Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thoughts on entering the queerosphere

This post is in response to Mike, who is trying to figure out how to tell his wife about his blog.

I was trying to remember how I found out about Scott's blog. I think it just was part of our discussion the first few days.

The night he came out to me, he spoke of the incredible acceptance and friends he had found online. I was still in shock and so everything he said that night was just part of the huge fuzzy blur going through my head.

The next morning, after we had embraced and cried in the kitchen, he was sensitive of my feelings and yet anxious to let his friends know how everything had gone with me. He said that these new friends were praying and worrying for him, knowing of his intent to tell me everything the night before. He needed to calm their worries and let them know that I hadn’t kicked him out or anything.

Suddenly it wasn't as fuzzy in my brain as it was the night before. It was kind of weird to think that there was this whole group of people that I knew nothing about that for the last 10 days or so knew more about my husband than I did.

I was anxious to know more about this new part of his life. I started asking him lots of questions about his online "family". I started trying to read over his shoulder as he was emailing and blogging. He instantly stopped typing because he HATES it when I read over his shoulder, but he understood at that point how important it was for him to have my trust, to be completely open and honest with me.

So sometimes he was willing to let me read what he had written when he was done. And sometimes he sheepishly said "I'm not ready to let you read that yet, but probably sometime soon." I knew this was a journey for both of us, and I did not want to cause him more pain, so I did not question his request.

I stopped pressuring him to show me where his blog was, but when he told me he had blogged about something that we had gone through together (like coming out to the kids), I asked him if I could read it, and he printed it for me to read so that he could still keep his blog address from me.

It didn't take very long before he realized how sincerely interested I was in everything he was thinking and feeling and experiencing, and he realized that he had also already pretty much told me everything that he had blogged about. So he voluntarily told me where it was.

I didn't read everything at once. As I started reading some of the posts, I realized that maybe I wasn't ready for everything, so I would skim and skip what I wasn't comfortable with.

Because we were so open about everything, we would sometimes talk about the other blogs he read, and soon I started taking interest in these people and reading their blogs. He was specifically drawn to Beck. He shared some of Beck’s sagas with me. He managed to get Beck to start emailing him. I wanted to be in on the conversation, not because I didn’t trust him, but because I was trying to learn all I could about this new “elephant” in our lives. He asked Beck if it was okay if I read the emails. They both started CC-ing me into the conversation. Thinking back on that now, I think it is very impressive that they would both be okay with that. Anyway, one of Beck’s emails mentioned something about his wife. I wanted to respond to him with some advice, and Scott was gone to work when the email came in; otherwise I would have told Scott the message and had him pass it on. I dithered about it for a few minutes, and then decided to go ahead. Beck was grateful, but thought it was really weird that I would email him personally. The conversation continued between the three of us, and I was grateful for the things that I learned from Beck. He was a priceless part of my journey at that point.

(Kind of a funny side note: we had been emailing with Beck pretty much every day for a few days, and then for a few days there was no email from him. One of the days, we were both kind of weird around each other, but we didn’t really know why. Finally, we started to talk about why we were weird. It turns out we were both wishing for an email from Beck and wondering if the other person had received one and we had not been cc’d into the conversation. We got a good laugh out of that one, and decided then and there that it was always better to talk about what was on our minds instead of letting it fester first.)

I started reading Beck’s blog regularly. Then I started commenting once in a while. Beck told me I should start a blog because I had a lot to offer to the Mohos in MOMs in this community. Finally I did, and I am so grateful for the acceptance and friendship and advice that I have received in doing so. It has been an incredible experience. To any other straight wives out there, I highly recommend reading and then jumping in and participating in this community when ready. It has truly been something to get me through tough things in my life, both things relating to the gay thing as well as things just simply relating to me, my job, my testimony, etc.

7 comments:

Alan said...

You need to contact Mike who is wrestling right now with the issue of how to tell his wife about his blog. I think he would benefit a lot from your insight.

Kengo Biddles said...

You and Scott have found one key to my relationship with Miki. PURE, unadulterated honesty about thoughts and feelings, everything.

It's been the saving grace in our rough patches, and we've had them, like any marriage.

This honesty has taken what could've been a marriage-killer and turned it into an occasional conversation point, a bit of a question, now and a gain, but mostly a laugh about the trials of life.

I hope this newfound honesty between you two makes your marriage all the stronger. (I say newfound, because, well, Miki and I've been utterly honest for 6 years now).

Scott said...

Alan, I think she actually started writing this post as a comment on Mike's blog, but then it got long enough that she decided to turn it into a post. I'm pretty sure she did leave a comment directing him to this post.

Mike said...

After reading this post I moved over to Scott's to read his. I started to reply to his and it ended up, like yours, as post of my own.

For the record, I think that you are a saint, being as supportive as you have with Scott, and I can't get over how you had a party for the fam!?!

I do have a question, though. Do you think that it was good for you to know about the blog before acutally read it all? I mean, did knowing about it help temper a initial reaction that you might have had?

I am considering that as a possible scenario with my wife, to help ease her into all of this. I think that I would need someone like you, Scott and a few others, including Alan, as possible helps to her via email to share how benificial this family is. If she had witness from someone else then she would be able to be much calmer about the whole situation, without knowing more or all of the details.

I don't know, just a thought.

Thank you for shring your experiences. I really love you for your example that you are sharing with the rest of us. You really are a saint.

Beck said...

Sarah: I am glad to have helped in bringing you into the queerosphere. You have been a blessing to me and to many others, obviously. I admire your honesty and your willingness to understand the other person's point of view, particularly with this over-arching subject we are all dealing with.

I miss our 3-way communications. That was fun and I can't say that I've enjoyed discussing my gayness with another person's wife more than with you.

Now, this is where you say: "So have you talked to your wife about your blog yet?" right?

Well I haven't. I don't know how. I may need to have a go-between or a professional to monitor the conversation. And I'm scared. I show the "dark side" of Beck and allow him to be the thoughts and feelings that I can't be in my real world. How am I supposed to explain that to her? I've said some very honest things in my blog that will be very painful to her. Is honestly worth the possibility of destroying her in the process? And if it is, does my blog need to be sanitized and I need to clean up my act before she joins this community? And if that's the case, then why blog at all? So then I don't blog at all until I go nuts and something stupid or amazing happens and I'm back at it again, and then I say things that may potentially destroy her and the cycle repeats itself.

Honesty is overrated. I've lived a dishonest life for so long that I don't know that I can be honest with anyone anymore.

Please respond privately and I await your input.

Sarah said...

Mike,

Sorry it has taken me so long to respond. I think you are probably right, that it was good for me to know about Scott's blog and his online friends before actually reading and participating in the queerosphere.

I would be happy to email or even call your wife if you think that would help. Being a part of this community has not only done wonders for Scott, but definitely for me as well. It helped me to fully understand what makes you guys tick, that it was not just about him, something he chose to be, but rather something that many people struggle with.

It always helps to know you are not alone (for us wives as well!) I hope this will be a good thing for her.

Mike said...

Sarah,

Thank you for your support. I am not sure what I am going to do to proceed with my wife and my blog, but surely I will love your support in whichever way you are able to help. This uncertaintly will probably become a future post, stay tuned.

Thank you again. I appreciate who you are and what you are doing for so many of us.