It’s easy to feel very alone on this path.
While I know in my heart that I’m headed in the right direction, I do have moments of extreme guilt and fear that are very good at convincing me that I’m a genuinely fucked up individual for even being in the situation. It’s hard not to internalize that negativity… and some days are darker than others.
This week I found a little bit of light at First Wives World, an online community that offers support, advice, and resources for women going through divorce. While clicking around on the site, I was very pleasantly surprised to find a two-part series called Coming out After You Married Him.
In the first piece, Divorce Support for Gay Women in Straight Marriages, the author (listed only as Joelle) explains the turmoil of doing everything “right” (finding a good guy, getting married, planning/starting a family, etc…) and still finding unhappiness siting on your doorstep every morning. Embracing the fact that she was gay brought little consolation:
“I definitely didn’t want to be gay. I felt as though if only I could get rid of the part of me that desired Juliette, or any woman, really, that everything could go back to normal. It was like having a diseased arm, and to save the rest of my body I would have to chop it off. The problem was, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I carried on this way for three more years, but inside I was completely lost.”
Yass, Joelle. YAAAAASSSS!!!! That is it! That is exactly what it feels like when you would give anything to just be happy with what you have, but nothing in your world feels right. For me, the depression that stemmed from this was overwhelming and forced me to take a look at myself with unflinching eyes for the first time in my life, and what I saw was painful beyond imagination.
My identity, for more than four decades, had been an extension of someone else: first my parents, then my husband and children. Taking stock of Felix for the first time in my life … what she wanted and who she truly was … shattered everything I ever knew or believed about myself. I looked in the mirror and the reflection looking back as me was not only a stranger, but she was angry, and hurt, and tired of being pushed aside for everyone else’s convenience.
Joelle goes on to say “there are dozens of schools of thought about sexual identity, but the truth is that your identity is your own, and it’s for you to decide. “I knew that this was not a part of me that I could ignore. It would be worse to live with the longing.”
And there it is. Live your life or shrivel up and die like an old sour raisin.
Up next, I’ll tell you how Joelle made me weep into my soup.