Have a Cobra for your time.
I have very little of a relationship with my dad. There isn’t any problem between us, there’s been no fall-out or argument, it’s just that there’s mostly nothing there. Growing up, he was always decent to me and we definitely had more of a bond than he did with my sister, but there was always a bit of a distance.
I lived with him about 20 years ago for a time in my early 20s, but it was like we were roommates who barely ever talked to each other. My dad has always been very shy and introverted, and he worked in the aerospace industry. He is heavy into HAM radio and hunting and fishing, and since I was never really into those things it made it difficult for us to connect. I like doing other things in the outdoors like camping, hiking, and so on, but whenever we camped he spent most of the days fishing and my older sister and I went off and did other stuff.
I’ve sent him a couple messages over the years and not gotten much of a response. I last talked with him in person a couple of years ago. Well, out of the blue he sent me an email yesterday morning. I called him and we talked for a few minutes, and he suggested we go do something like four-wheeling or riding some ATVs he has up in the mountains. I told him I’d like to and hopefully it will happen sometime soon.
I am not out to him. He is pretty much the only family member I’m not out to. Most of our family is highly conservative, but they’ve all been awesome to me. The only person I would have a genuine concern about it would be his brother who became really severely religious as he got older, but he lives halfway across the country and I barely ever see him.
I really have zero idea of how he will react when I tell him. I’ve never known him to be religious, he’s never said a single thing derogatory toward gay people, and he only ever yelled at me when it was warranted. But I have to tell him. I’m married, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to behave like I’m ashamed of my husband because I’m not. And I want my dad to be a part of our lives. He’ll be 70 next year and I want him to know we’ll be willing to be there for him if he needs us. He has even less of a relationship with my sister and she lives in Florida; we’re the closest family he’ll have.
I’m struggling with how to do it, though. I know this much, I want to try to give him as much breathing room to deal with it as I can. This may sound weird but I want him to know that I don’t need him to be all rah-rah supportive, model-PFLAG parent because I already have that in my life. I just want him to be aware that it’s part of reality and that I have a family. I want him to be in my life. And I really want to be there for him. Part of me wants to say that if the worst case scenario happens and he turns away from me that I won’t have lost anything because he hasn’t been there anyway, but it’s not just that. The door would be closed and it would create a bigger void than there already is. I really don’t want that to happen. But I have to prepare myself that it could be the outcome. I’ve been so incredibly fortunate in my life that all my family is supportive and kind, and at some point the law of averages has to come into play. I know he’s not a bad guy, though.
I just wanted to get this stuff off my chest, as it’s been stressing me out a bit. Thanks for listening!