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How do you deal with rejection after coming out to parent? Letting go of validation to find love.

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as a child when you came out to your parents maybe your dad and he um you know maybe he said that it doesn't get supported by a religion or you know it's really hard on a society how was it uh you know how did the child feel at that time would you like to share something like that yes i absolutely would so first two things um i adore you and i came out to you and was able to do so because i felt that you were a safe space for me to do that yeah i did not come out at work until i was at cisco i had never done so prior to that oh really the whole great story about that too but that's for another blog yeah but um but i came out to you because i connected with you and i felt safe with you and i was able to do that so i'm glad it was a really great experience and i think it was a bonding moment for both of us that's you know 22 years later we're still you know exactly and frankly really when you told me i had no way to react to it because i didn't know what to do what to say you're like i think you said great let's go have lunch so but your second question is really relevant and you are absolutely correct you know now that marriage equality is the law of the land people are way more are embracing uh the equity of their children of their you know their uncle that they've always known people are you know we're in we're in a post-will and grace world so being gay is is normalized to some degree now that's not to say that there aren't some environments like highly religious environments or rural environments or even in urban environments where there's like you know i know that within the black community there's incredible you know pressure put on young men to be men and the understanding what that means not knowing that a young gay man is still very much a man you know i like anyone else but that's a whole other topic as well yeah when i came out to your point it was not a good environment i was in a small town in texas my parents rejected it um i was thrown out of the house i was you know um and while the reason for my being thrown out of the house may not have been directly your gay get out it was associated because of behaviors that were happening nonetheless to the point specifically and the question you asked what does a child hear has affected me throughout my life and that's why i would you know i think it's important to talk about this because a parent comes at a space comes from a point of love they're trying to you know they want their child to you know have their religion or their belief system or raise them with values that they find are important so when a child comes and says there's this thing about me and know that by the time a child or a adult comes to a parent or comes to someone and says something it has been very hard for them to get to that point this is weeks and months of struggling is it okay for me to tell before you make the statement this is never something that's taken lightly or flippantly yeah so for me when i went to my parents their response was very much i mean granted it was the 80s yeah god their response was very much like you know this is against our religion we can't accept this there's something wrong with this let's see therapy because you are obviously ill and that was sort of the you are you're ill right now that's right yeah exactly there's there's something wrong with you yeah what a child what i heard and and my my my story is not unique i'm one of millions of gay men my age from that era that have the exact same story it has changed a little bit but still not a lot exactly not a lot so what you hear what i heard was that that love is not unconditional there's something about me and my parents don't love me because they don't love this thing about me that i have absolutely no control over yeah and that is soul-crushing so it's about like a feeling of rejection right from somebody you trust him it's absolute rejection you're absolutely right it's an absolute rejection and it's and it's even more painful because it's rejection of something i have no control over yeah i i mean i would pray to god make it go away crying myself to sleep for years or you know and that's what your parents were saying too right it can get fixed yeah and that's what the thought now granted time has changed we there are a lot of people that have a different idea but let me tell you how that plays out in adult life yeah because what that then teaches me in my adult life is that love requires criteria that it is not unconditional that there are expectations that must be met in order to be worthy of love yeah and what i found throughout my young adult life was you know when you looked on paper at my life i for example i don't have a college degree and i was able to start at cisco and i've worked all these years in cyber security and learned and grown and evolved and become quite successful yeah i never picked up a hammer and i renovated a house in austin a back to studs renovation that looked publishable all of these things in my life were really you when you looked at them they were very impressive but in my own head it was never enough because while i set standards and criteria for people around me and could never have a successful relationship my friendships were stressed because i always had criteria i can't love you unless you do a b or c if you're not meeting these standards then i can't have a relationship with you but the person that was most um punished by that mindset was myself yeah i never did enough i am not worthy and it took a lot of therapy to get to the point where i i am enough i am worthy and and love is can be unconditional and in the years i should also say for our viewers in the years after my family and i became very close my parents understood where i was coming from and understood what it was what being gay was about and we you know the past my dad passed away four years ago but the last 15 years of our lives and our relationship were amazing and he was super supportive and my mother is to this day and they love my husband now he's like did he come oh gosh everybody was at the wedding his family was there my family was there my high school sweetheart who's mormon and all her family was there i mean it was like it was a big wedding so yeah it was i we are incredibly supported and loved and i i think that was to your side you know yeah no i mean i'm so glad that you couldn't mend your relationships and why how were you able to invent the relationships with the people who hurt you as a child right i mean not no not intentionally yeah right they were also coming from a place which they believe were true to them right but it's hard for a child to understand and it's not well i mean i was i wasn't a child when i meant it right i had i had enough time and i think there's always in us this inherent desire to have to have validation from our parents so you know just as abusive people always go back to the abuser i'm not saying that that was abusive we always we want to go back those relationships were strained and there were long periods of time we didn't talk you wanted to be accepted today i wanted to be with my i wanted my family to be yeah wanted us to be a family unit and wanted that love and and that acceptance so there was always sort of a tie but here's the the kicker at least it kind of what's funny is the challenge i had was not from my mom who leans more liberal it was my dad mr shearer from police officer you know it's and in the conversations that we had they had totally different like personal thoughts around it yeah but my dad was the first to accept and chan have a huge like overnight change of heart and a lot of it had to do i believe there was this moment it was like this actual epiphany moment where i was in a bath in my bathroom yeah and i i remember looking into the mirror and just sort of having this moment where i was like wait a minute i'm amazing i am loved by my friends i am loved by the people that are around me and my circles i do really great things i am compassionate i'm caring i'm really good looking i i would have destroyed that i you know why am i going back to these hands that are smacking me down yeah i'm a good person i'm worthy and somebody could be a part of my life this is without therapy yeah well yeah this was no this was with therapy but yeah because it's hard to do it without that right yeah you're absolutely right no no i mean i think i think my therapist had already bought a really nice german car but probably all of them but um but i just had that moment and it was that moment that i i i my i maybe it was my attitude changed it was also about the time i was being successful in my career i was traveling the world i had bought a house and i think that all of those things sort of converged together and my dad was able to say wow what a self-actualized person i'm paying attention now let's have a conversation if that makes sense yeah it does so i don't know if it's correct to say right now did your dad actually start listening to you because he saw you check marking a lot of things that were important to him probably that's a really good and insightful uh question i think it was because you know being texas men yeah yeah there's there's this and my dad was also a police officer so i think it's important to also look at who he was dealing with in an urban city setting that he was throwing in jail yeah gay people and he grew up in the 60s right yeah so so his his idea of what a gay person was at the time versus who i am were very different and so when he started seeing that i you know and i i'm sorry to make it so gender specific but i am a guy so you know it was very much the to your point am i self-sufficient am i keeping my promises am i you know being a man you know am i able to to to do i put yourself yeah provide for myself be successful you know buy a house you know remodel how i like all these things that sort of check mark the guy bucket yeah right thank you john so much for your insights today and may your dad's soul rest in peace oh he is with me all the time but i think i mean really where he was coming from like you said right like love yeah you made him grow too yeah right there yeah yeah thank you so much for your time today you're welcome yeah thank you [Music]

