Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Cat is Out of the Bag

Before my wife and I were really dating (but after I had come to terms with "struggling with same-sex attraction" - gay was just too much for me too handle at the time) I had an undesirable encounter with someone she had known growing up.  I do not remember the circumstances surrounding the meeting except that he was attending school out of town and happened to be in town and wanted to visit some friends.  I did not like him from the moment I met him.  He was very cocky and full of himself and just overall seemed like a real douche bag.  Then for some reason I needed to get on my computer and as soon as I pulled it out he felt the need to tell a joke:  "Do you know what the worst thing about buying a Mac is? . . . Telling your parents that you're gay!"  I was not amused!  His little joke really irritated me.  I probably did my best to laugh it off but I was not laughing inside.  I did not like that term and certainly did not identify with it.  I was flabbergasted - am I that flamboyant or effeminate?  I thought I was doing a good job of hiding in my closet.  And even though I am not that partial to Macintosh computers I was offended on my computer's behalf as well!  My family was not very technologically involved growing up so when it came time to go to college I knew I would need a computer but I don't know that I had ever even used a laptop despite growing up in a time when they were very common.  My dad had asked our bishop, who did a lot of multimedia stuff for work, and he suggested getting a Mac so that's what we did.

My wife is much more of a night owl than I am.  Well, maybe that is not exactly true.  I would like to stay up later as well but often end up going to bed before her.  I need my sleep.  I struggled with severe insomnia for years and years.  Right now I take medication to help me sleep (which I hate) and I am convinced that I would be certifiably insane if it was not for this little pill.  I have had two sleep studies done and the doctors are not really sure what to tell me.  It is obvious that I have a hard time falling asleep, but on top of that, even when I am asleep, my brain wave activity goes into a wakeful state about once every two and a half minutes without me being consciously aware of it.  So needless to say, I do not get deep sleep and wake up feeling exhausted basically every day.  All of that to say that when it is bed time I now go to bed with the help of my medication no matter what else is going on in my life!  My wife on the other hand, does not use the convenience of a sleep aid.  When things are tense between us her sleep suffers which I lament greatly.  And as luck would have it, her sleep has been suffering lately.

When she has a lot on her mind she often goes into the front room (and does stuff on her computer - which I have tried to tell her is adding to her not being able to sleep!) as I get ready for bed.  She has been doing this nearly every night for a week or two so I know she has been worrying and thinking a lot.  This morning before church I could tell something was up.  I knew she was tired and likely had not slept much, but there was something more.  I asked her if she was mad at me, which she denied.  We got ready, went to church, taught our lesson, and on the way home, she said that the lesson, which she had read but I primarily taught, was difficult for her today.  It was on telling the truth.  She said that she needed to talk to me but was not ready just yet.  We did not say much else to each other in the car or once we got home.  She went into the bedroom and I stayed in the front room.  About a half hour later she called me into the bedroom requesting that we talk.  I thought I knew what she was going to say.  I thought she would confess that she had read my blog.  And I was pretty anxious about what she would have to say about it.

As I have mentioned before, we recently started using our apartment complex's free wi-fi to save money and it is painfully SLOW.  For some reason my Mac is able to grab on to the band width that is available (there must be some term for this - I am pretty computer illiterate) much better than her PC.  I have the habit, as it seems most Mac users do, of leaving lots of things open on my computer.  I almost always have my browser open with about a dozen tabs loaded.  Lately those tabs have been my blog, my anonymous email account, Beck's blog, a couple of other blogs that I have recently come across, etc.  Last night she was having trouble loading some stuff that she wanted to pull up on her computer and asked if she could use mine for a minute.  I pulled up a new window for her to use.  She looked up what she needed to and then as I got up to get some water she said that she needed to check her email.  I became worried at this point because she uses gmail and my anonymous email, which was open in another window, was already logged on to gmail.  But, not wanting to look like I was trying to hide anything, I decided not to intervene.  I knew that as soon as she pulled up gmail my account would appear.  I also knew that seeing that account would make my blog title very obvious since they are both titled the same and I get updates when people post on my blog.

I was surprised, however, that this is not what she confessed when I joined her in the bedroom.   The first thing out of her mouth was that she had been up very late the last couple of nights thinking and that maybe it is best if we get a divorce.  I was not expecting that!  We have mentioned it in the past so it is not like it came out of nowhere, but caught me by surprise none the less.  I did not know what to say and did not end up saying anything.  She said that she knows that I am still in love with Greg, that she is feeling like she is at the end of the rope, that she thinks I would be happier if she did not hold me back any more, and lots of other things that my brain is now failing to recall.  I was laying on the bed trying to face her, but decided to turn the other way.  She began to cry and I started to cry as well.  I wasn't sad, I wasn't happy, I just felt dead.  This is not a new feeling to me.  I do not feel regular emotions very often right now.  I just feel dead.

