Monday, December 24, 2012

A simple moment...

It's been a couple of months now... feeling consumed with a sense of hopelessness with my "situation" and the loneliness, anxiety, frustration, anger and emptiness that follows - a punishing private pity party for sure! I've been an inmature boob.

I allow my feelings of inauthenticity to overwhelm me and overcome me to the point that I can't see beyond my own self. I forget or can't remember the joys and goodness and bounty and blessings and fortunes and love around me. All I can see is the terrible situation that is my life and nothing more. I can't sleep. I can't connect. I can't feel... And yet I'm overcome with feelings and emotions are very much camping out on the surface.

It has become this mode of operation for some time now. And I'm so tired... so tired... In this spirit, we took the family to Temple Square Saturday evening and downtown to enjoy the lights and spirit of the season that should be beautiful as usual. You would think with family, and kids all around me excited in the spirit of it all that I wouldn't feel so lonely and befuddled. But I was.

We shuffled to the manger scene presentation between the Tabernacle and the North Visitor's Center and stopped to listen to the scriptural rendition of the nativity. I stood there contemplating what I was doing, why I was so consumed, how lost and lonely I felt surrounded in the crowd of people.

Deep in thought I prayed for some kind of support to get through this current funk. I stopped hearing the speaker or the hustle and chatter about me and I looked up and my view caught straight onto the Christus statue through the window and I "heard" a voice penetrate me soul... saying:

"Please listen: You're okay! I love you! I love you completely as you are!"

It really was that simple. I felt the love of my Savior overcome me and envelope me to the point that I started weeping uncontrollably. My wife and kids wondered what was up with dad and I just tried to shrug it off, but I couldn't. I'm sure they didn't think much of it as I've been a bit weepy of late. I felt the spirit whisper to me that I was understood, that I was validated, that my feelings of confusion, frustration, anxiety and anger were realized. I was given at that moment a sense of peace that sustained me through the weekend (and an incredible Sabbath) to the point that I could begin to engage again with family, friends, neighbors, and myself.

I know that I am on the right path for me, as strange as that seems to some, and that I must keep keepin' on. I know that I will fall, that I am broken (as we all are "broken" in the sense of being imperfect) and that the healing and comforting and real affects of the atonement are a continuing event for me. I need this sustaining influence continuously to help me through the "pity parties" that keep me in the dark and feeling hopeless in my circumstances.

In that one brief moment on Temple Square, I felt a glimpse of blissful peace, renewing comfort, and reassurance, enough such that I can keep going, and keep doing the best with who I am, that I am loved and accepted for who I am. I know the funk will return. I will cycle again as I am known to do... But I hope for myself that writing this experience down will help me to remember.

There is always hope! I am truly blessed! I have been given much! I am surrounded with love!


Saturday, December 22, 2012

May you find comfort and joy!

At this time of year, with all of the festivities of the season all around us, you'd think my thoughts would be centered on family, loved ones, and Christ. Though I am blessed with an amazing family, devoted loved ones, and a firm conviction of Christ, why then, do I feel consumed with loneliness, and longing endlessly for that which I cannot have, nor ever will? Why am I finding it even more difficult to concentrate on work, on family, on those blessed things around me? Why am I consumed in that which I have forbidden myself to share in?
I cannot sleep. I am wrestless. There is a stirring inside that never ends. It is a nagging, cramping ache that is chronic and eternal. I am finding it more and more difficult to go to bed... when I go to bed my mind races with thoughts and images and dreams of those forbidden things. It overwhelms me. I break out in a sweat and the anxiety is suffocating. I can't seem to shake it, nor overcome it. I feel like it is overcoming me... I end up obsessing over it and start castigating myself for letting this linger so long and befuddle me so.
Not a very merry post of tidings of great joy, no? I really am truly blessed with bounty and joy... so why can I not feel it so now? Why am I feeling such loneliness and emptiness surrounded by such bounty and joy?
All I want for Christmas is to give and receive a kiss... a simple kiss. Do you want to do a gift exchange and share a kiss with me? Merry Christmas to you and yours. May you find peace and plenty, comfort and joy, affinity and affection!!! May you be blessed with loved ones surrounding you. May you find satisfaction in your choices you make each day. And may you be able to sleep at night....

Monday, November 05, 2012

Feeling Marginalized...

