Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I am disillusioned and profoundly sad at this moment.

I’m learning more about my wife…and to be honest, I wish I didn’t have to know this stuff. I am grieved beyond description.

I finally heard back from my attorney. Lovey is balking at stuff that I am clearly entitled to. Even her attorney agrees.

This isn’t earth shattering stuff. The stuff that shatters my world is what all this behavior on her part reveals about her – her thinking – her view of me – her selfishness – yes, even her greediness.

I don’t know why I am so surprised at anything she does. But, I guess when you’ve thought you’ve known someone for 25+ years and they begin behaving out of character repeatedly, it surprises you.

Sadly, I must confess that these two years have left me with a lot of emotional scars. I find myself afraid to trust…..afraid to love….afraid to care about anyone.

In my marriage, I trusted. I loved. I cared.

You see where all that got me!

But I have to now ask myself, “Did she ever really love or sincerely care about me on the same level?” Or, was I merely a meal ticket? Or a male nanny to the kids? Or was it simply because I was the money tree?

I’ve come to believe that she didn’t.

I’m not sure that she has the capacity to truly love….or to ever be happy.

Her lack of consideration for me in the negotiation process is quite revealing.

This isn’t something new. In looking back, I’ve seen this facet of her personality all along. It’s why I spent so much time trying to mend fences with friends or members of the church. It explains the undercurrent that swirled about her and me for all those years.

I was just blinded to it all and gave her the benefit of the doubt and tried to get others to do the same. A lot of them would have no part of it.

I now know why.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Awaiting Word...

I’m just a little bit out of sorts right now.

It has been almost a month since the last flurry of activity about the separation agreement. I’ve not really heard anything since Lovey outted me to her attorney….and thus, I had to out myself to mine. (My attorney that it was really in poor taste for my wife to have done this to me…especially given the fact that we were right at settlement.)

Last weekend, Lovey asked if I had heard anything from my attorney about the settlement. I said that I hadn’t and that we were awaiting a response from her’s.

She then asked if I would mind going to her attorney’s office to complete the affidavit that would be the start of the paper work for the final decree. She was just “too busy.” I said, that I did mind….that this was “her” attorney…and “her” action….and that she needed to be the one to follow through.

She reluctantly agreed.

By the beginning of this week, my attorney was getting a bit frustrated with the silence from the other side. So she sent Lovey’s a note basically saying, “Hey, what’s up? We’ve not heard anything from you. At this point the February 1 start date for alimony is off the table. You all have until Friday for March. If not then, it will not be until April that alimony will be due.”

So, just now, while I was away to lunch….I missed a call from my attorney.

I hope it’s not anything bad….in conjunction with Lovey’s outing me to her attorney.

I just want this to be over.

Monday, February 26, 2007

One Dark, Cold, Wintry Weekend Evening

I’m finding that my worst days tend to be when the weather is foul and I am forced to be inside and alone for extended periods of time.

This happened yesterday.

I had planned to go to church yesterday morning, but due to the snowstorm we got, I decided to stay inside. Since I'm alone, I find that I have lost my nerve in driving on snowy pavement.

Yesterday, It seemed that all I could do was to keep the walks cleared around my house.

I dug the car out 3 times.

I did two loads of laundry.

There is so much in my house that needs to be done. I should have done so very much more.

But…it was so lonely to be inside. I couldn't seem to get myself to focus....or to make myself do anything else.

There I am in the house -- alone -- the house that I have lived in for almost 15 years. Don't get me wrong. I am so very thankful to have emerged from this separation with the house...but I feel that I have lost so much in the process.

No sounds of children’s laughter. No arguments. No kitchen noise as meals are prepared. No little voices begging to me to go out and play in the snow. No one to yell at me for tracking in snow and salt into the foyer.

No one to cuddle with in the stillness of the evening. No one to hold hands with as we walk across the street to the grocery store. No one to just be there.

And there I sat in the darkness… once more experiencing the forced solitude. The only sounds I heard were those emanating from my snoring cocker spaniel, Davy.

Thank God for Davy!

He and I are partners now. He loves me....and I feel it. His breathing is a comfort in the middle of the night. His little furry body snuggles close. We keep each other warm.

But it doesn't replace human touch.

In all honesty…I have never, ever faced anything as lonely, as painful, as sad and bewildering as this never ending separation/divorce. The pain is something akin to a toothache. At times it is bearable, and at other times it becomes excruciating -- especially on cold, dark, snowy winter evenings in my house.


Time, I am told, is the great healer.

I hope so.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sunday Morning In The Wee Hours

This has been a great weekend so far.

I spent all day Saturday by myself...and I enjoyed the alone time. As a matter of fact, a dear friend called to see if I wanted to do something, and I turned him down because of having so many things to do.

