How do you cope when a child sends you a letter saying he's never known if his parents loved him; has never known unconditional love; has been wounded to the core, hurt irrevocably for years, by you ... and doesn't want an apology, just wants to be sure you feel as much pain as he has? The issue - he's coming out. But he hastened to say that his letter isn't about that, it's about how terrible I have been, how awful I have made his life. I am not allowed to have any thoughts or feelings about either his coming out, or him telling me how awful I am, either. I am only allowed to experience pain, according to him. The irony? I have suspected his orientation for some time but wanted to leave it to him to start the discussion when he felt ready. What I was not ready for was the accusations and vitriol verging on hate. I am reeling. I can't think about anything else but this letter; I can't stop rereading it. I can't stop crying. I seem to have been deluding myself for years in thinking that I loved this child - all of my children - with all my heart, supported and defended and encouraged and loved loved loved him and still do ... This is especially devastating to me because I grew up with an extremely abusive mother who only dealt in conditional and abusive forms of 'love'. I swore I would make sure my children never experienced that sort of pain and that I would always love my children unconditionally. I feel completely disconnected from myself, as if I've just been informed that I'm a mass murderer and I just didn't realize it. I am also not supposed to share his news with my husband, as that is not my privilege - so I am totally isolated with this. It's not the central news that is devastating me. It's the accusations and assertions that he's never been loved. I can't get my mind around it. I am devastated. I know this isn't probably the forum for this but didn't know where else to turn. I can't even talk to husband. When husband gets HIS letter, whenever that is, he will also learn that I got mine first and didn't share. It will affect our trust. I want to respect my child's need to say what he has to say to each of us but feel isolated and destroyed. Help, please.