Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Mea culpa


Today it feels like a low front has moved in. No, not weather, but me. A depression front has settled in. I’m fearing it will sock me in for a few days, like a chunky fog that settles down over the river, between the mountains.

What did I expect my wife to say, “Oh gosh, dear. How sad. Go your way. Be queer, and have a nice life. See ya later.” Is there no wonder she is furious and crushed? The waves of intense rage will come out, sooner or later. And then it will be all over again with the children.

I am destroying many of her dreams. I am breaking up the happy home. I am putting all our finances at risk (and they are at best precarious). Yes, my dreams, my home, my finances, too. But I am the one making a choice. I am the one turning every thing upside down. Everything. It’s me. No one else.

She can be furious at me. I have no one to be angry at. It is me. My fault. Nowhere else to turn. No one else to blame.

I think I have some understanding of my wife’s feelings of being devastated, deserted, demolished. From her perspective, I am the offending party. I am the one getting us into all this. I am the one who spoke the words, who came out of the closet. Me. I did it. I must take the responsibility. It is not here fault. Not her. It’s me.

All this comes at me like things falling off the top shelves onto my head. Like opening the proverbial Fibber McGee’s closet. Crashing. On me. God, the pain.

I have long been one to admit his mistakes, to own up to the truth, to be responsible for my shit (and where it lands). It is that drive for the Truth that has led me slowly to make my way out of the closet. So I have no one to blame by myself.

And that’s the problem. I slide over the edge. I spiral down. The self-loathing, the inner punishment, the self-contempt. God, the pain.

I do not know what survival will look like. I do not know what the next step will be. I do know that I must let go of knowing and not knowing. Trust that there is One who does know. One who will know. And One by whom I am known. Fully known, and yet still freely loved.

I don’t do well seeing very far beyond the end of my nose, sometimes. To know that there are many of you out there who have been where I am, done what I am doing, or now doing it yourself, is comfort and strength. Pray.

Thank you. Joe.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations. You are a man of courage.
Although I am not gay, some of my friends are and one of my sons.

My advice to my son has always been that being gay is like being left handed. It's something that you just are.

Good luck with your new life and I hope you find your peice of happiness
E K

dave in cleveland said...

joe, my friend, first of all, you have to be you, we have all been stifled in the closet for so long do we really even know who we are, second we did back in the day, what everyone expected us to do, you will always have the relationship with your children, hopefully you will have a good relationship with your wife, just don't ever say to her you want to remain friends, not a good move, let time take its course and see what happens, right now my friend you cannot look too far down the road, take each day at a time, proceed as if you have a grand master to do list and take each task one at a time, find a good friend that you feel comfortable with and lean on him, lean on God, he is there and will help you..you know where to get me, i am always here for you joe
dave

Ross said...

Joe,

I pray for you and your family. Maybe it's a good thing to not see much further than your nose. You've made a move to long-term wellness. Now, you have to deal with the short-term consequences. It's not fun...not remotely. But I have to believe that God will call goodness from this...and from you.

Peace within you today and every day.

Ross

CanEragon said...

Anger and revultion are the first wave, and when the shock wares off, and you can logically look at the situation and come to some agreement of where all parties are to go from here, things will ease up.

YOU are not the cause of all of this, if memory serves this discussion has been going on for some time, in your past, so the writing was on the wall then, only now to come to light.

Had this issue been dealt with then, maybe this "now" process would not have been so hard. But you knew - and maybe she knew it was true but neither party wanted to say those words... now you have.

Ride the wave my friend and stand tall, like I said you're not the first and certainly not the last.

Pray, Medidate find your bearings in life and start building the life you want within the family you will possibly maintain. Just because you are gay does not mean that you cant still be friends, and a father and a good man, the tables are turned homosexuality is not Our fault - lets look at the data.

dont be SO HARD on yourself. This is not all about you. If SHE had any inkling of this truth in the past, the fact that she did nothing to help you find the answer makes her just as guilty for forcing you to stay in a hetero relationship either for her own goals and gain and your family.

How many men are forced to stay in marriages when they know that they are unhappy.

Question:

Do you wanna be RIGHT or do you wanna be HAPPY???

You are in my prayers,
Jeremy

Fr. B said...

Joe,
You are indeed often in my prayers in these most difficult days. I have no easy answers for you -- only the absolute conviction that your darkness will lead to light, that your heavy heart will be unburdened, that the dark cloud will lift. Your family too will heal. As you forge ahead, know that you are not alone.
Fr. B.

Michael said...

Now that I can peek in on the weekend, I want to assure you that my prayers for you and your family rise up daily, even though my contact on the blog is limited during these weeks of Lent.

I know we are all tempted to see things in terms of "Whose fault is this?", and often wind up blaming ourselves. Doesn't society tell us that it is all our fault most of the time? It is easy to buy into that. Yet life is more complex, and it is a bit self-aggrandizing to think that everything that is wrong is my fault. After all, I am running the universe, right?

