Thursday, August 16, 2007


I have never been so glad that I allow anonymous comments on this little asteroid...

Yesterday's post brought a comment that set a salty finger in a wound I had been busy opening most of the last week, as I visited my varied friends and relations out here in the Big Plain: how wonderful, in spite of everything, my relationship with Isis had been, and how terrible it was to leave, how terrible it is to have left. There is nothing like telling your story over and over again and trying more than anything else to admit your mistakes and admit the other person's point of view, to make you think.

Then, talking with my son about it really made me see things that I had never seen before: how much of what I had done a year or so ago looked to Isis. As I say, the previous week had softened me up on the issue, and his report on certain things set me squarely before something I had tried to see over and over again, and had not managed to see. That hurts in the present, and tortures me in retrospect.

And that connects directly to yesterday's comment...

I had searched gay, married men, and found Drew's and then through a link, my husband's blog... What my husband had written was problematic. Turns out he never loved me. Turns out he wasn't so sure he loved our kids. Turns out he felt absolutely no guilt for cheating on me.

Before that day, I had felt compassionate about him being gay and confused even though my heart was broken. But the blog changed how I felt about him forever. The problem with writing intimate details about your life and how you feel on any given day is it permanently captures how you feel at any given moment.

A blogger may change his mind, he may later see the folly of his ways, he may get over the new gay adolescent period, he may be a totally different person next year than he is today. But the words written last year still remain. Logically, I know my husband was going through an out-of-control time and what he wrote isn't necessarily who he really is, but his blog remains indelibly written on my heart.

Tolstoy and his wife traded diaries, and I can't help thinking that this is one of the reasons that their marriage was so famously unhappy that when he felt he was dying, he ran away from home so as to keep her away from him. But did I remember that when the time came? No. I tried, in my "valiant," stupid way, to be completely honest all the time, never thinking about the cost of honesty, well, rarely, anyway. It's all there in last spring's posts.

With the complete blindness of the unthinking, I gave Isis the URLs of the GMM blogs I was reading [Drew, Mind of a Bear, Out at 48]. Then, idiocy of idiocies, the address of this blog. It never occurred to me that she would see it as something completely different than I did.

She did
. There was betrayal of trust, betrayal of confidence, there was betrayal on every level as far as she was concerned. The hoops I had jumped through to maintain some veil of anonymity meant nothing to her; it was as if I had taken my clothes off on Main Street and scrawled obscenities on myself.

On her, by association.

The problem for me was that she went directly from a complete lack of understanding of what I was wrestling with to an understanding of what was going on which was far from mine. No attempt to try to make "perfectly clear" that the blog was where I could say what I could not say in the rest of my life, not the "true" me but the "other" side of me, made any difference. She took what she read as the denial of what we had lived out together for twenty-seven years, not the unfortunate shadow side of what we had live out together. And she had always known my history. She had even been told, to her considerable pain, what I laid out in my very first post. The sad fact is that I do in fact completely understand her reaction, moral as well as emotional.

Something which you may find merely curious, but which struck me with the power of lightning when I went back and looked at my first posts in the light of yesterday's comment, was that my second post already presented me as seriously considering leaving home. Now I do not know for a fact whether this moment of speculation came after the famous dictum that if I came out to our children, our marriage was over, but I am 99 and 44/100% sure. I know for a fact that the word fell in March, and my first post came toward the very end of March. No matter. It is just in retrospect clear to me why Isis could not see what I so desperately wanted her to see: that I needed the freedom to be open at whatever cost, but wanted above all else not to lose the only person I had ever loved in the process. Perhaps it was clear to her, and she could not square the circle I was presenting her with, in fact, I rather suspect that was the case...

I will be chewing this one over for some time.

I had another one of those ugly moments yesterday evening. My children have been incredibly accepting of the presence of the Goat in my life, and even rather positive about it. But last night, I mentioned him one more time, and my son asked if he could see a picture of him. And I opened the file of Goat pictures without really thinking what was going to be seen. If he was paying close attention, he would have seen that my whole current life is no longer in the directory "00-RIP" but in "00-Homo."

Then there was the small matter of the "Goat" file... Then the names of the Photoshopped files of the Goat photos... not all of which are strictly speaking SFW. And then there was the moment I opened the files: the Goat posing with his sports car, which he certainly loves as much as he loves me, the Goat chilling out at my house, but with a certain look... and that's when it hit me:

He is looking at this picture and thinking:
This is what my father left my mother for.

And my heart just shrank. Just shriveled into a nasty little solid ball of regret and shame. I have been dreading this moment for months, actually, the first moment where my new life was going to intersect at high speed with my old...

and it was not in fact a nice feeling. The Boy smoothed it over, but it will be a long time before I forget it. I can't say what it was that made it so painful, there was a lot going on there, but I think a piece of what was going on for him was simply "who does what to whom?" The ultimate question that one wishes not to know about one's parents at the best of times, which this clearly was not.

Not a good day here, out on the plain...

Hang in there, all.

1 comment:

  1. How well do I know the sort of guilt and recrimination you're feeling... but as my own boy so necessarily reminded me, "there's no going back now... or ever."
    Hang in there, Troll. I'm rooting for you.