Monday, May 31, 2010

What's Wrong With Me???

I must confess that today was a very strange day...from start until finish.

This entire weekend has not been what I had planned. But I tried to make the most of it in spite of being disappointed. I suppose this weekend wasn't good because of the anniversary of the divorce -- even though I made a point of keeping busy with a host of different projects Still, in spite of my best efforts, I chose to clean out the junk room. It's my spare room that I hope to shortly convert into an office. It contained all the junk I did not know what to do with after Lovey departed this building on June 20, 2006. So, I was looking at having to do something with a room full of stuff that had been sitting there undisturbed for four whole years. (This is the room that I tried to do away with while my daughter was gone to El Salvador....but the hurt and everything was just too fresh to worry with. I spent the majority of that time in tears...and overcome with grief. I threw everything back in there to be dealt with at a later time -- NOW!

This go round I chose to do it on this weekend where I was feeling odd to begin with.....and wouldn't you know, I found some old cards and letters that Lovey had written during the few good times of our marriage. It added to my gloom. BUT...I was able to destroy those few items....and toss a host of garbage away. I emptied about 5 large boxes of stuff.....and about 10 garbage bags of junk that is now sitting on the curb for pickup in the morning.

I suppose I am making progress here. No tears....no feeling sorry for myself, just a feeling of odd detachment.

Some friends are playing cards tomorrow night.....and I've been invited to join in. Tonight a friend from my men's retreat in January called me up out of the blue to get some encouragement. He thanked me for listening to him....and he told me what a good friend I was.

Oddly, his call made me feel better....

At least I am having an impact on someone's life.

It's now getting late.....and I guess I need to head to bed.

It has been a long weekend.

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Eye Candy


A big day here....I had some duties to perform at church....then I shot some photos at a botanical garden today that I had never visited. Then, I came home and went to see SEX AND THE CITY 2!

It was a great movie....forget about what the critics had to say about it. It was exceedingly gay friendly....and there was a ton of great eye candy. Some of the scenery took my breath away for sure.

Oddly, when I see stuff like this....it sometimes has a boomerang effect on me. It brings me down a bit. So, I am working to "bounce back" yet again: counting my blessings...and remembering all the friends that I have. I also reflect on how far I have come and that it's all going to work out eventuallly.

Movies tend to tell fictional stories and make it appear that there are no real problems....that everyone gets someone at the end....and they live happily ever after.

Not so in real life....

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Sunday Morning


So, as I write this today, my church clothes are in the dryer. I always try to make myself somewhat presentable so at least I look half-way decent. Perhaps someone will be there that could be the start of a magical journey.

But, in actuality, more often than not, this is not the case.

Still I hope.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Love In The Gay World

I enjoy certain types of pornography -- not just any old type that leaves nothing to the imagination. I don't like the pictures that actually show tab A being inserted in to slot B. Those types of closeups do not do anything for me in the least. For all I know, those closeups of those body parts could be of any two of the ugliest people on earth doing the nasty.....

But I like the kind that leaves a lot to the imagination. I like the porn that leaves your heart racing....your breathing a little shallower. Why? Because the models seem to be into each other... They don't seem to be having just recreational sex for the purpose of getting off.....but they seem to be making love to each other.

I suppose this is because that I have reached a stage in my life....where I'm not looking for the thrill of hooking up. I want someone in my life that is special....with that emotional connection. The one guy that I don't have to worry about running off with the next guy he sees....or run back to the one that he just had. I want a man that is proud to be affiliated with me....and he makes it clear that he wants me.

Gay dating is weird. You meet all kinds of men. Recently I met a man who actually flirted with me. I flirted back. We talked for a long time. He told me that he was looking for someone to date. He wanted to know if I was into dating and I said yes. So he invited me to his house for a home cooked meal. He is a GREAT cook.

I thought we might get to cuddle....or just hold hands.... But upon my arrival to his house...he had out of town guests....and we had our meal with them. We then went to a movie and came back. Never heard from him again until one day several weeks later.

He was all over me.

He went to lunch with me.

He flirted again.

I walked him to his car and hugged him goodbye. But no real substantive communication since.

This has happened repeatedly.

I must attract these types. I don't think it's me that has done something wrong.

Oh who knows.

Gay men can be so fickle.....

