Saturday, January 27, 2007

My closet

From all outward appearances, I am a heterosexual male who is happily married and a father/grandfather. I'm an active member of the LDS church who faithfully attends to his duties.

But, in reality, I live in a closet with my deep secret that I've never ever shared with anyone, even those close to me. A secret that I've only come to accept myself a few months ago. I like my closet. It's warm and cozy. But, most of all, it is familiar; it's the only thing I've known my whole life. The world outside of the closet is unfamiliar, so that makes it scary.

But, it is lonely in my closet. Part of me wants to come out of my closet and part of me wants to stay in. The 'stay in' part is winning, as it always has. The 'come out' part of me is too weak. The thing about coming out of the closet is that once you come out - you can't retreat back in. You can't un-ring the bell.

I almost told my wife last night. It was the perfect setting. My daughter was out on a date so we had the home to ourselves. Nothing pressing was going on. To get started, all I have to say is that I have something I need to tell her. After that, I'm committed and can't back out. But, I couldn't do it. I went into my home office and tried to summon up the courage. Instead, I walked out and sat down on the couch next to her, and we watched a couple of shows that had recorded while she was gone.

Why am I such a coward? Why is this so hard?

I still don't really know why I want to tell her. And, is it going to be any less lonely outside of the closet? Am I really coming out of the closet? Or am I dragging my wife into the closet? Is that fair to her? I think my head is going to explode!

This morning, I went to the 6:30am priesthood session at the Temple. As I was leaving the Temple, I paused to add my name to the prayer roll of the Temple. Is it OK to do that? Add your own name to the prayer roll? If I'm at the Temple, doesn't that mean I'm doing everything I'm supposed to be doing; therefore, I don't need to be on the prayer roll?

Well, I need to get going soon. The young men in our ward are playing basketball at the Stake Center, and I'm going to go take pictures. Time to put on my mask and go out into the world as your everyday heterosexual guy.

My oldest son and his fiancee (and her twin babies) are coming over this afternoon and staying for dinner; so, I doubt the opportunity to talk to my wife will come today. Maybe tomorrow. We have morning church this year and I don't have any other meetings; so, I should have the whole afternoon. But, probably not - I'll most likely just chicken out again.

On a different note, got an email from Netflix. It seems the DVD "States of Grace: God's Army II" is not available in their Dallas distribution center; so, it is being mailed to me from New York. It is not expected to arrive until Tuesday. My entry into the MoHo Book Club is starting up with a fizzle.


Beck said...

I guess I would ask myself: Why do I want to tell my wife? What good will it do? Am I looking for help and support? What will she gain or lose from my telling her?

After my coming out to myself and truly admitting it, things got worse between us. I was withdrawn and pulling further and further away. We were fighting. I had fallen "in love" with a guy and she had her suspicions that something was going on. I had a gay friend at the time who was trying to "push me out". Many factors were leading up to the ultimate confrontation. She told me that I had to open up or else we were through. It was boiling up inside me and I knew I couldn't keep it hidden any longer. I wanted her to be a part of me, a part of the solution, a support. I feared I would lose her and that fear was a powerful motivation to leave it alone and stay in the closet... But I knew I couldn't do this alone any more. I needed a companion, a help-meet. She was my eternal companion. If I couldn't turn to her then who could I turn to. I couldn't tell her directly in so many words. I wrote her a 32 page letter - single space typed... in the end, it has been the best thing I did (in most ways). We have become stronger. She helps me. We are closer physically and emotionally though the roller coaster ride of life is still full of ups and downs and sharp, even painful curves... But we're together on this.

I've rambled too much on your blog. Tell me to shut up and I'll go away. If you want to know more let me know.

I guess my point is - if you don't really have the boiling up tensions that need to rise to the surface, then maybe you need to analyze why you want to tell her before you do. It seems you want support - but be sure you're doing it for the right reasons! For her sake, too!

Beck said...

P.S. I like your photos. You have a great eye. I hope you continue to post more for us to enjoy.

Ammon said...

Hey, you. I want to wish you the very best at this trying time. I want you to be happy. I'm doing much better now that I've allowed those close to me in the closet. But I've left the option for them to come out anytime they wish. My mother needed to talk to someone about her feelings, nd I think it did her a lot of good. I know that it is really, really hard. Please know that I'm playin for you. Love you tons.


Mormon Enigma said...

I really appreciate the comments. And, Beck, tell me anything you can because I'm a sponge right now.

BTW, I do have more pictures I can share; but, I have them in a private Flickr group. The reason being they are of people for whom I don't have a modeling release; so, I don't feel like I should post them publicly. If you send me your email id I can send an invitation to join my private Flickr collection.

Anonymous said...

Okay, here is the woman's point of view. Am I glad my husband told me? Well, he told me before we got married, but there have been periods of our marriage where it has not been at the forefront - there have been other times where it has. We are learning together what is too much information for him to share with me and what is not. There are times we talk about it, but it is one of those things where I get to set the limits, because I think it is definitely harder for the non-SSA spouse. My husband is very respectful of that. Perhaps having a counselor to talk to at this time would be helpful?

Does my knowing help him? He would probably say yes. But we are very careful NOT to let this define our marriage. We try to follow the example of the Savior and with our temptations, 'heed them not.' That goes for him and for me. I have found that when I focus on my weaknesses without hope and absolute faith that I can learn to deal with them, then a downward spiral quickly follows. Also a stupor of thought which can last for days ......

I agree with Beck that you need to examine your reasons for telling your wife very carefully. It is possible that right now you are in the middle of this process - examining your personal coming out - and the feelings that come along with that are very powerful. From what I have read from other bloggers, your intense feelings about this matter can balance out a bit with time. You will find the place that this struggle has in your life, and I think that there is the possibility for great peace in life, even given our temptations.

Sorry for such a long comment. I should probably start my own blog. PS> I think it perfectly appropriate that you put your name on the temple roll.