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My husband tried to force my son into conversion therapy, so I packed up everything and we ran as fast as we could

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My 17-year-old son; brilliant, creative, caring, and loving finally told me recently what I had suspected for actually several years. You could easily determine that I was one of those mother’s who was simply waiting for my son to tell me his truth rather than invading his privacy and forcing him to tell me. I had my suspicions though considering I had found LGBTQ+ content on his tablet a few times I was just so inexperienced on the topic I felt it was better to leave it alone at the time.

But the experience hasn’t been easy. 5 months ago my husband of 19 years and his father walked out on us over his revelation that he liked boys rather than girls. It has been easier on me than it has on him because for most of his life he was, by all means, his father’s son. In the weeks following his revelation, my now ex-husband grew violent. Constantly referencing religion; far-right topics, conversion therapy, all possible things one could say negatively he did. He even tried to forcibly trick my son into a conversion therapy session over Zoom during the pandemic behind my back.

The experience left my 17-year-old son so traumatized I came home one night to find him slumped over in the bathroom because he had tried to overdose on painkillers he had taken from my bathroom from a previous surgery that I had undergone months prior. I want parent’s to know that this isn’t okay. If you have a child that recently came out or may be trying to come out you should be there for them. Surely I don’t understand allot of the entire situation (that isn’t for me to understand though it is my job to still love and accept regardless though.)

Dad’s who abandon their children over being or are suspected of being gay are perhaps some of the most traumatizing experiences a kid can go through. I’ll never forget consoling my son because he felt like a failure because Dad was no longer showing up over something he couldn’t change. I felt like a horrible Mom for a while because I had unknowingly got with a man who was fairly normal up until about a year or so ago. I had began to find of indoctrination; religious extremism, and a few other things on his then laptop.

My advise to women and families who may be in similar situations. Get out while you can. At no point is it worth putting yourself or your children through heartbreak and emotional violence like that. It’ll be a long time but I am hoping and praying that my only son comes out of this feeling worthy and loved again.

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