Sunday, November 27, 2005

Passive-Aggressive Relationships 101

I came out to my Dad over a month ago. I know that it's going to take time for him to be able to understand/comprehend it. And maybe I thought he would handle it like my Mom did. Not really denial, but just not addressing it. We've talked for years about things other than my personal life, so I figured that it would just continue that way. We'd talk about the weather, or sports, or work, or whatever, and just avoid the "friction points." (a lovely term I've learned from work).

Instead, my Dad has taken a different, more passive-aggressive route. He doesn't call me any more. I call home and he'll talk to me, but only for a few minutes and then he'll pass the phone to my Mom. And he emails me, but he doesn't mention me. He sends out his SITREPS (it's a military thing) to me and my sister, but he won't mention me. He mentions my sister, my niece, my nephew, but there's no mention of me. I've sent him emails, things that aren't necessarily direction questions, but something that I thought he would atleast respond to me about. But he hasn't.

Despite my temptation to either not call or not email at all, or flat out ask a question that requires an answer, I'm just trying to act like normal. I respond to his emails. I send him emails. I still call home.

I mentioned Dad's behaviour to my sister and while she did have to agree with me, she did note that most of Dad's emails are about Dad. Not really about anyone else. And that's sort of true. But still, it hurts. I'm not sure if he's so afraid to ask me something that he's decided not to ask me anything.

A good friend loves to give me crap about my inability to speak openly about my feelings, my emotions. Needless to say, open and loving communication has never been something we practiced in my family. And if I think the email/phone call game is fun, I just can't wait for Christmas in LA.


At 9:27 AM, Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

My mother, the most progressive liberal in the world, talked a great game, but when I came out to her the first time I was a lesbian, she was so creeped out that she was weird to me for several years.

My therapist said she needed to work through her reactions, and helped me figure out ways to not take it personally (a huge challenge).

So sorry you're having to slog through this stuff, but I continue to admire you for having the courage to do it. I look forward to reading more reports and send you good energy for your Christmas trip to L.A.

At 9:45 PM, Blogger Call Me Jack said...

Trey - just discovered your post. Really like the honesty and your writing style.

Good luck with your dad. I know it sucks and will probably take time. Hang in there. It sounds like you are surrounded by really great people.

At 3:15 PM, Blogger Vig said...

Trey - It took many years for my folks to come around. But that was, god, 26 years ago. It won't take that long, but he needs to get used to it. And when he does, and you realize it for the first time, it will be such a treasured memory to you that you couldn't be any more grateful.
All best wishes for comfort and joy,


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