Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Buddy Bear wrote a wonderful blog entry on guilt a week or so ago - I don't know how to link to it but peruse for it; it's worth reading. It's been on my mind because I am riddles with it right now.

We're on vacation. A lit of what is going through my head is that I'm going to fuck it all up. The kids, the wife, the life. My kids are amazing and that's not just the proud father. Sure they bicker and argue on occasion. But they get along amazingly well with each other.

Then the guilt or second guessing comes in. If I (selfishly) act on being gay/ move out/change how things are will this negatively impact the kids. Of course it will. But will having a dad who is disconnected be any better?

And that is what I am now. This morning C drops a "I need more. I know you're not attracted to me sexually (true), but I need to think someone cares.". I do care, but I can't seem to be able to give her what she wants. Then I get cranky and disconnected. I can feel the depression moving in like the high tide - slowly and inexorably.

But now a couple of hours later it hasn't. Being in the moment and enjoying where I am helps. The meds do too I'm sure. The tension is still there. Do I stay or do I go - the song is going through the head. But right now I'm where I am waiting while the oldest tries on a dress.

Tomorrow P-town if it is going to happen. Did many of the things on the to do list. Still need to do the meditation to begin to center again. I haven't read any if the books I brought!!

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Democracy sucks

Outvoted 6 to 1 and stuck in a Christmas Tree Shop!!

But got time to look email and blogs.

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

The smell of ocean

We made it. 5 hours of driving. For logistical reasons we take two vehicles. The oldest and I left first. We missed our goal of 7 am. Thank god. The oldest likes coffee, but Starbucks was a bit strong for the oldest taste.

Sad news. No Internet connection. Have to use the phone and type with my thumbs.

Feels good to be here. I grew up with this sort of geography. And the smell of the ocean. I love the smell of the ocean. Sand on the feet. The wind.

It's been a bit hectic getting everything set. The people before us and or the cleaning people leave a lot to be desired.

Time to be the kids.

(3 hours later) We went to the beach and found a sand dollar. I used to find them by the dozen as a kid.

It feels wonderful to have my feet in the water.

The last time we were here, 2 years ago, we were in the same house. I remember getting here and going to bed. I don't think I could get out of my own way for the first couple of days. It was only a few months PD (post disclosure).

So much has changed in the past two years. So much remains the same. It has indeed been and continues to be a long strange trip.

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I Love NY

New York approves gay marriage!!

Friday, June 24, 2011


So two of the kids and I were running a last minute errand.  Okay, I was running off to work to get a couple of books I wanted to peruse in the next week.  There has been road construction on a main drag near work for the past 15 months - part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. 

So we get to the intersection where it is particularly bad; I avoid it at all costs during the day.  I notice that it looks like they may be repaving this part of the road again.  Then we see the oddest sign as we wait at the light.  It's a new sign; it wasn't there in the afternoon when I was going home.


It's flashing toward the traffic coming down the other road into the intersection; the road they're working on.  We talk about the sign - slow down elm-f.  Slow down elf.  We start to laugh.  I pull forward as far as I safely can. Still we see "SLOW DOWN ELMF".  What does it mean?  What the heck is an "elmf"? 

The light turns green and we move through the intersection.  And we see it.  "SLOW DOWN BUMP".  We were missing the right hand side of the letters on the last word.  From our perspective we could not see the whole picture.  We could see most of it, but since we couldn't see it all we were left to guess and couldn't even get close.

Wonderful teaching opportunity.  The youngest and oldest were with me.  We talked about how when you can't see the whole picture you can jump to a conclusion that's wrong.  Or as in our case you may not even have a clue as to what's going on.

A few yards down the road it dawns on me.  I can't see the whole picture.  I can't even see most of it all the time.  All I know is my little piece and that is all I have to work with.  This is oddly freeing.  I may be seeing ELMF with regard to being gay and married to a woman.  But a decade ago I couldn't even see that there was a sign let alone that there might be a message on it. 

Next month or next year, if I continue to do the work and remain on the journey, I may see a little more of the sign.  I may discover a missing part that changes how I view things.  Like this sign told us, there will inevitably be bumps on the road.  When there are I will slow down to navigate safely, but keep moving in the best direction I can make out with the partial picture I can see at that time.

