Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Ok.  So I don't take a lot of drugs and never have. 

But since I've come out I think I've taken more than I have in the rest of my life - other than antibiotics.  And I've done my share of complaining - e.g., my effexor rants.

So I'm still fighting with the pain.  I have two protruding and two herniated disks in the c4-c7 range.  The pain is manageable now.  Acupuncture is working well.  

One of the meds I was on was Neurontin.  It was to help one of the nerves coming from my neck that is causing some of the pain and especially the numbness in the hand.  I had stopped taking it - I really do not like taking pills.  But on the advice of the doctor began taking it again. 


Now I am on wellbutrin for depression.  I should add with significant suicidal ideation in the past.  So I'm prone to depression and suicidal thoughts.  One of the side effects of neurontin is a marked increase in the incidence of suicide and violent death!!

So, last week I'm tooling along doing well.  Life looks good.  The pain is a whole lot less.  One of those interviews went very well.  The other went exceedingly well - they asked me in for a 2nd interview within 2 days of the first and asked for references.  Life is grand.


C says something pretty innocuous. Mother in law is visiting.  I begin to fall apart.  I withdraw.  C leaves for an appointment.  I leave a bit later with all my meds (including the opiates) with the intention of eating them all.

I did not.  Made it home - scared the crap out of C and her mum.  And me.  Still a wreck the next day, but better.  Day after that back to normal.

Now who really knows, but it has been a while since I've felt that out of control - since I was a teenager.  I was VERY lucky not to be a gay teenaged statistic.  The only reasonable explanation is the Neurontin.  It may work for some; I am not one of them.

Bottom line - I will read about all the side effects of all the drugs I take.  I will then try to remember the side effects while taking the drugs, especially paying attention the psychological ones and alerting those around me to them so they can intervene before I crash and burn.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Gay Marines

Wonderful story I heard on the way into work today.  Marine Major Darrel Choat

Monday, September 19, 2011

All is well

Well almost!!

Things at home are stabilizing again for me.  In a good way I think.  The roller coaster of the last few years seems to be ending - dare I hope?   Did I mention I never liked roller coasters?

Work is interesting.  I had two interviews over the last little bit.  Both seemed to go quite well.  But the second one aggravated some of my pet peeves.  Why is it that when I drive in stop and go traffic and change lanes to the one that is moving faster that it stops?  Perhaps that's an analogy for life; don't change lanes until you have more information.

The second pet peeve was New Jersey - particularly the Jersey Turnpike.  And not it's not New Jerseyites.  Why in God's name do people park themselves in the passing lane on the NJ Turnpike going the speed limit.  Yes I know the speed limit is the speed limit and one should not exceed it.  But really. 

Years back when we took the entire turnpike a few times a year it was the same.  And both now and then it was not just NJ cars, but a host of other states as well.

Such is life.

On the more important note sometimes I think I should not be thinking of laeving.  The relationship we can have with people is meaningful.  A few minutes ago I was able to hug a homeless woman who lost her baby - stillbirth - the other day. 

That put all of my gripes and pet peeves in a little better perspective.  If I do nothing else today, I've done a lot.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pain - of many sorts

So the pain is getting better.  What worked seems to be a combination of acupuncture and massage.  The more traditional medicine has not worked.  I had two painful tests from the regular doctor.  One, the MRI, wasn't too bad.  I kept my eyes closed and went to Cape Cod, particularly P-town and then went to Chelsea in NYC.  It was a nice 45 minute trip.  The only problem was not swallowing for that time.

The swallowing, or lack thereof, was like a pink elephant.  You don't see it (have to swallow) until you hear it ("don't swallow").  I almost made it too!!

The second test was excruciating.  It was an EMG which consists of two parts.  First is small electric shocks.  But then he puts in a needle and does an electric shock.  In my forearm he had to dig around.  5  days latter I have a hell of a bruise.  And the arm that is in pain/numb and back where he stuck me has reacted very badly - sort of an odd rash.

But I survived that.  And that is only physical pain.  The bigger pain is the Board. 

Nonprofit 101 - nonprofits in the US are "owned" by a board of directors (trustees, . . . ).  They have ultimate fiduciary responsibility (financial), assess and where necessary modify the overall goals, mission, and values of the organization, set up the broad themes/needs the nonprofit will address, and hire and fire the executive director (CEO) who puts the mission and broad themes into practice via the program(s) of the nonprofit.  The executive director (me) monitors the operations of the nonprofit and alerts the board to any issues in between board meetings.

My relationship with the leadership of the board has been strained for almost a year now for all sorts of reasons.  And yes some of the egg is on my face too. 

But, when one informs the board that cash flow is so tight that there is a chance of missing the next payroll, what is the appropriate response.  Well  for about a week now there has been no response.  Well to be honest I did get a request for some additional information - detailing of  accounts receivable and payable - that wasn't all that relevant.  And I've heard rumor that a decision about what to do was made - that it was made without my input into the discussion is very troubling.  That I don't know what the decision is  incomprehensible. 

In reality the situation is not too difficult.  We have enough in reasonably liquid assets to meet payroll for about 6 months!! We have money owed to us from state contracts (enough to meet payroll for 12 weeks) that should be in hand by the end of the year.  Also, this time of year has historically been tough in terms of cash flow.  Revenue from donations falls off radically in July and August, while expense continue.  And the situation is exacerbated by a successful and significant expansion of services and capital improvement project where our costs have run ahead of our income; a situation that is slowly rectifying itself.  So, it is likely a short term problem that certainly bears further analysis and continued scrutiny. 

