Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Who am I?

That was the question on my mind during therapy today. The answer? I don't know.

I know who I'm not. I'm not a straight man. I'm not a Mormon (anymore). I'm not really even a husband at this point in my life though my wife and I continue to care for and love each other.

I have some inkling of who I am becoming. I have it thanks in part to the pieces of my identity that have endured over the last year. I am a father. I am a faithful friend and partner. I am a Christian.

An occasional source of friction between my wife and me over the past few months has been her assertion that as we move into lives more independent of each other, I will have no trouble finding a man who will love me. She bases this assertion on her firm belief that I am lovable. I'm grateful for her confidence. But I have never been so sure as she. I have struggled to understand my doubt. I have always thought that it was rooted in my lack of experience with other gay men. I am just now learning how to interact with other men like me. But I think there's more to it than that. I can't imagine being with another man right now because I struggle to know who I am. How, I wonder, can I be with another man when I don't really even know how to be with myself?

7 comments:

Dave Walter said...

I am just now learning how to interact with other men like me.

And you're off!

First you learn to interact with men like you -- you get your feet wet, so to speak -- and then you wade in further.

Keep in mind that there will be guys going through the same things you've gone through, and others who went through it long ago. They all will know what you're experiencing, and a lot of guys will be patient, caring and helping as you evolve into your new gay self.

It will be a little scary. But it will be a lot wonderful.

Timothy said...

Ironically or not...we were dealing with a variation of that same question in our counseling session yesterday. :-)

It seems to me that the question "who am I" can never be exhaustively answered. Even more difficult than your "who am I' question seems to be the "what are we" question that my partner and I wonder about. We are in a mixed-orientation marriage, and struggling to figure out if that is sustainable.

Viva la ambiguity!

Eddy said...

I can identify with so much of what you have written. My wife has said the same kinds of things to me.

Your self doubt sounds very familiar; it sounds like me. I believe that my self doubt (and self loathing, at times) is rooted in "being somebody" for everyone around me . . . everyone, that is, except me.

Hang in there. Ask the hard questions of yourself. Keep with the therapy. As you come to know yourself, appreciate, love, and embrace yourself, the rest will follow.

And . . . keep writing!

greenfrog said...

Not intended to derail, but your question is one that I use in meditation. As I ask it, I peel away the answering thoughts that are, clearly, not the "I" awareness that asked the question.

As the peels are removed, something persists, but it isn't bound up in the ideas and thoughts my mind is programmed to spew out in response to the question. Finding what remains allows you to start free of yesterday.

Or so I think.

Chris said...

I feel surrounded by friends. Thank you for your comments.

Eddy, your appearance on my blog is most welcome. I checked out your blog and am looking forward to future discussions. It seems we have much in common. I could especially relate to this: I believe that my self doubt (and self loathing, at times) is rooted in "being somebody" for everyone around me . . . everyone, that is, except me. Sometimes I feel like I don't even know how to make decisions for myself. I literally can't do it.

Also, I'm flattered that you've linked to my blog from yours. Thanks.

A Troll At Sea said...

Hang in there, Hurricane.
[Would that be Ruben?]
Good to see you are already connected all round.

The Troll

Janet M. Kincaid said...

How, I wonder, can I be with another man when I don't really even know how to be with myself?

Hurricane: You've just asked the pentulimate question that all humans, gay or straight, rarely if ever ask themselves.

Until we learn to be comfortable with ourselves and who we are, it's fully impossible to be with someone else. That's not to say we can't be with someone ever. But there are stages in life where we have to learn to be with ourselves first before we can be open, attractive, or appropriately healthy to be with others.

As you continue to ask who you are, you will chip away at the old paint and discover under all the layers a mosaic of colors and dimensions and depths you never knew were there.

May I say, enjoy the artistry! You'll arrive at a the beginnings of a portrait that will be stunning, breathtaking, and beautiful.