Everywhere and Nowhere

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by Lex, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. Lex

    Lex
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    Many of you know a bit about my current situation. I am a married father of two who is bisexual, out to my wife and in a committed relationship with my BF. Everyone in my closed loop supports and loves me and, yet, lonlieness still festers from time to time. Yes, it's as complicated as it reads.

    Throughout my life I have felt like the perprtual outsider. A nerdy, inner city black kid who spoke "too proper" to be down and yet was too "urban" to be accepted by the cool white kids at school. The gay father who won't leave his wife and kids for a man because I love them ALL. Bi--neither striaght nor gay (not that any of that should matter).

    The kid who listened to R&B, Rap, Cher, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Garth Brooks and loved it all. The intelligent hoodlum if you will--the kid with street smarts and book smarts (truly America's worst nightmare, right?). Raised to know that you can be IN something but not OF it (the ghetto, for example).

    As a libra--I have always been blessed (cursed?) with being able to see both sides of a dichotomy. I understand urban kids anger at the system while also recognizing that they themselves can do more to overcome it. I understand the system's snubbing of poor people everywhere as ungrateful. I want everyone to have the same and understand that our social sturcture in America is based on HAVEs and HAVE NOTs--without this system, most Americans would crumble.

    I like men and I like women. I love my wife, my BF and my kids all the same (well, not the same, but you know what I mean). I feel that I have a heightened sense of self--that I have found a way to see my own worldview all the while recognizing the filters that I have over my eyes based on my experiences. But I find it hard finding people who have the capacity to dialogue with me.

    As such, I feel like (and have always felt like) I belong no-where. No matter where I go, I feel out of place. I feel like no one around me understands or can relate. Isolated amongst friends, nomadic in a crowd. It's the weirdest sensation. I am the chameleon in that I can go ANYWHERE and be anybody--at the barbershop, at the bank, and my office, at the Double L among the Bear/Leather Daddies, at Bill Bateman's Bistro for football.

    Yet, instead of this blending ability making me feel special or unique--It makes me feel homeless. Does that make any sense? When you partially fit in everywhere--where do you really fit in? Where is home? Is there a home?

    Not looking for pity--just wanted to throw it out there for anyone else who may have similar feelings. One of the great things about this place is the ability for the posters to be open and honest and conjoin in a unique way. Better now.
     
  2. Alley Blue

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    In what way?

    Let me be the first to say ( i'm sure others will chime in) , your post probably reflects a great majority of us here.
     
  3. B_Hickboy

    B_Hickboy New Member

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    {{{LEX}}}

    I have a lot to say about this topic, but can't quite collect myself. A lot of what you said above kinda blindsided me emotionally. I've always felt like the weird one.

    I've had to work hard to get over my uniqueness and it still is a struggle. Just let me say for now that you're not alone in feeling alone.

    More later...
     
  4. Pene_Negro_Grande

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    Take my word for it Lex - you are not along out there....Although I am not completely in the same situation as you, I do come from a similar background....Definitely been the smart black kid from the hood that spoke not going to say proper but correct English....You seem to embrace who you are and I always found that really cool....I have always seen you as some sort of example since I would not be able to handle a life as complicated as yours but you do it and should be proud of that....If this works for you then relish in it....
     
  5. Steve26

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    Lex -- I think it's important to realize that you are not alone, either emotionally or in terms of what you are experiencing. Many of us inhabit different spheres, although not many of us are nearly so multifaceted as you. Rather than letting this make you feel like a man without a country, though, I'd encourage you to think that having such variety in your life makes you intensely interesting.

    I'm a bit like you, all over the map in terms of interests and experiences, but I personally love being impossible to pigeonhole. I can be an Ivy Leaguer by day and then hang with the blue-collar crowd in my bowling league at night. I might go see an opera or play one weekend and go camping or whitewater rafting the next. I'll read up on investing and finance and then act like a musclehead and go pump some iron. Just as a diverse population is far richer than a homogeneous one, I'd like to think that a "diverse" person has a lot more to offer than someone who does everything by the book.

