Friday, October 26, 2007

Nothing is Ever What It Appears to Be!

I guess summer is officially over now. Well, actually, it’s been over since late September, but temperature-wise here in Washington, the hot, summer-like days have persisted.

This, though, is the third straight day of gloomy, wet, and gray. I hate days like this.

I really do.

But, I have no control over them. So, I have to make the most of it.


I have so much that I can write about. But I just don’t know what the best topic is. I don’t want this to be boring for you all. I don’t want to come across as a whiner. On the flip side, I don’t want to appear that I’ve got all the answers and that I’ve got it all together.

I don’t.

This was painfully apparent when I learned something this week that I did not know.

A friend of mine just told me some very troubling things that have haunted me. So, let me share.

About 15 years ago, Lovey and I had moved into the house that I now own. We were quite excited about having our first home….and busy beginning our new routines of getting the children to school…..finding the perfect furniture for our house….etc. It was really something. (It’s very hard to believe how long ago that really was….and now how much things have definitely changed.)

At that time, she and I began attending a church here in the area that had been a part of our lives since our wedding in 1981. It’s where we actually married. In 1993, there was a new pastor there.

Lovey and I befriended him and began a very active period in the life of that church. He had two children….one son in his early 20s…..and one son about my daughters’ age (12 or so). In fact, one of my daughter’s became totally smitten by the 12 year old and they became inseparable.

The pastor and I became close friends….but I noticed he was sort of “detached” most of the time. Still I liked him and worked to help his ministry in any way that I could. Lovey and I noticed that the older twenty something son was quite mysterious and wasn’t even living at home. He was with friends in another state and rarely made any appearances in this area.

This young man was totally drop-dead gorgeous…and I discerned that he may have been gay. Looking back I’m not sure if it was my accurate gaydar at work or whether it was wishful thinking on my part. Still, I kept my distance, but was always friendly when he was at church and tried to be a friend to him.

About a year or so later, the pastor and his family moved to another church….very abruptly…without any heads up to me…even though I was considered to be his closest friend…..and confidant. It was just announced and just in the blink of an eye….they were gone!

It always bothered me. There was also an element of hurt there too.

Fast forward to now. My friend told me the whole story of what happened with that pastor and he finally answered the mystery surrounding his eldest son.

The pastor was estranged from his eldest son. This was because the son was in fact struggling with his sexual identity. The pastor disowned him. The son went to live with friends in another state, when the pastor was assigned to my church, and only made very occasional visits into the area, primarily to visit his mother. Over time, the son got caught up in some very negative things and his rejection by his father began to take its toll. The son began acting out to the point of attempting suicide on four different occasions.

The pastor was afraid that people would find out about his family….their shortcomings…..and his shortcomings….so he left. Abruptly! Just like that.

Now, no one knows for sure where that son is.

And, I never knew.


I just wonder what, if anything, I could have done for either party. I probably wouldn’t have been much of a blessing to them because of the depth of my own closet….and the fact that I was struggling with my own identity.

It just goes to show that even in churches, nothing is ever what it appears to be on the surface.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Memories of Lovey

I met a friend for dinner last night. He hasn’t seen me in a few years, and word of the divorce took him by tremendous surprise.

“I’m not really shocked,” he said matter-of-factly. “It was always clear to me that Lovey put her ministry before you and the kids and that the kids always seemed to gravitate toward you.”

He went on.

“It always used to bother me how she would have her sermon books, notes, and related materials scattered all throughout your house. Your stuff was in a closet and whenever you took it out, she would always say, ‘remember to put it back.’ But her stuff always was scattered throughout. Man, I don’t know how you put up with all that.”

He then told me about how he had run into Lovey at a restaurant during the separation. Of course, at the time, he didn’t know that we were separated. He said that she was cold, distant and aloof and it had bothered him. He asked her where I was, and she said, “He’s not with me.”

That exchange had bothered him, but he had assumed that she was angry with him about something and he said his goodbye and was on his way.

He was very sad to hear about all the things I had gone through and endured over the past 2 years.

Then he paused and looked at me and said, “I’m glad you’re doing well. You look GREAT! “

He said that I appeared “together” and “relaxed.”

