John Adams's Complicating Family

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The focus of Adams’ essay is on the relational complications he experienced, specifically with family, after coming out as a gay man. In this essay, Adams is intentionally transparent about rejection, pain, broken relationships and his struggle to overcome. I relate to his story, not because of gender identity issues, but more so because I identify with the pain of rejection by family, especially with my mom. Throughout this piece, I will reflect on Adam’s stories as they relate to my own. I will utilize Adam’s “Complicating Family” subtitles to juxtapose my experiences with his. Complicating Family I In this section, Adams makes reference to the sudden rejection from one of his favorite family members, his Aunt, who always supported him…show more content…
As I read this, I thought about how my mother never acknowledges my life. For the last thirty years, maybe longer, she has never told me she was proud of me, my accomplishments, or even that I looked pretty, not even happy birthday. And just as Adams felt his father was mocking him by taking him to Hooters, I feel mocked when my mother brings up my other siblings birthdays to…show more content…
She does this in comparison with her neighbor’s relationship with her daughter-in-law. This reminds me of how it seems that I can never do anything right for my mom and how she constantly makes comments about how good my sister-in-law is to her and never acknowledges my efforts. Emotional abuse is what it is! And just as Adams became fed up, I am tired of trying to please. Just as Adams struggled to spend time with family, while also “wanting, or needing, to stay separate from them,” (p.68) I totally understand the need for self-care. I too, had to make a decision to limit the amount of time with my mother because she rarely had anything good to say. And just as with Adams, I find myself “living increasingly separate from my family members” (p. 68). I long to have a good relationship with my parents, but I can no longer allow it to negatively impact my life and my family. Adams was concerned for his partner, and my concern was for my family, mostly my kids. At one point in my life, the emotions connected to the broken relationship with my parents were too much to manage; I almost had a nervous
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