Friday, April 18, 2008

Self Doubt, My Old Enemy

Last night I had a visit from an old enemy, my self doubt about my sexuality. It came in a wave of emotions, I was quite shocked with how strong it was and also in wondering where it suddenly came from. I was lying in bed with Dave and I had a feeling that this was not where I was suppose to be. That I was meant to be a man with a wife and family, not lying next to another man. That I am going against God, nature, the universe or what, I am not sure of. It almost made me tear up in frustration, I don't understand what I am suppose to do with this. I have known that I am gay since I was young so there is no confusion there. I have zero attraction to women so I could never attempt to fake a marriage, plus I could never 'use' another person for my own gain. I read about a lot of men who tried to lead that life but being gay will call you out sooner or later, so I know I made the right choice there. I don't understand God's plan or nature's mistake which ever it is. I am trying to do the best I can with what I have and I thought a relationship with a guy like Dave is the right path for me. Now I feel stuck again, either way I am going against the grain, if I date a guy then I am going against society, if I date a woman (never will) I am going against my sexuality. I will not go back to being single, I don't want to be alone anymore and Dave means the world to me. I did not say a word to Dave, I did not think he would understand.

Maybe I should not have been surprised, I guess these feelings may have been lurking at the surface and I was just ignoring them. Dave never pushes me, however sometimes I 'feel' like he does. I have to remind him that I just came out, he is supportive and understanding of this but sometimes where he sees no problem, I see a mountain. We did have a discussion before bed that may have helped trigger these feelings. I had just met a couple more of his friends and some times that unnerves me because they know right away that I am gay. I don't have my comfort wall of being able to gauge them first and even though they accept Dave and are happy for him, I feel that a stranger knows my inner most secret, one that I had guarded even from my closest friends for years. I know it sounds strange but it takes a bit out of me then that happens, meeting new people as a gay man that is. We don't argue (yet) but the discussion was he wants me to come to a party with him as his date. I have done this before and again this will be with a bunch of people from his work. The thing is some do not know he is gay and I told him I am not up to being his way to announce to everyone that he is gay. At first he did not understand and insisted that I come. I told him the truth, that I am tired of going to parties with all straight people that are strangers to me. I am tired of being the "gay couple" at the parties and BBQs, I don't want to be that accessory where people think their party was cool because there was a gay couple there. I know it is nice that he loves me and wants his friends to meet me but I reminded him of my coming out only a few months ago and said this is taking a toll on me. He then understood, he asked if it would be okay if some of his gay friends wanted us to come for dinner, I said I would like that very much, I think it would be more relaxing, at least I would not feel like a novelty. Dave's friends are great, they have known for years he is gay but not everyone at his work knows and whether kind or not I am not always up for this yet, I still find it hard. Entering a party as a gay couple makes me feel the large exposure.

I don't want to chicken out on who I am but I would rather ease into this life. Maybe that is why the sudden regression in thinking has returned. I have to work through this and banish those thoughts. As I said before, where am I suppose to go with this, someone or something made me a totally gay man and if that someone or something feels it is wrong, then it is their mistake, I am just trying to live with it the best I know how.


Steve said...

Well, discuss this point with Dave then. Be open about it.

But really Steven, do not fall back into old habits you have had (and still have for some part). Don't overanalyse things too much, do not make such a big deal of being "the gay couple" at a party. You are just a couple at the party. A couple of two people that love each others. Just like any other couple.

Remember how you've felt since you have been dating Dave. Better even: read the posts you wrote a couple of months ago to make that happy feeling come back. Be lucky and happy you ever came out. Be lucky you've found someone you are so happy with and who loves you so much.

Stop thinking about what others will think. Stop these self doubts.


A Troll At Sea said...


I have wrestled with many of the same feelings.

Upon finally leaving my wife of twenty-seven years, I spent months trying to persuade myself that I had not made the biggest mistake of my life. I was devastating the one person I had been completely in love with for the last thirty years...

I felt like I was continually having to put what had been my deepest, darkest secret out in front, asking couples renting apartments in their houses if they had any trouble with the idea of renting to a gay man, and I felt I had to, to be honest [my shibboleth.]

And getting together with someone who apparently knows every gay man in our state has been a bit of a stretch for me: it's a constant rush of friends I don't know, to whom I am but the latest in a string of faces they have seen and then not seen...

But it gets better. If you and Dave are patient, and are careful how you move forward, it will all turn out all right.

Hang in there.

Birdie said...

