Monday, March 27, 2006

Dear Anonymous 3 - Finding myself

This another post responding to a comment from an anonymous reader, left on this linked post.

I am sorry for your pain.. and i won't go into the rights or wrongs of being gay.. But one thing I do have to ask.. and perhaps you should as well.. You made a vow when you and your 'wife' got married. You have children.. you have a responabilty to them.. even though you have 'come out' so to speak.. does that mean you have the right to throw away the life you have, the one you built with YOUR wife? with your children? Does your happiness come before your families?? Is it really worth the destruction that your causing??not only to them.. but to your soul as well.. ?? Think about it. please
posted by "Anonymous"

You have children.. you have a responabilty to them.. even though you have 'come out' so to speak.. does that mean you have the right to throw away the life you have, the one you built with YOUR wife? with your children?

Yes, I have a responsibility to my children, which is a big reason I am coming out. No, I have not told them yet, but I will. I am puzzled by the punctuation of this comment because I am not sure which phrase goes with which. “Even though you have ‘come out’ so to speak ..” seems to be suggesting that I might be under the impression that coming out absolves me of all family responsibilities, that the result of my coming out would be the abandonment of my children. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Why would I see coming out as the responsible thing to do as a parent? Because children know more truth than they can express or even comprehend. As far as I know, they do not know (consciously) that I am gay. I would not be surprised if, when they are told, they said, “Well, duh, Dad. We knew there was a reason you liked to sing Broadway musicals with us. We knew there was a reason you like to dance so much.”

There is an old saying that comes (I believe) from the 12 step tradition: “We are as sick as our secrets.” And families are as sick as their secrets. To keep this secret and this secret life from my children is more hurtful, in the long run, than the trauma of my coming out. What life would you have me keep? What life should I not “throw away?” A life that looks great on the outside, a life that has the trappings of success, love, faithfulness. But a life that is so consumed with angst that I can only barely function sometimes.

When a family system is filled with anxiety, children know. They will begin to live that anxiety that goes unspoken, unacknowledged, undealt with.

It would be better for my children to have two households with healthy parents, than one with none.

Does your happiness come before your families?? Is it really worth the destruction that your causing??not only to them.. but to your soul as well.. ?? Think about it. Please

Yes, I can see how my coming out is a self-centered thing, but it is not merely selfish. This isn’t only about my getting what I want. Though the immediate time is quite painful, I believe it will be better.

Is it "worth the destruction?" I can only hope and believe that wherever their is death, new life will spring forth. There is no Easter without Good Friday; no resurrection without the cross.

This journey has been for me a profoundly spiritual one. From your comments, Anonymous, I’d bet you have a difficult time seeing that. I’m guessing that being gay is something of which you disapprove, that you feel my soul is in danger. Thomas Merton said, "To be born again is not to become somebody different, but to become ourselves." Yes, I know it is late, but I am seeking to become myself, to enter more deeply into the image of God in which I am made.

From most conservative Christians I hear a voice that says, "all you have to do is be like us." I have tried so much of my life to be someone else. One definition of craziness is to keep on doing the same thing, but always expecting a different result. It has been a long learning. Again, from Merton:
The first step toward finding God, Who is Truth, is to discover the truth about myself: and if I have been in error, this first step to truth is the discovery of my error.
I will end this series of responses with these words from Thomas Merton. I guess I'm on a Merton kick tonight. This prayer expresses profoundly my belief, my hope in God in whom I put my trust, and whom I seek to please above all:

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please
you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this
you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Grace & Peace, Joe.


CanEragon said...

Then Jeremy comes and gives his two cents... In the 12 step tradition as I am well a part of myself,we talk about being only as "sick as our secrets." Then I ask, Do you want to be right, OR do you want to be happy? Adults who keep secrets and hurt each other with those secrets will feel pain much longer than a young person, because children and young people are resilient. All they require is honesty and lots of love. Coming out may shock the masses - but in the long run would you want children that grow up into healthy, well informed and Compassionate and Accepting human beings, or would you want chidren that revolt, are unhappy and in therapy for the rest of their lives further infecting them in their future relationships.

I support the Bear and I offer him my counsel and care. People who ask questions like "anonymous" has tells me that they are not informed of just how DIFFICULT it is to live in a world where Gay = pedophile sick perverts who could not possibly be loving and or acceptible. Do you think we dont feel and question GOD and LIFE just as you do? For God sakes we are all human and therefore we are deserving of God's love, personal dignity and acceptance by our brothers and sisters, but for the mere mortal christian - that is a tall order. But maybe you question us on these things because you want to be "informed" and you are truly struggling with questions that you read about here? You never know if anonymous is sitting in a dark closet themselves? You never know!!!

Children will bounce back BECAUSE we are honest with them, we offer them not ONE but TWO loving households with two happy adults, not fighting over custody of the kids, the dog or the sofa!!! Each day, we Live in the Moment, we STAY in our day, We live with love and gratitude because people like me are here standing with you saying that "This Too Shall Pass." For tomorrow the sun will rise as it always has and God's love will never waver. One Day At A Time...

We pray for this family for God's wisdom and grace and peace. And We know in faith that God hears us and is with us always. Faith is the fire (the question) we all persue gay or straight. Some of us find it faster than others, BEAR is well on his way and we must respect him and support this very rough road he will travel, but he knows that he is never alone. More men go through this than we all like to admit, or THEY admit. It takes a Courageous man to come to find himself and a far greater man to walk into the light and proclaim his existence in one community or another.

Heterosexuals don't have the same "problems" we do with telling the family that "hey I am straight!" how rediculous. So just imagine for a moment that YOU figured it out for yourself? What would you do, but find people like us to inform you and share our road map with you to help you along the path.

Tell the kids when YOU are ready Bear, and not one moment before. This is not an easy "tell" so have your wits about you, have your story clear talk to your wife and be in communion with her so that your stories match and make sure they know that they are loved beyond all else, then the telling will not be so difficult as long as they SEE that they are not loosing Anything, but gaining parents who love, are responsible and love them enough to tell them the truth.

Kids and young people are impathic. They knew things like out mothers know things about us before we do ourselves, so that will help you a great deal, if you let them talk as well and share in the "telling." and in time things will even out and you might find you have more in common than you ever had before. and won't that be grace???

Peace Bro..
I am here for you
The Wanabe Preacher

Sean said...

You are dealing with these issues with wisdom and much thought. It seems your intentions are good. I agree that it may be painful at first, but in the end there will be good.

Brian said...

All well said, and you could do worse than freebase on Merton. Anonymous has at least served the purpose of causing you to vocalise in a most eloquent manner the really hard issues those of us with families face. Mine are coming soon and what you wrote above gave me more than a little solace. So thank you for that Joe, and from a remove, I thank Anonymous.

A Troll At Sea said...

you cut me to the heart, and it is too full to speak here now. I will post a longer response at "Troll". Or better, email it.
But know that your way between religious truth and your own truth is always a way of suffering.
Well, more later.
God will bless you, Joe.

Brian said...

I am sorry,but can someone enlighten me please. If homosexuality is such a BIG religious issue, why didn't G_D include it in the 10 Commandments. Oversight? Also, why didn't Jesus get into teaching about it? Then we may have had an idea about WWJD.The amount of agony expended for another expression of love, leaves me bewildered.