted pics of it a while back.
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I just want to be my parents' son, not their gay son, ya know?

Of course though...you are assuming you would be their "gay son."
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I'm working on my own issues with my father right now.

My dad specifically said in the past that I should have

stayed with Julie back in the day, that was when he was

not too happy with Marcia, now that me and Marcia are

all done and I'm with Julie he's got issues with me being

with Julie because the timing is past that....

You just can't win sometimes. :(

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I'm working on my own issues with my father right now.

My dad specifically said in the past that I should have

stayed with Julie back in the day, that was when he was

not too happy with Marcia, now that me and Marcia are

all done and I'm with Julie he's got issues with me being

with Julie because the timing is past that....

You just can't win sometimes. :(

===========================================================

Live your life for you. Don't compromise anything, especially your relationships with spouses. You can't take back the past, but you can learn from it. Your relationship issues are not your parents' business the same as their relationship issues are not your business. Just do the best you can and make yourself happy. If you find someone who makes you happy, then go with it.

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I suggest instead of getting a wife or GF, just get a dog. They are always happy to see you, and unlike a wife or GF they only live 10 years or so, not a lifetime! :P

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Live your life for you. Don't compromise anything, especially your relationships with spouses. You can't take back the past, but you can learn from it. Your relationship issues are not your parents' business the same as their relationship issues are not your business. Just do the best you can and make yourself happy. If you find someone who makes you happy, then go with it.

:withstupid:

Very true.

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I suggest instead of getting a wife or GF, just get a dog. They are always happy to see you, and unlike a wife or GF they only live 10 years or so, not a lifetime! :P

==================================================================================

A dog cannot replace the love and fulfillment you get with a spouse, but dogs do have alot going for them. They love you unconditionally, no person ever will. I have two dogs (one Newfoundland and one Bernese Mt. Dog) and they are a huge part of the family. You just have to have a love for dogs.

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Family relationships are extremely complex. There were three things that made my mother come around, about 3 years after my parents found out I was gay:

1) Her boss at an electrical contracting firm thought it was no big deal that she had a gay son. (This was circa 1980)

2) She met my boyfriend and actually liked him.

3) When I turned 18, she realized that she had given birth to me at 18, and she figured that since she thought she knew what

she was doing at 18, then so must I.

A remark that she made to me a couple years after she 'accepted' my being gay still resounds with me today. She said:

"Most of my friends and associates cannot handle their own sexuality, so how would you expect my generation to accept yours?"

I should point out that my mother just turned 65 this year, so she really isn't that old. She would have been about 38 or 39 when she made the remark. Her 'generation' grew up with Elvis and the Pill, so perhaps she is somewhat more liberated that most parents of people my age.

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Carbiz, your post made me think. I don't understand why others have such a need to understand another's sexuality. Sexuality is so complex as it is that an individual should try to understand their own and just leave other's to figure theirs out. I don't understand the curiosity. I have no curiosity about straight people, and it bugs me when straight people try to understand my sexuality. The best thing I do is I say, "when I am thirsty, I crave something to drink. . . when I crave sex I crave a man. you crave a woman, its just a different flavor of water/soda/beer/juice/mixed drink/water." Sexuality and orientation is just very personal, and having to explain it to my parents just made me want to turn myself inside out. <shivers>

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Every 6 months or so, ocnblu runs a thread of the "oops, they almost found out" variety regarding his parents. And then the posting starts.

PB, I don't think that people need nor want to know as it will cause the imagination to run wild. You would be divulging something akin to a bodily function (hence the imagination) rather than something about you that is more important. Also, since you are not attached to anyone nor have someone you are "championing" in your life, all the more reason not to tell them, since they may invariably think you are sleeping around.

BTW, what is keeping you from getting another dog?

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