Sunday, January 17, 2010

Out! - Why don't I feel better?

Today was the day.  It went well; very well.  Amazingly well.  I was surprized.  My "district manager" was surprized (really surprized).  So, why don't I feel better?

After all these years in hiding (partly, anyway), I know it will take some getting use to.  And, not all of our "customers" or constituents were there to hear about it.  And, a few who are struggling with this news didn't speak up.  there will be fallout.  I know that.  At least now it can be talked about.  I can talk about it.  We can all talk about it.

I've not tried to portray myself as any kind of saint, but I haven't confessed all my sins, either.  It's not appropriate and no one's business, yes.  But I don't want to mislead anyone.

There is a rejoicing and a gladness in the affirmation and support I received.  But there is not sense of victory or triumph.  Honestly, I'm kind of numb.  Standing in front of a hundred or so people and making a public statement that "I am a gay man," did take some courage, and a lot of energy.  But still . . . .

Maybe it will come later.  Maybe the sadness I feel for my ex-wife (who isn't getting all this affirmation and support) will lessen.  I miss sharing things with her.  And I am sad (and profoundly sorry) for the pain I have caused her (and still do).  I know she must find other means of support than me.  It can't be me.  I wish I could.

And I have come to see how very devastating this has been for our girls, too.  Yet, we have stuck together and working it through.  Oh, it will be better.  But now, this weight hasn't lifted, but changed.

Not coming out party yet.  But soon, I hope.

15 comments:

Neil said...

The way you feel about your ex-wife or the girls is deeply human. Your emotional exhaustion is natural. When you rest and get your strength back, you'll have every reason to be happy and proud of yourself, just like I'm proud of you. So are they all, I'm sure. Big hug!

Dyl said...

Thank you for sharing that. You're a lovely man.

Perhaps some of the reason you don't feel so up about this is that in a strange way some antagonism would have been easier to react to than the rather more positive result you have had. Sometimes it's difficult to know what to do with good news.

It's normal to worry about people who mean something to you.

You should be very proud of yourself. I am of you.

Birdie said...

Sweetheart, I continue to hold you, your family, and all who know you in prayer. While you may be sad for your ex-wife, it is up to her to find her happiness. (It always has been.) You do not have that kind of control.

With all the turmoil I went through with my son, the one thing I know I did right was to constantly tell him how much I love him. Do the same for your daughters, and listen, listen, listen. It will take time, but you know that.

You are an amazing example to all of us. I suspect you don't quite realize it or feel like one. (And yes, I'm aware of your weaknesses; but don't we all have them?) Through all of the pain and difficulty, you continue even through your doubts and guilty feelings. That's the man we admire and love. That's the man your customers know, too. You're not "fooling" anyone with a false facade. We see your heart.

Java said...

((((Bear Hugs))))

Dale said...

Congrats buddy. There may be fallout, there may not. But now you can face adversity face on, head up and deal with it. The hard part is over..now is the day to day dealing.. "Are you sure your that way you don't look it? Why did you wait so long we all knew? Do you know my cousin Harry in Des Moines, he is gay also..to which I reply..Yes we have a secret handshake and once you shake the first 100 gay men's hands you automatically know them all world wide." Now go look in the mirror, pat yourself on the back and say I AM HOME..THIS IS MY WORLD ON MY TERMS.
Congrats Again
Dale

Larry Ohio said...

Perhaps you are feeling a little bit of a post-event depression or let-down. You've psyched yourself up for doing this for so long, and now it's done. The event is past and your task is complete. Of course you are going to feel deflated. It is totally normal and will pass in a few days.

BentonQuest said...

Wow Joe! That was a hard one. That took a ton of courage. Congratulations on standing up and claiming who you are. Your concern for your ex is truly admirable. You are a good man!

Michael Dodd said...

As you know from your experience counseling others, feelings are feelings and may or may not correspond all that closely to other aspects of the total situation. Give it a day or two.

Also, if you are still working a program, you may find that the emotional release/high that you are looking for may come after a 4th/5th stage in that process. Or not. Again, it's just feelings. Grace is there either way.

Some of us (Surely not I, Lord!) also are a bit let down afterward because of the lack of drama. So if there is a drop of drama queen in that bearish heart of yours, disappointment may be part of what is going on. If so, acknowledge it to yourself, grin and let it go. You have so much to be happy about. Why wallow in misery? You don't have to do that anymore. You are now free to begin to wallow in joy.

At any rate, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

Lemuel said...

I read your feelings as another affirmation: of the deeply caring person you are. Some might have seen (and played out) an announcement like the one you made and the ensuing affirmations of those around you as "all about ME". But you are the kind of person who understands that the world does not revolve just around himself. In the midst of your rejoicing and relief you also sense that there are those around you and very close to you who are in pain even as a result of your joy. I celebrate that sensitivity in you and I sense that the affirmation of others at your announcement is a part of their celebration of that part of you as well. Best wishes and all my prayers to you and to your family.

Topper said...

What courage and strength it took to stand up, and say it for all to hear. It is a victory, relief will come in time I think. Your feelings about your family are natural, healthy I think. I think there is exhaustion, you have been working toward this for such a long time. Now what? Yes there will be fallout but not more than you can handle. You online support community will continue to keep you in prayer. Remember Jesus said I will never leave nor forsake you!
a big hug.

D Gregory Smith said...

You don't have to have it all together- it's a process.
Free therapy- call me!

Ur-spo said...

another 'step'!

Jeremiah Andrews said...

It is never as dramatic as we thought it would be and quite anti climactic because of all the drama you created about this topic. You've been so busy worrying about coming out that when the time came, it was lack luster at best.

Time to move on now...

Yay - He's Out - now what can he do???

Jeremy

CJ/Rick said...

Well good for you. I've never "come out" and always wonder what it would feel like to say the words. I have always thought it was private and my business. But lets face it there are people around that suspect it. After all, how could a man not be married?
Reading your story makes me even more glad I never married. I came close twice. Thinking back the first time I really loved her so much. But I had sex to distract and comfort me. Hang in there.

Derek said...

Hope this new year finds you much happiness!