Last week I thought I was at the bottom. I thought it was as bad as it could get. I was wrong. I have not slept in weeks. I cannot concentrate on things. I find I am distracted often. When I am not focused on work or the immediate needs of the children, I am thinking of T. I picture him sitting around his dining room table with his family. Thy tell discuss talk about the day they have each have had. They laugh together at the funny stories. Today he and his sisters went a family friend. This friend has a young daughter (less than one year old) and they are meeting her for the first time. As I was flipping though Facebook today, there was T's smiling at the baby. I did not expect to see him. T does not use Facebook (he avoids technology stuff) but his sister does and I am friends with her. I am empty inside. I was to see T. I want him to come and hold me. I want him to tell me, this was all just a big mistake. I want him to tell me that he loves me, and he never wants to be apart from me ever again, no mater what his mother or anyone else says. I want desperately to call him tonight. I want to tell him how much I love him. Tell him how much he means to me. But I am afraid, I will say something stupid or hurtful. For all the love I feel, I also feel hurt on a level I have never felt before. And it's wake, a whole lot of anger. In some ways, I feel like a wounded animal. I guess maybe I am. I want to ask why, if he loves me as much as he says, would he put me though all this pain, just to keep his mother happy? Why would he choose to destroy me just to keep the illusion of harmony in his house? It's almost as if he never really understood the depth of my love for him and therefore did not expect the level of pain that I would endure when I was forced to walk away. My head knows these are not fair questions, but my heart hurts so much, I know that my judgement is clouded. Others I have talked to tell me this will pass. They are people who have has many short term relationships in their lives. For them a long term relationship is measured in months. That is not me. For me they are measure in years. I dedicate myself. I focus on someone. I plan a life around them. In this case foolishly, because I was warned not to, but I did anyway. As the days pass the pain in my heart gets worse not better. I had hoped that sharp stabbing pain would have turned to a dull throbbing pain, but it has not. The blade continues to twist. I feel like a pathetic loser. I should be able to walk away. I should be able to say, "Fine. If he doesn't want to be with me, I will find someone who does." But I can't. I just can't.
Yeah. I am pissed. I have been pissed for a long time now. I get that I am lucky. I get that some people never find someone that really loves them. I have. Twice. First there was K. There there was T. K is re-married has how found her happiness. I was convinced that T was the one for me. I wanted him. He wanted me, or I thought that he did. But for whatever reason (choose any of the ones I have offered) that relationship I saw in my dreams slipped though my fingers. I am pissed about it. I need to be angry at someone. For most of the past few months my anger has alternated back and forth between T and his mother. One is too controlling and the other lacks the courage to stand up for himself. T and I have talked about this many times. Many times I nagged him. I told him what I thought he should do. I begged him to put our relationship before others. I whined and cried while I tried to convince him we would be happy together. Nothing worked. I am pissed off about it. But who should I be pissed at?
Oh. Right. That guy. The guy in the mirror is the guy I should be pissed at. I allowed myself to engage in wishful thinking, well after I knew it was futile. I allowed myself to ignore T's warning repeated warnings. I allowed myself to get to this point. This is my fault. It might make me feel better to blame T and his mother, but I need to focus the anger where it belongs. T is adapting himself to the reality that we are over. I am not adapting as well. We spoke on the phone tonight. He seemed OK. I was barely holding myself together. He says he is a survivor. (I did briefly wonder why he could not be a survivor by dealing with any fallout that could come from being with me. I did not ask him about it. It really does not matter now.) But I think that I have hit the bottom. I think I am at my lowest point. I don't think the pain can get worse. I think I have a clear understanding of the situation. I know that all hope is really gone, I know why, and I know who to blame. Now I need to find a way to pull myself together and move on. Thank God I have a job keeps me busy and Children that take a lot of my time. If I had a lot of extra time on my hands I would go fucking crazy. As a side note. I deleted my Adam4Adam profile today. I was not getting any traction on it anyway. I need to take a break for a while and get my head on straight.