More Information

John. A young boy living in Texas. Came out to his parents at a young age. His parents didn’t accept it and thought he was going through a phase, and this was something he would get over. He had hoped his parents would provide him with a safe haven, but it was quite the opposite. They didn’t support him and from that he learned that love from his parents was not unconditional. His parents didn’t love him because of this thing about him that is something that he can’t control or change. He felt this soul crushing feeling of rejection by his parents. Fast forward to today. Now that marriage equality is the law of the land, it is much easier to accept and embrace him being gay. Being gay has normalized somewhat since his childhood. One thing that he has brought with him into adulthood is that love is not unconditional. He feels that love requires certain criteria be met. There are expectations to be met before you can receive or feel love. It took John a lot of therapy in order to shake the notion that love is not unconditional and that he is worthy of love. Happy ending to this story is that John got married and both his side and his husband’s side of the families attended the nuptials with smiling faces and well wishes. Though it is easier to accept people who are gay now, it hasn’t been eradicated. It’s stories like these that help people going through similar situations feel supported, get ideas, and find a safe haven and feeling of acceptance that help them not shy away from the thing that they don’t have control over. What if parents think there is something wrong with you after knowing their child is a gay? Are you thinking about whether or when to come out and not sure how people especially parents will react? Listen to how this guy deal with this and how their family relationship is affected after he came out. He was rejected was treated as “illed” when he came out to his parents when he was a child and finally his family became super supportive later. He found out how to be himself and handle relationship in the right mindset and everything become what he wants after that. #comingout #loveyourself #parentrejection #selfidentity #reconciliation #unconditionallove

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