So this is a combination post - one that I worked on a ways back and a reaction to today's therapy.
Faith is a funny thing. The quote at least some have heard is that "faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." More to the point here though is that - "fear is the absence of faith."
On its face that doesn't make a lot of sense. I want assurance of things that I can't see - that are unseeable? Really? And there are some things, many things of which it is rational to be afraid where faith just doesn't play in.
That is indeed a tall order. I'm not so sure about faith as we usually use the term, but I know that I am on the left side of the pictured cliff. I cannot see/predict/know the road ahead. I do not know if it is a good road, the right road or the best road. I'm sounding like Thomas Merton or Robert Frost with my road talk.
But I do know that I am at the cliff where I have been before. I know that I don't want to leap. I know that I am shutting down again - sex of any sort is not attractive which is never a good sign. I know I don't want to go forward and that there is no healthy alternative. There is a darker steeper cliff on the other side.
So I've hemmed and hawed for years. I've procrastinated. I've avoided. But I keep coming back to the same cliff.
The choices are always the same. Stay where I am - married, gay, monogamous. Or make the fucking jump.
If I jump I might fall.
If I don't I will just continue to shut down.
But then there is the fear. That's where today's therapy session comes in. Much of my hesitancy has been about not wanting to harm (not just hurt, but harm) C. I have blown up the amount of pain and suffering I will cause. I've known this for a bit. I don't think that this will be easy, but I've made it like Climbing Mt. Everest while dribbling a basketball. I've set the bar so high that the pain I will cause to C - interestingly not to the kids is so much that it has cause me to freeze.
This fear, exaggerated fear of harming C seemed to be at the crux of things.
Then the words - "Could you be projecting this onto C?" That did hit home, as did a number of things today. The fear is my fear that I will be harmed in this. That two or three years from now I'll go WTF did I do. That feels like the source. I know this won't be a cake walk for either of us, but my leaving will not shatter C's very existence. In some ways I worry it will mine. And indeed it will - it will shatter the perception that I am straight.
A side note - I know things hit me in therapy when I want to just plain cry. That happened here.
But today I realized something else - that I can learn as much from the joy. The therapist, S I'll call her, asked how would it feel if C just said, "I want out; I want a divorce" after I discussed some difficulties between C and myself over last weekend. My response, the feeling I got caught me off guard.
I was elated at the thought.
Perhaps it's time to have faith.
Faith that the elation is real.
Faith that I am projecting this feeling of potential harm onto C.
Faith that I can trust my feelings and who I am.
Faith that I will grieve. Grieve the loss of what I thought I was and the relationship I had. And that I will survive that grief. That I will thrive after that grief.