Friday, February 18, 2005

At the Foot of the Mountain

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.

Peace,
Simon

11 comments:

ghetto said...

be strong. stay focused. despite the negative reactions you have received, remember that this storm, too, will pass. the sun will continue to rise in the east and set in the west. and you will be a happier person in the long run.

Brian said...

At first there will be anger, confusion, sadness. All of these people thought they knew you, and now they have a new piece to consider. I can't guarantee it, but eventually they will realize that at your core, you haven't changed. Your revelation of who you are in your entirety is likely to make all of these relationships stronger in the long run.

don said...

Stay strong. Keep an open mind. Some who brush you away today may embrace you later once they have had time...You didn't come to this decision in a day or a week or a month so don't expect them to deal with it in less time...
God doesn't close a door without opening a window...sounds corny but it is true.
You will find out who loves you, being gay should not change that.
Great BIG hug!

Carl Holiday said...

Now is when you will find those who love you no matter what you tell them. Life will continue and you will grow from this experience supported by those whose hearts are bound to yours in love.
Just remember to keep your kids close and remember to answer their questions with the truth because they can tell when you're lying.

Kip said...

Those previous four comments were awesome. The only thing I can add is my perspective, and perhaps a bit of hope. I came out to my family 3 years ago. Some immediately were OK with it, some were really crushed. After a year, most of them started to come around and realized that I'm still the same person, only happier because I'm no longer living a lie. I wish you well on your journey, with your family, and especially with your monkeys!

"the" Mrs. Astor said...

Simon, as always, this most verbal of women is speechless. If I can ever be of help................

The Queen of the Universe said...

Just discovered your blog, wow, I found it both touching and sad. The truth had to come out, both for you and your wife.

Keith said...

It will take time for your loved ones to adjust to the new you because they had constructed this mental picture of who you were and had become comfortable with that. Remember that it took you a while to accept who you truly are and it is going to take time for them to do the same. For those that love you unconditionally, that time will eventually come.

BustersDad said...

Hey Simon-I just found your blog recently and I am impressed by your courage, fortitude and honesty. I know things are tough but I hope that you will continue this path of strength. I also hope that you will seek some support from a counselor, preferably a gay man. The internet is a great place to tell your story but I hope you will look for some real "live" support outside the blogsphere. There is something very different about getting help and support from a real person face-to-face. In the meantime, be strong!

Signalite said...

Thanks for all the encouragement, the gamut of emotions have definitely been run throughout the last week. I am currently getting some counseling help, and I'm definitely on the lookout for some "real life" friends that I can commiserate with but it's a little difficult for various reasons. Not the least of which is that I'm not a very social person. Thanks again for all the kind words everyone.

Joseph said...

If you live in a big city, there may be some support groups you could look into. Even if it's just online, I think that talking to other people who are going through similar things as you would be helpful. Good luck.