Life is a journey of connected choices. Mine has been a life "marginalized" by the choices I've made. I am forever making choices to be on the edge, on the outside looking in, never completely immersed in the middle, jumping into the fray just because it felt right, or authentic. Instead, it's always calculated, measured, weighing the consequences. That's the way we are supposed to make choices, right? The other day I watched with intense interest the FarBetween video of Mikeal and Mandi and their openness and honesty regarding the "choices" they've made in their marriage and their commitment to "make it work". I personally know Mikeal and feel an amazing love for him and for Mandi, as I know similar pain, sorrow, joy and friendship with my wife and our relationship together. It was Mandi's expressions of her pain in not being fully needed or wanted by her husband, particularly speaking of intimacy, that it hit home to me how much I have caused my wife to feel similar painful emotions of being trivialized, and marginalized in our marriage. And it pains me to know that no matter how hard I try, no matter how spontaneous and "dancing in the kitchen" I can be with her, seeking her out, telling her how beautiful she is, sweeping her in my arms and giving her a fat kiss by surprise, it still rings empty to her. She knows my natural affections and affinity remain elsewhere and she is playing the role of the supportive straight wife of a gay husband - and we both are marginalized. It was Mikeal's description of intimacy as "work" and "needing to be in another place to make it work" that rang true with my reality. His needs were being marginalized as well as he tries to "make it work". How many times have I used that phrase of doing my best to "make it work", regarding intimacy with my wife? How about every time? Yet, their choice to stay together is one where they have concluded that the reasons to stay and "make it work" outweigh those that don't. Thus, they stay together, just as my wife and I stay together. This is our choice, this is our journey, this is our path -marginalized as it may be. ***
I really wanted to attend the Circle the Wagons Conference. I am personal friends with Steve and John and email friends with Joseph, three of the four panelists, and found myself drawn to the discussion of this panel and the personal stories shared. But, you see, I couldn't go. I had other commitments, commitments to family and church that keep me from going and doing what I'd like to do. I am not open and out and free to express as they are and do. I am not the captain of my ship. I am pulled in different ways by many who control who I am as I allow myself to be marginalized. I couldn't go because I was afraid to stand up for what I wanted to do and just do it. I couldn't go because I feared being outed by my attendance at a public function dealing with gay mormons in this community of brothers and sisters. I couldn't go because I was intimidated by the reaction of some in this community that the choices I've made - marginalizted or not - would be viewed by the community at large as hurtful, threatening, and invalid. I have never intended my life, or my choice of staying in a MOM relationship as being an example to anyone that "this is what you should do - I'm doing it and making it work, and so, so should you!" But in witnessing such hurtful, even hateful comments toward the likes of Steve, made me all the more feel marginalized again, even in this community of fellow blogging brothers, a community with which associations have developed over the course of over seven years to help me to move from the hell-hole that was my reality to some sense of acceptance of my homosexuality. ***
My choices regarding my beliefs are constantly placing me in a marginalized position. Refusing to allow myself to have close relationships with other brothers, even within the realm of the church (where I once thrived with such relationships), has put me constantly on guard. And checking myself constantly has placed my emotions on the fringe. I find myself less engaging in others lives. I find myself less connected with those around me who I should be caring for even more. I find myself becoming more robotic, less spontaneous, more calculated with every move - and thus, disconnected from humanity, even spirituality. My beliefs become categorized and I find myself cringing at things being said or preached, cringing that reminds me I'm different - I'm not jumping in the fray - I'm on the side, in the margins, on the edge, I'm not like these other brothers and sisters around me... ***
This blog has become marginalized. I've witnessed this blogging community "pass me by" as I have allowed myself, through my own fear-based choices, to be pushed to the side, to see others progress on their respective paths. My staying put has in essense helped the marginalization of this blog. I don't know much more that I can say or offer here. I'm not changing. I probably never will. I will allow my life to play out the safe way, the compromised way, the easy way. I'll keep being the good boy, doing what I'm "supposed to do" because I "should" be this way. Believe me, there is nothing in this blog that says that "you should try it - this is the way, come follow me!". I don't have much more to say or offer that doesn't sound contrived. I'm neither the shining example of the married Mormon gay man who is proud of who he is and his beliefs and isn't afraid of who may know or not know, not caring of the beliefs or comments coming at him from all sides, because he KNOWS who he is! Nor, am I the shining example of the guy who was brave enough to get the divorce and freeing up his wife and kids to live their honest and more authentic life without him as the hiding shell of a man that he was, being able to be authentic with himself in return and be free from the shackles of a belief structure that has imprisoned his every choice for decade upon decade, now able to live his life as it was "intended" and "should" be lived! No, I'm neither of those courageous men, men of strength, men of valor, men of honor. I'll continue to be as marginalized as this blog has become... ***
So why do I live this way? Why do I remain the good soldier keeping up the fight when I feel marginalized in my marriage and in turn marginalizing my wife's self-worth, esteem and value as a woman? Why do I hide from the community and keep myself from being seen in the true light, even within the safety of this very community, and such events of "coming together" as the recent CtW conference? Why do I remain the functioning, seemingly strong priesthood leader in the church with the facade of the perfect marriage and family, while feeling so robotic and controlled and guarded in my every action and move I take? Why would I remain in these relationships and belief structures that keep my life so marginalized? ***
I don't hate my life, but I don't love it either. There are parts that I love, but I'm not filled with love as I once was. This emptiness is gnawing and painful and lonely. D on't pity me. I don't need anyone's pity. I guess the answer is that I keep trying to convince myself that the reasons for staying in this marginalized, heavily cloaked, chosen life outweigh the alternative... at least in my attempt to convince myself that this is right for me right here and now point-of-view. And it is my view, it is my choice, this is my path - timid, weak, afraid, calculated and limiting as it may seem to most... my choice as a pathetic, convictionless and spineless marginalized life.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Find the balance...Fill the void... Feed the beast

