I am in need of some serious advice ... My girlfriend and I are being put through an incredible struggle to be in our relationship, and I don't know where else to turn.
I am 18 years old and live in Boston, and my girlfriend is 19 and lives in Chicago. We met online when we were 15 and were always the best of friends, but when we were 17, something changed and we ended up falling in love with one another. It's still a mystery to us how it happened considering neither of us had ever been attracted to other girls before, but we love each other dearly for all we are. We had been in a relationship for a year and three months when we were finally able to put an end to the distance between us, and I gave up a trip overseas on Spring Break to see her instead.
My parents knew about our relationship because I wanted to be honest with them, however, my girlfriend was afraid to tell her parents the truth about us. I left the final decision about when to tell them up to her because it was her choice, not mine, and it turned out that when I arrived at her house where she lived with her parents she hadn't yet told them. While I was visiting, her mother "found out" about us by reading my diary and the letters I'd written my girlfriend over the years. She ended up kicking me out on the next flight home.
It's been over a month since I've returned from Chicago. Since then, my girlfriend's mother has thrown away absolutely everything related to me and told her daughter some nasty lies about me. What's worse, she's also taken away my girlfriend's computer, her cell phone, and changed her phone number so that we have virtually no form of communication. My girlfriend lives in a very rural location which isn't in walking distance to any of these things either. I can't even write her, because I know that whatever I send will be intercepted. The only times I am able to talk to my girlfriend are when she is able to sneak a phone call when she is with her friends, but her family is watching her like a hawk making this occasion very rare. Her mother has contacted me multiple times however, telling me to stop all contact and threatening that she'll send authorities after me or file a restraining order if I don't.
All I can ask now is, what can we do? My heart is absolutely breaking. It kills me to know that her mother is so against our relationship that she would try to erase me from her daughter's life forever. Is there any way to help her mother accept this?
Thank you so much! Sincerely,
Pulled Apart by Parents
Dear Pulled:I'm sad to say that your story is not all that unique. I hear often from young women whose parents freak out when their children come out. My guess is her mom is feeling doubly duped, one because her daughter wasn't honest with her about her sexuality and two because she brought her lover into the house without her knowing. Add to the fact that she doesn't want her daughter to be gay and she's mighty pissed.
I can't say exactly what happened with her mom, but those are my guesses. I can also tell you that the majority of parents who initially reject their gay and lesbian kids, do eventually come around. But that usually takes years. I'm sure you don't want to wait that long.
The one advantage that you two have is that you are both adults over the age of 18. Living in an intolerable situation when you're under age is awful because you don't have an option to leave. You two have that opportunity. You don't say why your girlfriend is still living at home in an intolerable situation at age 19 and you don't mention why she's not considering moving out, but to me that seems like the easiest solution. I'm guessing she's not in college, otherwise she would have access to computers and phones on campus. What is she doing with her life?
The thing you need to understand is that there is probably nothing you can do to change your girlfriend's mom. But you two need to be able to work together to change the situation that keeps you apart. Why is her mom in charge of her computer and cell phone? Does she have a job? Can't she get her own?
Everyone needs to stand up to their parents at some point. I don't know what to tell you to do, since this is your girlfriend's issue to deal with. It's awful to ask someone to choose between her partner and her family, yet this is what her mother is doing. Without communication, there is very little you can do. I only suggest that you don't ask her to choose.
It would be great if you two could talk and figure out a way to come up with a plan. I don't know how to make this happen. Give it some thought and suggest it next time she talks to you.
Have you spoken to your parents about what is happening? I'm wondering if they have any ideas about what you can do. Can you go back and meet her in a hotel in town? Can she come visit you in Boston? Parents can only control you for so long. If she is ready to step out and be an adult, then I think you two have a chance. Otherwise, I don't know what else to say.