I have very loving sisters who are concerned and caring. They call and they ask how I am. I answer as much as one can in a brief telephone encounter. They do not read my blog – a conscious choice on their parts borne of a desire to allow me my own space. It is probably a wise choice, but in some ways those who read this are in a better position to answer that question – How Am I?
So here it is my attempt to answer them, to summarize a world in a few paragraphs.
You frequently kindly ask how I am. I suppose the first impulse is the flippant Dickensian “best of times / worst of times” response. But I am not feeling particularly flippant. The answer is that I have the most favorable circumstances one could possibly hope for: remaining in the house, a comfortable basement, wife as best friend, and incredibly supportive family. Which makes me wonder how those without such advantages even manage to lift their heads in the morning. If this is the best case, I would rather not witness the worst. Of course I have friends, I go to my groups, and I do see others and both realize how lucky I am and how not alone I am.
Last weekend Carrie wrote me a letter – my blog friends have read of it – a letter plainly stating there is no going back, the marriage as it once was is now over. And more than a few wondered – So, is that not the reality since my move to the basement over two months ago. The answer is that sometimes a life can change from within: denial is a powerful tool and having that sliver of hope, as unreal as it was, removed can be very powerful. I read the letter and I wept for what was and for what will never be.
What is troubling, what weighs on me, is how compatible and comfortable Carrie and I are, how we are finally at a point in our lives where the weight of children is becoming lighter, albeit marginally, and how it all feels to be dissipating around us. Much of me wants to scream out I’m bi, not just gay, I can pull this off. Of course Carrie knows – as do I in my heart of hearts – that I cannot pull this off. Not only because she wants more, wants a straight man, but because the lure of the gay world has become too powerful for me to deny. Sure, I can deny it for a while, a very little while, but it is always lurking like Audrey saying “Feed Me.”
I have also spent much time trying to separate the emotional and physical aspects of being gay – is it wanting sex with men or is it an emotional need: a few hugs and send me back home. The truth is, as my blog friends have kindly pointed out, there is no separating the physical and the emotional and for that matter there is no separating the family man and dad in me either. This is me – all of it in its utter confusion.
Ultimately the undeniable truth – the one that Carrie always gets back to – is that through the pain, through the veil of sadness and tears, we are both in many ways healthier than we ever were. And I am intellectually capable of understanding that my path of self awareness and self acceptance (as limited as the latter may be) has allowed this growth. Of course I am emotionally incapable of processing that stopping now, going back, would not leave me where I am but drag me back to where I was. Luckily Carrie gets this and will not allow either of us to go back.
I do have a nascent social existence, have some new friends I have broken bread with, shared a few drinks – and yes, a little more. Carrie has noted that I am not out with them until late hours because I am not having fun.
So I suppose there is a sense of excitement, but there is also a sense of dread, social concerns, coming out to the more general world – not a billboard announcement, but secrets never stay and are never healthy.
As you know I write to form my thoughts, to grow and to learn. And as I have written I realize the answer is in the question: How am I? The answer is simple: I am. No more, no less: at this point it is just a matter of being.
I hope you understand my writing in this manner – it is just how I best communicate in many ways.