Author Archives: williamdefoe274

About williamdefoe274

I am a devout Catholic, married for 29 years and in 2012 I confronted the truth about my sexuality and told my wife that I had a same sex attraction. I had never entered into extra marital relationships so on the basis of my fidelity my wife generously and courageously expressed her desire for our marriage to continue. I have been undertaking Integral Coaching for the last three years in which I have been working to reconcile my sexuality with the the pain that the isolation and fear caused within my close family relationships so that I can live in full acceptance in the present in the wholeness of my truth. William Defoe

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

Trapped by a Lack of Imagination

I have been unable to imagine a life between myself and another man.

This lack of imagination has kept me fixed in what seems to be a permanent state of despair, at my inability to express myself authetically in the world.

It is a source of constant pain, constant anxiety, and constant frustration.

I went through a period of thinking that my inaction to move into my full potential, was out of loyalty to my wife, to my family and to my faith, but in recent times, I recognise that I am the one who is responsible for this feeling of being trapped due to a lack of imagination.

I think, my age is against me, perhaps even my health, added to which is the morbid reality of a sexual decline in libido and strength.

I am reasonably handsome, I suppose, professional and intelligent, but I can never seem to imagine that these are qualities enough to attract a reliable man.

I am convinced that to be authentic, is to be an outcast, to be alone, to be isolated and full of bitter regrets for choosing a path which hurt everyone, and did not even have the benefit of meeting my need to be held and loved.

There are good reasons to be faithful, to remain in my marriage, I am aware of these, but an honest review of my motivations brings me to the unhappy conclusion that I am in fact, trapped by my lack of imagination.

William Defoe

Dolor y Gloria

In continuing to believe, that it is good for me to suppress the truth that I am gay, I feel that my body physically carries a railway sleeper attached to my shoulders everyday of my life.

I know that to be open with the world, that is with my family and friends, would be to reduce my burden, even if I never experienced what it is like, to express myself physically and emotionally with another man.

This seems strange, but I am approaching the start of my old age, the remaining harvests of my life are few and yet I procrastinate, I wobble, I mourn, I grieve, I suffer because I have agreed to remain hidden to save my marriage.

Dolor, dolor, dolor.

So where is the “y gloria?”

I have been robbed of my faith because I feel abandoned, I practise my faith and sometimes when the flame flickers, I hope and I pray that I am seen and that I will be liberated from my prison.

I have moments when I can still grasp at a belief in an after-llife and a heaven, but this earth has been for me a living hell and I don’t understand why, because I am a good boy, really I am.

dolor

y

gloria

Pain and Glory. Earth and Heaven, Lies and Truth.

Please God, liberate my soul from this angusih:

  • have you not seen my pain?,
  • must I wait to see you in heaven, before your glory is revealed?

My pain, is a self-infliction, it is a slave to fear, it has at its core a willingness to sacrifice self, for the needs of someone else who wants me parcelled as purchased all those years ago.

Why does such incredible strength , feel like such incredible weakness?

Perhaps it is because, whatever I have done in my life has been achieved despite the unbearable burden, its weight is invisible because it has been assumed into my body and my mind and it has become my pain and my glory, my sacrifice of truth, for the hope of peace.

William Defoe

Untangling

I have had this post in my head for sometime. It feels right at this time to write it down.

As I untangled the Christmas lights to hang on the tree in my garden, I struggled to separate a set of white berry lights from a set of red berry lights which had been stored in the same box.

I was surprised how easy it was to separate each set, one from the other, and then confounded by the extreme difficulty which I had in unravelling each set from themselves to create a straight line from which I could begin the action of hanging them on the branches of my tree.

It was truly horrendous, frustrating and I felt like I had neither time or patience to be bothered as it was cold and dark outside in the garage where I had gone to do the job under the lights.

The entanglement of the red berries betwixt themselves and also the white berries betwixt themselves, brought strongly to mind the reality that our choices, even when they are clear and separately identifiable, are within themselves tangled , unclear, full of hope and risk, full of desire and acceptance, full of safety and denial.

