Posts Tagged ‘sad’

I am a dad.  I will always be a dad.  I love my kids no matter what.  The moment they each were born, I fell in love with them and will love them until my dying breath.

The problem is, my kids don’t want me to be a regular part of their lives right now.  They are hurt.  They are wounded.  They are embarassed.

I haven’t spoken to my two oldest kids in over a year.  They refuse to speak to me…they refuse to see me…they refuse to interact with me at all.  They are both in high school and they have basically chosen to write me out of their lives. 

My youngest kid didn’t want to see me at the beginning of this year…then he let me back into his life for several months…and now he doesn’t want to see me again.  I think it hurts him too much and he’s too embarassed by me.

I can’t tell you how much hurt I have experienced in the past year because of my estrangement from my kids.  It is a pain that just won’t go away.  And no matter how hard I try to change things, I can’t.  Nothing works.  So I am forced to let go and ride this out.  My counselor told me a year ago that it could take 10 years for my kids to come around.  I just didn’t know that it would be so painful in the process.

I have cried a lot over all of this.  It’s a horrible feeling to be so completely rejected by your kids.  I know that part of this is because of past mistakes I made with them.  Part of this is them punishing me because they are so hurt.  Part of this is their faith, which tells them that I am a huge sinner.  Part of this is their mom, who is letting them make their own choices about how they relate to me.  It’s one big giant painful mess and this is, by far, the worst part about my journey in the past year.  A large piece of my heart has been torn away from me and there is nothing that can heal that pain right now.

Some might chide me and say, “Was it worth losing your kids in order to gain this new sinful lifestyle you now have?”  That way of thinking is ridiculous.  I didn’t choose between my kids and my sexuality.  I had to choose life over death.  My former way of life was killing me and I had to make changes in order finally to begin to live.  It’s just that the cost of life and wholeness and health ended up being my kids…at least for now.  I trust that over time, we will be able to work through all of this and have some sort of relationship in the future.

I desperately miss my kids.  I can’t write any more right now or I’m going to break down into tears.  So I just have to say that this loss is far more painful than I ever imagined.

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.

I’m really hurting right now.  I’m seriously so discouraged and hurt that I don’t even know what to do.

First of all, I feel stuck.  I can’t get an interview for anything.  No matter how many jobs I apply for, not one will even call me back.  And remember, without a new job, I don’t move on in life!  So I sit here…hoping and praying that SOMEONE will give me a chance at a new job.  My whole family is penalized because I’m a pastor!  We have to continue to live under the same roof…tons of tension going on…because I’m a pastor.  I can’t come out as a pastor and keep my job.  But no one will hire a guy who has been a pastor for 17 years.  So I’m stuck in this fricken place with no opportunity!

On top of that, I found out this week that my oldest son really hates me.  I knew he was mad at me.  I knew he had resentment for me.  But I didn’t know the depth of the resentment.  It’s so deep that he has started seeing a counselor.  I wrote an email to the counselor yesterday, expressing that I love my son and will do anything to restore our relationship.  Here is just an excerpt of the email I received back from the counselor.  It was actually written while my son was in her office:

“What your son has asked me to communicate is that at this time, he needs the following from you:

1.) Space
2.) No confrontations
3.) No engagement whatsoever

By doing the above, you are respecting and honoring his wishes which is important if there is ever to be a relationship further down the road. He has also let me know that if/when the above list changes, he will let you know.”

No engagement whatsoever.  That means that I am not to speak with him other than “hello”, “good morning”, or “goodnight”.  And I loved the part that said “…IF there is ever to be a relationship further down the road”.  Wow.  I can’t tell you how much I am hurting from all of this.  “If”.  What a sucky word.  All of the power has been taken from me and I am just supposed to sit around and let him work through things in hopes that someday he will speak with me again.  I am seriously cut to the core.

This morning my wife got frustrated that I walked into our bedroom while she was changing.  She doesn’t want me to see her naked.  We’ve been married for 19 years and I’ve seen her naked every day for that many years but now everything has changed!  I get it that things have changed…but really?  Now it’s all about modesty?  Like I’m a guest in the house???

And that’s how I feel.  I feel like a guest.  Sometimes I feel like I’m a bad guy…the enemy.

All I wanted to do was get healthy emotionally!  All I wanted to do was stop the hurt in our household and live from an authentic place.  And now I feel like I’m the most horrible person in the world.

It just all hurts…really badly.

 

I am not ok.

That’s it! I just realized it yesterday. That is the message that I have received for my whole life. It has never been ok for me to be me.

No wonder I have had such a difficult time. I have constantly been told that I am not ok by the most important voices in my life.

It all started with my parents. My dad is a total narcissist and it was constantly communicated to me that I needed to change, I was wrong, I don’t matter, etc. In my first 18 years of life living at home, the message kept coming to me that I was no good. In that sort of environment, why would I ever admit that I was gay? It would never be ok for me to be gay. I would be a disgrace to my parents. It would not be ok for me to be gay. So I hid. I retreated into myself. I withdrew.

Then I became a Christian. All of a sudden, I joined in a community of people who believe that GOD didn’t like gay people. So the message I received is that all of my new brothers and sisters in Christ wouldn’t like me if I was gay…and God didn’t like me as a gay person. So I had to change. It reiterated everything I had learned while I was growing up. I am not ok. I have to change. I am not good. And now, God doesn’t even like who I feel like I am. So I withdrew

Years later, I got married. And you know what I found out when I got married? I found out that I wasn’t ok. Admitting to my wife that I was attracted to a guy in the pool at our hotel on our honeymoon didn’t result in a safe place to admit the truth. And as we continued in marriage, I was reminded about all of the ways that I was failing at being a good husband. As these messages came my way…messages that I was no good…that I wasn’t ok…that I needed to change…I withdrew.

That has been my M.O. for years. I learned it early in life. I’m told I’m no good…so I pull away.

In all of my life, I have never been OK. I have always had to hide…to only let people see parts of me…because I have been told over and over again for 45 years that I am not good, ok, loved, just as I am.

I wonder what it will be like when I can fully come out and live life truthfully and honestly? How will life be different when I can be myself and know that I am ok just as I am?

I hope my life is revolutionized in the future as I’m able to fully be who I am.

 

Some days are just sad
Those are the days I feel alone in my own home
It’s those days that I feel a giant wedge between me and my wife
I know she is thinking
I know she is worrying
She is hurt…
…and feeling trapped
For her everything has changed
and yet nothing has changed
She is pushing me away…
…far
…far
…away
she doesn’t know what else to do
when things are this painful
I’m not the man she thought she had married
I’m not even the man I thought I was
I’m different
strange
queer
and there’s nothing I can do about that
coexist
that’s all we can do
until God provides the way
until the dollars sprout in new fields
And until then
things are
just…
sad…