I find myself a nervous wreck faced with another day of hearings in my divorce case on Friday morning. There will be various motions argued and the ex-wife's attorney will seek to have an final order entered that would leave me with basically nothing. Thirty years of work and it may all be gone. All because I could no longer live a lie so that others could have their comforts, while my happiness never seemed to even cross her/their mind. In retrospect, I was the living, walking ATM machine. Other than that, I was disposable - as I suspect many husbands are in the minds of their wives. At least that is my candid assessment of many couples I knew in "perfect" suburbia. Would that I had recognized it many years sooner. However, from all I have been through, I know that the world will not end no matter the outcome on Friday. And if nothing else, I will have the satisfaction of being true to myself and knowing that I am living as God made me (sorry if I offend any atheists). Christianists may be horrified, but I think living a lie is the greatest blasphemy one can commit.
I began this blog in earnest back in early April, 2007. Partly for therapy and partly as a basis for perhaps doing a book about my experiences that might prove beneficial to others. It was partly my therapist's idea (of course the wife's attorney tried to argue in court that I should be working more and not wasting time blogging). There surely is no one size fits all guidebook for coming out, particularly when you undertake the process later in life. My therapist though the endeavor would help me and maybe others. In this regard, I made this statement about six months ago concerning my motivations:
While there has been huge progress in gay rights since the time I first realized I was different and had same sex-attraction, I believe that there are still many, many men of my generation in particular among others, who are still in the closet and suffering the torment I experienced. It is my hope that my story will help these individuals and others to (1) realize they are not alone, (2) stop the self-hate we so often suffer and the suppression of their own uniqueness, and (3) have the courage to be who God made them to be. The more of us that can make the transition, the sooner sexual orientation will become a non-issue for all but the most extreme homophobic wing nuts, who in my view have a special place reserved for them in Hell.
I still stand by that view. I hope that some of my financial misfortunes that I have described will not discourage others from making the decision to be genuine and authentic. It is easy? No, not hardly. Is it worth it? Yes, definitely. It is impossible to describe the relief of finally accepting yourself as you are and being happy who YOU are. Not what your things and possessions are, but who YOU are. Even if the most draconian order is entered on Friday, my wife will be the loser. She and her attorney will not think so, no doubt. But I will be me and happy at last as to who I am. She will remain the bitter, revenge driven person who I hardly even recognize from the person I once thought I knew.
My biggest wish is that in time my children will understand why I had to do what I did. It was literally come out and face who I was, or die. I simply could not do it any longer. I strongly suspect that the ex in retrospect would have preferred that I had died (maybe she still holds that hope). Her creature comforts would have been less disrupted, after all. From what I hear from individuals in my former neighborhood, she rags on and on about me - making me out to be the selfish one. Yet, I was supposed to be miserable for ever so that her comfortable life could go on uninterrupted. Which is more selfish?
If my children learn anything from this saga, I hope it is that one should NEVER, EVER live their life solely to try to please others or be "what is expected." It may seem the easier road in some ways, but there is a terrible price attached. For me, it was a suffocation and loss of self. Always the actor on the stage, never a live character myself. I tried to please my father for years and never felt I lived up to the standards he set. Thankfully, he accepted my coming out and we found closure - decades too late, but better than never at all.