It may be more helpful to ask who is responsible now for the next step into truth for everyone. Jesus said the truth will make us free, but he didn't mention how much it will hurt first.

I hope the day will come when you will be able to see that the past is not a pattern of faults or mistakes, but a pattern of choices made -- sometimes selfishly, sometimes not -- with the resources you and your wife had at the time. God was with you then, too, helping you do what you could. God is with you now and will continue to help you do what you can.

My heart aches for all of you, and I know that mine is a tiny ache compared to yours.

Anonymous said...

And that’s the problem. I slide over the edge. I spiral down. The self-loathing, the inner punishment, the self-contempt. God, the pain.

Oh heck yes. Not the same situation, but the same feelings. The same dark day today. Thinking of you. If you were a cold hearted bastard you'd not care. You're not, so you pay. Blessings.

freethnkr said...

Joe,
From one who has already lived this and surived - take a breath- and know that what you're feeling is perfectly normal... but the reality you are seeing through those emotions is distorted. I know it feels like the world is ending, that there is nothing but pain and destruction happening, but that's not true. A birth is occurring, and not just for you either, for your wife, for your kids.

There will be an end to this period and on the other side is a path based on truth, with no more secrets. I know (oh I know) it feels like things are being destroyed, and maybe some things are, but the real things, the important things are not. They're just changing. You're relationship with your wife, as husband and wife, will no longer remain. It can't. But Joe that is a good, excruciatingly painful thing. I know you love your wife but doesn't she deserve a man who can love her the way a man should love a woman, totally, passionately, irrationaly, with no doubt? And don't you deserve a man who can love you in the same way? Don't your kids deserve parents who are honest?

Joe, noone can live this for you but you. Noone can take away the pain. Noone else's journey will be the same as yours but I hope you know or have some glimmer that things will get better. You are a brave man. You are pursuing truth where the majority of men live their lives of quiet desperation, never being complete and never allowing the other people trapped in that quiet desperation with them the oppurtunity to find their truth either.

Peace.

Brian said...

You're not alone. It hurts like hell, yes, and some days will be better, some worse. But no matter how bad it gets, you cannot live a lie, you cannot be dishonest to yourself and those you love. I don't know yet when it gets better, I'm in the maelstrom yself now. But you're not alone. And you're doing the right thing. My thoughts and hopes are with you.

Ben said...

On a completely different note, are those steps from Ely Cathedral in the picture you posted here?

geek_boi said...

Joe, I agree with everybody else here. We're all here to help and were all pulling for you! Things are going to work out somehow...

Joe said...

Joe,
This scares the shit out of me. I envision myself being in your shoes within the year. And I don't know what to do or how to do it w/out hurting my wife.
I join many others and wish you wisdom, peace of mind, calm, and joy! You deserve it. We all deserve it.

I"m 59, came out to my wife in Nov of 2004; we're still together, but I'm having a hard time seeing her as my life partner anymore. And I'm not sure what to do about it. I take insight from your pain, I fear.
If you were here, I'd give you a big bear hug, and hold you tight, and let you cry (and I'd probably cry with you.)
Please stay strong; sending you warm and kind thoughts only.
Joe (Michael)

walking, not falling said...

lots of good advice here just listen and remember to give yourself time to mourn "what was supposed to have been" then it gets easier to see and enjoy, even celebrate, what IS.

in my thoughts and prayers,

b.

Ian said...

Hi Joe,

I'm not a particularly religious man, but there is one song I remember from my bible school days:

This is the day that the Lord has made
We shall rejoice and be glad in it


Take Care and Be Safe,
Ian

Anonymous said...

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

nonsequitur said...

To Anonymous...

I would like to know what your definition of "throwing away the life you have" is. You seem to imply that it is better to keep living a lie indefinitely, which has very severe long-term repercussions for everyone involved. We have only one life to live, so it is better to be truthful and straighforward.

Some of the most unhappy, depressed people I've ever known were closeted, married gay men. Their emotional & spiritual malaise manifested itself in constant frustration, anger, and in some cases, abusive behavior toward their wife and children. So do you think that having an unhealthy family environment with a chronically depressed parent is better than temporarily upsetting the apple cart?

I don't believe Joe ever made any mention of abandoning his wife and kids. So I can't imagine where you got the idea that he his throwing away his life and robbing his loved ones of happiness. There are MANY thousands of gay men out there who have been married to women and had children with them... and after separating, are still responsible, nurturing, loving fathers as well as good friends to their former wives. In fact, I know quite a few of them. Yes, coming out of the closet does confuse and upset the family in some cases. Yet, if these families aren't tainted by homophobia, many them become closer and more loving as a result. Truth has a way of healing things.

Now let me tell you where destruction of the soul and family unit really comes from... living in the fear, secrecy, and shame associated with a sanctimonious collective of people who believe that they hold a monopoly on Godly perspective and it is their imperative to impose this perspective on everyone else. Attempts to force people into a mold that they don't fit into has NEVER worked throughout all of history and it has always led to compounded problems down the road.