Sunday, January 14, 2007

Growth

I do not know who Nate is anymore. As Carrie’s depression lifts, mine descends, a new emotion, a new feeling. The joy of being the center of ones universe is that one is by definition centered, no need to be depressed. But I find myself off center now – and that is ultimately good because my being centered was destroying those around me. I find myself making decisions based on previous poor decisions, a towering house of cards, a house on the verge of collapse, a house swaying in the breeze of every comment I read, every thought I have.

My gayness may mean that my marriage is over and it may be that Carrie and I will find our place in other ways. Maybe we will be the exception that does end up together. But to run into gayness while ignoring everything else which is wrong will only ensure that my ability for unhealthy relationships with women will translate into unhealthy relationships with men.

Carrie and I had a “non-date” date Friday night, our first, and in spite of some rough moments, it was good. We spoke, spoke honestly and when the evening drew to a close we both knew we could easily make love, real love, and we both knew that would be the death knell for rebuilding. What I learned that night was how much else was wrong before TGT reared its head and how much of what was wrong stemmed from me, from the force of my personality in the relationship and from my own incredible self absorption. I mean why bring flowers when you are supplying good orgasms. It is embarrassing to write the last sentence, but it is true.

Spider left me a comment a month ago – I cannot find it, but the essence has remained with me. At the time I quietly thought how could someone so wise ask of me something so silly. He suggested that while I was living in this home, sharing Carrie’s life, I should not be going out, having sex, ”finding” a gay lifestyle. I should respect her, our family and my surroundings. The day I move out, feel free to have the proverbial party.

I read his comment and said how can I possibly expect to have a journey of discovery in my head, I need to DO, I need to do NOW. It is good for Carrie because the sooner I find my way, the sooner we can all move on. Luckily Carrie is finding her way and now it is my turn to catch up.

It has been a week since my return from Chicago and time enough to start to gain a little perspective, on me, on my trip, on Spider’s wisdom. I do realize that there is pain in transition and I do realize the fear. But there should also be a feeling of anticipation, expectation, not one of early onset clinical depression.

Last night I sat at this keyboard and wrote to Carrie. There is no need for her to read it for this morning I spoke it, a preferred delivery system. The essence is simple enough. I need to reacquaint myself with Nate before I make more decisions, good or bad. I need to worry about personal growth more than my next blowjob. I need to accept that anything I do going forward must be for me – respectful of Carrie, but for me. The goal cannot be getting back together, moving out, anything at all other than discovering who I am.

Spider wrote recently:
Nate - this ain't your first time at the rodeo... it is time to grow up, take a stand and do what is right... right now, the only person in your life who is really coming out on the good side of your actions is YOU - not your family, your "boyfriend" or anyone else... and that is not exactly fair...


He was right, is right. So as the clock struck 5, long before dawns early light, I made the following choices – my stand if you would, my message to Carrie (and to Nate):

· I am in no way pressing to return to the bedroom. Having our own spaces is healthy and if we are ever going to be truly back together – as friends, spouses, anything, it will only be through our “journeys”
· The next part of my journey involves Bob (my therapist) and Nate, not Sam or Jerry
· My goal tomorrow is to spend some time at this keyboard writing for Bob which is writing for me. I will share the writing with you because it will be an attempt to create a therapy starting point – the issues that we have come upon in our talks and the issues you have noticed as you have worked with your therapist
· While I will try to create a starting point – a non TGT starting point for Bob, I will accept that the therapy will have its own life, for better or for worse
· There is no need to tell anymore people than already know of our circumstances, of our struggle. My desire for honesty has become a form of exhibitionism..
· If I want to write, there are letters to you, there are e-mails to the few actual friends I have made. There can be a private journal and there is the fledgling Temple writing group where maybe I will learn to write of all the other things in my world
· As tempting as it is, I will not hit delete on my blog. It smacks of grandstanding and would not mean anything.
· However I will self impose limits on blogging – the world does not have to share every shift, every nuance of our lives. While not sure what is the “proper” limit, it strikes me that once a week is more than reasonable, not bordering on once a day as it has become.
· I will keep things zipped mainly for me but also out of respect for you. I need to zip it now to find out what that means. If in a week or a month or two, I am unable to maintain it, it is only fair to both of us that we learn that now.
· I will not deny the fact that I have my gay side, quite a strong gay side – at least not to us
· I will go to the married bi/gay men’s group on Friday – once again trying to learn honest emotions and reactions in a healthy environment

As I told Carrie these items she said the most extraordinary thing – she misunderstood my goal to blog more responsibly as meaning stopping, disappearing. She pointed out that many people are sharing this journey, look up to me, to us, and that there is a responsibility to them. She is, as you all have come to see, an extraordinary human being.

So maybe in a few years, Carrie and I will be at our traditional seats at our table or maybe we will have our separate lives and she will invite me and a boyfriend to partake in her good cooking. It does not matter. The only thing that counts is trying to learn who I am and to be able to show respect – for her, for our family and to myself while I continue down this road.

4 comments:

Spider said...

"The only thing that counts is trying to learn who I am and to be able to show respect – for her, for our family and to myself while I continue down this road.'

Now THAT needs to go up on the fridge Nate - very well said!

Paul said...

Nate -

This reminded me of another blogger that I've followed his story and that I highly respect. Alden, in his first post on SecretSimon, said: So, why hide my sexuality? Now is not the time for selfishness. I now have people who depend on me for their livlihood and I must follow through on that no matter what. My survival instincts as the leader of my pack have kicked in and I must act responsibly to them first and foremost.

I've always been impressed with Alden because he's worked hard to know who he is without being selfish, to a fault at times.

And, Nate, I have confidence that you'll grow in your self awareness AND remain responsible to all those around you. The more I look at Nate, I see that this isn't about sex, but about life -- and living.

Flip said...

Hi Nate,

In my humble (and humbling) experience, one version of the St. Francis prayer gives a simple but difficult blueprint for self-discovery when it says, "Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted - to understand than to be understood - to love than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds."

Take care.

F

bear said...

Hey, I think that this is an interesting place you're at in this journey. (It's really a cliff-hanger to read! There is a truth in Carrie's comment.) Yet, the reality is that I think it'll take time for you, your family and Carrie, to figure this all out, a lot of what you say here makes a lot of sense and will take some time to resolve. You'll see all of this more clearly then, and hopefully, let us know what you've found... :)