After my last post, I have been thinking more. T and I have gotten together once and we have talked on the phone at least twice. We had a conversation the other day about a bird that changed my whole outlook. It was a parrot, actually. T is planning on opening another clinic location and he has been scouring Craigslist for people selling artwork cheaply so he can decorate the walls. During one of these sessions he noticed someone selling a parrot, with a cage for a very cheap price. He offered to buy it for me. I thought that was sweet and I would love to have a parrot. However, parrots need attention and since I am rarely home, I declined his offer. It's the same reason I cannot have a dog. I just am not home enough to take proper care of an animal. The next day, he called me to chat. During the conversation I learned he was on his was to get the parrot. He was getting it for his mother. What? "It will make her happy." he replied. I was speechless. For her to treat him the way she does and then for him to reward her with gifts, was just stunning to me. If my mother was overbearing and controlling, I can see where I might go-with-the-flow, but I would sure as hell not be buying her random gifts. Especially a gift that would be sure to outlive her. I was angry. I had to end that conversation line and move on to something else. I was trying so hard to get him to see.... And then it hit me. Maybe his mother was not abusive at all. Maybe she was not really a manipulator at all. What if this is really where T wanted to be all along? T told me on day one, he would never be able to live with me, or anyone else. So, it's not like I was not warned. But I think I had the reason all twisted around. What if it has nothing to do with his lesbian sister who is too scared to some out? What if it has nothing to do with his mother and her controlling ways? What if it has nothing to do with the way Vietnamese people tend to gossip? What if it has nothing to do at all with keeping peace and harmony in the family? Maybe it's as simple as T is just happy there. Maybe T has lived with his family for so long he is happy there and does not want to leave. He does not really want to live with me at all. Yes, I know he loves me. I know he likes to have me come over to snuggle on the couch sometimes. He likes to have dinner out with me and sometimes we even see a movie. But he is happiest and most comfortable with his family. Maybe our life goals are not compatible, not because he is trapped in prison. But because he is happy there in his paradise. I was never the center of this world. Never even got close. Maybe I completely mis-read the situation. I assumed that, like me, he want to leave the relationship he had been forced into while he was in the closet. I assumed he would want to come out, meet a man he liked, fall in love, and someday get married. I assumed he wanted that, because that is what I wanted so, of course, everyone else wanted that too, right? I think I was sooo wrong. I am going to stop talking about T's mother. I am going to stop taking about how our relationship could come back or be more if only she would ________. I am going to to stop encouraging him to push back on her. Because the truth is, he probably likes his life right where he is. He is comfortable there, He is happy there. T is happy there, so I guess that is good enough for me. It has to be, right? I mean, what choice do I have? None.
There are are a couple of reasons I do not simply walk away from T and end the pain. Not the least of which is, I am not convinced walking away would, in fact, end the pain. T will not like much of what I am going to write today. These things are on my mind, however, and I need to get them out. Sunne has figured me out. In directing comments toward T she said, "He still wants to see you because he still loves you and still hopes." That really sums it up. I honestly don't know why I still hope. He has told me it is not going to happen. But I think that because he has expressed frustration with his situation, there the tiniest morsel of hope. I feel like there is something there that if I can just nudge the right spot, he will see that he can change is situation. If he can see that I am the one who loves him and supports him for who he is. His mother is selfish. She does not accept him. She does not want him to be happy. Well, she wants him to be happy living his life as she want him to, but not as he wants for himself., She manipulates him and his siblings with enough guilt so they stay in line. If one of them steps off the path she will complain about it to the others. The offending sibling gets the silent treatment. She tortures all of them if she does not get her way. T has it in his mind that somehow HE is responsible for the moods of this 70+ year old woman. He is not. She knows exactly what she is doing. T and his sisters are playing right into her hands. She gets what she wants and they live lonely miserable lives. As a parent myself, I can see her for what she is. I would never, NEVER do what she is doing to my children. That said, why don't I just walk away? In the past I have made the analogy that T is like a drug addict who has not yet hit rock bottom. He is in an unhealthy situation and, he has been in it for so long, it has become comfortable for him. He knows it is not right but he feels trapped. I have been giving this a lot of thought over the past couple of weeks. If he was a addict, I think I would find it a lot easier to walk away. I would leave him to his addiction knowing that he needed to hit rock bottom before he could get better and take his life back. If he were doing it to himself, I would let him work it out for himself. I was writing this, I changed my mind. He is not like an addict at all. He is a victim and that is why I am having such a hard time leaving him. Sub-consciously I think I always knew. Despite his age, and his mother age, she is abusive. I don't know if she has been abusive to him his whole life, but certainly she has in the time I have known him. I'll bet at least in the time since he came out of the closet. Like I said, T will not like this, and I expect he will write a comment in response, which he is welcome to do. But the more I think about it, the more I think I am right. I will not be talking about this again. I think it is too personal and private. I will not be talking about any more specific behaviors or situations beyond what I have already mentioned. The only reason I am taking about it is to answer the question: Why don't I just walk away? Yes I love him, but you do not walk away from some one who is being victimized. (Even if they will claim that they are not.) Especially if that someone is someone you are deeply in love with. Will be able to save him? I don't know. Probably not. At the moment, he knows he needs saving, but is resisting all my efforts. I guess when he comes around, I want to be there for him. I want him to see that I was there. I was loyal to him, like he was loyal to me though my divorce. I want him to see that I am the one who loves the man on the inside. I don't care what the people at church gossip about. I only care that my man is happy and feels the love I have for him. ALL OF HIM. Not just the parts of him that fit what I want him to be. Or the parts that make me look good to the rest of the "community". I want him to be himself. I love him the way he truly is. Which is not to be confused with the way his mother is forcing him to be with her manipulation.
