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Asked and Answered

In my first post I stated that some family and friends “have left the building” and that upset some folks just as I figured it would.

Hey… traffic is slow during rush hour and we all know it but we can’t stop going to work.  We have to plod through it and keep our sanity and do what we are committed to do for our employers.  (My employer just happens to be my soon to be former wife.)  So there…you just got to experience one of my analogies first-hand.

I knew some would be upset, angry, mad, confused or even down right ticked off, but I will not stop blogging.  I have grown more in the past 24 hours than I have in the past several months.  I believe that some people have a less-than-stellar view of me because in the past I have failed to properly deal with my feelings, emotions and behaviors.  I have sat down when I should have been standing (and vice versa), I have been quiet when I should have been outspoken (and vice versa),  and I have been weak when I should have been strong (and vice versa) .  I have said things to others that I should have said directly to the offending person.  NO MORE.  I won’t be a pacifist any longer.  If  I am wrong, I will admit it and move forward, if I feel used, I will tell you.  If you ask me how I’m doing, I will tell you the truth.  If you ask me to like something and I don’t I will say so.  I WILL BE HONEST.  No frills, no side-stepping and I expect the exact same from you please.  That is not a ticket for either of us to be unkind, rude or condescending to each other.  There should never be con descent in speaking the truth.  And while I’m talking about this folks, please remember that all truth does NOT have to be spoken.  If you know something about someone and telling them would NOT bring healing or restoration, then please keep a lock on it.  If you must tell someone, please call a  random phone number in another country speak your gossip then hang up.  There you’ve got it off your chest.

So now… let me address those that have “left the building.”  Some have left the building because I am gay, but in full disclosure, others left the building before that time (and this was just the straw that broke the camel’s back) because of past events or how I presented myself in the past.  I have not always been who I am becoming today.  You see, concealing who you really are for nearly 43 years causes some severe character and behavioral flaws. Those flaws present themselves in various forms both physical, spiritual and behavioral. I’m not a Doctor or Social Worker.  I told you…  I’m barely street smart.  I always tease my former wife that while she graduated Cum Laud, I on the other had graduated “thank-da-Lawd.”  I don’t even know if I spelled that right.  I’m a low “C” student which makes me a little shy of average.  Hey… but I’m darn funny.  I am well aware that I struggle with self-worth, acceptance, fear, shame and many other things that make me want to withdraw and be alone.  I find it difficult to be in places where I am not in control and I will usually overcompensate for my weaknesses to take charge and this can make people uncomfortable from time to time.  I’m learning to be more sensitive in that area.  Wow did I just admit to being sensitive maybe?

I do not know what all my flaws are and how they have been manifested in the past, but those of you who have “left the building”  sure do. You have been quick to point them out to me or share them with others.  I’m not angry… just stating the obvious.  I likely gave you reason to be unhappy with me.  You have asked me to “own up to it.” and I get that.  But what exactly does “owning up to it” change?  How does owning up to it bring forgiveness and healing?  Do you want a winner and a looser, a right and a wrong?  Wouldn’t you just rather me work on my flaws and become a better person?  But please… don’t be bitchy with me because your flaws are different from mine.  You have contributed to my frustration and craziness and I have contributed to yours.  If you want a reset button to erase all of your past indiscretions, (and trust me… I love reset buttons) then you are REQUIRED to offer that same ‘reset’ to everyone around you.  If not, you speak in hypocrisy.  You know nothing about someone until you have walked in their shoes and lived in their home and worked at their work.  Treat others like you wish to be treated.  Lets practice mercy, grace and forgiveness.   And no… I will not subject myself or my three ladies to any event or gathering where those of you seek to point out our flaws and stand in judgement of the way that we choose to navigate our life.  It is my responsibility to protect and shield those three ladies and that is what I will do even if it means foregoing “tradition.”  Because when it’s all over here on this earth and I’m on my way to heaven, It will be those three ladies who knew exactly who I am and what I lived for.  I made them promise to cremate me and go on a cruise to dump my ashes.  Fish Food!

