Free to be YOU: Why the closet was my trigger

Discussion in 'Family, Friends and Relationships' started by Dreamland, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. Dreamland

    Dreamland Survivor

    Just a year ago, I spent Christmas with my husband. We'd gotten married in September at a beautiful ceremony on a day that could not have been more perfect. And yet, under the dress and the veil, my heart had been crushed in my chest. Every day I wished for death.

    I had been on Suicide Forum for a while at the time of the wedding, but had never attributed my feelings of depression, loneliness, and emptiness to my sexual orientation-- I generally identified as bisexual, but I figured that was really just a sexual thing. If I were to be with someone long-term, it would be a man. It just made sense. Besides, I had a great guy in my life. Sure, we never really slept together (less than 20 times over the course of 6 years), but that didn't matter. Physical intimacy wasn't a big deal for me. Or, so I thought.

    The morning of my wedding, a friend of mine from high school showed up at the ceremony/reception location to help set up. She had not only taken a 5-hour bus ride to attend, but had made the decision to help decorate without ever having been asked. When I walked in and saw her there that day, my heart lodged in my throat and I knew I was making a terrible mistake. This was the girl who had long ago awakened in me feelings I'd never had before. This was the girl I'd felt nervous and awkward around. The girl with whom I did nothing but giggle. The girl whose hand I'd wanted to take in the backseat of my parents' car after a night of working on a school project. The girl I resisted. The girl I told myself was probably straight, anyway. The girl I struggled to forget, but never did.

    I had secretly loved for ten years, and she was there, right in front of me, on the worst possible day she could have arrived.

    Near the end of the reception, she asked me five magic words: "may I have this polka?" And I said, yes, she could. We bounced around the dance floor like a couple of fools, and no-one else was in the room. I tried not to smile so widely; I knew everyone would see that I had not smiled this way for my husband. I knew they'd see that I never would.

    At the end of the night, while walking to the car to return to the hotel room, I heard her call out behind me. I turned, and she was on the ground (I would later find out she had gone weak in the knees watching me leave. I know, it sounds lame, but you're going to have to trust me. This is what she said). I ran back, helped her up, and gave her a long, heartfelt squeeze. I would not remember having said it until she told me later what I'd said, but I whispered to her, only half-joking: "I'll always secretly love you more." I read her laughter as a cute moment between friends, but she told me later that my words had haunted her for months. It was, as she put it, "a descent into madness."

    Needless to say, both of us were shoved hopelessly deep into the backs of our own private closets. I would not admit that this was what I had wanted--ESPECIALLY after just having had a massive wedding to a man with whom I was little more than friends. I know it sounds belittling here, but I recognize the gravity of what I did. I should have been honest with myself and him from the beginning. I never wanted to drag him into my confusion and break his heart. I know that I did. I will be sorry for it every day of my life. But, in the end, I know that what happened next was right for all of us. It was honest.

    In March of this year, I sat my husband down for a talk. We both agreed that, no, we didn't have a passionate or intimate relationship. We agreed that yes, we had been ignoring cracks and failures in the basis of our union for years. He told me he should have let me go long ago. I told him I understood why he didn't. I told him we were both hiding from the truth. I told him how I felt about her. He already knew.

    My husband and I divorced this year after only 6 months of marriage--though, it wasn't much of one. Unfortunately, we had become yet another sham. Something that was easier to do than the alternative. We both used each other as a crutch: he used me to bolster his low self-esteem, and I used him to cover feelings that I believed were too difficult, too socially abnormal to express. We both wanted an easy life, and had ended up with one more complicated than we could have conceived.

    Today, the only woman I've ever loved is at my side. But even if she weren't, even if I had simply come out and said "I am going to start exploring this side of me honestly and truly," my depression would have begun to melt away. Likewise, she had been in a very dark place until she came out to me and to her family. Each of us, day by day, has become lighter, happier, and more like our true selves. We've been lucky. Our families have been warm and welcoming. I know it's not like that for many of us.

    It can be hard--INCREDIBLY hard--to leave that false sense of safety in the closet. But all you have in this world is yourself and who you really are. No matter what happens, no matter what obstacles or persecution you may face, nothing can take your heart away from you. Perhaps the most difficult part about convincing you to do what I did is that doing so requires some level of regard for yourself and who you are. I know this is tough, considering if you're on this forum you're probably pretty depressed. But I know that if I had it in me, you do, too.

    Happiness is on the other side of that door. All you have to do is remember who you are, take a deep breath, and twist the knob...
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    Happy for you hun that all turned out well in the end hugs
  3. lawcat

    lawcat Member

    I absolutely identify with this post SO much! I married a man mostly because it was expected of me, even though at the time I was well aware that I preferred women. Like you, I thought of myself as bisexual but assumed that if I was going to be in a long-term relationship it would be with a man. But when he asked me to marry him, I was seized with panic - I *knew* I didn't want to be with a man for the rest of my life, I didn't want to be with a man at all. Still, I married him - because that was what I was supposed to do... and I wanted children.

    I wish I could say that I have a happy ending like yours, but I do not. I stayed in a miserable marriage for 15 years (and two kids), and only recently have I ended it. I am struggling to find the life that I always knew I wanted, now, after living so long in the closet. And the love of my life is married to someone else and though she has feelings for me she also loves her husband. She will never be mine. I thought that leaving my husband, finally being able to be myself, would start to bring me out of this crushing depression that I've always been under - but it has not. It just brought a new set of problems.