Henry had all kinds of plans. He and John could get an apartment together, and the children and I could stay right where we were in our cozy flat in Cow Hollow, San Francisco. I’d never have to work because they would support me completely. Between their two incomes, they would have more than enough, and Henry had been quite successful in the stock market. They could take the children every other weekend to give me a break, and all three of us could be the proud parents at school functions. On the weekends when I had the children, Henry and John could give lavish dinner parties and go ‘antiquing’ in the foothills. Yes, Henry had thought it all through that afternoon. I felt John stiffen as he listened. My body was already stiff as a board.
At home, late that night, John told me he wanted none of that gay lifestyle, and he begged me to stay with him. He said he would be ruined professionally if he chose Henry’s plan. Seeing his vulnerability, I staked my second boundary. I said I would stay if he would leave his lover. He said he’d try. But one night, he suddenly sat on the edge of the bed where I was reading. He trembled. Broken with emotion, his skin looked mushy as if he’d been sobbing for hours. The long eyelashes surrounding his red-rimmed eyes dripped with tears as he blurted out, “I love Henry.” I’d never seen a man express that much love for a woman, much less for a man.
I knew he wanted me to let him keep Henry, but I had sealed myself off. How could I respond to this plea anyway? He’d promised to love me. Would he ever love me like that? Was it possible? Could this ‘condition’ be changed? I didn’t have any answers, and my mouth was shut.
I’d sealed myself off because of my mother. The day after the infamous dinner and show, my mother expected me to drive her to the airport as she was headed to Kansas City for Christmas. However, on one of the last shopping days before Christmas, traffic on Hwy 101 was bumper to bumper and my car stalled. Frantic, I convinced the driver behind me to push me to the off-ramp and into whatever garage we could find. From there I called my mother.
She picked me up at the garage, and we drove to the airport. She noticed something was wrong. I sloughed the question off by saying I was having problems with John. She then asked what kind of difficulty John was having. I said it was nothing to worry about. After some benign questioning she asked, “Is he a switch hitter?”
I had taught Physical Education for several years and I literally thought she was talking about baseball. “No. He swings with his right hand.”
“I mean, does he swing both ways.”
“Oh,” I said and nodded, about to break into tears again.
“That’s what your sister said.”
My sister’s husband had worked for John during summers on his way through medical school.
“She knew?” I wondered why she hadn’t told me, but then again, nobody in my family tells anybody anything of importance.
My mother asked matter-of-factly, “Who else have you told?”
“Good. Don’t tell anybody else.”
“Nobody else should know these kinds of things,” she snapped.
“Can I talk to you about it?”
“No. And don’t talk to your sister either. Neither one of us want to know anything at all.” Her lips were firmly shut. She had just recently taken a Mind Control class so she added, “You don’t want me to go away for Christmas, do you?”
I said, “No.”
“That’s why your car stalled.” Sure enough, when I got back to the garage, the car worked just fine as the mechanic couldn’t find anything wrong with it. My mother’s philosophy in life has always been, “Paint a pretty picture and sweep the dirt under the rug.” So we never talked about it. Nor did I talk to anybody else and it was painfully clear the subject was also verboten with John.
It was some years before I found my confidant. Five, to be exact. I gradually became so depressed—with no outlet, with Henry still in the shadows, with John moping about—that in the last two months or so of this five-year imprisonment,
I couldn‘t even get dressed. My children came home from school every day to find me sitting in a rocking chair in my kitchen, still in my nightgown and robe, crying. They would climb into my lap, wipe away my tears, and sit with me for the rest of the afternoon. I believe they saved my life because all I could think about was how to kill myself. But then these two wonderful human beings would run in the door, and I knew I couldn’t leave them to sort out these problems. It’s just that I didn’t know how to sort them out either.
That’s when He came in. He caught me completely by surprise.