Thursday, May 29, 2014


It's a time of transition.

Our oldest graduated from high school this evening.  She grown up a lot in the past bit.  She was going to celebrate with a friend afterward and as she was getting out of the car she said, "I love you."  She thanked us all for going to her graduation.

Unfortunately, we haven't made a big deal out of it.  Our transition has taken a lot of energy.  C is beginning to feel the reality of the pain of our impending separation.  It's made some of our conversations a bit more difficult.  It does not help that a person who she was beginning to depend on has wigged out.  The person was beginning to be able to be a replacement sounding board for C - a role that is less possible for me concerning the separation.  As much as possible we are walking this together in the same way we've done the whole process - healthfully.  I am grateful.

Our plan at this point is to tell the kids before the end of the week.  More C's timing than mine.  I tend to procrastinate such things in case that's not obvious.  C and the oldest then have a trip planned later in the week for orientation for our oldest.  Then C and likely all of the kids are off to C's parent's to visit her dad who is not doing as well as we'd like.  He has cancer.

The word is getting around.  C took it upon herself to tell my mum about the situation.  C has a good relationship with her - not telling, but one of those situations where in C's conscience not telling the whole truth is a lie.  Not telling my mum meant C was speaking to her.  I've begun to tell folks at work some of what is occurring.  Have I mentioned before that C and I work together and that I happen to run the small nonprofit?  What a tangled web? 

And while all this is happening I've begun to look for apartments.  I saw one today; I have two scheduled for tomorrow.  Getting an inexpensive one bedroom apartment that is still livable should be interesting.  Fortunately, we've moved away from Boston, NY and DC where the rental market is markedly worse than here.  I think either of the places I'll  see tomorrow could be fine. 

Not that C and I have talked about a date for moving out yet.  Contingency planning on my part.  I think we both realize that since we are doing this, it is better to do it quicker.  The hanging on is not making it easier. 

The biggest stress now is the kids.  Cameron has it right in the note to the last post.  Kids are flexible.  Not that this will be easy.  The reactions will likely get to what does this mean for me - it was when my folks got divorced.  Since  there is no drama between C and me and since we plan to emphasize our love for them, there will be a lot less disruption than I felt.  Of course I won't disappear unlike my dad.  We have a roughed out plan to continue to eat together at least one night a week. 

Once we've told the kids we'll have to do the work of separating. 

I am reminded again that contradictions can live in the same space.  I dread and yearn for that time of separation.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Good Week

But a tough one all the same.

I've been back at work full time for a couple of weeks now since my stroke.  That seems to be going well.  I seem to be distracted, but that is at least as much a reflection on what is going on personally.

I've been running again.  It's been a while since I ran regularly.  I've begun logging runs.  Time to think about a 5K.  Perhaps the one at Pride.

C and I have had a few tough chats.  A likely direction is that we'll keep the kids where they are and move around ourselves.  Some of the details of this could messy with competing needs.  I have to keep in mind that I need to be firm about things I really need and giving about things I do not, but C does. 

Most of all we're talking dates for telling the kids - early in the first week in June.  The kids start summer break and C needs to go see her dad who is sick.  My therapist has suggested we write down notes about what we'll say to the kids.  With luck we'll go over them this weekend.  Suggestions about what has worked are more than welcome :).  Most important on the list is that we still love the children, this is not their fault and we'll work with them to make this manageable. 

On my part this all feels surreal.  Great joy and great sorrow really can live in the same place at the same time. 

But I've moved on.  For some years I've been stuck in Stage 3 of  "Autobiography in Five Short Chapters" in this post.  I've been culpable for walking down the same street, seeing the same pit and falling in.  But now I've avoided the pit.  And soon I will be on another street.  Perhaps Frost's less traveled path.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A couple of themes have been running through my head today.

One has to do with the fact that a sibling of mine was adopted.  Another is the Robert Frost poem that I think I've quoted before.  First to my sister.  She was adopted as an infant.  My parents did a wonderful job of telling the story.  As I recall the story it went something like
We wanted another child.  We couldn't have one.  So we began to look for one.  And we met you in coffee shop with the social worker and fell in love.  But we had to wait until we could take you home.
There were a lot of details about the meeting. About her coming home.  About love and anticipation.  I think they began telling her the story before she could comprehend it. 

Yet still she needed to discover who she was.  She met, only once, her birth mother.  I remember too my parents' incredulity about others who waited to tell their children or those whose children found out on the own.  The incredible damage that that could do.

I think I understand that damage.  In a sense I've been living it.  My life was upended.  My life was upended by the years of repression and suppression.  It is as if I don't know myself and have never been able to know myself.  Much like if I were to discover my adoptions papers as an adult.  All is thrown into question.  Nothing is trustworthy.  Nothing is safe.

