Wednesday, September 26, 2007

He and I

I started to comment on Becks recent post Who do you think I am?; but, my comment was getting so long that I decided to blog about it.

Beck and I (and a few others) are in a different place than most in the Mormon queerosphere. We've been locked up tight for years, even decades. Speaking for myself, I was locked up so tight and for so long that the other me, the outward me, was able to convince himself that I didn't even exist.

Sure, I would manage to manifest myself from time to time - only to be quashed and stuffed down again - denied, repented of, and whatever else the outward me felt he needed to do in order to deny me.

But, things are different now. The outward me has finally acknowledged my presence. And, an amazing thing has happened - he is starting to realize that I'm really not so bad. He is even starting to accept that some of the good things about him, some of his talents and strengths, exist because of me. Sure, I have my mischievous and rebellious side - but even that manifests itself in him.

The outward me seeks to be stalwart and true - and boring. I want to live life to its fullest; and, I won't deny that, for me, life to its fullest can only be achieved with another man. But, just as he, the outward me, needs to accept me for who I am - I also need to accept him for who he is. So, I'm willing to compromise. I'll allow him to keep his precious commandments and stay true to his family and his church - but, he has to allow me some latitude as well. He needs to allow me to enjoy the view of a beautiful man once in a while. He needs to rid himself of his homophobic thoughts and ideas. He needs to allow me to express myself, however subtly. He needs to allow me to explore myself to better understand what it means to be me.

Slowly, ever so slowly, he (the outward me) and I (Abelard) are becoming friends. But, he is still embarrassed about me. And, he is terrified that others around him will become aware of me. And, his fears are strong - so strong that I wonder if I'll ever be able to break through them. But still, I am going to enjoy my new found freedom and expression. I will even let him write in my blog from time to time (although, I must say that his blog posts are kind of depressing).

Maybe one day, the world around him (the outward me) will change so that I can be accepted for who I am and he can finally acknowledge me. Maybe one day I will be able to express myself freely without embarrassing him. Maybe one day we can integrate ourselves together and become one. But, I don't see that day coming until there are some changes in the environment in which he lives. But, until then, I will need to consign myself to be his alter ego (what he likes to think of as his confused alter ego).

But, I will use that time to help him (the outward me) become better acquainted with me (Abelard) - so that he can see just what a great and fun guy I can be! And maybe, just maybe, he will start to allow a little of me to show through. Maybe he will allow those around him to become acquainted with me - even if it's just a little part of me. Maybe he will even stand up for me and defend me when others around him start to diss me and others like me. And I will help him learn to enjoy life and to not be so depressed and boring - I have my work cut out for me.


Foxx said...

Hypothetically speaking, what environmental changes would have to take place before you and you can become an integrated whole?

Anonymous said...

how do images like the one in this post serve the purpose of helping and enriching your readers?

Abelard Enigma said...

foxx - good question. Unfortunately, I don't have a good answer - I'll have to give that one some thought.

anonymous - personally, I feel that image beautifully illustrates the duplicitous nature I feel I must live with - I'm sorry if you disagree. I've attached similarly provocative images in prior posts and will likely do so again in some future post. If you feel that such images detract rather then help then the only thing I can suggest is, perhaps, my blog is not a place you should visit. If you are 'in the family' then, hopefully, one of the blogs I link to on the right would be more suitable for you - and I wish you the best in your journey.

Anonymous said...

thanks. it's actually my spouse who's on the journey. maybe i'm paranoid, but when i see images of naked people on blogs which i clicked on, thinking i would find insightful commentary, i just feel kind of disappointed in this community as a whole.
i know that's ridiculous, but hey, it's how i feel, on the outside looking in.

J G-W said...

Abelard - This is a beautiful post. This post, and the one that Beck wrote in a similar vein, makes me think of a number of passages in the Gnostic gospel of Thomas, Jesus saying that when "the two become one, when the inside becomes like the inside and the inside becomes like the outside," the Kingdom of Heaven is arrived. This is all my prayer.

J G-W said...

