So a week of talk has ensued: the tides have ebbed and flowed. Not just Carrie and I, but a whole community has joined in with words that sometimes stung: a sting that only comes from truth. Talk of the “Golden Ticket” abounded: the thing that has been lost is that I could have had the ticket, at least for a while, but I never could accept. Carrie points out it was never enough – whatever she offered was never enough. And she is right.
So again I step back and ask why I always needed more. Spider suggested that I save some time: skip reading my entire blog and just go to my last post. Good advice. I wrote of the missing piece:
Is that found in simple self acceptance? Maybe in the Holy Grail for married men – a full night in the arms of another man – or simply found by borrowing Thom’s boots and kicking down the closet walls?
And as I re-read that section, I realize that I have in my best writing style said the same thing three different ways. I am a gay man – I did not choose to be, did not ask to be, not even sure that I want to be, but I am a gay man. It has taken a lifetime to be able to say that, to accept that.
I started this post yesterday and then stopped. It was the start of a work day and there were interruptions. But that never deterred me in the past. But now, I did not know the next sentence. It is one thing to accept being gay and another to understand what that means.
I have come to realize there are many next sentences and that I will have to read the whole book to learn the ending. Can I look a sentence or two or three ahead? I can and I will in this post. Can I see paragraphs into the distance? No way, but maybe that is okay because the boy who started this blog almost a year ago in many ways bears no relationship to the man writing today.
The next sentence is simple in its foundations: Be a Man. Specifically be a man in my treatment of Carrie, in respecting her, in granting her dignity through this difficult process. It is also simple in its execution: it is time to move out of the bedroom. It is time to accept that once I can say “I am a gay man” I can no longer hide behind the façade of married life, hide behind Carrie’s skirts.
It is the holiday season, Christmas morning is nigh upon us. It will not be the day to tell the children, to ruin a lifetime of Christmas mornings forever more. (It will be the day for Carrie and me to sneak in the new puppy: some joy for the family and some joy for her). So Carrie and I will celebrate Christmas in our closet, anxious to see this year come to a not quick enough end.
The New Year will also start in a closet but within a week, the walls will come a tumbling down. We will tell our children – the truth they deserve. I will grab some clothes, head down two flights and take up residence in the basement, my own bedroom. The Master suite will belong to Carrie. In my wanderings I have heard men ask why the husband moves, why not the wife. To them I say: it is as it should be. I have torn our marriage vows asunder. I accept it was not malicious and I accept it was ultimately not a choice. But rip them I did and that room – our room – is now rightfully hers. Just one more piece of learning to be a man.
There are some who question the wisdom of the basement, who believe that an apartment should be high on my priorities. They may be right. But for Carrie and I this seems the logical step in a progression, something which may work for a longer term but can at least be a transition for the children and for us in the short term. Once January rolls in, work is busy: I have already confessed in these pages to my chosen profession – public accounting. Life is more than a little hectic until May. Come that time we will need to reassess and if it is time for an apartment, I will gladly do that for Carrie.
We wonder, what will Saturday nights be: I am not a bar type of guy. I have a boyfriend who is married and is not going to join me for dinner and a movie. There will be some Saturday nights where the four of us will watch a movie on TV, still be a family. But at the end of the evening, Carrie and I will take different staircases. There will hopefully be nights when I am with my children while Carrie goes out with some friends – women to start, but a man will be okay – not easy but right.
There will be Saturday nights where I will need to force myself: maybe a bar, maybe a gay related activity, maybe a date – all those nice dot com’s where I can “sell” myself. I will need help with those nights – a gentle push from you, some steering in the right direction from my mentors.
The thing is that Carrie and do not claim much joy this week, but now that we both have realized the next step, we both are finding a certain peace - for me the peace of self acceptance and for her the peace of no longer needing to hide in a closet of my making.
I wrote earlier that this year cannot end soon enough, but that is yet another form of self deception. How can I deny a year when I have learned to accept myself? Will it always be remembered as a difficult year, even hellish: absolutely. But in some way it will always be remembered as a good year – the walls may need to wait a week or two more before they crumble, but I can hear the trumpets blasting – a carrion call for my future.
A season of peace to all of you – new friends who have shared this ride and much more with me: A season of peace and prayers for a year of happiness.
And yes, I have sure blown that damn word count today:)
I am used to living a dual life -- a reality and a
fantasy world, and I'm ready to merge them into one.
I'm ready to be whole! To be complete. To be me.
A HOW Brother