Thursday, March 15, 2007

Glaciers - Moving

I didn't realize how long it had been since my last post. Sorry about that.

Glaciers move slowly but inexorably. As they creep along, as the ice melts, crevasses form: those cracks that may be hidden from view but then slowly develop into chasms. And they are cold.

That's is what it feels like at home. Though my wife and I get along quite well, always have, I feel a slowly growing, cold rift beginning. I suppose it's only natural, all things considered. This summer is the time when we will separate. When both children are home from school and will have one another for some support, we will tell them. They will want to know why we hadn't let them in on it sooner, but there is no need to burden them with it now. One in college, one in high school, they don't need any more distractions than they already have.

Will we tell them everything? Exactly why Daddy is leaving? I think so, but that will be difficult, because they have to keep it quiet. The coming out can't happen out loud. It must be kept in check so as not to endanger my job.

Mixed feelings: excitement, dread, coming relief, approaching disaster, new community, utter isolation. Such is life.

Working with a 12 step group has been life-giving. The concept of "one day at a time" is coming into focus and into practice. Surrendering not just the addiction stuff, but many other areas of life is helping. I have always wanted God to "take it away." Now I think I understand that it is less about God taking something away as it is my handing it over. Subtle difference but with big effect.

But I am not just recovering, I am coming out, also. Two things that can seem conflictual. Part of me says "quite acting out" while the other keeps asking, "but what does it mean to be gay." Much to learn.

I've been reading Gifted by Otherness by Wm. Countryman and M.R. Ritley. Written by two Christian theologians (and Episcopalians), it is not a difficult read. It helps me find some framework, something to hang all this on, something to help me see I am not alone.

I must get back to work. Thanks to all who read, comment, and offer themselves through this blogosphere.

Shalom & Cheers, Joe.


Michael said...

Glad to hear some news on your process.

You may have already run across these books, but if not...

Easing the Ache: Gay Men Recovering from Compulsive Behaviors by David Crawford

Golden Men: The Power of Gay Midlife by Harold Kooden with Charles Flowers

Jeremiah said...

When I got sober this last time, it took me a year to learn about "stay in your day and One day at a time."

Turning it over - is a wonderful lesson, because in order to grow forward we need to drop the rock and let go and let God.

Recovery is a most wonderful gift for those who will learn how to make it work for them. And this principle is universal and can be applied across the board to many situations.

Like the slogans say ...

Live - Easy - But - Think - First


Raymond said...

Toasted B:

I personally find the challenge to be one of what it actually means to be gay, as you indicate. I know what it does NOT mean, for me at least, but as with the rest of my life, the real issue is whether or not I can live out what is so comfortable in my head.

And then there is the small matter of the heart. Although it has caused me nothing but pain so far, I would urge you to focus on THAT organ above all the others.

Free advice being worth just what you pay for it.


Lemuel said...

You have been on my mind, but you don't have the proof. :)

I am glad your journey goes forward in the 12-step program.

Perhaps as the glacier moves toward its destination it will begin to warm.

Wishing you every good thing...

BentonQuest said...

Joe, I am inspired by your courage during your journey. I know that you will act at the time that is appropriate for you. This isn't a race so take your time and live in the day.


Ur-spo said...

it is good to see you posting again.
good luck with all of this
chances are your kids know a lot already.

Fr. B said...

I a glad you have found your way to "Gifted by Otherness". It is one of my favorite books. I especially enjoy the insights of M.R. Ritley.

Know that you will be in my prayers these days as the 'carving into my body' begins. Surgery tomorrow. I'm ready!

Fr. Bob

Anonymous said...

I mentioned this to a friend, female, who said, 'but what does it mean to be 'a man'? or 'a woman'? If one hasn't thought about it before.

She said she felt very far from what is seen as a typical woman, so maybe women, men and gay and straight people come in as many forms as there are individuals, and what you really mean, or any of us mean is, - 'What does it mean to be Me?'

Just a thought.


Thoby said...

I attended a lecture workshop with Wm. Countryman in Salt Lake some years ago. The discussion and presentation was well-organised and thought-provoking.

Fr. B: May God grant you a successful recovery from your surgery. May your bones knit quickly.

Have you abandoned your insightful contributions to the blogosphere? Are you still permitting anyone to access your site?