Then there was silence.  For several minutes there was silence.  Then she started saying, verbatim, the words that so many straight wives married to gay men have said over the years.  She talked about the hurt, the uncertainty, the dreams that were slipping away.  And then her tone changed.  She said, "but I love you and I want to be married to you.  I just can't stand to see you so down any more."  She asked me if I still want to be married, which I answered in the affirmative.  She asked me if I thought I could let go of Greg, to which I said I was still trying to figure out how.  She asked if I believed the church was true, to which I said I was trying to believe.

I just laid there contemplating the words I would use in a letter to say goodbye to the few people who are still important in my life right now.  She left the room and I just laid there.  For hours.  She came back in much later and said she had more she needed to say.  It was then that she confessed to having read my blog last night.   She rehearsed how it happened exactly as I had imagined it.  She said she was so sorry and that she would never, ever read it again.  She said that she knows that I need an outlet for my feelings but she was so tired of not knowing what is going on in my head.  I was most surprised that at the end she said that she did not learn anything new from my blog.  What does this mean?  Well, I guess it could mean a couple of things:  I am being pretty open and honest with her or I am not being too overtly open even in my anonymity.

Well, there you have it.  My secret blog is not so secret anymore.  She has repeatedly told me that she will never look at my blog again.  Do I believe her?  I do not know.  Should I still keep blogging?  Haven't decided.  What does one do in this situation?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My First Communication With Someone Who is Openly Gay

I made an anonymous email account when I decided to start blogging.  It is amazing how much more brave I became under the guise of anonymity.  I decided to write to the author of the first (I think it was the first) gay Mormon blog that I ever read using this new email account.  His blog is one of four blogs that I have felt a need to read in full.  I read his blog many months ago so I do not remember everything that I read but I do remember really wanting to ask him some questions.  It is evident from the content contained herein, but he is a former Mormon who has decided to live his life as an openly gay man.  This post is color-coded as follows (also probably self-explanatory):

My comments from today today
Content from my email to him
His responses to me

I am a little puzzled, looking back, about why I chose these questions and why they were worded this way.

1.   What doctrinal issues do you have with the church (besides their stance on homosexuality?  I know that the big ones are usually blacks not holding the priesthood and polygamy.  If these are the ones that really convinced you, why?  (I would really appreciate as much detail as you are willing to give)  I think I posed this question because it is my belief in the church that really keeps me from acting on my orientation.
I questioned many of those things before I even came to terms with my sexuality. Although it was hard to deal with, I feel like I would have been able to manage to survive all those issues and stay a member had I not also had to deal with the gay issue. The most convincing factors for me were these: 

First, I knew what my life was like in the church. I knew what it was like trying to do everything I had been taught to do. To repress my sexuality, to not act on it in any way, to do all the right things and hope that it would fade. I knew what the church and living by the church's teachings had to offer me as a gay guy. What that led me to was a life of deep sorrow and crippling depression (I have definitely been there) that engulfed my life to the point of no return. I also know what living an authentic life feels like. I know what it is like to be gay, to accept that, and to not present myself as anyone other than who I am. I know from experience that living my life this way has brought me undeniable joy and a whole array of new and amazing thoughts and feelings and emotions. I know that it has made me a better person and that it has enabled me to do MORE good than i was ever able to do before. This in itself is very convincing to me. Living my life according to the church = death, Living my life according to my own conscious= life.  I think the life and death comparison here is a little strong, but I can certainly relate to feeling depressed trying to live in the church knowing that I have a desperate need for male companionship.

Second, while each of the points you mentioned (blacks, polygamy, etc.) on their own weren't enough to convince me... looking at church history it is very easy to start seeing a pattern. If the leaders are inspired, why are they always so slow to change for good? Shouldn't they be on the forefront of social reform and change rather than being dragged kicking and screaming into a world of greater equality, respect, and dignity? This is an interesting point.  It does not really convince me that the church is not true in any way but why would God's church slower than "Babylon" in extending equality to people of all ethnicities?  And why is there never an apology? I guess you can get around apologizing if it really is God's will that things be a certain way for a period of time and then change later.  Even if a person believes in prophets, it is clear in the scriptures that prophets made grave errors. Why can't a prophet admit he was wrong?  I guess it could be argued that some prophets have apologized.  They are human and fallible.