My dad used to ask me, "What's the best part about hitting yourself in the head with a hammer?" "What dad?" I would ask, even though I knew the answer very well. "It feels so good when you stop." This was his sage advice for me when I was doing something that was ultimately causing me grief. Usually the root cause boiled down to some sort of procrastination on my part. It was a stupid thing for him to say, but I knew what he meant. It was true then. It is true now. If you are doing something that is causing you pain or stress and you stop doing it, the pain will probably stop. I am sure it can be applied to my current situation. My brain gets it. While T and I are perfect together, we are incompatible in our life goals. The problem is, only my brain gives a shit about life goals. My brain knows the score. My brain has known for a long time this will just not work out in the long run. Not as long as T's mother has the out-sized influence she does on his life to where she is a 3rd party in our relationship. My heart does not know about his mother. My heart only knows how happy I am when T and I are together. It only knows how it sings when I am being held in his arms. It only knows how it beats faster every time I see him smile, or when get a text message from him in the middle of the day. It just makes me happy beyond reason. All my heart can think about is the next time we will be together. Well, that is not all my heart can think about. It also thinks about the emptiness it feels when T is not around. When I go for 2 weeks without seeing him it aches for his touch. It longs for that connection that can only be filled by his physical presence. So knowing that T is not going to be changing his relationship with his mother anytime soon, and therefore knowing that our relationship is not going to work long term, am I just hitting myself in the head with a hammer every time I talk to him? Will I feel better if I stop? K thinks so. Sunne thinks so. Other readers think so. I'm just not ready. I am not ready to let go. My heart is so desperately in love with him. I simply cannot imagine not having him to talk to. To be sure, the conflict between my heart and my brain is causing me pain, but I just am powerless to do anything about it. So for the moment, my heart will continue hitting my brain with the hammer. It might feel better when I stop, but I fear the pain of the loss will be much worse than what I have now. ------------------------------------------ I think my dad's proverb would apply to T as well. I have seen T be strong, direct, and pointed in difficult situations in his business life. I have been him be this way in other areas of his personal life when he felt disrespected. But he turns into a wilting flower where his parents or other family members are concerned. This is a situation where he has 100% control. He has chosen this path and he could choose to correct it. He says he cannot change it, but that's simply not true. He has chosen to maintain the current situation. He could choose to change it. I realize it would be a difficult choice, but it would be a choice. Yes, there would be some stress, as the others involved adjusted to his new assertiveness, (rather than him just rolling over at the slightest growl), but in the long run, the pain would stop. The place where the hammer kept hitting would heal and it would feel so good. I would be there to kiss it and make it all better too. :-)
Last night I had a date with a guy I met online. No, not the guy in the picture. That's me. :-) Anyway, it was a big ol' waste of time. He was nice enough, but not a match for me. I'm not going to spend any time writing about. Suffice it to say, I will not need to assign him a letter (like "T" or "K") to talk about him in the blog. Thanks for the comments to yesterday's posts. It's nice to know there are at least 2 people who still are reading. I have some thoughts about what Sunne said. I am going to think about that some today write about it next.
Part of the reason that K and I had a slow motion divorce is that I don't like to burn bridges. Relationships with people are important to me and I look for ways to preserve those relationships as much as I can. I look for opportunities for compromises that can make things better. I want things to be better. Over the couple of months since T and I broke up (as been 2 months already?) we have been talking a lot. We have seen each other a few times. I am not "over" him at all. I love him just as much now as I ever have. During this time we talk often about things including how our relationship went wrong. These talks (re-hashings) often end up with me beating him up about how keeping is mother happy is more important to him than keeping me happy. In the end we are both upset. One conversation last week we were both feeling lonely and we both agreed that sometimes we both wish things could go back to the way they were. But we also both knew that it would only be a matter of time before we were right back here. He made me an offer to spend more time with me. I asked about push back from his mother. He said he could handle it. I was surprised to find myself thinking about it. Let's talk about it in person, I told him. Last week we got together for dinner and a movie. We had not discussed that conversation in the intervening time, but I had been thinking. His offer was not perfect. I was not everything I wanted, but it was the best he could do. I decided it was worth talking about. I knew my feelings for him were not fading. Maybe it could work. Maybe... Maybe this was the opportunity to restore the relationship that I was looking for. I am not going to get into the specifics to what happened that night. I am not going to invade his privacy that way. All I will say is my hopefulness turned into heartbreak. By the end of the night, it was clear that his fear was stronger than I have ever seen it in the entire time I have known him. It was clear that what is important to him and what is important to me is incompatible.
