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#1 of 8 Old 01-05-2013, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, my. I don't know how to ask this question, or even if this is the place for it.

 

A little background: I am a bisexual mama who has been single and celibate for 15 years. Although I have had 2 near-relationships in that time, with women, I have really put my personal love life on hold, as my kids were very high needs, I was very busy as a therapeutic foster parent, and frankly, I am pretty gun-shy after my last extremely abusive marriage. I mean Lifetime Movie, change my and my kids' names and social security numbers, and start a whole new life in a new state level abuse. These days, I am feeling very settled, no more foster kids, bio-kids are nearly grown, and I have been thinking about relationships again.

 

So, about the 2 almost relationships since then. Carole and I planned our future together, imagining we could wait till our high needs kids grew up to live together. Glad we made that call, as it turned out that her daughter was molesting mine (I didn't know that until several years later, when my daughter disclosed). We had separate apartments in the same complex for 3 1/2 years, then moved cross country together. Lots of plans and dreams, then she died of pancreatic cancer.

 

Next near-relationship, and the point of this post. About 3 years ago, I met J, a transsexual woman, in the middle of hormone and surgical processes. She was homeless, and I offered her a room in my home. She stayed for several months; maybe most of a year. I accompanied her to surgeries, nursed her in recovery, and we formed a strong bond. Then I found out she was a registered sex offender. She explained the circumstances, and I totally believe and understand her explanation. But, as a foster parent, I could not have her in my home. It was very difficult for me to "kick her out" as I knew she had limited resources, and really no where to go. She attempted suicide, and I found and "rescued" her. I know I saved her life, but it must have been pretty dismal for her that I just walked away at that time that she needed me so desperately. I really had to cut off all contact with her, both to maintain my foster licensing, and because my daughter learned of the sex-offender status, and felt seriously betrayed that I would let such a person near her and the younger foster kids. I am not proud of the way I handled this. I just stopped responding to J's calls and emails. I knew she was very fragile at that time, but I didn't explain or even tell her anything. At the time, my relationship with my daughter was in crisis, and I had to give that priority. I really didn't know, until today, that J was still alive. And I have felt guilty every time I drive past the hospital I last saw her at (and it is just a few blocks from my house, so that is a common occurrence!).

 

Today, after a silence of nearly 2 years, she sent me a link to the sweetest video. http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?feature=player_embedded&v=341rybZ42vA  I responded, and we have plans to meet for tea next week. I am so afraid. I feel like I am jumping off a cliff. It is entirely possible that I am taking the first steps toward a relationship here: this is not feeling like just seeing an old friend for tea. It is much deeper. We are nearing retirement age, and I would love to have someone to travel with, to age with. We felt we were soul mates - converging plans and dreams. We laughed and cried together, and I rarely have felt such a strong connection. I am usually sort of a loner, but she broke through my barriers. I have truly missed her.

 

The reason I chose the Queer Parenting forum for this is not the issue of my potential relationship with a woman. My teenaged kids know, understand, and accept my orientation. My 94 year old mom even knows and likes J! But I didn't feel I could tell this story outside the queer neighborhood, without J's sexuality becoming the focus. It really isn't the point of my question. The question is the conflict with my daughter. I feel I need to hide from her that I even received an email from J, let alone that I responded, and plan to see her. As you can see from the above, my relationship history has been a source of pain and conflict for my daughter. And my relationship with my daughter is just healing.

 

So, what would you do? Would I be betraying my 17 year old daughter to be seeing someone she distrusts? I would truly love to learn that J is doing better, has a job, a home, a life. The "J" chapter of my life has felt without closure for too long now. Even if it is only a one time check-in, and I get a chance to explain my actions 2 years ago, and learn how she has been doing, I feel guilty sneaking around behind my daughter. And what if the relationship grows? DD is planning to move out this spring, to Europe, where she would definitely not be affected by my relationships. But I have never been secretive with my kids before, and this doesn't feel right.

 

Oy vey. Just when life seems to be calming down, it goes and gets complex again. I would welcome any insight or observations. And thank you for the opportunity to talk this out. Sometimes, just writing out the situation helps clarify my feelings. Although in this case, it mainly reminded me how much I miss J in my life. Maybe that's a good thing, I don't know.


Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)

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#2 of 8 Old 01-06-2013, 02:47 PM
 
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Just bumping your thread for you. THis sounds like a very difficult situation and I'm sure some others will be along soon to help you. hug2.gif
 


 
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#3 of 8 Old 01-07-2013, 10:26 AM
 
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Well, I'll preface by saying that this is by no means a BTDT situation for me, but I'm happy to offer some insight. If you feel it doesn't apply, feel free to disregard.

I haven't parented a teenager yet, but I was one once! I vote for full-disclosure, no matter if she's leaving for Europe soon or not. You said you've never been secretive before, and I don't believe now is the time to start.

Would it be possible to sit down with your daughter and explain the circumstances in which J was labeled a sex-offender? Maybe if she knew the full story, she could begin to lay a better foundation for a future, trusting relationship with J. She needs to know your feelings and how strongly drawn to J you are. I'd also reiterate how important she (your daughter) is to you, and you wanted her to know what you are going through.

And I think you do owe J an explanation of what happened. And I think you owe yourself a second chance.

Be more gentle with yourself, and with those important to you. Trust them enough to be totally honest about your feelings and the reasons you did what you did. Your level of commitment to your family is commendable, and it's clear that you love hard and loyally. Allow your daughter and J to show you that you're important to them, as well, and to show you that they love you in return.

