For background on this post (or, in order to understand what the hell I am talking about), go here.
I told my mom.
I had planned on telling her the day after the nothing/something had happened, but I felt too sick, too… scared. I had no idea how she would react. At best, I reasoned, she wouldn’t care. At worst, she would disown me. I understood, from a rational perspective, that my mom did love me, that our relationship was solid, etc., but I was still worried, I didn’t want to freak her out. She’s pretty Christian, after all… and Christians are pretty notorious for going around flinging the ‘S’ word (sin) at anyone and everyone in a same-sex relationship. Not that I was in one… but still.
I had, however, gotten up the nerve to talk to her about sex… or more precisely, to tell her that I might not be waiting until marriage to have it. That was step enough. It had taken all the boldness I could muster just to tell her what I meant (rather than continue on with my vague dithering about “things she might not approve of,” etc.) Surprisingly, she did not tell me that sex was absolutely forboden… that I would be cast out of the family immediately upon having it, nor did she ever use the ‘S’ word… not even once.
The talk was a big step, and only after we’d finished talking did I realize how big a deal it really was. I had been seriously slacking! Here I was, the oldest out of three, thinking that any subversive behavior would be grounds for dis-ownership… or at least a week-long lecture! How were my younger siblings ever going to be able to talk about these things if I couldn’t?
After the talk, I put the events (or non-events) of that haunting night out of my mind. I couldn’t think about it anymore… at least, not all the time. Instead, I plunged myself back into the warm, welcoming depths of my infatuation with The Blog Crush. I took comfort in its familiarity – tracing our mutual desire over pages of teasing, affectionate notes – and marvelled at its rapid, irrational growth. Sex in words, without the convolution of real life. Soon I was trading in my dreary darks for bright, flirtatious outfits. The self-repression was melting away, and I began to feel myself freed, and happy.
But as with any obsession, I quickly consumed too much. Now it was not just those same haunting memories that made me feel nausious and uncertain… but the over-indulgence of a dependency I myself had created out of my own desperate desire to be wanted.
The feelings I had seemingly developed for my friend did not make me happy. Even after removing all the questions, all the anxieties – instead of feeling myself fallen for her, it was as if she had awakened some deep, primordial need within me. But I would still have to tell her. I liked Evie, and I wanted our friendship to last… keeping secrets was not the way to do this. And even though I now knew that what I wanted was to be her friend and not her lover, I had to face the facts. I was attracted to her, and with all the time me and Evie were used to spending alone together, something could still happen… I could even change my mind… eventually.
Knowing this, I had to tell my mom. If something did end up happening, if I did change my mind, I wanted her to have fair warning.
So I told her.
She was surprised, a little confused, but over all… supportive. I had thought it would be difficult to say to her, but for some reason or another, I had felt so relaxed and self-assured before-hand that I really didn’t experience any of the fear I thought I would. It was almost as if I had said, “You know mom, I’m thinking about going to medical school…” and she had said, “Really? I would never have guessed that about you.”
(Which, incidentally, is what she said about my crush. But not in a disapproving way, thank God!)