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The Next Step

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by SevnButton, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. SevnButton

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    I've gotten lots of clarity here on EC. (Big thanks to you all who are on the journey with me.) I'm not quite ready for the big talk with my wife, but I feel like I have to do something to move my actions into the face-to-face world. Yesterday I was figuring how I could get to the nearest truly gay bar about 30 miles away, just to talk openly with someone, anyone who would understand. But honestly, the gay bar idea doesn't feel quite right, not now.

    This morning I was thinking about all the suggestions I've seen on EC, Sometimes people ask, "Is there an LGBT resource center in your area?". Uh, ... yeah.

    This feels scary because it IS appropriate, it IS available, and it is REAL. I feel like not only can I go to the LGBT resource center, but I must go.
     
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  2. Jakebusman

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    You and me are in the same boat we got to get through this together
     
  3. SevnButton

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    Hey friend- Sometimes it feels like there's no way out, doesn't it? But I'm not gonna go with that. Somehow we can proceed with integrity, be true to who we are, and make our lives work.
     
  4. slowmo

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    SevnButton, it took me 3-4 weeks of convincing myself before I walked into the local LGBT center to attend a group meeting for the first time. It was a Monday meeting, and for the three prior weeks I got myself pumped up and ready over the weekend, only to chicken out on Monday and change my mind. I had all the excuses -- too scary, too different, I won't fit in, I won't be accepted, I won't like the people, you name it.

    One thing that worked for me in this instance -- and in other aspects of my coming out -- was to purposely NOT think of all the long-term implications. I could handle things much better at an elemental level. So I told my self I'd go to just one meeting and then reassess after that. What could be the harm? I didn't know them, and they didn't know me. But it wasn't so bad. So I went again. There was a guy at the second meeting who turned my head, but then he stopped coming. But what that brief little experience taught me was that I could feel excitement and hope for the future, that I might even have opportunities for happiness. That was such a revelation to me after being completely closed down for so many years.

    From there, I attended another group at the center that was much better. And that led to a couple of movies and coffee with some guys in groups. There was so much less fear and anxiety each week. And despite my inherently skeptical nature, I started to feel comfortable -- like I belonged and fit in. In turn, that gave me some peace and it also provided the push I needed to come out, first to a friend, then to my siblings, and finally to my adult children (I'm older and divorced after a long/bad marriage). And it all started three months ago when I went to that first meeting at the LGBT center.
     
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  5. Nickw

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    Sven

    Our local LGBQT center has a "heart circle" where you can attend and share your story. They also have a group that is less advertised set up specifically for men. I haven't been to one since I took a bit different route to come out (we are all different). I have met a couple men who are active in leading the group and they are great guys. I hope this provides the interaction that you need.

    I am sure I have mentioned what my wife told me but it bears repeating. "You cannot NOT be gay and you cannot be gay ALONE." This journey is not something we can navigate in a vacuum. It really helps to have someone to relate to face to face. This can all seem like an academic exercise until you have that one on one.

    I found a gay Psychologist to help me as I came out to my wife. I found that to be a compromise that allowed me to have that interaction, but also allowed me to keep the discretion I needed. I knew my wife would understand that if she found out. But, going to a gay bar, or even a LGBQT center, was too big a step for me before letting my wife know. As it was, she felt, somewhat, left out that I had not let her know sooner.
     
  6. SevnButton

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    That's good -- REALLY good.
    I'm at a place where I just need to talk with someone, frankly to reassure myself that this isn't just something I've made up because I'm bored.

    Thanks for your perspective, Nick.
     
  7. SevnButton

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    @slowmo , thank you! "One day at a time" is not so overwhelming.
     
  8. SevnButton

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    I got out of work this afternoon, and got into my car. I'm feeling pretty good, and it seems like I'm hitting most of the lights green. Drove to the LGBT Resource center. Walked up to the front door, felt those flutters about either going in or walking away. I reached for the door handle, pulled it gently, and ... it's locked!!! Aaaauurgh!!! :anguished:
     
    #8 SevnButton, Jun 22, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
  9. SoulSearch

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    Well, shoot! That's too bad. Good practice run at least.
     
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  10. slowmo

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    And the next time when it's "real" will be just a little bit easier!
     
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  11. SevnButton

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    Thanks @SoulSearch an @slowmo ! Yeah, now I know exactly where it is and where to park. And it won't be the first time I've reached for the door handle!
     
  12. MOGUY

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    Sevnbutton, I believe I know exactly how you feel! I was just telling another person today that I feel so lonely and isolated. My wife knows about my attractions and has for about 5 years but she has no idea of my struggles. Any conversation about homosexuality brings in tension. I just want to sit down with another guy or small group of gay men and talk about experiences and enjoy the company of others that know what I’m feeling.
     
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  13. SevnButton

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    MoGuy, YES! you described EXACTLY how I feel! And I have this fear that having those talks with other men would threaten the status quo that is mostly very comfortable. THAT's where the tension comes from with any mention of homosexuality with my wife! So, if I am the source of that tension (well, at least 50% of it) I can also relieve the tension.
     
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  14. SevnButton

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    I have an appointment this afternoon at the LGBT Resource Center. Yikes! This is getting real!
     
  15. FooFight54

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    Sevn, I offer you great courage - please share...your experience.
     
  16. Jakebusman

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    Good luck bud keep us updated
     
  17. SevnButton

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    Thanks guys! This was the "intake" session, fill out forms and answer questions. It was weird -- at one point I was tongue-tied, I tried to speak but the words just came out jumbled. I had to slow down and speak one syllable at a time. But it was good, the first time I said to someone face-to-face, "I'm a gay/bi man in a straight marriage".
    My objective in going there is to prepare to have the coming-out talk with my wife. But here's the problem: In order to keep going there, I need to sneak away and then I'd have to get the money for the fees. The only right way to do that is to talk with my wife first, but if I do that I won't need to go the the Center anymore. I'm not sure how I'm going to work this out -- maybe just go ahead and have the talk.
    =Sevn
     
  18. LostInDaydreams

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    I get this dilemma. I haven't come up with a solution yet, but if you find one then please share it with us. But, wouldn't the LGBT still be helpful to you when managing everything after telling your wife?

    Well done for going along!
     
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  19. Jakebusman

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    Even after you come out to here I feel the center will still be good for you you can talk and connect with other LGBT members
     
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  20. SevnButton

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    Thanks @LostInDaydreams! Good point. I should keep in touch with the people there. Come to think of it, I should do just what I'm learning to do better - be upfront and honest and see what we can work out.
    =Sevn
     
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