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Dec. 17, 2014: A Matter of Fairness

December 18, 2014

I visited my mother yesterday to wish her a Merry Christmas. She had invited me to come by on Saturday, because one of my brothers and his wife are visiting that day. I declined, saying that Mara and I have a couple of gigs. (We sing in a holiday choir.) That’s true, but notwithstanding the gigs, I don’t feel comfortable going to family gatherings without my spouse, when my siblings’ spouses are invited.

So, even though I turned down an invitation to a family gathering last spring when my mom said I can’t bring Mara, I have given her excuses for why I wasn’t coming to subsequent gatherings (I have another commitment that day, etc.). The truth is that, while I may have had other plans, I could have worked around some of them. (I went to a family gathering by myself one time, and everyone pretended that Mara didn’t even exist. No one even asked how she was. It was very awkward. That was the last time for me.)

Yesterday, I decided to stop being inauthentic and reiterate to my mom why I don’t come to family gatherings. For me, it’s a matter of fairness. I said that, while I don’t expect her to ever accept Mara, I will not come to a family gathering without my spouse. So my visits with my mom will be on different terms.

It turned into an argument, when my mom said, emphatically, that she feels sad for me, because “he has a hold on you, body and soul.” I guess she’ll never change that outlook, even though I told her I’m not a victim, that I’m capable of making my own decisions about my life. But it’s beyond her comprehension that I would make that decision on my own. She doesn’t believe in me, and that hurts. But what would hurt more is not being true to myself.

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