Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Contact re-established.

Well i never wrote back to that email a week or two ago, cause I was so pissed that my dad was telling me about weddings of people he barely knows that he is going to.

But then this morning he sent me another email asking if I had gotten the genetic tests back yet, so I figured it couldn't hurt.

Unfortunately I totally forgot to save a copy of the email, and my email account doesn't automatically save sent emails. But I'll try to recreate it from memory:

I don't have the BRCA1 mutation. B came with me to get the results, and they had us wait a very nerve-racking hour before they came in and told us everything is fine. The health insurance people said I would have to pay $285, but I haven't gotten a bill from the hospital yet

Otherwise stuff is going well. Me and B "redid" our bathroom this week by getting a new shower curtain, new bathroom rug, and one of those shower cleaner things they always have commercials for.
[NOTE: This thing is AWESOME and I love how clean my shower is right now, especially with a new mildew-free shower curtain!] Me and B are going to a music festival this weekend- after a year of refusing to go to any because he "hated camping" he went to one with me in June, and now wants to go to all the festivals I go to.

I'm going on the job market, [lots of stuff about job market- not going to recreate all that], I'm applying to [list of schools] this year on a limited job search, which are in areas me and B want to live- we are targeting new england and the northwest. I have another year of funding if I don't get a job this year, which I don't expect to, but might as well try for all those dream jobs. I had an interview for [school near parents] but me and B aren't exactly thrilled about the prospect of living in the [NYC area] because we want to buy a house once I get a job, and the housing market there is ridiculous.

Anyways hope you had fun at the weddings of all those people that you barely know. In the future, no need to tell me about weddings you are going to that aren't mine, as it makes me filled with rage (which is why I didn't write back to your previous email)

~Abandoning Eden


So I think I like how this email went. I managed to fill him in on important details of my life, while mentioning B in pretty much every paragraph, which I think makes clear that even though my parents refuse to mention B ever, I'm not going to stop and pretend he doesn't exist. Plus I got my snark in, in that last paragraph, and made clear that his mention of other people's weddings pissed me off. And before all you guys go jumping down my back about my snarkiness-first of all, my family communicates almost exclusively in snark anyways, and second of all, I'm freaking tired of always taking the high road when things are seriously pissing me off. I need my snarkiness once in a while!

38 comments:

  1. I think you responded beautifully. You weren't mean but you were honest. Good for you.

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  2. Jermoodah McdoodahAugust 20, 2008 at 12:12 PM

    snark snark snark!

    Personally, i think you should have just answered his question and given him the results. When he wants to/is ready to know what's going on with you and B, he'll ask. Till then, why are you even keeping him posted of what's going on in your life? Sounds like your family doesn't deserve it.

    Filling in ur parents of whets going on with u and B is admirable. It already makes u the better person. I don't have much hope for them, though.

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  3. Jermoodah, I don't agree with you.

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  4. I wonder if he is going to offer to pay for the balance of the test!

    Nice job filling him in on your life, though I think you may have over did it on the weekend stuff. That may just fill him with "rage" like you being filled with "rage" hearing about that silly wedding. In other words, both were unnecessary. You can be bigger than him.

    LB

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  5. Judah- I have to disagree. He doesn't want to hear about my life, or he wants to hear a censored version in which I don't mention B at all. He's never going to ask. I'm not going to continue having a relationship with my parents in which I don't mention B and let them get away with pretending that he doesn't exist. B is a huge part of my life (enough to be mentioned in every paragraph of everything!) and I'm not going to hide him.

    Also why would weekend stuff fill him with rage? Cause I don't keep the sabbath? He's known that for like 10 years now, and I've been going to several music festivals every summer for like the past 5 years, and he knows it.

    I think blathering on about how he is going to the wedding of someone he barely knows in the first communication since telling me he won't be coming to my wedding is a lot worse and rage-inducing than me not pretending that I'm religious, and actually being open and honest about my life.

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  6. jermoodah mcdoodi woodahAugust 20, 2008 at 1:53 PM

    shoshi,

    what don't you agree with?

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  7. It is not about pretending to be someone you are not, but putting it in his face (that you are not shomeret shabbat) is (in my opinion) the wrong approach. Like I said before, you can be bigger than him ...

