It Was My Time To Speak

To say that 2018 has been a difficult year for me and my wife would not be understating the intense drama which has played out between us over the last few months.

My determination to socialise my gay sexuality by visiting places where gay men and women meet has had a devastating effect on my wife whom I love.

Whilst on holiday at the end of August, I tried to use poetry and writing to broaden my wife’s understanding of the  methods I was using to explore and experience my truth whilst being faithful sexually to the vows I had made to her over thirty years ago.

My efforts to explain in aesthetic terms resulted in a deep confusion and frustration in my wife, who wanted direct answers to direct questions which I was not prepared to give her at that time.

It might seem strange, but despite feeling that my place in the marriage was untenable, I was fighting my own wave of counter-intuition by resolving within me that it would be foolish to leave my marriage.

One evening, I followed my wife to our room where she had gone to change for the evening and I discovered her almost slumped on the balcony in much distress. I sat in the apartment on the bed listening to her cry, and I resolved the it was my time to speak.

I went out to her and put my arm around her and words started to come out of my mouth with such clarity and honesty that I was surprised myself at my capacity to find the words I spoke to her.

For ten minutes I articulated my feelings for my own sex, their origins in my life as a boy of no more than twelve years old, and how I had lived my life, unacknowledged, hidden from my truth, hidden from meaningful acknowledgement of who I am from those whom I need to love me.

This life, suppressed has devastated my emotional life and frustrated my physical and sexual life to a point now which is untenable.

Despite these feelings, I want to remain in the marriage, but for that to happen I told her I need her to love me, to hold me, to understand and acknowledge my deep inner conflict and pain.

I was able to tell her in those few minutes that I had indeed being visiting gay bars in recent months and that in the main, I had stood at the bar alone, but importantly I had been seen by direct eye contact with other gay men and I felt seen and true in those places in a way that had alluded me all my life.

After speaking, we washed and dressed and left our apartment hand in hand to enjoy our evening meal and a few drinks and the busy bustling atmosphere of the Greek resort.

I had spoken at last, and my wife had heard me.

My next blog will be: An Exchange of Letters

William Defoe

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The Woman in a Dress of The Wind

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a traditional Greek Dancing Night whilst on holiday on the beautiful Greek Island of Zakynthos.

In advance of the professional dancers coming out and enthralling the audience with their wonderful strength and talent and passion, my eye was drawn to a woman who was dancing in a most beautiful dress which seemed to me to contain the wind.

Its long length of golden fabric, which was cut straight, almost in the style of a loose fitting night shirt came to rest above her ankles.

Her feet moved perfectly in step with the group that she appeared to be leading, her face alight with the delight of moving, with the delight of the music and the song, with the delight of being in this, her present moment.

The light breeze found access to her dress, from the cut of it’s low back and it seemed to swoon in the pleasure of adorning this beautiful woman, and yet I don’t think she herself was aware of how lovely she looked, as I sat and watched her from my seat with a deep admiration and respect.

For me, this woman of middle-age, beautiful, assured, happy in the moment exuded outwardly what it means to be alive and to be alert to being joyful.

Even the elements which consumed her dress wanted to have some part in her delight.

I, sat in my seat, carrying my emotional wound, which responds to joy and sadness as if they were the same thing,  was mesmerized and profoundly grateful to this woman with the wind in her dress because her movement and her beauty and her joy warmed my heart and soothed my hidden hurting depths.

My next blog will be: It Was My Time To Speak

William Defoe

Weeping Willow

Overhanging the path along the side of the canal, on which one of my running routes takes me, I am momentarily protected from above by the overhanging shoots of several weeping willows.

I ask myself, how it is, that the overhanging branches of the weeping willow seem to stop just above my head, whilst on the canal side they are strewn just above the water.

I’m not an arborist, but I imagine they are sensitive to the upward draft of the air as people walk along and therefore control their own growth to stay above the movement below them.

They are so incredibly beautiful and mysterious too.

To be among the branches of the weeping willow, however fleetingly, is akin to feeling a sense of security, to be safe under its protection in the eerie ambiance of its foliage, which seems to me, to hold within, its own light and sound whilst keeping out the distractions and temptations and noise from the outside world.

As I run through the overhang, and quickly emerge, I have enjoyed carrying along with me on the path an inner transformation from the weeping willow.

A feeling of self-hood and calm and truth which is safely held within me despite the world.

