Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Feeling of Anxiousness

I am experiencing a lived feeling of anxiousness.

It’s physical effects, which I am honed into, is of a fluttering in my chest, as if there is a little bird flapping frantically in an attempt to escape it’s captivity in my heart.

It’s mental effects, are a deep fear and foreboding that something is wrong, something is off the tracks, something is happening or will happen over which I have no control.

It’s emotional effects are a constant effort to put on a face to the world, in which I hide my pain, in which I suppress my deepest longings, in which I tell myself that these feelings rise and fall like the swell of the sea which I must just ride out.

It’s cognitive effects are frightening because I fear that I will not be able to sustain my working capacity in a role which demands so much of my cognitive skills to be competent, confident and concise.

These feelings of anxiousness are an unwelcome companion on my journey through life, but they are not unknown, nor are they my enemy, they are thoughts and feelings from deep within my soul calling for me to be safe.

I try my best to attach these feelings to something tangible, something that I can relate to, an event that has happened, or an event which is happening or an event which I fear will happen in the future which I can overcome if only I can understand what its basis is for being present.

These feelings ebb and flow and connect themselves to multipe strands of life, which are in most cases the simple run of the mill experiences that come with being alive.

I am busy trying to be a good husband and father, a son and a brother, and yet my feelings of anxiousness, warn me of impending loss, punch me with feelings of doubt and regret, tease me with hopes and longings that I can never realistically expect to fulfil.

My response is to attack these feelings of anxiousness with physical activity, running, sex, long walks and attack them also with quietness, a space to think, a space to find balance, a space to sleep, and attack them with creativity in reading, writing and painting.

My experience of being integrally coached has taught me to welcome all my feelings, they are all part of a bigger picture of the canvas of my life and that if I welcome them all, I will have a lived hope of respite from the dark days and emerge once more into light, peace and calm.

Eventually the fluttering bird trapped near my heart, will be free once more to fly and soar in the vastness of the sky.

William Defoe

Hard Times

I have just finished reading the novel “Hard Times” written by Charles Dickens first published in 1854.

It is a reasonably short book, but perhaps I am slow reader, or the print was small, but for some reason in took me several weeks to read it.

I like to read every word, and try to understand the deeper sentiments in the novel, which in part, as in many of Dickens novels, are a critique on the social and econominc injustices of the times, touching in this novel on workers rights (or should I say lack of them), the harshness and controlling behaviours of early trade union leaders and mill owners, and the indissovibility of marriage.

As I had anticipated, I was moved very deeply by aspects of the intertwined tragedies of the chararcters in the novel, shedding a tear here and there, feeling overwhelmed, touched, hopeful, sad at different times in the script.

I took the trouble to underline one sentence, which touched a place within me for which I write this blog, but which so often feels suppressed within my breast, and which is a lonely load to carry.

After divulging her unhappiness to her father, he sits up all night pondering on the heart-rendering circumstances of his beloved daughter’s unhappiness in which he has played a part, being a man awake to the needs of the head, but blind to the calls of the heart.

He says to her “when I consider what has been known to me for hours, has been concealed by you for years”

This reality touched a deep nerve within me, because I too have a lived experieince of living a suppressed life as a gay man in a heterosexual marriage.

I have in recent years, I found the courage to speak out, but except in the most exceptional confidences which I have entered into, which can be counted on one hand, there is now a constatnt feeling in my breast that my isolation and pain continues because my truth is still held to ransom by forces of reason which I adhere to within my own heart to keep it suppressed.

Hard Times indeed, for me, and perhaps Hard Times for you too, which keep out the light, to protect the myth which is played out in my family and community as my truth.

My truth, hidden within, is a thing of beauty, which is not fully formed into a resolution to dance in the streets, but finds its expression in a longing and a desire to be known, to be accepted, to be liberated.

I know from my own limited experience of the damage caused by living an experience which is not honest. I have spoken my truth, I have found pockets of support to see me through the hard times in which I live, it is my dearest wish dear reader, that you too will find a space to express who you were born to be.

William Defoe

An Earnest Question

This morning I asked my wife whether she remembered writing me a letter approximately 18 months ago in which she promised to love me again if only I would stop visiting places where homosexual men are known to gather.

At the time, I refused to do so, and I issued my own set of conditions if such a proposition was to be fulfilled.

In answer to my question, she acknowledged the letter and I asked her if she recalled the promises she had set out should her wishes be met.

I have met her conditions for the last eighteen months, but they have been the hardest months of my life. I am in constant anguish and my constant suffering feels like an illness  -not the fact of being gay, but the suppression of my identity and the requirement to live my life in a controlled manner.

My wife asked me an earnest question. How can I support you to be gay, How can I normalize it within our marriage?