    You seem to look at your life as being splintered; I would counter that in drawing upon so many disparate elements it is full. You should be proud to be such a multifaceted individual, and if others can't relate -- well, I think that speaks primarily to their own narrow-mindedness and comfort with simple stereotypes. Variety is the spice of life, and by that standard you are a spicy guy. :happy:

    Your post is a very deep one and I hope my response helps you in your thinking about this.

    Steve :hug:
     
  6. B_Hung Muscle

    B_Hung Muscle New Member

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    Steve26 = smarty pants + common sense
     
  7. Altairion

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    Lex,

    These guys are all right. It's hard for many of us to find our niches and feel like we belong. However, you are one of the strongest people on this board, and I will respect you whether you're the most socially adjusted person on this planet or not.

    While you may be worried about not being able to commit fully to your wife & family or your bf, I've got to give you props for being able to manage what you have now.
     
  8. Lex

    Lex
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    For me, the dilemma is that I am fully committed to ALL of them. Being truly Bi--I really need both worlds in order to feel complete and whole. I SWEAR that coming out and exploring my desires has done better by me than any therapy or medication did before. ndis has really served to STRENGTHEN my relationship with my wife and our marriage.

    As far as having people to dialogue with--I should say that I long to have actual open conversations with other people who share some of these unique experiences with me (right now, I IM people and see friends when they visit my area) and I miss the rewards of weekly/daily having a chance to unload on someone about where I am. There is only so much about my relationship with my BF that my wife really wants to hear and vice versa (although they have never said anything like "I don't want to hear that.")


    Really--the issue for me--as Steve26 so mightily pointed out (thanks, Bud)--is figuring out how to feel great that I can be ANYWHERE and feel that I belong everywhere instead of nowhere. It's like the whole X-Men/mutant theme that first intrigued me as a pre-teen with comic books--sure you have these fantasitic powers and everyone thinks its so cool--but you often feel alone and displaced because it feels like there simply aren't enough of other people like you to make you feel "normal."

    Thanks to everyone for their feedback and concern (here, in PM, and on Yahoo and MSN). I'm okay. Really.

    :grouphug:
     
  9. madame_zora

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    You're more than okay, you're great. While we all have our share of things that make us stand out and feel isolated, I think this group represents a fairly high number of individuals for whom that has been a lifelong journey. Many of us who love it here feel the connection to others who share the struggle of indiviuality. Yes, it's a blessing, but no one going through it could deny the draining effect in can have on your psyche.

    What you do here on such a regular basis is open doors. You let people know it's okay to be different, that not everyone defines happiness in the same way. You don't lead by climbing onto an ivory tower and preaching, you just open your heart and say "here's what's going on with me" and people connect to that. If my struggles are not exactly the same as yours. I can still say "there's a guy going through some tough decision-making time who is using his self-discovery to grow". It's reassuring for me that when it's my turn in the barrel, so to speak, that I will get a reward for it if I leave my path open. The rewards of learning to live in harmony with yourself are immeasurable, but yes- very lonely.

    Very few people will undertake such a journey, you know that already. Many would rather scorn your efforts than congratulate you for them, because THEY might then feel compelled to look at their own lives. Most people would never take that risk. When you look around the room and wonder why you don't have more friends who can relate to your situation, REALLY look around the room. Who there would you trade places with, in honesty?

    Your challenges are unique, so are your abilities. That you are open enough to let us into your world is a comfort to a lot of us. I feel less like an alien because of you, Lex. Your grasp of human issues sometimes boggles my mind, but I hang on every word. I know you will continue to craft the wonderful person that is yourself, and it is to my great delight that we get to watch. Love ya, Jana
     
  10. KinkGuy

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    Lex,
    You have the best of both worlds. And the worst.

