Perhaps I just didn’t quite know how to put into perfect words what the betrayer experiences versus the betrayed. I simply had to share it on my blog, because if you’ve experienced a spouse coming out to you (or any monstrous betrayal in life), then you will be able to put into words the feelings you have been going through.
And the message in the end? Making sense of your life before that moment of realization that the life you thought you lived was overshadowed by your Love’s Lies. How do we make sense of ourselves and our memories? That is SO tough.
But we have to. Somehow. This is the process of moving forward, and while it will take an absorbent amount of time, it can be done. We need to make what we thought was our life’s narrative into a new and real narrative.
I’ve done it. I think. I know you can, too.
Breathe. Express. Move. Get up in the morning. Allow yourself to feel. See a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a doctor, a shaman, make some voodoo dolls… anything that will help you create your new narrative.
And stop by here, every once in awhile, to receive what I hope is encouragement that you can get better.
There’s just something about my daily thankfulness posts on The Book of Faces that really gives me clarity and perspective. There’s a part of me that wishes I could go back in time and be this person of perspective during those tumultuous years after Devon’s Big Reveal. But then, it wouldn’t work out the way it has, would it? Of course not. I’d be like that episode in Family Guy where Brian and Stewie have to keep going back in time and fixing the mess they created. Don’t be Brian. Don’t be Stewie. Be who you are in this moment, and look forward to a day where you can see with clarity that you, too, are Unbecoming the very person you are meant to be. Along the way, hold on to the positives when you can and find something to be thankful for, even if it is the fact that your two feet were placed on the floor from your bed, after the realities of your life hit you square in the schnoz, to keep moving forward to face your day, for good or ill. Much love, Emily.
Day 312: November 21, 2014
Thankfulness for Unbecoming
I’m not talking about being unbecoming with my words, dress or attitude, as in being offensive. I do that enough on a daily basis, naturally. I’m talking about a different way of thinking.
This image said it all to me. It reminded me of myself and of people, especially those who (like me) made their lives center around another person and THEIR identity, and became who they thought they wanted to be with someone else in it.
It has been so good to be alone. Yes, I had a relationship since Devon, a very serious one, and while I knew a little more about who I am before I met him, I didn’t REALLY know. While I sometimes get a woe-is-me attitude about not having someone in my life, when I look at the scheme of things, I really am blessed to get to figure out who I am by unraveling the person I thought I wanted to be or was becoming… without another person in my life.
Let’s just say it this way: If I hadn’t have found out about my ex, if I hadn’t have been cheated on by my past boyfriend, I wouldn’t have figured out the true me. I haven’t arrived yet, but the journey (despite the ka-ka) has been all worth it.
I love myself… now. I have learned who I am, and without having tried to be someone I am not, I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am today.
Man, that sounds confusing. I hope it makes some sense to you. If it does, then you probably have gone through some stuff that caused you to understand this.
I’m still figuring out who I am, but the core of me is recognized by my intellect. I am better equipped to let go of things and people that clash with that core, and I can let go with confidence, knowing that if I compromise who I am at my core, I will be right back to square one.
I don’t ever want to be in that square again.
So, comment and let me know if you get it. Let me know if you, too, are unbecoming. It’s a great place to be, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Love, Unbecoming Emily
P.S. Here is the quote by Mark Twain that I hang my hat on often: “There are no accidents, all things have a deep and calculated purpose; sometimes the methods employed by Providence seem strange and incongruous, but we have only to be patient and wait for the result: then we recognize that no others would have answered the purpose, and we are rebuked and humbled.”
On my personal Facebook page, I have done my best to post something to be thankful for everyday since January 1, 2014, when I was diagnosed with Colon Cancer for the second time. These thankfulness reflections truly helped me to stay as focused as possible on the positives during a really rough 7 months of my life. I thought I would share this one with you all because maybe, just maybe you will find a little encouragement in it. Blessings to you, big time.