Whoops, I meant: ..."inside becomes like the outside and the outside becomes like the inside"... (butterfingers!)

kgwz said...

Hey Abelard
It is interesting that you and Beck wrote from a different point of view, ie you had you "gay" side in first person and Beck the "outside" as first person. It seem to me that when we split like this it is to protect ourselves from this evil invader, that has taken hold of our part of our soul. We can then lock it away. /the problem is that a significant part of ourselves get locked up also and we live half a life. To me I have started to try to put the two together. We have to like/love both parts to be able to bring them together. It's time the prodigal son is brought back and the we becomes ME.

Beck said...

KGWZ: Interesting observation... I noticed it too, how I took the opposite first person from Abelard. What does that mean?

Abelard Enigma said...

It's time the prodigal son is brought back and the we becomes ME.

I understand what you are saying; but, it seems doing so is incompatible with staying in my marriage and in the church - and those things are more important to me.

I took the opposite first person from Abelard. What does that mean?

Uh, don't try to read too much into that. It simply means I did that deliberately after reading your post - to offer up a different perspective.

kgwz said...

understand what you are saying; but, it seems doing so is incompatible with staying in my marriage and in the church - and those things are more important to me.

I hope not or I am going down a road that I don't want to go down but I dont think that is has to be an either/or thing. I have thought long and hard about what I want to do and I like you, Beck, and others have decided that to stay married and in the closet so to speak. At first I felt like I was forced or obgligated to do so but now as I have really looked at my reasons for choosing, it is because it is what I want and I feel good about my decision. This was a very important step for me. With that decision in place I feel that I can start letting that part of me out of the closet and start wandering around the house. He will probably never see the light of day outside of the house so to speak but I am getting more comfortable getting to know him on the inside. In my own twisted mind this seams to be working. I am more comfortable in my own skin now than I have ever been. Not to say that there aren't days and somtimes weeks. I have also had some spirtiual insight that leads me to believe that at least right now I am on the right track. Sometimes I am not the best at explaining things, hopefully this gives you some ideas.

Abelard Enigma said...

I dont think that is has to be an either/or thing

Perhaps we're sparring over semantics. What you described is also what I've been trying to do - within the confines of my home, little by little, Abelard is starting to emerge. But, once I walk out the front door he is stuffed away; and, I go to great extremes to make sure that the people I interact with are not aware of him. That is the duplicity I speak of. I long for a world where everybody I meet can know the whole me - not just the carefully crafted persona I let them see - a persona devoid of Abelard.

GeckoMan said...

May I join you, Beck and kgwz in your discussion of bringing our supposedly polar personalities together?

Yes, there are two sides to me as well, but I'm confessing that BOTH of them love the Lord and His commandments. I can't help but think that when we gain a more Celestial vision, that we'll realize that our innate abilities and desires to connect with men is a God-given trait. We just tend to sexualize it in mortality, because how else do we know how to be intimate in this life?

As I allow the inner (more liberal) self to adjust to the daylight of interactions with others, I relate to what kgwz said: "I am more comfortable in my own skin now than I have ever been." Certainly, the risk and leap of faith I took to include my wife and adult married daughter and son-in-law into my inner circle has been more liberating and healing to me than I ever imagined. Last night we read Elder Holland's article on SGA in the new October Ensign and discussed it as loving friends and intelligent adults. I don't need to feel like a split personality when I can do this kind of soul-searching and explanation in the company of those I love and trust the most.

kgwz said...

Perhaps we're sparring over semantics

Probably we are and I think that the discussion got a little sidetracked. How we visulize our situtation will be different than another persons I think that the important thing is we understand what it is telling us. The real point to my comment is I am now seeing the path that I am on, has road blocks in the way and I can't move on until I have deal with what is in the way. I had to deal with the issue of feeling forced into staying married before I could move on. When I worked through it and decided that it was really what I wanted, the road block went away and I was able to move on to another boulder in the road. Every challenge in the road I overcome get's the 2 sides of me closer together.
ps this thread may be dead but I wanted to say it anyway It has been a big revelation to me.