If you've been following the story of my nephew and the ordeal that he has been through in the past several days, you know that yesterday we returned the car to his parents. The drive was long, but when we got there the family was civil to me and my friend for the most part. It is clear they are very hurt by their sons sexuality. I had an emotional breakdown of my own.
Please follow me below the fold for the full story.
My best friend Dena and I left for North Carolina right around midnight on Saturday morning. We were returning my nephew's car to his parents at their request. I know many here suggested we just leave it somewhere, but we couldn't do that. As far as my sister and her husband knew, we still thought we were picking up some of my nephew's belongings as well. The drive was long, and Dena did most of the drive so I could sleep.
We arrived in less than 11 hours. When I pulled up in front of the house, the circular driveway was full of cars. Upon entering the house, I encountered my despondent sister and her husband. With them were several couples from their church, and a few from their neighborhood. My sister immediately ran to me and hugged me and just burst into tears. She said, "How could this happen to our family?" Several ladies in the room helped me calm her down.
Just by doing a quick look around the first floor of their house, I noticed their oldest son's pictures were nowhere to be found with one exception. His senior picture was sitting on a table by itself with a candle beside it. If I didn't know better, I would've thought he had died in a tragic accident. My sister and her husband are obviously hurt, but their actions were more of grieving for a deceased child as opposed to finding out their child was gay.
I didn't want to walk in and immediately ask about my nephew's possessions, so Dena and I sat with the family and friends for a while. One of the people from their church suggested that homosexuality could be caused by mental illness, or a chemical imbalance. There are apparently places where people can be treated for their homosexuality and one man suggested they send him there. His next door neighbor had been cured at one of these places after all.
Another theory was that he was just acting out and pretending to be gay to spite his parents. After all, my nephew is handsome and athletic. He's dated so many girls, so certainly he isn't really gay. The man who said these things also pointed out that even if he was gay, as long as he "never acts on it" then that is ok. He then lamented that he had already acted on it by talking to someone online and sending them pictures. It was to late he imagined.
Another person in the room pointed out that homosexuality could also be caused by a demon possession. A few pointed out that my nephew was a fine young man and couldn't possibly be possessed by a demon, so that theory quickly faded.
I finally was able to get my sister and her husband alone for a few minutes so I finally asked about my nephew's possessions. She asked me to follow her to his room. The door was shut and when she opened it, I saw one small bag in the mostly empty room. She told me that his other belongings had been taken away. She wasn't even sure which charity had gotten them. In the bag for my nephew was a Bible, a couple of Christian CD's, his birth certificate, passport, and a Christian devotional book. I had to act shocked that she would give his possessions away. She assured me that her son could not be "awarded" for his behavior by being allowed to simply pick up his possessions.
I told her that since I didn't need a U-haul truck to take his belongings back, I needed to book a flight. I asked if I could use my 15 year old nephew's computer. He was in his room so this gave me the perfect opportunity to speak to him alone.
My 15 year old nephew told me that his room was searched thoroughly to assure he did not have any "suspicious items". He said his parents have even decided that he needs counseling, just to make sure he was normal. He wanted to speak to his brother, so I allowed him to call my husband's cell phone from my phone. They spoke for a couple of minutes before my sister walked into the room and caught him on the phone. I told her he simply wanted to talk to his brother and that I allowed him to do so. She said that my older nephew should not be rewarded by a phone call from his younger brother. I told him that it wasn't fair for her to cut off her son from his brother like that.
She called her husband upstairs to discuss if the two should be allowed to talk. Of course, he said he thought that was out of the question. The 15 year old was very upset so his parents told him they would allow one last call to his brother, but first a counselor from their church was downstairs and they needed to have a family meeting.
Walking back downstairs, I thought to myself what kind of people do this to their kids? After just a few moments of listening to the counselor talk, I felt like I was watching the T.V. show Intervention. (It's a show about addicts and interventions to save them from their addictions.) The family was told that they had to let my oldest nephew know what he was losing by being homosexual. The consensus was that he loses all contact with his family, financial support, and emotional support. Things would remain that way until he sought help and overcame this "sin".
I had enough at that point. I stood up and said, do you not understand that your son was born this way??? Homosexuality is not something that you can cure! Cutting him off from the family will not help him get cured! I told them that they were very lucky he did not kill himself after what he had been through. My sister began to sob again and her husband looked furious. I walked outside to regain my composure because at that point I was just shaking and crying myself. I honestly cannot understand my own family.
I went back into the house because I was ready to leave. I needed to retrieve my nephew's small bag of belongings. The counselor handed me a couple of books for my nephew to read. From the title of the books I could easily tell the books were meant to help him "cure" his homosexuality. At that point, he asked if they could call him to tell him what the consequences of his homosexuality would be if he did not seek treatment. I refused to be a part of it. Dena and I left at that moment.
My earlier emotional outbreak was nothing like what was about to come. A cab picked us up from the house and I know the cab driver thinks I am crazy because I cried hysterically the almost the whole way to the airport. It had been an emotionally taxing day and I was witnessing my family turn on their own son.
Once I got my bearings I realized I should call my nephew to warn him about the call he was about to receive from his family. I called him and unfortunately I was too late. The call had already been made. He was upset when I called him, and understandably so.
My nephew received another call today from his younger brother. Apparently a family on their street knows the situation and has promised to let him use their cell phone at any time to contact his big brother.
It is seriously beyond me that people can actually do this to their own flesh and blood.
One small update - my nephew has created a name on here and will be posting his first blog either Friday or Saturday of next week. He told me he's already working on it. Please give him a warm Kossack welcome when he posts.