Day 300: November 9, 2014
Thankfulness for Plans Not Working
I saw this picture today representing plans. It really struck a chord with me. Anyone who has lived a life open to whatever the Universe has in store for them will totally get it. And actually, ANY human will understand this, regardless of your life’s views.
I could make a Santa Clause list, starting when I was probably three-years-old, of all of the plans I made that absolutely did not work. One particular juvenile plan I had was when I was 5. I had the perfect scheme. The goal was to play longer with my neighbor Kelley Thomas, so I set my rusty but fast red Schwinn bike by the back porch door, waiting for my mom to fall asleep during our nap time, snuck out, and hightailed it over to her place. My plan worked! I played and played. Of course I didn’t see past the initial plan and didn’t make plans to get back home before Mom woke up. Let me tell you, I have never been spanked so hard in all my life… all the way home to my house. Being a parent myself, I’ll bet she was scared crapless, so I don’t blame her for tanning my hide. I can say with honesty that I never snuck out of the house as a teenager because of that episode. It taught me a valuable lesson.
Plans are great, until they don’t work. And looking back on all those plans, I’m so glad they didn’t. I wouldn’t be who I am today if they had worked.
I am pretty happy with how things turned out despite the fact that I made plans and tried to force things to happen. I actually can include in those things to be thankful for that my ex came out of the closet. Took me a long while to get there, but I really am thankful for it now.
So why do we even make plans, then? What is it that is so important about them when they probably won’t go as we have in our mind that they should? Should we just sit around and be led by some sort of spirit that will move us from place to place, making things happen without any effort on our part? I would love it if that were the case. Being open like that is pretty cool when it works out.
Some people would say that our plans are finite and God’s are often different than what we think we need or should be doing. I’m not necessary calling complete B.S. on that, because I think there’s more to it. I don’t like the trite saying that well-meaning people often say: There’s a reason this happened. It isn’t that easy to accept, Man. My spouse is gay and I’m supposed to be okay with that? Don’t patronize me, okay? You aren’t living it and I don’t want to accept it. It’s just too much!
Plans often have to do with expectations, and while expectations aren’t inherently bad, they sure can lead to hurt, disappointment and even anger. Expectations are often coupled with control, or at least our perception of control that we think we have, and so when plans fail, especially big ones, our world crumbles. Are we actually angry at that person for ruining our expectations, or are we truly just disappointed that things aren’t going our way?
I’m thinking about big and little things here. Big things like marriage without ever experiencing divorce or betrayal, or education we receive because heck, we are going to have that dream job, that doesn’t pan out in reality. We strive, we toil, we put in sweat equity, and then things might crumble anyway. As far as the little things, I often make plans to get out of the door on time to get kids to school and get to work, and then something comes up to throw a wrench in those perfectly laid plans. I always planned to win a basketball game, but sometimes we lost. Tears were shed, anger was felt, blaming occurred, but it is a reality because losing is never the plan.
But we need to make plans. Otherwise we’d all be a bunch of lazy slugs all the time, waiting for something to come to us in some miraculous way. We prep, we practice, we perfect skills, yet we still don’t see the plans come to fruition sometimes.
This is why we need to have larger life goals about our inner selves. When we compare plans working out or not to our hearts and ultimately our souls, plans can fail and we can trust that perhaps there may be a reason we will only understand in the future.
So, I keep my Inner Emily in mind when I make plans, and I keep my expectations in check as best as I can. I focus on the things I actually can control, accept the things I can’t, and seek the wisdom I need to evaluate the difference between the two.
And when I look at this graph, I see that the second image of how plans actually look in the scheme of things is a lot more interesting and even beautiful. I like the swirls, turns, twists and notice that in the end, it is still raising toward the goal of my Inner Emily, which is to live life, love life and impact others.
I hope you make plans, but are open to them changing if they will make you a stronger, more loving, more living and more impacting person toward others. Because then, and only then, can you really know that the plans you made played a part in that, regardless if they work out or not.
