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Comming out as lesbian is affecting relationship with DD...struggling

(25 Posts)
lostinnormandieland Mon 22-Jun-15 15:35:51

Hi I came out in my forties.
I posted in LGBT parents but I should have posted here so it is now a double thread. My DD 10 is being very odd with me and I just came to the conclusion that she is most likely struggling with my new lesbian identity. She refuses to sleep over 2 nights a week. She is taking all the toys I bought out of her house and back to her dad's. Today she completely ignored me and did not say hello. I am going a big family event and she told me I should get some hair extensions and wear a dress. It really gets to me, I am not sure how to react and feel a failure of a mum.

Thenapoleonofcrime Mon 22-Jun-15 15:40:56

It sounds like she is angry and unsure about something, is it just your coming out, or perhaps you living out of the home, or is that not a new situation?

10 is a difficult age for some girls, my eldest is going through puberty at this time and she is definitely more moody and could pick a fight in a room on her own, so it may not just be about you, but the world in general.

What is your relationship like with her dad? Could you ask him what is going on? Is she getting negative messages from him?

The thing about hair extensions and wearing a dress- it's rude, but again I would say typical for that age. My dd's say things like 'can't you wear a colourful outfit' when I get out my black dress.

I'm not saying it's not all about your identity, that may well be a very significant part of it, but there are lots of things swirling here and main problem is the loss of connection with your dd overall- so the focus could be on getting that back and re-establishing talking, so if she does have an issue with that she can talk with you. I don't do love bombing properly, but I think having time together, focused on her and meeting her needs, and just sitting/lying around chatting can help.

lostinnormandieland Mon 22-Jun-15 15:48:16

Lol, I like your sense of humour: ' she is definitely more moody and could pick a fight in a room on her own'. Yes there might be hormones at work for her but I haven't noticed any body change yet.
I am not sure what the dynamic with dad is as it was an EA relationship and we are not in speaking terms.
She is very secretive and when I try to speak to her she changes subject or leave the room. Confrontation seems to be even worse and anger her. So not sure how to tackle it.

QuiteLikely5 Mon 22-Jun-15 15:48:37

Sounds like she is struggling with your identity.

Society has a certain look for a woman and I wonder if she is feeling embarrassed at your appearance.

You certainly aren't wrong to dress how you like but you might need to be sensitive to the fact that your daughter may feel a sense of shame regarding your appearance. The choice you have here is to try tone it down in her presence to give her more time to adjust or just hope she embraces you as you prefer to be.

lostinnormandieland Mon 22-Jun-15 15:53:19

QuiteLikely5 nobody would know I am a lesbian when they see me. I have shorter hair but not boyish and wear skinny jeans. I think that she will still have the same issues if I get hair extensions.

Joysmum Mon 22-Jun-15 15:53:22

How aproachable is her school?

I've been lucky in ml that my DD's school has been very supportive of us when home issues have popped up and I've asked them for advice.

My reasoning is that I have 1 child and that's the sum total of my experience, they've have thousands and more than likely have some great ideas to help with any situation that pops up.

Hopefully you'll get a few good pointers and some reassurance too.

Heels99 Mon 22-Jun-15 15:57:27

She lives with her dad and he is emotionally abusive? Could she be being emotionally abused? How did he get custody in those circumstances? She sounds like a distressed troubled child. My mum came out when I was a teen. It was badly managed and over the years had a hugely negative impact on our relationship. We are now NC. That's not the only reason as she is one of the most unreasonable people you could wish to meet, but I have to recognise it as a factor. She feels I am a 'against her' due to her sexuality to this day. I feel I am against her as she is a toxic pain in the arse but she won't accept that and would prefer to think of me as homophobic, that's easier for her to deal with bizarrely.

