Reflections Part 3: My Kids

Posted: November 7, 2012 in Uncategorized
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I am a dad.  I will always be a dad.  I love my kids no matter what.  The moment they each were born, I fell in love with them and will love them until my dying breath.

The problem is, my kids don’t want me to be a regular part of their lives right now.  They are hurt.  They are wounded.  They are embarassed.

I haven’t spoken to my two oldest kids in over a year.  They refuse to speak to me…they refuse to see me…they refuse to interact with me at all.  They are both in high school and they have basically chosen to write me out of their lives. 

My youngest kid didn’t want to see me at the beginning of this year…then he let me back into his life for several months…and now he doesn’t want to see me again.  I think it hurts him too much and he’s too embarassed by me.

I can’t tell you how much hurt I have experienced in the past year because of my estrangement from my kids.  It is a pain that just won’t go away.  And no matter how hard I try to change things, I can’t.  Nothing works.  So I am forced to let go and ride this out.  My counselor told me a year ago that it could take 10 years for my kids to come around.  I just didn’t know that it would be so painful in the process.

I have cried a lot over all of this.  It’s a horrible feeling to be so completely rejected by your kids.  I know that part of this is because of past mistakes I made with them.  Part of this is them punishing me because they are so hurt.  Part of this is their faith, which tells them that I am a huge sinner.  Part of this is their mom, who is letting them make their own choices about how they relate to me.  It’s one big giant painful mess and this is, by far, the worst part about my journey in the past year.  A large piece of my heart has been torn away from me and there is nothing that can heal that pain right now.

Some might chide me and say, “Was it worth losing your kids in order to gain this new sinful lifestyle you now have?”  That way of thinking is ridiculous.  I didn’t choose between my kids and my sexuality.  I had to choose life over death.  My former way of life was killing me and I had to make changes in order finally to begin to live.  It’s just that the cost of life and wholeness and health ended up being my kids…at least for now.  I trust that over time, we will be able to work through all of this and have some sort of relationship in the future.

I desperately miss my kids.  I can’t write any more right now or I’m going to break down into tears.  So I just have to say that this loss is far more painful than I ever imagined.

  1. MELLENBURG says:

    OMG…. As I began to read this post, I thought it was something that I had written… Except for the ages of your children.

    I have 3 married daughters ALL married to ministers and they are ministers in their own right… Leading their churches in music. I too was a music pastor for 30 years. Married 34 years to a wonderful woman.

    I came out 2 years ago and my kids will not speak or text me… It has been a roller coaster they have tried but since April there has been nothing… A second grandchild was born 3 weeks ago and I was not even notified.

    It’s a hard road, but I can’t go back to living a lie.

    Mitch Ellenburg

  2. C. Guelbert says:

    Wish I could impart some perfect advice but I can’t. I understand what you are going through. You may privately contact me at my email if you would like to bounce this off someone who has gone through all this.

  3. Mark Reneau says:

    My wife and I divorced in 1989, when our children (and we, for that matter) were young, which made the whole situation much easier. My oldest son, who was 7 then, has virtually no memory of me in the days when I was trying to be straight. The younger one, who was 4, has no memory of my ever living in the same house with him and his brother and mother. Your children may have cut themselves off from you, but I hope you will continue to reach out to them: They still need you, and god knows, you need them.

    I’m happy (and very fortunate) to be able to say that my relationship with the boys has remained vital and close all these years. And, my relationship with my former wife (and even her parents) has also remained strong and supportive (it helps that, three months after our divorce was final, she entered into a relationship with my best lesbian friend, and they have been together 22 years).

    I wish I could tell you that it will get better soon, but your family and friends have a lot to process; they have to get to know the new you. I’m sure they want the old you back, even if it was built on a less than honest foundation. It’s sad that they should prefer that to the new, honest you, but this is the way it is. At least you are already seeing the happy result of your honesty and freedom in the new friends you have made. This will continue to happen. I’m sorry you must endure this spate of early losses, but you will grieve them and emerge a more resilient man.

  4. Chris says:

    Mitch, you were my best man in my wedding and a very close friend. I still consider you that friend and am always available to you to talk. You have done a lot of good in this world. Keep the faith!

  5. E. says:

    I am so glad to have found your blog.My father may be in the closet and is currently a fundamentalist Christian pastor. If this is true I hope someday he can live freely and without shame….. at the same time I fear how my mother and siblings will handle it…..such a change can feel devastating…..what made you decide to come out?

  6. Oh God, the pain… I’m still reading… We’ll see what happens between 2012 and 2016, but this is breaking my heart. I’m so sorry for all you’ve gone through. Much love.

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