    I only have a few words to offer in support and encouragement...YOU are the person who can, and will make it work for YOU and those important people in your life. They love you and accept you and want YOU in their lives, however you construct it. It defies description and doesn't fit what is socially acceptable to the masses. This makes you feel disjointed and separate, doesn't it? But does it work for the people involved?

    I know it is hard, but you need to stop trying to define "it" and make it "normal" by societal standards. Nor can "it" be structured to satisfy other people’s curiosity and judgmental profiles of what is normal. It never will be. It is what it is and concerns only those impacted and living the scenario.

    You are one of the lucky, gifted and beautiful ones, who has the intelligence, love and heart, to say nothing of ability, to make it all work for YOU and everyone who loves YOU.

    Remember, these people and a lot more, love you. Love them back. That is your only responsibility to anyone.
     
  11. headbang8

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    Lex,

    Ah, every silver lining has a cloud.

    After all the splendid, thoughtful support you've heard here, this message will sound rather glib. But you've discovered a very simple truth.

    Being different is exhausting. It takes so much more spiritual, intellectual and emotional energy than fitting in.

    Why do we choose it, then? Well, as I think you discovered, we seldom have a choice in the matter. You are who you are, and you gotta play the hand you've been dealt. It demands even MORE energy to deny who you are.

    Belonging somewhere, or to some thing, is immensely comforting. That sense of belonging re-charges our emotional batteries. Belonging gives you courage. Belonging lets you rest. No wonder you seek it.

    Take comfort in the fact that when you, Lex, land somewhere you belong, it will always be in places of your own making; or rather places you've made with those you love. As such, they're much more spiritually energising than the anonymous prefab boxes to which most of us retreat.

    It takes more effort to build this kind of emotional haven--a haven of friends, family, art, music, beauty, wisdom, joy and passion. But build it you shall.

    Peace, HB8
     
  12. naughty

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    Lex,

    Thank you for posting this. It has helped me to understand where you are coming from so much better. I will have to admit I was taken aback when you first talked about walking the thin line of having a wife and family and a gay lover at the same time. I felt that it was unfair to your wife and children. While I still can imagine it is not the most ideal situation for all involved, I must take my hat off to you for your trying to be the most honest and humane you can be in the situation.
    I must congratulate you on the gains you have made in your life and do understand how it has made you feel unusual, to say the least. I thiink that if you asked anyone who is lives in the gap between one culture and another or is moving from one socioeconomic level to another there is a similar feeling . You are like a first generation immigrant while living in your own country. You are in transition. It may feel more intense because it is occuring in so many areas of your life, but believe me you are not alone. By the way I live maybe 15 to 20 minutes away from you .

    Naughty
     
  13. Alley Blue

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    Great post !

    My own personal journey has shown me there are very few people who are strong enough to honestly assess who they are, for fear of what they may find. Theirs a small group (like Lex and the majority of us here) who have no "fear" and are not scared at what they may find. But as Mme.Z said this sums up the reason for why we feel loneliness. After looking around the room you realize your the only one who's able to do this sort of honest assessment. And you find most people having nothing in common with you and so you feel alienated and alone. I think most people are scared to analyze themselves for fear of the things they may find, so they take the easy way out and don't bother looking.

    Consider yourself an example Lex, for most people..........you didn’t take the easy way out and you reaped the reward........ because you found yourself. :happy:
     
  14. Lex

    Lex
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    I have a few close friends who are knwoledgable about my situtation. Many of their initial responses were similar --"Oh, that's so unfair to your wife. I feel so sorry for her" I have always disagreed. Unfair would have been sneaking behind her back and seeing men and not being honest. Unfair would have been denying my inner self and being a msireable person, husband, and father as a result. See how tough this all is? I have always prided myslef on my honesty and the while I lied to myself about who I really was. I was a hypocrite and didn't know it (or didn't WANT to know it) Does that make any sense? This has been the toughest, most honest thing I have ever done. Bar none.

