Sunday, October 29, 2006

Moving On

I cannot tell you the exact day when Carrie suggested that I do what I had to do and I cannot give the date I went on CL and with trepidation answered. It was only a few days later when with that exquisite combination of terror and excitement I found myself outside a “no tell” motel. The exact dates do not matter – not the stuff anniversaries are made of – but I can say it was a year ago, maybe thirteen months. I do know, because I have looked back, that on January 5, 2006 I started this Blog and I do know that I have written over 150 posts.

Why this sudden interest in history, in documenting this journey? Because I realize I have become a drama queen.
I am straight, I am gay, I am bi, I want to sleep with a man, I feel guilty today, I am worried about my marriage, and I am hooking up.
My head is swimming: I cannot even imagine the vertigo of those around me.

So I consider that a year ago I found myself in front of a motel. There have been some breaks but for the better part of the year I have been having sex with men. I even managed a sleepover if you would in Chicago. I have had a series of regular gigs. I currently have what I call a friend with benefits - we are friends - assuming he has survived my recent flurry of dramatic bullshit.

Yet over the course of the last week I have written – on Blog and in e-mails – of whether I want to continue to sleep with my friend: I have written of the guilt and of the desires. One year of going back for more – again and again - and we are discussing this. If I ate at a specific restaurant regularly over the course of year, would I be discussing if I like the food. If you watch the same movie a few times, there is an assumption you like the movie. Yet after a year I am discussing the same issues, again and again.

I realize some of my motivation – I want to honor everyone: feel morally good about myself, do the right thing for Carrie, not appear totally crass in front of Sis and the rest of you who honor me with your reading, and yes, not send the wrong message to Sam. The problem is that by worrying about honoring everyone, I am ignoring the truth. And by ignoring the truth, I dishonor everyone.

Carrie and I talked today – it is a strange land of balancing honesty, discretion and TMI. But ultimately what we need is honesty – not the honesty of I gave a blow job last week (I didn’t) but the honesty of who I am, the honesty of where we are. The honesty of accepting that our lives are forever changed – maybe in a positive way when all is said and done, but changed all the same. The honesty of accepting that we each are involved in struggles, monumental struggles, and until we find ourselves, we can never fully find each other.

In the midst of this complexity, this angst, are some very simple facts. It need not be discussed, but I will continue to sleep with men. If after a year it is not out of my system, I might as well, as I wrote long ago, accede to reality. Carrie has her own issues, issues that in their own way make mine pale. She does not want to be touched – a bit of me and a lot of a lifetime of hell: I respect her wishes. There may come a moment when she wants to make love and I will gratefully oblige, but it is no longer my place to expect, to subtly demand. I have made my choice. And yes, I understand there are consequences.

Some will read this and say why not just keep it zipped, why not support Carrie in this her time of need. She told me the answer today, an answer we all know. She pointed out that the issue was not whether I was hooking up once or twice a week (twice – maybe in my dreams). The issue is that I think about it most every day. The issue is no longer what I do, it is who I am. And lying about that honors no one.

When writing in my head today I considered if this was a farewell post? I have set a course: what else is there? The answer is that I still have much to say – surely more on this topic, but so many other things. I started writing about my therapy, my history, but got sidetracked. The issues with my daughter and her fiancĂ©e are crushing, just crushing. It is time to right size the sexual identity – not right size by ignoring, not right size by minimizing: right size by acceptance – and to move forward with a life, my life.

This post was written on Sunday, posted on Monday. Things continue to evolve, even over a day. I considered editing the above, updating if you would. But that seems to represent a shortcut, something I keep trying. But is not the point of this post that ultimately there are no shortcuts

I would be remiss in not adding that while my posts do not generate massive quantities of comments, they do generate incredible quality – both the comments and the e-mails. They are thoughtful messages which reflect time, care and love. There are not enough words to say how much so many of you have contributed and mean to me. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Whether this is your last post or not, I wish you all the best in finding the strength to "accept" who you are. It is not an easy journey, my friend. I wish you and Carrie lots of love and strength.

Anonymous said...

The more I've thought about the whole "right-sizing" idea, the more I like it. It's a great concept.

You don't have to right-size yourself into obsolescence, though. I never tire of your journey, Nate.

Paul said...

In a sense, you must feel like you're on a carousel. It just keeps going around and around. Where you got on doesn't seem to matter.

Around and around. Up and down. There is no destination. But it’s fun, and the music is festive.

I think there’s really no harm here. You still have a chance at getting the brass ring with every revolution. As long as you stay on the ride.

I’m most concerned about you wanting to respect Carrie’s wishes not to be touched. (You know I’ve got experience here.) Could it be that physical touch is what she and you both really need the most?

Flip said...

Please don't fold up your pup tent just yet...

A few observations:

I think you are being honest as you can be right now. Honesty does not necessarily equal simplicity. I wish it did.

IMHO, you will never completely find yourselves and you will never fully find each other. It's more about who is on the journey with you and how you related to each other on that journey.

I hope you understand I'm not pontificating here - my own life is completely f'ed up - but it's been a relief thinking about yours for a few minutes. Hmmm, maybe there's something to that...

Anonymous said...

Nate and Carrie:

I am with Drew -- I wish you both all the strength and patience and endurance you will need for the road ahead. It's no picnic, but if you work at it, there is no need for it to become a battlefield.

I am sure that for each of us who posts here, there are many who are carrying you in their hearts.

Don't give up hope.

the Troll

bear said...

It's heartbreaking for me to hear when you guys leave...but I know it must happen from time to time, there are other things to tend to of course. I suspect I one day will leave too.
Though, I also know that maybe there will be a return (like Chris at "coming out at 48", seems he's back.) (hmm. I wish there was a way to know when someone comes back?)
I wish you and your family the best. I'm also hopeful, you and Carrie have something special, so hold onto that. :)