Right now I don’t know what most of the people around me want. And, for someone who has tended to try to be strong for people (I know that might sound unbelievable) my whole life that’s not easy. It forces me to look my own needs and desires straight on.
Some are fraught and at this moment a little unspeakable. I don’t know, it’s odd with Handsome. I’m married, but separated and Mark keeps telling me that he doesn’t understand where I’m coming from in even doing what I’m doing. He understands emotionally why to some degree, but he thinks even longing openly for something with someone else when you’re married is always wrong. We don’t fight about it though.
I’m afraid of what I think. Regardless of what does, doesn’t or can’t happen with Handsome, I’m scared that my views are either so sweet, innocent, idealistic and gracious that I’m likely to be devoured by those who have far fewer scruples than I do, or I’ll be judged and rejected as corrupt and vile by those who are much more strict. This has always been my fear in life though… Partially based on experience, of course.
I had a man, a friend at the time, tell me once that in regard to matters of love one must give one’s self space… That you must allow yourself room to think things through honestly. I think he was right.
Sometimes the conclusions you come to will frighten you. Matter of fact, in matters of love, I suspect it will always be at least a little scary if it’s the truth. What you do with what you know is the tricky part. But I think you have to know what really is first.
My father was never honest about such things. Well, that’s not entirely true… But mostly. He was gay. But he married my mother and despite my mother’s good intentions and my father’s attempt to be or seem “normal” they commenced an absolutely horrific marriage.
And, they’re still technically married, even though they’ve been separated and haven’t seen each other for over ten years. They are trying so damn hard to be good Christians. My mother wants to have nothing to do with him, and my father still is trying to be a gay man married to a woman… And, oh I know, it could be easy for people in my generation to judge my parents and their choices (I have). But, they originally made their decisions in a very different time, of course. Trying to find their voices and truth back then was much more difficult, if not nearly impossible given their exact cultural context. And, now what? Can you imagine trying to sort through all these opposing pieces, gathered from years and years of life, that cut to your very core? I don’t envy them. Their complicated and disastrous relationship is something I try to have compassion for and learn from.
I want to be a good a Christian too, but… it’s a mess. I know being selfless and giving of your soul to Christ is part of being “saved.” I know we’re supposed to give it all away to Him. But, what happens when what we’re giving Him isn’t something… He wants to take from us. I mean, are we supposed to give away our truth? Are we supposed to lie about reality to be Godly? That doesn’t make any sense.
What about the victims? I often wonder about how much better my childhood would have been if my mother had left my dad early on. It’s been wonderful to see them separated. Often I was their counselor – breaking up their fights. Often I was their friend, watching as my mother was rejected by my father in subtle ways for reasons that were no fault of her own at all despite what she believed, and my father could barely emotionally breath at all. I learned quickly that being afraid of life was dangerous. And yet, here I am, a little scared of my own truths. There’s always a difference when you live in something versus watching it. And, just to clarify, I’m not bi-sexual, or a lesbian and I am a woman… My conflict is different than my parents’, but again, for someone who really doesn’t want to cause anyone any trouble or pain, even getting a divorce seems scary… And actually, of course, getting divorced because you’re homosexual might seem like a more admirable reason than being deeply unhappy in general in a marriage.
Of course, one must survive too. And, perhaps, that man on the bus, that older man who told me that he once believed in the power of beauty and truth, well, maybe that’s what he meant. “Sophistication is important,” he said.
And, yet, I remember watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s with my father for the first time when I was about 12. “Oh, it’s so funny to think back on how much a person changes over time.” he wistfully mused at the end. I asked him what he meant. “Well, when I was young I would have seen a movie like this and thought, ‘huh, they’ve really got something figured out.’ You know, that this is what the meaning of life is. But now, I watch this film, and it just seems so silly.” Anger and superiority in his voice. It was a beautiful, elegant, and dreamy film to me, and as a twelve year old girl who adored Audrey Hepburn I couldn’t understand why it caused him to be so irritable and resentful. He officially came out to my mother and I when I was 17 and looking back, it eventually wasn’t a mystery.
Anyway, I think people have to be wise. And wisdom isn’t just one thing or another in my opinion. It isn’t just following the rules blindly, but it also isn’t totally ignoring them. They are there for a reason… It’s a mess. It’s a struggle between good and evil. And my goal, simply put, is to be as genuinely happy as I can and hurt people the absolute least amount possible, if at all, including myself, which is of course not simple. I think most people want that though…
So anyway, whatever happens, I hope it’s the best thing. And, in regard to Handsome, I hope it’s the best for everyone I love and care about, and the best for who matters in his life too… I hope, aside from Handsome, that I know what to do with myself after Mark (divorce seeming very likely at this point). There will be a lot of room and in many ways I have no idea what to do with it…