I really, really need one of these right now.
I mean really!!! I try to be good, but "good" only seems to last so long...
I've been so removed from male contact that I am feeling a bit discouraged, distraught and destroyed thinking this will never be possible for me to ever find the balance, fill the void, feed the beast...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

That is a good thing!

This summer has been filled with some pretty rough times with our young adult children - serious and difficult challenges for us and them to fight through and overcome. Sometimes when we are in the middle of these struggles it is hard to see where "it gets better", but we haven't given up hope. On the way home from a family reunion the other night, my wife and I had time to ride in the car and contemplate the joys and challenges of our siblings and their young adult children, and we naturally fell into the comparison mode in measuring our childrens' joys and challenges against theirs. We shouldn't, but we couldn't help it. When you're in the middle of such a fight for survival of your children, it is a natural thing for parents to do. There was a moment of silence and then my wife said soberly... "Haven't we suffered enough? Why is this life so hard? I don't know how much more I can take. Is there anything good in my life?" I smiled, and said, "Well, I can think of one thing that is good!" "What's that?" she quietly asked. "Well," I grinned, "you still have me. Through it all, I have chosen to stay. I have chosen to be with you to the end. I am still here at your side. I haven't left, despite it all, despite my attractions, my bromantic desires, my physical needs... I am still here with you to help you through these hard times with our kids... together. And I'm not going anywhere!" She took my left hand from the steering wheel and squeezed it tightly and reassuringly. "That is a good thing!" she whispered through her tears.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My LIfe in a nutshell... or at least a major part of it...

This short film really defined me... down to the blue shirt, the khaki dress pants, the shaggy hair, and even the pen in the pocket and leather book bag... the unsure walk and stance... always looking out for the eye contact and quick smile from the cute guy... yet too shy to ever do anything about it... or too afraid to do so... always watching opportunity, fiction or reality, slip by. Can anyone else relate? For example: The other day I went into a small local shop to buy a gift card for my wife. There were several people in line at the cashier so it allowed me the time to admire the most beautiful, amazing guy working the register. He was sweet and cute and so good looking that it made me tremble a bit inside. When it was my turn he looked up and smiled brightly and sincerely at me, and I melted. I asked for a gift card and he gave me a hard time about getting a quick gift and I kidded back with him and we shared another smile and laugh. Our hands touched as he handed me the card and receipt and I felt something exciting about this little encounter. We shared a bit more small talk and smiles and then I thanked him... I wanted to tell him he made me feel so different inside and that he was so beautiful... but of course, I didn't. Sigh!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Marigold Surprise...