His comments have now joined the legions of others who have all said the same thing. I look “good”…..I look “relaxed.” I have “landed on my feet.”

So, it must all be true. I mean, all these people didn’t all just get together and say, “Hey, when we see Frank again, let’s tell him how good he looks….or how relaxed he looks.”

He made a whole lot of other observations last night and I’m left asking myself, why didn’t he and my other friends say something to me during my marriage about the things they were noticing….or the vibes they were getting? I would have certainly listened to and respected what they said. Their words would have found a lodging place within my heart.

But for whatever reason, they all chose to remain silent.

So, now as I’m adjusting to a single life, I’m hearing the stories. The stories of other people’s encounters with Lovey….of other people’s observations of Lovey……of the negative impressions they had of Lovey…

And I thought I was the only one with stories of Love to tell.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Am I Really Partner Material?

Well, the sugars appear to have finally stabilized somewhat. This morning when I awoke we were at 78. Perhaps I have turned a corner. I still feel a bit odd. It just can’t be described. Maybe those of you who have diabetes can relate to this, but I just feel out of sorts and I can’t seem to pinpoint just what the problem is.

I hope how soon this passes.

I don’t like feeling the way that I do.

It’s amazing how my mood has been affected by all this. I have been so “down” on myself. I’ve even felt a bit angry…which, if you knew me, would know how simply bizarre this all is. It’s just out of character for me. I’m not one to be angry and have always been on the gentle side. But the past few days, WHEW. At night as I drift off to sleep I ask myself, “Where did all THAT come from?”

Don’t y’all begin to worry. I’m watching all this and if I reach a point where I think I need to do something about all this, I’m not bashful at seeking help.

I’ve learned that with diabetes, the moods shift. The attitudes change. It’s all a matter of being patient and being good to myself and realizing that this is just how it is. At least physically I have more energy than before.

At times like this, I wonder if really I am partner material.

Oh, on the good days, I know that I’m quite the catch. I’m loving…and kind…..and funloving. I’m gregarious, thoughtful, and smart.

But, on the bad days….I can be a bear. It would take an awfully special man to live with me and to put up with all that.

So, this is something else to think about.

Am I really the kind of guy that truly wants someone 24/7?

I wonder how my bearish days would really be if I had someone around?

Do you suppose that if I had a loving gentleman in my life who could walk up to me and put his arms around me and say, “I know you’re going through it at the moment…but I’m here for you!” that I would not feel so bearish?

If someone were to treat me as “first” in his life and not as leftovers, to love me unconditionally, and I felt safe, would I get cranky?

Do you suppose I begin to feel like I’m feeling now, because it’s just me and the dog?

Before things began to go downhill in my marriage, I don’t remember having this roller coaster of moods. It was as if Lovey, just by being there, helped to even things out somewhat. My only regret is that I was in the role of a leftover with her. I was an afterthought…everything and everyone else came first. I seemed to show up in her list of priorities generally dead last:

…..after her ministry.

…..after her church work.

…..after her countless telephone calls.

…..after her colleagues.

…..after her degree.

…..after her job.

…..after her parents.

…..after her sisters.

The kids and I were forced to encourage each other….and we became each other’s number one fans.

Gosh, I don’t know what I would do, or how I would behave if another man fell for me and put me first for a change. Even thinking about it makes the tears surface.

I’m not a selfish person. So, I don’t want you to think that if some Prince Charming came into my life and did all this that I would just sit there. I wouldn’t. I’d give just as much as I was given.

It’s always been my nature to love unconditionally….to honor….to trust….to care….and to put my mate number one in my list of priorities. I did this with Lovey in spite of everything.

I’ve got a lot of pent-up emotions that I want to experience before I leave the planet.

Now, if only the Prince would do his part!

Hmmmm….somehow just putting all these feelings down have made my mood change and I feel my spirits rising.

Am I screwed up or what?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dang the Diabetes!

It’s causing me problems again.

Yesterday when I awoke, I was at 57….normal is anywhere between 65-110. It took a bit of effort to get the sugars to rise. Then, this morning when I awoke, I was at 160. Go figure.

So, I’m frustrated about all that.

