Posts Tagged ‘mixed-orientation marriage’

Much has happened since Thanksgiving.  This is going to be my “get caught up” post.  Ready, set, go!

1)  After my dad’s drunken stupor, I went to my parents’ house a few days later and we had a very long talk about everything.  It was not an easy conversation but in the end, everything is ok.  They are shocked…felt they knew me but now realized they really didn’t…and were sad about the breakup of my family.  But they are accepting of me as a person.  So that ended up working out ok.

2)  While I never expected the timing to work out the way it did, I have now found myself in a new relationship.  I had planned not to date or anything until after my divorce but you can’t always control timing…especially when emotions are involved.  I have literally fallen head-over-heels in love with a man that I have known for the past 6 months.  He had been having very strong feelings for me for quite a while but I was not in a place before to allow myself to be open to the possibility.  But once we spent some time together just one-on-one (we had only been in groups prior to that), the sparks flew and I allowed myself to be open to feelings I have never had before.  I will surely be sharing more about this later but suffice it to say, I am thrilled because I am fairly sure I have found the man of my dreams.

3)  I have spent the last couple of weeks working through an online course and passing the licensing exam that I needed for my new job.  This now means that I can start training for the job (hopefully this coming week) and can begin earning money soon!

4)  I am moving out this week.  The time has finally arrived.  On one hand, I am very excited because my new life is just beginning.  On the other hand, it feels very weird to think about the reality of leaving all that I am used to.  I will be moving away from my family (not far…just to the next city) and I don’t think I have yet been able to process that I will no longer be living in the same home with my kids.  It’s hard…but it’s time and it’s necessary.  In what little spare time I have had lately, I have been shopping for furniture, finding an apartment, and getting ready for the move.  Friday is the big day.  Wow!

Anyway, this is the quick update.  It has been a whirlwind for the past 3 weeks!  More updates to come after Christmas!

 

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Last week, I finally told my youngest son what is going on.  I have to say that it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.  I will never forget the look on his face when I said, “Mommy and Daddy have decided not to stay married to each other.”  His head bowed…he looked down…a frown came on his face…and tears began to well up in his eyes.

And then I told him why…I’m gay.  How do you explain that to a 9 year old?  And how do you help him to understand that even though the family is going to change, that we will always be family.  And how do you help him to understand that none of it his fault?  And how do you help to heal the pain that he is feeling when he hears news that hurts so deeply?

I cried.  It hurt me to see him hurt.  I hugged him and told him that I love him and that I will always be his dad no matter what.

And it killed me.

It was seriously one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

 

I have to be honest with you…I have really been up and down lately.  My emotions are up one day and down the next.  I don’t know what to do with it all.  I guess it is to be expected.  I mean, really…I’m kinda going through a lot right now!  It feels like I am riding a seesaw of emotions!

You may have guessed from my “Niche” post that I was feeling pretty good earlier this week.  Sunday’s service with my new church was extremely fulfilling and I felt the blessing of God in a huge way.  I was feeling energized and exited about the future.  I felt freedom in being myself and connecting with the people of our church in a very authentic way.  It just felt so good!

But things came crashing down as I got into this week.  My evenings this week have been very discouraging at home.  It’s hard not feeling welcome in your own home!  There has been a deep silence between my wife and I and that just compounded the alienation I have already been feeling with my kids.  Yesterday was a particularly “down” day for me emotionally.  I can’t begin to communicate the despair I was feeling.  The hurt and rejection I feel from my family runs deeps.  I was starting to question whether there would ever be healing in my relationship with my kids.  I wondered why they feel so hurt so as to feel the need to completely distance themselves from me.  I was feeling discouraged about job opportunities.  And all this week I have been feeling like I can’t do this “double life” thing much longer.

I think that is what is really getting to me.  I have wonderful glimpses of my future life from time to time.  But then I get forced back into the closet…back into conservatism…back into hiding…back into dishonesty…back into having to fit into a mold of constantly proving my value at my old church…and all of that crushes me.  I am getting to the point that I just want to scream, “I’m done!  I can’t do this anymore!  The box you are all trying to fit me into is squeezing the life out of me!”

I know that all of this points to the fact that the end of this period in my life is quickly coming to an end.  I will have to take the next step soon, one way or another, or I will literally go mad.  I cannot keep my world together as it is much longer.  I will be forced out of the closet and into my new life because I will be unable to keep up the charade.