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New Directions

I've decided that I need to begin sharing some more different kinds of thoughts on my blog. I think I have finished whining about the divorce...and the pain....and the woe.....and the grief......and the feelings of hurt......

It's beginning to bore me.

So, I'm gonna begin sharing more of my direct thoughts.....possibly some fantasies....and perhaps even some pictures of things that interest me as a gay man. As in the past, I will do very little sanitizing....but I'm gonna let the warts and all shine through. I am not perfect and do not live the perfect life.....but I' gonna just be honest with you.

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Remembering May 29, 2007

Well, today is my anniversary -- the anniversary of my divorce from Lovey. The neat thing about this is that I spent a great deal of time today busy with other stuff, and it only occurred to me that this is the day!

I have been a divorced man for 3 whole years!

I can hardly believe it. Time has flown by.

And I survived.

Oh, I still get twinges of the hurt....and the sadness.....but I have to say, I am in a good place now. This is in spite of the fact that I am alone....I have no special man in my life....and I really have to think about the fact of growing old alone.

This is certainly not the life I had planned for myself.

But then, I was such a Pollyanna. I thought that life always went to your plan. Oh, I believed that occasionally life threw you a curve, but that all in all, the destination would take care of itself...because after all, I had laid the framework and I would be okay.

I made no contingencies for life as a single man.....no contingencies as a single gay man.....no contingencies for being a single gay man with adult kids.

I thought I would grow old with the one person that I walked aisle with.....the woman I chose as my lifemate....in spite of the gay thing.

Man, I was wrong.

So here I am.

Today was a good day. None of my guy friends contacted me about any plans today to kick off Memorial Day Weekend. But, a host of my lesbian buds did. It was so funny to be the token gay male there in a sea of lesbians. But we all laughed and talked about all kinds of stuff. We all camped it up a bit. We had lots of fun just being together and relaxing with a grill cooked hamburger, chips, dip, macaroni and potato salads, grilled veggies....sodas....and then we made 'smore on the open fire.

Not a bad way to start the weekend.

It would have been neat to have a special man beside me....someone I could reach over and hold his hand.

Oh, it's the romantic in me I guess.

But, he wasn't there......and he's not here in my life tonight. So, the only man in my life is me. I am learning to like that....and take care of that relationship.

One of the girls said that she had learned in her life, that in order for her to be attractive to another woman, or to be able to be in love with another woman, she had to be attractive and love herself first.

I guess she is right.

I'm working to make that transition in my own heart as well.

For the longest time, I have had to deal with a poor self-image....low self esteem....shyness.....and my hyper sensitivity to rejection. That last one is still giving me fits. But I try.

So, as I get ready to jump into my bed, I have to remember that I am so much better off than at anytime when I was married to a woman. I am happier....I am more content.....and that I have grown immensely.

This does not mean I have arrived.

But I'm still on the journey.....learning new stuff about me...and my world.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Ray Boltz is True

In case you haven't heard, Ray Boltz, the successful Christian Artist who sang such hits as "Thank You", "The Altar", and "The Anchor Holds" -- to name a few -- blew the door off his closet's hinges almost two years ago to the world. His revelation has set fundamentalist Christianity on its ear and as you could guess, that community is all atwitter with comments about how he wasn't a true Christian, or "isn't it awful that he has chosen this godless lifestyle", etc.

I suppose since I have walked in similar shoes as Mr. Boltz, I don't see this that way at all.

I see a True Christian who has labored to be faithful to his Lord and to his family, but in the process realized that he was falling short of the image he thought he had to live up to.

Fast forward two years and we now have a brand new album by the artist, simply entitled TRUE. He's being true to himself and living authentically. He's being authentic to his family.

This authenticity certainly shows in the album. By far it is my favorite and it touches on real issues like being who God meant you to be; don't listent to those who accuse gay folks like us of having an agenda, when all we want is to be happy and free to live our lives and our dreams. He even touches on gay bashing and on guys who are "Queens."

In all honesty, I always found his earlier work to be over the top and filled with all kinds of Christian cliches. I also thought they were a little lengthy. With 13 tracks on the current album, I find this album too short and wishing it were longer.

Oh, I'm sure the naysayers are gonna continue to expend a lot of their energy thumping their Bibles and casting Boltz into hell. My response is, let God be God and let Ray be Ray.

