Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Building a Successful Life After Coming Out

Well, I've been invited to a discussion on the topic of "Building a Successful Life After Coming Out." I have decided to attend this. It should be interesting. It's set for a week from this Friday.

I wonder what this kind of "Successful" life is? How do you know that you are leading a successful life after coming out?

I suppose that folks on the outside looking at my life would think I've done just that. Here are my accomplishments: divorced, survived financially, redefined my spirituality and faith background, create a strong network of friends, maintained the love of my children, maintained my job, came out to my parents who accepted me, survived the loss of both parents in quick succession, explored hobbies, took chances and discovered new things about me, etc.

But down deep I still feel like a failure -- at times.

This is because that my parents always epitomized a stable loving relationship. They modeled this 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They were together 56 years. They told me that I would get married. They said she would be my best friend. They said that I could tell her everything and be honest....be vulnerable, and that she would always have my back. "You'll grow old together," they said. She'll support you through the good times and the bad.

So growing up I always thought my life would be just like theirs. I'd be like Ward Cleaver on LEAVE IT TO BEAVER. Perfect wife. Perfect kids. Perfect house. Perfect life.

For 25 years I thought in spite of my gayness...and quasi coming out, I had it all. I had the wife, the family, the house, etc. As a gay man, I even had a married lover who was in the same boat.

Then it was all gone. My world changed. The woman I trusted with my deepest most intimate secrets....the one I had been told to trust above all others -- betrayed me, almost gleefully. Shortly thereafter, the man that I truly cared deeply for, "set me free" because he thought he was holding me back.

So I lost in love two times in rapid fire succession.

How much weight do I put to these two major collapses in the overall theme of "Building a Successful Life After Coming Out"?

I just don't know.

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