    And I agree that B is a big part of your life, you shouldn't hide him.

    LB

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  8. AE.

    (disclaimer: i know AE's parents)

    Your hopes that your parents will some day come around and be ok with you mentioning B and your relationship with B is admirable. But I'm of the opinion that your parents will always cringe (either visibly or not) every time you mention his name, because your marrying a non-Jewish person reminds them of their failures to raise u as a woman with jewish values(one of the highest being marrying jewish). They will not accept you like they used to. They will at best swallow back unseen tears while they struggle to keep a normal dialogue as they discuss your future with what they see as a "goy", an outsider, someone who they can't introduce to their friends, or talk about to their community or families. an individual who, when married to u, will be considered the man who plunged the final sword into your jewish heart, rendering you a marked forsaken woman. (of course this is all gibberish, I know you are none of these things and your parents are crazy)

    You mention that you are "not going to continue having a relationship with my parents in which I don't mention B and let them get away with pretending that he doesn't exist". Do you realize what you are expecting from your parents? I think that your parents are taking exactly the opposite approach; THEY will not let YOU "get away" with marrying a non-Jewish man and have them be ok with/support it. They will not and will never support your marrying out of Judaism. Your struggle for acceptance or support or even normal conversation from your parents is a nice idea, but I think you put too much faith in people who spent thousands of dollars on your jewish education, disciplined and yelled at you, cried and prayed (yes, i'm sure they prayed) for you to "see the light" and return to Judaism. Their biggest source of "nachas" would be to come over for shobbas and play with their grandkids while your husband says kiddush and you serve a beautiful friday night meal. then saturday you could walk to shul together and then blah blah blah. you are robbing them of that dream, and they are in pain because of it. Demanding that they be ok with it just doesn't make sense to them.

    And yes, even though, you haven't kept the Shabbat in years, every time you tell your mom and dad that you drove on Shabbat, or didn't eat kosher, a part of your parents suffers and always will suffer, even if they come to the wedding and are seemingly "ok" with your relationship.

    I think your dad is "blathering" about the wedding because he is trying to deal with the paradox of disputing your act of "heresy" and trying to maintain some relationship with you. maybe he still hopes you'll marry Jewish, or come to a Jewish wedding and meet a Jewish guy, who knows? Maybe he thinks he can still save you.

    I'm sure of this: Your parents refuse to talk about B because they do not support your union, and IMHO, your becoming enraged or cordial, or anything, any response or act of reaching out to them will not help. They will be at best "wierded out" by your relationship which they have been forced to swallow in order to keep talking to their daughter; your decision to marry non-Jewish comes at that price.

    Having a meaningful relationship with B and with your parents at the same time is just not realistic.

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  9. Jermoodah:

    I think if AE is updating her dad on the result of the Gene Test, she can also update him on the rest of her life, and her anger about his last mail.

    And if you think that this is misplaced, than I would opt for not answering at all, not even about the test...

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  10. Judah el Buddah:

    I think AE is right in the sense that she doesn't enter into her parents game:

    Just because they don't want to hear about weekends or B is NOT a reason not to mention them.

    I think AE is ready to accept the possible consequences (break off contact), but she should not try to apease them by playing their game. In this, I think she is completely right.

    And she is right in refusing hypocrisy.

    This takes a lot of courage and is not easy, but on the long term, it's more healthy, psychologically speaking.

    Now the parents have to decide how to deal with the situation. But you do not have to anticipate their decision.

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  11. shoshi- FYI jermoodah and judah el buddah are the same person :) (my real life good friend Judah who I've known since I was 14 or so)

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  12. joodah (he has many names)August 20, 2008 at 4:06 PM

    Shoshi,

    I don't think of it as anticipating. I just don't put any faith in orthodox parents (no pun intended) and their acceptance of their kids' decisions to do something completely-the-opposite from way they raised them and were raised.

    Especially in the community that AE and i grew up in, your synagogue its members are very (very) close. Now whenever AE's parents' friends ask them how AE is, and if she's met a nice jewish boy yet, AE's parents have to either lie to them, or get lots of looks of sympathy. Some judgmental members (and a-holes) would even secretly question their methods of parenting, or say they must deserve this, or something equally as awful.

