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40+ former pastor - how did I get trapped in this closet and should I even try to get out?

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jayz
 
Joined in 2010
June 12, 2010, 22:38

Jayz said


I came from a divorced family and when I married I really belived it was ’til death. My marriage has been really important to me and my family rely on me emotionally and economically…how can I now say ‘I’m gay’.


I am stuck in no mans land


George Herbert Clarke – NO MAN’S LAND


No Man’s Land is an eerie sight

At early dawn in the pale gray light.

Never a house and never a hedge

In No Man’s Land from edge to edge,

And never a living soul walks there

To taste the fresh of the morning air; —

Only some lumps of rotting clay,

That were friends or foemen yesterday.


And so…

The presssure of being in a closet means I really live in a ‘no mans land’.


I really dont relate to my former friends and I have let those relationships wither and I have not sought out new friendships. Guilt / fear have a powerful way of keeping me seperated and alone “And never a living soul walks there”.


I obviously feel a great distance between myself and my wife (yes this is a hard topic to discuss) but the guilt part / the hiding is almost too hard. The other day she saw a text message that came through the sim card on my broadband service – it was a female inviting the previous sim card owner out for drinks – My wife was deeply hurt and unable to sleep all night thinking I was dating this other woman (which of course I wasnt).


Here in ‘no mans land’ relationships (and almost all of my human contact is based on a lie – or fear).


As I said in my story, I did make some gay friends but we dont share the same spiritual values (I hate to use the word morals because there have been times when I have been far from ‘moral’ šŸ™ ) …they understand the dilema of the closeted gay person but not the additional strain / fear of being a christian closeted gay.


AVB says something like – My morality and faith are choices but my sexual orientation isn’t. I would like to know how to regain morality and faith.


Kurt Cobain said “I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not”. Although I want to be ‘loved and not hated’ at the moment I am loved for who I am not.


I appreciate being able to express some of this here… Can someone explain the morality part (as it applys to being gay) please. Thanks for being here.



Anthony Venn-Brown
 
Joined in 2005
June 13, 2010, 09:40

AVB says something like – My morality and faith are choices but my sexual orientation isn’t. I would like to know how to regain morality and faith.


will explain that later….off to see the grandkids.


Kurt Cobain said “I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not”. Although I want to be ‘loved and not hated’ at the moment I am loved for who I am not.


I thought that was George Michaels quote…..and when like


I‘d rather be rejected for who I am than accepted for who I’m not.



myjourney316
 
Joined in 2010
June 14, 2010, 01:37

Hi jayz,

i feel i should post something but don’t know quite what to say. i find myself a little further along this journey than you … and i say this only because i have told my husband about being a lesbian. i can totally relate to your story, most of it anyway … the throwing myself into any ministry i could get involved in, the busy work to keep me from dealing with my own self, and the trying to resolve my faith with my orientation.

when i told my husband he was devasted, as you can imagine BUT he knew all along that something was missing in our marriage, ie. the intimacy we both wanted. he always thought it was him, so when he did learn of me he was relieved to know that it wasn’t him but that did not take away from his hurt. form that point on we have walked this journey together. he is my #1 fan and i believe will continute to be if and when we split. it;s not an easy road but definitely one worth taking. and it’s not all bad, we’ve both discovered things about ourselves and each other that has made us better people.

he said something to me the other day that i think is so profound … he said “iā€™d rather have the real thing than your best imitation.ā€ such an incredible statement. shouldnā€™t we all have that? not only in our human relationships but in our relationship with God. the author of our life, the maker of who we are?


thanks for posting your story … it’s so wonderful to know that we are not alone.



Anthony Venn-Brown
 
Joined in 2005
June 14, 2010, 02:35

profound and honest statement by your husband journey.


From the many people I’ve worked with in this area……I know it is not uncommon for many of us to be so tied up in our ‘stuff’……that we can be totally oblivious to the impact this is having on our hetersexual partners……slowly undermining their sense of self…..wondering why they can never be enough……thinking even that it might be them who is the problem.



IanJ
 
Joined in 2009
June 15, 2010, 15:07

Jayz,

I will pray for you. I understand the issues- I have three kids- and know that I could have done it better. At least you’re asking the right questions!


We put so much pressure on ourselves when we are trying to deal with our sexuality and family life. It works both ways- one affects the other, and it can be difficult to disentangle.


Are you in Sydney? I’d be happy to catch up for a coffee and offer some support- though I’m not competent to help you through all the issues.- Send me a private message, if interested.

Ian



jayz
 
Joined in 2010
June 16, 2010, 21:10

Hi all


I was working in regional NSW for a couple of weeks which gave me lots of time to read through the wonderful stories on this site as well as finally post my own. Overall the experience so far has been very good for me, but I am now finding that my anxiety levels are ‘through the roof’… I guess thats what happens when you finally begin to think about the mess that your life is in rather than play the ‘no think’ game that I have been foolishly engaged in.


I feel soooo washed out / rung out / exhausted :tired:.


