I just returned from a business leadership seminar in KL on Sunday evening. I was halfway cleaning my room and zai2 showed up. He wanted to just see me a little while since he was nearby. We ended up talking for almost an hour. Just as he was about to leave at around 11pm, mum rapped on my window. When I opened, she gestured that she wanted to talk to me. I was really tired, hadn't even showered after I came back and was in the midst of cleaning my room. But, something in her eyes suggested that something was wrong.
After zai2 left, I went outside to see her. I could see a distressed face. Something was deeply troubling her. Instinctly, I don't know how, but I knew what it was about. As she raised her sullen eyes and look at me with a pale face, she uttered a queston that hit my suspicions in the bullseye.
"Mark, are you gay?"
It has been about 2 years since that question has surfaced. I asked her why she asked such a question. She cautioned me not to get angry as she explained. While I was in KL for the weekend, dad decided to take a nap in my room, since it had an air-cond. My room was always locked but I kept a spare key which was accessible to both dad and sis. Long story short, he accidentally found a DVD that I was holding for a friend. From the illustrations, there was no need to explain what it was about. I don't know how, but he also found my lube (for personal use) and some condoms I had, which were handouts from AIDS awareness program by volunteers. He had just told mum everything right before the confrontation.
I told her to come into my flat and sat her down. She was distraught. She asked the question over and over again. She began to blame herself again. I had never intended to come out to her a third time. The last episode scared me enough to never raise it anymore. Although this was very unexpected and should be a shock, I was in control. I was calm and composed. My mind was clear. I guess I have grown a lot in 2 years.
As we sat together, I wanted to make sure why she had asked. I knew she was in denial but still suspicious. Deep down, it seems as if she wanted to affirm her suspicions after so long. She began again to mention what they had done wrong. I pulled myself close in front of her and held both her hands, looked into her eyes and assured her repeatedly that none of this was her fault. That there was nothing wrong with me. That I was mentally, emotionally and physically healthy. That I was not abnormal or imcomplete but just different. Just different from the masses around her. She said that she was so heart-broken and I might not have my own family and I might end up all alone when I'm old. I told her that I understood how she felt, that no parent would be glad if they found out about their child.
She asked why hadn't I told her directly. I got up and went to close the front door. I sat down and held her hands again. I asked her if she remembered the last time I told her. I told her how crushed I was for the few weeks after that. I told her how I had to drive out of office, park in an alley outside and sob uncontrollably in my car over what had happened. I told her how painful it had been for me to see her blame herself and everything around her, refusing to see me as I am. I told her how I felt when I told her my innermost secret and truth, and she refused to believe me. I told her that the denial was the underlying reason why the gap between us widened over the years. She didn't disagree, because she noticed the gap as well. I used to tell her almost everything about myself, nowadays I would tell her nothing. I told her that I was afraid to get close, because I didn't want her to pry. I told her how afraid I was to confront her for fear of rejection. I told her no matter what, I would always be her son.
As I told her all these things, I wept. I cried as I held her hands. And as I cried, she wiped away my tears, finally listening to what I was saying. Finally seeing how tortured I had felt. Finally, a part of her was inclined to try and understand. After I had told her all these things, she didn't deny nor push away my admission. For the first time, she was actually thinking about it. She told me that no matter what, I would always be her son and she would never reject or throw me out. But, she still needs time to absorb or understand and perhaps tolerate it. She told me that perhaps I should enhance my circle of friends and be more open. She said that I should not try to filter or put a barrier of who I am when I meet new people. I told her I'm as open as can be, and have no trouble befriending anyone. She insisted calmly that perhaps I should give myself more chances at a normal relationship, and not to rule anything out. I told her I'd give it a try if that chance ever came.
She still hopes that I might have a family one day. I don't abhor the idea of having my own family actually. In fact, I would love it. I told her only time will tell if this would happen. But for now, I hope that we can try to heal the wounds and see what happens from here.
I don't know how she will re-act or change in the coming days. I don't know if we can grow to become close again. She might either progress to gradually understand or regress into denial. Only time will tell.
At least this time she was more willing to see my point of view. At least this time she actually listened. The third time was much better. I didn't feel stressed or lose sleep afterwards. I still felt calm and collected. I guess the ball is not in my court now. I've done all that I can.