Monday, September 25, 2006

When Worlds Collide

I just spent the last weekend visiting people at one of my former congregations.

I don't know if I have ever lied so much in my entire life.

At least no one asked me if I had found a girl-friend yet.

What I did lie about was when people would ask how things were going. People would ask how thing were in my congregation. People who truly cared about me wanted to know how my life was.

I think knowing that people really cared was the reason why it was so hard to lie to these people. I didn't want to go into all the things that were going on. I didn't want to explain to people why I was leaving the ELCA. I didn't want to go into such details of my life.

There were people who I took the time to explain. These are people who I am close to and consider more then just acquaintances. But so many acquaintances! I actually found myself avoiding people so I wouldn't have to talk to them.

Now you may ask why I even went. Well, some good friends were having an anniversary party and I didn't want to miss that. But I also was uncomfortable with all the people.

Nick told me that I am now moving in two different worlds. I used to feel comfortable in the heterosexual world, but now I move in a different world. As society exists, I will never fit into the heterosexual world the way I did before. In many ways I have stayed the same, but I have also changed in a major way. I am pleased to say that the people I talked with were incredibly understanding.

By Sunday night, I was so tired. I felt like a fake. I felt like I was being deceptive. I just wanted to hug Nick and have him make it all go away. Of course he couldn't make it all go away, but he still hugged me and helped me to relax from it all.

What keeps getting me so upset is that I even have to go through this "process." Just because the person I love is not whom society considers "normal," I have to pretend. Others don't have to hide their lives, why should we.



Lemuel said...

When I left active participation in the parish, I had years of explaining "why I left." It was exhausting, but I am sure it was not nearly the emotionally draining experience that you had at this party. I stopped going to events to which I was invited. Often my family would go without me. Now I am rarely invited. Were I ever to take the courageous step that you have taken, I'm sure I would face the similar process that you are facing with the friends I have left. No, we should not have to go through that process.

You have taken a courageous step (to repeat above). May the day come quickly for you that you know that freedom in which you willno longer need to pretend.

Old Pastor said...

The person you love is FAR from normal -- by almost all standards

Ur-spo said...

keep up appearances is exhausting
and cover ups get tiring in time.
It gets easier with time, probably as you'll make less effort in this direction.
Another thought; most people when asking 'how are you' are doing it out of politeness and don't really want/need a full real disclosure, so a social 'oh fine' is not so much a lie as expected social intercourse.

Unknown said...

It's amazing what it can be like to go back to old stomping grounds, isn't it? I really appreciate your thoughts on this. They are very familar.

I'm glad you have Nick and a place to process some of what you are feeling.