I’m just not feeling well today. When I don’t feel well everything takes on a negative hue. It exacerbates my loneliness… feeling bad towards myself for being gay…..for not being “normal”……for blowing a 25 year marriage……for living alone…….

This is awful.

My internist always says that I need to beware of the fact that with this chronic problem, there are mood swings. Oh boy are they swinging in the wrong direction this morning.

As I’ve had a few moments to myself this morning, I’ve taken an assessment of myself. Never dreamed that I would be so totally alone at this stage in my life. I thought I would have someone in my corner to give me encouragement….to give me a big bear hug……a kind word…..or a pat on the head.

But here I sit all alone…..mustering up the strength to do all those things for myself. Sometimes I just run all out of energy.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all the things I have happening at any given moment in my life. Can I keep all the balls in the air and keep them all in motion without any help?

Surely I can……surely I’m not the only person on the planet that has gone through all this stuff.

But at times I feel that way.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dumbledore is GAY!

Who knew?

Author J. K. Rowling creator of the Harry Potter series just disclosed this week that the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Wizadry and Witchcraft in the series is gay! Rowling made this disclosure during her stop at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Do you know what I found to be the most surprising thing about this disclosure?

The audience response.

They cheered!

That’s right.

The audience cheered that this beloved character is gay!

So, given the fact that the Christian Right has already had negative things to say about Harry, and raising children’s interest in the mystical arts, this is just one more development that will undoubtedly be billed as a part of the “satanic gay agenda.”

As a gay man, I really appreciate this development. I also am quite impressed that Rowling had the nerve to do this to one of her characters. (The article I read also said that she disclosed this development to the folks currently producing the latest movie in the series.) Given the popularity of everything Harry Potter, this will undoubtedly bring us gay folks more into the mainstream…and hopefully we won’t be seen as evil or be seen as a significant contribution to the fall of mankind or the twin towers on 9/11.

It’s encouraging.

A few years ago, one of my daughters outted me fairly frequently to her friends at college…and they all seemed to think it was cool to have a gay parent.

Sorry to say, I’m just now…as I reach the tender young age of 50…beginning to embrace my coolness. So we’ll see.

In the meantime, another interesting tidbit:

I’ve been DVRing “The View” and was slightly amused to find out that on Friday’s installment, a transgendered actress was interviewed to discuss her role in the new ABC series, “Dirty Sexy Money.”

Her name is Candis Cayne and she is simply beautiful. Kind of hard to believe that she was once a man named Brendan McDaniel? AND, on top of this she is married to a man and has a stepdaughter.

On the program, she plays a transgendered character in love with the William Baldwin character. (See picture.)

So, the times are a changing!

Thank goodness.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A New Fear

The last few years have been filled with new situations and new problems to deal with. Each of these unknown items have caused fear to well up within me. But I've learned to deal with each issue as it has come and at least for now, I've passed each test with flying colors.

But now I am faced with a new fear.

And, if what I fear does comes to pass, I'm not so sure that I'm going to be able handle it so gracefully.

You see...I'm terribly afraid of my doorbell.

Why you may ask?

Well, because my son is stationed as Military Policeman in Iraq, I'm terrified that one day my doorbell is going to ring and there will be some uniformed people standing there to deliver news that my boy isn't going to be coming back.

Years ago I saw the movie "Saving Private Ryan." I will never forget the segment where the mother is standing in the kitchen of her farmhouse and she see the strange car approaching. The military representatives are coming to tell her of the deaths of her sons.

It's a stunning visual -- one that at the time I couldn't relate to. Of course, all my children, were children.

Now, though, I have a son in the military. He's stationed overseas during war time.

I think about him every day.

I pray.

I pray for him.

At the end, I always pray for my doorbell.

That it won't ring with bad news.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I Need to Toss That Superman Suit

It just dawned on me that I have spent all my adult life trying to be Superman!

Somewhere over the course of my almost half a century being on the planet, I adopted this role. I thought of not being just a son, but I had to be the BEST son in all the world. I thought of not being just a student, but I had to be the best student in the whole darn school. I thought of not being just a husband, but I had to be the best one ever....even surpassing my childhood idol....Ward Cleaver. I thought of not be just an employee, but I had to be the best one.