If a film can bring one to laugh and cry and truly fill the spans of emotion, and develop the opportunity for a thought-provoking discussion about the saga and reality of a mixed-oriented marriage, then it must be a worthwhile piece of cinema. Such was our experience in seeing with my wife "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel". At the risk of spoiling the film for others (SPOILER ALERT!), I want to mention there is a particular key character, who surprisingly, is in a gay relationship some 40 years earlier, and the serene joy and extreme pain that relationship caused him for the rest of his life. Though not central to the overall film, this subplot became the focus for me, as it rang true with realism. I could see myself in his position and feel the emotions he was feeling. Having been close to such a relationship some 30 years ago, the unresolved feelings, the lingering questions and angst, the unrequited love, the forbidden love all come together. Add on top, the complication of a mixed-oriented marriage, of honesty or dishonesty - telling the truth of the past or keeping it hidden, and the burdens of either choice heavy just the same. Such expressions on film tend to gravitate to the sensational, tapping at the emotional heart-strings and playing on one's sympathy for the plight of the two disconnected though meant-to-be lovers. Though this film does take that liberty, it also subtly plays the hand of showing the hurt, the pain, the anguish and the understanding of the wife in this triangle. Often, the wife is forgotten, even disposed of, an unnecessary item in an otherwise ideal relationship. But this wife knew, and accepted, even allowed the reconnection of her husband with his lover of his youth, with respect and dignity, yet obvious hurt just the same. The scene could have ended, forgetting the wife, discarding her, and yet, another key character witnessing this scene goes to her and asks her how she feels and how she can accept this aspect of her husband. Though off-camera, we learn second hand, nonetheless, that she can accept this part of her husband because they have been honest with each other from the beginning, that they have nothing to hide, and because of that, she can trust him with the arrival of this long lost romance returned. The resolution of this little subplot is never fully explored, but even the vignette that is offered, has created a dialog between me and my wife. I was a bit uncomfortable at first with this portrayal of the subject - often mixed-oriented marriages are not discussed positively at all - and I was pleased that after the film, full of other stories and vignettes we could have discussed, we centered on this one for blatantly obvious reasons of hitting squarely home. She was taken back by the subject in general, seeing the gay relationship praised and the mixed-oriented marriage downplayed. Yet, as we opened up to each other, I was able to point out that the wife's feelings were expressed, honored and validated, that the key points of honesty and trust came through more so than in validating the impossible relationship of the two men of different cultures in an uncompromising time, that their marriage was a happy one, a complete one, a valid one, even with the husband admittedly gay, BECAUSE of their honesty and trust and love for and in each other! In essence, though not the intent of the story, for me, it was showing how a mixed-oriented marriage could and SHOULD work! Upon this conclusion, my wife agreed and came to terms with it and was pleased with the points I helped her to see and we confirmed something in each other, and held hands walking down the sunset-drenched streetscape to our car. We embraced and in silence, looking at each other, were able to connect in a way over a film, that validated the joy we have found in our marriage together. A powerful film, indeed.

Monday, May 21, 2012

For sure, the next time...