I am now back at home. The coming out stuff had been in my mind so much while I was away that I almost blurt it all out during a couple of conversations (one with my wife and one with my eldest son) when I got back home. I know it is not the right time yet and I need to get lots of practical stuff in order before I do it. Also one of my sons just told me yesterday that he is getting engaged. I am seeing some very scary images in my head of not being invited to the wedding etc if I ‘come out’ before it. However when the time is right I will do it.


I have three great kids (all adults now) with the last one leaving home very recently. I guess that whole ’empty nest’ thing has also been part of bringing the ‘gay’ issue to the surface because at the moment its just my wife and I at home.


I never realised before that the business of being a parent (when kids are at home) has been yet another distraction to facing up to the ‘gay stuff’.


As you can probably tell I have a masters degree in procrastination / denial and distraction techniques šŸ™‚


I have been thinking about my three kids and although I dont really know what their response will be to my coming out.


I think the youngest will be OK once she gets over the shock… to be frank she likes to take me shopping with her because she says I ”have good fashion sense’ (now that sounds stereotypical gay lol…but its true) – . Also she has good friends who are gay.


I think the eldest will be OK once he gets over the shock because he is a gentle kind of guy who has always been very forgiving with people in the past..


I worry for my middle son because he is the one most likely to react badly… due to comments he has made previously about gay people. I really dont want to lose relationship with any of my kids because I love them all incredibly.


Thanks for all your continued support. I cant express how much I fell supported here…and the support is helping me to finally deal with all this stuff.


I you have a spare prayer I could use a little help with the anxiety over finally facing up to this stuff (yesterday I felt sick to my stomace)



jayz
 
Joined in 2010
June 21, 2010, 00:22

I know this will sound a bit ‘basic’ to some but this morning (approx 3am) I was lying awake thinking about stuff when I remembered an experience I had as a brand new Christian.


I had spent too much energy as a young man trying to fit in to whichever crowd I thought I wanted to belong to. I did this by trying to hide who I was – I enjoyed writing poetry, was a voracious reader and enjoyed classical music – not your average teenage ‘westy’.


I remembered that just after becoming Christian (at 18) I was overwhelmed with a revelation that God knew every part of me (inside and out)….and loved me. And I realised that God was the first one who who had ever really known me and loved me (sure my mum loved me but she didnt really know me on the inside šŸ˜‰ like God does).


Over the last few years, while trying to work out all this ‘gay stuff’, I had lost touch with the sense of being completely known by God and loved by God…til this morning. I had a glimpse again that He already knew all about the gay stuff (I mean He is God after all) just like He always had… and still loved me. How did I manage to forget that?


Its like the guilt / shame / fear / worry / depression somehow blocked me from ‘knowing’ what I already knew to be true about God…weird huh….but it was pretty cool for me…because of it I had a really good day :p.



Ann Maree
 
Joined in 2008
June 21, 2010, 09:56

That’s really lovely, jayz. Thanks for sharing! šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚



IanJ
 
Joined in 2009
June 21, 2010, 14:29

I know this will sound a bit ‘basic’ to some but this morning (approx 3am) I was lying awake thinking about stuff when I remembered an experience I had as a brand new Christian.


He already knew all about the gay stuff (I mean He is God after all) just like He always had… and still loved me. How did I manage to forget that?


Its like the guilt / shame / fear / worry / depression somehow blocked me from ‘knowing’ what I already knew to be true about God…weird huh….but it was pretty cool for me…because of it I had a really good day :p.


YAY!!!

Jayz, this isn’t too basic- I think this is one of the most significant things for a gay Christian.

I remember the feeling last year, when I realised that God loves ALL of me- even the gay bits. It was a VERY good feeling- and a turning point in accepting myself, and being at peace.


Blessings!

Ian



Anthony Venn-Brown
 
Joined in 2005
June 21, 2010, 17:08

if God in his wisdom made the human race a collection of billions of unique individuals…….why would we think we had to all be the same.


Good revelation jayz.


I think many of us actually lose ourselves……..this is a human experience.


I think you will like this poem…..its one of my favourites.


FINDING YOURSELF


THE TIME WILL COME WHEN, WITH ELATION, YOU WILL GREET YOURSELF ARRIVING AT YOUR OWN DOOR, AT YOUR OWN MIRROR, AND EACH WILL SMILE AT THE OTHERS WELCOME.


AND SAY, SIT HERE. EAT.


YOU WILL LOVE AGAIN THE STRANGER WHO WAS YOURSELF, GIVE WINE. GIVE BREAD. GIVE BACK YOUR HEART TO ITSELF, TO THE STRANGER WHO HAS LOVED YOU ALL YOUR LIFE, WHOM YOU IGNORED FOR ANOTHER, WHO KNOWS YOU BY HEART.


TAKE DOWN THE LOVE LETTERS FROM THE BOOKSHELF, THE PHOTOGRAPHS, THE DESPARATE NOTES, PEEL YOUR OWN IMAGE FROM THE MIRROR. SIT. FEAST ON YOUR LIFE.


Derek Walcott


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