My answer, please acknowledge it, don’t fear it, try to love me rather than attempt to control me.

Let me speak to those whom know my truth and  don’t feel fearful that here is something in those talks which are against you.

Laugh at me, laugh with me – point out the truth and hold me and show me that you are no longer afraid.

Draw me in to your circle of trust, nurse my wounds and I will repay you one hundredfold.

This earnest question feels like a turning point, not to a guaranteed life-long happiness, but to a moment of connection from which a clear choice has to be made by her in respect of whether she can drop her fear of me, and embrace my truth and become the soulmate for which I have longed for so long.

William Defoe

 

Raindrops In My Tea

Whenever I think of a title for a future post, I drop it down into the memo app on my mobile phone.

I came across this one, “Raindrops In My Tea” and despite knowing where I was when I wrote it down, and who I was with at the time, I cannot remember the context at all.

Perhaps it was a pique of despondency as we sat outside with a cup of tea and slice of cake, with my brother and sister-in-law, overlooking the cliffs and the sea of a local beauty spot.

The raindrops in my tea, signaled heavy rain and we all rushed with our drinks to stand with strangers under a canopy, as the raindrops fell heavily with a splash into my cup of tea.

Perhaps the churn on the surface of my drink appealed to my current state of anxiety and sense of foreboding in that moment of what was still to come.

A yearning, deep within, which had come to the surface, like the tea displaced by the splash of the rainwater, to momentarily leave its haven only to fall back again into the deep darkness of the depths of the cup.

But that moment of freedom is an opportunity to grow; an opportunity to breath free; an opportunity to feel weightless, and perhaps the rebound from re-entry will lift me higher to a point at which I can land outside the confines of the cup.

Rainwater in my tea speaks to me now of the potential to be free, despite the desolation of the circumstances.

Rainwater in my tea reminds me of the liberating effects of a tear cried out onto my face, akin to the splash into my cup.

My next blog will be: Summer Break

William Defoe

L’Omosessuale 2

I wanted to write further in respect of my previous post on L’Omosessuale.

The character of Carlo Piero Guercio refers to his imaginary conversations with a doctor.

He says “I know in advance that I will be called an invert, that I am in a strange way in love with myself, that I am sick and can be cured, that my mother is responsible………”

The concept of “being in love with myself” provoked within me a strong sense of confusion, uncertainty and disconcertion.

I often refer in my posts to having found a space in which I can love myself, to embrace all of what I am, and so I would say that before this time my suppressed feelings for my own sex were anything but being in love with myself.

Then there is the consideration that in some way, I am auto-sexual.

That is,  I look in the mirror and I feel a physical attraction to myself, and that if it was possible I would want to sleep with me, if I met myself in a bar (etc).

I have often given consideration as to whether my appearance might be a source of attraction to other men, but I think I am being honest when I say that I am not attracted to a type that looks like me.

If anything, my interests in men are indeterminate and at a deeper level they are concerned with fulfilling a need for a feeling of security, safety, strength and compassion.

I have this underlying concern that my feelings for men are in some way a form of narcissism.

I refute this in my mind because having considered its implications, my love of self  is contextualized in a very strong love and compassion and indeed sacrificial consideration for the needs and feelings of others when continuing to hold my truth to only a close circle.

Ultimately, Carlo Piero Guercio gives his life to protect a man he loves, that is not the actions of a man in love with himself, nor is my homosexuality an inverted narcissism which is concerned with self alone.

It is a reality into which I have constantly striven to be a source of strength and love for others, and it is perhaps the greatest source of the compassion and empathy which I bring to the world.

My next blog will be: Above the Clouds

William Defoe

It’s My Life

I have been drawn to the words of the latest song of artist Robbie Williams, in which he sings: –

“I love my life – I am powerful, I am beautiful, I am free”

His words seem to me, to be from a place where he has arrived at recently in his life.

He acknowledges the difficulties of the past and of the difficulties still to come, and yet, despite these, he is simply and beautifully telling us that : –

“I love my life – I am wonderful, I am magical, I am me”

The words of this song, which from time to time I sing along to in the bath, or in the car, or whilst out running, are also about me, and when you sing them quietly in your head or out loud, they are about you too.

The translation of the lyrics from this talented performer and singer, are immediate, the minute we join in, and they are true, because our very humanity, our very essence of being alive makes these words something we too can own, believe in and accept.

The last line of his song is:-

“I’m where I want to be”

Robbie Williams seems very happy and in love, from what I read of him in the papers, but this statement of his is possibly not just about his domestic happiness. Perhaps it is simply that he is fully aware and deeply connected with his sense of self and his place in the world, at peace with the past, and prepared for whatever comes.

