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Old 07-13-2004, 06:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Shann
It just kind of amazes me that in this day and age anyone would object to an unmarried couple sleeping together in the same bed ! We should be WAAAY over worrying about such antiquated things now !
Before Dh and I were married if we stayed at my parents' house, we had to sleep in separate beds. We thought it was dumb, but it's their house... It wasn't like I was bringing a new guy over every week either and wanted to sleep together under their roof... We were ENGAGED and living together and still could not sleep in the same bed at their house! But once we were married, we could.

They're Catholic, so I try to respect their beliefs even if I do not share them. Here's the funny part, my parents have been married for ages and THEY sleep not only in separate beds, but separate ROOMS.
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Old 07-13-2004, 06:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Piglet68
you know, my mother is a staunch catholic and she didn't let me sleep with my boyfriends when we stayed at her place, even when I was LIVING with the guy.
Piglet, I think we had the same mom!
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Old 07-13-2004, 10:16 PM
 
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I'd have to say yes, maybe, on the idea that my kids would assume you were girlfriends or sisters.
I have not talked with her about homosexualtiy and frankly would have no idea how or when to. My religious beliefs have taught me that it is wrong but I feel differently about it than that. I feel like it's one more thing that doesn't concern me. I have no right to an opnion on it kwim? It's not my life choice, it's not hurting anyone either
i have to ask: so you'll just let your kids remain ignorant of this until it happens to affect you in some way?


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I dealt with a great deal of pain in my life because I was not given proper sex education from my parents. Sex education that most people consider normal (where babies come from, heterosexual sex, periods, etc) just wasn't discussed in my home, of course sex education on things like homosexuality and bisexuality was non existent, in school or at home.
me too. the most "education" me and my siblings got on the subject was that our private parts were wrong and dirty.

i never even heard the words "gay" or "lesbian" or "bisexual" until i was in junior high school and heard it from my peers, and even then i didn't know what it was. it would have saved me a lot of heartache if i had been able to put a name to my feelings ~ and not felt they were wrong ~ right from the beginning. but because i was kept ignorant, and then when the issue was finally dealt with, it was skirted and called wrong / disgusting / awful / bad / etc ~ i had no idea how to reconcile my feelings with what i had learned growing up.

we can't just avoid an issue because we're uncomfortable talking about it any more than we can avoid potty training simply because we hate the idea of the mess.


btw, welcome Jwebble.
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Old 07-13-2004, 10:25 PM
 
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Old 07-13-2004, 10:41 PM
 
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I hear ya... it's rather sad that you should feel the need to give sex ed before your child starts grade school.

I am teaching dd that no one else should be touching her parts except mommy or daddy when she needs help in the tub or bath (or my mom or MIL if she is with them). I am also teaching her to respect my ds' parts as well and letting her know that they are not for other people to touch.

That's all we're doing for now... I really really don't think she is old enough for more than that at this point.
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Old 07-13-2004, 11:00 PM
 
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It totally disgusts me that in our society kids need to know about sex by 5.
i don't think they need to know about sex by 5... but i do think they should have basic knowledge of their body parts, as well as the different ~ but common ~ types of relationships people can have. i also think that if a child is ready to handle it and is curious, they ought to be taught where babies come from and how they're made. this doesn't have to involve copious details about the act of lovemaking if a child's not ready for it. i also think children should be armed with enough knowledge to know when someone is taking advantage of them, because sexual abuse is unfortunately so common in our society. i would much rather raise an aware child who knows a bit more than he "should" than have an ignorant child be molested and not even know how to tell me because i never empowered them with knowledge... kwim? and sexuality is so pervasive in this culture, it's very difficult to completely eliminate it from a child's world. they're probably going to end up being exposed whether we as their parents like it or not. at my local elementary school, one of my neighbor's daughters was pressured into having "play sex" with a boy in her class at recess ~ these were both kindegarteners. so... maybe it *is* necessary to give our children this knowledge, if for no other reason to empower them to say NO.

also, there is a big difference between two people being sisters, and two people loving each other intimately, or i guess you might say, as Husband And Wife. people fulfill different places in each other's lives, and i don't think there's anything wrong with exposing a child to the idea that people can love others in different ways. the topic of love or closeness doesn't have to involve the concept of sex at a young age.
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Old 07-13-2004, 11:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Piglet68

To keep this on-topic, you guys have inspired me. I keep telling DD that Baby Sasha is in mama's tummy, but I suppose I should refer to it as a uterus. She's only just 2 so she won't get it anyways, but I suppose I should start now.