It was clear that a reunion was not going to happen. It was clear it was over. As I drove away I knew the last hope of T and I spending our lives together evaporated. Sorry Rob. You missed the call this time. I think we will be able to be friends. I think in the back of our minds we always thought that we would come back to each other, we never really thought about moving on. Now we have to. Well, now I have to. I guess I have to let him do his moving on, on his own now. (My chest got tight when I typed that...) ----------------------------------------------------------
In other news, I have a "date" tonight. Both T and I have been trolling around some of the online sites where men meet. I have been using AdamAdam (which is a meat market but it's free). T has been using that and ManHunt. He tells me they have the same people on both sites, so I figured I would just stay with the free one. I poke around but I don't write to many people. I don't have to many people write to me either. Most of the people on that site are looking for hook ups and my profile says I am not really looking for that, so they don't write to me. But one guy did a couple of weeks ago. He would write something, I would respond and then he would go quiet for a week. The I'd hear from him again. This week I actually spoke to him on the phone and we agreed to meet tonight. T keeps asking me if I am "excited" to meet him. I am not. I want to meet him. I am hopeful I am going to make a new friend, but I am not thinking beyond that. It's also possible I may not like him or he may not like me. So I am also preparing myself for rejection. sigh.
Rob over at "Below The Radar" called it. "We've seen this movie before." he said. "Anyone want to to take bets on when they will get back together?" So it it has been about a month. I suspect that most of you were thinking that this current break up had gone on long enough. I mean really, with as much as T and I love each other, and we do, how long could we stay apart? How long could we go through the motions of reviving our ManHunt profiles and browsing through the pictures of strange men that will make all of our dreams come true. Why would we need to do that, when we have all the love we need for each other right here, staring each other in the face. T will work on standing up for himself to his family and putting me first more. I will try to be more patient. He will push the envelope more and I will remember that his family harmony is important to him. We are so happy and comfortable when we are together, it's just inconceivable that we cannot find a way to make it together as a couple. But we can't. None of that stuff happened. T told his mom, we broke up after more than 5 years together. She shrugged and never said another word about it. No one in the family he was so worried about upsetting, seems to notice or care that his relationship has been dissolved. T and I continue to talk often. He has made no mention he would be willing or able to change anything about this family situation to save our relationship. I remain unwilling to stand at the end of the line for his attention with almost no hope of us ever being truly together as partners. T revived his old profiles on Adam4Adam and ManHunt, using the same picture that caught my eye more than 5 years ago. He is getting a lot of people writing to him. He answers some. He almost met someone for lunch last week, but changed his mind and had lunch with his family instead. He says he really does not want to meet anyone now. I'm sure that part of that is because of his feeling for me. The rest is a fear that he will be come attached to someone else and fall into the same trap with that person he fell into with me. I have been resistant to post any profiles anywhere. I just didn't want to. My mind knows I should move on, but my heart is so in love still. K thinks I should do something to meet new people. T pushed me to put a profile out there. He things if I meet someone nice I will be happier. If I find someone to live with me. (yeah, I know. He still does not really get it...) Eventually I did it. I made up a fake profile on Adam4Adam last week just to look around. That site is such a meat market. It's not a whole lot better than Craigslist for the most part. But it's free. And T has be convinced that generally the same people are posted in both places anyway, so why not start there. I did not post a picture, but I use my honest stats. Some people wrote to me. A couple of hot young guys who turned out to be prostitutes. An older (by "older" I mean my age) gay guy who was cheating on his partner and wanted something on the side. And two "Bi Curious" guys cheating on their wives. NO NO NO. UGH!!! A couple of married guys wrote to T. Since he is not looking for a partner, I thought that might work for him. But I don't want to be the guy on the side. Yesterday, I took a bunch of pictures of myself, posted a real profile, and deleted the old one. We'll see what happens. T helped me pick a good picture and suggested good wording for my description. It was surreal really. (...and too depressing for words...) I did get one person who wrote to me from the the old fake profile who I told I was moving to a new one. He is about my age and based on the limited email conversations, he seems nice enough. I may be meeting him tomorrow after work for a drink. Possibly dinner. T seems to thinks I am going to have have sex with him. T may just be teasing me, but I'm not sure. The last time we broke up and I went on a date (I wrote about it here) I remember it didn't go that well. It was not horrible, but not great. The likelihood I will jump into the sack with anyone is pretty low. That is even making the assumption that I even like this guy when I meet him in person. He could turn out to be a jerk. Or maybe he is a nice guy that I am just not interested in. Or maybe I will like him, but not be interested in dating him. Either way, I am not going to fall for the first guy who is nice to me or is physically attractive.