    As a kid raised by grand and greatgrand parents, I would and could never abandon my home. I have meet many gay men and women who were mairred and left their marriages after many years--someof them have adjusted children, others do not. it is my goal to one day tell my children about me--when they are old enough to understand.

    My wife was the person who actually asked me to consider this side of myself---to see if there was more to it than just being an "enlightened" guy. She was right. She always is (that's the funny thing about women). I would not be here if not for her andher love--her support of me through this just solidifies for me the decision I made in asking her to be my partner through lif solong ago. We are stronger because of this-we are more open, more loving, more free. The difficult stuff has only strengthened our resolve to be the best married couple we can be.

    I put these thoughts here in the hopes that others may benefit from my openess--that others may ready my struggle and take comfort as I do as I see others working hard to have thje best, most fulfilling life they can have.

    Thanks again to everyone for their shoulder and back-pats. You guys Rock.
    One Love.
     
  15. B_Hickboy

    B_Hickboy New Member

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    *caution* *long and boring*

    I grew up weird. My mother was in labor for 30 hours and named me after my dad and grandfather to get even with me. THEN she stuck a "III" at the end of my name and to add insult to injury, she spelled my nickname "Lennie" instead of "Lenny", which NOBODY gets. My best friend, whom I've known for almost 15 years, still gets it wrong. But that's the lighter side.

    I'm 50 years old, and straight. I won't say I'm 100% straight, because I don't believe I'm 100% anything. But that's part of my maturation process, YMMV.

    I grew up in Mount Pleasant, SC. It's a small town, and was even smaller back then. It was a Vanilla Suburb if ever there was one. 'Course, there were country blacks nearby, and the Chocolate City was across the river in Charleston. I lived in houses that had clauses in their deeds stating that "this house shall only be sold to members of the white race", or some equivalent bullshit. The wall between the races was even higher than it is these days. I was brought up to be a racist, and to keep racism alive. I had blood relatives who were KKK members.

    Then my parents sent me to Sunday school and I started taking the things I heard there about being put here to glorify God literally. Race relations became a source of friction for me at about the age of 5 and they still are 45 years later. The friction is mostly external, but partly internal too. I am going against my upbringing when I denounce the racist actions, attitudes, and practices that are still too common around me. I'm in the minority.

    But I've always been in the minority. I love to talk about my feelings and listen to others talk about theirs. I love emotional intimacy. I got good grades in school and have been able to speak in complete sentences, especially after I stop and figure out wtf it is I wanna say. I never played team sports, except for PE classes, and then did poorly at them. I preferred the company of one or two good friends to being in a crowd.

    When I was in the 7th grade I took ballroom dancing. I wound up taking it for two years. By the end of the first year I got good enough to earn tuition for a second year. About this time the rumor began that I was a homosexual. Not that I thought there was anything wrong with being one, even then. But some kids thought it was their obligation to beat up queers, so I had to fight. I got in a couple of fights, both of which ended with me not having a mark on me. One kid got taken off to the hospital. The word got around that Queer Lennie had kicked a couple of the neighborhood toughs' asses and after that I didn't have to defend myself any more. I still have a reputation in my hometown for being a "queer". So be it. Since then I've been made an Honorary Gay Man by my gay friends. I love these people fiercely and am proud to be associated with them in any way they will allow me to be.

    My experiences have taught me to have compassion for those who are "not like me". I put that in quotes because I'm finding that no matter how unique I perceive myself to be, I'm not. I have more common ground with others than not. Everybody is more alike than they are different, IME. It's all a matter of emphasis. If I look at the differences between myself and another human being, that's all I'm going to see.

    I'm weird. I like being weird. I attract other weird people and we're all weird together. Being weird has helped me understand more about love and community than I ever would have learned in a lifetime of being Just Another Straight White Southern Male Sexist Bigot.

    So even though it's 10:15AM here, it's not too early to drink to my weirdness, and everybody else's, especially Lex's, because this is his thread.

