Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Eve Reflections

The dining area set for dinner with the husband and six friends tomorrow
Fourteen years ago I had my first Thanksgiving after I had come out and moved to an apartment from the family home.  While I had dinner on Thanksgiving with my late parents in their home in Virginia Beach along with some of my siblings, my children were not present and, truth be told, it was perhaps the worse Thanksgiving of my lifetime.  I knew very few people after having been abandoned by most of friends from the straight phase of my life and depression was my near constant companion.  Fast forward to today and I have the life I wanted back then but never expected to have: a loving husband, great relationships with my children and grandchildren, and an involved and active social life.

In contrast to that bleak and depressed Thanksgiving in 2002, tomorrow the husband I will host dinner for six friends and then afterward we will all go down the street to the home of neighbors for a "pie contest " - I baked a pie to take - with even more friends.  On Saturday, the daughters and grandchildren will come to the house.  I never could have envisioned the happiness and stability that I now have even though my therapist always lectured me that it would if only I would be patient and let go of the self-pity.

I don't mean to sound like I am bragging or self-satisfied.  Rather, my message to those coming out later in life as I did who may be experiencing the sadness and heartache I did, hang in there.  Time is on your side and in almost all cases your children, if you have them, will come around and support you and love you.  Let them know that you are there for them and always will be.  With time, they will figure it all out in time.  As far as rebuilding a social circle, that too can happen with time and effort.  Get involved in LGBT organizations, the arts, politics, or all of the foregoing and you will make new friends.  Some may even turn out to be some of the best friends you will ever have, It seems like an eternity at the time, but you too can move on and live a happy and authentic life.  Find some happiness this Thanksgiving.

As always, feel free to call or e-mail me if you feel the need.  I feel blessed to be able to help others on their journey.


Dave said...

I came out just after Christmas in 2002, at age 47 and 21 years of marriage. When I came out to my wife, she came out to me....but she stayed in the closet for five more years, and played the wronged spouse. We had two daughters, one in college and one in high school. Family and friends dropped me like a hot potato and dumped negative thoughts on me. I moved out to live with my loving partner (now husband). He had also been married with two kids. It was over a year before any of my family agreed to meet him. Those were dark times and you helped me get through them with your wonderful blog. You put into writing the feelings I was experiencing. Slowly, baby step by baby step, things got better. My husband is loved and accepted by my family We have traveled a long way together on this journey called life. As the only gay couple of eight couples on a tour of Greece last year, the two gay guys had the most grandkids (7) of anyone! My ex wife is married to her girl friend and I have been accepted by my husband's family, including his former wife. After the election our 12 year old granddaughter was very upset. Her folks had to reassure her that her grandpas could remain married under the new administration. We are having two Thanksgiving feasts today. One with my extended family and then with his. My we be grateful, this day and everyday, for the blessings of family and friends.

Michael-in-Norfolk said...

Dave, my sincere wishes to you and your family for a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thank you for your kind words. You helped me as much or more and I valued our phone conversations and efforts at mutual support. We have five grandchildren all of whom will grow up knowing the normalcy of loving same sex couples. They are having dinner today with my former wife and her husband. We will all get together at our home on Saturday. My husband never thought he'd have children much less grandchildren. He adores them and they adore him. Again, Happy Thanksgiving, my friend.