Last night I had a heart-to-heart with the male third of my triad. We launched into this seated on the kitchen floor, half tucked inside the cupboard where the Tupperwear is stored, because we were looking for suitable containers for the girls’ lunch.
I am the first in our triad to tell my parents about what is happening in my life. I decided to do this for three reasons:
1.) My mom can read my mind and would have very quickly figured out that something was up anyway.
2.) Once upon a time in my personal history I sort of ambushed her with really significant personal news. I thought I was doing the right thing at the time because she had so much on her own plate, but as it turns out, this is going to be on the very short list of things I regret, probably forever.
3.) My extended family has had WAAYYY too many secrets. My mom was open and honest with me about our family’s skeletons and stories from the time I was old enough to understand the answers to the questions I was asking. I’ve never lived with secrets myself, because I am convinced that they give you cancer.
I maintain that my partners should talk to their families when they feel the time is right. I really do think this is important, but part of me knows I can’t really settle into this, and really learn to feel secure until that hurdle has been met.
I’ve only met my male partner’s parents. Most of the year they live on another continent, but they’ve been in Toronto since August, and we’ve had three occasions now to spend time together. Usually in a crowded, noisy, fairly public situation. They think I’m a dear friend, and by some miracle, neither of the kids have said anything like “Are you gonna sleep over again tonight Schnoo?” or “Schnoo stays at our house all the time” in front of their grandparents. The current strategy is to have these folks get to know me as a Schnoo first, and then when the time is right, tell them the rest of the story. I am skeptical that there is ever a right time to tell your parents that you’ve taken on a second woman, who is a lover to your wife, and who you want to have more children with. Hmmm…
As for the kidlets, they also think I’m a dear friend who stays over. A lot. I suppose that’s right, isn’t it? I haven’t really stayed at the Fortress of Solitude for over a month. In November, the clan will head off continent to spend time with his family. Six weeks of time in fact. I think I’ve been stock-piling my time with them knowing how shitty November will be.
He might tell his parents in November.
So presently, as was the case last night, I am half in and half out of the cupboard. The result is a strange mixture of freedom and sadness. I just want to get it over with, you know? Face any impending shit storms head on. Engage in epic conversations with worried and angry parents now, and then really settle into my life. Our life. No more monitoring photos posted on Facebook by friends, no more pretending to sleep on the couch, no more worrying over what the children may say to their grandparents. I can make a home, we can make a home, both physically and emotionally, and that will be truly sweet.
This has made me reflect on my own familial relationships. My parents are clearly a huge influence in my world, because in my own head and heart I couldn’t really enter into this relationship until I’d told them what was happening. Maybe I seek their approval too much? Maybe I need to sever the umbilical cord, and trust that my decisions are 100% my own, and that my parents will love me whether or not they approve of my choices? I’m happy to report that I think they’re doing really well with everything, considering. My dad seemed his usual self when I finally saw him in person, and my mom, though still trying hard to understand, is making overtures of friendship and camaraderie with my partners. I’m really happy about this. Also, one of my aunts has been incredible, both as a supportive, non-judgemental ear for my mom, and an understanding confidante for me. It delights me that she can talk about God and the various ways that love can manifest with clarity and conviction.
Love like this has made me want to shout it from the rooftops, but that just isn’t very practical in such a situation. Instead, there is a particular Rubbermaid cereal container that I’ve been whispering my devotions into.