09 October 2013

My only rejoinder is that I've done my best

Coming out is supposed to be a wonderful liberating event, and in many ways it has been. I'm so happy to be myself. But the last three years of my life have been immensely challenging too. I try to stay generally positive on this blog, yet it would be inaccurate to ignore the negative.

My life feels like it is being turned upside down recently, with not much indication that the near future will be much improved. There have been moves and job changes, periods of physical separation from my family, conversations, tough conversations, more conversations, a few close individuals who are angry with me, my broken heart, sorrow that I have hurt my wife, concern for my children, confusion, uncertainty about my career, loneliness.

I'm torn between different visions for my life, lost on a map that is full of courses but almost no details. I'm torn between what my wife wants and what I yearn for deep down. I can't give what others can give to their marriages, but I love my wife so deeply as a friend and as the amazing person that she is. In no way do I want to be a cause of her sorrow, but I want so much to follow my heart, to feel whole, to be myself. I don't know where I am headed in my career. I finished up a very successful term position recently, but my current work feels less rewarding. I don't even have a place that really feels like home anymore. I count 9 places I've slept in 3 states in the last 2 months and that doesn't include camping.

This morning I felt utterly defeated. I probably lost a chance for romance with someone I've become very close to. I had put so much energy into hoping that something would work out for us in the future. He was my first real gay friend (besides my sister), the first stranger I reached out to with some trepidation when I was first coming out and wanted to meet gay people. I fell into feelings for him almost instantly, unexpectedly. He was so integral to my coming out experience, such a positive example of acceptance of himself and of doing his best in a mixed orientation marriage. From practically the very beginning, I talked openly with my wife about these feelings and what occurred in our relationship over time. Emotionally I became very attached - and that process taught me how much emotional attraction is an integral part of my sexuality. I waited and waited as we both had a lot to figure out. I fell into something so utterly natural for me as a gay person and yet it caused so much sorrow for my wife to be a witness to all that unfolded.

Some days I get caught up in the swirl of these emotions of sadness and loss and feel so stuck. In those moments I feel an expectation to make all of the "right" decisions. But this is such an unpredictable journey that I can't keep up with it all. I'm colliding often with my own personal limits. I want to have happy children, a wonderful same-sex relationship, an enduring deep friendship with my spouse who finds comfort in moving on, friends who are proud of me and my choices, a decent job where I contribute meaningfully to the world, and some time for hobbies to enrich my life. But currently it feels like I am barely getting by. My intentions and hard work carry me a ways into positive territory, but the momentum of my past, my confusion, my failings, keep moving me back onto challenging ground.

To have a broken heart, to break another's heart, to feel deep sadness about both - I haven't experienced anything unique that almost every other human will experience. Yet all of these challenges seem to have fallen on me at once. I brought them upon myself though, and when sympathy is in short supply I must acknowledge that I'm the main cause of the mess. My only rejoinder when the spotlight is turned on my life is that I've honestly tried my absolute best at every turn. I can't wait for sunnier days again.