So not all my issues have to do with the gay thing.  Phew!  Just when I thought I was becoming a drama queen. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Kids and school and insecurity

The younger kids started school the other day.  I was roughest on the middle child and C.  Middle child tends to be the most sensitive.

All three had been homeschooled until last year when the oldest went and did well.  This year changing circumstances made it necessary to send all three.  The circumstances being insecurity - both in my job (in a way I have taken a significant pay cut this past February) and in our relationship. 

The insecurity is doing nothing for me.  I am convinced that it is at the root of the shoulder and back pain - which is now almost gone.  But is replaced with a minor ongoing heart issue.  And is certainly the cause of the depression  - mostly controlled at this point with the help of a little white pill.  I can hear Grace Slick now - One pill makes you larger . . .  .

I know, a whiny gay guy is not attractive.  But at this point that is most of what there is.  The options are clear to me:

1. Stay and make accommodations to the marriage so that I can be both gay and married.  C has ruled out opening the marriage.  And, to be honest, it doesn't hold a lot of attraction to me either.  I am a one person guy and the complication of one relationship is enough.  It works for some and more power to them.

2.  Stay and be monogamous.  It is not in my nature to be on the down low.  I have said I will tell C before I have sex with a guy or for that matter anyone else.  For me this has meant cutting off the gay part (pun partly intended).  It means a shunting aside of who I am.  Or at least I have yet to find accommodation.   Now I have seen where both monogamy and the appearance of it (being on the down low) seems to work.  Again more power to them.

3.  Which leaves #3.  I feel like Sherlock Holmes - when you have eliminated the impossible what remains, however improbable, is the truth.  Now my issue is that I am not sure that 1 or 2 above are impossible, but the have been so far.  What remains is separation/divorce or some radically different sort of relationship with C.  And that is heart breaking. 

I go irregularly to a group of gay married guys in a nearby city.  There are only a couple of us whose marriages are good to excellent except for being gay.  For many divorce was the only rational choice.  But in my case C and I do very well other than that one no-so-little thing - I'm gay. 

Again, I know whining doesn't help and I've covered this ground so many times in my own head that it seems I've worn ruts in the brain that are difficult to get out of. 

So, steps for today.

  1. Continue to manage the pain with both conventional and alternative methods.  It is manageable now.  A couple or three weeks ago I couldn't type.  I am doing it now without thought or hesitation. 
  2. Continue to search for a new job while not burning bridges here.  Assume that there will not be movement where I am currently that will be sufficient to make me stay, but don't rule it out.  Continue to reflect on whether I could really be out here and asses the impact if I were to be out. 
  3. Find an affordable, experienced, gay friendly therapist who doesn't have an agenda.  I am not in therapy at this point - neither individual or couples.  The last one seemed to have an agenda - to convince me I am bisexual and that the marriage could work.  This will have to wait until after the copays are over for the shoulder/back. 
  4. Begin to sit in meditation again at least for 20 minutes in the morning.
  5. Continue to breathe and realize that there is a way out even if I cannot see it at this point.  
  6. Remember that I did not choose this path.  I am not responsible for the society that left the closet as the only option for me.  But I am responsible for my behavior now.
A tall order.  I will work on #4 tonight and tomorrow which will bring many of the others into perspective.

Monday, September 5, 2011

There are a lot of us out there

In checking out my stats I noticed that one post has more than three times as many hits as any other - Is it possible to come out of the closet late in life

There must be a ton of us out there for that to happen - or those of us who come out late in life are really dumb and keep coming back to the same post over and over. :-)

Maybe this generation will be different, although I don't think it will be as different as we may want it to be.  The resistance to being LGBT seems to be growing more militant among many Christians.  There is not a lot of room for coming out in that sort of environment.  Then there is the fear and ignorance that is carried on by such hateful speech and attitudes even when done "lovingly".  

But it  is good to know that I am not alone.  When I first began this struggle I thought I must be the only gay man who was married to a woman or at least we were few and far between.  Fortunately that is not so.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Laying Low

Sort of trying to stay under the radar. 

Work trying to keep things going well and they are.  Irene (the hurricane) did not make things any easier there - we had some water damage and served more people.  I have two job interviews scheduled.  One is within commuting distance, barely; the other is not.  Doing my best to keep it all together there and not attract too much attention.

Home also trying to keep things going well and they are.  We are maintaining a status quo that seems to be working at least right now.  Trying not to rock the boat there either.  So far so good.  Now one of the conditions I'd set for moving on/out was that I have a better, more secure job.  That could be in place soon.  But I know that the last time I had a couple of interviews set up they both went south.  However, these two are more in keeping with my skills and experience.  We'll see.

Pain-wise also trying to keep it together.  I'm off the pain meds other than ibuprofen.  And I am in a lot less pain than I had been.  I am mobile and able to get through a day reasonably well.  I'm not sure of the cause of the pain and in a sense it doesn't matter if I can function well.  So be it.  The pain was overwhelming and drove away all other considerations.  Sex, job, all were on the side line.  That has begun to change with the physical improvement.

So, a status quo that portends to be short-lived.  I'm just not sure where the changes will be.  Such is life.

I had an interesting comment the other day on this post about my dear mother-in-law.  Meta-language - interesting.  I thought to simply disregard it as applicable in this case because my dear mother-in-law is not all that capable of doing something for others, so her behavior wouldn't be about helping C.  But then it dawned on me that MiL could easily have done it all for her purposes - to have her family look good and avoid a scandal.  Of course, I'm laying low with regard to MiL too!!

It is really a long strange trip.  It would help if I had a destination in mind!!  Sure serving God and my fellows is a good generic goal, but in the end it doesn't show a specific destination.  But perhaps it does serve as a compass. 

And to that extent it might give a direction.