We have a duty as friends and family to protect and serve those we love.  You cannot serve  and protect someone who you do not believe in or that you believe you are better than.  If we say we live a cup-half-full life but treat others like they don’t even deserve a cup, then same on us all.

I will not participate in conversations where we go through each others trash container to see who has more trash or whose trash is trashier.  …But you said this and she said that and we heard and you heard that he said that she said that you said that I said… blah blah blah.  And to top it all off, I have messages, emails and text messages to prove that your flaws are much worse than mine.  REALLY?  REALLY?  We humans all seem to hear exactly what we want to hear until we get busted for saying something we shouldn’t have.  Why is it that we wish to “catch” someone doing something wrong instead of something right.  It’s called human nature or selfishness… take your pick, the result is the same… DIVISION.  Are you the type that complains fervently about poor service but fail to give praise when you have good service? C’mon be brutally honest with yourself.  Next time you are at a restaurant and you get good (not Perfect) service, ask for the waiter/server to come over with his/her manager and publicly in front of their boss praise them.  You will feel great and so will the server.  And don’t forget to leave an extra tip.

Finally I’d like to address this statement:  “But you have changed so drastically… It’s like you are a whole different person…  You are not who you used to be”…YES I HAVE!…   yes I am, and no I’m not,  and if we are alive, we should be looking for opportunities of growth and change too.   I have accepted that I am flawed but being gay is not one of them.  In fact this post have very little to do with Why I Am gay.  I still don’t know the answer to that question any more that you know the answer to the question of why you have the color eyes that you do.  You just do…  It’s how God made you.

So you asked and I answered and you probably don’t even remember your original question.  I do.  “Why don’t you just own it?”  I have and I will own “it” whatever “it” is, but I will not let “it” define my future.  Please don’t let the past rule your future.  Stop looking for someone to blame… someone to be right and someone to be wrong.  It’s so unbecoming.  I have a question…  Why don’t YOU own it?  Own what?…  I’m so glad you asked.  Own your future, own your today!  Commit to look past petty flaws. Love, support and protect those around you.  For some of us, the damage is done and it is irreparable, but yet do not let that define you as you move forward with new relationships and friendships commit to seek the good and let it cover the bad.  Do not give yourself an excuse to be judgmental and combative. You will be happier and you’ll have more friends.

I am thankful to the over 300 people who read my first post.  I am shocked and elated.  I had no idea I could write.  Please don’t cherry-pick my blog.  Don’t read it if you are just looking for fodder to make yourself feel better about your past or my past.  Today is a new day for me.  Today I choose to hit my reset button and in good measure, you get to as well.  No judgement, nothing held back.  Past is past and the future is now.  I’ll be clear, this does not give everyone a pass to be in your circle of trust,  it’s a commitment to practice kindness, mercy and forgiveness and not judgement going forward.  Some relationships are not recoverable but it doesn’t have to be combative any longer either.

I just had the loveliest conversation with my sweet mother.  We laughed, we loved, we shared and we cried.  But most of all we communicated. I sense a new relationship of love and support growing.  I’ll blog about that next time

Mercy, Grace and LOVE.

RESET!!!

Chet

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18 Comments

Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Journey to Authenticity

 

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Please don’t answer that.

Please don’t answer the question “why am I gay?”  Its not your question to answer, its mine.  I have asked myself this question for as long as I can remember.  It is a question that I have been tormented with for decades and a question that may never, ever be answered on this side of heaven.  Yes, I believe in heaven.  I believe in God, His Son Jesus, The Holy Spirit, Faith and the Holy Bible too.  I’m certain I just ran more than half of you off right there.  See if you would have read about me (the blogger) in the beginning, you would know that I just say what I think alot.  You can expect that from me in future posts.