What a change a few weeks makes!

It feels as though I am settling into a routine. That feels so good.

Today I had to go do banking for the children, get breakfast out, take the dog to the groomers, go to the office supply store, go to Best Buy to pick up a new floor cleaner (the old one broke) and pick up some blank CDs and DVDs. Then I had to head by my mom-in-law's to pick up some things that Lovey left for me last weekend. While there I got to see my mom-in-law and her older sister, who I hadn't seen in a long while. Came home, carried everything in....and decided to take a nap. Was just beginning to sleep really well, when one of those survey people called about my grocery shopping habits.

The survey seemed to take forever. By the time it was all over, I was wide awake and the groomers called. The dog was ready. So I jumped into my clothes, ran to the groomer, picked up the dog....came home in time to get into the shower and get dressed. Another friend had invited me to dinner and a concert. As I was putting the finishing touches on my hair and teeth, the telephone rang and it was my mom-in-law. She couldn't get her DVD player to work. So I drove there, fixed her problem, returned and went off to have a leisurely dinner and enjoy the fine concert of chamber music.

Was I busy or what?

But now I find myself all keyed up. It must be from all that caffeine I had a dinner.

In bed, I hear every sound that this house makes, the dog makes, and the outside noises that go "bump" in the night.

So here I am writing to you.

I seem to be adjusting nicely now. Keep your fingers crossed that this continues.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Making Friends

I’m still striving to expand my network of friends.

Given the place where I am in my journey, I need to have a network of gay friends. So, I’ve been actively reaching out.

Well, for a guy like me, this is a big deal. I mean, I tend to be shy and have operated close to 50 years on the premise that if people want me in their lives they know where to find me. This isn’t the best approach.

So, I swallow my pride, become determined and start meeting people. In doing so, I’ve had some very, very good experiences and on the flip side, some very, very bad experiences.

How do I make friends?

Well, I decided to go to a gay chat room….one that is notoriously ageist. So I played it mysterious….aloof….. Not putting it all out there. I entered by saying…..”Afternoon gents!”

No answer.


“Anyone here wanna chat?”

No answer.

“Y’all are certainly a friendly bunch.”

No answer.

So finally I said, “I’m a WM, nice guy, 40something, looking for another nice guy. Object? Friendship.”

An 18yo, a 38yo married naval officer, and a 30yo married guy all started chatting with me. They were soon joined by fine 47yo horticulturalist.

Now the 47yo seemed to be the nicest guy of all. We had lots in common and we chatted about a whole lot of interests. He was single and had never been married to a woman. He told me about his family, his hobbies, his friends, his past relationships. He then said he wanted to meet me in person for dinner or lunch.

Arrangements were made. We met. He was and is a very nice guy. We talked and ate and laughed and had a good time. We left the restaurant and I was feeling good about expanding my network of friends.

When I arrived home, I sent him an email. I thanked him for meeting me and that I really liked him. I also said that I would be interested in getting to know him better. Was he interested? Two days later I get this long email back from him saying that he didn’t want a relationship. He didn’t want sex. He wasn’t comfortable dating a man who wasn’t yet divorced….

I was floored.

Sex wasn’t mentioned. A relationship with him wasn’t mentioned. Dating wasn’t discussed.

I wrote him back and told him that I thought he misunderstood something….that I was only looking for friendship….platonic friendship. POOF! He disappeared into cyberspace.

I wonder why it is this happened. I tried to be very clear with him from the outset that I was looking for friendship. But, in the end, that seemed to translate into a sexual relationship with him. Is this what’s expected in the gay world? Am I just not getting it or was he just a clod?

Another guy I met was a married man, age 50. As I talked with him, real friendship possibilities emerged. But he wrote me an email afterwards to say that I had a powerfully attractive personality and that a friendship with me was not possible because I was a threat to the relationship he had with his wife. He directed me to never contact him again.


I think I’ve grown. It wasn’t too long ago that if these things had happened I would have been devastated and taken all these rejections personally. Now, though I am left scratching my head and wondering, what is it that guys like this are really looking for in chat rooms.

Obviously it’s not for a guy like me!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Growing Pains

Do you remember growing pains?

I do. I remember having them in my legs and in my jaws. They hurt badly. One day in particular I remember. My jaws hurt and nothing I could do would make them feel better. On this particular Sunday night, I had been with my parents at the bowling alley watching them bowl in their weekly league.

Back in those days, league scores were kept with a grease pencil on overhead transparencies. The image of the league scores were projected on screens over the lanes. That night, as everyone was putting on their shoes to get ready to leave, the scorekeeper turned off the overhead projector and got up. I went over and sat down and put my cheek down on the heat of where the projector had been on.

It felt sooooo good.

It alleviated those awful growing pains.