Please please get some help e.g counselling, family therapy for you both. Don't let it destroy your relationship. And find out if she is ok with her dad, doesn't sound like it. There is a lot going on for a ten year old, she needs help to process it all and move forward.

shovetheholly Mon 22-Jun-15 16:01:02


That sounds incredibly tough. Can I ask what you've done so far in terms of introducing her to ideas of diversity and LGBT equality? It may be time for your DD to begin to realise the wider cultural issues at play in the fight you are undertaking, and the hurt that is caused by discrimination. Obviously, this would need to be tailored to a child of her age! But I don't think it's too young for her to realise some of the wider importance of sexuality.

lostinnormandieland Mon 22-Jun-15 16:02:34

Heels99. EA has to be proven for action to be taken. Awareness of the relationship occurred late for me. I just felt very uneasy in the marriage. And I have exhausted all legal avenues. I can't force her to stay with me if she does not want to.
I referred her for counselling through school and it did not happen as dad also has to approve it and he did not. I was expecting it

PushingThru Mon 22-Jun-15 16:11:29

This sounds like somebody has spoken to her negatively about your sexual orientation. My first suspect is her father. Having short hair and wearing skinny jeans is a common look for plenty of women & it's unlikely a ten year old would make these sorts of links about long hair & sexuality independently of input from others. I'm a gay female myself and have plenty of friends who came out later in life with children who are perfectly accepting. There needs to be open communication all round here. You need to talk to her & her father.

PushingThru Mon 22-Jun-15 16:13:58

I would start with her father.

QuiteLikely5 Mon 22-Jun-15 17:10:30

I agree with the others that someone has talked to her about it - negatively. Could it be her father?

If so could you explain its her who he is hurting and not you?

If you look feminine I suspect someone has been saying your going to look otherwise, giving her ideas iyswim

Zillie77 Mon 22-Jun-15 17:21:46

Has her father suggested that your coming out was what ended the marriage? Could that be why she feels a bit put out by it?

BonnieNoClyde Mon 22-Jun-15 17:26:34

10 is a difficult age.

I think my daughter (12) struggles with the idea that I am a human being with my own needs and my own identity.

I think you're daughter is being faced (bam!) with a realisation that dawns on most daughters much more gradually, iyswim

notthestereotype Mon 22-Jun-15 17:34:05

I had similar issues when I had to explain to my DD (8) that me and her dad were no longer going to be a couple and then several months later, that I had a GF. Initially she took it pretty well, but after a year or so, I think she began to struggle. I do have guilt, but at the same time I know I shouldn't be ashamed and luckily, DD and my GF get on really well and now have a very strong bond.

OP, can I ask, what were the circumstances that lead you to come out? Had you met someone? Or were you just tired of pretending? Have you always known?.....sorry, that's a lot of questions!confused

Regarding your DD, all I would suggest is that you keep talking to her. Is there any way you and her dad could become civil at least? I'm sure this would help her massively, but obviously I don't know all the circumstances.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 22-Jun-15 17:38:53

No real advice just want to say sometimes your DD might make a good show of being angry with you but she can love you at the same time.

You can't live a lie but she might be worried that your relationship with her dad was false, the feelings were phoney. And somehow she could fret that ultimately you thought she and dad were somehow deficient. If she's also attending the family event it will help her if she sees you interacting with nearest and dearest as you always have done because you are still you. Seizing on something apparently shallow like how you choose to dress or look on that occasion is her way of trying to grab back some control.

I would be sorry to think she has heard any negative remarks - counselling might have helped so if her dad blocked it he probably isn't painting you in a good light.

lostinnormandieland Mon 22-Jun-15 20:11:51

notthestereotype I am glad that things are better now for you with your dd. My dd adored my gf when she used to visit as a friend. Now she visits as my gf. one minute she loves her to bits, the next dd says something nasty. I guess there are all the difficult feelings for new partners. But she can just brush it off as 'I can't stand that mum is gay'.

pocketsaviour Mon 22-Jun-15 21:04:32

Very difficult situation and I would lay odds that your ex is pouring poison into her ear.

