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Monthly Archives: September 2015

Maison du Solstice

Such an odd title I know. It’s the French translation of the English words House of Solstice. 

Huh???  What’s that?  We will get to that soon enough. 

I’ve always admired how people named their homes. I’ve further wondered how those names came to be. I’m very curious and I ask lots of questions.  At times it gets me into trouble. Meh! Who cares. 

My blog has evolved over the past few years, but my original intent was to give an accurate portrayal of what it’s like for a married man to come out as truly being gay after being in a supposed heterosexual marriage with children. Read previous blogs for those details. 

Today was an excruciating day for me and I’m sure for my former wife and children too. But this is about me. Today is the day that the home which our family has lived in for almost 10 years closed escrow and transferred to another family. 

This is no ordinary home. It was one of my most prized accomplishments.  I worked long hours as a new home sales agent to purchase this home for my family. This was THE home that was going to be our forever home. (Whatever the hell that means…)  I sewed almost every window treatment.  Installed the moldings and window casings. Faux painted the handrail to match the light fixtures that I hung. I made my master suite resemble a fine resort. The girls rooms were rooms that every kid dreams of. I customized the cabinets with a professional glaze. I ordered wood floors and stair treads. I installed granite counters and designed a pool and back yard that was lush and welcoming. The front yard was a showstopper and once I even got a letter from the homeowners association telling me what a great looking front yard that I had. I built shelves and storage for the pantry and laundry room. It was MY work. What I always wanted for my family. A family that I always dreamed of. I was a lucky, lucky man. I had achieved a life long goal. Oh and the parties and events that I hosted. THE BEST!

But as life sometimes does, it began to change. I could no longer hide my secret. I was dying inside and out. It wasn’t going to end well for me or my family. Most of you reading this knows the history of what came next so I won’t belabor that. 

The time came to put the house on the market. There were days of excitement to begin a new chapter as a gay man and father of two daughters. There were days of extreme shame and guilt for simply being me. A gay man. 

The house sold and today was my final trip through that home to take one last look. My mind flashed memories both good and bad. I walked to the breakfast room where I was sitting in the fetal position sobbing and trying to think of a way that I could disappear forever. I stood in the shower where I stood for almost two hours once in running water just hoping that I could just die and be gone forever. I cried just thinking about it. 

But…

I also stood at the top of the stairs where my girls would get the sofa coushion and slide down the stairs laughing historically. I stood in the third-car garage (my shop) where I built a fireplace surround and mantle from the plans in my head.  

 I stood at the bathroom sink where I watched my former wife brush her hair and put on makeup as we talked and laughed. I stood in the playroom where the girls played and had shows that I attended. I stood in each of their rooms where we cuddled and kissed each other goodnight. I stood in the backyard by the pool and remembered all the fun we had and how lucky we were to have such a nice pool. I stood in the kitchen where we dyed Easter eggs and carved pumpkins. The memories just flooded my mind and heart as I sobbed. 

So it’s hard to call it just a building or just stuff. It was a safe house. A place that we called home. It was magnificent. 

So today I want to give 3155 South Porter Street in Gilbert, Arizona a name that I will always remember. It shall be known as   Maison du Solstice. I chose French because that is my heritage. 

But why the word solstice?  Im happy that you asked. Let me start with the Webster definition of solstice. “A furthest or culminating point; a turning point.”

  You see I had to get to the furthest point of my big gay secret to begin to turn around to my authenticity and reality. I had to get real with myself and set myself free from my irrational guilt and shame. I had to act bravely to ensure that my children had a father and that other men and women who are in my place could know that it does get better and suicide would not resolve being gay. It would wreak more havoc that being authentic. 

So just as we have seasons and solstices on planet earth, we have seasons and solstices in our lives. 

So farewell Maison du Solstice. You have been good to the DeRouen family. 

Now on to Chapter Two. 

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Posted by on September 30, 2015 in Journey to Authenticity

 

I’m Defective

I’ve entered a new phase of “coming out.” 