Pain comes in many different forms. It serves as an indicator of many different conditions. Growing pains tell you that you’re alive and changing. It’s the body’s way of letting you know that it is making room for greater capacity. It hurts.

Emotionally I think that’s what has been happening to me lately. I’m growing in all kinds of ways – emotionally. It’s only when I go back and re-read some of my earlier posts on this blog or in my journal entries or in my letters and email to friends and family do I see just how far I have come.

Then I feel better about myself.

I don’t feel crazy.

I don’t feel isolated.

I’m becoming hopeful again -- hopeful about my journey -- hopeful about my future --hopeful about everything!

Hope is not something I can live without.

Talked with both #1 and #2 yesterday. It was good hearing from the both of them. I mailed out my first “care” package to El Salvador. It should arrive there in 5-7 days. I sent #1 the first three volumes of her Spanish Hairy Potter books. She can read them to the children in her village and have a blast.

#1 told me that she had gotten a little homesick over the weekend, but being able to talk with me helped. #2 tried out for Carnival Cruises today to become a performer. Not sure if she’ll be accepted or not, but at least she tried.

No word from the marine. Hopefully he’s not experiencing too much fallout from his escapade in jail.

So, a new day brings all kinds of opportunities to learn and to grow.

I just have to remember that growth is sometimes painful…and growth means I am alive.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


One of the things I have said repeatedly throughout the separation is the fact that I feel that I lost myself in my marriage.

I'm not the only thing that was lost in the marriage. I also lost a host of friends. Oh, not just happened. In the marriage, "we" had "our" friends.

The majority of "our" friends became "her" friends when the separation began.

So, as I have contemplated my life this weekend....and celebrated at my "pity party", I realized that I needed to reconnect with some of those "lost" friends.

I'm glad that I have.

One of them is a female minister who once saved my life...literally.

The other was a male minister that both Lovey and I had known for many years. In 1990 - 1991, he lost his church and he lost his wife, when he fell in love for his male minister of music.

So in each of their own special ways, these individuals had a profound impact on my life; one literally, one emotionally.

The female minister was a nurse with extensive medical training. I was at her church with Lovey to conduct a children's crusade, and the morning of our last service, I walked into a cloud of chemicals in the parsonage bathroom and went into anaphylactic shock. The minister and Lovey drove me down the backroads to the hospital. The minister worked fiendishly to keep my airways from closing. I could have died.

The male minister served as a kind of role model for me. He had been married for 20 years and from outward appearances was a successful heterosexual pastor. When he left the church and his wife, in favor of his lover, it showed me that there are instances of true love in gay relationships. Until then, I had thought that gay relationships were solely based on sex.

Isn't that silly?

But when I look back at how I viewed my closeted existence, that's what my male relationships were all about -- the sex: no real enduring relationship.

But then, I saw this minister and his partner...up close. It was profound to me. They each left their wives and moved out of state and began a new life together. At one point, when he was going through the fire, he said that he believed that there was no love like gay love. He said it was powerful and that it had to be in order to withstand the criticism and other fallout that comes from the church and society.

This was in 1991.

I didn't know that 16 years later, I'd be facing a total change in my life....and contemplating a new life as a gay man.

But here I am -- warts and all.

I'm determined to get through all this. I have to.

I'm not the only man who has walked this path. This weekend, when the tears stopped flowing and I stopped my personal pity and I sat and actually contemplated all the things I was whining about, I realized that I've gone through a lot of stuff and I'm ok.

Every time there has been pain and sorrow, a period of encouragement and growth follows.

It's so good to have made these reconnections. My friends have provided such encouragement.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Awful President's Day Weekend

This has not been one of my more stellar weekends.

I had so looked forward to it because I was going to have a houseguest....and be able to go out and show him the sites. But, alas, it was not meant to be. He cancelled at the last moment, which left me with a big open space on the calendar.

Saturday was the worst day.

I threw myself a gigantic pity party....a part for one.

I had brunch with a friend from my men's group. He wanted to know how I was doing....he knew that my daughter had just left for El Salvador...and that I was struggling. When I started to tell him how bad I felt, I spilled over. The tears fell and fell and fell. I apologized.profusely.

But still those tears kept on was bad.

I probably scared him.

Then another one of my closest and dearest friends came over in mid-afternoon to visit and go for a late lunch/early supper. He asked me how I was doing with things....and I decided then and there to level with him about everything that has been going on in my life. After all, I didn't want Lovey's disclosure to her attorney to get back to the church and this man and his wife hear about it second handed. I thought it made the most sense for them to hear it from me.

So, I told him that I was gay.

He was blown away by the fact that my wife had known for 24 years, but only now was choosing to make a big deal about it. He said, "She's not showing much grace there is she?"