My doctor told my dd that the baby lives in a special home inside mommy's tummy that's made especially and only for babies to live. That was neat.
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Old 07-13-2004, 11:20 PM
 
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My doctor told my dd that the baby lives in a special home inside mommy's tummy that's made especially and only for babies to live. That was neat.
someone tried to tell my son that (along those lines) and he said, "NO, my yitto sisto is in mommy's UTERUS." :LOL
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Old 07-14-2004, 01:24 AM
 
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Quote from My~hearts~light:

"It totally disgusts me that in our society kids need to know about sex by 5"
==========================================
It really doesn't *disgust* me. I think sex is an incredible, beautiful, celebratory thing (excluding sexuality that is forced and child molestation... which really has little or nothing to do with sex at all ) and it's good to know about it. Now I am not saying that kids all have to know about sex at age 5 (different kids, different families, different needs..) But I wonder where the idea that sex is bad or shameful or dirty comes from? It's always been a head scratcher for me. Kristi

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
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Old 07-14-2004, 01:26 AM
 
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Oh yes..

My son tried to educate the neighbor boy on what a uterus was when a good friend of ours was pregnant. The boy kept saying "That baby will break her stomach if it gets bigger!" and my then 6 yr old son felt the need to correct and explain lol. Kristi

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
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Old 07-14-2004, 01:55 AM
 
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I think sex is an incredible, beautiful, celebratory thing (excluding sexuality that is forced and child molestation... which really has little or nothing to do with sex at all ) and it's good to know about it. Now I am not saying that kids all have to know about sex at age 5 (different kids, different families, different needs..) But I wonder where the idea that sex is bad or shameful or dirty comes from?
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Old 07-14-2004, 06:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by tracymom
I have a cousin who is most likely gay. Now, I'm a pretty conservative gal, I don't much like it, understand it, or agree with it, but it's not my life, it's his. My biggest frustration with him is that he will not come out of the closet.
Well, I'm not sure if I were in his shoes I would come out either. It sounds like he has some reasons for feeling pretty emotionally unsafe. As great a hole as it has left in your life that he doesn't come around much, you can be sure that the hole in his life, the pain in his heart is much greater for him.

I have a cousin-in-law who has not ever come out to her family and has openly denied many times that she is a lesbian. She even tried to come out once only to --after being hurt tremendously-- run back into the closet saying that she changed. She even has owned a home with one of her partners and all the while denied the relationship. I can just see so much pain in her heart.

She suffers greatly with a life in which she can never be truly honest...never be open about the whole beauty of who she is. She loves the family deeply, but she has good reason to be afraid. It has been made clear to her since she was a child that it is "wrong" to be the person that G-d made her. Her parents, of course, never knew that when they showed her they felt "it" was wrong, they were also talking about their daughter. This woman is in her 40s, and she has been extremely ill for years. All the pain inside her has manifested in so many ways. She can't let it out, so it comes out in cancer, in autoimmune illnesses, even in mental illness and of course severe depression. She has shared with me (I am one of only two people she knows to be "safe" in the family) some thoughts on how much the pain in her heart has affected her physically. I honestly will be surprised if she lives to be 50.

May you never know such great, enduring pain.

Perhaps your cousin could benefit from someone giving him some signs that he has a "friend" in the family. It might not change his choice about not coming out, but at least he'd feel that much safer. You may know how you would react to his coming out, but he doesn't.

