Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Checking in

Been an interesting couple of weeks.  Irene dumped a lot of rain including a inch in the garage and basement.  Other parts of our county were a lot worse off as was work - I got called in just as the hurricane was hitting its peak.  Had a meeting at work with those above me - our relationship has been damaged perhaps irrevocably.  I bear some of the responsibility; I think they bear much more than I do.  Have two good nibbles on jobs.  One is a bit closer to family.  The other is significantly further away.

But the real kicker has been the pain. 

It seems that the muscles in my upper back have tightened up (due to stress?) in a way that is impacting a nerve on my right side.  I've been incapacitated at times with the pain.  Last night (Monday) I was able to sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time.  No such luck tonight. 

I went to acupuncture today and he did a bit of acupressure as well.  The regular MD has not been a lot of help.  There diagnoses have been all over the map.  I cancelled the scheduled MRI because of the co-pay - $1,000!  The vicodin and then percocet prescribed doesn't touch the pain.

The acupuncture seems to work. 

And interestingly enough when I am active and acknowledge the pain I seem to do better.  Ignoring it doesn't work - interesting corollary to the larger situation.  Ignoring being gay and married doesn't work.

Bottom line - am on the mend slowly.  Seeing this as indicative of and likely caused by where I am vis a vis C.  It's causing stress that is eating me away, consuming me.  But when I sit with and acknowledge it all, the stress moves back.

Instead of life imitating art we have body imitating psyche.

C has been amazing throughout.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pinched nerve

Wow!  Pinched nerve somewhere on right side.  Two doctors in two days not a lot of relief.  Typing hurts the right side.  Perhaps it's muscular - stress!!

More later - I hope.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Off the deep end

She may have finally done it.

About a year ago my mother-in-law lost it on me, threw me out of the family, because she was upset that I didn't appreciate her outing me. 

Well now she's flipped again, not at me but at C and some of her sibs and their spouses.  There were two family cookouts over the weekend (mercifully I was only at one). 

Our guys were then supposed to spend a few days with her so C and I had some time as a sort of late 25 anniversary present.  The kids are home; C is at the end of her rope.

Mother in law (MiL) is a bit controlling and is not able to be honest even to herself.  She seems to have lost any filter on her mouth.  And she fears being left alone.  She is very insecure.   A volatile mix.  

I am civil when we meet - got brought back into the family with a half-assed apology.  I'm not invested enough in MiL to work to do more.  C is invested; it's her mom.  But C feels another relationship slipping through her fingers.  You'd think MiL could get out of her own way to help her child.  Ain't happening.  She is a text book narcissist. 

And she's really good at seeming to help others - it's sort of spooky. 

Point is - C is abandoned yet again.   And my ability to help is limited at this point.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

 Now I've been known to be a bit dramatic on occasion.  Netflix is a wonderful thing now that one can stream so many movies.  One that you can stream is Olivier's Hamlet is one of them.  There's a good number of LGBT themed movies as well available steaming or on disk - no I do not work for Netflix :-)

So, I put Hamlet on the other day - the description states that Hamlet's tragic flaw is his indecision.  Not being a Lit major I hadn't really given it a lot of thought.  But in thinking about it Hamlet's torturous indecision about what to do with an intolerable situation leads to more grief, pain and death, including his own.

Now at the risk appearing overly dramatic - all of this sounds all too familiar.  One of my fears is that my indecision/procrastination will have deleterious effects on C and the kids.  In reality I think it already has.  It also has had such effects on me as well.   And, frankly, I have said with Hamlet:

"O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!"

(I am not, today, in a space where I say that.)

Hamlet, through no fault of his own, is faced with an unbearable situation.  Hamlet's father, the king, is killed at the hands of the father's brother, Hamlet's uncle.  The uncle then ascends to the throne and marries Hamlet's mother - so quickly that the meat served at the funerary meal is available for the wedding meal, albeit cold.  And I thought I came from a dysfunctional family!!