I didn't respond.

I hesitated at telling him my story. I hesitate telling my story to any of my straight guy friends.


I am always afraid of what their thoughts know. I'm afraid that they will think I'm trying to hit on them or something, which isn't the case.

It was just time to tell this man.

And he was fine with it. He had no problems. He didn't say I was going to hell....and he didn't dump me beside the road. He just listened.....and as he did this, my tears began to flow......and flow.....and flow.

I can't believe just how many tears have been shed this weekend. I need to get a grip.

Sunday Morning came and I decided to go to church. I sat on one of the backrows with my former mother-in-law. Everyone, but one person, ignored me. Once again I was the invisible man.

I think I'm going to find another church...but I just don't have the energy right now to do so.

Why is it that it feels like the bottom has dropped out of things?

Did #1's departure really trigger this....or has this been building to the point that it is a coincidence of happening at the same time of her departure? I don't know..... All I know is that this is the most pain I have ever felt in a long time......a VERY long time.

Even my dog looks at me warily.

Has my empty nest......and all my other insececurities all ganged up on me to make me lose it?

Will I ever get back to the place that I was? Will I ever be happy again?

Is this what going crazy feels like?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Saturday Morning, 1:48 a.m.

My social activity has been officially over for approximately one hour.

Tonight was my monthly MOVIE NIGHT for my Gay Married Men's Group. We watched the "Edge of Seventeen" and a spanish movie, "Second Skin". Sorry to say, those movies brought me "down," because they are not "happy" movies. The gays do not live happily ever after. However, in "Edge of Seventeen," is leaves the door open for you to think that there could be happiness down the road for the main character....but you're left hanging. "Second Skin" was about a married man having an affair with a male physician, and the wife finds out about it.... Sounds a bit familiar doesn't it?

It was not a happy movie.

So here I sit trying to figure out how to get out of the dumps. The loneliness kills me. There are no sounds as I write this except for the ticking and chiming of my grandfather clock. The dog is fast asleep.

I need to be asleep too.

I guess the bottom line of this feeling of emptiness and profound loneliness is the post made by a friend of mine in an online support group that I am a part of. It said, "I was reminiscing in my mind on a long drive the other day, about a phrase I heard when I was in my mid twenties. It had a profound impact on my decision to marry and raise a family.

It went:


It literally scared the hell out of me then and still does today. When I
came out to my wife (7 years ago or so) and we entertained the idea of
separation, that old phrase popped up again. I have to admit, it was not
only that I really did love her (and she me), but the fear of not finding
anyone to replace her almost paralyzed me into pursuing any ideas of divorce
and starting all over again with a man or living a life of solitude. I
suppose it says alot about my self esteem and acceptance of my "bent"

So I responded to that post with:

"Well guys....yet another perspective.

I have a friend, a minister. He pastored a church in DC and his wife outted him to the congregation. He lost his church, his livelihood....his family. He was devestated. He now lives in an efficiency apartment in DC....has a clerical job which at times drives him crazy...because ministry is what he was meant to do.

That has been MY fear all during my awful separation...and soon-to-be divorce. Simply put: BEING ALONE.

I'm now living that life. It's been doubly compounded by the fact that I have just lost my daughter to El Salvador. So it's just me and the dog.

I don't want to be alone. But I have to tell you...this solitude had raised a lot of issues in me I thought were buried. These are insecurities....and fears. Am I good enough? Am I attractive enough? Will someone want me? How do I date? Will I always be alone? Will I be happy alone? Can I be happy alone?

I am just very down about all this.....and struggling.... It's AWFUL!

At least I have a nice house, a good job...and my dog. I long for a special someone in my life....24/7....and to hold a special place in his heart: numero uno......not left I was for 25 years in the relationship that just ended!

Sorry to whine...but this is where I am right now."

I'm really trying to plow through all these feelings and insecurities....but it's a lot easier said than done.

It's bedtime and I'm tired.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Sounds From An Empty House

Since #1 has gone, I have kept very erratic hours.

I don't really know why that is, but it seems I can't seem to relax in my own house. Even the dog seems to be reacting similarly. For example, overnight I was aware of how restless the dog was. He was skittish, and jumpy.....just couldn't seem to get comfortable. So everytime he stirred, it woke me up.

The dog loves to bark. He'll jump up on all fours and start barking at the window. Or he'll run to the front door and bark as if he is going to tear something up seriously.

It's all because of the creaks and groaning of an empty house.

I'm aware for the first time of the moaning that this house does.

Yes, it's creepy.

What is it you may wonder? It's the wind howling past the back french doors that lead to the deck and patio, which has a screen. During the icestorm yesterday, not only did I have the pitter-patter of ice particles hitting ny doors and windows and roof....but I had to contend with the moaning. No wonder the dog is a wreck.

