How do I forgive my parents for reacting badly to my pregnancy?
December 27, 2013 7:40 AM Subscribe
My parents are very religious and do not agree with many of my life choices (I'm gay), but they have worked through their discomfort and I thought we were in a better place. They reacted badly to my new pregnancy and said horrible things which hurt me a lot. Where do I go from here?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (29 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I have been on a journey to have a child as a single woman since last May. I have kept my parents in the loop each step of the way. They have never mentioned any negative opinions about this choice. I spent a week with them this summer after making the decision and they were fine.
Recently, I had my first IUI and it worked! I'm pregnant!
I live 1000 miles from my family. While I was staying at their house for Christmas, my dad was acting weird - changing the subject when my pregnancy came up, making little jabs at me about unrelated things. I asked my mom what was up and she said it was because they had some ethical concerns about my choice. The term "playing God" came up. They are very religious - evangelical fundamentalists, but they have never had a problem with birth control and never mentioned any problems with assisted reproduction.
I spent the day with my sister and when I got back to my parents' house, I mentioned that the conversation had made me sad. My parents tried to justify their position, but only made it worse. My dad said that he did not endorse my pregnancy, wasn't excited about it, and told me that I would have a very hard life. I was sobbing and he just kept going.
I packed up my stuff while sobbing and listening to him ("Where are you going? I'm not driving you anywhere.") and finally left the house - my sister picked me up and I stayed at her house for the duration of the visit. I bought another plane ticket and left 5 days earlier than planned, but stayed through all the planned Christmas events even though it was very difficult and sad for me.
They apologized on Christmas Eve. My mom said all the right things, but my dad seemed to rewrite the conversation to paint himself in a better light. He said that the pregnancy was so new and therefore still in a risky stage and *that's* why he wasn't excited - but the newness did not come up during the fight, only the ethics of it. I am less mad at my mom as she has been supportive and happy and excited for me, but she is also very loyal to my dad (as I guess she should be). Anything I say to her will be repeated to him.
It never even occurred to me that they would be less than 100% excited for me and supportive. Part of the reason I thought I could do this is that they're amazing grandparents to their other six grandchildren. I had plans to move to their town once the baby was born, but now I feel so traumatized that I can't even contemplate talking to them, much less living near them.
Pregnancy hormones are obviously playing a part in this, but it just feels so broken and hopeless. I feel like I have to rewrite my whole plan for the future. I feel like I have to protect myself from them. They dumped on me when I needed them most. I feel so alone.
I'm almost 40 and financially self-sufficient.
They have both said that they will love my baby once it arrives, but I am feeling so hurt that I don't want to include them. I know this is somewhat vindictive, but I don't know how to change it.
How do I get past this? I don't know how to work through it. What's my next step? How do I make myself *want* to talk to them again? How do I share anything about my pregnancy now?