Third, if the church was true (and therefore the leaders had nothing to fear because God is at the head), why does it spend so much time hiding the shady parts of it's past? Why does it employ a PR department of professionals whose job it is to make the church look good? Can't God handle that? If it was true, shouldn't it already look good and appealing? Why, for example, do most Mormons not know that not only was Joseph Smith a big practicer of Polygamy, but that he also married women in secret who were already married to living men... many of these women were teenagers. Why don't members know that the temple ceremony they hold so dear is pretty much replicated in fraternities and sororities in colleges throughout the US due to their same Masonic rituals? Why does the general membership not know about all the different accounts of the first vision- if something that miraculous happened to you, would you forget if there was one or two beings or if the being introduced himself as an angel rather than God? The list goes on and on and on and these are well-documented, well-known facts. If the church was true, why are leaders so keen on brushing these things under the carpet? The church would be far more credible if it was honest and upfront.  I honestly have not made any effort to verify the validity of these claims, but even if they are all true, I told him in my response that these arguments among others that I have come across do not really convince me that the church is untrue.  I just don't know.  I have been unable to convince myself that the church is true for certain so it somehow seems like it would be easier to try to prove that it is not true, but I am not swayed strongly enough in either direction to know for sure what kinds of decisions I should be making in my life.
2.   Do you ever wonder if the church might possibly be true?  If so, how often does that thought cross your mind?  Does it get less and less often with time?
At first, this was a huge fear. What if I am wrong? This would come to mind pretty much anytime I made a mistake or had a not so good day. It took awhile before I learned to reprogram my mind so that I wouldn't equate feeling down with sinning. People have bad days. Good people have bad days, bad people have bad days. Good and bad people make mistakes... but guess what, only good people feel remorse. When I made a mistake while I was navigating my new world, I knew to make a correction. One mistake didn't mean that the church was true all along and I shouldn't have accepted my sexuality as OK. When I realized this, it gave me confidence because I knew that I was making corrections in my life where I felt I had made an error. At the beginning, it was also hard because I had already had years of practice at being repulsed by anything gay. I had spent so many years trying desperately to NOT be gay that it was hard to then go out and feel comfortable around a bunch of gays. I used to think, "this is NOT me!" I had to get over my own self-induced homophobia. It definitely did get less often with time. It got less often the more I learned about the church, and about people and their stories. I met so many wonderful people who have been so horribly scared by the church. It isn't bad for everyone... but it sure is bad for some people.
3.   I do not doubt that two men in a committed relationship can be perfectly happy together, but do you absolutely believe that you are happier with a man than you ever could have been with a woman?
Yes, but not always. My initial fear was based on the fact that in our society and culture, happiness equals boy and girl who meet, get married and have babies. Think about all the stories you were told growing up. The movies you watched. The songs you heard. The pictures, the celebrations, the talks in church. The prince and princess meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after. This is the story of happiness. So, you see, we have been programmed to think that this is the only way happiness can look. Imagine a world where all those stories included all different people meeting and marrying and living happily ever after. There would be no bias. Happiness would be presented as love... not simply boy meets girl. In the end happiness comes down to this- having someone to love and someone to love you back. Having someone to be a witness to your life- to validate your human existence.  I really like the idea of this.  I love my wife but I must admit that it is not quite the same way and does not make me nearly as happy as when I had Greg as a close male friend.

Keep in mind that we are products of our upbringing. Our culture, our religion, our family. Because of our limited experience, we have biases that have been ingrained in us. If you want to one day find yourself and REALLY accept yourself and know yourself and love yourself for who you are, you have to be willing to accept that perhaps everything we have ever been taught about life, love, and existence may not be true. Wow. I can't think of anything scarier than that. Ask yourself, in a world where any two people who loved each other were celebrated and respected- where these two people were supported by all families and churches and communities- where every opportunity and experience was equal- where there was no shame, but only pure praise, would you choose to be with a man or woman? Man, no questions asked.  I had to accept that the only reason I considered being with a woman was for my own social comfort. I would blend in. My family would accept it. My religion would accept it. I would be supported and encouraged. Our union would be respected and upheld by religion, society, and government. I would be "normal." That is so tempting in a world where being gay is so full of shame and disgrace. But would I ever want my sister to marry someone like me? Someone who longs to be with a man. Someone who has little or no desire to be intimate with a woman? Someone who is naturally attracted to men and who longs for the companionship and love of another man? Someone who views her as the choice everyone else wants for him but for him, it is settling? :(  I am that man . . . he did not know that I was married when writing this . . .

