Over the past several weeks, I have been stuck between the past, present and future. You see… Being a gay man who was married for 14 1/2 years has put me in a category of society of which very little is known. I have found myself angry, frustrated, mad, depressed, hopeless, sad, confused, bewildered and guilt-ridden.
Because I love my former wife and my two daughters so deeply, I still find myself upset that I am gay. I want my family back, I want my house back, I want the dog, the cat… Ummm ok… maybe not the cat. I don’t like cats. I want to go places together and be recognized not as Chet, but as Chet who is married to Christa, his beautiful wife with two sweet girls that live in lovely suburbia in a beautiful home with beautiful wreath on the door, a pool and great neighbors. I MISS THAT… (and yes… I’m yelling).
Whatever uninformed, small-hearted, hateful, self-serving person that continues to tell me and any other “different” person that we CHOSE this… it is at times like this that I’d like to punch you in the neck for your insensitivity and downright stupidity. You sicken me with your bible thumping hateful opinions and misinterpretations of what Jesus really said… and somehow you simply forgot that you wear a rubber band bracelet with WWJD on it… Take off your false advertising bracelets and your bumper stickers while you are at it. You shame the God that you claim to represent. (Wow glad I got that off my chest)
While some may debate me on this next issue, I would say that my life as a gay man who is formerly married is MUCH different from someone who has been gay their whole life or one who never married and had children. I unequivocally accept that I am gay, but I am deeply struggling internally and externally with overcoming the guilt that I live with. The guilt that overcomes me that I cannot explain at times. It is debilitating at times. There are still days (while they may now be fewer) that I wish I had just gone through my plan of suicide. Everyone would be OK by now. Instead I live daily with the wreckage that I have left behind. (not reality, but somewhere in my mind.)
At the time of this writing, I am still not in relationship with my siblings and my relationship with my parents is cordial at best, but we may be making progress. I’m told that this blog is in-part “responsible” for that separation. This simply adds another layer of complication and guilt that causes me physical sickness, emotional sadness and lots of tears. I lost the support of my wife’s family through the divorce and I loss the support of my own family through years of hiding, guilt and shame and now being authentic. In my mind, it will NEVER end and I need to somehow adjust… or “un-choose” my “lifestyle.” Either way, I loose the real me.
So in response to my self-claim of “PMGF” (Previously Married Gay Father), I have taken to the internet to find as many PMGF’s as possible. I have searched chat sites and other resources to locate those men, lest I go on feeling all alone and lest they go on feeling all alone. In two weeks I have located and contacted 10 fathers in my area alone who are PMGF. There are thousands more that I need to connect with. Most are not blessed to have the support of their former wife or children as I am, but many have the support of their families, but somehow we usually feel alone. Carrying guilt and shame of “destroying” our family for our “choice” of “lifestyle.” So we will somehow, someway unite to support each other through what we feel is suffering in silence. Another discovery is that MOST of these men are of Christian and/or religious faith and conservative politics and “values.”
Many of us (PMGF) wish to keep our faith and conservatism but feel that we must embrace the values bestowed upon us by those non-faith and liberal gay community if we wish to be fully embraced by them. So now we have the difficulty of hiding in our former life and again hiding in our “new” life. Over the past few months, I have personally been shamed by several in the gay community that simply cannot understand or respect my conservative and religious values. It has put me in a place of withdrawal. So I’m attempting to be Rosa Parks, I will sit in the seat that I “chose” and I will practice my faith and conservatism.
I still continue to attend church (non-denom) with my former wife and children where on occasion I have to sit through a talk about my sinful “choice” and “lifestyle.” I further have to re-educate my children on occasion when they tell me that their (church) teacher told them that they must love sinners and hate the sin of people who are gay. However this is something that I have “chosen” to deal with as the education of my children is my responsibility and not that of a minister, pastor, deacon or teacher. I do this in spite of the fact that I want to spit in the face of the “church” as a whole. I gather myself and realize that most people in my church are OK with me being gay even though the “church” says differently.
So what about me being stuck between my past, present and future. I am frustrated with myself about past of not being authentic and causing so much carnage. I am stuck in my present because I am learning to navigate by my gauges only… the sky is foggy and unclear and I can barely see in front of my face. I’m stuck in my future because I simply don’t have a plan of where I am going yet. I am simply circling around in my vessel trusting that I will not run out of fuel before the fog burns off and I can see clearly again and guide this vessel to safety.
Huge, Mad respect to each of you who have reconsidered your belief system to show love and respect to Me, Christa and my girls. To the rest of you… time is ticking and you are loosing valuable time with Me, Christa and my girls as you stand firm in your judgment, shame and hate. It will not be long before the girls will be graduates and brides, and you will have missed it all. All because their father is “different.” The God in Me, Honors the God in you.