You cannot control everything. Maybe it's time to let go of some of your expectations, and just see where this new chapter takes you.

I'm sure the thought of hurting or disappointing your daughter is painful to bear. But she is nearly an adult, and she needs to choose for herself how to handle your life as an adult - and she can't do that if you aren't honest with her, or honest with yourself.

Good luck to you - it sounds like maybe you're about to have one of your dreams come true.

partners.gif Mom and Mama to our incredible new daughter, Everleigh Jane (9.1.12)! We have a blog, too!
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#4 of 8 Old 01-07-2013, 11:02 AM
 
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Also have zero personal experience here but this is my thought. . if you really just want to meet once, I don't think your daughter needs to know but it doesn't seem like that is what you want.  I am always under the personal belief that children will forgive many things but not being deliberately lied to or misled, especially if one of your issues is around trust.  If you do plan something long term, your daughter will be effected, the notion that she is in Europe doesn't really seem to matter, it will effect her if she knows, in your conversations etc.  I think you do have a right to your own life when your choices do not negatively effect those you are caring for, so seems like you made the good, if hard decision earlier.  I would still say I don't have enough info to make any type of call for you now but do think that everyone deserves to love and to be happy.  

 

Good luck


Me (39)  and DH (FTM 40) and DS 17 months old.  TTC# 2 via KD  

 

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#5 of 8 Old 01-07-2013, 02:48 PM
 
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I haven't been through this, either, so take this with that in mind, but I would say that if you want a relationship with your daughter you cannot get back together with J. Ever. Under any circumstances. I say that because your daughter already knows J, and presumably has already heard the reasons for her sex-offender status, and was still upset. I doubt that she'd feel better about it now, since she is still very young, and, presumably, still hurt and fragile, even if she looks better to you. You say that your relationship with your daughter is just healing--if that is important to you, don't throw her under the bus and make her either take a stand that she won't be in the same room with you and your new partner, or pretend to be ok with something that she isn't. It has taken my mother and I almost 16 years to get past a bad relationship that she had when I was a teenager--and there was no abuse involved.

I do believe that everyone deserves love, and that you deserve to find a loving relationship to take you through your retirement years. But it doesn't sound like you have a history of choosing good partners, and it seems to me that taking a chance on someone who may or may not end up being a life partner is too big a risk to be worth losing your daughter forever.

Also, I hope that you and your daughter have both had counseling, and that you have (or find) someone to talk this through with in a professional setting. It sounds like there has been a lot of trauma and loss in your lives, and that it probably needs some help sorting out. Couples counseling for the two of you to rebuild might not be a bad idea, either.

I'm so sorry that I feel this way--I know how hard it is to let go of someone you love. But you asked for our opinions and advice, and I just can't see that your daughter will forgive you--it's easy to say she's only a teenager and that she just is too immature to understand the complexities of the situation, but the truth is that she will hold on to the hurt and betrayal well into her adulthood, even if she wants to forgive you, no matter how much she loves you. Your job as her mother is to make her feel safe and loved and protected. I wish you luck in finding someone amazing who can be your partner, and whom your children can come to love and appreciate, too.

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And so are the boys!
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#6 of 8 Old 01-07-2013, 03:35 PM
 
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I may be totally off base here, isn't it possible she was lying about the circumstances of how she became an offender? Maybe she figured you would find out eventually because she was legally obligated to register at your address to avoid arrest and more charges.

 

I know she would be heartbroken to learn of you checking up on her, but is there any way you could do some background checking...get a copy of the arrest report, talk to the victim or maybe even hire a private detective? There are people who specialize in hiding other people's pasts on the internet and making up fake social media and websites and articles, so it might help to have a professional help you get to the bottom of anything that happened in her past.

 

Hopefully you will see any red flags that come up in the course of investigating, if you choose this route, and not let your feelings get in the way of that. If she truly cares, she will forgive you and understand that you had to put your family first. I agree that your daughter is still quite young. It might be different if she were older and more independent, but she would probably still be hurt to see you with J, after all she's been through in the past.

 

In the mean time, perhaps you could just casually mention that you heard from J. Let your daughter know that you feel that you owe J an explanation for cutting off all ties and you want to email her back to explain and wish her well, as a closure. You can even show her the email you sent to J. J may not be able to put herself in your shoes and may never understand. Only time will tell.

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#7 of 8 Old 01-07-2013, 09:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for such well thought out and insightful responses. MDC is a wonderful place! All the viewpoints here have helped me decide how to handle this.

 

 

Originally Posted by prettyisa View Post

I haven't been through this, either, so take this with that in mind, but I would say that if you want a relationship with your daughter you cannot get back together with J. Ever. Under any circumstances. I say that because your daughter already knows J, and presumably has already heard the reasons for her sex-offender status, and was still upset.

 

I think this is the bottom line. I am going to see her tomorrow, to explain what happened 2 years ago, and to reach some closure for both of us. But I will be clear that we are not going to meet again.

 

I feel deeply sad, and yet also sort of relieved. Nothing that made me feel so guilty could possibly be the right thing to do.


Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)

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#8 of 8 Old 01-08-2013, 06:59 AM
 
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Hugs to you. It's a hard thing to do, but I think your daughter will love you for choosing her in this case. Lots of good wishes for closure at your meeting, and for finding someone new and perfect in the days ahead!

She's here!
And so are the boys!
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