There’s Usually One

I was brought up by loving parents along with my four brothers and sisters.

I am now in my mid-fifties, and last weekend I went out for a meal and drinks with my four siblings and their spouses to celebrate a marriage landmark for my brother and sister-in-law.

We had a lovely time, and yet although we have gathered together on many occasions over the years, it was the first time ever, that we had been out as a distinct grouping alone as siblings and spouses.

My mother-in-law, commented that it was remarkable that we all get on and are able to go out together to celebrate a special event, because as she put it, “there’s usually one” who wont’t join in because of past rivalries; jealousy; fall-outs and old wounds which have never healed.

As my wife was telling me what her mother had said, I responded that in my family, the awkward one, the one who made life difficult, the one who felt hurt and left out was usually me!

For many years, I felt inferior to my siblings, I felt conflicted in the suffering I experienced in carrying my suppressed gay sexuality alone and without their support and help.

I could not bring myself to tell them for very many years how I experienced my feelings for my own sex, until five years ago when my life had become so intolerable, that I confided in my brother that I was gay.

That act of courage, was the start of my liberation from fear and self imposed isolation which had caused me to have feelings of loathing for self and others.

Through my coach, I have been able to create the space within my mental capacity, to resolve my inner conflict, to learn to love self and to reach out to those whom for many years I pushed away emotionally, despite never really falling out with any of them.

What I find remarkable is that last weeks gathering, was on organised on my suggestion and that I made all the arrangements for it and I had communicated these with them, on the lead up to the event.

“There’s usually one”, or so people say, but if it ever there was a time when that was me, it most certainly isn’t me now.

William Defoe