    I don't say this in anticipation. Unless AE's parents are very, very open-minded (and they're not) I cannot conceive how AE’s parents will ever come to accept her as more than a lost Jewish soul.

    I don't say this to be hurtful or insulting. I want to point out the consequences, potential or inevitable, that will occur when AE gets married. I don't want to see AE get more hurt than her parents have already done by not speaking to her, and I hope she knows that her parents' inability to put her happiness over their religious tenets is of no fault but their own.

    With that said I know, and i do not speculate on this, that AE's marriage will create a blemish on her relationship with her parents that will not go away. It may be softened with time and maybe grandkids, but the blemish will remain. I don't think AE's parents have to ability to look past this. This is my opinion.

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  13. joodah (he has many names)August 20, 2008 at 4:06 PM

    Shoshi,

    I don't think of it as anticipating. I just don't put any faith in orthodox parents (no pun intended) and their acceptance of their kids' decisions to do something completely-the-opposite from way they raised them and were raised.

    Especially in the community that AE and i grew up in, your synagogue its members are very (very) close. Now whenever AE's parents' friends ask them how AE is, and if she's met a nice jewish boy yet, AE's parents have to either lie to them, or get lots of looks of sympathy. Some judgmental members (and a-holes) would even secretly question their methods of parenting, or say they must deserve this, or something equally as awful.

    I don't say this in anticipation. Unless AE's parents are very, very open-minded (and they're not) I cannot conceive how AE’s parents will ever come to accept her as more than a lost Jewish soul.

    I don't say this to be hurtful or insulting. I want to point out the consequences, potential or inevitable, that will occur when AE gets married. I don't want to see AE get more hurt than her parents have already done by not speaking to her, and I hope she knows that her parents' inability to put her happiness over their religious tenets is of no fault but their own.

    With that said I know, and i do not speculate on this, that AE's marriage will create a blemish on her relationship with her parents that will not go away. It may be softened with time and maybe grandkids, but the blemish will remain. I don't think AE's parents have to ability to look past this. This is my opinion.

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  14. Oh, I thought Jermoodah/Juddah was your older brother who tried to convey your parents standpoint and defend family values...

    What I meant is:

    There are two sides to at:
    what the parents think, feel, want to hear, to tell other people, etc.

    and what AE wants.

    And I think that there is no reason to fullfill unspoken expectations

    If AE is able to confront her family and community on the essentials (Shabbes, intermariage), than, kal va chomer, she should also be able to confront her on minor things (i.e. speaking about Shabbat activies and B).
    Therefore I think she is right to do it.

    Because otherwise, you kind of "cultivate a ghost", and what for?

    That's the problem with those "close communities": speaking about it ofthen seems worse than actually doing it.

    And on this point, I agree with AE: if you already do, why the hypocrisy?

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  15. I don't keep shabbat, and my parents know about it, but for me to speak to them about not keeping shabbat in a nonchalant way would be to ignore their feelings on the subject. While they are somewhat ok (not really acceptance, there is still dissapointment) with ,u not keeping shabbat, i don't want to "rub it in their face", because i know it still hurts.

    i think with Marrying B, by talking about it nonchalantly, you're doing just that, "rubbing it in their face". AE has every right to do it, but i don't think it's ever going to be less insulting or dissapointing to her parents.

    Then again, do we even care what her parents feel at this point?

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  16. I see you told your dad that you and B are living together - 'we redid OUR bathroom!'
    Instead of 'snark' have you thought of: "You and mom will really be hurting me, if you don't come to my wedding and if you don't accept B as my husband?" Or is snark the way your family functions?
    BTW - have your siblings been tested for the gene mutation?

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  17. my other blog- yeah I told my parents about 2 weeks after we moved in together.

    I'm already done the 'you're hurting me' bit, and at this point there's no point in repeating that. My family does function through snark, yes. :)

    My brothers both refuse to be tested.

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  18. i like the snark too. If he gets upset, just tell him you were trying to fulfill the mitzva of telling your fellow person when you are angry at him/her, rather than bottling it up. It was good advice then and it's good advice now.

    I also like how you dropped the bill on him without quite asking that he pay for it. Nicely done. Although he may have forgotten that it was his responsibility...

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  19. I understand that you are hurt by your parents non-acceptance of your lifestyle and beliefs.