I have been in a committed relationship for a year and 4 months. It has been an amazing experience. I am lucky enough to have a family who loves and supports me and to be accepted and loved by my boyfriends family. Our private life is normal. We go to dinner with our families. We go on family outings and vacations. My sister and her boyfriend are on one couch cuddling while watching a movie and my boyfriend and I are on the other couch. :)  This made me smile, partly because it seems so unbelievable to me that it makes me want to laugh it off and partly because I would love to experience that. There is NO difference. The only time I feel like I am different is in public when people point or laugh or stare or yell things at us. But that isn't a problem with me, it is a problem with them. All they can see is that we are two males. They don't consider that that is the ONLY difference between our relationship and theirs. It takes awhile to be comfortable when people are so rude. It makes you feel ashamed when you have no reason to be. I have no doubt that this happens and I am sad that people have to deal with such treatment. But once you gain that confidence, I guarantee that you will be a more confident person than most people out there. You will have a better sense of self worth than any of those people who mock you.

One day... maybe when we are old and we have grandchildren- this will all be a thing of the past. You know how I asked you to imagine a world where happily-ever-after stories were all-inclusive? Well that day is coming. We are the ones that are ensuring that our grandchildren will grow up in a world where gays don't feel any less of a person or any weirder than anyone else. 
4.   Do you think it is possible for gay, Mormon men to have their same-sex needs met through close, non-sexual male bonding (I should have ended this question here - I know as well as anyone that my attractions are not based on sex alone) or is sex a necessary ingredient in filling the hole that many MoHos carry inside?
No. I know people who have tried this. The fact that you need the emotional support from another man should be enough to convince you that being with a man is the only real option you have. (I have felt this support once in my life and it was the most exhilarating experience of my life) The most important part of any relationship is that emotional support. That trust and love. Relationships don't equal sex. This idea is so offensive because people sexualize gays to an extreme. Sure, sex can just be sex. But straight people have sex just for sex too. When you talk about relationships though, sex only one method of many to bond and share love. It isn't what MAKES the relationship. So if you are looking for a man to fulfill all your needs except sex... well, big deal. All those things that make a relationship are still there. You are just cutting off one significant way that helps two people in a relationship bond which is sad... but it is your choice.

I don't expect you to take my word for it. When I was coming to terms with all this I talked to many many people and tried to gather what I could from lots of different experiences and viewpoints.  I suspect that is what you are doing. I am. It isn't easy to go through this process. It is long and grueling. For some it is longer than others. Some people never fully heal- usually the ones who continue trying to play both sides of the coin. I feel sorry for these people. Some of them are dear friends. They might never have what I have. They go on from boy to boy trying to find love but always afraid they are doing something wrong. They hide a part of themselves from the people that mean most to them. All the while they put barriers between them and anyone willing to love them. They try to live two lives hoping to stay busy enough between the two so that they never have to stop and realize how empty they feel. 

I guess my advice would be- don't do what they do. Obviously I would say, embrace your sexuality... but it would be better for you to pick one side and fully commit even if the side you pick is a celibate LDS life than to try to be somewhere in the middle. So take that for what it is worth. I hope my responses are helpful. Sorry for taking so long to get back to you.

I really appreciate his response.  But in the end, I am more undecided than ever.  Can anyone else out there validate or discredit any of this from personal experience.  I am trying to get as much input as possible.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Someone Pinch Me

I am not sure if I am experiencing reality or some sort of bizarre mental construct, but my communications with my wife continue to take some interesting twists.

My wife knows that I read a lot of gay Mormon blog posts right now (mostly from Beck because I am trying to get through his entire blog before really focusing on others as a result of some undiagnosed obsessive-compulsive disorder combined with a genuine feeling of connection with his writing).  I have also been typing a lot on my computer creating blog posts and responses, but I do not want her to know that I have my own blog.  This is completely ridiculous for the following reasons: (1) she reads me very well and I am sure she knows that I have blog, (2) I have thinly veiled my typing as "journalling" when questioned about it, which she knows I never do, and (3) I am signed up with Covenant Eyes (software program that reports to her about every web page I access and rates those web pages based on an algorithm for how mature each site is) so she can see exactly what sites I visit the most and can investigate.  However, I trust that she has not yet invaded my secret blogging world for the following reasons: (1) I definitely would have heard about it by now because I am more frank in my anonymous writing than I am in my verbal communication with her, (2) we have a little agreement right now, partly at the recommendation of my psychiatrist, that she will not invade my privacy unnecessarily by doing things like reading my text messages, and (3) to save money, we recently switched to using our apartment community's free wi-fi which is painfully slow and would make figuring this all out tedious and difficult.  All things considered, I must be really stupid to be blogging under these circumstances.

After posting yesterday, my wife and I continued to discuss little things randomly throughout the day.  One of those things almost made my head explode.

[insert link to a video that I have been trying to find for nearly an hour but cannot because our internet connection is so ridiculously slow!]