I will say things that I’m sure I may regret later.  But probably not.  I will say things that will upset you and me both.  I will say things that will shock me and you too, but I will say it nonetheless.  Some of the stuff I will say, I have NEVER said before.  I will process this question until I just can’t process anymore.  If I offend you, then stop reading, if I scare you, I’m sorry, if I help you in some way, thank me.  I will not however, accept crazy-talk, rudeness or profanity. I will shut that down.  This is my blog, and I dont like to joust about my life…if you want to joust, then attend your local renaissance festival.  I won’t tolerate stupid either.   I reserve the right to change MY rules at ANY time and I likely will.

Moving right along…

I have known my whole life that I was attracted to men.  I don’t remember NOT being attracted to them. I know a beautiful woman when I see one but I have no sexual attraction toward them no matter how much or little clothing they are wearing.  When my friends shared girlie magazines with me when I was young, very young, um… Like kindergarten or first grade, they were looking at the women and I only noticed the men.  No one taught Me, I didn’t choose to,  it was just a normal sexual attraction.  It didn’t even cross my mind that it was strange or different.  I eventually did, however become aware that this was NOT normal nor acceptable and therefore at a very young age I learned to lie, decieve, sneak and pretend to be something other than the real me.  I trusted no one and loved few.

This made me defensive, ashamed, scared, anxious, intolerant, hateful, foul-mouthed, mean, vindictive, angry, rude and judgmental towards others including my family and friends. I hated me, I hated who I was, who I was becoming and longed for the day I would die.  I planned to commit suicide multiple times as young as I can remember.  I knew my dad had a pistol and I knew there were bullets.  I would often get the gun and put it in my mouth and practice pulling the trigger.  I knew it would make a mess and I didn’t like messes so I looked for other ways.  I would ride my bicycle along the street and wish for a car to hit me.  I even faked a near-miss one summer as my family and I were camping at a campground with a large group of friends.  I went off the road with my bike on purpose.  I got some cuts and bruises and went back to the campsite to tell my story. I even tried to set the house on fire once but after lighting the kitchen curtains I chickened out and put the fire out with the kitchen faucet spray thing.  I lied about it and to this day I never told the truth…  Until now.  Mystery solved mom and dad.  I even attempted to jump out of a second story window, but quickly learned that I was afraid of heights. I would even devise plans to just go away or disappear to some other place but I could not think of another place to go.  So I would hide in the attic of our very old lovely home or climb the oak tree in the back yard as high as I could get. But then I would get hungry and that ruined my disappearing attempt.

I grew up next to the cemetary and would ride my bike there often and even had my plot picked out where I wanted to be buried.  I wanted so desperately to be dead. I was infatuated with death and dying.  While I was at the cemetery for hours, I would take apart floral arrangements carefully and then put them back together.  This is how I learned the skill of floral arranging.  That’s just funny right there.

The desire to be dead never ended until just recently when I came out as a gay man and decided that I wanted to live to help other men through this dreadful process of acceptance.  Acceptance of who we are and who we are created to be.  Please… Do me a favor, if you know someone who is gay or has gay tendencies, please be honest with yourself and honest with them.  Help them to get help.  PLEASE… Whatever you do, DO NOT encourge them to marry.  I will address this more later… Maybe. It’s my blog remember. 🙂

I am now 42 years old and approaching my 43rd birthday on August 11th. I do accept birthday gifts!  I am currently becoming “unmarried” to my amazing wife of 14 years.  As a matter of fact, it will be 14 years in just two days,  and as I write, my heart is in a million pieces.  I love that lady with all of me.  And that is why I must release her to be loved passionatley as she so richly deserves.  I will share later why we have both decided to not use the “D” word.  I miss wearing my wedding band and I miss not introducing her as my bride.  I miss being a normal family that used to get invited to normal family and friend events.  I have elementary-aged girls and they are both aware of their mommy and daddy’s very difficult decision to be unmarried.  They love that nothing has “changed” since we shared with them our decision. Except the fact that we have less friends and family to do normal things with.  We have grown stronger than we have ever been.  We love each others company and our home is our SAFE PLACE.

