The Parental Decree

I don’t often say no to my parents. I was raised in an environment where I was scolded for reluctant obedience, let alone defiance. But I rarely found out what defying my parents meant, because I just didn’t do it (except by accident as a result of my occasionally spotty memory, my penchant for procrastination, and my tendency to get sidetracked).

And now I’m faced with figuring out how to say no to a big thing. My parents do not like the fact that Catalyst and I live together, and have asked me to move into a place of my own (“asked” doesn’t feel like quite the right word here). They have also offered to pay for said place, which is very generous of them, but I never said I needed help affording housing. I can see where they’re coming from (they’ve always been against pre-marital cohabitation, they want me to be independent and easily able to find a more suitable, ie, monogamous and marriage-ready and of an “appropriate” educational and economic background; from the same or similar home country wouldn’t hurt), but it requires moving my life in a completely orthogonal direction to my desired path. I’m trying to build a home with and for my loves, and it’s kinda hard to do so when you don’t live together. There is, of course, the temptation to accept the place, and just not live in it, but that isn’t sitting right with me. I haven’t finally told my parents about one big thing in my life just so that I can start hiding something else from them.

Steps in some direction or another

So I came out to my parents as being in a polyamorous relationship. Really, I came out to my mother, and my father got a rather watered down “I’m dating two people” version without the “and I want to spend the rest of my life with them and raise kids together and likely not get married since I can’t marry both of them” part. I also came out to my mother as being bisexual. Overall, it did not go badly, but I honestly can’t say that it went well.

I feel like my mother heard me up to a point, but there’s a wall that I don’t know how to get past. I’m getting a similar reaction from her to what Ember got from his family. There’s a strong element of “There are things people do that you don’t talk about.” So sure, have affairs, or whatever, but you don’t need to tell people about these things. Except from my mother, there’s also a stronger element of “And you should have a respectable front to show the world.” Either don’t have partners you want to bring home and tell people about (but do whatever you want in private), or just have one, socially acceptable relationship (and do whatever you want in private).

My mother, and one of my brothers, have also pulled the “You need to think about other people (ie, them, I guess)” and “What about our feelings?” angle, which honestly just pisses me off. Not much pisses me off. Anger is not an emotion I feel often, but I got frustrated enough to hang up on my brother, and the last time my mother started down that track I was getting an urge to get up and walk away from Easter brunch. I admit I don’t really empathize with that angle. I can empathize with being concerned that I am making a terrible mistake, but I can’t empathize with this being something that is directly hurting my family.

I didn’t really mean to go into the details just yet, because I’m still figuring things out in my head. I’m not sure what my next steps will be. I hadn’t really thought through the fact that this could be a drawn out multi-step process. Somehow I’d had a delusion that I’d come out, and there’d be a reaction, and then things would move on steadily in one way or another. I wasn’t anticipating this long series of decisions and explanations.

I almost stopped blogging here. I created this blog not just to add my voice to the small but growing legion of personal poly bloggers, but also to give my brothers an open and honest view into my life, so that they could understand, to some degree, why I’m doing what I’m doing. So that I could count on them to be my allies through this. I admit that I feel, in a sense, betrayed by one of my brothers, and initially I felt like the damage to our relationship was irrevocable such that I really didn’t want him reading this any more.

But that goes against the purpose of my writing here, and I know that being angry and reactionary is not going to get me the outcomes I want.

Living well is the best revenge.