Chronicles of A Down Low Brotha

Caught Between Two Worlds

Monday, August 2, 2010

Silent Frustrations

Being caught between two worlds is often a paradox that many men who are on the down-low have to wrestle and many times come to grips with.  I've often wondered if I am the only one that at one moment, when I see a fine nigga I don't give a damn about my relationships, or marriage and just want to (In the words of Missy Elliott) freak on!?  Then on the other hand, there are times when I face the struggles in my marriage and say, could I really live without the benefits of being married?  Certainly, God is not pleased, and I will be eternally damned to hell?  Will I miss having a beautiful woman on my arm, the many family vacations, what will become of the numerous home videos and photos that were taken in exotic destinations, graduations, and family celebrations.  This lifestyle is juxtaposed by society's definition of normalcy.

Well, in thinking of this I began to ponder the many years that I've been silent about the secret and interesting part of my life.  I trusted no one and was always afraid to share for fear of being exposed.  It is amazing that once you embark on a journey of self-discovery, you'll not only discover yourself but also the people around you.  I recently confided in a friend of mine that I was going through marital difficulties, and eventually the reason why...  A friend that I have know for well over 10 years, we went to undergrad together, were in many student organizations together, college roommates, and even attended the same churches together, hell he was the best man in my wedding.  Well this friend while I have known for sometime, about his attraction to the same sex, he didn't know about mine or so I thought.  We lived together for several years, but never spoke about the "elephant in the room."  No we were never attracted to one another sexually, just good friends, we were friends 'til the end.  That day, he shared with he always knew of my desire and attraction to men, but really thought I had mastered it and always wanted to know how I did it.  He stated how I had immersed myself in church and spirituality, and so he thought God had really given me victory.  He went on to tell me about his life and confided in me the many encounters that he's had with men in the church and even run-ins with well know bishops, pastors, etc.  The conversation literally blew my mind, but I was totally liberated in finding out that I was not the only person dealing with the issue.

After I walked down the aisle, it seemed that the many friendships and relationships that I had, although they were very few had dwindled, and I had slowly wrapped myself up in the cocoon called married.  Sometimes, if you're not careful, once you wrap yourself up in that cocoon its seasy to go through a transformation and metamorphosis that makes you lose who you are and your identity in your spouse.  This was me. My days, which turned into months, which turned into years was filled with sunday dinners at the in-laws, running errands, moving stuff for my inlaws, changing the occasional tire for my desperate sister-in-law, or find the random auto part or piece of furniture for my in-laws.  My life had been so consumed with them that I had slowly withdrawn from my friends, and slowly but surely my own family.  I would cut people off if my wife got mad at them and didn't want to deal with them anymore. Even if I didn't agree....I was Silent.  I was frustrated but silently.  I officially had been emasculated.....and when I get with men, was the only time I felt in charge. 

My frustrations always lead to seeking a sexual encounter, until one day after a birthday party for my wife's grandfather, I saw a picture of me at the table, not smiling, with a huge plate in front of me and large piece of cake.  I had slowly not only look for sex, but when sex was not an option.. I turned to food.  I slowly gained weight, and when I said I was fat, she would say, " when I met you, you were skinny, I like my men with some meat on them." I accepted, but the trajectory was I was frustrated.  Later that year for christmas, the family went to key west, and again was another picture of me, overweight and unhappy.  At this point, my wife turned to me and said are you depressed?  Laughing it off i said no, but deep down i realized, that living between two worlds was taking it's toll on me. 

I was reading an article about men who sleep with men, and the astounding conclusion was that many of the men suffer from depression, although the signs are unrecognizable.   Many men deal with silent frustrations, instead of dealing with their reality, they suffer in silence.  I can tell you of countless men that I've met in bookstores or on chat lines that are married or in a relationship, and are so unhappy but yet they suffer in silence due to church obligations, having kids, or a luxury car or home.  Now don't get me wrong, I believe that there are a few men, that love being married and love being with men every now and then.  But how many out there are silently frustrated.  The conversation that day, helped me to understand that I'm a complex, unique individual with fears, feelings, joys, and pain, but I don't have to be frustrated at least not silently.

I discovered life is too short to be worried about others opinions or judgements of me.  Today make it your day to break the silence!


  1. You are dead on! I can't count the number of brothas I've run into who are like myself, unhappy, depressed, and falling away from their true selves. And this depression thing is just the topic I'm dealing with now in my own blog. If I gain another pound, I'm gonna jump in one of the oceans.

    Keep it coming.

  2. Wow, this was a deep post. I could relate to some of it. You are on a road of discovery. You will be just fine man. The biggest part of the solution is recognizing the problem.

  3. Cold Phoenix, Immanuel,
    Thank you guys for reading and following my blog. Yes depression is something that many people deal with but don't know that they are depressed.. I feel like I am battling with it but I am getting motivated again to be happy for myself..

  4. I can see myself in your story. I feel like am always on the run, running away from myself and my reality looking for freedom, but i find myself in bondage, lies, depression and frustrated.