But all I can do is respond to the picture that I currently see.


With luck we will be off to Cape Cod early tomorrow.  Our high schooler had her last exam yesterday.  C is feeling a bit under the weather at the moment so we will see how that develops.  She and the high schooler were sick over last weekend. 

Been thinking about the Cape.  We did not go last year.  The year before we did go.  I was severely depressed for the first day or two.  Some of it was work.  Most of it was that I had come out to C a scant 3 months before hand.  It was all new and fresh and depressing.   I was not able to be very present to anything at that time.  That is one thing that's stayed - I have difficulty being present where I am.  Mostly because I am not happy, content with where I am.

While we are not talking about it I think we are both approaching this as potentially our last vacation as a "family" in the traditional sense of the word.  If we keep moving as we are it is likely that we will be separated at least in spirit if not physically by next summer.  (I should mark this post to be looked at in a year to see how accurate my powers of prediction are!!).    That will likely make vacation a little more stressful.   My goal is to leave most of that stress behind.

My other goals for vacation:
  1. Rest
  2. Spend quality time with the kids
  3. Spend some quality time with C - with luck avoid anything too deep (yes I'm avoiding and plan to continue for a while)
  4. Read a good book.  I usually pack WAY too many.  I think I have bookmarks in 5 or 6
  5. Go to the beach nearly every day and get into the ocean
  6. Have at least a half a day alone preferably toward the end of the week once I've already relaxed.  Spend time reflecting and being.  P-twon if possible to spend time just being. 
  7. Post to the blog using the new program from my phone.
  8. Meditate at least a few times - I haven't meditated in a while and I miss it; it centered me
  9. Get to the Vineyard
  10. Get to an amateur baseball game - go Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox!!
  11. Perhaps do some nude yoga - thanks Long Haired Boy for the picture.
12 goals for  7 days - we'll see.  And no I won't be doing nude yoga, even though it looks tempting.  I think I would get distracted.

On the road tomorrow, early.  Next stop Cape Cod.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Is it possible to come out of the closet late in life?"

Blogger has a few neat features for the author (their word not mine) of a blog.  It's sort of interesting to see where hits come from.  I have a hit from Trinidad and Tobago - I have a friend who was born in Trinidad.  A lot of folks link in from Buddy Bear's Blog One Step at a Time even before his kind plug yesterday - thanks Buddy Bear!!  21% of folks us a Mac (so do I) and one person used the browser Qt - I had never heard of that before.

But the most interesting thing I saw was the search terms used to find the blog.  One reader searched for "Is it possible to come out of the closet late in life?"  I know one of the most shocking things for me was trying to wrap my head around being married for 20+ years and saying I was gay.  They're incompatible aren't they.  I can't be gay if I've been married that long.  Sure there was the boy next door, there was the attraction to Tom of Finland, there was the suspicion that I just wasn't like all the other guys, and there is the fact that when outed to a brother-in-law his response was, "Yeah, we've thought that for a while." 

I am fortunate to live near a major city with a meeting for gay/bi men who are married to women.  Two years ago at my first meeting as we went around the room at least 6 of the 10 or so guys there said that they began the process of coming out after being married for 23 years.  I remember the number since it was how long C and I were married at the time. 

So yes it is not only possible to come out late in life, it is also possible to do it well.  There are a few things that have been life sustaining in this journey for me.  In no particular order they are:

