Why I let you go

We said, “Good-bye.”
Amiably.
It was no longer working out – for either of us.
Some days, I wish we could turn back the clock.
But, I know this will never be.
There was a reason, why we parted.
One of which was, we each had different goals.
You should know that our parting, broke that part of me that was you.

Life is like this for some.
It was fun at the start.
The sex was great.
Until it was not.
One of us wanted more than the other one could give…
…Or wanted to give,
I no longer know; I no longer care.
‘Cause our parting, broke that part of me that was you.

“Soulmates,” we once called each other.
Now, we’re just “mates.”
You are like family to me.
Like all my other exes,
fuck-buddies,
or friends.
You’re my friend, my family.
This is all you can ever be, to me.
‘Cause our parting, broke that part of me that was you.

Now you know, why I let you go.
—Robert Confiant 29 July 2018

Pivotal points, forks in the road

I had lunch with two co-workers last Thursday, one was leaving at the end of this week to pursue other avenues, and she wanted to get together before I left on vacation.

We got to discussing life, new beginnings and life choices. I told the two younger ladies what I have learned about life changes, which is this: There are pivotal points in one’s life where a decision is so important that it can change the course of one’s life dramatically. I explained that there are four, or five, points in my lifetime where a decision if made differently, would have altered my life completely.

fork in a road

One such choice would have been a co-worker I knew from my first full-time job at Ad-Scan. I believed, with hindsight, that he loved me and he wanted to be with me. If we had moved in together as roommates as he suggested, then I would have come out a lot sooner than I did. I would have built a life around us.

Another choice was to dropping out of college, the return to get my OAC/Grade 13 before attending university. If I had remained in college, I would have different friends and a career as a lab technician, and I would have built a life around this scenario.

About the same time as university, I met a certain co-worker. It was because of her that I moved to Vancouver. If we had never met at the bookstore those summer months, then I would never have thought of moving to Vancouver. I would have built a life in Toronto, I am not sure what that life could have been, but I guess I would be in IT somewhere living close to work, or still at home with my brother.

Another was when the co-worker mentioned previously (just above) passed away, I got pretty home sick once and I was tempted to give it all up, but my sister talked me out of it stating I had a good career with a pension and good benefits, I also built a life here and I had friends here. It would be a shame to just throw it all away and to have to restart all over again.

Lastly, if I had never met my partner online, or he did not answer my ad, then I would have had a different life than the one I currently have. Perhaps, I may have even moved back to the Toronto area.

We all have pivotal moments in our lives. Points so critical, these forks in the road, that a decision one way, or another, leads to an alternate life existence.

I have the advantage of age and hindsight. I know my pivotal life points, these forks in the road. There are only five, but they lead me to where I am today.
—Robert Confiant 23 July 2018

Gay and self-loathing

beers

I was out with two friends for a few drinks at a local watering hole yesterday (well it was local for two of us, for the other person it used to be a local bar before he moved out of the neighbourhood). We got discussing about “the gay thing” and gay acceptance. This got me thinking a little while ago, so I just have to put my thoughts out there.

We are all from that generation where it was expected we’d get married and have kids. The pressure of conforming to societal norms was insurmountable. My two drinking companions each did the marry thing and had kids.

I could relate to the “not coming out” thing, but not the heterosexual normality. I was (as far as most people knew) asexual. I was celibate. I was going to come out in my early thirties, but my brother beat me to it. He had HIV and AIDS, so when my family asked if I were gay, I said, “No.” It was all I could do to prevent myself from hyperventilating if you want to know the truth; I was sweating and my heart was beating through my chest (or at least it felt like it). I said, “No,” for two reasons: I wasn’t acting on my impulses and I grew up strict Catholic, so I just stayed that way – celibate. I remained that way for another ten years. I came out at forty years old.

Even though the three of us knew we were gay, we didn’t come out until much later.

I cannot speak for my friends, but there was a lot of self loathing about my being gay. I knew what I was on some level, but I didn’t know what it was called until I was fourteen: “Homosexual/Gay.” All I knew before then was that I liked boys more than girls. As a Catholic, I knew this was wrong. I kept it to myself. I tried to “pray away the gay,” but the best I could manage was to be asexual.

I tried suicide. I am not sure if the gay thing played a part (maybe). I had other issues related to self-esteem and my disability. I think it is a combination of all of these that played a factor in my depression. I had to hit rock bottom before I sought out help. It slowly and eventually I got better.

Lots of queer people my age, or older, conformed to social norms and did the hetero-marriage thing. It was the pressure and the non-acceptance thing. Most did not want to be gay and they did everything in their power to ensure they weren’t gay. I think that is why a lot of my generation, and before, drank/drink so much after we came out. The drinking issue is not discussed much by gays, but apparently there have been studies done (Although, I do not wish to Google this, but there is a lot of material on this topic).

The point of this is that for the most part growing up in my generation, and before, there is a lot of self-loathing about being gay. From the discussion we had yesterday, it seems a lot of us have a lot of baggage because of it.