She asked me if I thought our communication would ever be as open as that of [insert name] and his wife (I think it is either Ty Mansfield or Josh Weed) who, in above-mentioned video link, alluded in an interview to being so open as to "compare notes" about which men both husband and wife thought were attractive!  AAAHHHHH!!!!  How do you respond to that?  My innards were writhing with awkwardness at the mere mention of this type of openness!  I have finally realized that I want, desperately, to pretend like my gay reality does not exist when it comes to our marriage/communication.  It seems that having things so out in the open makes for such a weird universe that my little brain will explode trying to comprehend it.

Well, with that little oddity on the table, it seemed that anything was fair game for conversation.  After letting the air clear for an hour or so I decided to press my luck by bringing up an issue that I would soon regret.  My wife really enjoys romantic movies (I like some but certainly not all) so I asked her if she enjoyed the kissing scenes from such movies.  I then asked her to watch this youtube clip and tell me what she thought:

[note: no, I do not watch As the World Turns, but yes, these two make me very happy]

I did not make her endure very much of it at all before I stopped it.  She said it made her very uncomfortable.  I asked her how this is different from her being able to enjoy heterosexual kiss scenes.  She said that in her case those scenes make her want to be closer to me but gay kiss scenes make me want to get further away from her.  I gently contended that I do not fantasize about some male I want to run away with when seeing such, but rather it just stirs within me a desire for closeness, intimacy, thus bringing me closer to her as well.  Maybe I am lying to myself, but I generally don't fantasize about anyone in such settings.  She said that it is just different and that she is not entirely sure why.  What do my blog readers think?

I am an idiot for ever bringing this up, and deep down I agree that it is different somehow.  I even admitted to her that when I first saw a gay kiss scene after realizing that I was attracted to men it made me a little uncomfortable for some reason.  Notwithstanding, I was still hurt to hear her say that seeing such was offensive.  Alas, maybe it is wrong for me to watch gay romance, but that does not change my conviction that for those who love persons of their own gender who may not have the same religious convictions, it is a glorious thing to be celebrated.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Perfect Husband . . .

Seeking male between 5' 10" and 6' 2", blonde hair, blue eyes, muscular build . . .

Oops, I got a little sidetracked there . . . This post is supposed to be about me, not the imaginary man of my dreams.

I distinctly remember imagining to myself as a teenager that I would be the PERFECT husband and father for my wife and kids.  While I am admittedly pretty great :), this was not really a narcissistic dream, but rather a goal for how I would treat the woman of my dreams and the children we would bear.  I get the feeling that straight, male teenagers don't think ahead about stuff like this, so maybe this should have been a sign for me.  I thought ahead about a lot of things growing up and was generally really mature for my age.

I remember a wise priesthood leader giving a lesson, probably about how to treat women, during which he told of knights and chivalry.  He even gave us a little bookmark with the rules of chivalry listed on it.  It had a big impact on me and added to my dreams of being the perfect, chivalrous man.  Boy did I miss the boat somewhere along the way . . . Somehow I have turned out to be the worst possible husband and am avoiding fatherhood like the plague.

Knights are supposed to . . .

  • Be brave and protect women, children, the weak and defenseless . . . Sadly, I am not brave.  The mechanic is my arch nemesis and he can soundly defeat me and my pocketbook with a few big words that send me into a complete panic.
  • Fear God and maintain His Church . . . Sadly, I have been far more faithless since being married than I have ever been before.  I vainly hope that the church's doctrine will change so I don't have to.
  • At all times speak the truth . . . Sadly, I have had to stretch the truth on more than one occasion.  I walk a fine line between telling my wife what I really think and feel and protecting her from truths that would be too painful to hear.
Oops, I got a little sidetracked again.  This post was not supposed to be about knights either.

Last night we had a very open heart-to-heart conversation and I could not help but think about what a terrible husband I am.

Anonymous left a comment on my last post that included some links to audio/video of Dr. William Bradshaw that I was reviewing yesterday.  I was listening far enough away from my wife so she would not be able to make out the content of the audio.  At one point she came in to be near me and I did not want to act like I was hiding something (which I am at times accused of) so I let it keep playing.  She spoke approvingly of his admonition for members of the church to be more considerate towards our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters and other things that she listened to.  Later that evening she asked if she could pose a few difficult questions.  Let me interject here that I often do not give my wife nearly as much credit as she deserves.  I do not think that a gay man could ask for a more supportive straight wife.  She has come to realize that I have an unfortunate, repeated habit of turning off completely (mentally, emotionally, socially) if I am abruptly asked to talk about heated topics.  Consequently, she frequently asks if I am in a state of mind to field some of her questions that might cause a little friction.  I obliged.