Does she still come on visits without protest? If so, I'd say that's a good sign that she maybe currently pushing your boundaries, but she certainly doesn't want to turn her back on you.

Is there a relative on your side who she is close to, an aunt or older cousin, or your mum if she's supportive, who could maybe talk to her about her worries?

The comments about "Why can't you wear hair extensions and a dress" sound very much like the common childhood complaint of "ARGH WHY ARE YOU AN INDIVIDUAL PLEASE LOOK LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!!!" It's a very difficult age as the pressure to conform is really building up - she needs to have someone explain to her that it's much more important to be true to yourself than to go along with the herd.

SunshineAndShadows Mon 22-Jun-15 21:13:47

I wonder if it's actually just as simple as: she's 10, her parents have separated, and suddenly her mum has a whole new 'identity'. That's a lot of change and very unsettling. At 10 what she wants to know is that you're still 'mum' and that even though (to her mind) you've chosen not to be with her Dad, and not to be heterosexual (again I use the term 'choice' as from the perspective of a 10 year old), it doesn't mean that you'll choose not to be 'mum'. And that's why she's clinging to stereotypical dress etc

I think she needs a lot of reassurance

flora717 Mon 22-Jun-15 21:24:01

It does sound as though she's considering her notion of being a woman etc/ becoming aware of others judging based on looks. Is the father very judgmental? I spent a childhood with a father refering to any woman in a short skirt as a tart/ slagbag (yes, it's an awful word). Any woman buying her own drink (oh the shock hmm) as a lush. I thought that being so utterly rude / judgemental was normal. Fortunately I figured a lot out from around age 14. But between 9 and 13 I was a horror.
The not talking to you thing sounds like a learned behaviour. Just keep reiterating if she wants to talk you're there, that you respect she has her views and want to hear them / talk about things.
Catch her being pleasant and nice (don't make a sarcastic thing out of it). Just "I'm glad you told me what you're thinking"; "This has been a nice chat, thank you".

PushingThru Tue 23-Jun-15 01:38:12

By the way, they're are lots & lots of groups & resources available to help you. You're not on your own & you mustn't feel guilty xx private message me if you want.

PushingThru Tue 23-Jun-15 01:45:21

By the way, there are lots of resources available to help. Please don't feel guilty about anything. If you want to message me, I could give you a steer towards LGBT parenting groups that could help; one of which is run by my friends. X

PushingThru Tue 23-Jun-15 01:54:53

Sorry for repetition! I thought I'd lost the original post to the internet ether!

kathryng90 Tue 23-Jun-15 09:24:51

My DDs were aged 9 and 8 when my gf moved in. Youngest never had an issue and took it all in her stride confidently explaining to the window cleaner (who asked if mum or dad was in) that no they weren't but mums girlfriend was in would that do!?
Eldest was quiet and distant and once told me she could 'never agree with my lifestyle'. I told her I did not need her agreement explained the difference between lifestyle choices and identity and things improved. As she got older and friends etc came out she has become my greatest ally. She fights the LGBT corner at work and loves pride. Keep up the communication and don't for gods sake get hair extensions! She's 10, she's a child it's her job to be embarrassed by you. If you had glasses, were over weight etc etc she would still find mum an embarrassment. She will realise mum is one of the stable things in life and always there and will come round.

Sandyshoe Tue 23-Jun-15 12:10:39

I think you just need to give it some time. My gf moved in 5 months ago after a relatively short time of ending my marriage so was a fairly hectic time, as far as the children were aware gf was a friend and eldest ds 9 loved her to bits, now he knows we are a couple he's more mixed he still loves her and when they are having fun together all is great but if she tries to tell him off for anything or to do something he will argue till the cows come home.

My advise would be have patience and keep talking to her, 10 is still very young and as she gets older and sees you are happy I'm sure her feelings will change, we all want to keep our children happy but you need to have your own happiness too and the best lesson you can give her is by being true to yourself.

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