Up and down.

The pressure is building.

Relief MUST happen soon.

 

Sometimes all you can do is tread water and try to keep your head up.  That’s what my life has been like lately.

I’ve had a number of people say to me in the last week, “You haven’t written anything on your blog.  What’s going on???”  Well, all that has been going on is that I have been treading water.  Nothing of significance has changed.  If anything, it is getting harder and harder to keep my head above water.  Here’s some of the reasons why:

1)  My wife gave me a deadline at the beginning of the year to have my future worked out by the end of this year.  In case you haven’t noticed, that’s 2 1/2 months away!  I still have been unable to secure a new job and that has kept us living in limbo for way too long.

2)  The distance continues to grow between me and my family.  My two oldest kids continue not to speak to me.  And just this morning, I realized that my daughter “unfriended” me on Facebook.  It hurts that they resent me so much.  I am trusting the counseling process, though, that my son is in and I pray my daughter will be willing to see a counselor at some point.  As of now, she refuses to go.  My wife has days that I can tell are “bad days” for her.  I think her patience with this process is waning.  Still, she wants everything to go well financially, so she has no choice but to wait this out.  It’s just hard on all of us.

3)  I am growing more and more discontent at the church where I am employed.  I am struggling with the narcissism exemplified constantly by my senior pastor and it is getting very difficult for me personally to work with him.  I have “recovered” significantly through counseling from the narcissism that I grew up with in my dad…so working for a narcissist is painful and frustrating.  In addition, I have grown to be so much less conservative in the application and practice of my faith…so I really struggle with the conservatism our church stands for.

But there are a few good things happening.  First, I have an interview this week for a part-time position with the Postal Service.  Also, I am hoping to meet with a guy who I hear may be hiring for the funeral home that he manages.  Please pray for these opportunities!

I have a couple more things I want to share but I will put them in more posts later this week.

 

The past few weeks have been really rough.  About two weeks ago today, my wife took a stab at me publicly and that really hurt.  The same day, I found out that my daughter is now pissed at me and doesn’t want me to speak with her (just like my oldest son).  Honestly, I blew a cork.  I was so hurt and so angry.  After all, I have been bending over backwards, trying very hard to do right by my family in this situation.  And now, it feels like I just keep getting “punished” for everything that is going on.  I decided that I am done being hurt by my family.  I told my wife that I was done and that I will be taking drastic steps to move on as soon as possible.

Things have cooled down since then but the hurt kept me in a lot of emotional darkness for a good week.  But needless to say, life at my house isn’t very friendly right now.

But this weekend, I had a revelation.  I think I have finally come to a place where I am able to let go.

I think it has taken all of the pain, especially the pain of the past couple of weeks, to bring me to a place where I am able to let go and move on.  I have a feeling that God has been trying to pry my clenched fists open!  I have been trying so hard to have some sort of normalcy at home…to still be a family…to hold tightly to all that I know…and holding that tightly had to come to an end.  I can’t move on with my life is I’m holding tightly to my old life.  I think God used the hurt I’ve now experienced with my family to help me to let go so that I can move on.

Now don’t get me wrong…I still love my family.  My kids will always be my kids and I look forward to a better relationship with them in the future.  But I think I needed to let go now so that it would make it easier for me to take the steps forward that I have needed to take.

Plus, the last couple of weeks have been very difficult at my church.  There is a lot of pettiness and legalism going on.  That, too, has brought me to a place where I know I need to let go there as well.  I need to move on.  I need to be in a different type of ministry setting.  I can let go and move on.

So I am letting go.  I am ready to take the big steps of faith I need to take to move on into the future.  I wish it didn’t take so much hurt to cause me to let go.  But I guess God will use whatever He needs to in order to get my attention and help me to move.

So thanks, God!

 

I just got back from vacation.  It was nearly a week away in the sunshine spent with my wife, my kids, and my in-laws.  I was curious how it was going to go with everything we have been going through.  Plus with the added impact of having my in-laws with us, I was really hesitant about having any high hopes for this trip.  While it wasn’t the best vacation we’ve had by any means, it wasn’t horrible either.  I guess it ended up being exactly what one would expect given the circumstances.

