I’ve heard some straight spouses who are further along in their journey refer to the whole process of their spouse coming out as a gift. Personally, I can’t say that I see it that way, (and if it is a gift it’s one I’d still like to find the gift receipt for). Certainly it is something that has irrevocably changed me, and while there are days when I long to be the old me there are other days when I think the new me is becoming someone pretty cool. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that in surviving the aftermath of being a straight spouse nothing scares me anymore; or if it’s the fact that Straight Spouses have been so underrepresented, silenced and even maligned that I feel incensed to find my voice and be and advocate, or maybe even something a little more self serving in nature, it’s likely some combination of all of these but whatever the reason I suppose the ‘gift’ in all of this is that it has given me the chance (or rather forced me) to reexamine, reevaluate and reprioritize my life. Unfortunately this opportunity was created through tragedy, (but really, when you think about it isn’t that often the case) I think it is an opportunity that few people ever really seize. I’m guessing that’s because most people are fortunate enough to never experience a crisis that shakes them to their very core, causing them to question every aspect of themselves. So no, I am not quite ready to call this a ‘gift’ but maybe, just maybe it’s an opportunity (however unsolicited) that allows us a chance to open ourselves to greater things, to gifts that we might otherwise never have found?
PS: for the record I am in no way saying that my “comedic genius” is one of these gifts, and don’t worry I’m certainly not about to pack it all in and quit my day job folks. I just meant in the broader sense it has allowed me to find my voice, try new things, be less afraid because I know I can survive.
What are/have been your opportunities? Please share