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27Oct/131

Strong Stuff : Surviving Unemployment without losing your mind

Being unemployed sucks and the longer it drags on the worse you feel.

One of the first things to fade away long before the onslaught of dwindling self esteem is the way time misbehaves.

Time and its limits are understood by those with jobs, appointments and meetings.

When there is nothing that needs your immediate attention or response one day might as well be the same as another.

Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday ? Does it really matter ?

At some point, all of the days run together and nothing matters anymore.

The first thirty days post getting sacked can feel like a summer vacation.

One month of this is fun and we can convince ourselves that it will all end soon. When month two , three and four begins , things can start to look very hopeless.

When my third month rolled around and there were no savings, no income and no unemployment insurance rolling in, I began to legitimately panic.

With loads of time on my hands, nothing to do and nowhere to be I made a timely and costly mistake.

I foolishly reentered a relationship that was as hopeless as my bank account.

This relationship would ease as bit of the loneliness (or so I thought) and the uncertainty that accompanies being unemployed.

Why did I do it ?

Fear and an intolerance for uncertainty.

If I'd just trusted myself a bit more and held out a bit longer, things would have turned out very differently.

My impatience led to making some dumb decisions and prevented me from looking at what had gotten me to this point and what I could do to gain a new set of skills and preserve my sanity.

3Oct/133

My Straight Dad is coming to My Gay Wedding

My father is flying in from Detroit, Michigan to witness me marry a man.

If we'd had a history of progressive thought and shared action based in liberation and freedom of thought this may not be so shocking.

We have not.

As a young child and into adulthood, I performed a great deal of hiding and deflecting behaviors to make sure that my parents, and in particular my dad, never found out that I was gay and "secretly" desired men.

Many times over the years, I have either introduced who I was currently seeing as a new "friend" or post coming out as a new partner.

With each introduction, delusion and denial became a well honed, highly favored and mutually agreed upon way of dealing with the very real and highly uncomfortable truth that my dad's only son, the heir to his throne, was gay.

Growing up in a homophobic home didn't leave much room for discussions of difference and its acceptance and negotiation.

Very early, the message was clear : gay means wrong.

As a result of this disturbed thinking, I learned to survive by not dreaming of a wonderful mate nor committing to him via a ceremony surrounded by friends and family.

When my very articulate and wise husband offered two very wonderful reasons (laden with sound logical examples) for our marriage, I had to rethink every assumption and muddled viewpoint that I'd created and nurtured for thirty years. Part of the rethinking involved "coming out" again to my parents.

There will be many of my gay and lesbian allies who have to reemerge from the closet now that laws and social structures are changing at such a break neck speed.

Many folk have to be "reminded" of our gayness when we make a step to solidify or deepen an existing relationship.

The rational is based on the assumption that if you are not a part of a "legitimate" state-sanctioned union then you are not an adult and the only connection you are able to create is temporary sexual one.

My marriage says to my family: I am an adult who is in a serious relationship.

Some of the folks I know are unable to handle this declaration and are finding themselves with an uninvite to the ceremony.

My straight dad is coming to my Wedding and it will be a beautiful thing.

It means I held on to myself.

I've won a major battle.

   
 

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