These are aspirations which I continue to strive for in my own life, which are a reflection of living a life in the present, of living a life in deep conversation with the soul, and reflecting my self-hood with confidence in the world.

My next blog will be: Strong Parfum

William Defoe

 

 

A Helping Hand

Yesterday, I was very surprised when a woman thrust out her hand to assist me as I climbed down a small wall to join a line of runners at the start of my local Parkrun.

A helping hand which was unsought, but generous and kind and thoughtful in its gesture of connection, its gesture of care, its gesture of giving.

I took her hand and she briefly took some of my weight upon herself.

At the moment I stepped down from the small embankment; at the moment between leaving and arriving which was so brief, I felt humbled and grateful by her example of generosity and care.

As I stood in the line, waiting for the race to start, my mind insisted on pondering over the importance of a gesture between strangers; the importance of connecting with each other; the importance of recognising the need in another, even when it is not sought or asked for; the importance of  giving a helping hand.

My next blog will be: Clean Underwear

William Defoe

German Guests

We had some German Guests stay at our home with us, for a short period, over the New Year.

We did what we could to make these young people feel very welcome by putting a welcome sign up at the door, and decorating the entrance hall to our home with intertwined German and UK Flags.

I don’t speak German, but I prepared a few phrases of welcome (in German) and I offered to take them out for lunch the following day (in German) as well as telling them (in German) not to worry about anything – leave what you do not like (food) etc

It was a delight to see the smile of recognition and appreciation in their smiles and in their eyes.

The following day, whilst walking with them at a local beauty spot, which they had asked to see, I said again what a privilege it was to welcome them to our home.

One of the young people said, but we are only human, same as you.

Ah, I replied, but it is important that we show our guests from a foreign country  how special it is for us to have them with us in our home.

You see, I wanted my German Guests (who are friends of my adult child) to know that our connection with them is important, and what an honour it was to share our home with them.

So, as the Queen said in her Christmas broadcast, if we do the seemingly little things to change our world to make it a fairer, warmer, safer and brighter place, we have done our bit in these challenging times.

My next blog will be:  Pulling Out into Traffic

William Defoe

No Photograph Taken

A few weeks ago, during a short break in October, I visited Whitby.

Although I was with my family, I had an opportunity to walk alone up the 200 steps to Whitby Abbey.

The few moments which I had alone, in that  truly beautiful spot, were an opportunity for me to just be; to just be with it; to just be with self.

As I made my way back to the top of the steps to descend them again, to meet up for a meal with my family, I paused and I admired the view.

As I stood there, several people stopped close by to take photographs of the spectacular view of the coast from this high vantage point.

I had my camera with me, but for me no photograph was taken.

I simply felt the need to be in it; to be part of it; to be close to it; and for me, this was best experienced in my wounded heart, which in that moment felt a sense of healing and a sense of hope; a sense of acceptance and a sense of my truth, and I was calm.

True, I have visited Whitby before, and I will do so again, but the place from which no photograph was taken, at the top of the steps to the abbey, looking out to sea is a memory etched now, all these weeks later, on my mind and heart.

For me, as I journey through a complicated set of emotions, I am learning that the best memories are the ones where I have created a space to take notice; created a space to pray and think; created a space to be calm.

My next blog will be: Malta

William Defoe

An Olive

Last week, whilst out Christmas shopping  with my wife, we had a break from the shops and sat down to eat lunch in a newly opened Portuguese restaurant in my home city.

As we waited for out food to be served, the waiter brought over a complimentary bowl of olives.

I do not like olives!

I tried one, though!

The moment the olive entered my mouth, I knew I had made a mistake and that it was going to be impossible for me to swallow it.

As I fussed around me for the corner of a napkin in which I intended to eject the olive from my mouth,  two things happened in close succession.

First, my wife ordered me to swallow it, no doubt to save me from the indignity of removing the olive from my mouth, and no doubt so save herself from the indignity of watching me do so!

Second, the taste which I so dislike, took hold in my mouth, and made the experience all the more wretched.

The olive was propelled with speed into my napkin, rolled up and placed in my pocket for later disposal.

In these brief moments I had experienced:-

Generosity – the complimentary gift of olives from the waiter;

Temptation – I don’t like olives but I will try one anyway;

Repulsion – I don’t like olives!;

Judgement – my wife telling me to swallow the olive;

Independence – making it clear that despite her request, this olive was not going further than my mouth;

Restraint – discreet ejection of olive into napkin

Relief – water washing away all remaining lingering taste of the salty olive;

Joy – having lunch with my wife in a new restaurant in my home city;

Culture – a taste of Portugal in my own back yard.

No matter, how long the moment, life is calling out to be noticed.

I make every effort to notice mine  – don’t let yours pass you by

My next blog will be :- Vomiting

William Defoe