Ray Boltz is the real deal. His new authenticity shows in his music....and the cover of the album shows him today (see above).....his eyes look alive....and he looks happy....and blessed!

The album TRUE is available for download through I-Tunes! Go get it....NOW!

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Oil Leak

Ok everyone, we have all heard about that awful oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico that is threatening sea life throughout that area and beyond. It's a perfect illustration of how I have been feeling lately.

These past two months that I have taken off from this blog have given me plenty of time to reflect. You long time readers of this blog know the trauma and difficulty I experienced during the early days of my separation and then the awful divorce. At times, I literally felt like I was losing my mind. At the time I was accused of wallowing in self-pity...some readers suggested I simply "get over it!"

But, this was my life that I felt was crumbling. I felt wronged.

Many women wrote to say how offended they were with me because I could not see poor Lovey's (the ex wife) awful lot in this mess.

I got into tussles...and I went on the defense....and I got additional hurts.

But the good news of all this is it has been 5 years post separation and almost 3 years post final divorce decree and I'm okay.

Well, sort of.

Sometimes I feel like I am the Gulf of Mexico.....and the relationship I had with Lovey....and all that debris I have worked so hard to come away from is that awful oil spill. You see, occasionally a belch of blackness surfaces on my calm sea of moving on. It coats my entire being with blackness....and bitterness.....and profound sadness.

I then work hard to disperse it all. And then, after a while it's gone...until the next time.

I'm not sure what brought this latest belch of blackness to my surface. Perhaps it's the fact that the anniversary of the divorce is in a couple of days....or maybe it was because Lovey once again has inserted herself into my life this week.

I have so much I want and need to say to her. But I'm afraid if I do, it is really going to be nuclear. I have been holding on to so much....I am ready to blow sky high with it all in one massive explosion.

After much thought....it's not the fact that she divorced me that's the problem. I understand she exercised her right to do so. But several issues remain that have engendered deep bitterness, anger and hostility toward her.

1. We were married for 25.5 years. She knew of my struggles for 24.5 years. I tried my hardest to be the kind of husband I thought she needed. She was never happy. In looking back over that significant period of time, I can honestly say now, I never felt she loved me. I look around at married folk I know. I see the love in their eyes and their actions. Sadly, I never experienced it. What an indictment of my life!

2. She said repeatedly that the gay thing was not what did our marriage in. I must say that I agree. Finances were not good because I spent much money trying to keep us out of the red. She spent and spent and spent. I used credit cards to cover those expenditures. Not once did she accept any responsibility of this. But placed the blame with me.

3. Although she admitted that the gay thing was not the reason for our divorce, she set about hurting me in any way she could. She was vindictive. When questioned by our many friends at her church and they would say, "Why, Lovey, are you dumping Frank? He has been so good to you and is so supportive of everything you have ever wanted to do? Why now? After all this time?" Thinking anything else would make her look bad, she went on a rampage of outting me...and saying that I had made her life hell. Well, this gave her tons of sympathy....but a few didn't just let her explanation end there. They pressed and asked, "How long have you known?" When she responded by saying over 24 years...they just kind of looked at her...and withdrew completely from her.

4. As she neared her quest for ordination, she enlisted my help to videotape her serving communion at her churches. I spent two weekends with her doing just that. I edited the file and created DVDs for her to send with her paper work for ordination. Overall, I had spent well over 25 years supporting her quest for respect as a minister......and seeing that she had all the necessary stuff to be ordained.

In the end, I wound up being persona non grata at the ordination ceremony, and that hurt.

Bad.

5. I was accused wrongly of all kinds of apparent wrongs and never allowed to defend myself.

So.

It's not the divorce that has had me reeling for these years -- it's all the stuff she did in order to make herself look good and to save face during the divorce that hurt. The accusations that weren't true. The outright lies that were told. The picture that was painted of me that made it appear that I was a sinister gay man....wanting to live a lie.....wanting to have my cake and eat it too....duping Lovey into marrying me.......making her life hell.

Get the picture?

That image of me is not the Frank I am at all -- hence the anger....the bitterness....the hostility.

I am working to cap this oil leak of black, belching "stuff"...but like BP and the Gulf of Mexico, it's not an easy job.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday Night

Last night was a bit busy for me. Last winter I had attended a gay men's retreat in Northern Virginia. There were 15 of us who met at a church not far from my house. We talked about all aspects of Gay Spirituality including church, religion, and sex. My spirits were certainly buoyed by the fact that I had made new friends and attended to my spiritual needs.

