Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Up or Down ?

The pain of others at the expense of "what I want" is about the hardest thing for me to bear. In a few weeks we will tell our children that Daddy is moving out. And then it happens. No words about why dad is moving out, not just yet. But in time. It is all becoming very real and very close to happening. My feelings are so very mixed up that I've felt paralyzed at times. Just making day-to-day decisions seems impossible. But, we soldier on.

My head acknowledges that I have a right to "what I want," and that this is not about some whim of desire but something at the core of my being. When you've been a co-dependent caretaker as long as I have, it's hard to make a switch and admit my needs.

For some bizarre, guilt-ridden reason, I don't like to admit it there is an up side to my moving out: greater freedom for me. Freedom to do what? That is the question for me.

God, I hope I am doing the right thing.

Because of my job, I still must remain largely in the closet. Though I might have the chance to build some (discreet) friendships, I must be very circumspect. To be outed would be disastrous

And in other news . . . .
My PA piercing is healing quite well. I have to say I'm enjoying it. Just knowing it's there is a boost, a reminder that I am (in process, at least, of) coming out. Now I'm anxious to gauge up a bit, but I want to make sure there has been plenty of healing. Right now, I've got a captive bead ring in. I want to get a circular barbell and maybe a bent barbell, too. Any ideas?

In the midst of a lot of sadness, there is still much for which to be grateful. If only I could remember that. . . . . .

8 comments:

Brent said...

I feel the same way, very often. It is very difficult to remember that we have a right to find happiness too. Remember that you are where you are not because you intended to hurt your wife, kids and others. Good luck.

A Troll At Sea said...

"The pain of others at the expense of "what I want" is about the hardest thing for me to bear."

BearToast:

how well I remember the agony of the decision and the agony of the actual events, no matter how well I had tried to prepare myself.

I only hope that you will be able to persevere and find something to see you through. You have to have faith that you will come out on the other side; on whatever level "truth" is possible, you know in your bones it WILL set you free.

Bless you.
T@C

aaronjasonsilver said...

Special bathroom accommodations for gays and lesbians

I’m a gay man with a brother that is gay also. I also have two straight brothers that I never saw an inkling of them being homophobic. I was however, shocked when my brother who lives in D.C. told me about a bit of propaganda about gays are now requiring their own bathrooms. He believed it!! I said Steve; this is the oldest bit of propaganda that’s been around for years now. It started in Colorado about ten years ago. If it were indeed true don’t you think that the media would be all over it because the outrageousness of such a requirement. Don’t believe everything you read. Much of it is put out by the Christian right. The Jerry Falwells and the other emotionally impaired groups that follow this type of demogogary like sheep. These people don’t have the ability to actually think for themselves and therefore give up their god given abilities to think through issues in a reasonable manner because fear is at the center of how these demagogues work.
The followers of these religious radicals are not the brightest or the smartest that America has to offer. The scariest part is there are so many of them. Fear is a very powerful motivator. If any of this nonsense were true it would not be just a little snippet of an article in a newspaper or something one would hear on the Bill O’Reilly show. I said just stop and think for a moment the huge news coverage this would actually get if it were truly from a reliable news agency. Don’t worry anyone. The public bathrooms will continue to smell as they always have. If there indeed were special bathrooms, everyone would want to use them because they wouldn’t stink. Most gay men have a better aim and clean up after themselves. Thank you, Aaron www.aaronjasonsilver.com

aaronjasonsilver said...

DAMAGING EFFECTS OF THE CLOSET


When one takes a very close and open minded look at all of the men in high profile positions that have been outed should lead one to believe that simply condemning homosexuality does not work in stopping or preventing it. Many of these men are members of the clergy. It obviously will never work in preventing or stopping homosexual behavior or orientation given the many facts we have available if we dare look. If the clergy themselves who vehemently condemn homosexuality on the pulpit but then in private engage in homosexuality and fantasy I believe provides some important evidence. The evidence of which I speak is that homosexuality goes much deeper than simply acting out physically. There is not a gay man that I have ever talked to that hasn’t admitted to trying or wanting to change their homosexual fantasies even before they have their first experience. We, as gay people learn very early on what behaviors are considered normal and which are considered not only abnormal but abhorrent. I, like so many other young children tried with all of our might to pray these powerful yet disdainful feelings away. Many clergy members choose the clergy for the very reason of trying to rid themselves of these overpowering natural urges. They privately hope that if they join the clergy they will be closer to God and then perhaps he will rid them of these feelings. This is what is meant by “the closet”. The closet is an emotional place that many homosexuals choose to live in, in order to prevent anyone from finding out or discovering their deeply hidden feelings. Both men and woman often do this. In fact most gay people start out in the closet once they have been socialized enough to understand that society does not permit these types of activities or feelings of same sex attractions. Instead these young boys and girls are forced into pretending that they have “normal” feelings of attraction like all the other kids. Unfortunately many choose to live in the closet for long periods of time causing more emotional harm to themselves and more victims of the deception.

