Sunday, June 30, 2013


I'm starting to think that talking might be a good thing. 

C and I went for a walk today.  It's something we did pretty regularly after I first came out to her.  We'd walk and talk for 45+ minutes.  For both of us it was a good thing.  It cleared the air; it made each of us feel heard; it made us each feel safe.  C is an extrovert - she needs to process out loud to another person.

But I am not a talker.  Inevitably, I would back off from the talking.  There were many reasons:  things looked good so don't rock the boat, I'm thinking of leaving but don't say anything yet, I haven't fully thought things out yet - I'm an introvert, I don't want to think things out fully - I'm afraid of where they'll lead. 

But back to today.  We must have walked for 30-45 minutes.  Walking and chatting.  At one point C was crying.  It is so easy to misunderstand each other in the insanity of a "mixed orientation marriage."  It doesn't help that our oldest is a bit screwed up right now especially in C's eyes.  C thinks the oldest is thinking she might be trans rather than lesbian.  My take is she is who she is even if she is a he.  Not what I want - the added stigma.  But in case you haven't noticed we're not always dealt a fair hand.

C has had it tougher in some ways since I checked out mentally a while back - depression and all.  That has been going on intermittently for 6 years now.

We also spent a bit of time talking about the kids and coming out to them.  That felt good.

The kicker came as we talked about what the kids might fear.  That is, they might fear that we would separate.  My response was my usual punt - "we're working that out."  C thought they (as she does) might need more than that.

My response was that we would tell them that we would be there for them to care for them and to love them no matter what else.  That that was our job and we would do that.  C's response gave me hope and reminded me of something I've been fearing of late.

"Even if we're not together we'll still be family."  I'm not sure what form I want that to take, but I do know that C and I have been very good with and for each other over the past 27 years of marriage - our 27th anniversary is around the corner. 

The hope is that we will be able to be far more than civil to each other.  The fear is that I will hurt her sufficiently that it will not be healthy for her to keep in close contact.  What I know sitting here is that I am responsible for only my side of the relationship.  I am not and cannot be in control of what C does or feels.

Damn - I'm almost healthy :)

Perhaps more importantly for the first time in a very long time I am hopeful for the future in a manner that doesn't require me to have blinders on. 

On a side note, Geoffrey at "A Journey by myself" but out a post here that I too feel.  I don't have a clue as to what brought it on.  I do know that at times I pour a bit of me into this.  Ultimately, I am writing all of this for myself primarily.  It helps me keep straight (so to speak) what's going on in my head.  Writing it down makes me consider things more deeply.  Secondly, it acts as a journal - when I first started I was afraid to have anything locally on a computer.  It is so easy for me to forget where I've been.  Going and reading over old posts has, on occasion, helped me - even if it's only to say damn I'm doing it again. 

If my blog helps others great!  If it doesn't, go and read elsewhere.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Out of the woods

C and I used to do a lot of hiking.  Everything slows down when you're in the middle of nowhere.  One of the most remarkable things is the quiet.  My head has not been quiet for quite some time.  Being gay, figuring out what it means, gnawing at the implications, imagining the possibilities have all kept my head way too busy for quite some time. 

On the good side, the old noggin is doing better.  My cognitive issues from the concussion have disappeared since my last post.

More significantly, I feel I am moving out of the woods.  Or at least out of the scarey woods.  I am able to work with the therapist to set goals and do them.  So yesterday at the session I mention I feel stuck in part because I haven't talked with C about coming out to the kids.  It's overwhelming; I don't know where to begin.  So we make a plan that I will do it Friday night (tonight) over dinner. 

Thursday night we go out to dinner after a hectic evening.  I let 2-3 good segues pass unused.  Typically this has meant that I will let it go.  I don't.  We talk about it as a good idea, but can't set a date for scheduling purposes.  We then talk more about the gay thing. 

I don't know what is further down the path.  I can't see beyond the horizon.  But much like the picture here I can see the path well enough to keep going.  The difference is today I trust that the path will continue beyond the horizon.  It is not a path I wanted or that I chose.  But as the Stones say - "You don't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need."

1.  Given the beginning of the post perhaps it's time to sit in meditation daily again.  I really don't want to, but it might help in a number of ways.
2.  On Monday's therapy figure out a good time to bring C in to the session to role play coming out to the kids.
3.  Figure out what I want to do for fun while C and kids are back east in a couple of weeks.
4.  Figure out a good hike to go on alone or with some/all of the family.  Missing the Hudson and Shenandoah Valleys.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dazed and Confused at the chiropractor's office

I've kvetched about my concussion a few times over the past few weeks. It really has been a pain in so many ways.  I had a CT scan done this morning as a precautionary measure to make sure there are no issues.   I fully expect the scan to show nothing. 

