"Coming out to myself has been about embracing and affirming who I really am, then seeking to discover things about myself that have been smothered and hidden for most of my life. It’s about who I am as a human being – my identity.
"But how does one go about recovering a sense of identity that was (i) hidden as a child because of child abuse, (ii) repressed further as an adolescent because of the discovery he is homosexual, (iii) largely (i.e., that which was left by this point) discarded and abandoned when he joined the church, and (iv) then further repressed and suppressed upon getting married?
"I feel this is the challenge before me. Affirming my gayness is a huge step forward, and I am anxious to explore this new gay world that I never before had the courage to investigate. But closely connected to this 'coming out of the closet' is an effort to reclaim all those bits of me that I have sensed are there, but are either lost to conscious knowledge or, because of shame and expedience, are so afraid to come out that I feel it will take a great deal of effort, affirmation and courage to reclaim them."
(I'm working on a memoir about the year I came out. This is one of a ongoing series of posts based on the blog - entitled "Invictus Pilgrim" - that I kept during that year.)