In my mind the comfort and security of my marriage respresented by the white berries, seems like a pure choice, a sensible choice and safe choice, and my marriage and my place within it carries the hopes and aspirations of my wife, whom I love.

In my mind the brutal honesty and risk of embracing my gay truth, represented by the red berries, seems like a selfish choice, unsafe, harmful to others and also to myself, but it carries the truth and the honesty of my feelings in the harsh reality of who I am at my core.

Eventually , I unravel the lights so that they are laid out untangled , side by side on the garage floor, next to each other.

I carry both sets of lights out separately to hang on the tree and place them there side by side. I deliver the cable to provide the energy which will be needed to light them up so that they sparkle and twinkle, side by side in the night sky for the benefit of my family and my neighbours and for those who pass by.

Such a public display of my truth, hidden in the metaphor of the white and red berries, shocks my inner turmoil, provokes it to grieve in silence for a time of peace , when my heart and mind can be settled and reconciled to the dual reality of my life.

There was a time when I did not recognise within me , or feel able to articulate my inner conflict, now it is present , a companion of my private reverie at the deeper mystery of who I am.

I know my truth, it cannot be denied, it is right to set it side by side, untangled for the world to see, knowing that in the white and the red berries , glistening in the night air, and blowing in the breeze, that I am doing what I can to honour both myself and also those whom I love.

William Defoe

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

The Parts Which Are Hard To Reach

As I get older, I have noticed that my physical agility and suppleness has decreased, so that some parts of my own body are now out of my reach.

An itch in the centre of my back, which as a younger man I could reach by stretching my arm behind me from underneath or over my shoulder is now inaccessible for me.

There are unreachable parts of my understanding too in much the same way. I don’t seem to trust the natural instincts which I experience in contemplating my homosexuality.

I seem content to live permanently with the suffering caused by indecisiveness and suppression, rather than being brave enough to allow myself to succumb to my truth which would enable me to be in full connection with my identity.

If I pick up a stick I can reach the itch on my back, but I risk cutting the skin in the hope of resolving the discomfort.

There does not seem to be a metaphorical stick for the hard to reach parts of my mind, other than the love of those who know and acknoledge my truth, and are not frightened by it, and also the silence of my own thoughts which enable me to revel privately in those attractions I have , which are hidden from the world.

I have come to an understanding over the years, that however deep my pain, however strong my frustration, however tangible my fear, I can allow myself to be fully accessible, fully open, fully human, if only for those times when I am agile enough to be happy with who I am.

William Defoe

I Need Some Time Alone

In recent weeks, I have been focussed on meeting the needs of others, by giving my time generously to famly members who have needed my help.

I have been happy to be supportive and generous with my time and resources at their time of need.

This weekend, I celebrate my birthday, and although there has been a general willingness to please me, and to create a bit of fuss around me, what I sense I need right now, most of all, is to be left alone.

My head is swimming with its own struggles and the surface which I project outwardly, suppresses the inner turmoil and continuous struggle which I fight alone each and everyday of my life.

These feelings have been made worse in recent days by the resurfacing of issues of trust in my marriage. My wife saw something which gave her reason to doubt my integrity, which despite appearances is unjustified.

I feel an inward frustration at being watched, being guarded, being doubted, when what I need most of all is to be held and loved and respected.

It seems strange to me that more than any of the suspicions with which I am accused, it is my own fear that makes my intolerable life an acceptable choice.

In the quiet time to come which I crave so much, I need to think about a life free of the shackles of mistrust, free of the constant fear, free of the suppression of my truth, which will come at the price of family unhappiness and bitter disappointment which I can only hope will be short-lived.

William Defoe

The Call of a Blackbird

During the Covid lockdown in the UK, in which we have been contained in our family groups within our homes and our gardens, I have taken a keen interest in the various visits to our garden of the wild birds.