Maybe he would appreciate an invitation for him *and* his partner to come over for dinner. Or next time you send a holiday card, maybe you could address it to "the so-and-so [last name] and so-and-so [last name] household" (that way you aren't making any assumptions about their relationship but are showing that you would accept it if it were more than he has shared).

The more you do to show that you recognize and honor his relationships, without making any assumptions about them, the more likely he is to want to open up to you.

And for the record, I would have a very difficult time coming out to someone who assumes I have a choice in the matter and who basically has the attitude that they don't like who I am (or in their minds, perhaps, the choices I make) but will accept me in spite of it. I seek relationships in which people love me not in spite of who I am, but for who I am...don't you?! Of course, you could get to know him and find out he is a big jerk (cuz hey, big jerks come in both heteroaffectional and homoaffectional versions), but how would you know if you never become a "safe" person to be out to?

I also wouldn't want to open up to someone about the nature of who I am if my relationship with my significant other was then just going to be treated as a "special friend" kind of relationship. I don't know about you, but I think most people who are married (legally or in a ceremony, or whatever) prefer others not refer to them as "special friends." If in doubt, I usually ask people how they'd like me to refer to their significant others. With hetero, homo, and bi-affectional people, the answers can surprise me. It isn't always what I'd expect. If someone says "wife," I say "wife." If someone says, "partner," I say "partner" (even though that is one of my least favorite words). If someone says, "boyfriend," I say "boyfriend." If someone were to say, "special friends," I would use that term, but I haven't heard it yet.

It's a matter of being respectful.
----------------------------------
On a slightly different note, I'd like to say that I am still uncomfortable with this thread. It seems to me that some statements are those that we have historically considered unacceptable kinds of things to say on MDC. If you are wondering about what I mean, take some of the statements and change them to be about race or another matter in which we consider biogotry unacceptable (for instance, what if I said that if my inter-racial married friends were coming to visit I would not let them sleep in the same bed in hopes that my children might think they were just friends? Would the public reaction here be different? We most likely wouldn't shrug the statement off as being someone's "personal family values".). Since MDC's inception, we have interupted conversations in which such statements were made to make it clear they weren't acceptable. I'm tacking this on to my previous gentle reminder (when some very valued members of MDC were told that their identities were "wrong") because I am thinking that perhaps I wasn't clear enough.

I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.
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Old 07-14-2004, 11:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by my~hearts~light
It totally disgusts me that in our society kids need to know about sex by 5.
Keep in mind that, for most of human history, people didn't live in houses with separate rooms. Most families shared one bed, if they were lucky to have that at all, and most people lived in one-room dwellings. The "normal" situation is that children were exposed to sex from very early on, it was treated as something normal and natural, and they probably knew alot more about it, birth, etc - having witnessed it all - than many teenagers in today's society. Humans are sexual beings, they don't just "start" all of a sudden at age 12.

Personally, I think it is the LACK of knowledge at a young age that is the cause of so much sexual repression in this country, not to mention the huge teen pregnancy rates, the high abortion rates (which I blame, NOT on the legality of abortion, but on the lack of sex ed and available birth control).

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Old 07-14-2004, 11:05 AM
 
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mod note:

It has been brought to my attention that certain members of our community are being hurt by the words or sentiments expressed in this thread. I really don't want to shut it down, as I feel a lot of good stuff is going on here, and alot is being learned by us all. However, I would like to once again remind everybody that MDC is a place of diversity. When you choose your words, please do so carefully, knowing that you may be speaking directly to someone whose lifestyle you have deemed "unacceptable". We want this board to be open to, and to feel welcome to, all the diverse mamas who comprise the wonderful world of Mothering. Thank you.

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Old 07-14-2004, 11:20 AM
 
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Sierra, that was a wonderful, touching post. The part where you wrote May you never know such great, enduring pain nearly brought me to tears.

