Gay Teacher coming out to himself and family

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Joined in 2006
November 18, 2008, 09:34

Im glad you will be writing your hardship out, apart from it being a priveledge that you trust us to share it with us, theres a lot to be said about things we keep buried and not express, it can do more harm than good and just builds on top of other things already in our minds that we are dealing with, it doesnt change what is around us but it is important to at least get yourself on an even keel emotionally and mentally.

When we get things out it can be put in better perspective because of the fact that its not just in our minds playing over and over but visually in front of us and not mottled by other things in our thought processes. There is no rush at all as to where you should be on your journey and no matter what you choose to do we are here to support you as best as we can, its important to allow your whole psyche to process all that has happened thus far.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
November 18, 2008, 14:17

I guess it would be difficult to find a better place to air your fears and concerns…..I’m sure most of us have had them one time or another as well.

When I was going through what you are going through now……there was no one to talk to who understood….and no internet I was aware of.

Here we

1. have no agenda

2. Can be objective

3. Won’t tell you what you ‘should’ do

4. can empathise

5. Experienced what you are experiencing

6. Probably read more on the topic than you may have at this stage

etc etc etc

… fire away.

Joined in 2008
November 22, 2008, 15:12

Aha… exposing my emotions.

The problem is that they change hour by hour; no joke!

Earlier this week I was so depressed but then come Tuesday afternoon the mood lifted.. totally. I couldn’t work out why but I felt great. But Wednesday I was anxious again because I had a session with my our Psychologist and that makes me tense…until I get there. This week I said to her “I want to turn this thing off” and recant everything I have said about my sexuality. Why… because it is a process of ripping myself apart and deconstructing everything around me including self perception, family, friends, outlooks in fact.. EVERYTHING. And then beginning again. A strong emotion is remorse because I am shedding everything i have spent the last decades building up around me. I am fearful of doing that.

I have doubt. With anxiety comes a smothering of all other emotions and feelings and clarity of thought. I can understand why men go back into the closet because of growing fear and the witnessing of consequences. This isn’t some journey of fantasy but a totally confronting process that rips at ones heart. I hate myself for tearing my family apart and deconstructing their world. All for what… my sexuality. I therefore feel selfish and self centered.

Mostly I am scared and lonely because how can anyone understand this process but me.

BUT, then at times I feel excited and courageous and I walk with a spring in my step. The trick is to make that optimism hang, but at this stage because the process is exhausting it is difficult to remain positive.

Last night I went to the F2B meeting in Melb and there I felt nervous but connected and it was great to talk to a few people openly about my sexuality…that lifted me and I felt great.

Crikey, someone give me some happy pills please!!!!

In summary underneath the anxiety and self doubt I think the main emotion is loneliness. Like the loneliness you experience when a loved one dies and you just have to plough through the feeling of mourning; but it feels like running with feet of clay.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
November 22, 2008, 17:08

reading your post rediscoveringme reminds me of the days, weeks and months I felt like I was riding an emotional roller coaster……..eeeeeck!

Possibly one of the things that is currently happening for you is that all these emotions that are surfacing have existed all along but were suppressed. Your honesty with yourself and others has pulled the cork on the bottle…..or the veil of secrecy has been torn.

I know that for decades I hid all my emotions…..afraid to acknowledge express them or feel them. I had to be in control…..totally for fear that things would run away from me. Another impact of those years was that I built up a wall and wouldn’t allow people to get close. My wife often used to say to me that I was a closed book……..of course I didn’t think so….but of course she was right.

So glad you got to connect with the Melbourne Freedom 2 b[e] group…….always an important step in accelerating the healing process from what I’ve seen.

Joined in 2006
November 24, 2008, 08:40

I totally agree, it is vitaly important to be connected to people, especially the Melb. F2B group.

It certainly sounds like a period of mourning, not only for yourself but mourning on behalf of your family as well, I wish I could give you happy pills to help you, but its all a process, bloody sucky one at that too, I often wonder who ever invented that word process, should be replaced with the word masychism 😯 .

One thing tho, if you are finding it hard to sleep or feel too overwhelmingly anxious, just from experience, if you let your GP know, he can offer you help so you dont become exhausted(not a good place to be), my partner was going through a horrendous time and was given anti-d’s until she was out of the woods, it certainly helped and when things around her werent so intense she came off them. I hope I havent offended you mentioning the possibility of this but your health in every way is so important to maintain, just so it doesnt all capsize you.

