Gary Larson Depicted IT So Well...

Gary Larson Depicted IT So Well...

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Wednesday, July 04, 2057

WHY Leave & Return 17 Years Later?

A "MISS-MATCH" of notes to relay my thoughts to my Family as I first met them. This compilation of thoughts was prepared over many months to be able to stay composed while relaying what happened and why to each person directly. This was never intended to be read by others before meeting them personally. This is included here to help begin a bridge of understanding.
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No one lives in a bubble & my returning impacts lives that are multifaceted…filled with challenges. There is an inequity in my appearance: I was able to spend months preparing mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically and in every other way I could conceive of, for my return – no one else had that opportunity. Everyone else needs time to come to terms with my return – on their schedule and to process it as they see fit. The purpose in returning is to end pain, bring closure and hopefully provide an opportunity for healing.

It took 34 years to break from unhealthiness – it took 17 more years to get healthy.

*Below are snippets from many notes which have been moved into place at different sittings – a compilation; not a coherent piece.
ELM disappeared June 30, 1991


This is written not to justify actions – only to help understand the mindset at the time the drastic turn in my life road was made (understanding is NOT agreement). In the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life," we're shown what life roads others would have taken had Jimmy Stewart's character NOT been in their lives. The lie (life) I was leading was not wonderful and my leaving was not a premonition – it did occur and we each took unique life roads thereafter. I am not returning to justify the road I chose. I am here in hopes your life roads will end happier and for everyone's closure.

The feelings, fears, shame and self-hatred that facilitated the actions taken 17 years ago were strong enough then to drastically affect my weaknesses and decisions. An apology for the pain caused all may appear insensitive and futile. None-the-less, any apology is better than none. I do apologize knowing what I did to 'save' myself, caused so much pain and there was absolutely no intention to cause others any pain. My actions were selfish; in an attempt to end my pain.

I didn't know what gay meant, though I knew I was 'that' when I was in First Grade.

(You may not understand how it could be; neither can I. Nor do I understand why I'm the only one in my family with hazel eyes. There is no one to blame for the attribute that so affected my being and the lives touched by mine.) Growing up my anger increased knowing I was different and definitely not accepted. I went to great lengths to try to be what was expected (accepted). At 13, I became a zealot Christian in hopes of exorcising the 'evil' from within. I gave it my all, made it through my teenage years and married young in hopes that following the norm would make me 'normal'. I believed the programming: "I could not have possibly been made this way." I hated whatever it was that made me gay. By not liking who I was inside, I could not possibly like me. Our family's close friends, the Tuner's son committed suicide at a young age. I watched the grief and vicariously saw myself in his coffin.                    After reading more, click the upper left back arrow.         
He honestly stopped me from going through with the three times I got close: I climbed to the top of a High Mountain and stood crying at the edge of a cliff, held a knife over my tear soaked wrist and looked at a loaded gun in my hands while bawling.

Becoming a Christian opened me to furthering my internal damnation; confirming the programming I received that I was not made gay. 

The turmoil inside periodically surfaced in demanding, inflexible and angry behavior ("macho-ism") – covered as much as possible with great wearing energy (disguised as goofy, funny – anything but what it was). My father often peered at me and wondered what was going on inside my unstable mind; seeing through my shallow surface 'stability'. My entire life had been devoted to over-compensating to making my father and others proud. After having accomplished it in general, I lived under the constant threat (fragile thread) of losing it.

I lived in constant fear of discovery and invested huge amounts of energy to assure that no one would EVER know. For 34 years, I lived with a 7 second delay from my mind outward to my extremities. Running everything thought and action through a hetero-filter to make sure what came out would NEVER appear to be gay. I literally discussed it with no one – not my closest friend – no one. None of my friends had any hint of my being gay. It was very lonely inside…and no one could visit. Time and circumstances did not change the color of my skin. In fact, the more time passed, the more unbearable the lie became.

Throughout growing up, I constantly received the message, when I saw that my friends, family and their friends shunned/disowned others for not fitting in, and the mortal sin was to ever do anything that may bring shame to the family. These possibilities loomed over me constantly.

My life eventually unraveled and divorce was imminent. I was spinning downward as I was unsuccessfully attempting to keep up appearances. I left on a trip to secure a professional designation. While on the trip, I was robbed of all but my clothes. I broke into many pieces; weak, instead of attempting to put my life back together, I woke up the next day and decided not to. That morning I literally tossed everything and left to Mexico. My greatest fear was turned inside-out – I simply beat everyone to the punch and left my life, family and friends.

How could I rationalize leaving my family, friends and career? I could not and can not. I can only relay now that I felt I was on the edge of a mental breakdown for years…I committed emotional suicide. I reasoned that no one 'really' knew me and if they did, they wouldn't want to. I did not want to fight anymore (my whole life had been an internal fight – I was escaping that as much as anything else). I especially did not want to fight with my soon-to-be EX about how our children were to be raised. I truly believed she and they would be better off with me out of the picture than me interfering with her methods, which I very much disagreed with.

I had already handed myself a failing grade as a father and did not want to imprint any more negative images. I remember a few imprinted angers:

As a toddler, E kept kicking and crying because she didn't want to sleep in the bed designated for her at her grandparents' cabin. I got exasperated & lost it in front of my wife A; grabbing E out of bed and stomping down the stairs to the outside – all the while A was following us while I was spanking E's behind (thank God she had diapers on). I scared (scarred) her and myself.

K at roughly 4/5 fell into a large public pool and I forcefully grabbed her arm to pull her out, very angry for her 'stupidity' in falling in…and scolded her for not staying close by my side. Again, scaring (scarring) both of us.
A photographer was en route to our home to take family photos & JTM was unwilling to dress as I envisioned he should. I was stressed because it was the same day of the City parade which I had been in and I had to walk home from it in new unfitting boots because A assumed I had gotten a ride. I let out my fury, pushing JTM up against the wall. I scared me as much or more than him.

For years, I mourned the losses. I did not attempt to contact anyone so that all who once knew the person they thought was me, could get over me. The more time that passed, confirmed how awful it would be to reintroduce myself and reopen unexplained wounds that I hoped had long since healed. Why come back now? Before I die, I want those I love to know the real me: who they loved. Blue eyes are not the norm; yet, they are normal. Being gay is not the norm; yet, it is normal. I cannot justify gayness anymore than one can 'justify' hetero-ness. Explain why some are attracted to blondes and others are attracted to brunettes. No one questions it. If 'gayness' were a non-issue, none that occurred would have.

I was a 'happy' child (hidden behind a fence I erected to protect my true self).