I suppose I'm right there with him too.

I'm a people person and this is the first time in over 25 years that I am living alone.....single. It's scary on some levels. I just don't want to make any mistakes. Or do anything to put myself in jeopardy on any levels. I feel so very vulnerable.

But why is that?

After all, I am a strong person. Look at all that I have survived. It has been an interesting decade thus far.

I've survived a bad marriage. I've survived the separation. I've survived the selection of furniture and things that make me happy. I've survived the departure of my children into their own lives, especially the traumatic time of losing two of them at once to college, then two years later my son to the marine corps.

So, why has the departure of #1 to El Salvador provoked all these feelings of sadness.....of aloneness.....of sorrow? Where'd the vulnerability and fragileness come from?

Perhaps I should think of it in terms of the groanings and moanings of an empty house. They are all normal sounds, but when it's empty they are greatly magnified.

In other words, maybe because I am alone, any insecurities or fears I have are magnified ten-fold because I realize that there is no one else to depend on, but me. When someone was around, I just did everything I did to pay the bills and keep the money flowing and didn't think twice about it.

Now I do.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Stir Crazy

It's almost 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday night.....and I'm going stir-crazy. I've been homebound all day.....because of the weather....

Being homebound alone.....without any human presence....after you've been used to having someone floating through the house for the past 25 years is strange. It's quiet as a tomb. The only breathing I hear is my dog...and me of course.

Why am I having such a difficult time with this fact of life? I've had all kinds of things planned to do today, but I just couldn't seem to get motivated to do anything. This bothers me. It's not like me. But yet, here I am. Down...and bothered.

Perhaps it is because that today is Valentine's Day too.......

This morning I got a wake up call from Lovey. No, she didn't wish me happy Valentine's Day...... She had heard from #1 in El Salvador. She says that #1 is doing fabulously well...and that although she has only been gone one week, #1 feels like she has been gone a lifetime already. I hope this is a good comment and not a bad one.

I spoke to #2 in Nashville who said she had mailed me a Valentine's Day card....but it would be late. She wanted me to know that she loved me and was thinking about me. I love hearing from that girl.

I spoke with Mom O'Lovey today. Just wanted to make sure she was safe and warm and dry in this messy weather. I also thanked her for her dinner invitation from two nights ago. I got the message way after the fact....but it was a nice thought.

Still, I'm down....and it's too bad outside to do anything fun. I hope how soon warm weather gets here.

Friday night my men's group comes to see a movie....and then a house guest for the weekend. Human sounds in this house finally.



Music has always been a part of my life.

My parents surrounded me with music when I was a child. We had a sizeable record collection, 8-track tape collection, cassette collection, 78rpm record collection, assorted 45s, albums, reel-to-reel tapes, and then we moved into the CD age. I used to spend hours before the hi-fi- or stereo...the victrolas (yes we even had two of those), whatever and would listen and listen to various artist pour their hearts out into their music.

When I was a teenager, I even religiously bought BILLBOARD magazine to read about the industry and to track my favorite songs up the chart. I'd read song/artist reviews, listen to the countdown programs and choose songs I thought would make the top 40, the top 10 and even #1.

I got to be pretty good.

As time and responsibilities crept in, I didn't get to spend as much time listening to music, or building my collection, or really pay attention to the record charters any more. But, one of the things I did do, I was able to pass my love of music down to my children. One of them, #2, has now chosen to pursue music as a career in Nashville. I am so proud of her and expect great things from her.

But I digress.

Throughout my years of playing music, occasionally a song would come along that would simply capture my attention. It gave me goosebumps. A really good song would give my goosebumps, goosebumps. I'm not sure if it was the words, the melody, the arrangement or what -- but something did "it" to me.

When this happened, I would have to run right out and get it.

Well, back in November I was minding my own business and I watched the Country Music Awards. Some of you highbrow folks will probably want to look down your noses at me, but I confess, not only am I queer, but I love Country Music. Actually I like all kind of music, but I have a special affinity for Country Music.

In the latter portion of that awards program, the beautiful songstress Martina McBride came on to sing her song "Anyway". I yawned.

But this song did it for me.

The goosebump factor went to 1000%.

The message of the song hit a little close to home.

I cried.

When it was over, I knew that I just had to buy that song! (Thankfully I had recorded it on my trusty DVR!) But I couldn't find it! I scoured the Web...and folks had done what I had done and recorded it from the program.

FINALLY, yesterday it became available on I-Tunes.

You simply have to go give it a listen.....or buy it. It is an awesome piece of music written by McBride herself. Do a search on Google of "Anyway Martina McBride and scroll through the hits. When you get to the Music.Aol site, you can listen to it for free. It's also available for download at a lot of sites.

