My family ripped itself to shreds 5 years ago.
To begin with, we were a rock solid semi-extended family where my mother and father in law took huge roles in my family life. There was friction and over the years it slowly built as they became more and more liberal and progressive in their outlook, and more and more militant about it. Things finally exploded when my daughter came out of the closet as gay.
These scenes are always sanitized when Hollywood portrays them because the queers are always loving, respectful and discreet. When my daughter came out she was a hateful, ranting shrew about it and she said some really offensive stuff. Not to go into it in any great detail here, but basically she became the average gay social justice warrior (SJW) hellbent on re-inventing the family and its morals and ethics. As a father my place in the family would be at the bottom of the totem pole; my gay daughter and her ugly girlfriend would call the shots and tell me what I could and couldn't say, what I could and couldn't think, which jokes were funny, etc. ad nauseum. Of course, my response to this was equally rancid - I told my daughter that never before was I more disappointed and disgusted with her and the way she had chosen to handle 'coming out'... and that was the last I saw or heard of her.
The final straw was when my in laws jumped into the fray and proclaimed me to be an abusive homophobe that was literally causing PTSD in my gay daughter by not agreeing with her every whim, and by not assuming my new role in the family as the designated punching bag. At that point...I walked away from them and refused to talk to them for 5 years now. Last week we finally sat down to talk for the first time. Apparently... my wonderful gay daughter isn't talking to them anymore either. They send her money on birthdays via EMT and she takes the money...but doesn't email or call back.
When my 25 year old daughter and her ugly girlfriend first ran away from home I was worried sick about them. I didn't know if they were alive or dead, and all I wanted to do was apologize and get some kind of dialogue going. But then I started running across articles on the internet about similar guys in my boat. They were people that simply dared to disagree with queers, feminists and SJW's - and then found themselves the target of ostracism, scapegoating and even twitter mobs. People have even lost their jobs because of it. When I found my daughter trying to set me up the same way I REALLY lost my shit - she was on the internet telling anyone that would listen that she was a noble lesbian child - timid and traumatized by a domineering homophobic father that she just HAD to run away from. There are some words and actions that you can call back. There are some that you can forget about and pretend they never happened...and there are others you have to live with, or atone for.
The level of maturity involved boggles the mind. This is how they bully weaklings, apparently. If you disagree with them, even that is enough to hurt and offend them enough to cause PTSD and you have to fall over yourself to apologize for making them feeeeeeel baaaaaaad.
When we talked the other night, I was struck by how much my in-laws had changed...and yet how much the same they were. They are still progs and they are hurt and saddened because their gay granddaughter - who they loved and supported without condition - had turned away from them. I'm tempted to tell them that their daughter is playing them for fools and has discarded them because she doesn't think they are of any use to her any more. But they think like a lot of folks today - that queers are just nice people that want to be left alone to interior decorate and look fabulous. I have always held that homosexuality is strongly linked to other self destructive behaviours - 125 years of classical psychology can't be wrong - and have been scolded about it for the last 15.
And yet - here we are. My in laws are now elderly; my father in law is on medication that renders him largely clueless but happy, and my mother in law still treats and regards her 30 year old granddaughter as a child and makes excuses for all her failings. Is it even worth trying to get these seniors to see logic and reason? And my daughter - she's 30 years old and works part time in a bicycle shop. Her love partner is a basket case with eczema and apparently it gets so bad that sometimes she can't even go out in public. She is a freelance artist. They don't have a car, they don't have an apartment and live with a bunch of hipsters in a communal lifestyle in downtown Vancouver. From what I have been able to learn, in addition to homosexuality she has major problems with maturity too...but a lot of kids do these days, I think they sanitize that too by saying 'they are extending their youth...'. Good Christ.
At what point do you stop blaming the parents for the failure of their kids? At what point can you decide that not even the best parent in the world can save them? Did I fail my daughter? And if so - where and how?
I'm 51 now, and life goes on I guess. I'll be a senior soon and as I go over my life's failures and victories...I wonder if my daughter's are mine as well.
Jeez, I hope not. I will forgive her, I suppose, if she ever develops the maturity to ask for it. What else can a father do?