And the list goes on and on and on and on......

Best church member.

Best friend.

Best father.

Best homeowner.

Best photographer.

Best teacher.


And you know something?

I've experienced failure in each one of these roles. Not because I wanted to, but because that is how things worked out. It's just a part of the plan of things. None of us is perfect.

Now as the divorce continues to speed into memory.....I'm learning to relax and to try and not take things so personally.

Rejections come.....people get mad at you......and when it comes to gayness..... Well, not everyone is for everybody. So, even in this, I need to learn to experience rejection for what it is. Nothing personal.

It's kind of how I view coconuts and pineapples. Coconuts and pineapples are beautiful creations.

They're perfect.

The only problem is that I do not like coconuts or pineapples.

Nothing personal...just not my cup of tea.

So it is with gay men. Some like me....some don't. I don't have to change me in order for them to like me.

All I need to do is to be myself. Be happy. And by all means, I need to toss out that Superman costume.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Latest Visit to the Doctor

Yesterday was the dreaded visit to the doctor again. This was a two-week followup to my last visit, where the doctor looked at me and said that I needed to make some drastic changes....namely, to go onto insulin. My sugar levels were totally out of control. I felt horrible.

It wasn't a good experience.

However, yesterday's was much, much better. The kindly doctor told me that she was proud of the way that things had turned around and that I'm moving in the right direction. I still need to make some additional changes. But, I'm on my way!

My sugar levels have dropped from 350 to the 140s with a minimum dose of insulin. All we have to do is to tweak my dosage to find the perfect dose.

In the meantime, the doctor told me that I should be feeling much better -- I am! She also told me that I should be thinking much more clearly and be focused -- I am! I told her that I feel like a new person. I've also noticed that I am sleeping much better through the night.

So, I guess I'm not quite ready for the grave just yet!

I go back to see her in exactly one month. I also have to have lab work done and then she will see how my body is responding to all of this.

Tomorrow I go visit the eye doctor and get new glasses. Oh, the joys of fall maintenance!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Last Day of Vacation

Today is my last day of what has been an awesome vacation.

This one has been very different. I've had a friend here visiting from California and we spent a hunk of the time traveling around....seeing all the sites......laughing....talking and just enjoying one another's company. The whole purpose of his visit was to get away himself for a few days and pick my brain about all that I've been through divorce-wise. You see, he's struggling with the gay issue and he wants to divorce his wife. He's told her his plans. She's not willing to let him go and pretty much is one of those wives who is willing to let him be gay, act gay, and still be in the marriage.

I was able to offer him some words of wisdom and to expose some pitfalls that I discovered on my journey. It was a good visit.

This vacation was also a bit different for me in large part due to my being on insulin. I can't believe my energy levels! I'm also sleeping like the dead at night and awakening VERY refreshed...relaxed...and ready to take on the day. Quite an improvement from what I've been feeling for so long. I felt so bad all the time, that I thought I was feeling the normal pangs of older age. GEE.

My emotional well-being is drastically is my self-esteem.

I can see this in my interpersonal relationships...and how I view them. I'm not feeling so co-dependent. I'm not fixated.

I saw this happen on Friday. Something silly happened with one of my friends....and it's so left-field....downright bizaare.....that I'm left with feelings of ambivalence. Yes, there are feelings of sadness and sorrow......there were tears.....but then the ambivalence set in. Damage has been done. Significant damage--I need to determine if the friendship is worth trying to patch up and save.

Had all this happened before now...I would have been wallowing in feelings of self-pity and uncertainty. I would have been blaming myself and trying to figure out what I did wrong or what was wrong with me.

But now, I's not me. Sometimes other folks screw up. Sometimes they have issues. Sometimes they have to give into the drama.

Sometimes you just have to let them go.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday Morning Early

I bet you all thought I had dropped off the face of the earth!

Really, I haven't. I just had a houseguest for the past week or so, and he just left to return to his home in San Francisco.

He's a guy that I met online through an organization I'm a part of. He is just beginning the divorce thing...and had been quizzing me about what all I had been through during the course of my separation and the subsequent divorce. So, I invited him out here to spend a week of decompressing....or seeing the sites....and also shooting pictures with his digital camera. As you all know, I enjoy this stuff we were quite a match shuttling to the various points of interest the Washington DC area has to offer.