It is my anthem right now. It hits every area of my life.

For your reading pleasure, I provide the lyrics here that I found on the Web.

This is my Valentine's Day present to each of you.


You can spend your whole life building something from nothing
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway

You can chase a dream that seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway

God is great,
But sometimes life ain't good
And when I pray
It doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway,
I do it anyway

This world's gone crazy
And it's hard to believe that tomorrow will be better than today
Believe it anyway

You can love someone with all your heart, for all the right reasons,
And in a moment they can choose to walk away
Love 'em anyway

Repeat Chorus

You can pour your soul out singing a song you believe in
That tomorrow they'll forget you ever sang
Sing it anyway,
Sing it anyway

I sing,
I dream,
I love,


To all my readers: Happy Valentine's Day........I have come to LOVE each of you deeply.


Monday, February 12, 2007


It’s Monday.

A gathering winter storm is making its way to the DC area. We’re expecting snow, and freezing rain with possibly up to an inch of ice! ICK!

If it is bad tomorrow, I don’t plan to come into the office…at all.

I can deal with the snow. I can’t deal with the ice!

So, I’ve spent the day back at the office, trying desperately to get back into the swing of things. I’ve caught up on all my email. It doesn’t appear that I have missed a lot of anything substantive while I was out. My staff has done a really good job at keeping things moving. I am so thankful.

Still, in the back of my mind, I dread the trip home -- the empty place.

Well, I suppose I shouldn’t complain about it being really empty. I do have my cocker spaniel, Davy. He’s always glad to see me. I’m always glad to see him.

But, it’s not like having a person there to talk to or to laugh with.

Folks tell me that this is all going to be fine and that I’m “tracking” normally. However, to me, it just doesn’t feel right. I don’t feel normal.

What is normal?

I guess it depends who you ask.

Some would say it is the opposite of all the things I am and stand for. Others would laugh and say that given my situation (a large qualifier), I am normal.

Who knows?

I have every material possession that I could ever want or need. Down deep I have a longing.

What’s the longing you may wonder?

It is a longing to be happy and content.

What would make me happy?

I just don’t know.

All I know is that I have the incredibly deep longing for it.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The End of Week #1

My life continues.

The first week in an empty house is over tonight. Tomorrow (Monday) begins week #2. 107 more weeks to go.

I talked to her on the telephone on Friday night! It was so good to hear her voice...and her excitement about starting her new life! In fact, on Saturday, she said excitedly, she would be digging a latrine.

So, that's my daughter.... What a kid!

Still I am saddened by my son and his issues. I'm not sure how that is going to work out, but we will see.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Cure

I'm amazed.

Simply and utterly amazed.

Ted Haggard, the former megachurch pastor and head of the National Association of Evangelicals, has been cured after 3 weeks of "intensive" counseling. The overseer of the megachurch he once pastored says so...and says that he is "completely heterosexual." The story says. See it for yourself in today's New York Times.

Aw c'mon. Who are they trying to fool?

This only adds to the confusion this topic generates. People think that you can change your sexuality like turning a water faucet on and off.

Christians run around and scream "I'm cured. Jesus saved me. I'm heterosexual! Halleleujah!"

"Jesus is putting my life back together." says Rev. Ted.

But, as a gay man who has spent many years with Exodus-like groups, I know that for all the preaching and praying and screaming they do. For all the testimonies they provide about life changing experiences and turning ain't really happening. There's a big difference between change/deliverance and repression. I could go back to those groups and vow to change and stop being gay.....and repress my thoughts/desires......and then jump up and down and say "I'm Straight!" But, I would become unhealthy.....suicidal......maladjusted.....miserable.....and completely sad.

Now I don't mean to sound like a satanist. But goodness, God saves, God delivers. God makes his will known. God can do mighty acts.

But in my life, it just didn't happen.

I prayed.

I fasted.

I recited the 14 steps of Homosexual's Anonymous.

I've worried about my relationships and examined my life for areas that weren't good. So that I could accept "healthy" relationships with men. (My life growing up was fine thank you very much.)

I've cried.

I've had demons cast out of me.

All this energy and time devoted to change....and nothing happened!

I finally came to realize that I am as God intended. While it would have been a lot nicer and easier to go through life with the majority of folks out there, God saw fit to put an extra sparkle or two in me....a little flick of the wrist......a little swish around the edges that makes me somewhat light in my loafers.

I'm honestly happy to be's not something I recommend for the rank and file....but still I'm happy. I love me....and I enjoy this small part of my personality.

That's my cure....self-acceptance.

I feel sorry for Rev. Ted. I fear that as life goes on and he jumps up and down saying how straight he night he'll awaken and feel that same old feeling.....those same old desires.......waiting to be unleashed. But he doesn't dare do it because he will be boxed in as the poster child of change.

