My blog is intensely personal. From the beginning, I have written about my thoughts and feelings about coming out, about mixed-orientation marriages and about the (Mormon) Church. But I have rarely written about what is going on in my personal life.
Today’s post is one of those relatively rare occurrences, and I am doing so because I want to remind those who follow my blog that I am a real person who has experienced and is experiencing very real events and emotions that are dramatically affecting the nature and course of my journey.
The other day, I read the following quote written by a Buddhist writer in an article on relationships.
"Love hits people over the head when they are not looking for it, and the same can be said for epiphanies and enlightenments. We fall into them. An opening appears in regular life, and what follows doesn't necessarily fit in regular life. That opening changes your frame of reference and then, well, anything might happen. Both awakening experiences and falling in love always seem to be followed by a period of sorting things out and discovering the implications of what happened ..."
This quote hit me with great force when I read it, and I have continued to ponder it over the past couple of weeks. An “opening” such as is described occurred in my life a year ago this month, when I had an experience I have described as an “epiphany” concerning the possibility of divorcing my wife.
We had been having serious problems for several years (which had nothing to do with homosexuality), but I had resisted divorce because I felt that it would mean that my entire adult life had been a failure. There had been a lot of divorce in my family; I had vowed that my own family would never be subjected to that. In addition, my marriage to my wife had been based on “spiritual feelings” that it was God’s will; thus, to divorce in my mind implied that I had failed in my earthly mission: if I had been a stronger, better, more righteous person, my marriage would not have failed.
However, one morning a little over a year ago, I was out running. It was still dark. I was contemplating the status of my marriage, of how my wife had recently indicated yet once again that she felt our marriage was over. Then, suddenly, without warning, I stepped through a metaphorical hole in regular life: the realization washed over me that perhaps we all would be a lot happier if we did divorce, i.e., she would be happier, my kids would be happier and I would be happier. Not only that, but divorce need not mean that my life had been a failure. Suddenly, my whole perspective on divorce changed; my frame of reference had been changed; and thereafter followed a period of “sorting things out.”
A couple of months later, in October, I stepped through another hole in life: I heard Boyd K. Packer’s conference address and my whole life changed. I have written about this in numerous other posts; so suffice it so say here that, in a matter of moments, a hole opened in my life, and I fell into it, resulting in my coming out and, eventually, separating from my wife with the intention of divorcing.
Over the ensuing months, I continued to experience changes in my life. Perhaps the most important of these was a change in my employment situation a few months ago which provided both opportunities as well as challenges – challenges that are still being sorted out and addressed.
But during the past few weeks, additional (unexpected) holes have opened up in my life, and I have fallen through them. As a result, I know that my life has been changed forever.
One of these holes occurred last Friday as I was unexpectedly served with divorce papers. I had hoped and planned on an amicable, orderly divorce process; but my plans were irrevocably altered by my wife’s actions. In a matter of moments, my world as I then knew it was shattered. I won’t comment on details, except to say that she has made my sexual orientation a prominent aspect of the process. Furthermore, it was apparent that what I had hoped would be an amicable process would instead likely become very ugly, with extremely unfortunate results, particularly for our children.
And so, I am in a period of sorting things out, of discovering the ramifications of what happened when I fell through that very unexpected hole in my life. I know I have a journey ahead of me; I don’t know what lies ahead, and I once again receive inspiration from a song that has helped me to face past challenges, past journeys to “the other side,” grateful for his presence, which I know will make all the difference:
Anne Murray: The Other Side