Saturday, April 30, 2011

Following Directions

So at the last appointment at the therapist she says maybe you should tell C what you are thinking of in terms of a time line and ask her what she needs from you.  My time line was and is that I don't really have a set one.  I see this moving forward organically and slowly.  I do not have one foot out the door.  I also do not know if some sort of alternative plan will work where we are under the same roof - I think I've mentioned that before.  I also want to make sure that C is set - I am not about leaving her high and dry.

So - what to I do when I get home?  I withdraw from C in order to give her space.  She interprets this to mean that I do have one foot out the door and that I discussed that with the therapist on Tuesday.  So she spends Wednesday and Thursday in this while I go about my business in oblivion.  Job interviews on Wednesday seemed to go well.

On Friday we talk.  I can be an oblivious a**hole.

Goal - communicate better.  Don't assume people know what's going on in my head.  Hell I don't know what's going on in there half the time.

Today a much better day.  Still on the road, still moving toward separation, still hurts.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Direction, Pain, and Compassion

Things are settling a bit in my head.  Perhaps it's the meds, perhaps it's a placeo effect.  At any rate it feels good.  It feels a little more stable.  It feels a little more hole.

That being said I don't have a time frame for anything.  My therapist asked on Tuesday, "So Jim, what's your time frame?"  My response was hesitant.  I'm not even sure where we're going let alone when we'll arrive!! 

That being said, we are moving toward some sort of dissolution.  And it seems to be moving amicably. 

I was reflecting on pain and compassion earlier today while listening to a podcast of On Being.  I am more able to be with, to be present to C's pain at where we are heading because I can reflect on the pain I've been in for years now.  I am or at least I hope I am on the tail end of that pain.  But because I have been able to make it through the pain of coming out to myself, to here and deal with the ramifications of that I am better able to sit and be with her in her pain without it consuming me.  That is a surprise - I was afraid that her pain would consume me.  It has not; it does not always feel great to say the least.  But I am able to be present to it and not take responsibility when it is not mine to take.  I can be sorry that instead of sorry for

And that attitude will allow me to continue to move forward positively, causing the least harm, and yet honoring who I am - a gay man who, for now, is married to a straight woman.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Went to the shrink on Friday - 50 minutes and a hefty co-pay later I walked out with a script for an antidepressant.  I think I feel some side effects - not sure of the chances that I would feel any this quick especially given he low dose.  We'll see.

Things with C are tense.  She is feeling bereft.  Makes sense given that what she thought was permanent, was until death do us part is no longer that way.  I feel bereft too in the same sense.  But I don't think that we can envision the next step.  In some ways I would love to still live under the same roof - for the sake of the kids and perhaps to maintain an amicable relationship with her.  I know that I am probably being VERY NAIVE in think that that is possible.  It would also help financially.   I have two interviews later this week which, if successful, should improve the financial piece.

Otherwise things are just coasting along.  Trying to do no harm.  Trying to get work done.  At this point it is all rather bland and depressing - sort of fits the weather we are having here.  That is part of what concerns me - the lack of joy and happiness.  Not sure the last time I really felt either deeply.  I'll give the meds a while to work and see what happens there. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Gay Day!!

So today is Gay Day. 

No you have not missed some gay holiday.  It's simply the anniversary, the 2nd anniversary, of my coming out to my wife.

We celebrated by going to couples therapy (not so much fun) followed by going out to eat (more fun).  Sort of a somber "holiday" especially since therapy consisted of how we were going to do separate.  Some tears, but not as many as the last few sessions of therapy. 

Talked with someone at work today who knows C and the kids too and mentioned we were moving toward separation.  Didn't say why - mentioned that that was an even longer story.  It felt good to say it out loud to another person.  Well not good exactly but it felt good, helpful, authentic to say it out loud. 

Off to the shrink tomorrow - Joy!!  Not looking forward to that.  It is however a good thing I think.  Depression not so bad right now, but anxiety is setting in.  Working on breathing deeply and sleeping well.  On that note going to head off to bed.

Happy Gay Day!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

De/constructive Tension

TENSION - I was looking for an image to add about tension.  Some were violently graphic.  Then there were two interesting ones  See above.

So first the tension and then the possibility.

The tension is that my choices are tearing up a reasonably well-functioning family.

Now - I do not mean that I am choosing to be gay.  But I am choosing to live as a gay man.  And not to live as a husband to my wife.  There are choices there.  I think I am making the best ones and the tension of being a gay man married to a woman is greater for me by far and has had effects on my health and interactions with others.

But the tension remains that something that was and largely still is good is changing in an unexpected and unwelcome way.  That hurts and harms both C and me.  And it will do the same to the kids.

For me this then almost immediately turns into self loathing.  If only . . . everything would be fine.  Bur frankly I have tried the if onlys.  I have tried to ignore it all; I have tried to be gay and be married (to a woman); I have even flirted with trying to be not gay.  The results were the same - continued depression and anxiety.  Either no sexual attraction to anyone or sexual attraction to men only.  It's like a faucet - I can suppress the sexual attraction to men, but the cost is that I suppress it altogether.   The option we have not tried is to be completely non-sexual and remain married (open marriage is not viable for either of us).  That just leaves me cold.  I do not think that that is something I can or even should do.  That too is part of the tension and choice - sort of.