The length of time one chooses to live in the closet has to do with so many variables. Some choose to live in the closet for religious reasons. They may be from deeply religious and socially conservative families. They may feel that by exposing their true nature that they may lose the love of their parents, families or their caretakers and are terrified of being shut out in some way such as losing their love or being punished for their feelings. They may also choose the closet for professional reasons. They may carry fear of losing their jobs or have fear of moving up in a company. Therefore economics can be a very powerful reason for staying in the closet way into their adulthood. I believe strongly that the topic of “the closet” needs to be addressed and understood. I believe it is essential to discuss “the closet” to provide the necessary context from which to view this issue and the many scandals. Particularly now however I am speaking of men at this time. The reason being is because I believe men use the closet even more often than woman because of societies more narrow view and expectations of what behaviors are considered acceptable and “normal” for men. This discussion needs to be civilized, and our knee jerk reactions and judgments held in check. We need to discuss this subject with compassion because there is a lot of emotional pain involved in living in the closet. We have to discuss this with a very sincere desire to try and understand why so many men are seemingly suddenly becoming gay. Of course this is an impression to some but far from the truth. These men have been living extremely lonely double lives, riddled with guilt in “the closet”. Woman can be tomboys much easier than men can be sissies. Of course not all gay men are effeminate by a long shot but that is a stereotypical image of gay men and therefore many men attempt to cover up any behaviors they may have and believe may bring unwanted suspicion onto them. Therefore men, whether they be gay or straight, will practice stereotypical masculine behaviors to thwart any suspicion out of fear and/or necessity. This is especially true if they feel pressure to do so to protect their careers, career advancement, fear of social denunciation or they have difficulties reconciling their religious views with their natural inner feelings and same sex attractions etc. These are however the most common reasons for men to join the astounding numbers of other men that are also hiding in the closet.

The fear of being discovered can be enormous and absolutely terrifying. These men will often then do whatever they believe society expects from them. They will marry and have children out of desperation in an always unsuccessful attempt at suppressing these natural longings and hoping that they will eventually go away. To Gays these attractions feel perfectly normal and are. Would we rather they try and unsuccessfully continue to hide by getting married and have homosexual secret liaisons with men and feel terrible guilt in doing so. They will do their very best to compartmentalize their lives and be successful at it for awhile but not forever. However I believe and have found while researching my book that the longer one stays in the closet the more damage is done. It is generally very difficult to compartmentalize ones life for long without some emotional problems developing in varying degrees and manifesting in a variety of ways. Many closeted men develop coping mechanisms such as addictive behaviors of all sorts whether they are alcoholism, prescription or non prescription drug abuse. They may develop addictions to pornography, sexual addiction or other self-destructive ways of acting out. Once again unfortunately the longer one stays in the closet there will then also generally be more victims because of their closeted lifestyle choice. This is the only place where the word choice can be used correctly within the context of this subject. They can either “choose” to live in the closet or “choose” to live out their truth of who they really are. The victims may be their wives and children, their friends, parents and siblings. All feeling like they have been betrayed and deceived when the closeted individuals true nature is discovered as it was for ex-governor of New Jersey, Mr. McGreevy, ex-congressmen Foley and now the president of the Evangelicals, to name just a few of the staggering number of men that have also been hiding their true selves. I feel very sad for the victims as well as I very much understand the humiliation, despair, and profound depression that the closeted individual feels that soon follows once that door to the closet is flung open. For some, the shame and fear is just too unbearable and suicide seems like the only alternative to ending their unbearable pain and shame.

Society needs to take some responsibility with this matter of the closet by being more accepting of alternative lifestyles. Without the closet, try and imagine how much less pain many people and families would have to endure. Not only the ones that feel that living in the closet is their only alternative, but for the victims that find themselves feeling betrayed and the breaking up of families that soon follows. We as a culture have some soul searching to do on this matter and not be so self-righteous. There are a variety of ways of loving and living. We need to accept the fact, that which seems to be normal for some is not necessarily normal for all. However, as I said the closet can cause deep and very troubling emotional problems that can eventually manifest in abhorrent behaviors. Unfortunately homosexuality is still frowned upon by many in American culture, which in turn renders same sex marriage completely out of the realm of possibilities for especially the conservative religious right.

For gays that feel the need to come to terms with their same sex attractions, I generally do not recommend discussing these issues with clergy. The reason I feel this way is because it can cause further damage due to their religious agendas which can deepen one's guilt, shame and depression. This is a very complicated issue that society has to become more compassionate about. If we do not, we will continue to shame many people with same sex attractions enough that will perpetuate their confusion. It will also inhibit many from being true to themselves from the beginning and also prevent them from seeking the appropriate help for any specific personal issues in which they may be struggling with. Thank you, Aaron Silver Fennville Mi 49408 www.aaronjasonsilver.com

Ur-spo said...

most real steps of progress are bittersweet, so nothing surprising in the 'mixed feelings' you have.
I still think your kids won't be that surprised or shocked by the announcement.

daveincleveland said...

ok man,i must admit i always feel the same thing, i have hurt deeply the ones i love the most, and i feel like a piece of shit for it but deep down inside sometimes i am just dancing on air because there is so much to be greatful for, always remember that and kids will heal quickly, you are still their father and always will be, and who we love and sleep with will never change that....
dave

BentonQuest said...

It may be difficult now, but what is better to live in truth or live a lie? Most lies we think are well hid, but usually they are right out there, we have just all decided not to acknowledge them.

Robert said...

I want to commend you for the way you are going about the coming out process. My own experience was so much more chaotic and unplanned, and it still pains me to think about some of the things I said and did to my loved ones during that period of my life.

I really enjoy reading your blog. Your writing is always so honest and to the point. Keep the posts coming.

Oh yeah, and congrats on the PA--a very sexy choice, my friend. I am jealous that you are so much braver than I am.