I guess that I wasn’t the only one. Some days, it felt that way.
—Robert Confiant 1 July 2018

 

 

To be honest or not

I may or may not publish this post. I will write it and give it a while before, or if, I post this posting.

When one should be honest, first to oneself and then to others.

honest

This is the question… It is a lot like the coming out process, where one needs to come out to oneself and to be honest to oneself about being LGBTQ first before one can come out to others.

I was 22 years old before I admitted to myself that what I was more than a phase. I was 29/30 years old when I was ready to come out to others, but something prevented my coming out. It would take another 10 years for me to come out; I was 40 years old. I have always known that I was gay. I just didn’t know it had a name until I was 14 years old.

Anyway, I am at another crossroad in my life. I wish to retire, but I cannot realistically do this for another 4 years. I wish to take up writing full-time; however, unless my writing starts producing large quantities of money, it isn’t going to happen, and winning the lottery is a pipe dream, so I have no other option than to continue working.

Oh well, 4 years is not too long, the time will fly by.

I am of a generation where we were raised to do an honest day’s work. I plan to do this until the end (It is just some days will be harder than others. Although to be fair on myself, I really do work hard most days).

As a result, I will continue browsing write on the side. This is better than not writing at all.

I am just being honest with myself and to others. It is how I feel now.
—Robert Confiant 22 May 2018

 

Closet vs coming out

I am not too sure what it is like coming out in a society that is more accepting of LGBTQ people. One would think it is easier to come out, but I am sure that for most people, it is still quite nerve racking, even if one’s family already suspect.

I was twenty-nine when I brought about coming out, but then my brother came out because he was sick.

My parents asked me if I was gay, after they informed the rest of the family a few days after Christmas. It was all I could do to appear calm, and not to hyperventilate in front of them. I said, “No.” I denied it because AIDS was rampant, and I wasn’t acting on my impulses (I was more celebrate than a RC priest). For a little over twenty years, I was asexual.

closeted

In hindsight, I wish I hadn’t denied it; however, if I hadn’t I am sure I would still be living a whole different life in Toronto. But, the whole idea is mute because I did deny it.

I came out ten years later, and I felt I had to leave Toronto to do so comfortably.
As trying as it was for me, I am sure that even today, it is difficult for some people to come out. Whether they live in a small town, or whether they were reared in a strict environment, or none of these two issues, it isn’t easy for some people to come out. Look at the movie: “Love, Simon,” a movie based on Becky Abertalli’s book “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.” For all appearances, Simon has it all, except he has a secret – he’s gay. He says (and I am paraphrasing here), “I don’t want anything to change.”

I think this is true for most closeted people thinking of coming out: The fear that things will change; that people will change their outlook of you, or their attitude towards you, or worst disown you – yes, in some cases, this still happens. Fear, this is what keeps one in the closet. It is why I delayed in coming out.
—Robert Confiant 4 May 2018

On Best Friendships

I am currently reading You know me well by David Levithan. At one part of the book Kate’s states, “I didn’t choose to be friends with Lehna. Not really. I kind of just fell into it the way you fall into things when you’re a kid in a new school and the first person who pays attention to you feels like such a gift, such an overwhelming relief. You are not alone.”

I concur. For the most part, I think this is true for most people. And while this might be the reality. It is not, so for choosing one’s best friend. The choice of one’s best friend belongs solely to oneself.

There are two types of best friends: lifetime or transient. I tend to have the transient kind of friendships. I don’t have childhood best friend. We either lost touch over time, or moved away, or both. I have moved quite a few times in my life. My friends moved away over time as well.

I have good friends with whom I can pick up where we left up. That’s the closest to a childhood best friend type I have. They have my back and I have theirs.

The thing about friends in the LGBTQ community is they are the closest to family that one can have; since some of us don’t have any family living nearby.

I am lucky, I have more six to eight good friends that I can rely on if needed. I am a rarity. I am an open, honest and hopefully reliable when needed. I make friends easily. Most people can count on one hand the number of those whom are considered close friends.

I also married a person I now consider my best friend. It an unconditional relationship. We are opposites in a lot of ways, but we compliment each other. I know he would never intentionally hurt me, nor I him.

I think everyone should marry their good friend.
— Robert Confiant 30 April 2018

Outted

I outted a friend and I think it costed me the friendship. I was stupid and I went blank.
I will only go into generalization to avoid putting again. Suffice to say, I mentioned to another friend (who was in the know) about seeing a post on Facebook. A third friend heard us discussing said subject and asked how they were. We said subject seemed to being well. Then this third friend asked if so-and-so was gay. At first, we remained quiet. It go pretty uncomfortable, but this third-party wasn’t gonna let it go. Finally, I said yes and left it at that.
I know now I should have said, “Ask so-and-so.” But at the time, my mind went blank. I do that when I am taken off guard. It’s not an excuse. I take full responsibility. I worried that this third-party would blab it. Fortunately, I recently discovered no one else knew. This third-party kept it quiet.
Now, I haven’t heard back from my friend when I explained to them how I putted them.
The cost of a terrible mistake.
— Robert Confiant 25 April 2018