    However, your parents are people too. They invested loads of time and sacrafice into you. I am not saying you "owe" them, but I do basically agree with what Joodah has said. There is no need to rub it in their faces. Emotional manipulation is not a healthy or fair way to disagree, for either side here.

    Look, my mom has hurt me in similar ways over the years. I am not going to go into detail because there is no need. But I had an epiphany one day while walking to the store. I had just had another blow-out with my mom and was fuming! All of a sudden it occured to me....I don't have to agree with what she says or does, but it is not my job to punish her.

    I don't know you, never met you. But I read a lot of "I'm so hurt" "what they did to me" "they refuse to accept me" on your blog. It might be time to grow past that,(dare I say it?)self-pity. It will stunt any possible healing in your relationships.

    Yes, you are hurt by their non-acceptance of your fiance. So what? They die a little inside knowing you eat trayf and disregard shabbos each time you mention it. It is not your job to make sure they KNOW without a doubt that you have rejected them and their values.

    Walk a minute in their shoes. Try to empathise with their pain. Build bridges where you can and skip the rest.

    "Yeah, but they won't/didn't/dont..." is an adolescent mindset, regardless of wedding planning and financial almost"independance".

    I can assure you as much as you claim you desire "honesty", you do not want to hear what their pain sounds like verbalised. They have actually shown more restraint than you.

    Good luck to you in your job search and marriage! I really hope you can work this through with your parents, even if it is a one-sided endeavor.

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  20. I liked her honesty. She told him how hurt she was hearing about 'strangers' wedding. I guess it is best to say how you feel but in turn expect maybe they will write and tell you how they feel. THIS IS A NO WIN situation for everyone. I understand it, I have similar in my life and sometimes we have to accept there is no light at the end of this particular tunnel..yet..never say never.

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  21. Emily- I have to say I disagree. This attitude that "why do you have to rub it in their faces" is actually one I have heard a lot- when it comes to gay people. From homophobic people. "They can be gay, but why do they have to hold hands in public and rub it in our faces" "Why do they want to have a wedding ceremony and rub it in our faces" "why do they want a parade and rub it in our faces. Why can't they just be quiet about it like straight people" (Who never hold hands in public, or have public ceremonies?).

    Well how about this: why do my parents have to rub their religion in my face every single time I talk to them, in which they tell me about their plans for shabbas, holidays, what religious weddings they are going to, etc.

    Oh but that is different somehow! Because they are the majority? Because they are my parents and somehow that means that I have to respect them, even if they don't afford the same respect to me? For me to say that my parents should never mention religion to me again would be ridiculous, no? But you are asking me to essentially do the same thing- not "rub in their faces" details about my life.

    The way I look at it is this. My dad claims he wants a continuing relationship with me. Well, if he wants a relationship with ME, then it is going to be with ME, and not with some facsimile of me who has a completely different life than I do. B is a hugely important part of my life. I live with him, see him every day, spend at least half my waking hours with him. For the first year of our relationship, whenever I mentioned anything about B on the phone with my mom, she would talk right over me. Well, eventually I stopped calling her. Why? Cause when i wasn't "rubbing it in their faces" the only thing I had to talk to them about was school/work. Because everything else involved B. So basically, I had a less personal relationship with them then I have with my dissertation adviser, who has had me and B over for brunch. That is unacceptable to me. I would rather have no relationship at all with them then not "rub B in their faces" by excluding mention of 80% of my life and things important to me.

    If they choose to interpret my actions as a personal assault on them, that is their problem and not mine. Just like if I were gay and my parents interpreted that as a personal assault on them, I would not stop being gay and/or mentioning my significant others, in order to accommodate their prejudices.

    Also what is *almost* financial independence? I've been completely supporting myself for the last 4 years (health insurance and all), so I think I'm *entirely* financially independent.

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  22. AE:

    I was in your shoes 16 years ago. I dared to marry a non-Jew.

    I subsequently have 2 children and my parents have never accepted my decision nor their grandchildren.

    I watch as my orthodox sisters receive all kinds of perks like houses and cars from my parents while I have cried and begged them for financial help, to no avail.

    When my mother died in 2005, my father moved to Israel and I have seen him three times since the move. He has met my 3 year old only 3 times.

