As if it was in another world, another time, another life. A lake that I don't want to dive in. Because I need to hold my breath. Because it is a lake of fear and uncertainty and loss. However, I will jump now. Into that past event. Being surrounded by my family. Family, what it meant back then to me. Family: you need to please them. You need to watch your words. You need to listen their words. Was I welcome? Whatever my family might have answered to this question. My feeling is my reality. Feeling welcome doesn't depend on them, it depends on me. I just accepted to be different. Or maybe I wanted to be different. My own secrets made it impossible for us to grow a truthful and honest bond. My secrets thatI kept to keep our family perfect. I wanted to be the shining star for everybody. Well, I guess stars can fall deep. And every tiny spot of dirt is immediately visible on a shining star. The more and more I wanted to shine the more in danger I was. In danger to fail.
After my last night with that guy in our marital bed my wife wanted to meet me. She wanted to know. Know about things. Know what I did and how. I guess that was important to her so she may see my actions in relation to our marriage. But deep in my heart I felt that she wanted to understand me primarily. And thinking about this quality in her even makes me cry right now. No matter how hard I hurt her she was on my side. She saw someone else in me. No bad guy cheating on her. She saw still my glowing heart that was lost on track and confused of what to feel. I loved her but I couldn't continue with all that pressure. My role to fulfill, my busy schedule. A lot of feelings that I never allowed and haven't found their place yet. She saw it. I felt it.
I opened up to her. And she recommended me to open up in the same way to my family. My family; who didn't know about a single thing that had happened so far.
Me: "I just cannot talk to my family. I don't have enough strength. I cannot. I'd rather escape, don't say goodbye and never see them again. But I cannot tell them. I cannot disappoint and hurt them so much. It is not their fault. Why should they suffer from my mistake?"
Her: "I accompany you if you feel better then. We can visit your family together."
I am astonished! She will come with me to my own family how I tell them that I cheated on her with guys?!
Me: "You would do this?"
Me: "Ok. Then let's go."
She is driving the car. I was handling my bumping heart, my tension, my stomach feels sick. Is this happening? It was clear for me that my life as Jehovah's Witness would be over. I would be a wordly person. One of them. Not so much worth, just one out of many. No promise for salvation. Out of all these weird feelings I couldn't help myself cheering me up saying "The first thing I will do as wordly person is growing a beard." I really wanted this a long time! And I still got my beard and will never let it go.
Her: "You should really take care of your appearance. The elders will have a close eyes on your behavior."
Me: "Well, I was just joking." And again I want to keep the good image in front of my wife. So, no beard for te beginning.
We ring the bell.
My mother buzzes door.
Both of us go upstairs. At that time there was still a family vacation to be planned. I do not remember any more where we wanted to go but it was for a preaching campaign and my family was still waiting for our agreement.
My family welcomes us warmly. I feel so cold.
My parents and us gather in the living room.
Dad: "We are still waiting for your answer if you want to join us for the preaching campaign in July." It was end of February back then.
Me: "I guess I will not join you."
All: "What?! Why?"
In the meanwhile my twin brother joined us.
Me: "There is something I need to tell you."
"I have cheated on Sophie." ... "with guys".
Mum: "You're kidding. That's not possible."
Dad: "Are you gay?" He said not knowing if he should laugh or cry.
Me: "Well, I guess I am bi. I don't know really yet. But this is what has happened."
My twin begins looking to the ground and keeps silent.
Dad: "But did this happen to you because there is a gay celebrity who is your idol? I mean, this is not natural. It has to come from somewhere. In media or so."
Me: "It does definitely not come from any celebrity. But I watch gay porn since I am 14. I am so sorry to have abused your trust giving me internet access. I did it from the first day on I had access to it."
Dad: "My ..."
Mum: "Oh God."
If I could I would like to stop now writing. Even now is my feeling of embarrassment tremendous.
I start feeling very very very uncomfortable and I start feeling so wrong in this family. They are sitting there not saying anything valuable. Anything that could give me hope to go on.
Mum: "But you and Sophie are so nice together. I still remember both of you on the cooking event last month. You seemed so harmonic. Can't you imagine coming together again?"
It is just now that I ask myself how my mother could even ask such a question. Isn't it clear to every couple that has never cheated on each other to separate in such a situation? Have maybe my parents once cheated on each other? I might know it one day. Maybe not. But it just appears to me how you could ask such a question in such a situation. I felt it was really inappropriate ti Sophie's feelings. Was she expected to forgive me? I don't want o imagine how much pressure she must have felt from family or other brothers and sisters in the congregation to be merciful with me.
Me: "No, we cannot be together again." Sophie shook her head agreeing.
Dad: "Well, but you will still be able to go preaching."
Me: "Are you serious? How can they not disfellowship me for adultery and homosexual acts?"
And again now I just wonder how my dad was able to say such a comment. Were there other gay guys in the congregation who did the same but were not disfellowshipped? To any ordinary Jehovah's Witness hearing this incident it would have been crystal clear that I need to be disfellowshipped. But my father is not ordinary. He is an elder. He is even the coordinator of the elders in the congregation which means there is nothing happening without him knowing. He is always involved in any misbehavior of others.
But there was no time for such thoughts.
Me: "I think it is better if I leave you here. I want to go. I think it is better for me to be alone."
Sophie to my twin: "He is giving up on himself."
And then I broke together in crying on the sofa. I remember that someone came to my side. But don't know who it was. But there was no hug any more. Just disgust in their faces. Yes, I'm disgusting. How could someone hug me now.
I actually really want to stop writing but the pain is so freeing. I can't stop. And I guess it is still the same way I feel in front of my family. Disgusting. Their constant shunning makes me feel constantly wrong, not worth talking to, non-existing. I just want to be as far away from them as possible. As far away as possible from this feeling of non-existence and disgust. It doesn't matter if I am alive or dead. I embody everything that makes them feel disgusted: A gay whore not knowing what means faithfulness and not respecting the family. Thinking of my family I mostly think of my twin brother and the wife of my second oldest brother. The reason is: these were those least talking to me after knowing who I am. They showed the most disgust towards me. So there was never a clarifying talk. And when there is no talk there is no peace. Shunning provokes walls of distrust. I would shake on my whole body if I saw them today. I would feel there eyes of judgment on my whole body piercing me from inside out. As if I was an alien. As if we never had a thing in common. No good times. All vanished. Was our time together of no worth?
I don't know how I could deserve this but I will always feel love for them and I crave for the day that we can be in each others arms loving our souls as real as they are. I am writing this under tears. Tears of hopelessness and uthopia. There is nothing as hurtful as forbidden love. Love that could be so great in living and enjoying. But it is forbidden, is lost.
The only place where it exists is in my heart, hurting me from time to time when my heart is calm, when my sight is clear, when I admit my sadness. I will always love you, no matter the pain.