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I know myself mostly as someone’s partner

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William Henderson recounts living two lives @ Sea Giraffe.

The first few weeks in my apartment are lonely. I haven’t lived alone in more than 12 years. My friends try, as does Holly (who I have to learn to think of as my ex-wife), and my mother is here for some of it, but most nights, I try not to hear the sound of my bedroom clock ticking. I see Judi, my therapist, every week, then every other week, then every three weeks. In time, she says, I won’t need to see her at all, unless I feel the need for a checkup.

I like talking to her. She makes me feel like I already know the answers, if I would just get out of my own way.Does not being a partner to someone bother you?, Judi asks. I don’t think I would use the word bother, I say. I’m just not used to it. I know myself mostly as someone’s partner.Are you worried that you won’t like yourself?I like myself.And you’re adjusting to living as an openly gay man?Yes, I say. I don’t know why I was afraid. I think that’s why I tried to kill myself. I think I was afraid of what telling Holly I wanted a divorce, and that I was in love with a man who decided he’d rather get high than build a life with me, meant. I thought she might move away with our children. And he, clearly, didn’t care.

Image: Lauren E Simonutti @ F-Stop Magazine

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