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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Coming out to my children--yes, they all know. Part last: Tabitha and the end of the story

This post is dedicated to Ambrosia, iwonder, and Jason Lockhart, and you should go to their blogs and say hello to them--please leave a comment, otherwise your visit will show up on their counters and they won't know who you are, and it's very rude to visit someone and not introduce oneself. And just for Jason, because he asked, I have "supersized" this topic and will write about it in more than one post.

After talking with DJ, I received a late phone call (which isn't necessarily unusual at my house). I was talking in my bedroom, when DJ came in and started messing with things on Darrin's dresser. I said, "Hey, you're supposed to be sleeping--go to bed." He answered me: "Okay. But I thought you might like to know--that talk we just had? Well, Tabitha was still awake and she's upstairs crying."

I quickly said good-bye to my caller and went to Tabitha's room. Sure enough, she was in bed sniffling. I sat down next to her. She crawled into my lap and sobbed. I waited until she calmed down a bit, then asked her if she wanted to tell me what was bothering her. She nodded, but didn't say anything. I asked if she'd heard what DJ and I were talking about. She said, "A little bit," which in Tabitha language means she heard everything. I asked why it made her cry. She said, "Mom, I don't want people to find out about you and Sully and say mean things about you. I don't want them to hurt you. It's not fair."

I told her that everyone gets hurt, and that, no doubt, if lots of people found out about Sully and me, there would be those who were unkind. But I told her it would be okay, no matter what was said. I asked her if she had any questions. She said she didn't, but asked if I would just hold her and talk to her a little while. So I rocked my twelve-year-old daughter to sleep, while we talked about the upcoming school year, new friends, how she'd like to have her hair cut, whether or not she'd like to play on the volleyball team...

When she started to doze off, I tucked her in and kissed her.

Then next morning, assuming that Adam knew about Sully, Tabitha spilled the beans because she wanted to see what he thought about everything. Adam and Sully had made arrangements to go to a movie that afternoon, so I had Adam call and ask Sully to come 30 minutes early, at which time I let him know of the Stevens family confidence breach. To my relief, Sully laughed and said he was glad the whole family knew. He and I chatted for a few moments alone, then invited the kids to join us. The were allowed to ask any questions they had (they had very few) and Sully and I again let them know that this was not something they could share, but that Sully and I would like to choose who was told. They agreed.

It's been a week now. Adam has had another conversation with me, in which he tried to make his 13-year-old brain understand how gay mom has sex with straight dad:
Me: I can explain, but I don't think you'll understand.
Adam: Give it a try?
Me: Okay. But it might be awkward. Most kids don't like to think about their parents having sex.
Adam: Try anyway?

So I tried. I explained in the most basic of terms that because Darrin and I love each other and because we've worked together for many years, that we now are able to express physical love without being distracted by my orientation. I explained that even though I'm not necessarily attracted to him, he's attracted to me, and I love him deeply, so having that physical relationship is joyful because sex between two people who love each other is something wonderful. I really did try to explain...

Adam: I'm not going to get this, am I?
Me: I don't think so. I'm sorry.
Adam: Can we try again when I'm fifteen?
Me: Of course. In the meantime, don't worry too much about this, okay?
Adam: Okay.

Anyway, today is pretty much life as usual, and that's a good thing.


  1. Anyway, today is pretty much life as usual, and that's a good thing.

  2. Oh my gosh, you are the first blogger ever to get me to both cry and laugh out loud while reading the same entry. Granted, I'm sleep-deprived today, but still, my cheeks are friggin' wet. Thank-you.

    Maybe being a bit personal sometimes in blogging is...a really, really good thing.

  3. Thanks for your candid descriptions. I enjoy them very much and am very touched by them.

    You are a wonderful mother indeed.

  4. I like your kids and you. Have you thought about moving out here to Utah? I don't think many of us would complain.

  5. These are great posts. You are an amazing mom. (And yes, your kids sound great, too.)

    Oooh, great idea, Edgy. How about it, Sam? I'll trade you my pony for your moving to Utah.

  6. I'm so glad that I met you. I was having a hard time today -it felt like the whole world was against me - and then I decided I needed to read some blogs and came to yours, and just felt peace- I don't know if thats weird for you, I hope its not - but I'm happy for you that your kids know and that you're so open about it - it sounds like you're a great mom - almost my whole family knows now as well (when we met, nobody knew) but we don't ever talk about it - thank you for writing. You saved me today.

  7. My husband and I just finished reading your "coming out to your kids" posts. We were linked here from Christian on the Segullah blog.

    First, you are an amazing mom who obviously has fantastic relationships with her children. I was so impressed by your conversations with them.

    Secondly, we really admire the balance you seem to have found--your openness and faithfulness.

    As my husband and I read together, we were filled with appreciation for you and for each other, frankly. You exemplify what we hope becomes common, if not the norm, in the Church. My husband's life has been filled with complexities and challenges that we both have had to deal with, and your approach is applicable to all the trials of life, not just SSA. So, we express our admiration, and appreciation to you for your honesty. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Like others, found your blog through comments at Segullah; just wanted to tell you how much I appreciated, and even enjoyed, your posts.

  9. It is so great to know there are people like you in the world! You just make a difference!

    (coming here through the link on Segullah)

  10. I've been reading bits of your blog. I think it's amazing. I'm on the other end of the marriage situation. I don't think I'm as strong as you are. Maybe it's a personality thing...???

  11. Christine:

    I don't think it's a matter of strength, nor of personality. I think there's a difference in that my husband and I have always had emotional intimacy, even when physical intimacy was difficult. There have been ups and downs, as in any marriage, and I've had times when I wished things were different. But the truth is, each marriage is unique. Mine works for a unique set of reasons that are completely inapplicable to any other marriage.

    You're in a challenging situation that's emotionally charged, with a great deal at stake. Anyone in your position would feel the same stresses you do. I'm certain you'll work through it all in time and come to a solution that works well for everyone in your family.

    I wish you the best and hope the solution you eventually choose brings you peace of heart and mind.

  12. Found your blog through Segullah, CJane, etc. It's a subject close to my heart, for a variety of reasons, and I appreciate your honesty.