Kay had been married for 25 years when her husband came out of the closet to her in Las Vegas. Their son was 24 years old and was already out of the home. They also had a daughter who was just four years at the time. It was Kay says it was and is her daughter who inspires her to stand on her own two feet.
My biggest accomplishment was standing on my own two feet and being my own person – being able to make decisions about buying a home, which was the right school for my daughter, what direction do I give my daughter and all the choices that affect our lives. It wasn’t easy – it probably took me at least two years.
The hardest part for me was not having someone to confirm I was making the right decision. My mother always taught us, you don’t discuss money or private matters with anyone. I grew up with that philosophy and I don’t discuss my business with anyone. I don’t even discuss it with my parents to be quite honest. I know part of it is pride – this is my life and I don’t want anyone else to know to how I got to this point. I’m paying my bills, I have a lovely home and a great child and I didn’t want to talk about some of the issues along the way with anyone.
I am really proud that I bought my own home on my own. I had never done that – I’ve been someone’s child, someone’s spouse but this was just me and that feels good. The way my divorce happened forced me to stand on my own feet and that made me a very strong person. I think I’ve always had the aptitude. I just hadn’t been tested.
What did surprise me is that after all this time – I’ve been divorced 10 years now – I’ve come to realize I can do very well on my own and I don’t need a man. There are times when I would like for somebody to just call me and ask ‘how’s your day going?’ and flowers once in a while would be nice. But I am really proud that I can be the person I am without a man. I feel very good and comfortable about that.
What got me to here, I believe, is a decision I made very early on. When I was going through the divorce, I thought I’m not going to become a victim. You see a lot of people whose attitude is ‘poor, pitiful me. I’m divorced.’ I thought I don’t want to be that. I want to be strong. I want to stand up and be counted. I wanted them to say, ‘ Yes, we can rely on Kay.’ I didn’t want people to say, ‘ don’t ask Kay because she just got divorced.’ It’s not an excuse for anything.
I did read many books about gays – I was trying to understand what had happened. However, what helped me the most was my daughter. She is truly the one factor responsible for everything. She is my life and I knew I had to have it together for her.
The Divorce Coach Says
What I like about Kay’s story is her very conscious decision not to be a victim. I’ve heard this from other women including Lorraine whose story I’ll be sharing over the next couple of days. Carol Grever, whose husband also came out as gay after nearly 30 years of marriage also spoke of a similar decision. I think such a decision shows tremendous fortitude at a time when your life is going through a seismic change. I also think, if you can make that conscious choice then it guides your decision-making during the divorce process and can help you come out the other side with grace and dignity. Did you make the same choice? What helped you to retain your dignity?