I remember when my son was born being totally overwhelmed with how life changing having a child was, I was young, a mere 25 years old, when asking our prenatal teacher why she had not warned us how hard it would all be, she responded "nothing I could have told you would have prepared you." I find that with most gay men, the journey and exploration of their sexuality is all to often just as daunting if not more so. Just like having kids, when one goes on the journey of understanding not only their sexuality, but who they are, there is no instruction manual that comes along with it. It becomes very much a path of self discovery, usually dotted with both amazing and painful experiences, but like the saying goes "what does not kill us makes us stronger."
Initially a big part of the exploring of my sexuality was coupled with me looking for affirmation. Affirmation is an unusual desire and I dare anyone to tell that it is something they do not hunger for. I have always realized that it is not affirmation alone that is important, but rather the people from whom that affirmation comes from. I have found though that the gay world seems to find affirmation not in the quality of the connections that they make with people, but rather with the number of people that they feel the can have, even conquer, as if it is some sort of brag book. I think in this lies a huge flaw, because in life all we can really leave behind that is truly meaningful and enduring are those relationships, the paths that we have crossed and most importantly the lives we have been able impact.
For me, I always went into this journey with both my eyes and my heart open. I knew that this would never be a journey in which my answers to who I am would be found merely inside of other's bedrooms, and so for me this was always about my sexuality and not just sex alone. It is only now that I find myself elevating out of the depression, pain and trauma that I have found myself feeling over the past months and in particular last few weeks, that i can properly see how low I actually felt. I found myself becoming the prize in a tug of war competition between my ex boyfriend and my wife. Whilst both of them knew the life that they wanted with me, they seemed to forget about what it is I wanted. I often thought that it was I who was selfish, but I see now that for both of them, my journey diverted from me being able to explore my sexuality, to a situation where their need for me in their lives superseded and diminished my ability to evolve and explore myself, all the while the expectations on me became overly demanding. My energy was being sapped, the need for me to manage their ever vacillating moods meant very little was left for the ebb and flow of my emotions
I allowed myself to become vulnerable, and it is in this vulnerability that i was being directed with subtle plays on my emotions and even my pain. I can't remember when the choice that I was being asked to make stopped from being a choice based on my sexuality or a search for fulfilment, but somewhere along the way it had become a choice between two people and neither of them was making it any easier for me. I thought I would never be able to successfully make a decision, but choose I have, but the irony lies in the fact that I have chosen myself. For the first time I have begun to accept my sexuality, I have come to the realisation that my sexuality does not necessarily define me. No matter how much I try and wish it away, I have come to terms with knowing that such thoughts are futile, because I know my worth and my sexuality alone does not in anyway diminish that.
I do not know what the future holds for me, I resigned myself along time ago to the fact that trying to predict the future is outside of my abilities, all I can do is focus on evolving, moving forward and ensuring that I do so in the most caring and respectful manner, all the while mindful of my family and those sharing my journey with me. As turbulent as this road has been, not once have I regretted being on it. There are things I would have changed or done differently and I do wish I had done it earlier in my life, but I am loving learning that it is never to late. So I am allowing myself to not only grow, but I am enjoying being able to be me, without the lies, repression or weight of denying myself. I have a long road to still travel, but I am resolved, I am motivated and I am confident that ultimately I will emerge wiser, fuller and happier than I ever could have been simply ignoring such a huge part of my construct.
Not only have I come to accept my sexuality, but I am learning how to forgive and to stop judging my mistakes, because I have been able to recognize my errors of the past and I am endeavouring to rectify them and ensuring that I do not continue to make them going forward. In life the only teacher is in the right and the wrong that we do, but it is our responsibility to ensure that we learn from those lessons. So whilst I have come to accept that there is no instruction manual for life, I am beginning to discover that for my children I can no longer worry about what it is that they choose to do in life, but rather encourage who it is that they choose to be as people.