The bottom line is T and I are NOT back together. Every day that passes it become more clear that we are not going to be. Not ever. Every day my heart breaks a little more. I don't see any end.
K and I have been divorced for almost 2 years and I still consider her mother, my mother-in-law. As far a mother-in-laws go, she is a pretty good one. From the very first day I met K, her mother (Let's call her "Mary") was nice to me. I get hugs when I see her. She remembers things going on in my life. When my dad was alive, but in poor health, she always asked him and prayed for him at church. She asked about my mom too. Mary is a excellent cook. She makes up recipes on the fly and they are (almost) always wonderful. She remember the ones I like and will make them when I come to visit. She does not know how to cook low fat. She makes real, old fashioned comfort food. She is pretty good with the kids. She is not perfect, but she makes a point to take them to movies when she sees them. She talks to the older ones and listens to what they have to say. When K told her parents I am gay and we were divorcing, Mary didn't treat me any differently. As K and I went through our slow motion divorce, she was just a nice to me as she always was. The only difference is that now she would ask me about T. When K and AJ got married, T and I were invited. We sat at the table with K's parents and sister. Mary made a point to talking to T quite a bit. She went out of her way to be nice to him, when she didn't have to. It was really sweet. I really fucking hate my mother-in-law. Seriously. I cannot stand the woman. Every time I see her I want to punch her in the face. I want to scream, "WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM WOMAN????" Why am I so hostile? It's simple really. She treats K like shit. And I hate her for it. It really is that simple. I have been watching it for nearly 25 years. and it is always the same. I am not going into any details here, but it did not take me long to start seeing the things I didn't like. I still see them today. In some respects they have gotten worse. AJ does not quite see them yet, but he will. Since they live far away, it will take him longer. He eventually he will see it. T's mother is nice to me too. She is also a good cook. She likes getting me to try new Vietnamese foods. Honestly, I think T's whole family really likes watching me try new things, well, new for me anyway. She remembers the things I like and when there are leftover will often pack them up and send home with me so I can have them the next day. (Oddly enough, it never taste quite as good when I eat it at my house.) Generally when I come into the house she smiles warmly, unless she is busy with something. Her English is not very good, but she sometimes will make an effort to talk to me directly. She is not used to speaking English at home and I can tell it not easy to pull the words from her memory. I appreciate the effort. She is trying to make me feel welcome in her home. Trying to draw in the outsider. It's a nice gesture she did not have to do, but she does. I don't like T's mom either. Not one little bit. I don't like the way she treats T. I think she is ruining T's life and his chance at happiness. I think she is demanding that T live his life on her terms and not his. I think she says she want's him to be happy, but really only if he can be happy doing what she wants him to do. Otherwise, he puts on a happy face and that's good enough for her. T is a gay man. She cannot accept what that means. My heart breaks for T that he has to live in that prison. He hides in his work, his garden and his television. His house is beautiful. It's still a prison. My heart breaks for his sister. So scared to come out even as an otherwise successful adult in her 40's. She is very attractive, cute, smart, funny, and I'm sure there are many women who would love to meet her. If only she were not stuck in her own prison. With her work and Korean soap operas as her only escape. I love T and I care about his sister and the whole thing just pisses me off.
I spend a lot of time with my kids. I make no apologies for that. I do not accept the premise that my responsibility to my children is analogous to T's responsibilities to his parent's and sisters. My children are, well, children. I am their father and they are dependent on me for all the things that children are depend on their fathers for when they are still children. The fact that I am gay and divorced from their mother changes nothing. The youngest person in T's house is 40. They are all adults who are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves. In due course, my children will grow up and become less dependent on me. Eventually, they will become adults and move out on their own.