  • Being around other gay men as a gay man.   I stay mostly closeted in daily life.  That I'm gay could have negative consequences where I work.  Not so much for me directly, but for the organization's ability to do it's work.  It's complicated and one of the reasons I'm actively looking for work.  Nuff said.  So being around other gay men as gay also is huge, it's validating, it's affirming.
  • Honesty.  For me it has paid off to be honest with C about being gay.  I know this is NOT the case in every circumstance nor have I always been honest.  But I have been as honest as I can be at any given moment.  Part of my struggle is to live with integrity as a gay man.  I want to begin that now. 
  • Blogs - reading others blogs is amazing.  The details are often very different, but the struggles are amazingly similar - how do I tell my wife I'm gay.  How do I integrate being gay into my life with kids.  How do I divorce well.  How to deal with gay adolescence when one's children are adolescents!  Is there hope on the other side.  That others have had very similar struggles and report hope on the other side is heartening.
  • Online groups.  There are a ton of online groups that I've run into.  Some I've loved, some I haven't.  But there are enough out there that one can get connected.  Some I've seen have in person meetings on occasion as well for that all important face to face exposure. 
  • Keeping my head in the moment.  I've spent an amazing amount of time wondering and worrying.  Yes, Buddy Bear is right that for me guilt and worry have been ubiquitous (I love that word).  At each step I worry about the future and am guilty about things that haven't yet happened and may never happen.  None of that helps.  When the focus is on what I am doing in the present I do better.  I did not at the age of 10-12 years old say I want to grow up to be a gay man married to a woman and leave after 25 years.  I entered our relationship with as much honesty and self knowledge as I was capable of at the time.  The question now is what do I need to do to live with the most integrity.  And no - that is not a cop out at least it isn't necessarily one.
So, yes it is possible to come out later in life.  I'm not sure even what constitutes later in life.  But it is the moment I have now that matters.  Coming out to myself has been a vital step in seeing, acknowledging and understanding who I am.  To the extent that I validate and honor that gayness I see a calmness, peacefulness, and joy come into my life that hasn't been there for a long time, if ever.  And when I do not acknowledge or honor the fact that I am gay, as I have all too often over the years, I am cut off, truncated spiritually and emotionally.

Monday, June 20, 2011

So, home from therapy.  In general I think I have gotten a lot in the past two years.  I think therapy may have saved my life - quite literally.

But there are two things that grate on me.  One is that I think the therapist thinks I'm bisexual or more to the point seems to have an agenda.  She can think anything she wants to think; she can have whatever opinion she thinks is justified.  The problem comes when she tries to move me in a direction.  I think that the therapist is of the opinion that I am bi not gay.  The evidence is there:  married reasonably happily for 19 years (plus 6 years of my struggling with being gay), no real issues in ability to perform, no adult sexual contact with another man.  But the issue is that I feel she is trying to steer me to think this.  Shit - she out and out said it once.

Today I got a - what to you think about when you fantasize.  Mind you I am not quick on my feet in thinking about and worse in sharing fantasy, but I think of men.  In particular, I think of a nice cock.  Sorry to be crude, but truth be told that is where I go.  I never remember fantasizing about women in any sense - most fantasizing when young was oddly disembodied.  I've read somewhere  that that is not uncommon for gay adolescents at least.  I looked for pictures online and realized that all one has to do is look through the blog - the pictures sprinkled throughout of men are where I go.  Or better yet go to Michael-in-Norfolk's Blog; his male beauties are wonderful.

More troubling still is the other agenda I think the therapist has.  I think she has an agenda to keep us married.  I've felt this before today, but it was marked in today's session.  She noted something about happiness.  In particular, that one ought usually not to leave one situation in which one is happy for one where one hopes/thinks one might be happier.  On principle I agreed - the old "a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush."  I tend to be a bit risk adverse so this appeals to me.  Then the kicker - "You seem reasonably happy in your relationship with C,"  she adds; there is about one-tenth of a question mark after that statement.  She does not ask whether I am or better yet how I would characterize the relationship.

My issue is not the truth of the statements, but that they seem directional.  They seem to be moving me toward saying I am a bisexual happily married to a woman.  And that this ought to continue noting that an open marriage is out of the question - I think the therapist has an agenda there too!!

So,  given that all readers have is my characterization - Am I way off here?  Does this sound suspicious?  Or that she has an agenda?  I realize that I am more than capable of over thinking even simple things.  Indeed, that is a lot of the reason I am spinning my wheels about what I want to be when I grow up.

Interesting Times

It should be an interesting couple of weeks.  Next week at this time I should be smearing aloe on my skin as I recover from a sunburn.  We will be vacationing on the Cape.  Cape Cod that is.  No matter what I do I seem to manage to burn something - that wonderful Irish skin.  On at least one of the days I should be able to get away by myself which will be a good break.  I can go to Provincetown if I want, but I've done that before on a few occasions - I grew up near the Cape.  I always liked going to P-town; now I know why!! 