Ummm… Chet, I thought that you “came out” over three years ago?  Yes. Yes I did, but in a predominately “straight” society, coming out is almost daily for a man my age. 

When I mention that I have children, I usually have to “come out.”  When I mention my former wife, I have to “come out.”  Again and again and again. Can you imagine having to “come out” as straight almost daily?  I gets exhausting. 

Because of the nature of my career, I meet new people every day. I meet with families and individuals on a very personal, intimate and emotional level. It is very difficult to NOT get personal. Discussions of death and dying make it difficult to be stoic and strictly professional. Not to mention I’m super bad at a poker face. I’m built to hurt when people hurt and cry when people cry. I wear it as a badge of honor. 

This week while meeting with my therapist, we began to process why I have been feeling deeply depressed with thoughts of suicide,  lonely, lethargic and extremely apathetic. 

After going through several painful scenarios, we arrived at a probable explaination. An explaination that is difficult to say and difficult to process. But I promised myself that I would be transparent and honest through this journey of self-acceptance. If for no one else but me. 

IM DEFECTIVE!  Thats it. I’m effing DEFECTIVE. I cannot remember a time in my life where I haven’t felt defective. I felt it in kindergarten, I felt it in elementary, junior high and high school. I felt it deeply in college and I felt it through my marriage and I feel it now. I feel like somewhere in the creation of Chet, something went terribly wrong. I’m defective. I’m gay. I pulled the short straw. 

Why Chet, why do you feel defective?  Why do you feel less-than. Why do you feel like you don’t belong? I’m glad that you asked. Let me tell you. 

Unless you have been under a rock on the moon, you may have noticed in the news the outright attack on me and the gay community by many people. I’d be unnecessarily dishonest to pretend that it doesn’t affect how I feel about myself. Especially while its perpetrated  by the very sect who themselves claim to be defective albeit “forgiven.”  Which I guess gives them the right and authority to piss on the defective that don’t subscribe to their need to be forgiven. What a bunch of condescending pricks. Yes… I went there. I’m angry damnit. My therapist said that its time for me to get angry so that I can push past the guit and shame if being me. 

And no I’m not lumping Everyone together. But if the shoe fits…  If you, for one second believe that Kim Davis of Kentucky is justified in her abuse of power toward my gay family, then  YOU are a perpetrator of labeling people defective. You are the problem. 

I constantly feel like if I somehow weren’t gay that I would still have my marriage and intact family that I’m so proud of. There would be no need to sort through our belongings and decide who gets what.  There would be no need to take the wedding pictures down and put the wedding photo album away. There would be no need to move into separate homes. There would be no need to sleep alone in an apartment when I could be sleeping down the hall from my children. But I was born. And I’m defective. I’m not whole. I’m not a full human. If only… If only I were born straight and privileged. This chaos is all my fault.  

I peruse the Facebook postings of family and friends. I read the mocking  picture-grams. I read the posts about standing up to and fighting aganst the gays. It’s an all out war against “those people” the defective ones. 

Don’t tell me that you love me but you don’t agree with my “lifestyle.”  You have just communicated to me that I am irreversably defective. Oh Yes You Did… That’s exactly what you say every time that you refer to my being as sinful. That’s exactly what you say when you compare my being to that of a murderer, filanderer, theif, rapist or pedophile and all the other “feelings” and desires that you may have been born with. 

I see the posts about how being gay is a choice and being gay is wrong and being gay makes one defective. Unfortunately there is no money back guarantee. Not return policy. No manufacturer limited lifetime warranty. I just have to suffer through my defectiveness while the rest of the world gets a pass?  I don’t think so!

So that is my next phase of “coming out.” I will work diligently to reject that I am defective. I will permanently eradicate from my life people and organizations of people and books… (Yes even “holy” books) that refer to me as defective. 

It’s not something that I can unlearn overnight after a life of religious legalism, brainwashing, dogmatism and fundamentalism. It will take some time and thought restructuring to fully achieve. 

Onward!

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2015 in Journey to Authenticity