I’m shaking and I can’t get it under control. I wrap my arms around myself while I shift in my armchair. Mom is sitting across from me on the couch. We’ve been talking for almost an hour and I can feel the walls closing in.
“Sweetheart, you could never disappoint us. You’ve always made good decisions. I don’t see why you would feel that way.”
I can’t look her in the eye; I hadn’t meant for this conversation to end up here. I sigh and try to organize my thoughts, “You’re not hearing what I’m saying. There has always been this weight, this pressure to be the perfect kid. To follow the plan and be a perfect Mormon, and not to screw it up.”
She looked confused and said, “But you have followed the plan, you have lived up to that. You were an easy kid and you’ve never disappointed us.”
I need to make her understand. I can’t lie anymore and if I don’t say it now, I never will. I speak louder, my voice shaking, “It will never be enough though! I tried to do everything perfectly! I went to BYU, I went on a mission! I’ve done everything, but I will always be a disappointment! No matter how hard I try I can’t finish the plan! I’ve tried to make it work, but I’ve always been a disappointment and I always will be a disappointment because I’m gay!”
There’s no way to take it back. The shaking is worse now as I begin to cry.
“Oh honey, I thought maybe…but I’m so sorry!”
My mom is crying now too.
I go to her and she wraps me in her arms the way she did when I was a child.
“Of course you felt that way! I’m so sorry!”
She says it over and over, “I’m sorry.”
I can’t bring myself to speak just then, instead I sob and let her hold me.
She comforts me, “I just want you to know now that you are not a disappointment and we love you no matter what! And we will love whoever you love! We’ll figure this out”
I’m 24 and all I need is to be held by my mom and told that things will be okay.
I’m lucky enough to get what I need.