    He neglects birthdays and other milestone celebrations. But you can be sure that he remembers precisely when to light those Shabbat candles.

    I wish that I had the strength to cut ties with my parents when they first showed their unwillingness to accept my choices.

    16 years later, I am still seeking my fathers approval, which I'll never receive.

    It's a mind fuck. Why do I still care about what he thinks? Why can't I tell him to just fuck off?

    I consider myself abused by orthodoxy.

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  23. AE. I'm going to have to agree with Emily on this one.

    Ok, so you’re comparing your parents to homophobes. While I disagree, I’ll roll with your analogy for a bit.

    Let’s just say your parents were homophobes and you were gay. If your parents were just people on the street, I would say, go ahead. Hold hands; kiss, make it public, do it nonchalantly. It’s their problem. Not yours. But these are your parents. Does that change anything for you? If you care about their feelings then it should. But you may or may not care about their feelings…do you?

    You wrote “If they choose to interpret my actions as a personal assault on them, that is their problem and not mine.” Continually putting either being gay or Shobbas or anything against the way your parents raised you in front of your parents when it insults them will still has the same effect. It will estrange you from your parents because it will hurt them. I think you need to acknowledge that you are willfully hurting your parents when you mention B. Whether they’re right or wrong is irrelevant because the results are the focus, not personal feelings. Continuing to mention your relationship with B will not bring about any positive results, or do you feel otherwise? Do you think they will somehow come around? Somehow Realize that they are close-minded and bigoted? Why ARE you continuing to bring up B when you know it hurts them? Because it shouldn’t? Irrelevant. What is your goal?

    You mentioned that every time you spoke of B to your mom she would not acknowledge your words, “talk over you” and this led to you not speaking and a ‘less personal relationship’. Is this result of no surprise? If all you have to talk about is B and they won’t talk to you about him, then yeah, your relationship can’t go very far. I will reiterate what I said before: This is the price of marrying a Non-Jew; A breakdown in your relationship with your parents and most of your family. I don’t think forcing the subject on them when they’re not ready to talk about yet (If ever) it is going to help.

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  24. "Continuing to mention your relationship with B will not bring about any positive results, or do you feel otherwise?"

    Yes, because if I am forced to not talk to them about B, we will have absolutely no relationship.

    "Why ARE you continuing to bring up B when you know it hurts them? Because it shouldn’t? Irrelevant. What is your goal?"

    my goal is to have a relationship with my parents, in which I mention NORMAL things, like whats going on with my fiance. To not buy into their view that being with B is something shameful. It may be shameful to them, but it is not to me, and I refuse to act like it is.

    Srsly Judah, I don't know what you are expecting me to do. Never talk to my parents about B? Stay in the closet as it where? I will not do that, and I'm surprised that you think I would.

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  25. AE,

    I don't think anyone would want you to have to keep your relationship with B in the closet with your parents, to have to keep that bottled up because when you mention it, you are being judged or remind others of their failures, or people are hating on you for no other reason but that they can't accept the moral legitimacy of your union with the one you love. That is an awful prospect.

    I think in an ideal situation, your parents would come to terms with what makes you happy and bring that into the bounds what makes them comfortable. But this is not an ideal situation, in reality, I'm fairly certain your parents will not come around.

    What you want, a normal or even semi-normal relationship with your parents after fulfilling your parents worst religious nightmare just doesn't seem feasible. I still think you don't realize how hard this is hitting them, whether they are being close-minded or not.

    It sounds like you are trying to develop or maintain at least some kind of relationship with your parents, but as you say, if you are "forced to not talk to them about B we will have no relationship". There is a good chance that this is exactly what will happen - Your parents will never be ok with you talking about B, and your relationship will essentially be either fake or non-existant.

    The ball is in your parents court. They may choose to do exactly what you don't want and refuse to speak about B...for a long long time or ever. Are you prepared for those consequences?

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  26. Yes I'm prepared, I'm prepared to never talk to them again. But if they are sending me emails, i'm not going to respond and pretend B doesn't exist. If they don't like that, they can stop sending me emails.

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  27. Yehuda:
    that is what I wanted to say: there is no reason for AE to follow her parent's taboos.

