I talked with my dad on the phone tonight. It's the first time since we came back from seeing him two weeks ago. We had a very nice, regular sort of conversation. And then...
(I had planned to come out to a couple of my brothers in person, because they live within a few hours of me. The other brothers I had planned to write letters to because I don't see them very often).
Dad: You know that thing you were telling me, about wanting to write letters to some of your brothers to tell them about everything?
Me: Really? Why??
Dad: Well, some of them won't be very happy about it. They won't understand. You've told me, because that was important to you, but why don't you just leave it at that?
(At this point I was really saddened because it sounded like he was telling me to keep my mouth shut. I wondered how he could be so accepting as I sat with him in his house and then turn around and want me to be secretive).
Me: Well, I've worried about some of my brothers as well, but I still want to tell them.
Dad: I just don't trust some of your brothers. Some of them might be okay with it, but some of them might turn it into something terrible. I'm really worried that they'll make fun of you and hurt you. I don't think you deserve that and I don't want to see you hurt.
(At this point I realized that my dad is truly concerned for my happiness. He doesn't care if I tell the world but he does want to save me from hurt. Understandable).
Me: I've worried about a couple of my brothers as well. I used to be too scared to tell anyone but now I'm not. The way I see it is that if it's something they hate about me, or they want to ridicule me or disown me, then I don't want them in my life anyway.
Dad: That's right. Tell them "To hell with you."
Me: Exactly. Of course I want to still have my brothers in my life, but I don't want their fake love. I want to be genuine in my relationships and I can't be as long as I'm not living an honest life.
Dad: I understand Baby.
Me: So which brothers are you thinking would be the ones to shun me? I thought #5 would probably be the worst.
Dad: Oh NO! #5 will actually be the most accepting and loving. No worries there.
Me: Really? Who else?
Dad: I think #4 would be the one who would disown you without question.
Me: Seriously?? He's the one I haven't worried about at all. I really think he'll be the most understanding.
Dad: No. I could be wrong, but I don't think so. He's the one who is most into the church and I think he will be angry with you for all of it. I don't think he'd ever talk to you again. I think #2 wouldn't be very happy either. When something isn't exactly the way he wants it to be then he's all over it. He can't WAIT to get your two brothers together to talk badly about the church in front of them. I don't think he'd like hearing it.
Me: I think I disagree on that one too. Wow. How can we disagree so much on this? It's amazing to me how opposite our assumptions are.
That was the end of that. But I'm so surprised. It gives me hope though because the brother I thought would really struggle with it is one who Dad thinks will handle it the best. Now I just have to find out that I'm right about the ones I thought would handle it well and then everything will be fine. I need to just stop worrying and assuming. It will work out the way it will work out and that will be that. Not much I can do. But it's natural to wonder and try to figure out how things might go, so I'm sure I'll keep doing it. I've had very pleasant results so far, so I have great hope for my five brothers.
I haven't decided when to write my letters. I know I'd rather talk to my two brothers in person before sending out letters to the other three. I guess I need to plan a weekend trip. Or maybe five letters would be the best? There are some people who don't think I should come out at all, until I make changes in my marriage. All I know is that this is what feels right to me... to slowly come out to the important people in my life. It might not be the best way, but it's my way.