It’s Sunday. I have taken an unusual break from sitting on my front porch this weekend (a.k.a. The Coolest Porch in Reno… where a huge bear decided to take an evening jog by my house last week. Let me tell you, it was freaky.). I am in South San Francisco for a much needed sabbatical from my busy life of raising my Three Little Birds and teaching other people’s kids.
As I write this, I am enjoying today’s unique sunrise from The Coolest Porch in San Fran. I can see the bay and city from here and am wowed at the complexity of creativity and ingenuity of the humans that God created. I mean, look at this place! Not only did God allow for such a beautiful coastal area, but the Creator endowed us with the ability to come up with major technology and expansion prowess (even if some people may consider that a bad thing). To piggy back on that thought, I am sitting here being able to write all of my thoughts in my head down into a computer connected to the world for anyone to read who feels inclined to simply “click” on my link. Wow! We are pretty amazing and intelligent people to have such a thing.
I love Sundays when I take the time to truly worship the Maker. Life is so good!
I finally have the time to read the book that my good friend Kathy Baldock of Canyonwalker Connections recently published. It’s good. I mean, REALLY good. What was supposed to be somewhat of a memoir when she first started tackling the topic of LGBT inclusion in the Christian church, turned into a lengthy research project that spans time. It is insightful and in my humble opinion, an excellent piece of literature to be able to give to Christians and non-Christians alike. It gives history, testimony and examples of God’s work in all people, including the LGBT community.
And yes, my story is also included on page 326 in the chapter section about Mixed Orientation Marriages. Some of the people I have had the pleasure of being introduced to (Chet, Lynn, Jerry, Mark and Cheri) are also included in that chapter, and their stories lend insight to affirming and non-affirming Christians as to changes the Church needs to make in handling families in their congregations when a spouse comes out of the closet.
There needs to be change. End of story.
I have never met an individual who has gone through the tumultuous time of a spouse coming out of the closet whose church and leaders handled the situation lovingly and with compassion. And if yours did, PLEASE contact me. I need to know your story. We need some added hope here on this site regarding how churches handle our unusual situation!
It’s all about relationship building, when it comes to the Church and Christians finding a way to understand the LGBT community. If you’re new to this site and have recently found out that your spouse is gay or bi or whatever other letter represents your spouse, please know that you can find positivity here. I understand if you are in the position I was in, nearly 10 years ago, finding out your spouse, Christian or not, is gay.
It simply sucks, to put it mildly. There’s no other way around it.
And now what you have to go through, from this moment on, really sucks. The only hope you can cling to is that if you keep moving forward in your unique situation, you are not alone. You can also begin to hope that you will make it through this, however long it takes, by relying on stories and encouragement from others. But you have to keep moving forward, trusting that you will turn out to be a more complete and whole person than you are now. Because if you don’t cling to that, then you might be a miserable person in the end. And no one wants that.
Be hurt. Be angry. Be bitter, even. But move forward with all of the strength you can muster, even if you take 17 steps back. You have to want to get through it to the other side, whatever that may look like for you, in order to get there. And along the way, know that you are loved by many, especially the ones who have been through it before.
And if you are not a person of faith, you will get zero judgement from me. If you are a person of faith, memorize the Serenity Prayer, stat. Repeat it like a mantra, because the only thing you want is peace (serenity), and the only way you’re going to get there is to accept the things you cannot change, change the things you can, and understand the difference between the two.
I wrote a little piece about this prayer awhile back, and if you would like to read it, click here.
On a related note, there were some interesting things that happened this last week during one of the nation’s largest denominational get together conferences, the SBC.
Thank you, Kathy Baldock, Matthew Vines, Robin Lunn and Jeff Hood (and all you other warriors) who attended the SBC Conference this last week. Your mission was to build relationships, and it looks like that’s what happened. For those of us who have been hurt by the Church in some way because of the MOM that we didn’t ask for, your efforts to find a bridge between our stories and the Church is appreciated.
Here is an article posted in the Baptist News Global that mentions all of us straight and gay spouses who needed some bridge building between our faith and our situations, but didn’t receive it. There is hope for us straight spouses of faith, and I am thankful these people are taking our issues to the front lines.