I'm angry. I'm frustrated.
I spent all my life so obsessed with the battles of religion and desperately trying to be a "normal" heterosexual husband and father, that I missed so much of my son's needs.
I could see he was hurting. I could see as he hit his teen years that he was struggling, and withdrawing.
I could see the calls for help when he was sick, and battled with IBS for so long.
I could see the darkness when his mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer when he was 15.
I could see the ache and the walls he built as she died when he was 17.
But I was never really there for him. I tried, I really tried, but it was too late in many ways, and I couldn't get through.
He hurts, deeply, and I feel the remorse.
We'll get there, I know we will, and he knows I love him, and I know he loves me.
And my daughter, grown and long moved on. But I missed out on her life, her pain, and wasn't there for her either. I'm so grateful to her mother and new father for being what I couldn't be. And yes, she loves me too, and she knows I love her!
Here's the bitter irony.
I wasted most of my life living the lies of religion, denying my own integrity and living a dishonest life. But that life brought forth my children. Two beautiful people.
If I'd lived with the integrity I so craved (to the point of being suicidal), they would not be here. So my life of "faking it" still brought something good.
What do you do with something like that? I hate the lies that told me I couldn't just be me. I hate them with a passion. But living those lies produced two beautiful people. Well, I guess that's just how it goes. But the pain of not being able to be the father they really needed, because of some screwed up religious dogma makes me angry.
I spent every ounce of emotional energy on maintaining the lie, leaving nothing for them.
It'll be OK, I know. But I'm putting this out there to show just how disgusting religion in all its forms can be. I lived some christian lie that directly affected the lives of two women and two kids. I know they still love me, but it hurts more than they may ever realise. And that hurt is something untold numbers of gay men (and women) experience.
It's got to stop!
How many more screwed up lives do there have to be before things really change?!?!
I'm not saying this looking for pity, I'm saying it so we can grow, and
live real lives - to get the word out there to every LGBT person on this
planet - we don't have to be someone else, to live up to some religious
expectation or cultural demands. We really are free to be who we are!