On being the adult

I recently forgot to log out of my facebook and my mom logged on and read all of my messages to my friends. She now knows that I smoke and drink (stupid, I know, but I only do it during the summer). More than that, she now knows that I like girls, something I’d been hoping on telling her when I’m no longer underage and living in my parents’ house. I’m currently visiting my cousin in Oxford, and she called me crying and saying that she and my dad had never given me a reason to be this way. I didn’t know that my parents were incredibly homophobic, but they definitely are. To even the playing field, I logged onto her facebook and read her correspondences with my cousin, the only person who’s been on my side during this whole affair. She told him that she can’t stop crying and that she’ll never be able to trust me again. She wants me to switch schools for my senior year. I’m flying back to see her today. I don’t know if I should deny being bi or just tell her that there’s nothing wrong with liking girls, but I don’t think she’d believe me.

Can you advise me on what to do from here?

I’m very sorry that your mother is an ignorant drama queen.

Here’s the fundamental problem: Your innocence is a part of her identity. She still thinks of you as a child, and your budding womanhood is a threat to how she identifies as a mother and a brutal reminder of her own impending obsolescence.

Don’t make this about her homophobia. That’s a waste of your time. You have the rest of your life to slowly change her mind on the big issues. For now, your immediate goal should be to avoid drastic consequences.

Let her know that forcing you to switch schools for your senior year would be a dangerous and stupid idea, a knee-jerk reaction that amounts to little more than petty retaliation on her part. All it would do is increase your likelihood of further teenage rebellion and provide you with newer and better opportunities to smoke, drink, and experiment with your sexuality.

Don’t think of the impending conflict as a fight. Think of it as a negotiation. Your mother will be all blind rage and blubbering emotion. Don’t add to it by bringing more emotion to the table. Be cool. You have nothing to prove.

She’s making this all about her, so you can use that to your advantage. When she says stupid shit like she’s “never given you a reason to be this way,” simply agree with her. It’s not about denying your bisexuality. It’s about minimizing your bisexuality to help reinforce her own crumbling ego.

She has all the authority, but you have all the power. Use that power wisely. You’re stuck under her roof for what I’m guessing is another year, so make this an exercise in keeping the peace until you can start your own life.

Ironically, what I’m suggesting is that you be the adult in this situation.


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