Two issues developed today at my chiropractic appointment.  The first is that today the chiropractor quipped that my cognitive issues (confusion, inability to focus and the like) are taking more time than average especially given the severity of my concussion, or rather the lack of severity. 

As I was leaving the office it dawned on me - I am not sure that it is really or at least fully the accident.  How much of the cognitive issue here is just part and parcel of my inability to be completely effective at work and life over the course of the last several years.  How much mental computing power do I spend trying to figure out the gay thing and my relationship with C.  In then end, no - the accident has made my lack of ability to concentrate and irritability significantly  worse, but I do spend an inordinate amount of time both thinking about and trying to avoid thinking about being gay and married to a woman - how's that for dazed and confused - spending too much time thinking about and avoiding the same thing.  I do spend way too much time cycling through thoughts.  It has gotten better this time with therapy.  But now the real heavy lifting begins - at least by the end of summer.

The second development at the chiropractor's office is that he's cute.  He talks WAY to much and seems to lack some professional boundaries (nothing huge yet).  He's also married (to a woman) and we all know that means he can't be gay.  BUT he seems to spend a bit of time on muscle work on my back including lower back.  Very lower back shall we say :).  Today he topped it off by massaging the sides of my head which he has never done before.  It's not that he's making me uncomfortable; in fact, I sort like playing with the idea.  Today I imagined grabbing his ass as he adjusted me - I guess I am gay after all - neither dazed nor confused in this sense. 

Goal for Wednesday- chat with C about coming out to the kids.  Perhaps make a plan for her to come to one of my therapy appointments so we can practice.  If we go that route I will be interested in later reflection with the therapist about C and especially our interactions.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

So, made a two fold plan at therapy the other day.

The first is that we (C and I) will move toward my coming out to the kids.  In looking for graphics to go a long with that I found plenty for coming out to parents.  I think it will be interestingly different to come out to kids.  We shall see.

The reasons:

I want to separate coming out from separation/divorce.  Sure, it's the reason why, but I don't want to tie the two together in space and time.  I am beginning to realize more and more that my reticence to move forward is a result of my not wanting to look like the bad guy.

Coming out to the kids may help give context to my insanity over the past few years - to the depression I've experienced.

Most importantly, I worry that my being gay could be functioning like a family secret.  It's not, especially since with regard to sexuality we don't want to know much about our parents (shudder).  But there is something up and naming it can help; it can make the kids realize it's not them.  This might be particularly helpful with number 1 and her stuff.

The second part of the plan is for the therapist and I to role play.  She and I will practice telling C.  Interestingly, I will play the part of C at least some time.  The goal here as I understand it is for me to get used to the words.  I can hear them in my head,but hearing them out loud especially where another person can hear them is, well, overwhelming. 

The odd thing is that C is telling me that she wants to hold on for the long haul.  Our intimacy in almost every senses has dropped to nothing.  We don't talk a lot except about work.  We don't have sex.  C has taken to wearing a shirt to bed - something she did a few years back when I think she was either thinking of leaving or thinking that I was.  

I feel like I am living two lives as a result - one where she is hoping I will stay and one where I know I cannot without risking the big D of depression.  Perhaps she has more hope because I'm coming out of the depression in a way I haven't for a long time.  One of the reasons of course is that I have decided I cannot stay.

Oh what a tangled web we weave.  When first we practice to deceive.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wow - Just wow

While waiting for SCOTUS to announce its decision on DOMA and Prop 8 we get this news about Exodus International, the infamous "reparative therapy" "Christian" group.

I have to admit there have been times when it seemed like a good idea, just pray the gay away.  But given my failed experiences of trying to suppress the gay away I can't imagine topping that depression and self loathing with a dose of religious based hate at who I am as a person. 

Is it possible to come out of the closet later in life - Part 2

I remember when I first saw 10,000 hits on my blog.  I was amazed.  There are that many people out there who get to a blog like mine?  Wow.  Either there are a lot of really bored people or there are a lot of us out there.  Now I'm over 40,000 which is 4 times as puzzling.

I have a single post that has now surpassed 10,000 hits - "Is it possible to come out of the closet late in life."

Damn there are a lot of us out there.  Us here being those of us who are gay and are/were married to a person of the opposite gender.

Remember the Pink Floyd song, "Is there anybody out there?"  That is what I felt for so very long.  I sat isolated, alone, knowing that I did not fit in, wondering why I had no real attraction to girls and cementing shut all the cracks in the closet door to make sure that I was securely behind the closet door.

