Friday, September 19, 2008

Gift of Music: Joy or Depression?

Tonight, Scott and I, along with our 2 oldest children, attended the Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert with The Utah Symphony, guest conductor and 2 soloists. It was a very enjoyable event.

One of the soloists was Brian Stokes Mitchell, best known as a musical theater performer. He has an incredible baritone voice. He started with the National Anthem, then shortly thereafter performed some very romantic songs, starting with "Some Enchanted Evening" from South Pacific and then a medley of songs from the 30's and 40's. I really enjoyed listening to the sound of his voice, and then my mind began to wander as I remembered that Scott's singing voice was one of the things I was most attracted to.

...We were in our high school madrigal choir together. While we were dating, one of my favorite activities with him was making chocolate chip cookies and then sitting at the piano, he playing one clef of the music while I played the other. We would sing and sing. Our favorites included songs from The Children's Songbook (especially the duets, like "A Child's Prayer" or my personal favorite "Love is Spoken Here." As we sang, I dreamed of us someday being that mother and father together that we sang about, having our spiritual home with wonderful children. Hmm. Dreams do come true.) Other favorites included songs from Phantom of the Opera and Aladdin. (Of course, the romantic duets were the best.) And then I loved to hear him sing to me. He has an incredible bass voice.

One of my favorite Christmas songs has always been "Oh Come oh Come Emanuel." Since age 17, it has had additional meaning for me as a group of guys came singing it to me at my house, Scott coming forward with a rose and singing "Oh come with me to the Christmas Dance." I fell hopelessly in love with him over the next few months and was charmed by how romantic and sensitive and caring he was. He treated me like a princess.

And yet...

I was always more attached to him than he to me. I thought I would go crazy when I left for college. I missed him so much, and when I came home for the weekend and he knew I was coming home and then he didn't call me, I wondered why he wasn't as attached to me as I was to him.

While he was on his mission, I was pathetic. I couldn't stop talking about him to everyone I knew. The drama department performed the musical Man of LAMancha and there is a kind of annoying song that some girls sing "I'm only thinking of him, I'm only thinking of him." My roommates and friends immediately decided that was my theme song, because Scott was all I ever thought about, it seemed. here are my memories as I am listening to that beautiful baritone voice tonight, singing of all things, happy love songs. (And later, "The Impossible Dream" from Man of LAMancha). Tears began to roll down my face as I remember again that all of those years we were dating, that we have been married so far, that my feelings of love for Scott were different than his for me. I was/am hopelessly in love, with all the feelings and attractions and desire for physical contact that come with that. Now I realize that I don't really know how he was feeling. I knew he liked me and I know he loves me, but just how different is it for him? Has our entire relationship for all these years been a sham of sorts? And more importantly, are his feelings for me enough to keep him with me for the rest of our lives?

So, during the concert, he realizes at some point that I had tears rolling down my face during these happy songs, and I am sure he knows they are not tears of joy. He instantly reaches for me to comfort me and let me know of his love.

But ultimately, will it be enough?

I pray it will be. I cannot imagine my life without him.

And if it is enough, how do I keep my mind from wandering to my fears? How do I learn to enjoy romantic movies and romantic songs again without analyzing my own love life? Has my life, including what I think and what I enjoy, changed forever, or will I get it back someday the way it was? I don't think it will ever be the same again, but I hope that I can get past this "phase" or whatever it is and find joy in some of these things again.

Lastly, how do I get out of this mode of depression that I've let myself sink into this week?


Silver said...

You said:
"Tears began to roll down my face as I remember again that all of those years we were dating, that we have been married so far, that my feelings of love for Dichotomy were different than his for me."

One of the most difficult parts of having SSA feelings is what knowledge of that does to my wife. I hurt for you and I hurt for her.

Could it be that "love" for a man is just very different than for a woman? Of course it is! Women are so deeply emotional. Sex is first of all emotional to a woman yet very visual and tactile to a man. We are just wired very differently.

Speaking for myself, I love my wife very, very deeply. I was and am very attracted to her. The fact that I am drawn to men does not cancel out or destroy my love for her. They are very distinct feelings and they run on separate tracks. Yet, she just cannot believe or feel that in her heart. She feels that she needs to compete or somehow repair or distract me from those attractions, as if she somehow caused them or can change them.

I know that I am not alone when I say that I sometimes wish the Lord would just take me. I've bargained with the Lord in prayer and offered to go if it would help her. I wonder if she wouldn't be much better off released from the relationship. There is nothing quite like being a burden or a cause of grief to your wife. I stay for her and because I love her. I don't want a gay relationship and I don't want to lose or harm my children.

When my wife was chorister in our ward and had to be in front of the congregation during sacrament meeting; it killed me to see her sadness and her tears and to know that I was the source of her grief. Others noticed and enquired what was wrong. It has killed me that she has had to carry the burden of silence to protect the children and me.

The most regret I have over this is the harm that it has done to her. Our relationship is more honest and open now. She knows everything, but she greives the loss of who she thought I was.

I wonder too if she will ever love me like the man she lost when she discovered I was gay. She fell in love with that other man, that myth that never was. I know she loves me, but how much and for how long?

Many wives say that a part of them "died" when they found out. I still don't know if that can be restored. I pray that it can. I think it take years.

I feel very deeply the plight of the Moho's wife. I have planned to write on my blog about this. There is help for the men, but so little real help for the wife who bears so much in silence and has so few places to turn.

I pray that it will get easier for you and the other wives, but I don't have an easy answer.

The best I can offer is the Atonement. He heals hearts like no human can. It isn't easy, but it is the one path that works.

Anonymous said...

Oh Serendipity-

What can someone really say? It's true that perhaps you don't get some specific things from your marriage with Dichotomy...

But have you thought of the things you might lose if Dichotomy was straight? He would be a different person! Would he still dip the chocolates? Would your relationship be the same? Would you have bonded together through music?

There are challenges and blessings to every relationship. There will be some sorrow for ideals that are never achieved...perhaps dreams that will never be realized...but look at all that you get to keep in return.

Your family is still very much in tact. Although his attraction to you may never be quite what you've hoped for, Dichotomy chooses to sacrifice very strong physical and perhaps emotional urges to love you, to honor you and your covenants and your children. Do women in straight marriages know the extent of their spouses devotions? Can they be so assured. And do they truly experience the depth of emotional intimacy that you get to have with Dichotomy?

You will of course experience sorrow over those things you might not get to have...and there is time and appropriateness to experience and reocgnize these feelings. It is also important, once you've let those feelings out to balance it with recognizing the blessings you get have instead of what you might have hoped for.

Hang in there (although I'm a little late with the encouragement) because there is so much good you get to have.

I love you and I love Dichotomy. Hang in there when it gets hard!

Serendipity said...

Thanks, Damon. Most of the time I do recognize that I love him because of who he is. I just have moments when I mourn that I don't have what I thought it was. But frequently I realize that what I do have is better than I could ever imagine with anyone else.

I was just having a hard week and was vulnerable to my thoughts and feelings that surface once in a while.

Thanks for caring! It means a lot to me.

Serendipity said...

I also wonder if part of the reason I have been so depressed lately is that I was so incredibly buoyed up by everyone's prayers the week we met with the bishop, and I haven't had as much of that power with me since. I guess I need to get my name back on the temple prayer roll and such. I knew I had an incredible power with me that week, but didn't realize how incredible it was until it was gone.