Tuesday, June 18, 2013
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.