Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Grieving

Had my second visit with the new shrink yesterday. I handed him my timeline and my "day in the life" scenario assignment. I also handed him a few of the poems I've written and told him that I thought it might give him some insight as to what's going on in my head. He read through the timeline asking me questions as he charted my family history on a separate piece of paper (if I had known he wanted a family history, I would have brought a pedigree chart and a family group sheet). He looked briefly at the "day in the life" and poems and commented that he wanted to take time to read them more carefully and that we would talk about them during our next session.

During the course of the session, he mentioned one thing that I found interesting. He observed that I've come to terms with my sexuality and have made a conscious decision to not go down that path, but to stay true to my marriage vows - he called it a paradox. Then he continued commenting that I've said goodbye to that life and am now going through a sort of grieving process.

Just wondering what other queerospherians think. Am I grieving for a life that's not meant to be? Can you grieve for the loss of something you never had?

No wonder I'm so screwed up - good thing I'm seeing a shrink.

8 comments:

Kengo Biddles said...

We go through the grieving process for any number of reasons I think I'm still working through them for myself in areas of my life, so it's not surprising that you might see that in yourself.

Philip said...

The definition of a paradox is an statement that sounds contradictory or absurd but may be true.

For me it is not a paradox but more like living with two contradictory ideas simultaneously; one being heterosexual marriage, the other homosexual orientation.

One idea is more important to me (marriage) than the other idea (sexuality) but the lesser idea can't be vanguished so I find myself pulled in two different directions by these contradictory and almost equally strong ideas.

I think for me the sadness I feel has to do with being resigned to never knowing peace from the stress and discomfort this kind of life brings me as long as I keep chosing my marriage over my sexuality.

I wrote about it this in my blog. I think it was my third post.

Regards,
Philip

suzannpappan said...

I have just ran across your blog...(I want you to know how much I admire you courage, bravery and inner fortitude.
I am a straight LDS woman who has had many gay freindships in my life. I have gained great insight and strength and love from all of them.
I will become a regular reader of your writings.
Blessed Be.

Silver said...

I like your new therapist. I think he is giving you great material to work with.

I think as we age, we grieve what will never be. I know that certain doors are closing to me due to choices and also due to biology.

I don't regret what I've done in life. What hurts the most is what I didn't do. Missed opportunities hurt the most.

Some new doors have opened, but some doors are closed forever. That is what makes me grieve.

Very thought provoking question Abe.

Philip said...

I guess I disagree with your therapist. I think paradox is not what's going on. I see it as living my life based on an ethical choice that contradicts a biological fact and being unable to reconcile the differences. What do you think? Is it a paradox to you or do you see it differently?

As for grief, I went through a early mid-life crisis (in my 30's) so maybe that was when I did my grieving. Now I don't have regrets or grieve for what could have been but instead just desire a reprieve from the stress or discomfort I experience with the life I lead. Is grief part of what you are experiencing?

I guess I assumed that we were all going through something very similar but maybe I am wrong.

Maybe I am the only one (or maybe of a minority within a minority) that felt constantly pulled in two different directions and failed miserably to weaken the biological side enough so the ethical side could win and instead ended up giving in to the biological side enough so that the differences to reconcile were not as great.

Am I alone on this or can you relate to what I am saying?

Regards,
Philip

Abelard Enigma said...

par·a·dox [par-uh-doks]
any person, thing, or situation exhibiting an apparently contradictory nature.

I see it as living my life based on an ethical choice that contradicts a biological fact and being unable to reconcile the differences.

Seems like a paradox to me. I once wrote a poem titled Paradox.

The simple fact of the matter is, there is no good answer. Being men of faith, particularly a faith that does not accept same sex unions, whatever decision we make involves sacrificing a part of ourselves. So, it becomes a matter of priorities and which part of ourselves are we willing to forego.

Philip said...

"The simple fact of the matter is, there is no good answer. Being men of faith, particularly a faith that does not accept same sex unions, whatever decision we make involves sacrificing a part of ourselves. So, it becomes a matter of priorities and which part of ourselves are we willing to forego."

My apologies for going on about this.

Years ago I found myself revisiting the same decision (to stay married; to forgo my sexuality) over and over again.

Eventually I realized the decision was not sticking because it was not the right decision for me.

That it was more than just a matter of priorities and a willingness to forego a part of me because if that was all it was then I would have forego that part of me a long time ago.

If not wanting to be gay is not enough then being gay is not about want.

And if it's not about want then what is it about? I settled on that it must be about need.

I want to be married but I need to be gay.

I want to be ethical but I need what my religion teaches me is morally wrong.

Intimacy and closeness with the someone of the same sex is a need for me just like air, water and food is.

Just like intimacy and closeness with someone of the opposite sex is a need for straight people.

Regards,
Philip

Kengo Biddles said...

Abe, I think it's a paradox...I think really, it's actually an exercise in double think. We know we are gay, but we choose to live in a marriage to a woman.

Philip, you're not alone in feeling like there are two parts of you. I feel that way quite, quite often.