When we get back we will have about a week until our wedding anniversary.  Our 25th wedding anniversary.  Yes I was married when I was ten!!  Seriously though the last couple of anniversaries have been a bit of a drag.  What do you give your gay husband for your anniversary - a boyfriend? 

So we haven't done a lot in the two years I have been out to C.  It has been a bit of a depressing day - sort of like I would imagine the birthday of a person you think might be terminally ill - bittersweet.  One might recall all the good times, but that is tempered by the possible news of imminent demise. 

Yesterday, on Father's Day, C said to me about the marriage "I don't have a lot of hope."  Neither do I.  As one emailer said (and thanks for the email) it seems that guilt is mostly what is keeping me here.  It is - guilt and, more positively, obligation.  Not that I should do everything out of obligation, but have have an obligation to consider the well being of C and the kids.

Have to run!!  Off to therapy!! TTFN

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Coming home

I've had two firsts in the last bit.  When I started the blog again earlier this year I was excited to see some page views.  Then I noticed that I could block counting my own and I hadn't.  The page views stopped :-(  Then they started to trickle in.  Sometime in the last day they went over a thousand.  Wow!  Feel free to comment about what is relevant or not to your situation - feedback helps.

The other first is more interesting or so I think.  The day before I got married my two best friends bundled me up into a car and began driving.  I had no idea where they were taking me for the first 30 miles or so.  Then it dawned on me that they were headed for an area nearby where there were a lot of strip clubs.  I convinced them to turn around.  I had no desire to see naked women dance on a stage.  No, I wasn't being moral or restrained; I just didn't see the point.  It should have been a sign - one of many that I missed or ignored on the way.

So the other day I am in NYC.  A couple of acquaintances ask if I want to go out to a bar after a meeting.  One adds last time I was there there were guys dancing on the bar and the bartenders were hot. 

We get there and there is no cover.  The place is filled with a great mix of people - young, old, black, white, Asian, Latino.  The bartenders are hot especially the one who helped us.  But no dancing.  So we sat and chatted - or yelled at each other over the music.  Good conversation; becoming friends rather than acquaintances. 

We talk about a few things - being married and gay, what constitutes cheating and why, our particular situations.  A bit of what we talk about is the coming home.  Being out and about with people who are gay is like coming home.  There is no need to be guarded, to watch what one says, or who one looks at.  At least that is what we shared as a common experience.  I am able to be relaxed in a way that I am not elsewhere - not that I think I am particularly uptight.  But it feels like coming home - safe, a place where I don't have to be guarded, a place where I am part of rather than different than.

So great conversation, but then the dancing starts on a little stand in front of the main bar.  We move over in that direction.  I see the point of going to see someone dance - still don't see the point of going to see a woman dance, but I see the point here.  One of my companions puts a dollar in the guys underwear.  The guy then notices the three of us more.  Then I put one in as well.  Wow.  Won't say a lot more than that.  But very nice. 

Nice company, nice dancing, nice time.  Like coming home again.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Long Day

So it's been a long day.  I was in by 8am this morning for a meeting.  This was better than the 6am yesterday.   Then I have a late meeting that let out a little after 8pm. 

The nonprofit world is such great place - long hours, low pay, few benefits. 

Seriously, it usually is a wonderful place.  The people I work with are fantastic.  I love what I do most of the time.  My organization makes a difference in a very real and profound way.

Two downsides.  One is that I cannot be out where
I am.  Well I could be, but I would not be comfortable.  It's amazing the homophobic comments and attitudes one hears when one is out to oneself.  One of my best workers made one the other day - nothing too vicious, but enough to give me pause.  More importantly, some of the super-structure over me is virulently anti-gay.  I don't have usual direct contact with them and when I do it's with the better parts of this behemoth, but the attitude has a chilling effect.

The second downside was the meeting tonight.  I have in the past year developed a deep dislike for the person who runs this particular meeting.   I have found her to have a lack of follow through with what she says she'll do.  It seems that she is trying to concentrate power in her hands in an inappropriate manner.  There is not a lot I can do.  Fortunately her term expires soon and she cannot be re-elected.  Or so I hope!!

So, what does that have to do with the gay thing.  I assume most care about that.  There is a connection ;-)

I'm looking for work!!  No, I'm not asking readers for a job, although reasonable offers won't be refused!!

