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how i should've told my mom

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my mom found diapers (in my size) in my room when i was 16. when she confronted me, i was unprepared for the conversation. i've thought a lot about how it could have gone better and i figured i'd think out loud here.

what i did right:
- told the truth about liking diapers
- declined the offer of professional therapy
- didn't tell her before she asked

what i did wrong:
- kept stinky stuff in my room (causal factor)
- insufficiently hid my diaper stash
- tooo muuuch iiinformation
- did not ask for time to frame a response
- used the line "at least i'm not on drugs"
- unnecessarily brought up "i'm not a pedophile"
- responded emotionally
- told her about having friends on the internet
- lied about intending to quit

the whole thing started because i had not thrown away something that smelled awful but i had become accustomed to. (what it was is not important to the story.) she went searching to find the source of the smell, but instead found adult diapers in my nightstand. i think i must have subconsciously wanted to be confronted about diapers, and suddenly i was.

she came to me in my room that evening and asked me why i had diapers in my room. i said, because i liked wearing them. she was unhappy and hoped i was going to say because i used them as packing material for computer parts. she started to get a bit sad and upset.

she then asked me what my "ritual" was. this completely shocked me, because to me it implied something like devil worship or virgin sacrifice, some private and terrible thing. wikipedia's article on ritual makes it sound just about like i feel, "a set activity (or set of actions) which to the outsider seems irrational, non-contiguous, or illogical" which can be done "in arbitrary places, or in places especially reserved for it; either in public, in private, or before specific people". wow, she actually nailed it! but i got upset and defensive, and she got more upset. this is when i should have tried to ask for more time to get my thoughts together.

i forget exactly what i said then (16 years ago now) but part of it involved the fact that i had been socially active online (dpf babytalk forum, efnet #diapers chat) and said i knew a bunch of people like me. this is in 1997ish; the internet was much more mysterious then. she said something about learning my bad habits from "those online freaks". i said, hey, i am one of those online freaks. we both got a little more upset.

she offered me professional therapy, which i declined because i am not that stressed or concerned about this part of me. she told me she wished i was gay instead, because at least she could talk about that with her sisters. it's funny now, but it wasn't then.

eventually she cried and i told her i would stop using diapers, and it faded into memory. i moved out a couple of years later. i have not stopped (uh, nope) and i have decided to revisit the topic only if she asks. i'd have to admit that i lied, but i'm a married adult with two kids and a good job, and i'd finally have the chance to show her that my diaper preference didn't ruin me.

if i could do it again, i would basically attempt to avoid everything i listed above that i feel i did wrong. even better i would like to have written her a letter like the following:

[snip]
dear mom: i know you are curious about the diapers you found in my room. i'm sorry for making you feel confused or concerned, and i probably should have kept them in a more private place, but i suppose the cat's out of the bag. diapers are my absolute favorite underwear. i knew that when i was 6 but didn't do much about it then. while i was 12-14 i often stole one or two from [my baby sister]'s supply (sorry). i have been buying my own since i was 15. somewhere in there, i decided to stop feeling like i had a problem that must be fixed! for a while now, whenever you've seen me or wherever i've been, sometimes i was wearing a diaper. generally, people don't notice or if they notice they don't care. i don't intend to make a big deal out of this, and i don't intend to stop. please feel free to ask me anything you want to know, but please give me time to write it down if i need to. i love you very much, and thank you for trying to understand a bit more about your son! :-)
[unsnip]

(p.s. my first blog! i am blogging some of my best threads in an effort to not lose them forever...)
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