Thursday, December 16, 2010
Friends, affection, and choices...
I'm going to attempt to blog again... I'm still feeling a bit numb since my mom's death, and yet, life goes on, and hope survives.
I have come to a realization since the funeral. When I saw friends rally around me including and particularly
1) my kindergarten-high school locker partner best friend,
2) my college roommate and best man,
3) my dear "Thomas" in Italy,
4) "Will" and "Tim", my young men,
5) my special client of 20 years,
6) neighbor friends
7) ward friends.
I have been touched by the kindness and gentleness and tenderness that has been sincerely shown and extended to me. I have found myself a blubbering idiot at times, breaking down in their arms, not because of the loss of my mom, but because of being overwhelmed by their meaningful friendship toward me. It has been an amazing revelation to realize like George Bailey that with true friends, it is a "wonderful life"!
I have found myself breaking down barriers within me. I wrote a while back about putting up barriers, particularly toward Tim and Will, and my other young men friends, in order to somehow preserve feelings between me and my wife, and in the process feeling like I was dying on the vine, a last leaf holding on...
But since this last month of overpowering love and affection shown toward me, I am tossing that self-imposed barrier to the wind and allowing myself to respond to love and affection with my natural tendency of even more love and affection in return. I have found myself hugging and kissing my men-clients, my priesthood brethren, and my young men buddies with reckless abandon, not giving thought to what others might think or say.
The other Sunday, Will gave the benediction at Sacrament Meeting, and since I was on the stand, he immediately afterward turned around and swallowed me in the biggest body hug you could imagine right at the podium. I melted in his arms, with stake presidency and bishopric working around us in our embrace to greet others after the meeting.
Last Sunday, Tim was set apart in a new calling. After the setting apart, there was the normal shake and back-patting (the prescribed three times) with the men in the circle, but with me he grabbed me and wrestled me and picked me up off the floor
into a bear hug and we nestled our heads into each other's necks for some time. And I kissed him and he wouldn't let me go. He rescued me again! Finally, he and I both realized that the other brethren in the room were watching us, and one of them said something like:
"I think Tim and Beck really like each other!"
Upon which, the Bishop responded: "Really, you think so?"
Upon which, Tim blushed and shrugged his shoulders and neither of us said anything, but just smiled that omniscient smile.
At the same time, I've found a closeness and support from my wife and kids. I have found a unity and togetherness in my marriage as we've worked through this adjusting period. And my wife has been more open to my expressing the need to be "me" in this limited way.
It's made me reflect upon this path I'm on... Yes, I'm living a lie. Yes, I'm not honest in my feelings for others. Yes, if each of these friends really knew the "real" me, would they treat me the same way? Would I even be serving in the church position I'm in? Probably not. So, the facade continues...
I guess this sounds pretty pathetic. I have to have a devastating family loss to bring out my emotions and feelings for others and break down my personal barriers again. I have to sneak my "gay pon farr" satisfaction under the guise of priesthood leadership. It's pretty damn pathetic, indeed, to sneak the snuggles where I can get them.
Oh the web we weave, spinning and spinning and spinning... in order to keep some kind of order in our universe... a balance of needs, including family, marriage, church, testimony, friends, and "the gay".
Is there really any hope in juggling these needs and trying to make it all work? Or, as I've noted in other blog comments, it really does come down to just two ultimate choices:
choice A) keep "the gay" under wraps, and stay married and in the church but securely in the closet and drive yourself to the cliffs of insanity as you live a dishonest life, or
choice B) bite the bullet, down the stiff medicine, and face reality that d-i-v-o-r-c-e is inevitably in the future, and loss of family, church and community, but be real and authentic and lose the facade.
I feel like Eve: "Is there no other way?"