I felt like an outsider a lot of the time on this trip.  My wife and I didn’t communicate any more than was necessary.  And it seemed like she was always together with the kids and I was frequently “left behind”…separate from them and separate from my in-laws.  It was like I was an outsider in my own family on my own vacation.  I tried to make the best of it…was very patient with the situation…and tried to keep a good attitude.  But inside, I was feeling hurt.  I even made a bet with myself at the beginning of trip…I said, “I bet I will never be asked to be in any pictures that are taken on this trip.”  It ended up being true.  This is the first vacation I’ve ever been on when I wasn’t in any photos.  I could have asked to get some pics with me and the kids…but that felt awkward since my oldest son hates me right now.  So I just let go and let it be what it was.

My in-laws were extremely loving and gracious towards me during the trip.  My father-in-law even tried several times to ask me questions about the new church I am starting.  We ended up getting some time alone on our last evening and I shared a ton of things with him.  While he doesn’t agree with my choices right now theologically, he took a great interest in learning about my life, about the gay Christian community, and about our new church.  I think I ended up teaching him a lot!  One of the cool things is that he commented on what he saw going on in our family during the trip.  He said, “I can tell things are very difficult for you right now with the way you are being treated.  I don’t know how you do it…how you can deal with it.”  That one statement meant the world to me.  He saw what I am going through and he empathized with me.  That really meant the world to me.

I guess the best part about being “on my own” a lot of the time during this trip was that I got some good reading done and I had the time to think about and reflect on a lot of things.  I ended up coming up with some great ideas for a potential para-church ministry that I think I would like to start.  Yeah, I know.  I’m crazy.  Start a new church AND start a para-church ministry?  Well, I think it may just be part of the calling that God has on my life.

So I relaxed.  I got tan.  And got away from work.  That was good.  I just wish I could have been more of an integral part of the family time away.  But I guess it could have been worse.  The split-up of our family is on the horizon.  It probably was as good of a vacation as a family could have in the midst of dealing with the impending family breakup.

Dammit…I need a breakthrough!  Like…now!  I need it ASAP.  I don’t know how much longer I can do this.  I feel like walls have been built up all around me, keeping me from being able to move in any direction.  But there has got to be a breakthrough soon!

It’s Friday night.  My wife and I just had a very difficult emotional talk.  She’s at the end of her rope.  I’m doing the best I can with mine.  My oldest son is done.  We have to have a change soon!

A commenter on my last post said that it’s probably time for me to move out.  Yeah…I know!  The problem is that moving out then brings my youngest son into the knowledge of what is going on (he doesn’t know yet) and I can’t trust him not to say anything at church.  WE ARE STUCK BECAUSE I AM A PASTOR AT A CHURCH WHERE I HAVE TO HAVE THE APPEARANCE OF A GOOD CHRISTIAN FAMILY IN ORDER TO KEEP MY JOB!!!!!  There is no room for any chink in my armor.  If I could move out now and help all of us to begin the process to heal, I would!  But I can’t.  Sure, it would be a difficult thing financially.  But imagine if I had NO INCOME.  That’s why this situation is so very difficult.

My wife said to me tonight, “I don’t think you know how difficult this is for me.”  She’s right…I probably don’t.  And at the same time, she has no clue how much pressure I am under.  I have to go to work everyday as a pastor and act like everything is fine in my life.  I have to deal with crap on the job and then come home and deal with all of the pressure here.  I have to deal with the fact that I currently have ZERO prospects for a new job.  I have to deal with the pressure of a wife who is reminding me that I gotta be gone and have a new job by the end of the year.  I have to deal with the fact that my oldest son hates me.  And I have to try to keep sane enough to live my life, start a new church, and begin new relationships that will be with me in the future.  And when she says, “You might want to invest in your other son a little more now so you don’t lose him like you did our oldest son,”  I want to scream!  Cuz guess what?  I’ve got NOTHING to give!  I’ve got more pressure on me right now than I’ve ever had in my life!

Oh…and did I mention how I feel like The Church has let me down?  And how I feel like God has let me down?  And how I feel like the only reason I’m in this place where I am right now is because I believed everything that well-intentioned Christians told me and I THOUGHT I was doing the right thing for God????  I drank the kool-aid!  Yeah, I feel a little disillusioned with God and Christianity right now.

But I’m trying really hard to redefine my faith through all of this.

So yeah…I need a breakthrough right now…really badly!

Sorry to vent.