What I had hoped to be a great family conclave turned into an unmitigated disaster and admittedly, I’m mostly to blame. To make a long story short, I came out to my children (who are all married) and their spouses on Sunday evening. While the discussion was positive and all were seemingly accepting, there was an undercurrent of tension with my oldest and youngest sons that was unmistakable. I doubt the tension was obvious to others, but I could tell it was there.
After two days, the strain finally erupted in a yelling match on a totally unrelated matter between these sons and me in which most of the family including my wife piled on me. In an impulsive reflex, I told my wife I was leaving her, gathered my things, jumped in my car and began the four hour drive to our home.
During the drive my head literally spun with a myriad of contradictory and conflicting emotion. I felt shame and disgust for allowing my sons to draw me into an argument. I felt a sense of elation at having emotionally severed the chain of obligation to my children that had bound me to my family. I felt heartbroken that I had left my wife and truest friend devastated and alone. I felt relief that the inevitable had finally arrived and was actually behind me.
After arriving home, I loaded most of my clothes and some personal items in my car and headed out. I ignored the telephone calls and text messages from my wife and children and just drove. Sometime later, I found myself at my mother’s home in Colorado.
Why I sought out my mother is a bit of a mystery. It was something I had never done in my adult life. Perhaps it was a desire to finally come out to her. Perhaps it was a need for comfort and safety. Regardless of the reason, I found what I had hoped to find.
After telling her that I was gay and that as a result my wife and I would probably divorce, she said, “You poor man. Why did you ever marry? Your life must have been terribly lonely.” She then told me that two of my dad’s cousins are gay and that several of her close friends have gay sons. She encouraged me to do whatever is necessary to be happy and assured me that she would stand beside me no matter how my future unfolded.
Today, three days later, I’m still at my mother’s, still trying to determine my next steps. I am depressed and more than a little confused about my future. I’m disappointed and embarrassed because of my own bad behavior. I’m hurt because of my sons’ insensitivity and selfishness. I’m overwhelmed by a blanket of loneliness that at times leaves me breathless.
I have briefly talked to my wife on several occasions. She is understandably angry and hurt. Perhaps I’ll return home to talk things through in a day or two.
How will all this end? It’s a mystery. Will things really work out for the best? Today I’m uncharacteristically skeptical.