So too those of us who are married and gay are in an intolerable or at least difficult situation.  I know that I did not say one day - "Hey, I'm gay so let's marry some unsuspecting woman"  Even those of us who knew we were gay when we married often did so out of a genuine and misguided belief that marriage would make things right - would straighten things out so to speak.

The tragedy only comes in if there is a tragic flaw in the person who finds themself in this situation.  The flaw leads a series of decisions and actions that are tragic - that cause harm that is unintended and unwanted by the tragic character.

So, the question I have to ask myself is - "If I cannot commit to C, what should I do?"  "Is it better to stay or leave until there is a decision?"  I don't know if I can commit to C for the long term - I'm not sure what that would look like.  This is especially the case since any sex/intimacy outside of marriage is off the table - far off the table as far as C is concerned.  This is part of what I want and probably what I need.  Therefore, there is a radical incompatibility in being married and gay in my case.

Honestly, I am not sure how great the incompatibility is.  But I do know that right now I cannot commit and therefore will not.  Moreover, I am not sure what commitment would look like in our current circumstances.

At this point I am prioritizing.  First is finding a new job.  I have a meeting soon that will likely show me that the search needs to be sped up or can be at the current pace (or even slowed down or a real long shot halted).  It is possible that this could involve a move - if so I will have to make some sort of decision out of fairness to C.  If it does not involve a move then I have some time.  A new job would be a distraction in a good way. 

But underneath I want to avoid the sin of the Prince of Denmark.  I don't want to wait until a tragic ending is unavoidable.  But I am not sure what has to be in place to make a decision.  That is the crux; that is what I have to figure out.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dreams - Some Dreams Cannot Be

C has said several times over the past couple of years that her dream is gone - particularly she's said that she had always had a vision of us growing old together.  Now she knows that it was always a dream that might not be fulfilled.  But it makes me think -   

Not all the dreams we have are able to work - some are mutually exclusive - some are hoped for then lost.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

What's in a bowl of ice cream?

So a few years back - probably about 5 or so I successfully battled weight.  I was about 155-160lbs when I got married.  My weight had creeped up to a point where I was uncomfortable.  I got down to about 185lbs (84kg) with a combination of diet and exercise.  I kept the exercise until the beginning of 2011. 

Today a whopping 223lbs. (101kg).  Not where I want to be.  Especially since all you gay guys have the reputation for being picky.  I know when I'm in a crowd I'm often more attracted to the women than the men (sort of) but only because we men seem to have let ourselves go.

Thus the new widget on the blog.  If it disappears you'll know the weight isn't going in the right direction ;-)

So the goals
  1. lose 2lbs. a week at least for the first bit.  
  2. eat at or below the level indicated by an external source (using
  3. exercise regularly again - 2 years ago I would run 4 miles in under 40 minutes at lunch.  
This will
  1. get me in shape
  2. help the health
  3. help with the depression
Downside - no bowls of ice cream - at least as I was having them - for the next bit.

Big upside - doing something positive again form myself.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Did I mention that I have most of August off?  Probably for the last year. 

It's a wonderful thing and not so wonderful thing to have so much time off.  For the past couple of years it's been particularly difficult as we come to turns with tgt and what  it means in our lives.

First the wonderful - I got to spend a couple of hours mountain biking with the younger two kids in a nearby state park.  What a wonderful time the three of us had.  It is things like that that make the vacation wonderful.

It also gives time for C and I to spend a bit more time together.  That is good and not so good.  I try to avoid talking and inevitably feel better when I do talk - talk about perversity.  She feels alone and isolated - like I have one foot out the door.  That might be closer to the truth than either of us would admit. 

Today though she asked the question. She was feeling isolated, disconnected and alone.  So we took a walk through the neighborhood.  She asked, "Can you commit to me."  She is having difficulty staying present in the moment.  And I had to say, "No, I cannot."  Not that I will run out the door tomorrow or up and run away suddenly.  We also talk a little bit about that fact that all of this is taxing on the kids. For instance, #2 Daughter was in tears after our bike ride today for no apparent reason. 