She started out by asking me how someone could not realize that he is gay for decades.  At first I gave a very vague, jumbled response about how, especially for members of the church, we are raised to not even have that option enter into our consciousness.  We are told that such "choices" are sinful, so as faithful, believing latter-day saints we often cannot even imagine that such a thing could even possibly be the source of things not lining up in our lives.  I then decided that I would give her a little glimpse into my own life, but I preceded it by asking if she was ready to hear things that are difficult to hear.  In telling my own story I mentioned that I had watched man on man  porn many, many times before coming to the realization that I was attracted men.  In fact, it was about two years after becoming heavily involved in gay porn that I was forced to realize that my primary attraction is towards members of my own gender.

She later asked me why pornography is enticing/tempting.  How do you answer a question like that!?!? I quickly realized that her asking this was very innocent in nature.  She literally had no idea why seeing naked people would have such an appeal.  I don't think I did a very good job of explaining except in saying that males are much more likely to be aroused by visual stimuli while she is much more partial to things like cuddling and hearing kind words.  I HATE talking about this subject with her because the first time I admitted to having looked at such online after being married she was so heartbroken and her crying and wailing was so soul-wrenching I thought my soul would break in half and disintegrate into the dust of eternal damnation at any second.  Yet somehow, she has calmed down quite a bit since then and was very receptive and did her best to understand what I was saying.

We talked for hours about a great many things and throughout the conversation she expressed such an unparalleled outpouring of love for me.  She told me that she knows that I am still in love with Greg (my straight friend that I fell for so hard that I was finally forced to realize that I am crazy for men) and that it is often difficult for her to know where she fits in within that mess but that she cannot deny that she loves me and feels like we are supposed to be together.

She said that she really wants to make things work but cannot stand to see me as depressed as I have been.    She said that she is in this marriage for the long haul, but if I need for us to just be friends for me to be happy she is willing to make that work too.  In the past such a statement would have scared me to death, but I felt so much sincerity in her words that I had to take them at face value - she really wants to do whatever will make me happy.

I told her that I have to wonder, especially after reading some statements from the straight spouses of failed mixed-orientation marriages, if she would be happier and better off finding someone else who can love her in every way.  I was really surprised by her response.  She said that I should not make decisions about our relationship based on my perception of her needs, but rather on my own needs and that she would do the likewise.  She said it better than that.  It was so empowering ( is that the right word?) to hear that.  She also said something about preferring our love that we have to work for than love that comes easily from someone else (also said much more eloquently by her).

So now what?  I guess we'll get a divorce and still be friends and  I will run off with some man of my dreams and live happily ever after.

Or not.

Our conversation did not really solidify anything in either direction for me.  But I am so grateful for my wonderful wife.  In the past I would have described, and perhaps even now I would describe, her as an emotionally fragile girl.  She had some emotionally domineering people in her life growing up that have really left her scarred and vulnerable to the emotional abuse that I unintentionally release on her as I sort through my baggage.  I love her.  I really hope that we both end up living happily ever after, whether together or apart.  She really is the PERFECT WIFE for me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Nature vs Nurture

What kind of self-respecting, gay, Mormon blogger waits this long to pontificate about the age-old question:  Why do I like penises despite having one of my own when I am supposed to be drawn to their counterparts?  Wow, that sounded really gay.  Well, if you haven't figured it out by now, I am that kind of gay.

Was I born this way? Maybe.  Did I make a conscious decision to be attracted to men?  Hell No.  Did I experience some things that well-meaning-but-oh-so-presumptuous mental health professionals might point a finger at? Yes.

I did some pretty "gay" extra-curricular activities growing up (not always of my own choosing), so that's probably why I am gay, right? :)