You are NOT going against God; He loves you fully exactly as you are, no strings attached. What you are fighting is the culture you've grown up in. But numbers do not make an opinion/cultural bias right. You have a right to feel uncomfortable. You have moved so quickly through your fears that perhaps they haven't been fully addressed.

Steve is right: talk to Dave about it. Dave is not responsible for how you feel—only you are—but if he understands your limits he can accommodate your needs just as you accommodate his. Growth is not straightforward, no matter the subject.

You seem to be very wise and introspective about your transformation. That process never ends, ideally. You're doing just fine, doubts and all.


Vic Mansfield said...

I say "Amen" to all said above! Be honest with Dave. Even if you go with him to a gathering, let him know the uneasiness you bring with you. Just for him to know, not to try to manipulate him out of it.

Put it out in the open. Be honest with him, but especially with yourself. Let Dave know it's not about him, but about your struggles. Just because he's been out for years doesn't mean he may not have gone through the same things.

And, when your together with other gay friends (even new ones) if opporunity presents itself, mention your struggles to them and ask how they may have handled it.

We (as "Family") don't always have the chance (or take the opportunity) to share our stories. Your story, Dave's story, friends' stories, are part of Our Story. We are much more like than different.

You are speaking truth and seeking to live it. You are doing the Right Thing.

Or, get married and get kids, just make sure you marry Dave.

Anonymous said...

Hi Steven, Not sure how I happened upon your blog, but wanted to leave a comment. I live in the USA (Charleston, South Carolina), and my partner and I are coming up to your neck of the woods (Ontario) to get married next week. (There is no gay marriage here -- you are lucky to live in Canada.) We've been together for ten years (I'm 31). For the first five years of our relationship, we were in the closet (lived together but were "just roommates"). After we came out we were surprised at the lack of shock from other people...many commented that they already figured we were a gay couple.

You'll find out sooner or later that the more you are true to yourself, and open & honest with other people the better you'll feel about life. I wish my soon-to-be husband and I had come out earlier rather than living in the closet for so many years. If you'll go ahead and come out rather than keeping one foot in the door, you'll feel so much better. A lot of the stress comes from worrying what other people will think if they find out you're gay. The vast majority of people are very supportive (and this is coming from a guy who lives in the VERY conservative Bible Belt of the Southern United States).

Truthfully, Steven, if you can't muster enough courage to go to an office party with your boyfriend then you haven't made much progress in coming out. It sounds like Dave has been very patient so far. He won't be patient forever if you can't catch up to his level of "outness" in the very near term.

So get OUT!

Keep well!

Anonymous said...

Wow I could of wrote this also. In the very near future I am suppose to go to a wedding with the guy I am with now....this will be my "First" time "out" where everyone will "know" I am gay....because of the very fact I will be with him....I go back and forth from who cares what others think to hardly being able to blog i sso encouraging to read about your helps me with mine.

Java said...

Hey Steven. Sorry you're struggling. I suspect that is probably normal, but of course that doesn't make it easier. I hope you feel better, back to your gay ol' self soon!

psyther said...

First, don't beat yourself up over it. If you never question anything then you will always be the change for the worse, but no change for the better neither. It's fine to stop and question if you are happy with where you are in your life. Thinking about other possible realities can only help you examine YOU right now, which you're doing, right? You are still Dave's man out of true love and honestly (hot!). Now the first alternate universe is the majority and culturally the ideal (or at least popular) relationship. I love everyone for who they are and recognize each individual as just that--unique. So, why would I expect millions of thousands of people to be exactly the same? And, you are still exploring coming out. It's good you said you didn't want to be the *only* gay couple at all of his social engagements. So turn down the frequency, but in turn you have to keep coming out too (just not as fast). You've had a good run here past few months and if you need a respite, take it!

Anonymous said...

Hey Steve,
Glad I came across your blog... faith isn't faith if there are no doubts, so be thankful that the doubts help you have faith in yourself...

Anonymous said...

That "internalized homophobia" came back rearing its ugly head! I have experienced that myself. Even after Guy. It will become a fading memory once this relationship has had enough "experience." When you stated, "...if I date a woman (never will) I am going against my sexuality", I'd like to think you were going against yourself, and not your sexuality.

Bill said...

Steven, fear is like a wall, so wide and tall you cannot go around it. But when you take one step through it, you realize is was as thin as tissue paper.
Acknowledging your fears is good; bowing to them will leave you standing alone.
You are too precious to do that to yourself.