I Don’t Belong

23 Jan

From time to time I will blog when I am in a current state of “funk & blah.”  Yes… I just created that lil diddy. You may use it. You’re welcome.

I do this to capture the sincere and brutal reality of coming out after being closeted for 42 years due to evangelical religious oppression and societal bias.

I did my best to retain my faith after coming out.  Unfortunately evangelical religion has taken up arms against the gay community with guns blazing to force us to believe as they believe or go back into the closet. As if torturing us with threats of burning in a punitive hell our whole lives wasn’t hateful enough. That story has already been told, so this brief sound bite is for those readers that have not read my blog from the beginning.

So back to my “funk & blah.”   I was recently meeting a man for an impromptu coffee date. A resident physician man at that.  It was my lucky day… He was smart and cute. With the potential to be moderately rich. I digress.

We agreed to meet at Starbucks.  I arrived before he did. He overslept due to a late shift the night before in the Emergency Department.

As I placed my order and waited for him, I unintentionally began to notice all the men wearing wedding rings. Go figure. I kinda got gut-sick. Sadness slapped me and within no time I realized why taking off my wedding ring 4 years ago was like ripping off an unhealed scab. I weep as I write this.

I gave it to my former wife at one point so that she could sell it. But at some point I took it back. The memory and representation was much too much to process. That ring currently is in the console of my car where I will take it out from time to time and reminisce. I will likely never part from it. It will always be a tribute to the blood sweat and tears that I put into my marriage and family.  I cannot erase my history. I won’t even try. There is way too much value there.

I remember being in high school, college and the time between college and when I got married. I always wanted a wedding ring. I used to get fake rings and pretend that I was married. The ring part was super important to me.

The ring represented love, commitment and most of all it meant that I belonged to someone.  It meant that it wasn’t all about me.  It meant that someone counted on me and needed me. It meant that no matter what happened, that I wasn’t alone and I was important to someone. Again, I weep writing this.  Sometimes life just sucks damnit.

So as I sat there waiting for Dr. Coffee Date to arrive, a sudden awful feeling of “I don’t belong to anyone anymore” rushed over me in a not so welcomed way. I literally wanted to run to my car to get my ring and put it on so that I could belong to someone. It was a sick sick feeling.

And out of courtesy, please don’t be tempted to send me notes or quips about how I belong to God/Jesus. I cannot do enough brain aerobics to believe in a god that would allow such anguish, confusion and pain to someone like me that committed his life and career to serve others. It just doesn’t line up any longer. I’m happily agnostic. Namaste.

So I journey this journey.  I adjust as adjustment presents itself.  I cry as needed and I hurt as hurt is inevitable.  But this is just one stop along the way. Survivors don’t survive by happenstance. They intentionally survive. I shall live with brazen intention. I will return to a place of joy.


Posted by on January 23, 2016 in Journey to Authenticity


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6 responses to “I Don’t Belong

  1. Ian.

    January 24, 2016 at 1:07 AM

    I changed my wedding ring from the left hand to the right, I couldn’t part with something that symbolisd so many years of my life. You see I had always wanted to get married, have children, be settled, be part of a loving family. In time I was, and for many years we were a great unit, a happy unit. Each child bought a new dimension and more love to share. So when I allowed myself to except my sexuality and come out, as I’ve said before, I went through a period of jubilant euphoria. Shortly though I came to fully realise what I had lost. That sure put me into a tail spin and I ended up requiring care for a short while in hospital. But that was many years ago now.

    Now I’m in the happiest place I’ve ever been in my life, it of course hasn’t been easy Chet, but the pain, loneliness, rejection and the emotional roller coaster has been worthwhile. It was so much harder trying to pretend to be someone I was never meant to be in order to conform to other people’s wishes.

    Your an intelligent man Chet, you know it’s not going to be easy, but you also know you couldn’t go on being someone you were not. It will get easier as time goes on. Look for support from people who love you, truly love you, this sounds hard, but discard the people who don’t. I’ve lost a brother, who meant more to me then life itself, he couldn’t accept me. I’ve lost friends, who informed me I’d deceived them. But I’ve gained people who love me truly.

    Another thing I can remember is weeping in church, well beyond weeping, sobbing. The pastor was laying his hand on me to pray for the Holy Spirit to cure me of my “sins”. I had a revelation, I realised I didn’t need this pastor to pray for me, I didn’t need his acceptance or forgiveness. I stood up I looked at the congregation with their hands raised praising Jesus, and I left, never to return. I have no regrets. I’m a good man, as are you, that’s all you need to be. My motto, truly is, TREAT PEOPLE AS YOU YOURSELF WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED.

    Also I still love my brother, and the friends that regected me, I just don’t need their kind of disrespect or negativity in my life.

    Chet I have never met you, but I can tell you now I know where you are at, I’ve been there. I’ve survived and grown to be a better person, a much better person, you will as well.

    Plus one more thing, always no matter what, love your children don’t let anything or anyone get in the way of your love and life with them. My adult sons are my world, we have had our moments, they have had to inform people in their lives that they have a Gay Dad, it hasn’t always been easy for them. It requires a lot of close communication and support. A lot of understanding where they are coming from, a lot of love.

  2. Dan

    January 24, 2016 at 7:03 AM

    I recently pulled mine out of the jewelry box and wear it on my right hand. What became of Dr Coffee?

  3. Why Am I Gay?

    January 24, 2016 at 9:29 AM

    Ummmmmm. Typical gay man. Texted a few times then he vanished.

  4. Michael Buzzell

    January 24, 2016 at 4:26 PM

    Hi Chet,

    I just came out in October after living a lie for 53 years and left what I felt was a Happy 20+ year marriage. I was so happy at first But now I feel so alone I can barely function and part of that is because I lost My job and friends and family all at the same time and am having a Very Hard time adjusting to being all alone and in a new job with too much stress. Thanks for sharing and I hope I too find the Joy and Happiness You and others seem to have found as I am about to beg My ex to take Me back as I am so Sad being so all alone.


  5. Why Am I Gay?

    January 24, 2016 at 4:35 PM

    Hi Michael.
    I facilitate a social group on FB for men in our situation. Lots of support and understanding there. If you are interested in being a part, send me a friend request and I’ll add you into the group.
    Chet DeRouen

  6. Michael Buzzell

    July 15, 2016 at 6:46 AM

    Hi Chet,
    I know it is hard but try and not lower Yourself to their level. If they really had the love of God in their hearts They would not treat Us ( I mean Gays ) like they do. I believe God made us like We are and like you I have been hurt By so called Christians after being involved in My Church for 37 years a Pentecostal church not that it matters who turned on Me and say I am going to HELL !!! But Gods word says We are made in His image and that is Straight, Gay, Black, White, Tall or Short etc. Thank God now I go to a Methodist Church in Waterville Maine who accepts and Loves Me for who I am and not who I fall in Love with. So again You are better then them who talk down about Us take the High Road and Hold You head Up and know GOD Loves You and Me. And remember this one thing There are 3 surprises for people when They get to heaven 1st. Those that are not there that You thought for sure made it in 2nd. Those that are there that You thought would Never make it in and 3rd. If You have been judge and jury down here You should be happy you made it there because God is the only one who has the right to judge. Keep Your head up My Friend and if you ever pray please say one for Me and I will say a prayer for you.



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