Having Your Mother Accept Your Partner As A Queer Person Is An Amazing Feeling

Having Your Mother Accept Your Partner As A Queer Person Is An Amazing Feeling

It doesn't always happen, but when it does, it's huge.

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I am the only child of a single, hardworking, and overprotective mother. All of my life it has just been my mom and I, my parents divorced when I was seven but even before then it was just momma and I. As you can imagine with any nasty divorce, the main parent becomes EXTREMELY overprotective. My mom worries about me nonstop; I'm the only person that she has to worry about because I am her only kid. At times her over-protectiveness turns into her being overbearing and she knows that. She also knows that even when she goes overboard and we argue that I still love her and I know she just wants to make sure that I'm okay. About two years ago I hit the "I'm 17 mom, I'm an adult" stage. Well, now I'm 19 and it still hasn't hit her that her little kid is a big kid now.

Before I really start this, let me just say that my mom loves me and always does everything to take care of me. Mom and I laugh, cry, fight, and sit in silence together. She's my PIC (partner in crime) and I wouldn't want another one to take her place. Even though I'm 19 now, I still have to ask my mom for permission to do some things. Yes, this is a thing that I'm sure any parent reading it would agree with. However kids, are ya with me? Sometimes I hate having to ask her for permission because I know that I'm not going to get the answer that I want or I'm going to have to answer a lot of questions before I can do the thing that I want. Again, I know I'm her only thing and that she does this because she loves me and I don't blame her. I worry about my mom constantly just like she does me.

After thinking about how and when to ask my mom, I finally asked her a week in advance if I could go to Knoxville, TN by myself to see a girl. That sentence has so many red flags in it. I have never been to Knoxville, nor to Tennessee; this was an immediate concern of hers. The drive is about four hours and some change and that made her worry instantly even though my drive home to see her is an hour less. Going alone to a place I have never been before scared my mom because what if I "ended up dead in a ditch somewhere". Lastly, going to see a girl was not high on mom's priority list. I could have gone home to see my family instead, and she is right.

My mom contemplated my trip a lot. I also asked her if I could go a day early and she thought about it a lot and finally said yes. The one condition was that I turn on my location services so she could see where I was and if I did end up dead in a ditch, she knew which one to dig me out of. I agreed and departed on my four hour trip Thursday around lunch. I'm sure that my mom was freaking out the entire time, but once I got to Knoxville she could breath easy and so could I.

I was looking forward to this trip so much. The girl I was going to see is in Knoxville for Grad School and is someone that really matters to me. Even though she is not my partner (we're not dating mom!), Ciara is someone that I want in my life and that makes me really happy and safe feeling. Ciara and I spent most of the summer together before she moved and I promised her that I would go see her once she moved. At the time of that promise, I didn't really know how my mom would feel about it for several reasons, but the biggest one being because she is a girl that I like.

Momma Grace is overprotective, I have already said that. But Momma Grace hasn't liked anyone that I have dated before. My last real girlfriend was someone that mom felt was not right for me and she made that clear during and after our relationship. I have never really dated someone that my mom liked. My mom liking the person that I'm with is really important to me because she matters to me and if I have someone in my life as a partner, I want them to get along with my mom.

My mom loves Ciara. She loves her and she hasn't even met her yet. The whole time I was in Knoxville, they were texting each other and would talk on the phone when I was talking to my mom. Several times mom told me that she could tell that I was happy and at peace with Ciara. Once she even said that she had a good feeling about Ciara that she hasn't had about others.

Hearing my mom talk about Ciara the way she does makes me even happier with Ciara. I feel like I don't have to worry about if they will get along or not or if one of them is going to say something negative about the other to me. I have never felt the way that I do right now. Granted, I have not had a lot of relationships but the ones that I have, my mom hasn't liked the person or had a bad feeling about our relationship. I see so many heterosexual couples who have such a close relationship with the their partners family and I have always wanted that. My mom finally accepts the person that I'm not with, but the person that I care about. They are both so excited to meet each other and I'm really excited for that moment too.

I know that my mom may not let me go to Knoxville that often in the future, but I do know that she really likes Ciara. The feeling of my mom liking the person that I like is such an amazing feeling. I already knew that Ciara was a great person and that she was genuine, I just had to let my mom see it. I'll always be thankful for this feeling and to my mom for letting me go to Knoxville. Had I not gone to Knoxville, mom might not have realized the person that I like is this amazing.

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5 Lessons My Dad The Volunteer Firefighter Taught Me

For the most part, I had a very normal upbringing. Or so I thought.

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For the most part, I had a very normal upbringing. Or so I thought. It wasn't until I was older that I realized my friend's dads didn't leave at the drop of a pager tone.

My friends didn't spend hours playing hide and seek around firetrucks while their dads did paperwork or worked on those same trucks. They didn't know what a power ride was. They didn't go lights and sirens through the local parade every single year. They didn't know how exciting it was to bring snacks to their daddy spending his Saturday at a live training burn.

They especially didn't know what it felt like to shout "Love you, be safe!" every time their dad rushed out the door because the very real reality was he may not come back.

Here are a few things I learned from my not so normal upbringing.

1. Microwaved supper 3 hours later is better than no supper at all.

I can replay my Mom putting Dad's food in the microwave clear as day in my head. Only because it happened nearly a million times growing up. It never failed the pager seemed to know when we had all just sat down to eat. Even more so it knew when Dad had just taken his first bite of food.