Your cousin-in-law is lucky to have you to turn to for support.
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Old 07-14-2004, 01:59 PM
 
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Old 07-14-2004, 03:25 PM
 
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I'll apologize in advance for this being long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra
Well, I'm not sure if I were in his shoes I would come out either. It sounds like he has some reasons for feeling pretty emotionally unsafe. As great a hole as it has left in your life that he doesn't come around much, you can be sure that the hole in his life, the pain in his heart is much greater for him.
Not to mention that we live in an area that is very unaccepting of homosexuality in general. Most of the people that I know from high school who are gay have moved out of state.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra
I have a cousin-in-law who has not ever come out to her family and has openly denied many times that she is a lesbian. She even tried to come out once only to --after being hurt tremendously-- run back into the closet saying that she changed. She even has owned a home with one of her partners and all the while denied the relationship. I can just see so much pain in her heart.

She suffers greatly with a life in which she can never be truly honest...never be open about the whole beauty of who she is. She loves the family deeply, but she has good reason to be afraid. It has been made clear to her since she was a child that it is "wrong" to be the person that G-d made her. Her parents, of course, never knew that when they showed her they felt "it" was wrong, they were also talking about their daughter. This woman is in her 40s, and she has been extremely ill for years. All the pain inside her has manifested in so many ways. She can't let it out, so it comes out in cancer, in autoimmune illnesses, even in mental illness and of course severe depression. She has shared with me (I am one of only two people she knows to be "safe" in the family) some thoughts on how much the pain in her heart has affected her physically. I honestly will be surprised if she lives to be 50.

May you never know such great, enduring pain.
It sounds as if your cousin-in-law has a very, very good friend in you. That is so very, very sad and a; heartbreaking story.

There are other issues with my cousin. Unfortunately he is a very shallow person - he's always been that way, really, but is a very engaging and funny man, and was so very good to me when we were children, letting me tag along with his friends and generally hero-worship him. It doesn't make me blind to his faults,though. Reading your words, I realize that it perhaps HAS blinded me to his pain. As I have gotten older and grown out of my hero-worship, I have found that, although I will always love him, I don't really like some of the things he has done.

He was in his previous relationship for 8-10 years, I don't remember. I used to send him and his partner (I'll call him Bill for simplicity's sake) Christmas cards addressed to both of them. He used to bring Bill to family gatherings. Bill was also a likeable guy, very handsome and funny to be with and talk to. When the relationship collapsed, my cousin claimed to his mother that Bill was verbally and physically abusive. I don't remember which one of them told my aunt that Bill was HIV-positive. Bill called my aunt and told him that he loved my cousin very much (making it clear to her that he at any rate did not feel it was a platonic relationship). I'm also unclear as to whether she asked or not, but apparently Bill said that my cousin had been aware that he was HIV-positive from the beginning of their relationship. I learned around this time that Bill was beginning to have some problems and was missing a lot of work and generally having a hard time with the illness.

I lost a lot of my respect for my cousin about this time. Maybe Bill was abusive, maybe not. But I have to wonder what kind of person is with somebody with an illness like that for years and then all of a sudden when they start to get bad and suffer, gets out. Coincidentally enough, Bill's large inheritance from his parents had just about run out at that time and they ended up having to let the house go back. I honestly don't know if that's connected or not, but knowing my cousin's lifelong love for luxuries, I have to wonder. I'm sorry if that sounds cold. I could give lengthy examples of my cousin's materialism, but suffice it to say he enjoys the good things in life very much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra
Perhaps your cousin could benefit from someone giving him some signs that he has a "friend" in the family. It might not change his choice about not coming out, but at least he'd feel that much safer. You may know how you would react to his coming out, but he doesn't.
This is a very good point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra
Maybe he would appreciate an invitation for him *and* his partner to come over for dinner. Or next time you send a holiday card, maybe you could address it to "the so-and-so [last name] and so-and-so [last name] household" (that way you aren't making any assumptions about their relationship but are showing that you would accept it if it were more than he has shared).
I did do this with his previous partner. They never seemed to have time to come out to the house (of course, I love cats and he absolutely can't stand them, so that might have been it, too). I haven't met the man with whom he is now living, and I haven't sent Christmas cards to anyone in several years. I guess at this point I don't know what to do to resurrect the relationship or even if I want to do it at this point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra
The more you do to show that you recognize and honor his relationships, without making any assumptions about them, the more likely he is to want to open up to you.

