Saturday, October 20, 2007

somewhere in time...




In the cheesy movie "Somewhere in Time" Christopher Reeve crosses between two worlds with the sight of a 1979 penny in his pocket. As much as he wants to be in one world, he's dragged back to reality that he's not really in that world and has to commit himself completely to the other world and die to make that leap of faith...

I kind of had that experience yesterday... not to that level of cheesy melodrama, but there was a level of internal drama being played out between two worlds that up until yesterday, did not connect, overlap or intersect.




I was sitting as "Beck" in a time-warped restaurant with John G-W and Goran, two amazingly beautiful people in this MOHO community, when one of my longtime consultants comes over to my table and shakes my hand and asks me how I'm doing. For a moment I was in shock... the inner turmoil of "Me" and "Beck" being in the same dimension of time and space at that table in that time-warped restaurant. It was all so bizarre. I froze for a moment and didn't even have the sense of mind to introduce my guests at the table to my consultant. I didn't know what to do... I was living in two worlds at the same instant and I froze.




I don't think that John or Goran even recognized the turmoil going on inside me. It wasn't that I was embarrassed for being with them - just the opposite is true - I was so excited and felt so honored and privileged to be sitting and enjoying the company of such loving, great people. The turmoil was in not wanting to be drawn back (like the 1979 penny) into the real world of "Me". I wanted to be Beck! I wanted to stay as Beck! I was proud to be Beck... and here I was dragged back to reality of the other world.




It is hard living two lives. It is very hard and stressful, especially when those lives intersect. I've read that stress and anxiety lead to memory-loss and dementia. I think they're right... I'm losing my mind! This split personality thing is getting awfully hard to pull off, especially when I allow myself to almost want my two worlds, my two identities to "accidentally" meet and collide, overlap and intersect.




It's like I almost want the two sides to be forced together to where I can stand up in that time-warped restaurant and scream:
"Hey, everyone... yeah, especially you Mr. Engineering consultant over there at the next table - yeah, you in your tan jacket you wear to every meeting... I'm Beck and I'm gay and I'm okay with it and these two fine friends of mine are a fantastically fine couple and I'm proud that they are my friends! And oh, yeah... did I mention that I'm gay?"




It was a confusing moment there - I'm sorry to John and Goran for being a bit unfocused, but I think I'm getting tired of this facade...




I'm not saying the facade of the life I'm living (I have chosen to stay married and am devoted to my wife and family and my covenants and commitments and am choosing to do this as the best course for me), but the facade of TWO people inside me... I can't keep pulling this off. It's getting old.




I just want to go get lost.... somewhere in time...

16 comments:

Kengo Biddles said...

It is frustrating, Beck. I absolutely hear you. There are times that I so desperately want to tell everyone and just be done with things. I very nearly did in my talk last Sunday, and again, yesterday at school.

No fun, let me just say.

playasinmar said...

To quote Cosmo Kramer, "Worlds are colliding!"

Forester said...

I've always believed these two worlds could co-exist, but recently I have learned otherwise. This is mostly because I am not out to very many people, including my wife. Until everyone knows, these two worlds will always clash. It's hard because they have always co-existed inside of me. It's hard for me to understand why they can't co-exist outside of me as well.

RealNeal said...

Like I said in a previous post, I think until you can come out to a straight person who really truly loves you even though you're a MoHo, you're going to have that conflict. The reason you're so comfortable with your friends is because they're gay too. You need a straight Mohomie who knows all your deep dark secrets, and is OK with all that....


Neal

santorio said...

i see 3 solutions for you and me and whoever

1. leave your family & church. unlikely but it has been done by sincere, good people

2. let it go--stop blogging, sing a hymn everytime your eyes stray. not easy but with time it usually works. knowing that as you get older, libido naturally decreases and it's less of a problem

3. as neal suggests, gradually come out to others; one at a time, carefully, slowly, ambiguously perhaps, and knowing that eventually one of them will let others know. you're lucky living now. 20 years ago this just wouldn't have been an option

Chris said...

leave your family

Why does ending a marriage have to be characterized like this? I may no longer be married to the mother of my children, but I have NOT left my family.

Kengo Biddles said...

Because most people don't have a wife as understanding as yours, Chris. Most women, when told by their husband that he's leaving them for someone else tend to get rather frustrated and generally protective of their kids. And most men aren't that keen on staying close to their kids, either.

(cf. my mother with my father, and my grandfather with my mother and her siblings, respectively.)

That is why it's categorized as leaving one's family. Because that's often the case.

Chris said...

kengo,

I didn't leave my wife for another man. I ended my marriage (or "left my wife" if you'd prefer) because I am gay. The man in my life now came after the marriage was over.

