Thursday, July 14, 2011

Agonizing or ulterior motives exposed?

Two Lives who writes If I Do the Right Thing commented on my last post.  I think he is right - I am on a slow crawl toward the inevitable and agonizing about it.  I am not sure that C sees it as inevitable, but I am by no means sure; that I am not sure is a symptom of our waning communication.  Nor am I sure that she would eventually throw me out for that (which I don't think is a particularly good/healthy thing for her). 

The agonizing is what interests me here though. 

More to the point, I wonder sometimes if I am not moving slowly and cautiously so that (in the hope that) C will eventually say - "enough is enough - get the F*** out of here."  She has mentioned this.  That is, she has said that she will not fall into that trap - if I want to go I have to man up and say it.   It would be easier on my part if C does throw me out.  I am not the bad guy then, the guy who left his family to live as a gay man.  I would then, in a sense, be absolved of guilt.  And of responsibility. 

My issue in one sense is simple.  I want to avoid pain.  I don't want to feel it.  I don't want to cause it.  I don't want to be seen to be causing it.  At work one of my volunteer's grand daughters is in crisis.  She's been married for 4-5 years with a small child and the husband up and left.  Even though that is not where I am or what I am doing there is that fear.  The scorn, disbelief and confusion in the volunteers voice is palpable. 

Then there is the twisted pride behind some of it.  C once reminded me way back in the beginning that I am not all that important.  If I were to leave she would be able to deal.  Not that it would be easy or that's what she wants, but it would not be the end of the world.  "Now I have become Shiva, destroyer of worlds."  If I leave things will fall apart.  I am the lynchpin, or at least one of them, in the lives of C and the kids.

Really, I am that important?  C does claim that the kids "would never be the same".  Well of course.  And if C or I die; if a grandparent dies, if a friend moves away, . . . they will not be the same.  Life is, after all, about adjusting to the decisions we make and the situations we find ourselves in with varying levels of control.   Some of that is C trying to maneuver me into staying or so I think.

But really, the kids will survive.  I am the product of a "broken home" and I turned out okay.  Well not really for quite a few years, but that ball was in my court not my parents.   I will be there more for my kids than my dad was - not difficult given that I hardly ever saw him again over the next 20 years of his life.  I will show up and be counted.  I will man up. 

So now it's time to continue on the job hunt - more money being the prime goal.  If you know of any good non-profit admin jobs in the northeastern US or even eastern Canada shoot me an email!! 

And then to read Jim at Conflicting Clarity about a year and a half ago.

Off to the shrink of Friday and out on the town Friday night.

The plan is still the same, but it may be time to man up.  My experience tells me that I won't.  At least not right away.  But that in the end I will.  There is not a heck of a lot of choice is there.

One of the wonderful things about the blogosphere is that there are others out there with the same story.  Not only am I not alone in that sense, but I have the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of those who have preceded me.  What a wonderful thing it is to learn from the mistakes of others. 

1 comment:

  1. Running from blame: I know it well.

    Very recently I had an epiphany about blame. I started thinking about the issue anew after a straight wife (not my own) told me that one of her biggest 'issues' with her husband was that he refused to take responsibility for anything. He was always the victim. For as much as I could identify with his position, I saw her point. She didn't make him gay. Their marriage wasn't working, and yes, there were other issues, but the 800 lb. gorilla was his sexuality. So, if he was being honest he'd take a big ol' helping of responsibility. Instead he did the exact opposite and made his wife's life a living hell - as if the whole gay thing wasn't enough.

    Her story caused me to reexamine my own behavior. My wife is a billion miles from perfect. But the ugly truth sexuality is THE underlying problem for us. As much as I wish it wasn't, it is. So, I've flipped like a light switch. I told my wife, point-blank, that I accept 100% responsibility. She didn't react much at the time but it's made a huge difference in her attitude. 95% of the tension related to 'us' has disappeared. Which is weird because nothing tangible has changed.

    Even more surprising is how I feel about myself since accepting the blame. I feel GREAT! If I'm being honest I know that I tend to be passive and a pushover. No backbone. Well, it's turned out that taking responsibility for bad shit has made me feel like someone with real balls. I'm macho. I'm tough. Bring it on, I can handle it.

    I've also realized that not taking responsibility is a form of shame. So, just as coming out of the closet shows a sense of pride and self-worth, so does taking responsibility. I'm gay and I'm taking responsibility.

    For years, running and hiding were my natural, intuitive reactions. But I think they were both wrong. Now, more than ever, I believe in truth and responsibility - and I feel good about myself.

    I haven't ever written about this before or really talked with anyone about it. I have no idea if others would feel as empowered as I do. So maybe I'm the exception, not the rule. I don't know. But it's something for you to think about.