The more I get out there the more I realize there are so many more out there too.  There is no reason any of us need stay hidden away.

There are a number of options for us.

There are any of a number of options for us.  I've seen everything from monogamous marriage maintenance with the spouse not knowing  to polyamorous arrangements.  There is no right answer for everyone; there is however a best answer for each of us, even though it may be difficult to negotiate.

Online there are a ton of resources.  I posted some a couple years ago here.  More importantly than the online resources however are the in person ones.  I have a friend I've met with for the past 4-6 weeks just to share the story and the journey.  It makes me realize I am not alone.  That continues to be the danger of the closet - my thinking that I am alone, I am different, I am deviant. I am bad.

There have been a ton of hits on this obscure blog on a post entitled "Is it possible to come out of the closet late in life?"  There are a lot of us out there.

By the way, the answer is yes.  It is possible to come out of the closet late in life. It is possible to survive coming out even when it seems that it might tear me apart.  It is possible to thrive after coming out.

Tomorrow -

  1. Therapy with the goals of making a plan to come out to the kids - C mentioned that last week - and beginning to role play telling C.  Damn - got some heavy lifting to do.  The concussion of a couple weeks ago is still getting in the way, but not enough to derail this.
  2. Perhaps make time to carve out that lunch.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


I was reading a blog somewhere recently that mentioned that he had missed his blog's anniversary, it's blogaversary.  Well my 4th blogaversary was a little more than two months ago.  Now mind you my blog has been all over the map.  I missed all of 2010 and had one post in 2012.  Perhaps the problem is those even years!! 

But seeing the post made me think of the past 4 years so I thought I'd pull out the Lou Reed album Magic and Loss especially "What's Good."  I still think he was on to something - even in the midst of death, fear, uncertainty Life is Good.  It is not fair, not fear at all, but life is good. 

The past four plus years have been a time when I have spent a bit of time thinking about what is good and I haven't found a lot.  Trying to negotiate being gay and married has taken up, has hidden, has obscured much of my ability to see the good.  Sure I know my kids are good, that C is good.  I love them all.  But the chasm caused by trying to maintain the status quo had swallowed much of my ability to see that my participation or even presence in their lives was a good thing.  That scares me given the history of depression, dysfunction and addiction present in both C's and my families.  The good thing is that the kids haven't seen the active addiction in our lives.  But they have seen four years of depression on my part.  They have been affected by that. 

But they have also been affected by the work I do.  They have been affected by the choices we have made.  They have been affected by the beliefs we have and we live out.  They have been affected by our acceptance our our oldest who is out.  They have been affected by our rejection of consumerism. 

The positive effects of my being in their lives far outweigh the negative.

Can you tell I was raised Catholic with a litany like that.  Litanies are important; they remind us of what we hold to be true.  The are to be repeated and memorized.


I paused in writing this post to reread rather quickly all the previous posts. 

  1. I can laugh at almost anything - I laughed out loud at least twice.
  2. I keep going around in this damn small circle .
  3. I have decided to leave several times and have not followed through.
  4. I have been tired of going around in the same small circle before.
  5. I have spent the last several years not sleeping enough i.e., I avoid C.

Goals -
  1. Make 2-3 decisions in the next few days that move me in the right direction, in the direction of being a single gay man.  
  2. Next Gay Pride parade locally be able to be there for me.
  3. Go to bed now :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Authenticity is not something that is easy for me.

I am practiced at hiding important aspects of myself away.  So practiced that I can even hide them from myself. 

Yet, when I first came out to C a lot of my thought and talk was around how I needed to be "authentic."  I wasn't sure exactly what that meant or, more importantly, what it entailed, but knew that I needed follow the Bard's dictum of "To thine own self be true." 

Today authenticity means that I have to accept that I am gay - not bi, not straight.  Not bad, not evil.  Simply gay.  Now, that is more complicated in my case since I am married and a father.

But gayness is not the only thing I need to be authentic about!!  Indeed, there are a whole host of other aspects about myself about which I need to be authentic.  In other words I need to be who and what I am. 

Most importantly right now is to proceed with caution and care - being authentic to my need to care for C and the kids.

The tension is that I tend to think that it is better for the kids if I compartmentalize and try to live the straight life I have.  I have of course tried that.  And tried and retried - ad nauseam. 

