That's my baby, John, on the right, enjoying PRIDE last year in NYC with his college roommate, Michael! And I am so proud of John (he/him). But that wasn't the first feeling I had when he came out to me. What was the first thing you felt when your child came out to you? If you are anything like me, that feeling was fear. Before I could even notice the myriad of thoughts rushing through my brain, the fear flooded in. And it was intense, and overwhelming, even paralyzing. Did you even hear the next thing your child said to you or was there just white noise in your head as the fear exploded in your stomach and crowded up into your chest making it hard to breathe?
Many of us are able to wrestle with fear. To talk ourselves off that cliff edge, we tell ourselves that maybe it won’t be that bad. We are worrying for no reason. We try to resist the worry and white knuckle our way around the fear. This is 2020; people are more accepting nowadays, not like when we grew up. But if you are able to fight down the sheer terror, so you can try to cope with your daily life of family, job, and other responsibilities, often the fear goes underground. It’s still there – sometimes you feel it like a low hum. And it will pop up and startle you when you are immersed in other things.
What if you could teach yourself to let the fear go? Because it’s really hard to have a close and loving relationship with your child if every time you look at them that low hum of fear makes itself felt. That fear will cause you to show up in your relationship as someone you don’t want to be. Maybe even as a version of yourself that you don’t recognize. You tell your child that you can’t help feeling the fear because you love them, but you will show up as a nag, a shrew, a buzz kill. Your child may shut down their communication with you because they feel responsible for your fear. And that makes sense because you don’t even want to be around you when you are deep in fear.
What if I told you that you could make the fear go away? That I could teach you a way to control your emotions instead of them controlling you? The good news is that I can and I will. Stay tuned.