Don't take any of this to minimize how important T's family is to him. They are very important. For the 35+ years he was in the closet, they were there for him. When he had some very dark days before I met him, they were there for him. When the communist took over Vietnam, they were there for him and got him (and everyone else) out. So, it's not that I don't appreciate where he is coming from. I'm just saying that the needs of his parents and adult sisters are not the same as minor children. The last thing to consider is AJ. AJ lives in the same house as my kids. I need to be present enough and active enough in their lives to make sure the kids see me as not only their father but their dad. I do not want any of them ever coming to me asking what I think about them changing their last name to match AJ's. So having said all that, is the time I spend with the children a choice? It takes at lot of my time. It interferes with everything and it makes it much harder for me to do the things I want to do for myself. But is this really a choice? I'm not so sure it is. I suppose it is a consequence of the choice to have children, but I don't think it's a choice now. No more than going to work in the morning is a choice. I do make a choice to be accommodating to K's schedule, but really I do that because, in the long run, it makes it better for the kids, and my relationship with them. But why do I have to go over to K's all the time to be with them? Why do I hang out there until 9:00, 4 or 5 nights a week. Is because I just like to be around her? Is it because of the free food at her house? Is it because I am so used to doing what she says and making her a priority that I just do it? Am I afraid of upsetting her? Is it because the internet is faster at her house? Nope. All of these are wrong. Well, actually her internet service is faster, but mine is fast enough. I think children need a consistent home. They need a home that is theirs where everything is familiar and feels like home. While my kids used to live in my house, my house is not that home any more. With my agreement, K has created that for them at her house. It is better for them and better for me for me to come to K's house as often as I can to maintain my relationship with the kids as a ACTIVE and HANDS ON father. My house has a roommate living there. He is a nice enough guy and my kids like him, but he is not family. I don't even consider him a friend. He is actually my third roommate (fourth if you count the kid I had to throw out) in the past 2 years. A parade of three strangers in my house is not exactly the stable home environment I want for my kids. I do not have a roommate because I am lonely, I need the rent money to help pay the mortgage. So what would happen if I had a real partner. What if T had offered to move in with me? How would things be different? I think things would be drastically different.
T and I would have made a home there. We could make a home for the children there. The children could have that stable, familiar home there. Then the idea of having the kids stay with me every other week, or some other arrangement, a lot more plausible. You see? Even though my current situation is that I am at K's house most nights until late, that is not what I want long term. It's just what I have to live with right now. I don't just want a partner to come home to at night. I don't just want a warm body to sleep with at night. If I had a partner to make a home with, make a life with, I would make make different choices about my situation. I would push K to change the way we share the custody of the kids. That would, of course, spark some conflict. K would not want to give up that time with the kids under her roof. There would be a consequence to that choice, but, I think it would be manageable. I'm sure it would be worth it.
If you have seen the link over to T's blog you know that once again, T and I have changed our relationship status. We are not boyfriends / partners anymore. Some of the readers on his side have had some... well.... interesting comments. T posted his perceptions of what finally caused us to be over. I feel like I need to get some thought out so I am going to put them here, in no particular order.
One of the things that K told me when we were going through our slow motion divorce, "Every choice has a consequence." She is right. Choose to leave the marriage or stay. Either choice has a consequence. I could have continued to live in the closet or come out. Either choice has a consequence.
T and I have made choices too. T has made a choice to put his family before me. It's not cultural. He has four siblings who are married. They each put their spouses first, as they should. This does not mean that T does not love me. I know that he does. It does not make him a bad guy. He is a wonderful man. It just means he made a choice and that choice has a consequence. (I will discuss this more in the next post.) If he wanted to, he could have chosen to spend more time with me. I have never asked him to abandon his family. Choosing to spend more time with me, however, would have created conflict with his mother because she would not have approved. Conflict with his mother would have upset everyone else in his house. So choosing to spend more time with me or not, is a choice. Choices have consequences.
I made a choice about what I want in my life. I liked being married. I liked that kind of a relationship. I have no interest in the "freedom" of the single life. But I also don't just want someone waiting at home for me. I want someone to do things with me. K and I did everything together. We were a couple. If ever I was seen with out her, people would ask, "Where is K?" T and I were not going to have that. We were not together enough. We were not a couple like that and it was not on the horizon. As my frustration grew with no end in sight, I made a choice that I could not continue this way forever. It was time for us to break up. That was a choice and that choice has a consequence. And here we are.
