Letter of the Week 2-12-12

Dear Nicole,

I’m sure that you receive quite a bit of mail and I realize this message may just float out there in the great cyber cloud of the virtual sky. So, if nothing else, I can look at this as a cathartic exercise in speaking my truth.

I write to you under a pseudonym and from an email account only I know about because I am a very closeted gay woman. I am 38 years old, married with one daughter (6 yrs old) and I am a devoted Christian. I only recently (about 9 months ago) came to a place where I could finally admit this truth to myself. When I look back over my life, I realize I’ve always known this about myself. As early as 7 or 8 years of age, I can remember having a crush on a high school girl I knew. As I continued through school, I knew I had crushes on other girls, but always talked myself out of it, because I knew it wasn’t “acceptable.” I would pray and ask God to change me or heal me or somehow make me “normal” like everyone else. When that didn’t happen, I tried to conform to what I saw in everyone else. I don’t know why I have come to this stage where I’m willing to stop lying, at least to myself, but on some level it is freeing to know I’m not just a freak. This truth and my faith have been in quite the wrestling match lately and I’m still not sure who will win (or if there even needs to be a winner). But I’m confident that God created me, that I have always been this way, and that God loves me. I know all of the debates on all sides of the “religious” argument for and against being gay and where God fits with that. But I know for me, the promise I made to my husband and honoring that, outweighs the arguments – at least for me. To come out to my family and friends would create a huge ripple effect from which I could not bear to stand under the weight of that emotional responsibility. So, I have chosen to remain faithful to my husband and continue to live the life I’ve chosen (this is where choice comes in).

So, why tell you? Well, I recently stumbled upon your movie, Elena Undone. I was so moved by the character and her struggle in choosing her family or choosing the love of her life that I felt compelled to write you. I felt like I was watching me to some degree on that screen. You see, I haven’t just realized who I am at my core by chance. I realized it because I knew I was in love with a woman; my best friend. We have been friends for nearly 15 years that included a period of almost 9 years of increasing emotional distance between us (ever since I got married). When I finally came out to my friend and admitted that the reason for my emotional distance was because I’d fallen in love with her, she confessed as much back to me. While it has healed our relationship to some degree, it has become heart breaking at the same time. You see, she is in the same position as I, married w/ children and grandchildren (she is 25 years my senior), and a devout Christian woman. We have both chosen to not pursue a romantic relationship with each other. But I know without a doubt that she is my soul mate and the love of my life. I never used to believe in that “soul mate” business and would have scoffed at the notion presented in your movie before. This movie was beautifully written and executed and I thank you for making it.

Again, I realize you may get more than your share of unsolicited attempts to give you stories or ideas for your work, etc. That is NOT my intent. Often times when I am wrestling with something, I will journal my thoughts as I try to come to some conclusion that fits the puzzle. While I was journaling and wrestling with coming to grips with my true identity and traveling that road, my journal started to become something more of a story. I guess it was a way for me to “live out” parts of my relationship with my friend on a level that could never happen in real life. It’s mostly fiction, but pretty autobiographical as well. Much like a painting you can’t hide in the attic once complete, I haven’t known what to do with this story. I have NO interest in seeking to get it published or in any other way promoted. But I know that I can not keep it to myself. I am attaching it as a means to telling my story, if only to the “cloud.” I expect no reply; no feedback; nothing. I just needed to “put it out there,” if that makes any sense at all.

Thank you for your work. Thank you for your time. Thank you.

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