Telling my 11 year old daughter I am a lesbian - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 01-28-2006, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How do I go about telling my 11 year old daughter I am a lesbian? I was married to her father for 22 years, and within the past year came out to him, and my family. I am in a really good relationship with a woman who has met my daughter. They both get along really great. I am a registered nurse and have always known I was gay, but tried to "do the right thing" and married (a man), had 2 beautiful children (11 & 21), and spent 22 of the most unhappy years of my life with my husband. I love my children. My 22 year old son knows I am gay and doesn't want anything to do with me. I don't know if he will ever understand, but he says he will talk to me when he is ready and that the information just "hurts too much right now." I haven't told my 11 year old daughter yet, and would like any information I can get on how to tell her so that it might not be so devistating to her. She lives with her dad right now, but wants to be with me and will be spending the summer with me, and possibly the rest of her school years with me and my partner. I just want her to know about me, as she will find out one day anyway, and I want to be the one to tell her. I love her so much and want this to have a positive outcome.
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#2 of 11 Old 01-29-2006, 12:23 AM
 
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NAK - I don't have any answers for you, but could not read and not reply. Good luck to you!

Mommy to a wonderfully passionate little one
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#3 of 11 Old 01-29-2006, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your response Susannah M. Hopefully, out of all the readers of this thread, someone will be able to share some ideas and shine some hope on my situation.
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#4 of 11 Old 01-29-2006, 10:22 PM
 
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I think honesty is the best thing, and it probably also depends on how her Dad reacted to you coming out to him (as she lives with him & may share some in some of his opinions). Maybe think about how other 'gay news' relates to her life. Maybe she does already know -- kids can be surprisingly smart sometimes.

I don't really know, but wish you luck (& patience with yourself) in telling her.
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#5 of 11 Old 01-29-2006, 10:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Her dad and I get along really well. We realize we have a child to raise together, and we want her to feel loved by both of us, above everything. He has not told her anything, but I am sure she has heard people talking with him. It is really hard to keep anything from a child. I remember my childhood, and I knew things about my parents long before they knew I did. I want to be able to tell her though, if this is the best thing for me to do. Sometimes things are better left unsaid. But, if it is best for me to tell her, then that is what I want to do. Thanks for your response. Hopefully, someone with a similar experience will be able to shed some light on this decision. I have read so much, and I have researched this many hours, but nothing seems to pertain to my exact situation.
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#6 of 11 Old 01-30-2006, 04:01 AM
 
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Well, I've been out for long enough so that I came out at 18 yo my then 14 and 11 year old sisters ( I was out to others at 14), so I have a slight inkling of what you are experiencing. I think that explaining it low key will be the way to go. I didn't live with my sisters from 16 (I also have a Foster Mom), until I took custody of #2 when she was 15 and I was 19, so she *chose* to come live with me not too long after I came out to her. What I did was take her out on a pleasant but low key outing- I think we had gone to a movie and for ice cream at a local coffeehouse that was nearby. of course, as we were close sisters, she basically told me she knew, and was happy to go out with my then Gf & I for dinner to meet her not too long after. I would make it a solo outing even though you and your partner live together so as to introduce the idea of Mom being gay, and then introduce the partner. I think the general situation will depend on how she has been raised (openminded? exposure to GLBT people?), and what your general relationship is like.
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#7 of 11 Old 01-30-2006, 04:51 AM
 
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I would tell her as soon as possible. She will always want to have an open communication with you. Anything less will cause sadness later in life. I have issues with my mom not being truthful with me when I was very young. I now know the truth and our relationship is very superficicial. We never talk about it.
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#8 of 11 Old 02-01-2006, 01:37 PM
 
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I would tell her as soon as possible too. Think about how you want to present the news and think about making it as positive as possible (not appologetic). Also, if you could ask her dad to be on board and supportive for her sake, that would help greatly too. Give her some time, as this may be big news for her that she'll have to adjust to. For kids of divorce, ANY "intruder" into the mix (your partner) is often hard to take, regardless of whether they are male or female. Of course, you could also try to find some support networks like PFLAG in your area or go to counseling with her if you think that would help. Good luck!

Megan-39, Postpartum Doula, DW to Sacha-40 (18 years together) and Mama to Finn Alexander born 4/2/07 and Zivia Littlewood born 8/23/10

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#9 of 11 Old 02-08-2006, 02:43 PM
 
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I am not in any relationship now, so I need to look for ways to bring up the subject with my kids. We go to Pride Parade and events, and loosely participate in a local lesbian families group's activities. I just mainly try to keep the subject open. My kids are at an age when any intimacy, especially mom's, is too icky to contemplate!

I know this might sound manipulative, but I would bring up the subject several times with your daughter in a general context before coming out officially. My thought is that if this has never been a subject for discussion with her, allowing her to think about concepts like lesbian and gay in an objective sense before it all becomes personal may ease the way for her.

As the PPs said, she may already know more than you think, and bringing up the general subject of lesbian moms may prompt her to ask about your relationship on her own terms, without ever needing to have a formal Talk.

Best wishes to all of you!

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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#10 of 11 Old 02-08-2006, 04:48 PM
 
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11 is a very sensitive age...try to get a feeling for where she's at in her head around people being gay or lesbian. It may help to know this and may help you determine if you can just be real honest and upfront or if you need to be real gentle and ease slowly into it. I wish I had more to say...

Goodluck. Let us know how it goes when you do tell her.

chicken3.gifbelly.gifwow...i'm gonna have another one!!!
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#11 of 11 Old 02-28-2006, 05:36 PM
 
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You also have to be careful of how you intoduce your partner. My girlfriend and were just friends at first and then it developed into a relationship. At first the 11yo girl loved me, then she started to ask if we were more friends and we kept dening it cause mom wanted to. but then she started to get mean and very disrespectful and would cry all the time. her son 8 was so on board with it he did not care he just loved his mom.she finally told her and she would cry and we didn't do anything in front of her at first and i think she new that then she would never leave us alone. she basicly reverted back to being a 3yo she would follow her mom around the house where ever she went and when politly asked to stop she would cry and say she was not getting enough attention.When it was time to go to bed she would scream and even though she had a bathroom and garbage can in the room she would have to come out to throw things away or go to the bathroom at least 7 times a night. Though things have gotten better. the nightly vists have stoped and though there is still a lot of crying she has gotten better but she has told me that she would always hate me and know matter how she gets in truoble its always my fault. It has definetly put strain on our relationship.


But just try to let her know that the love you have for her will never change and make it very clear that the relationship you have between your girlfriend and the relationship you have with her is not a competition that you will always love her
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