I have been struggling lately trying to figure out exactly why I feel so negative, so down, so donsey.
And I believe I've finally cracked that nut wide open.
As I've been questioning my self-esteem lately, some of the pain around being bullied and harassed surfaced. This in turn brought up some feelings about being gay, in general. But after dealing with these I would have thought I'd be feeling better. Maybe I didn't process them enough. And then it hit me.
It's not necessarily the gay thing, though the negative media attention and the continued struggle for acceptance and equality can weigh me down. Why must we fight to be treated as equal citizens in our respective countries? I came out at a time when that meant accepting you were second class status. That's hard to get over.
But, that's not the dark cloud surrounding me. It's something else.
I swore as a child I never would be. After all, I suffered as child of divorce. It was hell. When my mother remarried she had a different last name, I didn't feel I fit in. My other friends weren't from broken homes as it wasn't common then. I wasn't going to put my children through the hell I went through. I wanted the perfect family; the wife, the kids, the dog, the cat, the nice home forever.
Then I grew up. And came out.
The picture itself didn't change, only the gender of my spouse did. I still wanted the perfect family, but with a husband, the kids, the dog, the cat, the nice home forever.
|My sweetie, Maynard.|
For a while I had that; a husband (though we didn't use that term), no kids (teaching killed that part of the fantasy), no dog (though, we might have had one later), a great cat (RIP Maynard, I miss you so much), a nice home (after a while), but it was not forever as he died in 1994, just days before our ninth anniversary.
Then I met my ex, and we all know how that turned out. And even in the ending years, I could not face the fact that my unhappiness was the relationship itself; that something needed to change. Yet, divorce was still not an option for me. I so wanted to believe in love-ever-after. I wanted, no, needed to fix my relationship, not end it. I wanted to show those straight people that two men could love each other so deeply even without the legal blessing or social recognition of 'marriage' that their relationship would last until death took one of them.
Times change. Marriage equality is now a reality in fourteen nations and twelve US states. I was married to my ex.
And now I'm divorced. Something I never wanted to be.
Times change, attitudes change. I need to change mine. Maya Angelou said "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." I can't change the fact I am divorced. I mean, I could get married again, and then I wouldn't be divorced. But that is a whole other kettle of fish to examine. But, I can change my attitude about being divorced.
Divorce no longer carries the social stigma it used to. I mean, some people seem to collect them, e.g., the Gabor sisters had 19-20 between them. Well, maybe they're a bad example. But, even some ordinary citizens also seem to have multiple marriages/divorces. Does this mean people are no longer committed to a long term relationship? No, I'm sure some are. But, I'm not sure people think through the seriousness of marriage. Maybe divorce laws have made that a reality. Or, maybe people end things at the first sign of irreconcilable trouble. Maybe people just grow apart. Maybe there are other factors as well.
Maybe I just need to get over myself.
And move on...
And just be...