Mother and Son

Dear Mum

I had told you about Sas’ and my separation but had not gone into the reasons for it, other than to say, I took full responsibility and Sas and I were still on very good terms.

Maybe, I blamed it on my work and the growing distance between Sas and I. This would have been a very convenient and plausible excuse, anything to hide the true reason.

I had seen the way you had dealt with the news of Steve’s homosexuality. In your eye’s he became the victim and you blamed Dad and Madeline for his “aberration”

Your relationship with Sas had always been cordial but never truly warm, this had worried me because Sas had done nothing to create any discord with you. Her relationship with Dad had been extremely close and, maybe; this was part of your need for distance, I don’t know.

I was determined you were not to view Sas, in the same way as you viewed Madeline.

Many people have asked me whether I had ever told my parents about being gay. My answer is no, but for very different reasons than many would have expected.

Sas and I were still very much married when Dad died. If he had been alive, my homosexuality would perhaps, have been the only reason he would have accepted. This complex, conservative man had accepted and rationalized Steve’s homosexuality many years before. he would have dealt with my news no differently, whilst deeply lamenting the loss of Sas from the family. He would have been supportive to both of us.

My refusal to tell you, was simply because I did not want to become another victim, it was a strange point of honor for me, which perhaps did you no justice.

In March or April 1990, Sas called and asked if I had any objections to her taking the kids down to the farm for Easter. She wanted them to see their grandma and to have time with their cousins.

Of course, I had no objections, but I did some have some misgivings which I could not identify.

Sas returned from Easter, deeply hurt at the level of impersonal rejection she had experienced from both you and Chloe.

In her words, it was almost as if “what are you doing here, Bruce is my son and brother and you and he have separated”

I was angry, but not as surprised as I may have been. You were capable of a bitterness I did not understand. I had seen it when Chloe and Gordy had separated, I had seen it during the breakup of Steve and Madeline and; I had seen it when Jerry and his wife had gone their separate ways.

Sas was hurting already and this was a wedge she did not deserve.

I know you were sick, you were my mother and I loved you but your treatment of Sas was undeserved and unwarranted.

I was confused, angry and disappointed, not necessarily in that order, Sas counselled me about saying anything; “Bruce your mum is sick”. She was right, I held my tongue.

The sadness  is, you deprived yourself of the affection of three great kids and the support of a very good woman.

Mum, I try but I will never understand.



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