I bumped into a blog by Liz Boltz Ranfeld whose dad famously came out.  To me the blog offers hope that the kids will be all right.  Most importantly, I know that things as they are do not work - they don't work for me, for C or for the kids.  I have tried and that road leads to dangerous depression and hopelessness.  I hang out in some interesting circles.  Last night I was with a group of folks and suicide came up - something I've toyed with all too frequently.  One person, another Jim, put it well.  I thought of suicide as a way to stop the pain , but all it would have done is multiple the pain for other people.  The pain that leads me to thinking that suicide is an option (note I do NOT currently think it is) is overwhelming, but it would indeed not go away, but would multiple if I were to carry it through.

Today to be authentic means also realizing that I cannot have my cake and eat it too.  I cannot be authentically gay and authentically married to C.  And that to be whole I have to be authentically gay.  Therefore, I cannot be married to C.  That's incredibly difficult. 

That is heartbreaking.  Authenticity often is.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Rob at Below the Radar posted about inertia recently.  Inertia worries me.  It is why my head hit the window of my car a couple of weeks ago resulting in a concussion.  It is why I end up in the damn small circle that ends in depression every 6-12 months.  Inertia is difficult to overcome.  It is even more difficult to overcome without pain.

Jim at Conflicting Clarity has the best picture for inertia when he commented on Rob's post; I've shamelessly stolen it here. The picture speaks to me.  There are many days when I have felt like this motorcyclist.  The price of change is too great - the inertia will send me flying to a painful if not deadly landing.

Right now and for the past bit though I know that the road I'm on is the trouble.  While I still am not looking forward to flying through the air like our friend on the motorcycle, there is the nascent belief that there will be less pain on the other side once I've done what needs to be done.

Last week in therapy I made the crack that the grass is not always greener on the other side in that divorce/separation whatever holds for C and me may not be better than what I have now.  In a departure from therapeutic detachment the therapist says oh yes it is.  She is right.  What I have done to myself in these past years is far worse than anything C would or even could do.

So, overcoming inertia.  Perhaps it takes hitting that wall, even at full speed, with the faith or at least hope that the grass is greener on the other side.  It will not with without pain - both the pain from fear in anticipation and pain from the landing. 

Now, I know - all talk and no action.  There are three frogs on a log in the pond and one spots a really juicy fly nearby, but out of tongue range.  One frog decides to jump after the fly.  How many frogs are on the log?

It's time to NOT be that frog left on the log with his friends.

This week's baby steps:
1.  Lunch at a gay restaurant in town.
2.  Meet with John, who is mentoring me - discuss gay social outlet.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Top 10 Reasons I should have known I was gay.

In the spirit of David Letterman the Top 10 Reasons I should have know I was gay from middle school, at least.

#10 - My freshman football coach in high school informed me that I could not stand "that way" and be on his team. 

#9 - Not having a real interest in dating girls.

#8 - Not kissing a girl until I was 18-19.

#7 - Tom of Findland - finding Tom of Findland fascinating.

#6 - A fascination with a gay professor in grad school.  I still know where he is unlike any others.

#5 - L - rubbing leg against mine in school.  I hoped she was doing it by accident.  I didn't pursue.

#4 - K - dancing with K.  She let it be known she wanted sex.  I deferred.

#3 - Turning down a threesome.  No, not with another guy.  A girlfriend who was trying to lure me in called and said she was over a friend's house and that they wanted me to come over to play.  I said no - the 20 minute drive didn't seem worth it.  (To be honest the girlfriend was a case.)

#2 - Walking across the street with a friend when I was 20.  He says, "Did you see those cute girls checking us out."  I say, "Huh, what where?"  I never did see them.  More importantly, I wasn't disappointed I didn't see them.


#1 David - not Letterman, but the boy next door.   David, may he rest in peace, died of a unnamed illness.  His parents would never say what it was; my mum still sees them on occassion.  His name isn't on the AIDS quilt; I've looked.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hope in Therapy

I don't like therapy.

I am practiced at avoiding, suppressing, repressing, compartmentalizing and just generally not dealing with tgt (the gay thing).  Since that is the major presenting issue at therapy it has been a a hard road.

Today however I see a light at the end of the tunnel and am reasonably certain that it is not a train bearing down on me.  The therapist and  I talked about both the baby steps I am doing and some more I can do to continue to move toward being who I am.  Right now I am hopeful.  I dread the conversation that is in the reasonably near future with C.  But I believe the conversation is possible. 

Interestingly, just as therapy was ending C called to say that our oldest's therapist thinks that my coming out to the kids would be a good thing.  Another hurdle to talk about next week.  I may not be bursting down the doors of the closet, but I am standing up and fighting to be who I am.

