Ten Years

Today, the 15th November 2022 is a date of significance.

It is not my birthday or my wedding anniversary, but its significance rests on this being the day, ten years ago on which I told first my brother and then my wife, later that same day , that I am gay.

After the initial disclosure to my wife, I was ready to face the end of my marriage, but in th euphoria of finding that she accepted my truth, and that there had been no infidelity on my part, we decided to keep ourselves within our marriage.

In those halcyon days of liberation, I invested time and energy in coming to terms with my truth, and this has been a most positive change , acceptance and love for self,.

However, my truth is still suppressed because I have agreed to it to appease my wife, and it is managed because over the years, my actions have led to a perception in my wife that I cannot be trusted.

Over the period of these last ten years, I have come to know and love myself. I have come to terms with who I am , and there have been a handful of what seemed at the time carefully managed disclosures to acquanitances about my truth. These dosclosures illustrated that I was no longer fearful of being known as a gay man.

Excepting one loyal friend, my coach her family and her associates, there has been no real support from these discolures to see me in my fulness, no real understanding that I need help and support each day.

I muddle through my life, the suffering of isolation which was suppsed to have ended ten years ago, has given way to the suffering of endurance, a fear to change the tracks of my life to a proper liberation of my soul to flourish and be free.

I am not a victim, I am clear about that. I have created my own prison brick by brick, because I am afraid , afraid of finding that my choices have hurt others. My course of action has been to keep others safe, keep my feelings and longings suppressed so that I can stay in the environment which nurtures the life-comforts which I have worked hard to provide, and which I rely on.

I don’t give advice, because I can’t be relied upon to take my own, but what someone like me needs more than anything , is to be seen, to see in the others eyes which are looking back at me, that I am seen, seen without judgement, seen without expectations in return, seen and loved for just being me.

William Defoe


1 thought on “Ten Years

  1. Janeena Atkinson

    Thank you William
    I am struck by your willingness to name what is true, to celebrate your liberation and simultaneously acknowledge your ongoing sense of imprisonment. It speaks to me of the very human experience of living inside competing commitments with all the difficulty and goodness that holds. So powerful to hear you name the importance of simply being seen for all of it – for our suffering and our joy – no easy resolution but the homecoming of others’ gaze amd acceptance.



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