    :toast:
    :beer:
    :toast:
    :beer:
    :toast:
    :beer:
    :toast:
    :beer:


    ...and conformity be damned!


    Now let's go back to talking about my big dick. :freak:
     
  16. steve319

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    That makes complete sense, Lex. I think so many of us live in denial about this or that quality of our personalities and as a result end up generating a massive load of unhappiness for ourselves and those with whom we share our lives. Closing off a valid part of ourselves or living our lives pretending to be someone we're truly not can, whether we realize it or not, be devastating to our physical, emotional, and mental health, leading to lots of unforseen problems down the road. It's like having a traumatic childhood experience and trying to bury it--like seeds, these things tend to germinate and take on lives of their own whether we realize it or not.

    I've spoken with another wise and admirable forum member who is dealing with a serious, ongoing health problem that can pretty legitimately be attributed to the pressure of living for years denying his true nature and putting immense negative pressure on himself over it. He's on the other side of that now, having found happiness and fulfillment with living the life he needed to live all along, but still deals with the consequences of years of emotional strain and a bit of lingering, needless guilt because the ugly lessons that our culture has taught. This gentleman is incredibly strong and continues to impress me with his courage and his seemingly unending supply of kindness and compassion, even after years of living in a society as cruel as our own. I think he would tell you that, in spite of the pain it is causing you now, choosing to acknowledge and deal with these issues in some way, especially this early in life, is a much healthier and wiser path than trying to close the door on this part of your life.

    As for the perceived need to conform to the standards of every group you come upon, I think HB hit an important note, similar to one he hit for me not long ago (and one I desperately needed to hear at that point). Feeling a sense of belonging allows us to recharge our emotional and social batteries. By the nature of your work, you are put into the position of trying to be all things to all people--the panacea for every illness. I suspect that you spend your days giving and giving and have to have that chance to recuperate. (You have to remember to take care of yourself as well, right?) I really like the idea of those emotional havens in your life are ones that you have carved out for yourself rather than those foisted upon you by the dictates of society. Sounds healthy to me.

    No one could say with any authority that this has been an easy choice for you, Lex. Life is messy and it seems you've been forced into the position of being a trailblazer in a time of cultural transition. We all sympahize with your struggle.

    :hug:
     
  17. Alley Blue

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    There's nothing weird about you, your posts here on the board, or anything else about you as far as I can see! :pals:

    <!--QuoteBegin-steve319
    @Sep 1 2005, 02:44 PM
    It&#39;s like having a traumatic childhood experience and trying to bury it--like seeds, these things tend to germinate and take on lives of their own whether we realize it or not.
    [/quote]

    Ok Steve, now you&#39;ve really done it........after reading this, now I KNOW you must be some sort of professional counselor&#33; GREAT post&#33;
     
  18. titan1968

    titan1968 Active Member

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    I could not have put that any better, HickBoy. I have put (or at least tried to put)those words into practice for most of my life. I believe compassion is what makes us human.

    Lex, I would not worry about being different and &#39;not normal&#39;- you are normal; you are also true to yourself and are a better person for it. Could it be that some people&#39;s attitudes make you feel uncomfortable and different?

    Titan1968
    :grouphug:
     
  19. hippyscum

    hippyscum New Member

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    Lex,

    I totally get where you&#39;re coming from, and as shit as it all is, this all serves to make you a stronger person.

    personally I consider myself pretty wise (so do some other people, which helps) despite my age. my condition means that to be this wise I&#39;ve had to sacrifice 50% of my lung function and I wouldn&#39;t have it any other way, cos it&#39;s made me a stronger and perhaps, a better person. i feel the same is true of you. if it wasn&#39;t for your upbringing and other factors, what kind of person would you be now? I doubt you could be much stronger or more self aware.

    Hippyscum :yourock:
     
  20. B_Hickboy

    B_Hickboy New Member

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    God bless you, dear boy. Let me buy you a pint.
     
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