My next blog will be: The Woman in a Dress of The Wind

William Defoe

 

 

Truth and Lies

In recent weeks I have been less open with my wife than I have been in the past her.

I have taken back some control over my free time, and I have applied this to the areas of my soul which have been deprived for too long.

At the beginning of my journey to know and love self, which immediately followed my admission to my wife that I was gay, we promised to love each other, remain faithful and be open.

In the intervening years, those ideals have been compromised on both sides by a sense of fear which has its origins in a breakdown of trust.

So easy has it been for both of us, to use against the other, those little nuggets of information which were designed in their original openness and honesty to be bonds, now turned in anger and fear into weapons designed to control and hold in what needed to be liberated and free.

The openness and honesty has now settled into protect and preserve, and an absolute determination on my part to be free of unjustified control and unmitigated fear.

My wife said to me recently that she no longer knows the difference between truth and lies.

I responded to say that there are no lies, only truth – and truth is honest even when it is difficult.

I explained that I am suffering too because I have been hurt and misunderstood.

I have been open in the past about everything, but for the last five years I have perceived in her a desire to control me and to keep me scared at a time when I needed to feel accepted and loved.

“I am no longer scared and I will not be controlled by you, but if you look at me and hold me and you accept me then I think we can make it work”

My next blog will be: Weeping Willow

William Defoe

The Socialisation of my Sexuality

I evolved into the truth of my gay sexuality only after I was married with three young children.

I chose to suppress my feelings for my own sex, to honour the commitments I had made to my wife, and to fulfill my responsibilities as a father to my children.

After twenty-five years of marriage, many of which I had lived under the shadow of my truth, I emerged into the light by informing my wife that I was gay.

In recent years, since I made that announcement to her, we have both made heroic attempts to remain faithful and committed to our marriage and to our joint values as parents and as a couple with responsibilities to fulfill to our family and our friends.

I have been through the most wonderful and transforming coaching process,  and through this development of self, I have grown my capacity to know and love self and to accept my sexuality as an integral and welcomed and special part of what makes me the loving and caring and compassionate person that I am.

My sexuality remains hidden from a large number of my acquaintance and this has continued to serve a sense of isolation within me.

Late last year, I was introduced to a beautiful gay married couple and I was able, for the first time to experience the wonder of being seen as a gay man in the community from which my lifestyle choice has prevented me from  joining.

I have spent the time since meeting them, pondering on ways in which I can bring my sexuality to a social environment without compromising the commitments I have made to my wife.

My wife has been scared by her experience of the loss of control which I percieved she held over me over my secret truth, but the truth is that I am no longer scared and I absolutely refuse to be controlled in this matter from outside pressure to conform.

The only pressure I will tolerate is the pressure I exert from within, the only control I will tolerate is the control I exercise over my experiences which keep me faithful to my marriage vow.

The issues in my marriage have felt like a crisis as I have pushed forward with the socialization of my sexuality in space which I have created for myself.

In an effort to end my isolation, I have felt a further isolation in often not feeling accepted by those with whom I aspire to belong.

Perhaps this is because in my choice to remain married to my wife, whom I love with all my heart,  I am by necessity holding back.

This reserve, however, does not negate the essential step I have taken to socialise my sexuality and to be seen in the fullness of my truth.

My next blog will be: Truth and Lies

William Defoe

Summer Break

Recently, I was able to spend a few days at the coast with my wife here in the United Kingdom and we were visited by various members of our family during our stay.

My prevailing mood was good, and I was able to rest and relax in the days of pleasant sunshine.

Underneath the surface throughout my summer break, my heart churned as I tried desperately to come to terms with the nagging question in my head that cried interminably for space.

I thought that a holiday was by definition, a place for space, but what my heart really needed was solitude.

My life is at a crossroads, and in recent weeks, I have turned left, walked a few metres and then turned back, and continued straight ahead, repeating the sideways manoeuvre many, many times.

The path on which I have lived my life, has been a good one, and it feels the safest option to stay on it and be fulfilled in married and family life until the end of my life.

However, the call from within yearns for turn to the left at the crossroads, and calls on me to embrace fully my reality and truth of soul to be a gay man.

My summer break did not afford me the time or the space to answer the call, so I keep going ahead, over each crossroad, bearing the anguish of indecision and the burden of truth, until I can find the solitude I need to fathom the unfathomable call of my soul for peace.

My next blog will be: The Socialisation Of My Sexuality

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