This then again leaves me with one choice - to not be married and to live as a gay man.  Perhaps one who continues to live with or near his family of procreation, but not as husband and wife. 

Now I've said it again and oddly enough it fits better - like breaking in a new pair of shoes.

So perhaps I can take this tension and use it.  Perhaps it can be part of the raw material that makes/influences/forms a person who is more whole. more integrated.

12 hours later and I'm back.  Wrote the above at noon.   Still in tension :)

So while eating dinner C had a very interesting question for me.  What would bring you joy?   There has not been a lot of joy in Mudville recently.  I realized that I haven't felt joy in quite some time.  And I cannot think of what would bring me joy.  Then it sneaked up on me - walking along the beach holding hands with a guy - yes there is one in mind.  That might bring some joy.  Or just being in P-town or Chelsea walking around with another man or two spending the day with no real agenda.  Those bring a smile to mind; they could bring joy.

And that brings a bit of sadness and worry.  Who am I to get joy at the expense of someone else  Is that what I'm doing?  

Can I use this tension, this energy to develop and change into who I am supposed to be.  The assumptions are telling - I'm developing and changing.  I am not the person I was and I am not sure who the person is who I am becoming.

Tomorrow is GAY DAY!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Third time is the charm - so they say

Okay.  So it's been a heck of a week.  Our therapy is on Saturday - said as clearly as I have so far that I do not see how marriage can work.  Tears on both of our parts.

Bottom line - it's so fucking sad and so fucking unfair.  BUT it is.  And we need to move from there.

And we have.  We have continued to talk and to hold each other.   I am not sure how it will progress.  The marriage is changing.  C thinks that I am being unrealistic in thinking we can still be friends and live in proximity to each other.  My take is that is best for the kids and probably for us too.  Sure I'd love to run off to San Francisco, P-town, or Chelsea, but that too would be inauthentic.

Instead the goal is to take the easier and softer path, even when it seems more difficult.  It is to stay engaged and involved, to stay present, to experience the pain and then to move through it.

But then, sometimes I doubt my grip on reality - is this really happening?  Am I somehow making this up?  Are you sure you're gay?  Are you doing all of this for nothing?  On and on it can go.  Right now it's difficult because I do not feel terribly attracted to men.  I don't feel attracted to anything - I've suppressed it all.  But truth be told the idea of sex with a woman besides C is definitely unattractive.  Whereas the idea of sex with a random (and at least reasonably attractive) man is not unattractive.  Proof by negation :)

Bottom line again - this is real; this sucks; I can survive this.  The last is crucial - seeing C's pain makes me realize the pain this situation is causing in her and that hurts.  It also makes me see the pain I've felt for the past 5 years.  5 years that I have been dealing (or avoiding dealing) with this.  I am ready for the pain to fade and some joy to come back in.

On a different front - As if this were not enough, I am actively looking for work as well.  And have been for a while.   It is time to move on for all sorts of reasons.  I have two prospects at this point who have seen my stuff and called me.  Both would offer 60-100% more money than now - that is crucial going forward if we have separate residences and is some of what is driving the search.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Twice in a month

Reflections on today.  My wife spent a bit of time yesterday calling psychiatrists.  For me.  She started to panic after using words like "psych eval" and "I'm not sure he's safe"  At that point they were telling her to ship me off to the ER to be admitted.  I am safe btw. 

So, I seem to have "complicated coming out."  As I understand it, complicated grief is grief that lasts over a year.  My process has been stuck for well over that time.  Why?  Why have I been stuck.  Well the options seem to be stay within the marriage with varying amounts of being out.  That is, no sexual or romantic activity other than with my wife.  To leave the marriage in one sense or another which opens up the possibility of other outlets.  Or to open the marriage on one or both sides. 

Option 1 - opening the marriage.  This does not seem satisfactory to either my wife or myself.

Option 2 - status quo - remain married.  Attractive in so many ways.  Wife is my best friend and been there for and with me.  Status quo with the kids is good.  Life in general works well as it is.  Except for one small thing.  I'm gay and trying to live the status quo led to calling the shrink's office today for an appointment before the end of the month.  Should be on happy pills soon :-).  It's led to heart issues and enough anxiety, depression and anger that my behavior has gotten worrisome. 

Ergo, Option 3 - leaving the marriage in some sense.  Spiritually/morally if not legally. 

We've been dealing with my statement that I see no way out other than Option 3 or celibacy. 

Funny thing is I don't want the 3rd option, but now that I've said it and thought it there seems to be a break, a change.  We'll see if it lasts.

What a long strange trip it's been.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It must be an April thing

Almost 2 years since I've written.  Wow.  Reading back was helpful to me.  And sad not a lot has changed.  Still married; still muddling through.  Been a bit of a rough time lately.  Wife called a psychiatrist today who suggested that she take me to the ER.  They are worried that I am not safe.

Still in therapy with the same person - who for the most part is wonderful and usually spot on.  The last 4-6 weeks have been particularly tough.  I've realized the marriage at least as it is is not working.  My MO seems to be sweep it all under the rug and hope it will go away.  It doesn't.  I am a gay man married to a woman - that's a fundamental disconnect.  While there may be some who can make non-monogamy work I am not sure that I can and I do not think my wife can. 

It is very much a Sophie's Choice, Scylla and Charybdis, rock and a hard place.

Perhaps I'll continue to write - feels good.  And it was helpful to read back.