    I tried it: a taboo is a hard burden on a relationship, so I think that it is worthwhile to break the taboo, even if it jeopardises the relationship as a whole, especially if you are willing to pay the price for it.

    As far as hurt feelings are concerned: of course you should hurt no one on purpose, but you have to consider that the "hurt feelings" are also a mighty weapon in this context, and AE is not obliged to have her (and B's) feelings hurt in order to spare her parent's feelings.

    That's the problem.

    Are the parents the only ones who have feelings?

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  28. If AE continues to mention B to her parents, she hurts them. If she keeps it to herself, she hurts herself. Sounds like a no-win situation.

    AE will never change her decision to marry B, and her rents will not change their outlook on intermarraige.

    AE- you are reaching out to them, attempting normal dialogue because you think they will come around. I do not think this is possible. i'm sure in some communities (probably non-orthodox ones) and in some individuals this may be possible, but not with our parents, not with Orthodox Jews the prodcuts of the children of holocaust survivors and citizens of poland and russia and germany. passing down the line of jewish blood is A#1 priority in the households we grew up in, and to crush those dreams is to estrange ourselves for a very long time, or forever, from our parents and family members who will never understand our decisions do what makes us happy.

    To us, this just makes sense. To our parents and the rest of the orthodox Jewish community, we are lost.

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  29. snark is good sometimes, and you give great snark!

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  30. AE,

    I fully expected you to disagree with me, and my point was not to simply upset you.

    "Emily- I have to say I disagree. This attitude that "why do you have to rub it in their faces" is actually one I have heard a lot- when it comes to gay people. From homophobic people."

    How very interesting that you would use exactly this example. The detail I was not going to mention before, I feel must be mentioned now. My parents and I have gone through similar troubles as you and yours because I am gay.

    I am out in every single area of my life. I have lost friends, a job, and a community for the most part. In exchange, I have gained friends, a great job, and a new community. I have a very good life.

    But I use my judgement! When I am visiting people, family or whoever, who I know are uncomfortable with this part of me, I do not feel the need to broadcast it. It is enough that they know. I am living my life honestly and with integrity, but also respectfuly.

    "Well how about this: why do my parents have to rub their religion in my face every single time I talk to them, in which they tell me about their plans for shabbas, holidays, what religious weddings they are going to, etc."

    My mother every time I speak with her, which is every evening offers to pay for JDate for me! She tells me, on occasion, of "nice boys".

    Does it bug me? Sure it does. But who cares? Is it really so important that I smash it into her head, at every opportunity that I date girls? No, she knows already. I just smile and say no ma, but thanks. It is not really hard to show a little respect for your parents, but it goes a LONG way.

    "Oh but that is different somehow! Because they are the majority? Because they are my parents and somehow that means that I have to respect them, even if they don't afford the same respect to me? For me to say that my parents should never mention religion to me again would be ridiculous, no? But you are asking me to essentially do the same thing- not "rub in their faces" details about my life."

    I am not sure where you got the idea that respect is a tit-for-tat deal in life. I show basic respect to all sorts of people I don't agree with. That is how adults live their lives.

    Besides, to say they show "no respect" for you in highly inaccurate. They have tremedous respect for what you have accomplished in your life. In this one area, they do not respect your choice. They have expressed that to you. Good, now everyone knows where everyone is on that one issue and can move on to others.

    As for them telling you of shabbos plans and the rest, again, so what?
    My mom tells me all this too, and asks me every week to go to shul with her! I also get to hear all about her friends'grandchildren. A not so subtle reminder that I have disappointed her. I can listen without being filled "with rage" (your words) because I am comfortable and confident in my life. I am not defensive, nor am I hostile to what it is different. It comes from living my life in a mature emotional state, not from being rebellious.

    It is late AE, and I am sleepy. So I am going to end here for tonight.
    But I do not want you to think I am coming down on you. I like you, based on a lot of what I have read on your blog. I have walked a very similar path and I think that if you were able to think about things differently, a lot of this turmoil could be avoided or minimized.

    Til tomorrow!
    Take it easy,
    emily





    This business that they somehow owe you respect is a red herring. They have tremendous respect for you and what you have accomplished in your life.

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  31. Yehuda:

    Well, couldn't you take AE's parents to a rabbi who will tell them that they should play along (or at least act as if)??????