I'm grieved -- not only for Mr. Haggard to be able to be himself, but also grieved for all those men and women out there who think that there really is a cure for all this..... The only problem is that the cure is something they don't want to face.

It's self-acceptance....and loving who you you are.

A New Day Has Come

I awoke early this the wee hours and let the dog out.

I went back to bed....the dog snuggled up beside me....and I lay awake thinking about all that has transpired in these last two years. I took inventory of where I was......and the journey from there to where I find myself now.

It's been quite a distance.

A lot of tears have been shed.

Many feelings have surfaced and ebbed, much like the tides in the oceans. Occasional storms have added to the surge....but I find myself....warts and a calm and easy place.

This week I have tried to focus on me. I'm off from work...and I've used this time to write a bit.....and to ponder the mystery of what makes me who I am. I've not arrived at any earth shattering conclusions. But I have learned that I am no perfect entity. I have made so many mistakes. Hopefully in making those, I have learned from them so as not to make them again. I believe that they have made me a kinder, nicer and better human being.

This week I have felt sorry for myself. I've felt horribly alone. I've felt lost and abandoned by the family I thought I had. Lovey's off doing her thing........#1 is in El Salvador doing her thing, #2 is in Nashville pursuing her dreams. #3 (MSM) is in Florida with his buds. And here I sit, paying the bills, watching over the dog. I've asked the question, "What about me?"

I've spent my entire married life protecting, defending, and providing for its various members. I don't know why it is so difficult for me to do the same things for me. Why should it take brain surgery to be able to do this? I shouldn't have to take a week to contemplate my existence. But yet, here am I, doing that very thing. Reflecting.....pondering.....wondering.

I guess right now I'm a bit needy...

Here are the things I need:

I need friends....unconditional friends. You know, the ones who know all about you, warts and all...and love you anyway. Those kind of friends.

I need a church. A church that I can feel comfortable in. A church that will welcome me and I won't feel as though the rafters will quake if I pronounce those three profound words, "I am gay."

I need hugs. Lots of hugs. Those kinds of hugs that can go on for hours. Naked hugs......clothed hugs.........intimate hugs......friendly hugs....affectionate hugs.

I need the separation agreement signed.

I need the divorce made final.

I need to move on.

I need to be happy.

I need to live.

I need no more drama.

Today I have identified MY needs. They're not a nebulous mess of sculptured smoke. They are concrete.

Yes, a new day has come!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Echoes From An Empty House

Well, she's gone.

#1, as I write this, is now in her new country: El Salvador.

When I dropped her off on Monday, I felt as though my heart would be ripped from my chest. She had to spend 3 days of orientation at a hotel in Georgetown and then depart this morning at 6am for Atlanta....and then on to San Salvador, the capital city of El Salvador.

I cried all the way from Georgetown to Rosslyn VA. It hurt so bad.

But, I haven't told you the WHOLE story....the story that compounded my hurt.

My son, the marine, came to this area in order to spend time with his sister before she left. At least, this was the story he told. It didn't happen. He spent all of his time with his friends. Sunday night he called us to say he was on his way...but that he was drunk....and a friend was driving him. At 10:30 that evening, we got another call from him that said, "My friend was pulled over for speeding....I should be there in about an hour."

Well, by 1am when we hadn't heard anything, both #1 and I were exhausted. I went to bed, but #1 kept on tinkering with her luggage. She finally turned in at 3am.

At 4:15 a.m. I was awakened from a sound sleep by the Fairfax County Magistrate's office to say that my son had been arrested. She then went on to say that the friend was arrested and charged with DWI. MSM was arrested for assaulting a police officer. He refused to follow directions by the police.

The voice on the other end of the phone continued to tell me that my son could not be bailed out until after 8am. They wanted him to sober up first.

I said okay....and we hung up and I went back to sleep.

At 5:15, I got a call from MSM....who was a little belligerant.....and I told him that I would be there after eight. He argued and voiced his opinions. But I said, it doesn't matter what you think, the police will not permit you to leave until after eight.

#1 and I hurried there at 8:00...but was told that he was being arraigned and would not be made available until after 9:30. #1 and I had to rush back and get some things done before she had to be in Georgetown.

I was worried about MSM. But I had no way to communicate or even get messages to him

So, I got #1 settled in her hotel....and drove all the way around the beltway to Fairfax County...stressed out. When I got there, I learned that he had been released at noon. No calls or anything.

Later on that evening, I learned that he had called throughout the family adn talked about how his dad had left him in jail and refused sing him out.

I confronted him.

He started he does when he doesn't want to listen....... He finally said, "I don't have to listen to you anymore..." I agreed and hung up on him.