Frost's poem, "The Road not Taken."

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
I had the privilege today of meeting with a small group of people.  It is a group that is aimed at keeping me accountable for the journey of separation from C.  To challenge and support, to force (encourage) me to make tough choices and to make me remember those who will be affected.  I asked to be held to remembering that regardless of anything else that I would like to be reminded that I am no longer at the point where I see the road diverging in a yellow wood.  Because I have taken the other road and soon will reflect on way leading to way so that the divergence of roads is but a memory.  I may be sorrowful that I cannot be one and travel both roads.  But I cannot be split in two.  I can no longer safely trod the other road.  While it has appeal and seems the easier softer way, it has been a road that has not worked. 

Leaving the group this morning my heart was heavy.   It is good to be more open - not a strength.  The group this morning and others help accomplish this - when I allow it.  The blog too helps.  The steps are scary.

Where we are:
  1. We've set a range of dates today - the first week in June  - to tell the kids. 
  2. We've begun discussing living arrangements.  It doesn't help that this is something we both want to avoid. 
  3. While not a trial separation, we've set a time frame of a year to reevaluate.  Frankly, in part so I can hedge my bets.
Where we need to go:
  1. I need to be careful not to give up things I ought not.  And to make sure I am accommodating where I can be. 
  2. We need to talk about a time frame for moving out.
  3. We need to talk finances for the first year or so.
  4. Find a place that is safe for the kids and convenient to their schools.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pity Party

Been a day.

Everyone around here is a bit down and the dumps and cranky.  I feel responsible for everything.  I've been distracted or rather unable to concentrate today.  TGT and my options, worries about the future, concerns about balls I've dropped are the order of the day. 

My mood reflect the weather here - cold and wet.

On the other hand there is a bit of anticipation as well.  Cameron is right in his comment here that there is hope of a brighter future with renewed and new traditions that I can build.  But I want to stamp my feet, take my toys and go home - to avoid the pain I'm in and I'm causing others.  That will all get worse as we tell the kids.

The resolution for today is
  1. To feel that pain (I've spent far too much time ignoring it) 
  2. To find communities I can share with - I had been near a city that had a gay dad's and another gay married men's group.  I have different communities here.  And need to reach out more.
  3. To continue to realize that I can no longer go back.  The way is forward.  This is the easier, softer way.  
Decision before therapy next week - oh did I say therapy was  today
  1. Living arrangements
    1. Where will I live
    2. How close to C
  2. More on strategies to talk with the kiddos
And most of all - to find other people to confide in.  Tonight I wanted to tell C that I feel like I've dropped so many balls over the years.  But that's not hers to hear.  Or maybe it is - get clarity around that sort of boundry.

So not a pity party.  But a realization that there is a lot of heavy lifting to do.  And that I am making the  effort to lift with my knees and not my back :)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

Not as easy as it "should" be; not as difficult as it could have been.

For the past few years Mother's Day has been tough.  This year it was a bit tougher.  I got the comment wait to Father's Day when it's the last one as an intact family.  That I think sums up the mood here,  Or rather with C.  I am more of the opinion that telling the kids will be rough;  helping them deal with it will be rough.

But I cannot wait.  While I may be downplaying the difficulties, they cannot be as difficult as the past few years.  I am the best place I've been in for 10+ years.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

And the answer is (or was) stagnant

It's been and interesting time.  I wonder if the concussion I got last year had longer lasting affects than I thought.  I've been stagnating on decision making for the last few 6 months.  The stagnation is now over.

The last couple of months have been particularly interesting.  At the end of February of this year I suffered a stroke.  The I have recovered from the stroke amazingly well.  I've returned to work full time as of yesterday.  I really have recovered well.

I offer the above because my symptom was only sudden trouble speaking - I didn't know there was a problem for hours.  I thought I was tired until I saw a friend who is a nurse.  Most folks in a similar situation are not so lucky.  This article in the Guardian showed me how lucky I am.

I've been stressed for a long time, of course.  TGT or rather suppressing TGT has caused a lot of stress.  As a result C and I had a therapy appointment on Gay Day (the anniversary of me coming out to C and a day we've said we'll go out for Indian food).  Well after therapy we did indeed go for Indian.  We came to the conclusion that what we are doing is not working.

The plan - 
  • Get continued support for ourselves
  • Talk with the kids - possibly as early as the first week in June once kids are out of school
  • Physically separate 
    • Likely this summer
    • We're discussing possible scenarios that will work for us
So while the answer I posed 7 months ago in my last post was stagnant - it no longer is stagnant.  Sort of like a log jam breaking.
Feelings are all over the map.  I won't presume to talk of C's feelings.  But I've run the gamut from excited to terrified to depressed to contented.  The most steady feeling is of the inevitability of this.