Moreover, while my wife's attitude toward me influences my interaction and relationship with my children, my ongoing commitment to them is on me. I know many gay men who were married at one point, and most of them are engaged and committed to their kids. They haven't "left their families" either.

My point is this: "left the family" is a statement full of judgment. It does not just suggest a new living arrangement; it suggests emotional as well as physical absence. And I think that's unfair to many, many men in such situations.

Coming out as gay and ending a marriage is not an option for many people, which I understand. But the alternative, which can difficult and traumatic and unfair, is usually not simply a matter of just leaving.

Kengo Biddles said...

Chris, I am fully aware of your situation. I have read your blog. That's why I said your wife was understanding, and why I didn't say anything regarding you, because you obviously are striving to make yourself a large part of their lives, and have been much more forthright than the average man that spawned the saying.

As for being involved with kids, remember that this phrase has largely been developed with regard to straight men who often leave their wives and children for some younger woman and generally ignore their prior commitments.

I agree that "left the family/wife" is overflowing with judgment. And it's based on a large body of cultural experience. But I don't hesitate to use it on myself when referring to my marriage with Helga. I left her. I left her with her parents because she was too nuts and I was too drained to do anything more for her, esp. when she wouldn't do anything for herself.

And I agree completely, it's not just as simple as packing a car and driving away. And I'm glad there are men like you who take an honorable path, and are up front and honest, rather than any alternative.

Beck said...

KENGO and CHRIS: I appreciate and respect your comments. I don't think that within this group of comments we are judging each other. Chris, your example of how you have transitioned your life is impeccable and certainly honorable and an example to all of us of "how it should be done"!

As for me and my point(since this is my blog after all), Santorio was just giving suggestions that are dipped in generalities. My post wasn't about leaving my family or my wife... it was more about accepting things and allowing my two worlds to come together without shame or embarrassment. What do I have to be embarrassed about? Nothing! So then, why do I feel that when my two worlds overlap, I feel guilt or uneasiness and can't just BE myself?

I'm not leaving my wife and kids. I'm happy with my family. I love to be with them. But sometimes BECK wants to be seen and heard, too... can there be such a place in time where all can come together and be in harmony without guilt, shame or uneasiness?

I really don't want to shout it out to the world... I just want to be comfortable being ME in whatever situation.

I guess that is too much wishful thinking on my part...

Beck said...

FORESTER said: "It's hard because they have always co-existed inside of me. It's hard for me to understand why they can't co-exist outside of me as well."

Exactly my point. Since I'm now comfortable with my two parts within me, why can't they coexist outside me as well???

NEAL: You're right. I've come out to several people now, but ALL are gay except my wife. I need to think about this... There is a difference. Letting a straight person know and seeing a reaction of "no big deal" would be a big step... but if that straight person were also a Quorum brother, one of my returned missionaries, etc. that would be something else all together... Why am I so fearful of this? I know you've had great relationships with your Bishops, but I haven't. The fear of judgment and sense of "guilt" are too painful, yet, to do such a thing...

SANTORIO: Option 3 is the only possibility for me.

There is a subplot in my mind that says that if I'm casual enough with who I am and what I say, even on this blog, that eventually, I will be "found out" and it will be no big deal, as I have nothing to be guilty of, and then the "drama" of it all will be over.

RealNeal said...

Beck,

I wish I could come out there and have a heart to heart. Maybe some day.

I know its scary. I almost died I was so scared the first time. But I discovered my fear had distorted reality. My friends who truly loved me for ME still do.

One of those friends I came out to was sitting beside me in Stake Priesthood meeting a couple of weeks ago. He spontaneously put his arm around my shoulder and gave me a big squeeze and patted me on the back. I looked at him and he smiled at me. It was so loving (in a proper way). I almost cried!! Here's a straight guy giving a public squeeze to a homo in Priesthood meeting. He's not afraid of me, nor ashamed to be my friend. That kind of affirmation is so healing! I wish I could give that moment to you, my friend...

Neal

GeckoMan said...

Beck, thanks for bringing up this whole issue of bringing the inside to the outside. I wish for the day of bringing my two worlds together as well. How to? I definitely think it will require some thoughtful preparation with key people in my ward and family, if I ever do. I've got more to say, which I'll comment in your next post, which is a wonderful continuation of this topic.

Chris said...

Chris, your example of how you have transitioned your life is impeccable and certainly honorable and an example to all of us of "how it should be done"!

Thanks, but getting a compliment was not my point. I think I'm unremarkable in a lot of ways; as I wrote above, I know many gay dad who were formerly married, and I can't think of any who aren't devoted to the kids, their families. That's my point. Ending a marriage and "leaving your family" are two very different things.

Beck said...

CHRIS: Concur completely! There is a difference. Thanks for pointing out that difference.

And note that when I give out compliments, they are heart-felt. :)

Chris said...

Thanks, Beck.