A slight sigh from him as he got up to leave while Mom put his plate in the microwave. I can also replay the moment he returned home going straight to the kitchen to fill his empty stomach. My favorite part was I can honestly never remember him being mad about it, always a smile and joke along the lines of "The damn pager can wait until I finish this time."

2. Be honest.

It doesn't matter how sneaky you are or how good of a lie you're telling. HE WILL FIND OUT.

I've known my father for well all twenty years of my life and you bet your ass if he wants to know something, he will know it. Sometimes even if he doesn't want to know it, he ends up knowing it. Honesty will get you much farther in life.

3. Work for it.

Nothing good in life is just handed to you.

My dad conquered his fear of claustrophobia by sitting in the middle of our garage floor every night and putting a barrel over himself. He sat there in a barrel at first for only a few seconds but night after night suddenly one day he wasn't claustrophobic anymore. If you want something, if you want to do better and want to be better, work for it. It's that simple.

Be the weirdo sitting in the garage with a barrel over yourself.

4. You will never improve without first making mistakes.

If you are not making mistakes then you are not trying hard enough and you certainly are not learning anything.

I can't even recall the number of times I have watched my father vent to us about his problems and even failures. With every mistake made and problem I faced over the last twenty years, this man has easily become damn near perfect at what he does. He would never agree with me and of course nobody is perfect but like I said he comes damn close.

5. God, firefighting, and family... In that order.

I know what you're thinking, how can you say this volunteer firefighting thing comes before your family.

I thought the same thing as a little girl, who just wanted to crawl up on her daddy's lap and watch a movie with him, only for him to run out the door the second those stupid pager tones dropped. I can't say exactly when, but one day I realized it wasn't about me.

My dad was leaving to go save someone else's daddy who was having a heart attack. My dad was leaving to help someone else's grandma who had fallen and can't get up. My dad was leaving to put out the fire that consumed someone else's home.

The second those "stupid" pager tones dropped I had to share him, he was needed by someone else having a much worse day than I was.

Once I realized this, the disappointment I once had when I watched my dad rush out the door soon turned into pride. For twenty years I've watched him be completely selfless, leaving no matter what, at the drop of a single tone to go help other people.

So yes, in my family we say our prayers, fight our fires and hug each other. In that order.

The lessons are endless. My dad continues to educate me and make me a better woman every day that I'm alive. I will forever be thankful for my not so normal life and the man behind that life.

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Blocking Toxic Family Members Can Be Just What You Needed

It isn't an easy choice but it can be the most rewarding.

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I haven't written for the Odyssey in quite some time due to this large issue in my life that I feel some people may also need to hear. Watching your parents go through a divorce can be difficult in itself, but what about having to remove one of your parents from your life at the same time? It's something I don't think many people could imagine doing. However, sometimes you are forced into the position between choosing what is best for your mental health or what is expected of you. For me, I realized that I needed to put myself first.

I realized that I am my own person. How I present myself and how I act and what I choose to believe in is how the world perceives me. I was faced with a parent who did not let me be who I am. The way I thought had to be in line with theirs. What I openly spoke about had to be in line with that parent's thoughts. This also, in turn, meant I had to revolve how I was perceived to the world around that parent's family. I had to abide by these societal norms and do what someone else expected of me. I realized that was ludicrous.

This parent was also abusive. They were toxic and manipulative and I could not stand idly by and just take that from them while also trying to become an independent young adult. I was forced to sit and watch one of my parents transform into someone I didn't recognize anymore. I had to watch them ignore any kind of reality checks and continue to feign innocence. I watched one of my parents mentally manipulate people I once called family into believing lies. I kept my head down and shut my mouth and kept taking the abuse. Now I'm at a point where I can confidently say that I am no longer afraid.

I was forced to cut ties with a parent that raised me, cared for me, attended school functions, fixed toys, bought me my first phone. I was forced to chuck out priceless memories for my own sanity. I could not sit idly by and allow myself to endure one more second of lies or abuse. I had to stand up for myself for once in my life and I blocked most of my family. I blocked cousins, aunts, uncles, and godparents. I changed my phone number that I had since 6th grade. I gave no warning and disappeared from my family's lives. Do I have regrets? No. I would do it again if I had to because I am so much stronger than sitting there and taking it.

I will have one less parent at my college graduation, which I am fighting so hard to achieve. I will have one less parent at my wedding. My future children will have one less grandparent. I mope in these thoughts but then I have to remember the other side of things. I will not have an unsupportive parent at my graduation and instead will have those that were there every step of the way. I will lack someone who was toxic at my wedding. My future children will never have to face the same abusive, toxic situations that my parent put me through. It was a difficult decision to make but one that I know in my heart is worthwhile.

Cutting a family member out of your life is difficult enough but cutting a parent is unimaginable. However, no one deserves to go through abusive situations. It shouldn't matter who the person is; if someone is treating you less than you deserve to be treated, they have no use being in your life. You should always be your first priority. You should never have to endure something for the sake of others. I am here to tell you that you are more than that and that cutting out a family member could actually be the best thing for you, even if it's incredibly difficult. I did it and I'm still here. It made me realize who my real family was, and there will never be enough thank you's in the world to show my mother just how much I appreciate her.

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