So that grieved me...and compounded my issues with the departure of #1.

My sense of grief was greatly lessened when I heard from #1 last night and we were able to have dinner together. It brought closure.....I was given an address.....and so I don't feel so detached from my daughter.

The house is now empty.....only me and Davy Dawg. This house is so different now without the laughter and noise caused by children. Yes, this house only has echoes of its former self.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

This is a BAD Post

I am VERY down today.

It's the day before my little girl (#1) leaves for her adventure with the Peace Corps.

I've been up since way before dawn....trying to savor every minute that I can with her. I've looked in on her in her room...and watched her breathe....and I've tried to picture what this house is going to be like without her.

It simply rips my heart out.

I knew it would be tough, but I didn't know it would be this tough.

This is very much akin to the feelings I had when both girls left to go to college just over four years ago.

Friday, February 02, 2007

It's Friday

It's Friday.

I've spoken with all 3 kids.

I went to my doctor for a diabetes followup. I continue to do well. She is soooo encouraging to me.

Dr. H. always asks how I'm doing with the divorce and stuff. She makes comments about me finding the right companion, and how great it will be. She also knows Lovey, and stands by her earlier comments there by reinforcing the theme: "The best revenge is to do well."

So this is what I am striving to do.

In spite of myself.

I'm just not feeling like I'm doing well at the moment. I feel very shaky...alone....and fearful.

This is silly.

When you read back over this blog, you see just how far I have come. How I've worked to make a home for myself and my daughter.

I tend to see a pattern in me that I need to change: everytime there is a big change looming in my life, I feel overwhelmed and doubt my coping skills. Remember the essay I wrote about June 20? or how frightened I was at the prospect of separation? of divorce? of selecting new furniture?

Looking back I felt the same way about living by myself when I moved from my parents' home in 1978 when I was 20. I doubted myself when I got married. I doubted myself when I became a parent...and when I got new jobs along the way....or made significant purchases.

Where did all the second guessing come from?

I just need to suck it all in and breath and perhaps even run to the challenge before me. Welcome change.

I just have to deal with the prospect of living alone in my house....with my dog!

I can do this!

But gosh am I going to miss my #1. I suppose when I think on it, it's not so much of my being alone as it is of seeing her move to such a foreign and strange new world. She could be injured or raped. This is the most painful part.

But life for me will go on.

Hopefully I will hear something about the separation agreement.

Hopefully my divorce will be final in another few weeks.

Then it will all be over....and perhaps my little dark cloud, that has hung over my head for the past 2 years will vanish away. Permanently.

I had a long conversation with #2 via telephone. She's upbeat and now is the proud owner of a Tennessee driver's license. Heard from my son the marine and he is headed home tomorrow. So, we'll have a reunion of sorts. Just wish #2 could join us.

I heard through the grapevine last night, that Lovey's family are descending on my house for breakfast on Monday morning in honor of #1. This is so cool....given the fact that they rarely ever used to come by when Lovey was in charge of the place. I dare say that they have been in my home more over the past 5 weeks than they were in the previous 10 years.

What gives?

Thursday, February 01, 2007


No response yet from the other side about the acceptability of the separation agreement. For someone to have been so “antsy” about getting this over with so that she could move on, I’m a little surprised! Yet, on other levels I’m not!

My attorney says that always near the end of the process like this, someone is going to get a little weird.

I guess I somehow understand. After all, it takes a long time to be thinking about separation/divorce…..then to move to the actual deed……and then when you have done all that to actually take the step of no return and sign the documents….it brings it all into the concrete here and now…..up close and personal.

I will probably have my moment of truth when it comes time for me to sign the actual final divorce document.

Even though I have seen Lovey’s darker side throughout this awful process….and oh, how her outbursts have driven into my very core and inflicted such great, unimaginable pain, when it comes time to sign the document, I will be quite saddened by it.

Why does it still hurt?

Why did her outbursts and accusations hurt so bad last week?

I suppose it shows me that for all the 25 years I spent with her, she did not know the real Frank: that gay Frank that would do nothing to willfully harm or to take advantage of anyone; the Frank who cared beyond words and tried to let it show…the Frank that obviously failed.

II feel fortunate. I do have my 3 wonderful children who have accepted me and have continued to love me unconditionally. They don’t necessarily understand the gay thing, but they still are hopeful that Dad will find the man of his dreams and live happily ever after. And, knowing them as I do, they will also love that man as a dad.

I have an excellent job….my own home……and tons of material objects…..and now….piece of mind…..sanity.

I can be myself. The days of lying and cheating are over. I’m gonna be free!

Will I hear something from Lovey’s attorney today?

Will I finally have a separation agreement that I can sign?

Will I finally be back on track to head to the final divorce?

Only time will tell.