Solitary Confinement…

There are days (and nights), where I feel like I am the only one that is left in the world. It’s as if I’m locked in a solitary confinement facility and everyone has left the building. This is not a world that I wish to be in; rather its one that I have chosen for myself. For the time being it’s safe and secure and only I have the key to unlock my cell door.

Every day for the past 40 years or so, I have taken that key out of my pocket and looked at it. I have contemplated it’s shape and meaning more times that I can count. Some days it appears brighter and lighter while other days it has the dull sheen and weight of lead and those are the days where it weighs heaviest on my soul because I know I was the one that fashioned it. I built the walls of my own prison and then locked myself in. I pronounced my self guilty without evidence, judge or jury and thought I was in for a life sentence. But I have also come to the realization that I wasn’t the only one who forged that key. It was forged by a society that told me what I was feeling was wrong. It was forged by those who said I was damned for wanting to love another man. Being young and naive, I believed them and then willingly accepted the key to my cell.

When you’re in confinement you are left to your own thoughts and demons and they become bigger each day. You get to the point where you want to give in to them because you THINK you can never defeat them, so acceptance seems to be the easiest way to tame them. Then as the sunlight creeps through your cell window, you realize that another night has passed and your still alive. But how alive are you and do you want to pass yet another night alone and unloved in your tormented sleep?

I now know that I don’t want to live here anymore. I don’t want to be in my self imposed solitaire. I am tired of the demons that haunt my soul. I am tired of the fighting that continues in my head day and night. I am tired of waking yet another morning alone with no one to share my thoughts with. I am tired of not having someone to share my love with.

So,do I dare to finish another day in prison? Do I justify my stay as punishment for who I am or do I start to question the reasons why I have chosen to lock myself away?

I am at the point where I have answered many of those questions, and STILL I am in my own prison. I still haven’t the nerve to take the key and put it in the hole to unlock my door. Every time I take it out and look at it, I put it back in my pocket. I think to myself is it out of fear of the unknown or the combined fears of rejection and shame? I don’t have all the answers yet, but they are there creeping around in the fog I call my brain, I just can’t see them clearly enough to confront them. Those are the worst days for me.

Then there are the days where the words, “I AM GAY” are on the tip of my tongue waiting to be unleashed and shouted out with all the pride and purpose that I could muster. And then I retreat, back into my safe world where only I (and you) know the truth.

Slowly but surely I am working towards my release from these cold walls. I look forward to the day when I could walk in the sunshine and bathe in it’s warmth.



About Kevin

I am 58 and I have finally decided to open the closet door and venture out.
This entry was posted in Coming Out, Gay Theme, Growing up, Life, Musings, Self Discovery, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Solitary Confinement…

  1. tornwordo says:

    I hope you find the strength to unlock that door. Fear and shame are surmountable, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Nothing!

  2. Dawn says:

    I can’t imagine how that must feel, and the only words that I can offer you is that your true friends and the people that love you will still be there for you once you break your vow of silence. I think once the words are spoken, things will be much easier for you. Good luck with whatever steps you take with this!!

  3. Ed says:

    Come out, come out wherever you are and see the new world and be it’s new star. You’ve come very far now open the door, then all will be better and that is for sure.
    You’ll be a new star or haven’t you heard, when you opened the cell door a miracle occured.
    It really was no miracle what happened was just this, I shouted to the world I am a proud gay man! Then I felt so much better and on my own two feet now stand. (thanks L. Frank Baum)

  4. David in KC says:

    It’s hard to know where to start. Advice is so seldom helpful. So just take my experience as support and encouragement.

    I have some understanding of your dilemma. I was married for 31 years before I came out. It was the most difficult step I’ve ever taken (I was going to say “it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done”, but there’s not much that gay men can’t turn into a double entendre).

    Coming out was also the best thing I’ve ever done – for myself, my former wife, and my daughter. Had I not done so, I think I’d be dead now from the stress of the closet.

    For me, anyway, honesty has turned out to be the best policy. It’s amazing what a difference authenticity makes in one’s own life and in the important relationships. My daughter and I are much closer now because she knows who I really am. And, my ex and I are better friends than when we were married – she took me out for dinner on my Cinco de Mayo birthday. I know that I’m fortunate in this regard and probably not typical. But, it can work out that way.

    From the perspective of the other side, my only regret is that I didn’t come out sooner. It’s never too late.

    Feel free to e-mail, if that would be helpful

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