Dear Jody: Readers respond to ‘Distraught Mother’

BTL Staff
By | 2018-01-16T01:49:32-05:00 January 18th, 2007|Opinions|

Dear Readers: In December, a mother – “Distraught Mother” – of a gay son “Daniel” wrote in to tell about how she had rejected him for being gay. When she found out, she kicked him out of the house. He had to quit school for lack of money and he eventually died of a drug overdose. The mother was regretful of her behavior and attitudes. This mother’s letter inspired readers to write in. Here are some of the letters:

Consider volunteering

Reader: I read the letter from “Distraught Mother” with a great deal of sadness. That letter could have come from so many parents of lgbt sons and daughters.
Something came to my mind as I read the letter: every day, young people are rejected by their families right here in the metro Detroit area. That is why the Ruth Ellis Center exists and why we have the youth program at Affirmations.
I know this distraught mother cannot bring her son back, but perhaps by becoming a volunteer with one of the above mentioned youth programs, she could ease the pain in another young person’s heart as well as promote some healing in her own.
Just a thought
A: Good idea. She may not live in the Detroit area, but wherever she lives, I’m sure she can find ways to help the LGBT community, and do some self-healing as well.

Father never came around

Reader: I sure wish my father could come around like “Distraught Mother” did, but I sure don’t want to have to die in order for that to happen. My father told me that I had to leave his home, “if I was going to continue on my path to hell.” So, I had to leave as I wasn’t going to lie about who I am. I was in my senior year in school. I lived with my friend’s family until I graduated. It’s been three years, now. I got loans and have been able to stay in college so far. I’m doing OK, but it hurts.
Hurting Heart
A: Hang in there! I hope that you can find family from people who support you as you make your way; so many of us do.

Surviving, despite deep hurt

Reader: I wish you would have told “Distraught Mother” that she got what she deserves! I guess I have to die to get my mother to see what she did and who she is. Even if she came around now, I won’t have anything to do with her. I’ll never forgive her. She hurt me really bad. I was an emotional mess for years and couldn’t get on with my life. I’ve finally made it, but no thanks to her.
Unforgiving
A: I’m so sorry for the pain that you went through and so glad you have come through it. I hope that you can forgive her someday, not so much for her sake as for your own. Forgiving doesn’t mean that you approve of someone’s bad behavior; forgiving is a kind of letting go that releases you from the anger you hold within. Stored anger from one relationship can cause you so much damage in other relationships in your life. You might want to read what the next reader has to say.

Family found healing

Reader: I was struck by the letter in you column from “Distraught Mother.” That could have been my story, that is, except for a few different outcomes. I was kicked out by my parents – both of them actually – and I had to quit school, got into drugs–the whole ball of wax. I could have been dead from an overdose but I guess it just wasn’t my time. I was out of communication with my parents for fifteen years. It was hard for me and a real hole in my soul. Then, one day, I got a call from my mother. She told me that she and my dad had joined P-FLAG. (Some old friends of theirs had moved back into our community. They had a gay son and when they found out about me, they dragged my parents – screaming – to a meeting.) Anyway, the result of it all was my parent’s coming around and being able to love/accept me. It wasn’t love at first sight for me with my parents, but I was able to finally decide that they had worked to come around and to grow, so I should give it a chance. And, I’m so grateful for our family healing. Home Again

A: I’m happy for you and your family.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.