In last week's church leadership meeting where the Bishop was discussing some recent concerns of the stake and area authorities, a discussion insued where a very sweet and kind elderly brother, the slightly short, round and balding type with a white beard not unlike Santa in Miracle on 34th Street, got off on the current state of politics in the country and the recent events surrounding the same-sex marriage debate. He then said something that was very mean-spirited... "You know, Bishop, this gay marriage thing is so ridiculously stupid. First they want equal rights in marriage, and then what... will they want to marry a chicken?" The Bishop responded with a nervous and a bit uneasy half-chuckle: "Yeah... kind of ridiculous, huh?" and then looked at me for support. I looked at him with a disturbed and uncomfortable demeanor. I was biting my tongue. I wanted to strike out and speak up and respond with some kind of rebuttle of how "ridiculous" the statement even was, how insensitive and mean-spirited and uninformed, and inappropriate it was... but I didn't for fear of being too contentious and fearful of inappropriately losing control in such a setting. Like always, I stirred inside and let it go, convincing myself that anything I said would come out wrong and mean-spirited in return. However, after the meeting, the Bishop pulled me aside into his office and we had a one-on-one at his request. He asked me for advice about how to handle some issues at hand, and then said: "Is something bothering you?" I responded, this time without hesitation, "Yeah... I'm feeling really uneasy about the mean-spirited nature of the comments regarding same-sex marriage. I don't think that was appropriate, and I should have said something." "I hear you," the Bishop said directly, which surprised me a bit, particularly with his tepid response in the meeting. "I was not sure what to say myself and I felt I should have said something more." He could sense my discomfort level and pressed for my input... so I let him have it...
"If you want to take my temple recommend away, then so be it, but I need you to know that I don't support this current attitude of free-to-make-fun-of gay people who desire to live in a loving monogamous relationship and seek society's blessing and encouragement to do so. I don't support the Brethren like Elder Packer who lead members in a way to lack compassion, empathy and understanding and provide an avenue for such public open ridicule where stalwart members feel it safe to express such mean-spirited comments in a church leadership meeting." "I agree..." he nodded supportively encouraging me onward... "And I feel that this issue is not going to go away, nor should it. I firmly believe that a change will come with the next generation of church leadership. It may take this generation of elderly misguided brothers in the ward, as well as in the Quorum of the Twelve, to pass on... but it will come, and with it will come more compassion, informed understanding and embracing of our gay brothers and sisters... But it won't come and it won't happen as long as we allow such discussions to take place without correction, especially in a leadership meeting situation. I am sorry I didn't speak up." "I'm sorry you didn't speak up as well. I totally believe the same as you," he said sensitively. "Really?" I questioned. "Really! I need your support..." At that point, there was a knock at the door and his next appointment had arrived and so we deferred the discussion to another time... but at least, if there is any consolation to all this, the foundation has been set for another discussion on this matter, and hopefully next time I hope to have the spirit of love within me, that kind that John G-W so easily exemplifies, to counter without contention, to instruction without malice, to correct without judgment. And in the spirit of this election environment, there most certainly will be another opportunity to do so.

Monday, April 23, 2012

I don't think I'm in Kansas anymore...

A big thank those who responded to the last post. In a world where one feels trapped between all things straight and gay, it is reassuring and sustaining to reconfirm some are out there finding something worthwhile in this foolishness I write. I'm not sure I can live up to the "inspiration" that comes from this drivel, as it is what it is... That said, a thought from this week... On Friday, I finally got down to visit and take in the new urban environment recreating downtown SLC called City Creek Center. I found myself coming up out of the parking structure below and felt lost and disoriented,
having been transported to a different world. For one who deals with space planning and a fair share of urban design and architecture, this was a visually stimulating and exciting experience. I enjoyed immensely the richness of the urban social gathering and sharing I was witnessing. It seemed to me that most everyone there was just enjoying being in this amazing space and hardly anyone was really there to shop. I must say, however, that it took a while to get myself oriented to the city of my birth. This wasn't the Salt Lake City that I had come to know. I could have been anywhere in any city... there wasn't a great sense of space that said "this is Salt Lake". It took me a while to stumble across a
view to the church office building or the temple at Temple Square to finally tie this new fabric with the familiar grid and monuments of a more rigid city grid. I don't know what I was expecting, (and I don't mean to be negative at all as the architecture and outdoor community spaces were incredible indeed!) but I felt out of place, out of sorts, confused and disconnected while being so visually stimulated and excited with a sense of community all around me. I was oddly transformed like Dorothy in Oz! This was definitely not my father's or grandfather's city anymore... As I walked it with my camera, I stood back and observed. I love to people watch! I loved zooming into the faces and imagining their lives.
The couple giggling at their very wet but exuberant son dancing in the fountain, drenched and dripping with delight.
The prom dresses on parade with their tuxedo counterparts proudly and predictably prancing through the piazza! And the gay couples everywhere - in the food court,in the bathroom, at Tiffany's, and even strolling along the "creek", gladly glowing, and fearlessly and courageously holding hands... It was as if I were transformed into one of those reverse themed movies, where everyone was gay but me and I couldn't help but wonder what's wrong with me as a heterosexual! Why wasn't I holding hands with my best buddy? It was another layer of transformation. I was transformed to the thought of the "what if" game I play in my mind: What if I had taken a different path after my mission with my Italian boyfriend? What if I had never married my wife? What if I chose to follow my heart beating to a different rhythm of male bonding? What if? What if? What if? I stood back and watched for some time a cute gay couple: he was very lanky and tall and strikingly blonde, at least 6 inches taller than his more compact but stylish partner. They sweetly held each other's hands and occasionally smiled as they fondly looked at each other. They shared in the joy of new discoveries in each display window, their earrings sparkling in the sunlight. I marveled at how much I envied them, an envy that once would have consumed me in bitterness and emptiness... now an envy that simply brought a sense of satisfaction and hope. Indeed, this is not my father's or grandfather's city anymore... I'm surprised it's even mine!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The 7th year begins!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the 7th year of this blog! When it began, I really didn't see this far into the future. Actually, in some ways, I thought I would have moved on by now, either:

