A Life in the Shade

I’ve spent two nights in my home alone for the first time in over 34 years.

My wife is away at a family celebration whcih I had to stay away from having contracted coronavirus.

I have had some time to think, and in this oasis of silence, I have been considering how to bring to an end my addiction with self.

I have engaged over the last four years in a relentless pursuit of trying to connect with my identity as a gay man, married and established in a long lasting heterosexual marriage.

There was a period of time when I felt that my marriage was completely incompatible with who I am, and on the very brink of leaving, I seemed to capitulate and fall back into the weakness of the familiar; the weakness of the status quo; the weakness of acquiescence.

My addiction, is not for a drug or a drink, and my goodness how strong and resolved are those brave souls who overcome their nemesis, my addiction is for a desire to be seen, to be known and loved in the fulness of my truth.

Whilst alone today, I felt peaceful, calm almost , but sad that I do not feel loved by my children in the way that I had imagined I would be.

I wanted to be a father who was doted over, sought out for a hug, idolised and feignted as a funny, modern , accessible man whom they could rely on for their every need.

I think in materialistic ways, I have achieved that goal, but in the emotional and spiritual aspects, my connection with my children, now all grown and fledged into their own lives is a shadow of what it could have been.

My silence, my quiet addiction to know and love myself has exhausted me physically and emotionally and it has strained not just my marriage, but my heart and my faith.

I felt today, in the silence that I should put my preoccupation with self behind me. That is, accept the life I have chosen and be content.

It sounds in my heart to be a very noble aspiration, it sounds in my head to be a very sensible step; it sounds in my soul to be a very maturing development so why oh why does it sound in my life like the anguished cry of someone accepting a life in the shade.

William Defoe

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