And for the record, I would have a very difficult time coming out to someone who assumes I have a choice in the matter and who basically has the attitude that they don't like who I am (or in their minds, perhaps, the choices I make) but will accept me in spite of it. I seek relationships in which people love me not in spite of who I am, but for who I am...don't you?! Of course, you could get to know him and find out he is a big jerk (cuz hey, big jerks come in both heteroaffectional and homoaffectional versions), but how would you know if you never become a "safe" person to be out to?

I also wouldn't want to open up to someone about the nature of who I am if my relationship with my significant other was then just going to be treated as a "special friend" kind of relationship. I don't know about you, but I think most people who are married (legally or in a ceremony, or whatever) prefer others not refer to them as "special friends." If in doubt, I usually ask people how they'd like me to refer to their significant others. With hetero, homo, and bi-affectional people, the answers can surprise me. It isn't always what I'd expect. If someone says "wife," I say "wife." If someone says, "partner," I say "partner" (even though that is one of my least favorite words). If someone says, "boyfriend," I say "boyfriend." If someone were to say, "special friends," I would use that term, but I haven't heard it yet.

It's a matter of being respectful.
I'm very sorry if my words were perceived as offensive. Indeed I don't mean them that way. I honestly and sincerely don't really understand homosexuality. I don't mean that as any kind of disrespect or slam, but am being honest. I don't, however, believe someone makes a "choice" to be homosexual and realize that this was an unfortunate word to use on my part in the previous post. I know too many people that I went to school with who are homosexual to believe that it is something that somebody "chooses." (I'm admittedly not close to any of them, but remember some of the difficulties that they had, and we have mutual friends who have shared with me some of their pain in finding their identitity. I only learned of the pain of my first boyfriend years later when I found out I was pretty well his *last* girlfriend as he was trying to figure things out.)

If someone has denied that he is gay, what kind of question would be "how do I refer to your significant other?" when the person is denying that there IS a significant other? So when my son becomes aware that our cousin is sharing a home with a man, yes, I'll probably say this man is his friend, maybe even special friend (since we don't often share homes with "ordinary friends.") What else am I supposed to say? I don't see how I can ask my cousin, when he vehemently denies to his parents that he is gay when they have asked him. I have always felt that ASKING implied some disrespect of the person, because ultimately an individual's sexual orientation is really nobody else's business. If he chooses to come out, then it's my place to support him in that. I don't know how else I can make him aware of that short of saying, "Hey, cuz, I know you have to be gay because you're sharing a home with a man for the second time and you're 42 and don't date, and by the way, I support you totally." Hello, what? If I did that, I'd expect he wouldn't ever speak to me again!

Again, I want to apologize for any offense I may have given with my word choices, but I'm being as careful with them and as sensitive to feelings as I know how to be. I've used the term "special friend" for several different relationships with my son, who is aware that people have a special friend that sometimes they love enough to make them their life partner. I'm sorry if anyone finds it offensive but it's my term and I stand by it and maintain that it is not intended to be so.

ETA: I re-read my post and realize that it did sound more insensitive than I intended. If anything, this has given me the opportunity to think very hard about some of the ways that I habitually interact. This is not a part of my daily life and IRL I tend to forget the diversity that exists outside my little world. Again, I apologize to you, Sierra, and to anybody else who found my words offensive.
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Old 07-14-2004, 04:08 PM
 
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thank you, tracymom and my~heart's~light for your sincerity and the obvious effort you are putting into your posts to word them appropriately. I feel we are all learning alot here and want this thread to continue...

and thank you, Sierra, for your eloquent and thought-provoking posts.

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