1. moved beyond the hate and guilt and mistrust in my feelings and attractions and come to face the reality of my gayness, embrace it and all things 'gay', abandon my marriage, and never look back, or...

2. moved beyond the need for a blog and all things MOHOspherish and accepted myself for who I am while embracing the other parts of me, including my marriage, in a way that brought me fulfillment and joy, and no longer required some touch with this community anymore as I would have figured it all out and have nothing more to ponder out loud to a cyber audience.

Well, here I still am... and I still find a need to be here. The path I've chosen through these six years has not taken me through Door no. 1. I have chosen Door no. 2, and yet, that "fulfilment and joy" part, though sprinkled with happiness, is still lacking. There remains a hole in my heart, an emptiness that sometimes consumes me, a void that cannot be filled.

I am well beyond the "woe is me" mode of self-pity. I feel I have progressed somewhat in the direction of self-acceptance and self-assurance. You be the judge and tell me what you think. I feel I have internally come to terms with the essence of who I am and always have been. I have come to willing accept this as a wonderful part of my eternal being. And this blog has documented how I've received intimate and personal revelation in the Temple - a voice in my head as a clear and powerful message - from the Holy Ghost confirming that it's okay to be who I am, it's even okay to laugh about being distracted by beautiful men in the Lord's House, and that the Lord is laughing WITH me, not AT me, lovingly and gracefully acknowledging me - the whole me, the me that I've come to know and accept. I find peace and comfort, even progress in that.

Yet, I'm still stuck. I'm stuck in a rut. I'm trapped. I sense no real progression. I am not able to go forward, nor backward. I'm not OUT and so I'm still a prisoner in my own skin and circumstance. I have progressed to this point, but cannot progress any further. I've hit that hard ceiling of my closet's firm lid. My commitments, circumstances, environment, covenants, sacred vows, promises, keep me anchored for sure, anchored in good ways, but anchored nonetheless in this box. My convictions and personal witnesses are many and I am indeed grateful for the numerous tender mercies that keep me connected to that rod of iron, yet iron nonetheless around this ankle.

I've heard it said that if one is not moving forward, one is actually moving backward. Progress is only when one takes steps to change.

In some ways I have changed. I used to beg the Lord for the healing power of the atonement to HEAL me and make me whole from these afflicting attractions. I used to plead for the strengthening power of the atonement to STRENGTHEN me to resist these attractions and temptations. I now beg and plead for the Lord to HEAL my empty heart and feel the void that remains from years of self-loathing and guilt. I now plead for the Lord to STRENGTHEN me to be fearless in my self-acceptance, and to fight the fears that continue to plague me, each day wondering when I will stand up and be counted among the brave ones who don't shun their eternal true nature.

But I am not healed, nor free of guilt. And I remain fearful and weak, very weak, indeed.

In the coming days and weeks, I hope to write some more. I hope to find the inspiration that has recently been lacking, to place my thoughts again on this page. For you see... I still need this blog! Even if just for me to get it out there to be seen and heard by no one else but me! I still need to reach out, even be understood.

The readers of six years ago are mostly long gone, having moved on, progressed forward and upward to better places and better stages of life. Who is left? Who is out there? I need to know you are there. I don't chat anymore. I don't reach out to you as I did before. I don't meet you, break bread with you, embrace you. I hardly embrace anyone anymore, which is sad. I catch myself and stop myself from "doing what comes naturally" and each time I do, I do so consciously and purposefully limiting my reach, my touch - thus expanding that void.

In the real world, there's a shell, an empty man of lies and confusion, still in great need - six long years later!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

When you said "yes" you really said "no"...

So... last week I sat on the front row of a Family Relations class with my wife at my side. The teacher, whether inspired or not, took my hand in hers and said something in front of the class but directly to me, staring me intently in the eyes - something that I've been pondering all week.

