My father is a very sad soul. My greatest fear with him has always been that I would disappoint him. That he wouldn't think he was a good example as a man. He kept telling me that wasn't the words to describe what he was feeling but couldn't think of how to articulate it. Eventually he told me he feels dead about most things in his life, that he doesn't know what is the right way to think about his faith anymore. He struggles in his Christian faith and beliefs in God more than anyone else I know. Like fighting a demon that has his arms pinned together, I know this has just ripped open his veins and poured some vile acid inside. He wants me to reconsider what I'm thinking. Am I sure? How do I know? I've broken his spirit completely.
I don't know what to say to him. When I am sad I simply shut down. I need to function. If I don't function I now know I can't be of any use to anyone, least of all myself. So which would you rather have in your life, a miserable wretch trudging through quicksand or somebody who smiles frequently, genuinely and has a zeal for life.
I found out his wife (that would make her my stepmom but I've tried to avoid the Cinderella terminology) had two brothers that were gay, one died of AIDS the other in a car crash. I hadn't any idea. I imagine this will be even more difficult for her.
I've noticed the progression that generally happens now. First it's shock, then sometimes tears, then confusion, and sometimes a bit of anger doubled by deep sadness. The last part is what I am seeing the most of in family now. There's not so much resentment but a purveying shadow that seems to be growing by the minute. I'm trying to keep the sorrow from taking hold on me. To show weakness in my resolve now would be the worst thing I could do. I don't know where I'm pulling this energy from, but it's like sticking a needle in my eye to see so many people I care about let down all at once. It takes a lot to get me to hate anything. I know that they do care because they react, but I truly hate that it's going to be this way for quite a while.
I talked to my mom-in-law on the phone today. I could tell she was having a rough time speaking to me. They are watching my kids tonight. Her sister and mom came from out of town when they heard about this, to make sure my wife is okay, and because there is a little anger happening. This takes every expectation I had about how this and that person might react and thrown it out the window.
Monkey No. 1 came up to mommy yesterday and said "It's different." She asked what was different. "Mommy and Daddy are different." She asked if he was scared. "No, just different." We made sure to tell him that we love him and we are both there for him. Kids have far more perceptive abilities than we realize.
I think I am done telling all those who need to know. Let the fires spread as they may for a while and we'll see what's left when the smoke clears.