Then as we continued to talk it dawned on me - worst case scenario is that we divorce, but keep the interests of the kids primary and treat each other with dignity and respect, caring for each other on some level.  And that as a scenario is not all that bad. 

Actually, the worst case scenario is that I crawl back  into the hole of repression - that scenario is toxic.  But that goes unsaid - we both know that that is not an acceptable scenario from experience. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

You have nothing to fear but fear itself

FDR said "You have nothing to fear, but fear itself."  Cecil echos that when he asks, rhetorically, "Why do I fear the answer."  That is, why do I fear the choices I need to make about staying with C or not - and that I think the answer is I have to go. 

Interestingly, when I acknowledge that I have to go I can be more present to and with C and the kids - we're just home from a county fair and had a fabulous time.  Even more oddly when I acknowledge I should go I feel like I can stay.  My thought is that this is because I am finally comfortable knowing where and what I am and then I think - Hey I could live like this.  Then the cycle begins.

But back to the point at hand - what do I fear in leaving C.

Cecil is undoubtedly right - I fear the unknown.  I am one of those boring guys who will at least sometimes (not always anymore) choose a mediocre meal at a chain restaurant than try something new.  The unknown is scary - not knowing what to expect.  I don't think that the world will hate me fortunately, but I do know that coming out at work would not be a good idea and coming out to the people we went to the fair with tonight would be disastrous.  My kids would be upset if/when C and I did not live together because that would mean they did not live with both of us.  But they would not, I believe, reject me.

But the fear of the unknown is only the tip of the iceberg.  I also fear hurting/harming C and the kids.  Some of that is undoubtedly excessive pride, but a lot is real.  C and I grew up together in a real way.  We have been together for over half our lives.  I remember her younger siblings when they were younger than our youngest. Our separation/divorce will harm the kids - divorce always does.  It does not have to be devastating, but it is not a walk in the park either.

I fear the end of a vital relationship - some of that is above in length of relationship.  But I will also miss C.  She knows me FAR better than anyone else.  I trust her more than anyone else.  I fear losing her.  And her Cecil is right - I fear the unknown.  I haven't dated in a long time.  And I didn't do that a lot or very well.  Will I end up a lonely old guy.  And back to C - will she end up lonely.  The answer here is easy - no - not if we maintain the people we are.  Both of us are the sort who are good friends. 

I fear the financial consequences of separating.  They are real for both of us.  We nonprofit guys are far from overpaid - at least this one is.

So Cecil was right - the unknown is at the center of most of the fears; he's righter than I first thought he was.  The fear of hurting others is real and not an unknown.  But I know that doing what I am doing now is harmful.  There is stress and tension in the house and in our lives that is not spoken and named for the kids - just, "Dad is having a tough time."  What an understatement, but "Dad was seriously thinking of killing himself" would be too much.

To carry on with  quotes from WWII figures - "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."  Winston Churchill

And that is really the place to turn here.  The fear is real and not unrealistic, at least not entirely so.  The road is not an easy one.  But regardless of where it leads I can work to see the opportunity in every difficulty.  It is when I see the difficulty in every opportunity that I get stuck.

The difficulty is in being a gay man married to a woman.  The opportunities I see there:
  1. I am alive and well.  David is not.  He was the guy I explored with in the 1970's.  We parted ways.  I went into the closest as the AIDS crisis began.  David died "after a short illness" ten years ago.  His parents would not say more than that.
  2. I have three wonderful children.  I am not the same person I would have been with out them. 
  3. C - I value and appreciate the time we have had.
  4. I have the opportunity to have a redo - to relive adolescence.  It wasn't so good the first time!!  I was looking out at it through the doors of a closet.  
  5. I am not the man I was when I married.  I have grown up; I am stronger; I can now face that greatest fear.  "Honey, I think I might be gay."