At this present time we intend to continue residing TOGETHER…  Yeas i said together… as a family of four in our 3800 square foot home in a wonderful, family-oriented, suburb just a little east of the 5th largest U.S. city in the Southwest known as Phoenix.  You are confused already….  I know, I know…  The whole living together thing?  I’m just as conflicted as you are.  Stay with me, I’ll have you thoroughly confused in no time.

So because this week represents the final year that I will will have a wife, my heart and emotions are in a million pieces and more.  I am sad, depressed, hurt, angry, anxious, scared, lonely, confused, conflicted, worried, ticked-off, pissed-off, tense and mad as hell.  See… I told you I would say some things that would offend you and me.

I am angry because I never asked to be gay, I never wanted to be gay and I sure as heck didn’t CHOOSE to be gay.  I didn’t any more choose to be gay than you chose to be straight, black, white, French, Spanish, right-handed, left-handed, blonde,  brunette or any of those other things.  And please, do us all a favor and save your scriptures and religious quips and quotes for someone who asks for it.  This is me processing my internal thoughts of something that has tormented me for decades.  Remember it’s my question to answer, not yours.  You are here because you chose to be and you can leave anytime you choose as well.  See…  I told you I could be snarky.  🙂

Im angry because my sweet girls will never have a “normal” family, but they WILL have a mom and dad who loves them to the moon and back.  I’m sure that at some point they will be told how weird their family is and that their father is a fag.  I will find that person and kick their ass too!

My heart is in a million pieces because I have asked God for years to take this away from me.  To set me free.  To release me to my wife and kids.  I am tormented because I cannot reconcile being gay with my faith.  I am sick to my stomach each week as I sit in church with my family to worship and feel like a hypocrite and a heathen who is far from his Savior.  Thanks to my amazing Pastor Dave who is meeting with me weekly to love me and to help me find some answers and process my confusion and conflict.  He has never once  attempted to “heal” me or make me feel less-than.  He is a model follower of Christ and I am endebted to him.  He is a true example of Jesus.

My heart is in a million pieces because my soon-to-be former wife (we have also made a choice to never use the word EX when referring to each other) is beautiful, kind, sincere, smart, intuitive, discerning, an amazing wife and mother of the year…  She is a complete knock-out.  No Man in his right mind would “choose” to live life without her at his side or in his bed.  Not by a long shot.  This is precisely why I, for purely selfish reasons, have remained closeted for so long.  And please… Don’t bother asking her or myself how come she didn’t know?  SHE DID. Rember the part about her being smart and intuitive.  She always has since the first time we met in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the airport.  I’m sure she had no idea the fierce battle that was raging inside of me and how it would all work out in the end.  I actually thought at that time that I had conquered the gay beast inside of me and as a believer in Christ, I wholeheartedly believed that I was doing the right thing by marrying.  She was gracious enough to believe that I was too.  She remaimed gracious and has loved me through this horrible nightmare known as “coming out.”. I had to do this to save our friendship and her sanity.  She even requested that I NOT leave our home.  Most women would have put me on the street and sued me for everything.  Reality is… In the divorce documents, I awarded her 100% of our assets. Nothing held back?  401k and all  It’s all for her and my girls as she deserves.   I am only being as kind to her as she has been to me.  I love you my lady.

So as I sit here on my couch (her couch actually) in the safety of her home in the suburbs of Phoenix, while my children and best friend sleep quietly after a long Sunday of playing in the pool and enjoying lunch with my parents who are also afraid and conflicted, I am shattered.  I have never hurt so much in my life.  Many of my friends and family have “left the building” for various reasons.  I now lean on those who may not understand but certainly care and provide a soft place to fall when I, my best friend and my children are in need.  I am learning a new “normal” and am sure that I will need to adjust that normal from time to time, but I will never stop asking the question, “why am I gay?”

I will seek to find the answer to why this Jesus-loving, God-Fearing, Holy Spirit-Filled, Bible College graduate, minister/reverend, father and former husband is and never has been attracted to women.

I will be blogging as often as I feel that I need to vent or process.

 
53 Comments

Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Journey to Authenticity

 

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