Thursday, July 12, 2007

Paying backward

When I was in high school, I took a bad fall, head-first. I extended my arms to break the fall. It all happened in a flash. No broken bones, but I did jam both arms. Painful.

To ease the pain and give them a rest, the doctor ordered i keep my lower arms at right angles to the upper part. And physical therapy was prescribed. Not too difficult. Through this mending time, I was to do exercises to gently stretch my arms back out. It hurt, I mean really hurt. Sent home with exercises to do "on my own", I knew I'd get over it.

Avoiding the more intense pain by neglecting my exercises, I have paid a price. Now, about 35 years later, my arms will not straighten out. The lower arms have lost a little bit of the range-of-motion.

When I carry something quite heavy (like a suitcase) that wants to pull my arm to full extension, it causes pain. It cannot be fixed. it cannot be corrected.

Short-term pain, even though much more intense, is, in the long run, worth the price.
Otherwise, the pain is dribbled out over years and years.

The pain now (though more for others than for me) will be worth it. The slow death of depression, repression, suppression has found its Calvary. Death, where is thy sting?

Sometimes death is very, very slow. Glacial, even. At last, resurrection.

This will be my one-hundred-and-twelfth post. Give or take. I began in November 2005, twenty long months ago. Eventful year, eh?

Friends have once again lent us their condo at Hilton Head Island, SC for a beach break. My girls are here with me for several days; their my mom comes down this weekend as I depart.

This is a completely new and different kind of way to do vacation, the parent switch-off routine. The girls (now nearly 16 and 19) are adjusting (with some difficulty). It is all so different for them and so un-imagined, they are reeling. They will adjust, accept, adapt.

Monday, July 09, 2007

A Gay Bar

Wife and I met today with our therapist. He commended us on what a fabulous job we have done in preparing for the separation. It has been two weeks today that I have been out of the house. And, I'm feeling a bit guilty about feeling so good.

Yes, I am so sad and ache for my family and the difficulties they are having. Yes, there is sometimes some deep loneliness and bewilderment on my part. Basically, however, I am feeling great.

Mainly it is the incredible weight that has lifted. Out to myself. Out to my wife. Out to a very few friends. Made some new friends. Now, out of the house. On my own. The nearly constant anxiety surrounding the waiting (and indeed, surrounding the relationship) has begun to be sloughed off or washed away.

OK, I've been to a gay bar in our local small city. (All right, it's Asheville). And, I had a great time. I don't feel some sense of desperation to pick somebody up (indeed, did not want to, didn't try). But just being around a bunch of gay men, getting some hugs, having some beers. Of course I was a bit shy and hung back. But I can be a really bold one, sometimes.

There was one exceptionally handsome bear that I kept staring at. he stared back, a bit. So, as he waited at the bar, I went up to him and said, "Look, I don't mean to stare, but I'm just out of the closet and can count on one hand the times I've been to a gay bar. And, you are so good to look at, I just couldn't help myself. I'm just enjoying."

We exchanged names and talked. That was all. That was really all I wanted. I guess it could have been a good pickup line (or a really bad one), I'm clueless. But it was the truth.

My sex-addict compulsions seem to have lessened tremendously. I don't want to take any chances. I am beginning to feel so much more comfortable with myself.

"To be born again is not to become someone else; it is to become fully yourself."