All is on hold until I find better work.  The criteria are simple:  it has to pay quite a bit better than what I have now, it must be doing something that makes a positive difference and it must be in a place where I feel comfortable being gay.  Then the question is where do I go.  I've sent resumes to NYC,  Boston, Atlanta, San Francisco, London, Detroit, Washington, DC, and cities.  I would prefer a geographic area that isn't too rabid. 

But C has said that she will not go far from where we are unless it is closer to her family.  This makes sense given the tenuous nature of our relationship.  Recently, she has said she might be willing to move with me. 

But here's the rub.  My intent is to move on to a better paying job so that I can tell her where I think we need to head.  Towards divorce.  The new job isn't only or even most of the time primarily because of the downsides I talked about above.  It is rather so that I can more easily provide for the kids through child support, help C get back into a career, and live as a gay man.

So a good part of the frustration is that we are in the midst of a severe economic crisis and I'm looking for a job that pays better than mine in a field that is severely affected by the coming budget crises at the state and federal levels. 

Another part of the frustration is that I am knowingly living a lie.  That is something I cannot do well.  It will take its toll quickly.  The lie is not only that I'm married to a woman which grates against my being gay, but more that I do not think that the marriage can work.  And for now I'm not saying that. 

Vacation Coming up

So C, the kids and I are planning on going to Cape Cod in a couple of weeks for vacation.  Since I have a 12-13 hour day today I'm taking a few moments to look at some brochures.  I run across one that tells about the national seashore turning 50 that has this picture in it.

What an  amazing picture. The guys on the left fill out the swim suits very nicely. Makes me want to break away and go to the beach alone.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

You can't always get what you want!

True enough.  You can't always get what you want.

So I've spent that past day or so a little pissed.  I'm searching for work for a lot of reasons.  I had a couple of real prospects a couple of weeks ago that fell through.  With one the consultant loved me, but I didn't get an interview.  Such is life.

With the second I got called in for a second interview and spent a good part of a day with them.  All seemed to go well.  A couple of the board members went out of their way to chat with me.  All seemed good.  But I got the standard communication, email in this case, saying they wouldn't "be pursuing your candidacy."  Ok.  Disappointment.  But again such is life.

Then Friday I'm looking online for any new prospects.  I have about 4-5 resumes out there that are likely still active.  And I find the second position advertised.  In more than one place.  I'm pissed and hurt.

Funny thing though.  When I first got the email saying I was no longer being considered I was sort of relieved.  There were a couple of things about how they were organized and who sat on their board that were deeply troubling.  I would have had to seriously look at them.  One issue in fact was pretty severe and almost made me not apply in the first place.  Also in my tour of the facilities I was seriously underwhelmed with the way they were providing services.  It was my pride that was hurt more than anything else.  (Okay I admit it - I Googled "pride" thinking I'd get a nice picture of being prideful and of course in June I get pictures of Pride like the one above.  How could I pass up a picture like that?).  In the end,  thought when I first got the email and think now that it is likely a good thing that this opportunity walked by. 

So, this has also made me think about C and our relationship.  I got an email from a reader who asked if I had considered that C might be better off with a hetero than with me.  WHAT!!  than me??  Who could be better than me.  Pride again.  Sure C could do a lot worse than me, but really that is faint praise.  Sure we have gotten used to each other, but if that's the best reason for staying together . . .

But as C has said - I am not lusting after her.  Love is great, but a little lust goes a long way too.  And that I do not have for her.  Over the course of the past 10-15 years it has taken more work to have sex.  For the past 6 years its taken a lot more work and imagination.  And for the past couple since I came out to her it has been close to a burden and not infrequently impossible.

The attention of my lust is elsewhere - see photo above or better yet the one from Wednesday :-)

And that is selling her short as well as selling me short.  Over time my worry is that this will continue to be a growing wedge between us that we each start to resent.  And that is a road I don't want to go down.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Therapy and Cheating

A couple of random thoughts are bouncing around in my head.  The first is cheating.  Rep. Weiner is a wiener for tweeting and lying about it.  The AP story HERE made me really think about it though.