This particular retreat was the first of its kind. The facillitator has done a good job at keeping the group together and we meet every month to share a meal and to catch up with one another. It certainly builds community and friendships.

Earlier this month, the facillitator hosted the second retreat. Again, he had about 15 attendees. They all had the same experience as the rest of us. Last night we (the first group) hosted a potluck dinner for the new group. We all got to share and to get to know one another. It really was quite neat.

One man told the story of how he had been married for 38 years, when his wife passed away about a year or so ago. He now feels free to finally experience life as what he was meant to be. He is deep in his closet...but cautiously exploring life.

Another man shared how his divorce after 20 years left him with a warm relationship with his ex-wife.....and how he had met his partner who was also going through a divorce...a bad one. Between the two men, they have three children and live in a house in DC.

So the entire evening was spent sharing each of our stories.

Several of us who have FACEBOOK accounts encouraged the other to contact us and become our friends. One of my new friends (the man with the blended family) friended me today...and I was shocked to find out that I know his partner. AND...on top of that.....his partner is not someone that I respect or like.

Guess that means that I will be keeping my mouth shut...and just watching how all this unfolds. He isn't a high caliber person. He kind of has the personality of a gnat. And he has the reputation of being somewhat "loose."

I can understand why that divorce was bad. As I recall, he was a jerk to his wife.

So, I sit and ponder the same old question. How do people like that wind up with partners?

Clearly I don't understand all this. I may have standards that are unattainable and this may be my problem. WHEW!

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'm Back After a Long Break!

It has been about two months since my last post. I apologize. I have gone through a somewhat dry period in my writing and I just needed a break.

My lack of writing new material has taken its toll on this blog as the number of visitors has plummeted. So, rather than erase my 4 year labor of love, I felt a nudge to begin writing here again.

I have entertained thoughts of writing a new blog from an entirely different perspective, but I just can't get away from the thought of rising "Out of the Ashes."

So, here I am.

My parents have been through the mill with their cancer. Each has lung cancer. Mom is in full remission and has been so for a year and a half. Dad was diagnosed in November...and it looks like he is going to be on chemo as a maintenance regimen for the rest of his life. In a couple of weeks, he will be undergoing cyber knife surgery to remove a tumor that has shrunk drastically since November.

I have so very much to be thankful for.

Meanwhile, my daughter Jessica has started a new job in Washington DC for the federal government. As you may remember, she returned from her Peace Corps duty in El Salvador almost a year ago. It has taken her that long to get this job. She is very thrilled.

On my front...yes, I am still gay. I continue to reach out and make new friends. And, I keep my eyes open for candidates as partners. In the meantime, I've met some people who at first blush seemed like the answers to my prayers. But, warning flags were raised when they started going down the bondage path.....or the erotic bowel movement path....etc.

I think you get the idea.

I don't know why it seems so hard in the gay world to find a regular guy for companionship....and for love -- plain and simple. The kind of love where you can grow old together and just experience the joys of day-to-day living. I have often fantasized about meeting someone where I can just sit and hold his hand in quiet moments. My favorite scenario is when I can be curled up on the couch with him and rest my head in his lap while we each read the Saturday or Sunday paper. Or plan trips to the beach...or just doing something fun. I would love for him to love my kids as his own.

I look around me and see people of every size and persuasions who have a special person in their lives and I suffer from private longing. I look at well known gay people who have just come out....and they already have partners! Chely Wright.....Ray Boltz......Jennifer Knapp all come to mind.

It makes me feel like screaming...."What in the world is wrong with me?"

But I plunge myself into my work.....or my church work.....or just the business of living. I put myself into groups of gay men all the time. I look around me and wonder....what it takes to find and to fall in love.

Oh....then there are the unspoken crushes. I see some guys that would be perfect boyfriend material. But I am just waaaaaaay tooooooooo shy to pursue it. I always wonder why I have to be the initiator.

So, I'm in a rut. I know this.

But I'm working on it.

In the meantime, I am trying to be satisfied with me. I am trying to like myself. I'm trying to enjoy my company and to keep busy. This goes a long way to combat the loneliness that sometimes threatens to sink me.

'nuff said for now.

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