She said, referring to my wife: "When you said "yes" to her, at that moment, you also said "no" to everyone else, both MALE and female. You said "no" to other romances, needs, desires. At that moment, she became your romance, your need, your desire."

She then took my wife's hand, but still holding mine, and again speaking in front of the class, but directly to her, looked her in the eyes as intently as she had with me, and said: "When you said "yes" to him, you agreed to accept him completely and all that he is and isn't."

I was a bit shaken. I wasn't sure if she was inspired by the spirit to say what she said... but she summed up pretty precisely our relationship. Why did she say "MALE or female"? That sounded a bit odd. And why was my challenge to say "no" to everyone else and keep saying "yes" to my wife, instead of me being accepting of her? And why was she told to "accept" me for who I am, instead of saying "no" to everyone else?

In other words, she unknowingly cut us to the core, stripping all facades away. Maybe it was my fear of my "secret" being out that I felt like I was hiding behind a shear veil and everyone could see me for who I really am.

I am left wondering if I, forever, am to strip myself of my desires, needs, and attractions for men, and attempt to fill those needs instead with her. She, knowing of my desires, needs and attractions not naturally focused on her, is left, forever, to accept the real me for who I am. That is our lot in this life.

I'm struggling to put my desires and needs away neatly in the corner to focus solely on her, and yet, that is still my goal to do so. I have committed my life to be there with her, focused on her, focused on us. I don't always do that. I allow myself to drift at time, using means of "self-medication" to meet my boxed up needs. She knows, even if she doesn't fully understand. And for whatever unexplainable reason, she continues to accept me, the real me, and has come to accept that this is who I am, and for whatever reason, she still loves me just the same.

Now, those statements the teacher made could have been made to any couple. I understand that. We are not unique.

But, the uniqueness of our marriage, and its particular challenges we face together each day, hit home all the same.

And so it goes...


By the way, this is my 400th post! I'm quickly approaching the completion of my 6th year of blogging. At the rate I was posting in the first few years, I should have reached this point much sooner than now. At the rate I'm posting now, who knows if I'll get to 425 let alone 500 posts.

I have promised myself to continue to blog when I feel what I have to say is relevant to me and to this audience. At the moment, the frequency is down.... down, but still not out.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Eye lock...

January is always a very hard month. It isn't the post-holiday blues. Nor is it the increased darkness, cold, inversions that sink the soul. No, for me, it is something more...

January is the anniversary of my "coming out" to my wife. It's now been seven years! Where has the time gone? With each passing year, there are moments and events celebrating great improvement, but with each January, it's like those emotions of the first "revelation" of my attractions bubbles up again and renews its ugliness, if only in the sense of increased anxiety, emotions on edge, self-doubt and worthlessness all hitting her hard and thus affecting me as well.

In that environment, an amazing thing happened. It was a week ago in church. I was on the stand as usual and she was sitting second row back with clear eye contact with me. I could tell in reading her eyes that her emotions were close to the surface, ready to bubble over. We sang the closing hymn and our eyes locked. This particular hymn has special meaning to the two of us for a variety of reasons - it's one of "our hymns". As we sang, we didn't look down at the words - we knew them by heart - we stayed in an eye-lock.

In that connection, I tried to portray as I was singing, that I loved her, that I still did even after seven years of the "revelation", and that I hoped she felt that, too.

I started singing in our shared second language, and she could tell from my lips that I was no longer singing in English. I could see her change to our second shared language as well. It was then that I was hit by a spiritual feeling that overwhelmed my body - something that I hesitate to share but feel I need to. In that moment, I felt an assurance that I still did love her, that I did want to stay with her, that we are meant for each other to be connected despite my attractions otherwise, and how grateful I am for her still being there with me after these seven years!

It was an incredible moment of peace, knowledge, assurance, pure intelligence all in one. I started to tear up and so did she. That was it... and then it was over.


More than not, I wonder if sharing such personal feelings really has any value to this community anymore. I'm at the point of thinking I have nothing more to share... I've hesitated to share this very personal experience. But I hope it has value for others as they read this.

The feeling that came did not say that my feelings for men will go away or even decrease, they just are... and that is the way it just is... but it's okay, and it's okay to still share my life with an incredible, amazingly wonderful woman, and how grateful I am for these last seven tough years.

I hope that has value to you.

Thanks for listening.