It is said that hope springs eternal.  I'm not so sure abut the eternal piece, but know am committed to nurturing that hope as I continue to move toward being who I am.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Good day from hell

I had the day from hell yesterday, but in a good way.  I did my first full day at work since the concussion, I dealt with a couple of crises one of which involved the police - the joys if nonprofit work.  But I weathered it well even if I was lat to the chiropractor. 

I've begun to think again.  My plan at therapy Thursday is to make a plan to talk with Cathy.  I do not know. Where the chips will fall so to speak, but do know that keeping them off the table is not likely to make things any better.   

Goal for 2014 - able to go to Pride here as an out gay man.  It's been a while since I had a goal like that; it feels good. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

What a week

Wow.  I think or at least hope that I am coming out of the fog caused by the concussion I had about 10 days ago now.  It has taken a bit longer than I had hoped it would.  I'll continue to take it slowly in order to heal that much better.

On the downside, at least sort of, C has been wonderful in stepping up other than her blow out last week.  This makes me go back to the place of "Do I really want to give all this up?" 

The answer is however yes.  As I said to the therapist the other day, I know what happens; I've been on this road before.  Here are the stages I keep going through:

1.  I realize that the fact that I am gay is very important and cannot be acknowledged in my current situation.
2.  I realize I have to live as a gay man.
3.  I begin to feel better.
4.  Sanity returns; depression begins to lift.
5.  I realize that I do like my life overall.  There are a lot of good things in it including C.
6.  I try to keep things as they are. 
7.  This is successful for 6-9 months, sometimes a little longer.
8.  I become depressed - at times dangerously so.
Optional 9. I realize there is only one way out - suicide.  The longer that #7 lasts the more likely #9 is to occur.

I have cycled through these quickly and slowly.  This last round has been about  6 months.  I am now at #5. 

The difference is that I am resisting going to #6 and continue to lay the ground work that is necessary.  I feel like a schmuck since C has been so good for the past week - hell she's been amazing for the time we've been married.  But I cannot keep returning to #6-9.  The depression is overwhelming. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Would you like some cheese with that whine?

Okay.  So, I admit it I was whining.

"Would you like some cheese with that whine" is one of my favorite expressions.  I regularly use it with others - the kids, friends, the people I help at work.  I find that it adds levity to a bit of the truth that whining about real evils does not bring about anything positive.  Indeed it can be debilitating at least for me.  When I am whining and especially when I am feeling sorry for myself I become overwhelmed with negative feelings and find it difficult to take action that will make the situation I'm whining about better.  Just like an alcoholic - whine only leads to more whine.

 Life often sucks.  Situations people face in the real world are often not nice.  Read the newspaper.  Come work with me.  Visit the Third World - the real one not tourist areas.  Assuming there is a God in charge of it all (a rather large assumption), I subscribe to the Desi Arnaz' theology.  "Lucy (god) you got a lot of explaining to do."

Sure the situation I'm in sucks.  But off the pity pot.  I should be called out on that when it happens.

But what am I going to do about it.

  1. Continue to wait for now.  Recover from the concussion.  My thinking is a little off - more so than usual.
  2. Pick up where I was in therapy - focusing on confrontation and how to not take the blame for everything - I'm not that damn important
  3. Move forward sooner rather than later - not impetuously, but not overly slowly
  4. By moving forward I mean letting C know:
    1. No, I'm not an asshole who has led her on for 4 years
    2. I love her, but cannot live with her because it has led to dangerous depression
    3. That we have to figure the best way for us to live separately in a way that does the least harm first to the children and then to ourselves.
 That's the plan.

Actually looking forward to therapy Thursday.

Monday, June 3, 2013

What a week

Some fool either thought that the red light was optional for him or thought his cell phone was more important than other drivers' safety.  As a result I have a totaled car, a concussion, and a family mess.
The concussion just sucks.  I'm not able to think as quickly or well at this point.  It's like walking through deep mud a low tide or in a swamp.  The car - we have replacement on it and the other guy admitted fault so we're good there.
But the home situation is falling apart in front of my eyes.  C calls me up because are youngest is crying at bed time, begins to take something out on me and doesn't appreciate it when I don't just take it. I walk away - especially since I've decided since my thinking is off I should keep my mouth closed wherever possible.  
C comes downs stairs and says how I've been pushing her away for the past 4 years.  She is of course correct.  And that was the topic I had for therapy - how I avoid confrontation.  
Did I mention I was on the way to therapy when I got hit.
The saddest part is that sometimes I wish I had been 10 seconds earlier off the light as if I had been in a rush.  I wouldn't have been hit in the front wheel then.
It's been a crappy week.