Joined in 2008
November 24, 2008, 18:00

….not offended at all. The process is sucky but thus far I think I have managed not to slip into depression. We are forging on. This weekend my wife and I: –

1) Spoke to our kids about sexuality i.e mine. They were bloody amazing and it appeared all too boring for them.

2) Notified a very small but close circle of friends of our intention to separate and the reasons why. They were bloody amazing too and are supportive of us both. In fact they were blown away because of our honesty and willingness to share our pain with them.

You know, we have just adopted a brutally honest approach and through counseling are doing this together. The process will now slow down immensely as we pause for breath and work together to bring about a physical change in our living arrangements.

At the moment I am EXCEPTIONALLY busy at work but with the end of year coming am just beginning to feel the pressure ease slightly, plus I have delegated out a lot of my work load!

This afternoon I am in a good spot.

Joined in 2006
November 24, 2008, 19:49

It all sounds like its going as well as one could hope to expect it to, Im pleased that those closest to you have been supportive. Your wife and kids sound awesome, Im sure over time things will work out well.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
November 25, 2008, 22:31

Its not uncommon to find that all the things we created in our minds about the way people will react to us being honest about our sexuality…….are exactly that…..creations in the mind….but not reality.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
July 4, 2010, 20:57

Hey rediscoveringme…… has your journey been going.

Joined in 2008
July 5, 2010, 19:22

How has my journey been going?

This question makes me laugh because there is no short answer.

My journey has been….. exhausting, liberating, difficult, easy, full of doubt, full of anxiety but …. at the moment I am in a good spot. So, even though the journey HAS been difficult it has been worth it.

I am now living …. well even that is difficult to explain…..

In summary, I left my marital home and into a house that I own. I have renegotiated my relationship with my children and i have shared responsibility for looking after them. They are the joy in my world. I miss living with them on a full time basis but I enjoy them in the time that I have them. I have discovered that I can be a good parent outside of the traditional family home. I feared that I would lose them but I learnt that I never will.

I now live with a new found partner called Darrell. I took a huge risk of involving myself in a relationship very early on in my journey but (so far!!) it has been worth the risk.

I am still rediscovering me.

I am unsure about many things but I have realized that that can be OK. Part of hiding our sexuality is about being ruled by fear. I am learning not to be ruled by fear, even though I still experience lots of fear.

I undertook hours of counselling with a Psychologist who helped me to deal with a range of emotions and thoughts. I thought I would have a ‘breakdown’ but he helped me deal with myself and the people around me. I do not think that one can undertake this journey without professional help. The key is to find an intelligent, knowledgeable professional who can help you accept who you are.

I am on anti-depressants. I have learnt that this is OK…. it’s a difficult journey.

At the moment i teach in a conservative Christian School. Some of my closest friends in my work place know of my story but predominantly my peers not. I have learnt that it is not healthy to work/live in a culture that forces us to hide. I am anxious about my employment because the pressure IS to leave and find alternative employment. I know that this stance taken by my employer is very un – Christian and not grounded in wise, educated, reflective theology. I envisage educating them…. but am not sure if this is my job.

BUT, whose job is it?

Can I recommend to you two great books that I have read: –

1) Homosexuality and Christian Faith. Questions of Conscience for the Churches. Edited by Walter Wink

2) Seduced by Grace. Contemporary spirituality, Gay experience & Christian faith. Michael Bernard Kelly

Reading these and reflecting on them has empowered me to enter into confident dialogue so as to defend my sexuality and my faith. ….. not that I should have to defend my sexuality. However, I have learnt that as gay man living in a predominantly Christian world… that many people need reeducating and much of our self perception needs correcting. I still love the title of Anthony;s book “A Life of Un-learning” This sums it all up…on coming out we embark on a ‘life of un-learning’.

I still undertake lots of reading related to sexuality, faith, society. I have just bought two books: –

“The Miracle of Mindfulness” Author = Thich NHat Hanh

“The Heart of Christianity” Author = Marcus J. Borg.

I could write for hours but in summary, I AM finding my way. 🙂

Offer comments if you like…. I will come back and offer more details if need be.

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