I don't know if anyone expected me to feel a weight lifting off my shoulders now that I am "free" to seek what I want with someone else. Was I supposed to feel better? I don't. Not even a little. I think in some ways I feel worse. I didn't want to be with just anyone. I wanted to be with T. I need to accept that it's just not going to happen. That's going to take some time. -------------------- In part 2, I am going to address the many comments about how much time I spend with the kids.
I have roommate. Well, a housemate really. Let's call him "Fred". I rent a room in my house to this guy. I met him randomly. He posted an ad on Craigslist looking for a room for himself and his dog. He is straight, older and not very attractive. He is, however, very gay-friendly. His dog is a beautiful 4 year old husky. She is a little high strung but otherwise well behaved. He actually has a pretty good deal. He pays a flat rent that includes everything. My mortgage is pretty reasonable so it's a good deal for me too. Aside from the money, it's a good deal for him, because he basically has use my whole house, except the other bedrooms. Over the past month I have been working a lot. Long hours at the office. When I am at K's house, I am often working there. When I am at home, I sometimes work in the office I have set up in the extra bedroom across the hall from mine until 1 or 2 in the morning. The other day, I came home for about 5 minutes before heading out again. Fred was making dinner for himself. He was trying to make conversation as I was heading for the door. Normally I would stop and engage him, but today I was in a hurry. "You work too much! You should stay home and relax more." He said as I closed the door. I drove away thinking about it. Between work and keeping track of my kids, it is very common for me to leave my house at 6:30am and not return until after 9:30pm. I guess I do work too much.
But why not? I mean, it's not like I have any reason to go home, right? There's nothing there for me. It's just a building where I keep my stuff. There is no one home who misses me. There is no one there who cares if I am there or not. There is nothing there to make it a home.
I was talking to T last night. He is worried about my well being. He asked me if I wanted him to come a visit me on Wednesday and stay the night. My answer to that question is always the same. "Of course. I always want you to come." "What would you like to do?" he asked. "I don't know. Anything is fine." I said. "I guess I need to see what K's work or school schedule is like." "When she is done with school in December, it should be better, right?" He asked. "I don't know that either." I replied. "It might be worse. She might work nights because it pays better." "She will have to work it out with you." "HA!" I chuckled. "It does not work that way. She works the hours she wants to and I adapt. I get whatever shit is left over. That's just how it works." Then I thought about that for a moment. "Damn it! It's just one more person who fucking puts me at the back of the line. I always get the scraps."
Is it so much to ask to have someone in my life who puts me first? Where I am the first person they ask before they do something, rather than the last person? Why can't I have that? Why is that soooo hard. I don't think this is helping my feelings of depression at all. Maybe I need to get a dog.
It has been over a month since my last post. It has been hard to get motivated to write anything. I had a great time on vacation with my kid and seeing my family. I came back feeling energized. Over the past few weeks, something has changed. I have been feeling myself slipping into a depression. I feel alone. Isolated. I have had bad days here and there before, but this sustained melancholy is not a feeling I am used to. I like things that make sense. I like identifiable cause and effect. I can't put my finger on anything that has changed significantly in my life to cause this. I'm taking a new medication. I checked several sources online and none of them list depression as a side effect. I have been having a lot of stress at work lately. There is more work than I can do and I have been putting in a lot of extra hours. On the other hand, they have approved to hiring an assistant for me, which will help a lot. Also I have talked to several people in the head office, including higher up bosses and I know that I am highly respected and everyone is happy with my work. While I take some pride in that, there is no joy in it.
My situation with T is unchanged. I am still hopeful that one day he will want to live with me. That he will suddenly come to realize his desire to be with me is stronger than his fear of any fallout and he will want us to be together like real partners, maybe even husbands. I know deep down, it's really just wishful thinking on my part. It's probably never going to happen. Definitely not while his parents are alive. (They are both in excellent health for their age and I hope they stay that way.) But this is not new. This is status quo for us. While it's still frustrating, why should it be bothering me more now than any other time? Tonight I am at K's house. She is working over night at the hospital. AJ is gone this weekend moving his daughter into her college apartment. He took my older boys with him to help out. They will be back on Monday. It's is cold here tonight. Not freezing cold, but cold for North Carolina in August. It has been raining all day. Dreary. Miserable.