These are not as exotic as you might find in other countries, but the visit of the robin, the blue-tit, the house sparrow, the collared dove, the magpie and the blackbird have brought a thrill to my eyes and ears as I have watched them arrive, feed, sing their song and leave my garden.

I particulrly enjoy listening to the call of the lone blackbird as it whistles its tune into the open space from its perch on a rooftop nearby. It’s tail bobbing as it calls out its song.

I wonder at it’s, effort and revel in it’s beauty.

Is it calling for a mate, or to mark it’s territory, or to alert it’s own kind to its presence?

Is it responding to the call of it’s mate or neighbours, or simply wanting to be heard by its own kind?

This thought, forced within me a reflection on my own need to be seen and to be heard, and how incredibly difficult it can be at times to traverse the world, hidden , suppressed, contained because I have not been able to express myself fully as a gay man.

I think this kind of infringement is akin to putting the blackbird in a cage and putting that cage in a garden shed.

What a shame it would be to deny ourselves of the joy of hearing the blackbird sing freely, and in the same spirit of openess therefore, what a shame it is to deny ourselves the capacity to speak our truth.

William Defoe

Finding Courage in Endurance

I think that I have developed a deeper sense of how courageous I have been in the midst of a life lived in the shadows of my true identity.

I have endured in complete silence and without any support from any other living soul, my open life as a family man, a man of faith, a man of deep integrity and strong values.

For shame!

I have endured alone, my deep longings to be whole, my deep longings to be seen, my deep longings to be acknowledged in my truth as a gay man.

In these more recent years, I have been liberated from the silent grief of my heart by acknowledging my truth to a close knit circle, including my wife, my brother and my coach.

My coach, I reflect is saving my life by refusing to collude with me in the act of suppression, and willing me through my own endeavours into a space in which I can live and feel and be who I was born to be.

I sense in these most recent of days, my courage, rather than what I have percieved as weakness in living my life in the shadows. To attempt to hold on to the aspects of my life which I love and value is an act of courage, an act of self-giving, and an act of love.

My truth finds its expression in no longer being fearful of being found out, my courage finds its expression in accepting and welcoming all of me in my own moments of reverie about the mystery of my humanity.

I am very much loved and respected by those who share my life, be it in fulness or in the shadows of my branches.

The fruit I bear, the fruit I share and the fruit which falls unseen to the ground under the weight of its density and the weakness of the stem, is calling out to all who see me, to look, to notice and to acknowledge the courage I have shown in endurance throughout my life.

William Defoe

When Earth Comes Into A Close Orbit With Mars

I have been fascinated by the recent landing of the NASA probe Perserverance on to the planet Mars.

It is a technological marvel, a substantial event in the history of humankind.

I have read how the planning for these launches and landings take place years in advance and are timed to coincide with the closer orbit of Mars to Earth to save travel time between the planets.

In recent weeks, for what has been a sustained period, I have felt that I have been in a closer orbit with my wife. It is as if we have become more aligned after a much longer sustained period of distance and suspicion and doubt.

I have felt seen by her, and she has felt safer in my love and companionship and it has felt genuine.

This morning as we went about our separate routines in the kitchen before breakfast, the song “Have I told you lately” sung by Van Morrison was played on the radio.

“Have I told you lately that I love you – Have I told you there’s no one else above you – You fill my heart with gladness – Take away all my sadness – Ease my troubles, that’s what you do

I stopped her from her busyness and I stuck my head into her shoulder and we swayed whilst these lyrics washed over us both.

We were close together in the orbit of these words.

In truth, it is not possible to take away all my sadness, it is inherent within me and there are feelings of hurt and disappointment and frustration and fear that I don’t expect will ever go away.

But I have felt supported in the closer orbit of Mars to Earth.

I have felt my troubles eased by feelings of being loved and appreciated and I think my wife will have felt eased by the spontoneity of my holding on to her, so that, with me she felt into these lyrics and experienced in her heart my gratitude for keeping faith with her gay husband.

William Defoe