Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Collateral Damage

I am happy that Mr. Curie's family has been so accepting of him, both in terms of his being gay and his disaffection. I am glad that, aside from Mom crying a lot and the brothers making bad jokes about gays 24-7, things are good. I am glad that I wasn't blamed, and that life is continuing.

But at the risk of being ungrateful. . .

I am a little sad to be collateral damage in this process. I did not want to come out about Mr. C's being gay this trip. I supported (and do support) my husband in this decision, but I knew that I wasn't ready for it. The whole process has set in motions wheels of change - if not in actions, then certainly in attitudes - in his whole family towards me. I was not ready for it, and didn't want it. Mr. C talks about how good he feels to be honest and open, that he is coming from a place of integrity and authenticity. But in exchange for his good and honest feelings, I've paid the price in being the recipient of pity, probing questions, uncomfortable confrontations, and weirdness. Most of it isn't too intense, but given my previous, entirely comfortable relationship with my in-laws, it makes me a little sad that I have to go through all of this - and without the benefit of authenticity myself.

This is where I am going to rant a little. Mr. C has argued that I wanted them to know about our disaffection, and that this is just the next step. This is true. However, I have been asked to moderate my actions so that I am not showing any outward signs of heterodoxy. No mentioning of issues with the Church - "We don't want to be seen as being 'anti' or reverse prosyletizing". No breaking the WoW in any form that we might get caught. No being caught shopping on Sundays. And any clothing that is worn must be temple-appropriate. (I'll admit, this last rule has been my sticking point. I associate the temple garment with patriarchy, oppression of women, and all of the reasons that I originally became disaffected with the Church. To act as though I am wearing the garment feels like the height of hypocrisy in this process). Of course, I don't want to make a stink and wear clothes that will affront my in-laws sensitivities either. Still, it just seems a little unfair for Mr. C to claim authenticity victory while I am feeling so hypocritical and worn down.

I'm not mad at anything specific Mr. C or his family have done. Indeed, they have all been amazing loving and supportive and great and wonderful. Its part of what makes my hard feelings in this so difficult. I feel like a brat for feeling the way I do. Like I need to just shut up and let Mr. C have his day of hard-won authenticity. I am trying. But, I do feel bad things. Lonely. Sad. Some guilt, some depression, some worry for the future. And a lot of hypocrisy and hiding.

"Go along to get along," I guess.


paul said...

I just realized WoW mentioned in mormon blogs mean Word of Wisdom and not World of Warcraft. I was so confused before now.

Thanks for your contextual use!

Madame Curie said...

Glad I could be of assistance ;)

TGD said...

Madame, the coming out process is a tough one and there are big hills to get over. It's also a process, there is no destination so to speak. Hang in there. With each hill you get over, the easier it gets. Not because the hills are smaller, but because you're stronger.

And most important, let yourself feel what you need to feel to get through this. Let your anger, frustration, grief or whatever be OK and then let it pass naturally.

Part of the process of coming out is finding our own validation rather than the validation of others.

For what it's worth.

Aerin said...

Good thoughts sent your way.

This situation seems almost totally out of your control. Those are the worst kind, for me. So once I figure that out, usually just making it through becomes important. Remember - you don't have to explain anything to anyone, you don't have to defend yourself if you don't want to. Good luck to you.

Quiet Song said...

Madame, I believe this trip to the homelands will be over before you know it and I believe that you will be ok. It takes great discipline to hold one's tongue, just remember the positive and focus on those previous warm feelings and work on putting them back out. Once you set aside the desire, human as it is, to poke others in the eye, things get easier.

As to withdrawal from all and any prohibited substances, well that makes anything and everything more difficult if they were in use before. Time for a tall diet coke for breakfast, LOL.

Pablo said...

Thinking of you.

Wearing a mask during your trip isn't ideal. But it may serve a purpose for you right now. LDS families usually have a hard time dealing with feelings and often express love and concern in awkward ways. But we take what we can get.

While you may not be able to express your true feelings much during this trip, you're still an authentic person. Ditto TGD's comments about letting yourself feel what you need to feel.

Remember ... just a text or call away. :)