Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Looking back: The first few days

My memories from the summer continue…

The day after Scott came out to me, I was very tired due to lack of sleep, and very emotional. I attended a Relief Society breakfast. I wasn’t sure I should go, but I decided I needed to try to get away for a bit. I piled on the makeup to hide my puffy eyes. I had some very light conversations with some very good friends, and no one asked me if I’d been crying or if something was wrong. Talking to one of them about it weeks later, she did notice that I was quiet and preoccupied that morning, but decided it best not to ask. She was probably inspired.

I left the breakfast early to attend our oldest son’s ice skating lesson with the rest of the family. I was consumed with my thoughts. I sat there watching my husband, feeling still like I really did not know him.

After the lesson, we decided to take the kids to see Wall-E. I’ve already blogged briefly about this, but I cried at the blossoming romance in the movie, keenly aware that the romance in my life was not what I thought it was.

Other details are a blur… I got some sleep the next night, but I don’t think I slept soundly, and again, I woke with the morning light and then my thoughts kept me from sleeping any longer. We went to church, I probably attended choir practice, then we were off to Scott’s parent’s house for our typical Sunday night visit. As we sat at the kitchen table, playing games with his parents and his sister and husband, I was keenly aware of my inner thoughts and the fact that I usually shared my struggles with these dear people, but right now I could not. I desperately wanted them to know so that they could love and support us like we needed them to. I was very uncomfortable and distracted. During the game, I looked at the cards in my hand, trying hard to concentrate on my strategy. Out of my lips came the words, “Where do I go from here?”

Scott and his sister have this habit of breaking into song whenever anything prompts them to do so. Immediately, his sister started singing, “Where do we go from here? This isn’t where we intended to be...” She started gazing into her husband’s eyes as she sang. I turned on my PDA and hit play, because the song was there ready to go. Everyone was surprised, but didn’t ask about it as the sister continued to sing. Before too long, I couldn’t take it anymore and I burst into tears, turned to Scott and apologized, and abruptly left the table to cry loudly in another room.

Of course, everyone was shocked and had no idea what had happened. Scott made some kind of excuse for me. They all know I am an emotional person, so I’m sure it wasn’t too disconcerting. I quickly gained my composure and returned to the game, pretending nothing had happened. No one said anything.

When we got home, I told Scott that I needed him to tell his sister so that I could have her to talk to and lean on. We started to make plans for how and when to tell her.

The next day we got up early to go to the temple. We had a good discussion on the way. When we got there, we discovered that it is closed on Mondays. Duh. So then we had more good conversation time on the way home.

Sometime Monday I started reading No More Goodbyes by Carol Lynn Pearson. I cried and cried through each agonizing story of self-hate and suicide. The stories were not sugar-coated. They were someone’s reality, a reality I never knew existed for these dear people. The last thing I read of it on Monday afternoon was a quote on the first page of the next section of the book, the section about mixed orientation marriages. Pieces of Me has already referenced this quote. “Should I smile because we’re friends, or cry because that’s all we’ll ever be?” The reality of my marriage hit me like a brick. I went into the next room and shared the quote with Scott, but as I read it I broke into tears and could not finish reading it such that he could understand me. I decided I needed a break from the book. It had been a very emotional day.

The next morning I again woke early and could not sleep. We planned again to attend the temple early, but it was much earlier than I needed to be up. I decided to read. I went in our closet and sat on the floor to read so that turning on the light would not wake Scott. I read about failed mixed orientation marriages, and I came to the conclusion that our marriage was officially not going to make it. I kept reading and cried and cried. Scott got up and showered. I wanted to keep reading, but I knew I needed to get ready, so I closed the book and dressed for the temple. Scott could tell I was really upset, but did not know exactly why. I was quiet during the ride to the temple. Scott was afraid to ask me to share what I was thinking and feeling. We attended a session. It brought some comfort, but still, my mind was tormented with the reality of my life and fear for what it meant. I could not be alone with four children to raise. I could not lose my best friend. I COULD NOT DO IT. Why me? What was going to really happen to us?

In the dressing room, one of the temple workers was the mother of a high school friend. She greeted me happily and asked about how our family is doing. I lied and said we were fine, even though I desperately wanted to share with her what I was going through. I had not been able to share it with anyone but my Heavenly Father, which was good, but not enough. I quickly changed the subject and told her about our family vacation to Nauvoo and asked about her daughter. A few weeks later I found out from my mother-in-law that she had heard through the grapevine that this lady has a gay son who has left the church. I couldn’t help but think that maybe I was being prompted to tell her the truth about my life, rather than just wanting a shoulder to cry on. I think about that once in a while, and wonder if I should get in contact with this high school friend of mine.

On the ride home, Scott was brave enough to ask me what I was thinking and feeling. I let it all out, and it felt good. I wished I had told him how I was feeling before we went to the temple. He told me some of his ideas that felt right for the future, of course with a disclaimer that he had no idea what the future would actually bring. Some of his ideas  were not very comforting, other than he said he could not imagine a future without me in it.

When I got home, I found some courage and began reading again. I had two more chapters in the marriage section to read. The next one happened to focus on positive mixed orientation marriages and how some people are able to make them work out. Oh, how I wished I had kept reading before the temple, that I had gone with this comfort in my heart from Carol Lynn Pearson: “I speak for romantic love. I speak, too, for trusting the mystery, for forgiveness, and for believing that love in all its forms once created can never be undone. And that not only in eternity, but here, hidden under the grey, all is well, and all manner of things shall be well.”

Peace began to fill my heart, and I began to heal and to trust my Heavenly Father that he had brought Scott and I together for a purpose, and no matter what the future might bring, we would have each other as best friends, and all would somehow be well.


Hidden said...

You forgot the part where you read Page 7!


Sarah said...

But page 7 was just a part of my overall original journey through the book. Page 7 did not have a memorable impact on me until I found out it was you and then later when I was having an extremely difficult time with my anxiety and kept relating to your words, "I do not eat, I do not sleep. I cannot focus. I cannot study. I cannot breathe. Will I ever figure this out?"

I think I am starting to figure this out, and I am definitely eating and breathing again, but what about you? Have you figured it out? Can you function?

You promised to send me the original lengthy novel that you sent to Carol Lynn. When will I get it? :)

I think you enjoy being famous.:-) Too bad there is no fortune to go with it.

I must ask--Is your name really David?

Vanson said...

It's always interesting to read the thoughts and feelings of those effected by others who deal with SGA.

Thanks :) You guys seem to be an amazing couple. I too agree that you guys were put together for a purpose.

Vanson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Evan said...

Sorry... used my old login. That was me :)