This week Wednesday was therapy day.  I should add that while the therapist has quite a bit of experience with gay men including those who have come out later in life, she has very little (none until now) experience with "mixed orientation marriages".  All was tooling along fine, going over issues in the relationship when C brought up sex.  Being good Irish (former) Catholics we don't spend a lot of time talking about sex even with each other, never have.  But it was a good thing.   Our sex life is very infrequent and strained.  The effexor has just made it that much worse.  If there is anything worse than not being able to get it up, it's being able to get it up, but not get it off :-).

Anyway so we're talking about sex.  C mentions that she gets confused because it is still possible for us to be intimate even though I identify as gay.  We talk about the brain being the main sex organ and that love and caring can be there even if pure animal lust is not.  C mentions missing being pursued.  We both talk about fear of rejection.

Then the kicker.  The therapist says, "It must be comforting when you are able to be intimate."  Without hesitation or looking at each other C and I say in unison, "No, not really."

Wow.  Sex has changed so much in the past 6 years.  Sure I think it had started to change a lot sooner than that.  But I mark it to about 6 years ago now when I was first able to say to myself "I'm gay".   Then things really changed.  Sex changed so much that shortly after that C looked at me in the middle of sex and asked THE question.  "Are you gay?"  I answered as any man in my position would, "What do you mean honey; of course not!!"

C said something to the effect that it is so very different now.  And no it is not comforting.  Sometimes sex is downright unfulfilling or even downright disturbing.  But it has been rarely, if ever, comforting in the past several years.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

For better or worse

It's odd.

I think I mentioned before that my therapist mentioned a couple of years ago that I should decide whether to leave C or remain together and see what happens.  Not to do it, just to decide.  I thought she was crazy.  How can you make a decision and not act on it - you can't really know you've made a decision until you act on it.   This is shown in the following simple problem:  There are three frogs sitting on a lily pad.  One decides to jump off.  How many frogs are left?  Answer:  3.  The frog only decided to jump.
But I've come to find out that my therapist isn't crazy - a good thing I suppose.  I've observed some interesting things about myself as I've slid back and forth between deciding I can't be gay and married and I can be.  So let me detail them.  I've come to realize it's vital to separate the short and long term effects of each decision. 

Immediate consequences (first few days, perhaps even a few weeks) -

I can be married and gay.  Note that in my situation this entails monogamy with my wife - nothing on the side.  I feel immediately better when I've made this decision.  It is like a weight off of my shoulders.  I feel complete; I feel whole; I feel hopeful.  I think, "I can see myself doing this for the next few decades.  C and I are good for each other."  All of this is true.

I can't be married and gay at least if I want to be authentic to who I am.  Here I feel pressure.  the room starts to close in around me.  I feel trapped.  I have no place to go.  I think, "How could I do this to C and the kids - I'm a selfish, self-centered bastard."  On and on.

So the decision seems easy?

Longer term consequences (measured in weeks or months) - 

I can't be married and gay.  To be honest I've lived with this one the least in the long term.  The litany of how can you do this breaks in and repels me from this as a viable alternative.  I may begin to make some preliminary plans, but usually slide into at least inaction.  But it's the next one that gets me.

I can be married and gay.  Here is the rub.  Read above for I can't be married and gay.  In the long term when I have made the decision not to separate, to remain married to a woman I ever so slowly begin to feel pressure, the room starts to close around me.  I feel trapped. I have no place to go.  I think, "How can I do this?"  I become detached from my life:  from C, from the kids, from work, from everything.  I slip into depression.

At least that has been my experience.  The short term and long term consequences for the I can/cannot be gay and married flip.  For better or for worse - in the long term or the short term. 

The decision then changes.  Sure there may be a way that I can accommodate being gay and married.  But I haven't found it yet.  Nor have I found an example that I think will work for me and C either individually or collectively.  There are those who seem to be able to do it and more power to them, but not in a manner that would given the circumstances I'm in.

I've spent a good bit of the past 6 years in the I can be married and gay camp.  If I ignore it maybe it will go  away.  I have been able to put it away very successfully from influencing my life.  Or so I thought.  But the result each time was that I would become more and more detached from everything.  Shutting down tgt (the gay thing) in isolation was not possible.  Sort of like a circuit breaker - there were other things, necessary things, that were also shut down.  As soon as I reset the circuit - as soon as I realized I had to just be gay - the lights when on and the machinery started to run again.  It was scary and it has some unintended consequences. 

