The holidays are now behind us. One can almost hear a huge collective sigh of relief echo throughout the land. It’s funny how we look forward to this time of the year, then many of us end up wishing they had never come and are relieved to see the backside of them. It’s as though they are an annual rite of passage that we both dread and anticipate, hoping nervously that they’ll be “good” this year and not “bad.” Then, we pass through them, sort of like running the gauntlet, hoping that we’ll make it out the other side without too much damage.
These holidays, in particular, caused some apprehension going into them due to the situation between my wife and me. Christmas was frankly difficult. New Year’s was much better (aside from the fact that I was sick) due to the conversation that my wife and I had had a couple of days before. (See yesterday’s post.) This conversation, and the change in tone that it brought into our home, affected me peculiarly. I think the fact that this was our last holiday season together weighed on me a bit. I had a sense that everything familiar was about to change, and though I have expressed a desire in the past to “bring it on,” I still found myself this weekend with peculiar (again that word) feelings.
Yesterday, as my wife took down the tree and started to pack away the ornaments that we have spent our entire married life collecting, she came and asked me which ones I would like to take. We both commented how surreal it seemed that we were calmly discussing who should keep what ornaments, a discussion that then branched out to include various pieces of art in our house. I was reminded of a scene following the death of a parent in which the children gather to divvy up the deceased’s personal possessions. In my case, however, the death involved was that of a marriage. We didn’t feel sad, we were completely amicable. It was just – weird.
I had experienced a growing sense of weirdness throughout the weekend: a mounting feeling of unease, of malaise, of dis-connectedness. I’m sure some of it was attributable to me being sick. But I knew it went beyond this. Paradoxically enough, I think some of it was attributable to the new state of civility between my wife and me. On the one hand, it’s nice to not feel like I’m walking on egg shells with her; but on the other hand, I found her new attitude somewhat disarming. It’s like it was easier for me to march confidently toward my gay future when I felt that my wife was being cold and distant; but her reaching out to me in love and friendship like she did totally disarmed me, and I guess I felt naked for a time, trying to regroup – not only with respect to how I feel about her, but also how I feel about me and my future as a gay man.
Layered over these emotions was an irrational sense of feeling isolated from my new gay “community” during this period of time – which was only a few days, but combined with being sick and what had just transpired with my wife, I felt it very keenly. I suddenly felt very alone (even though I am extremely fortunate to have the support of a number of new friends). I looked into the future and wondered whether I would find happiness on the path that had been set before me, and which I had then chosen to follow. For perhaps the first time since beginning this journey, I seriously wondered, “What the hell am I doing?!” “Am I really gay?” “Is this all a big mistake?” “Could we just rewind the past three months and go back to where we were?”
Of course, my conscious mind told me to chill, that these thoughts were the product of a frenzied subconscious that was trying to wreak havoc with my life. But, as everyone knows, the subconscious mind is often far more powerful than the conscious mind (that’s right, isn’t it?). And even though one knows something to be one way, it can sometimes be very difficult to convince the psyche of that.
I guess that what I’ve described sort of amounts to a bit of a gay identity crisis. I am still very much working out what it means for me to be gay, how that affects or will affect my life, the way I interact with my family members and other people, etc., etc. I thought I knew who I was becoming, who I am, then these events of the last few days have kind of shaken that.
All these things will probably sort themselves out in the days and weeks ahead. For now, I’m trying to allow myself to feel what I’m feeling and to remember that this journey will undoubtedly feature many such periods of malaise and disorientation. I’m trying to tell myself that any journey is bound to have periods of exhilaration, periods of tedium, periods of anxiety and even periods of outright fear. All of this is normal (I tell myself), and I should never expect that I will be spared that which is normal.
In this regard, I’d welcome any insight into this from those of you who have already walked where I am now walking.
On a more positive note, I was greatly lifted and encouraged when I read that latterdaymainstreet.com led off their weekly “Sunday in Outer Blogness” piece by focusing on my blog. You can go here to read what they wrote, but suffice it to say that it was gratifying to learn that others find worthwhile what is being shared on this blog.
I was also pleased and flattered to see that my blog had been nominated for a Brodie Award for Best New Blog, and that a couple of posts had been nominated for awards in other categories. You can go here to read all about the Brodies and how the winners will be selected.
In closing, I wanted to quote from a comment that was recently left on my post about coming out to my son. Reading things like this help me to feel like my blogging has a purpose other than serving as a receptacle of my diarrhea of the keyboard. The comment was obviously left by someone for whom English is not their primary language; I have quoted it just as it was written:
Happy New Year to you, too!“Aloha! I want to says thank you very much for this post I read about relationship between father and son. I have same experiences what they have been go through. My relationship with my dad was not that great and almost never been there for me when I need him. We have not contact each others long time. My Stake President told me that I had lack relationship between father and myself. I realized that he was right along. Until my dad wanted to meet me for the first time since my late grandfather's funeral that I saw him last time. My dad asked me personal question and I knew he was going to ask me. He asked, "are you gay" and in my mind that I cannot lie to him and stand up and be brave to tell him the truth. I told him, "yes" and he told me, "you are my son no matter what and who you are. I love you and you will always my son." It shocked me. We are trying to build our restore relationship between my dad and myself to be better relationship.Thank you! Happy New Year!”