Monday, October 4, 2010

Dear Mom & Dad,

[This is a proposed letter in response to my parents telling me, in a nutshell, that they cannot support me--because it "is a moral issue," based on "eternal principles." Your critiques are much appreciated; I do not want to make the situation worse.]

This is, indeed, a moral issue. For both me and you.

As I have mentioned before, I am completely at peace with God. I know what I am doing is what I should and need be doing, not just for my temporal but also my eternal joy.

I must and will live according to my own testimony. I must and will do what I believe is right and good. If I make a mistake, then I'll learn from that mistake and move on. However, dating [GMB] has been quite the opposite of a mistake. He is one of the best things to happen in my life. He inspires me to be the best person I can be. He fills my heart with gratitude and love for life. I have felt absolutely no guilt or shame but the exact opposite in my relationship with him.

The moral dilemma is no longer mine but yours as you decide whether or not you truly cannot support me.

Supporting me would not change and need not challenge your beliefs about eternal principles. You do not have to believe that I will make it to the Celestial Kingdom with my family.

Supporting me would mean that you support my choice to live according to my own testimony. Supporting me would mean truly seeing and loving me for who I am, letting the fruits of my life speak for themselves.

Supporting me would simply mean that you accept that I am merely doing my best in life.

I am merely doing my best in life. I really am, and I wish you could honestly see that.

I love you, I want to please you, and if my best is not good enough for you, then I will never be able to truly please you. It's for this reason--you not being able to see that I am sincerely doing my best--that I would have to separate myself from the family. I can't subject myself to such emotional abuse. It's not healthy for any of us.

But separation would ultimately be your choice and not mine. My choice is to live the happiest, healthiest, most productive and honest life I possibly can. Your choice is to accept my best or not. If you cannot accept my best, if I am unable to please you, then I quite literally (if I truly am seeking out the happiest, healthiest, most productive and honest life I possibly can) have no other decision than to leave the family.

I do hope you can support me. I hope you can accept my best.

Love,
Andrew Martin

10 comments:

  1. that was very heartfelt. I wish you luck and hope this letter is received in the way it was intended.

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  2. I know I always say this, but less is better than more in these kinds of letters. I'd cut the text by at least 2/3rds and focus what you say entirely on your experience, not theirs. For example, tell them that you love them and that you are doing the best you can with the cards you have been dealt, that you are at peace and that you really want to be remain part of the family. Etc. Don't prescribe actions for them or give ultimatums. Think "I-messages."

    Your parents may come around in time. Most do. Right now your letter needs a soft touch. A really soft touch.

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  3. I would echo Mohohawaii's advice. It's best not to tell them what you think "supportive" behavior would be.

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  4. I feel for you. Is your parents' stance motivated by the most recent session of GC? This really breaks my heart. Good luck!

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  5. I think it's a good letter, but I agree you could soften it up again and not give them such a stern ultimatum.

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  6. Having just done this, (within the last 6 months) I can say that I truly disagree with MoHoHawaii. I understand the point that he is making, but I have tried both methods, soft first, than firm, and I found that when you go soft they believe that your convictions are soft. You need to be completely firm in your assertions and make it clear that they either accept you, or lose you. In the end, if this has been clearly stated, their own moral convictions will clash. Now...this may seem bad, but in the end will be much more conclusive. When you force them to choose between two religious belief's namely: Love and support your children unconditionally, and the supposed immorality of homosexuality. They will naturally go towards the more Christian, and beneficial one (supporting you). If they choose to not support you the only thing they will gain is a hollow feeling of moral purity that will go hand in hand with the guilt of abandoning you. If they choose the more likely option, they will be forced to question their faith, but will give you PLENTY of opportunities for you to show them that it makes you happy, and is not immoral.

    I know you probably love your parents to pieces, but sometimes you have to show tough love. If you word your letter carefully, and add a scripture about unconditional love you can both guilt trip them, and help them understand that you are unwavering in your beliefs. If you want them to respect and support you, show them that you know what you are doing.

    I am a master manipulator...on occasion :P I know from experience that if you waiver, or use a soft touch, your parents will rip it apart. They already think you are deluding yourself, and think that what you are doing could not possibly bring you happiness, if you give them an inch of shaky sounding (I know you aren't shaky, but people believe what they want to believe.) they will take a mile. They will be convinced that if they hold out, you will "come around." Be firm, be loving, but most of all...be manipulative (JUST KIDDING) be yourself.
    Good luck, and I really hope that everything goes smoothly.
    (Sorry for this extremely lengthy comment.)
    -BHG

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  9. I would drop the last two paragraphs at this point. It is natural to want to expound on all of the potential ramifications if they don't accept you. Quite as it should be in the large game of life, "acceptance" is not a forcible issue. We cannot control the thoughts or actions of others. A big lesson which many never learn...parents and children alike.

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  10. I think that everyone on here will have an opinion on the delivery of you letter. The truth is that you are the only one who knows what needs to be discussed (said) with your family. In any case, I wish you all the best.

    On a side note, I really loved the paragraph about your relationship with GMB. Glad to see the two of you so unbelievably happy.

    Take care, my friend!

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