I can hear the kids in the next room. They are playing some online game on the X-box. It sounds like they are having fun. (Honestly, I am just glad they are not fighting with each other.) I am sitting in the TV room. The TV is off. The lights are off. There is light coming in from outside. It will start to get dark soon. I probably will not get up to turn on the lights. But just sit here in the dark. These are the times I wish I had T here to comfort me. I wish he was here to hold me so I could cry and get whatever this is inside me, out. I wish he would hold me in his arms and tell me everything was going to be OK and make me feel safe. To tell me I didn't have to be alone anymore that I did not have to face whatever this is myself. But he is not here. He is at a wedding where he was invited to sing. I don't know who's wedding. A friend of his family I suppose. He is probably there with his sister and his parents. Honestly, I am not sure and I don't think he told me. If he did, I don't remember. I didn't get invited anyway, so it's doesn't really matter, does it? He is signing for the happy couple. He is singing in celebration of their love. I'm sitting alone in the dark.
Hi, everybody!! I have not written for a while because I have been on vacation. For the first time in my career, I took a 2 week vacation. And it was GREAT! I live far away from most of my family, so this was one of those vacations where you go and visit them. I was prepared to drive, but my mother offered to buy airplane tickets for me and the kids. Taking 4 kids between 17 and 9 on an airplane (with a connection) with only one adult sounds like it could be a nightmare, but it wasn't. The kids were great!! We flew up on a Thursday. K and AJ were leaving the next day and were going to visit his family in a neighboring state for a few day before meeting up with me and the kids. We would be in town together for five days before K and AJ started home with me and kids following two days later. So, basically on a nearly two week vacation, I would have the kids by myself 2/3 of the time. And even when K and I were in town together, the kids stayed with me and at my mothers house. K, meanwhile, drove to AJ's parent's house together without kids. They hung around there taking romantic lighthouse and wine tasting tours. It must have been nice for them to have that time together. Especially since their relationship has been some what strained. Now if any of this sounds like I am complaining, I'm not. I have taken the kids on similar trips for the past few years on my own. It's not nearly as difficult as you might think it is. Yes, there is the normal sibling squabbling, but that's manageable for me. In fact, I was looking forward to this trip for weeks before we left. I knew we would have a great time. And we did!! There were 2 times when I made an off hand comment about how nice it was that K was having this alone time without the kids. Once to her sister when I was hanging out at her house. And another time to AJ when we were all at JCPenny getting family portraits done (which is a blog post in itself). I said in a semi-joking manner as if I was jealous. These got back to K and she ASSUMED I was upset about being "stuck" with the kids while she got to be alone with AJ. She in turn got angry and defensive because she thought I was upset, which I wasn't. In the middle of a family lunch she started to go off on me. It took me completely by surprise. She stopped before getting out of hand. We talked about it privately and I told her she had it all wrong. I was having a great trip and me and the kids were having a great time. Now the question, why did she assume I was upset? Because if our places were reversed, she would be. If T and I were on vacation and she was with the kids all the time, there would be a heavy price to pay. If T and I stayed alone in a hotel and K had to sleep on an air mattress on the floor of her mother's house with the kids, it would eat at her soul. If T and I were wine tasting and she was at Chuck E. Cheese, she would spend every minute seething about it, as if she were being abused in some way. "How nice that you get to (insert wonderful thing here)..." she would say with her special brand of sarcasm.
For this trip, I did exactly nothing for myself. Everything revolved around what the kids wanted to do. What we did, where we slept, what we ate. Everything. I had wanted to visit an old college buddy, but that didn't happen. There was no time for me to do it. But where K would have been resentful, I was delighted. Every time one of the kids said, "Thanks Dad for taking us (insert wonderful thing here)" I was happy. I was building memories with my kids that they would not forget. Years from now they will they will talk about the time dad took us to (insert wonderful place here). That is important to me. That's the difference between me and her.
The only touch of sadness I had during the trip, was this constant nagging that I wanted T to be there with me. I wanted him to be part of those memories too. Not just in my memory or his, but in my kids. I want them to stop thinking of him as Mr. T and just T. I wanted him to play in the surf with my daughter. I wanted to hear my youngest son yell, "T!! T!! WATCH ME DO A BACK FLIP!!" I wanted him to flop on my mother couch after the kids were all in bed. Exhausted, but the kind of exhausted feeling that comes from the superest, most funnest day ever. Where all we had the energy to do was look at each other and smile. Maybe next year.
I am gay man in his 40's who was married for 18 years to a straight woman, who is still my very best friend. We have 4 children together. She is now remarried and we still want to be supportive of each other and make a stable family for our kids.
Cast of Characters
Jim: That's me
K: The wonderful woman I married in 1993. We divorced in November 2011, and she is still my best friend.
T: The wonderful man I met in 2008 and fell in love with. He really has been my rock since the first day I met him.
AJ: K's new husband. They got married December 2011.
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