  • I was in a singing group called Kids Konnection, or something like that, at a young age.  The girls wore pink and the boys wore purple tie-died shirts with sparkly letters and I think there was a show choir aspect to it.  If that's not enough to make someone gay I don't know what is!  I sang a lot growing up and still love to sing to the radio.
  • I was fascinated by the piano, ended up taking lessons, really hated my first teacher (who made me cry on multiple occasions), eventually got a new teacher, did not practice very much, but continued to take lessons for years, and would love to compose my own music some day.
  • I played the gayest "real sport" that you can play in America: soccer.  I started at a pretty young age and my mom did not want me playing other sports.
I was involved in some early male-male sexualization.  I was 6 or 7 at the time when a neighbor boy (probably only a year or two older than me) introduced me to my genitals in new ways:
  • He taught me and a couple other boys how to stimulate ourselves and measure our erections.  He created a sort of competition:  You guessed it - who has the longest penis?
  • He later taught us to put our dangling participles in each others mouths as a way to derive pleasure.  We were not sexually mature but I remember the practice creating an urgency to urinate.
  • This all happened in our backyard, behind an old wooden gate that had been leaned against the block fence that surrounded our yard.  I know that at least two of the other boys involved have since had some uncommon sexual manifestations: one seeking early heterosexual encounters and one with homosexual orientation.
I reached puberty pretty early, and was fascinated by the male body from then on.
  • There was a guy in 6th grade that I really wanted to be close to.  We talked and were friendly and joked together from time to time.  But there was something different about him, something I wanted to have or to be.  He was athletic, handsome, and funny.
  • I am not sure how old I was when it started, but I remember keeping the cardboard inserts of the boy models from the new packages of underwear I got periodically.  I must have had some sense that this was not normal because I would hide them at the bottom of my drawer.  I really liked those perfect bodies - I wanted mine to look like that and I wanted to be close to boys like that.
  • In junior high school there was a guy in my gym class who had the most chiseled body I had ever seen.  Our lockers were at opposite corners of the aisle that was assigned to our class, but at least once per class I would try to catch a glimpse of his perfect body.  I envied it, wanted to touch it, I wished it was closer so I could get a better look.
  • My parents had a very rudimentary home medical book.  It had the most simplistic outline sketch of a male body that was so scandalously interesting to me that I would often take a peak telling myself that I was researching some symptoms that I had.
My family relations were not ideal.  Don't get me wrong.  I definitely had the things that I needed and for the most part we seemed like a functional family, but we were all affected in ways that have only become recognizable in recent years.
  • I had an overbearing mother (she definitely wore the pants in the family).  I am torn, looking back, as to whether I was emotionally close to her or not.  She had a temper.  She only seemed to point out the things we did wrong.  She also did a lot for me and cared for me and my siblings, but we all grew up in an atmosphere of guilt.  It seemed there was nothing I could do right and having fun was a necessary evil.  Somehow every day was cleaning day, yet the house was never clean and we were consequently rarely allowed to play.  When we did go on vacation or enjoy other types of entertainment we were constantly reminded about how expensive everything was, how late we were to the planned event, how we should be home saving our money, etc, etc, etc.  I love her, but she is a very difficult woman.  She definitely got her worst traits from her mother and is almost completely blind to how these traits affect others.
  • My dad was/is not a weak man, but I gather that he just kind of gave up after a few years of marriage.  My mom is great at manipulating everything in to be his fault.  He has told me in recent years that he regrets not standing up for us when my mom was being unreasonably harsh for very minor offenses.  He says that the following example illustrates a frequent theme in our home:  He was working out of town, I had loaded the dishwasher and included the can opener, my mom was irate that I had put it in there because doing so would cause it to rust, I called my dad sobbing, he tried to get the Relief Society President to just stop by, she did not understand what for and did not end up going, and life went on like always.  I would always say I felt closer to my dad because I was not afraid of being yelled at by him.  But I am not especially close to him either.  I feel this complete emotional neutrality when it comes to my relationship with him.  I found out that when I was like four I always wanted to hold his hand and do what he was doing, but he would push my hand away because he did not want me to grow up to be gay. . . go figure!  I have no conscious memory of this but the thought of it makes me ache inside.
I was going to write more but my mind is turning to mush.  I guess I did not do much analyzing.  But these are the types of things that shrinks like to find out about.  There are probably more that I am forgetting.  If I was not born this way it certainly developed at an early age.  I have no recollection of being attracted to a female, despite having many female friends.  In fact, as a boy scout I remember helping with a service project to clean up trash that had blown away from the local garbage dump.  I found a page from a porno magazine and it totally grossed me out.  I can recognize a beautiful woman, but that is a far cry from being attracted to her.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

. . . until I met HER

  • I did not know that my actions could cause another person so much pain . . . until I met her.
  • I did not know that kissing someone of the less-preferred gender could be enjoyable . . .
  • I did not know how much fun cuddling is . . .
  • I did not know that someone could be so concerned about my well-being . . .
  • I did not know how really trying circumstances can bring two people so much closer . . .
  • I did not know that someone could be so faithful to me . . .
  • I did not know how vulnerable having sex for the first time can make you feel . . .
  • I did not know how much time needs to be invested in a marriage relationship . . .
  • I did not know that I am not nearly as chivalrous or selfless toward my spouse as I always imagined I would be . . .
  • I did not know that I could be so torn between loving someone I have made covenants with and doing something that would destroy life as I currently know it . . .
Yes, I am talking about my wife.  I have largely gotten over the self-loathing that I previously associated with my attractions toward other males.  I am okay with it.  I have come to appreciate the fact that I see beauty in other males.  On many levels I am okay with the realization that I will probably always find males attractive.  But there is one motivating factor that makes me wish it would all go away - not for my sake, but for my wife's.