    Anyway, I think that AE handles the situation pretty well, and you are right: there is not too much you can do about it...

    So if the parents are OK with breaking off the bridges in this case, and AE too, so be it...
    What else do you want to do, if the parents think that it is incompatible to be a member of the family and marry B????

    The only solution for AE is what she already did: find an artificial family: friends, people you like, etc...

    And her parents could imagine that they are still in their small stetl in Poland and that their daughter emigrated to America, but there is no ship back, for example.

    ...I mean: you could construct scenarios to make the separation less painfull...
    ...in the end, it's just a matter of time...

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  32. Hi AE,

    Well, I have just arrived home from having a nice shabbos dinner with my family. It was thrilling really, because tonight my little 2 year old nephew repeated all the brachas with his grandma and father. I stayed and then drove home, despite being offered at least twice " to just stay the night, it is so late." A "subtle" way to get me to not drive and then hopefully, go to shul in the morning. I hugged everyone, thanked them, good shabbos to everyone, kisses for the nephew and niece, and went home to my other life.

    I, obviously since I am posting tonight, am no longer shomer shabbos. But that does not mean I have to refuse to participate with my family. I do not think God checked me off some list for lighting tonight. I enjoy it for what it is, a lovely time with my family.

    My partner? Not there, not even mentioned really. I would love for the day to come when she can be there, but that day was not today.
    ^shrugs^ Maybe next week the nes will come.

    This is possible because I build bridges where I can, and avoid the ones I can't. I show respect to my parents because they have loved me for much longer than any of my friends, or as another poster mentions, "artificial family" I may have constructed.

    Do not be confused. To put it bluntly, I look like most people expect a "dyke" to look. I wore clothes that were acceptable to my parents, didn't thrill them, but were ok. I wore pants.

    The question I asked myself at one point, quite a few years ago now, was simple. Do I love my family? Am I willing to tolerate the meshugass to have a loving relationship with people who would go the ends of the earth for me?

    For me the answer was yes. Not an easy yes, but certainly a yes. I do not need to rub my life in their face. It is something which, frankly, horrifies them. Why cause pain, to the ones who cared for me when I was sick, who cheered me on in contests, and who care enough for me to keep reaching out, despite what kind of narishkeit is whispered about their "dyke daughter".

    You use the word homophobe easily, comparing your parents. That is offensive, to be honest. Your parents would never do you physical harm because of what they perceive you to be. You want to know of homophobia? Speak with my partner...she had her hair cut off with a knife, in the street, by two such proud people. When I was 17, in high school some of my classmates in my frum school scrawled the word dyke in big, black, angry letters across my lockers. I was told to clean it, and then sent home. Humiliating!
    So get a little perspective.


    Again, it is late and I am sleepy. I really feel all this machlokes about B is another red herring. There are other deeper issues you have with your parents and frumkeit. I would get to the root of them, if I were you.

    I worked mine through. Today, I live an open and honest life, enjoy my family, and tonight? Priceless! More important than everyone knowing I'm gay, my little nephew who has delayed speech repeated some brachas! I was there and got to give hime a kiss and hug, along with a blessing. I "blessed" him with an honest life and a loving family. My parents answered amein!

    I gave up self-pity and the "it's not fair's". Igained so so much!

    Good night to all!

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  33. emily, great comment. Thanks for sharing your perspective

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  34. emily:
    I agree with you that it is a lot about defensiveness.

    In the moment were you realise, that you are entitle to your choices, even if your parents don't agree with them, many things become a lot easier.

    Because than you don't have to react defensively at their "hints" that fill you with rage...

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  35. If AE has children they'll be halakhically Jewish. Her parents should be thinking about how to get them interested in Judaism, rather than the reverse....

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  36. Emily, wonderful comments. It sounds like you've done a lot of therapy with a great therapist or you have an awesome talent for self reflection and honesty.

    I agree 100% that B is a red herring for issues with her parents. My mother had similar issues with her parents (rejected Holocaust survivor- parents' chareidism for MO). Through therapy, she was able to maintain loving, respectful relationship with her parents to this day, basically, by recognizing her parents' limitations and choosing a relationship, rather than the honor of being "right".

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  37. judah, why are you a lost child? (you said we)

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