Let’s Be Frank: The Diary of a Divorced Gay Dad
Sometimes he surprises me with a picture he just colored, maybe of the two of us and our new house. Sometimes he says the perfect thing at the perfect time to make me forget about everything bad in the world. Sometimes he sees me and runs into my arms at the speed of light, giving me the biggest hug conceivable. And sometimes, just sometimes, he senses I’m lonely and snuggles with me on the sofa. My son has become my constant, and with each passing day, I realize how important that bond is. He’s my No. 1 dude, my main man, and no matter what, he will always be there for me.
When you go through turmoil, anything or anyone that is consistently good or nice to you becomes extremely valuable. My son has always been the most important thing in my life, but through the tragedy of my divorce, his significance has grown exponentially. I have seen the bottom of the barrel, and the only entity that was able to pull me out was him. Just knowing he’s sleeping under the same roof as me is as comforting as a warm blanket on a cold winter’s night. Spending quality time with him is more calming than Xanax.
When I was separating from my ex-husband, I was left with a huge void. I went from having companions every night to having one companion half the week, in the form of a 5-year-old boy. The adjusting I had to do was immense, and I craved adult attention – almost to a desperate level. I was in the middle of nowhere, Connecticut, and waking up from an emotional coma. I spent countless nights holding back tears as I put Briggs to bed, only to immediately start bawling the second I left his room. I went into a depression, deeper than any black hole I had ever faced. I sought out a counselor to help me through the process, I took up meditation, I bathed more – anything to soothe me and chill my ass out.
What I noticed over time, is that all of those things were essentially Band-aids – temporary fixes meant to help speed the healing process. The counselor ended up being a nightmare, giving me more anxiety than I had before seeing her. Meditation only made me want to nap, which meant I was sleeping more than I should, which in turn depressed me. And let’s face it, there’s only so many baths a person can take before they get old. I analyzed my life in weeklong increments, only to discover that the time I was at my peak best is when I was with my son. I was a waste of a human being when he wasn’t around, but when I was with him, I shone bright. Slowly, I accepted my new fate and pulled myself out of that black hole. Slowly, I acknowledged how grateful I am to have Briggs in my life. Slowly, I became more comfortable with myself and my situation, to the point of where I now embrace it.
Yes, I am single after being in a 17-year relationship, but I’m not alone. As Briggs gets older, he is becoming an amazing empathetic individual, and the pride I have for him is immeasurable. He is always with me, regardless of where he physically is, and his love will always be unconditional. Our relationship is constantly evolving into something stronger and more complex. He can talk to me now, as in actually express himself and understand when I do the same. He’s my son, but he’s become my best friend. I’ve learned that people may come and go in my life, but no matter what, he won’t. He will always be there for me, and I will always be there for him.