Where does all this leave me?  Led Zeppelin comes to mind - sorry for that - Dazed and Confused.

But the making of the decisions has shown me something.  At least at this point with the information I have in the long term trying to reconcile being gay and being monogamously married to a woman does not work.  It leads to depression and detachment.

The question then is does it have to be that way? 

Can one be authentically gay and married?  More to the point can I?

Is it a choice between depriving C and the kids of me either way - one by separation and one by shutting down?  What does my experience show here?

Damn - a week ago, hell a few days ago, I thought again it could work.  A good friend shared a poem with me:

By Portia Nelson


I walk down the street.
            There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
            I fall in
            I am lost…       I am helpless
                        It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.


I walk down the same street.
            There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
            I pretend I don’t see it.
            I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
                        But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.


I walk down the same street.
            There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
            I see it is there.
            I still fall in…      it’s a habit.
                        My eyes are open
                        I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.


I walk down the same street.
            There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
            I walk around it.


I walk down another street.

I spent decades in #1.  I came out to myself 6-7 years ago and ran and hid in the closet:  Stage #2.  Two years ago I came out to myself again and to others - vacillating between stage 2 and 3.

Perhaps I'm at Stage 3 finally.  I realize I'm in the same damn hole.  It's my fault; it's time I take responsibility and either avoid the hole or walk down another bloody street.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

June 5th already! (What a difference a day makes)

Time flies.

All is tooling along rather smoothly.  The shrink changed my meds around so that I am lower on effexor with the hope that side effects will go away.  

Interesting.  I had to go into work early today.  And began writing the above when I got home.  I was going to reflect on the successful yard sale we had yesterday.  We made over $400!!  I don't even want to think what we spent to make that much, since our strategy was, for the most part, to sell on the cheap to get rid of as much as possible.  The rest is in the trash with rare exceptions.

But today was interesting.  C and I were at loggerheads all day.  In sitting here reflecting on why I can come up with a few possibilities.  One is that the meds are beginning to work so that I am not just a big lump any more.  I am present in and reacting to the environment and not as passive.  (Don't think this is it.)  We were just having a bad day.  Yesterday was stressful even if fun.  Today we had an appreciation dinner at church which I in particular was not looking forward to (the elder who made repeated plays for C when this all began was there).  This could be it.

The third possibility is the most relevant to the blog and the issues I'm trying to work out.  For the past week or so I've been thinking that it is possible to work this out.  Sure I'm gay, but am I going to find anything better out there?    Patience at Conflicting Clarity talks about this.  His blog post made me think whether I am passing on something good for the hope of getting something better?  C and I get along well.  We are best friends; there is no one who knows me as well as she does and vice versa.  Why would I risk that? 

So, then for me that means that there is no FWB out there (not that there is now).  C has made it clear that that is not acceptable for her.  It means no going to the gay/bi married men's group or gay dad's group.  Sure I fit into both and would continue to if C and I remain married, but I would feel like a fraud.  I would feel like an outsider.  I would fee inauthentic.  I would see a scene of two men kissing or holding hands and have a sense of what could have been, what should have been and what I desire/need.

I would in other words cut the gay part off, or isolate it, segregate it, lock it away.  It could be brought out on rare occasion.  We're going to the Cape this summer - I could go to P-town for the day alone and soak it in.  But is that like an alcoholic going to a bar or a person on a diet hanging out at a Ben and Jerry's.  If so then even taking the gay out on occasion would be destructive.  I would have to wall that part off away from view.  Away from myself.

I've tried that.  I have tried that so very diligently.  The result was always the same.  I am disconnected from everything.  I used to be able to do this more successfully - the first 19 years of marriage for instance.  I have poked my head out of the closet so many times that it has become habit.  Things calm down.  I feel okay.  I walk into the closet as if I want to be there.

For the past week or so I've been wondering if I can do that again.  Or more charitably if this is the best choice.  Separating scares me to death.  So does not separating.  I assumed this morning that I was choosing not to separate, choosing to stay together.  Everything bothered me today.

Two years ago the therapist said make a choice and see what the consequences are.  I think I am finally beginning to understand what she meant.