I just drove him to Dulles Airport...and have now returned home to a very quiet house. It's kind of odd to have the place back to myself....after having had company for the past 8 days.

A lot has been happening...and I will catch you all up in the coming days. But, I wanted you all to know that I'm back!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Progress is Being Made!

Thanks to each of you who have written to me out of concern about my silence.

I have been struggling to adjust to my new life with insulin. So far, my sugars have dropped by half. Still they have not gotten to the normal phase, but hopefully it will be just a matter of time before all returns to normal. Already I am seeing great changes in my energy levels...and the fog that has clouded my motivation appears to be lifting. Hopefullly, things will continue to get better.

Your good thoughts and prayers are very much appreciated.

For the past few days I have been entertaining a friend of mine from the West Coast. He's a married guy who is working through his gay issues. He's already decided that he is going to divorce his wife of over 20 years and move forward in his new life.

I took him into DC today and we walked all over... He has been to this area before, but hasn't really had the opportunity to do much touring. So, we have really had a good time.

One things that he and I both saw at one of the Smithsonian Museums was both surprising and quite affirming.

My friend and I spent quite a bit of time touring the the Air and Space Museum on Independence Avenue. As we walked around and viewed all the exhibits, I was rather amazed to discover that the American History Museum is closed for renovations. However, some of the more popular items are on display at Air & Space in a special gallery.

As we walked through the gallery we came upon an exhibit that was described as new acquisitions. A sign said that although the American History Museum was temporarily closed, the Smithsonian was still actively acquiring new items to document the American Experience. So imagine our shock when we saw in the showcase items from a 1965 demonstration before the White House seeking equal treatment for homosexuals. These items were from the collection of activist, Frank Kameny. The display has some protest signs, a photoraph of the original demosntration, and buttons that said, "Gay is Good."

Can you imagine?

Attached with this article is a photograph my friend took of the exhibit.

I was pleasantly amazed.

One visitor at the display was also amazed....he smiled and said, "Ten years ago, this would never have been here. Progress is being made."

Yes, progress is being made.

Monday, October 01, 2007

And Now A Word From Josh....

As I was checking work emails from home in the early hours of this morning, the following email landed in my email box at home:

Just wanted to let you know I got here safe and all
that good jazz. Things are going fine, and I wanted to make sure you
knew I was here. Please pass this on to everyone and make sure you do
not give this email to anyone else, because I do not want my inbox for
this account flooded with emails.

Love ya

So he is there....and he's safe. AND...they are seven hours ahead of us!

A Bit of Apprehension...

Went to the lab this morning to have blood drawn and also submit a urine specimen.

This is all in preparation for my doctor’s visit tomorrow afternoon. I’m pretty confident that the good doctor is going to put me on insulin beginning tomorrow….and it doesn’t look fun….and I’m dreading it.

The stuff she has been talking to me about has a Web site, and I’ve been looking at it. The insulin is called LANTUS….and you inject yourself once a day. When you inject…you have to hold the needle in until you count to 10. I hate this. GOSH…but I have avoided this for 15 years. So, I guess this is just another milestone I’m having to face.

Now that I am pushing the magic age of 50, everything is happening.

It’s stuff like this that brings me down a bit. I have to face all my health problems alone.

It makes me feel lonely.

I suppose it is times like this that make me wish I had a full time partner to spoil me a little…..or to hold me…..or to just comfort me as I let myself cry.

But I don’t have a full time partner. Everyone is busy with their own drama….their own lives. My kids are busy with their lives. My parents are too far away. I don’t have brothers or sisters. My friends at church have all their activities that they are working on.

So, I have to work on cheering myself up and on. I have to become my number 1 fan. I have to be the one who is vigilant about my health. I have to learn to take care of me.

Why should this be so hard or daunting?

Am I spoiled? Probably to the core.

Perhaps that’s the problem.

Perhaps deep down I long to have someone else spoil me….take care of me… me watch out for me….

Will I ever truly become adjusted to all this? When will I get to the point that I just take care of myself as a matter of fact…without the fear and brooding.