I know that she is very often weighed down by feelings of being unattractive, unwanted, or ugly when that is simply not the case.  She is a beautiful woman, inside and out.  Her already-fragile self esteem has been battered and trampled by my unfortunate blunders and her inner mind of self doubt.  I try to tell her that she is beautiful, but it is never enough.  I try to comment on her good qualities, but it is never enough.  I try to love her the way a straight man would but it is never enough.

I have not decided to give up on our marriage, but I often wonder if that would be better for her.  She says that if we were to get a divorce she would never be able to love or trust another man again.  She says that she would never be able to date or marry again.  But doesn't she deserve someone better than me?  Doesn't she deserve to be loved in every way for the beautiful woman that she is?

I love her so much and I really wish that I could love her in every sense as a man is supposed to love a woman.  I wish I wasn't broken and that she did not have to be broken down along with me.

Monday, August 20, 2012

. . . until I met HIM

  • I never knew what it was like to want to kiss someone . . . until I met HIM.
  • I never knew what it was like to want to spend every second with one person . . .
  • I never knew how fascinated I could be by someone's simple features like fingers and toes . . .
  • I never knew that a tight embrace could produce such a rush of endorphins . . .
  • I never knew how disappointed I could be about an expected phone call that did not come . . .
  • I never had such an urge to go out and find a scalped ticket to a college football game just so he could help me learn a little more about the game . . .
  • I never felt so much pain from unrequited affection . . .
  • I never knew that the hole inside that I did not know existed could be filled . . .
  • I never understood what being in love meant . . .
  • I never knew how much joy a simple text message (regardless of its actual content) could bring me . . .
I briefly mentioned HIM in a previous post.  In this blog he will be know as Greg.  I was once asked by a friend (this was after I had been married many months), "If you could do anything in the world with Greg right now what would it be."  I later got the sense that he was expecting me to say "have sex with him" or something similar.  But my response was that I simply wanted to be near him . . . doing anything . . . I just wanted to know once again that I was worthy of his time and attention.  And that was the honest truth.  I just wanted to know that a male that I cared about more than any other person in the world cared about me.

SAPPY . . . I know!  I plan on posting a lot more about Greg in coming weeks, but let me give a brief overview:  I met Greg in college.  He was my roommate for about two years.  I do not think he is gay, but part of me holds on to this fantasy that he might be.  I never had any sort of sexual encounter with him, but we did have a very close friendship.  Had I not met him when I did it very well could have been another decade or two before I would have realized why things with girls just never seemed to click.  Maybe I am judging incorrectly, but it seems like a lot of MoHos whose blogs I have read are very shallow when it comes to the looks of object of their affection.  Greg is in no way ugly.  He is actually very attractive, but it was not his looks that brought me in hook, line, and sinker, but his irresistible, fun personality.  He is the only man I have ever truly fallen in love with and I still cannot get over him despite his very direct distancing of himself from me.  I am a hopeless wreck.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Decisions, decisions, continued . . . HELP!!!

My best hetero-dating experiences came after admitting to myself that I was attracted to men.  What is that all about?  I have some theories but I will save them for another post.

I spent many, difficult, exhausting months working with a university campus counsellor, a psychiatrist, an LDS Family Services counsellor, and a bishop before I came to terms with my sexuality to a sufficient degree that I would not break down into tears upon thinking about it.  Most of my "work" in an effort to allow my attractions and my religion to occupy my mind with some level of harmony came from the workbook created by Evergreen International that was provided to me by LDSFS.  While I have much to say about EI at a later time and have since come to disagree with their approach, the workbook really did help me survive those first difficult months.  I bought in to the idea that homosexuality was an "issue" that one could "work through" by becoming more masculine, participating in masculine activities, and resolving childhood problems.  I had done the work, to the best of my ability, as prescribed and was confident that I was now ready to seriously date and marry as a final step in my treatment process.  So I did.

That three word sentence might seem a little simplistic in describing my getting married, but in some ways it was as simple as that.  Getting married was next on my list of essential to-dos that had been carefully planned out by generations of Mormon forebears.  I was supposed to do it.  I had never imagined any other way.  So I did.

That is not to discount the fact that I love my wife, that she is a wonderful friend and companion, and that I really do feel that there is something special about her, something different than any other girl I have met.  But I never did spend much time really questioning if I was ready.  The idea of a mixed-orientation marriage had still never crossed my mind.  I had come to terms with being attracted to men, but somehow that did not translate into being aware that I was gay (a large part of this had to do with the way EI and LDSFA presented ideas about SSA to me).  That awareness would have left me with a HUGE DECISION to make in my life.  But without being aware of such a decision I moved forward as planned.  I told the girl that is now my wife that I struggled with same-sex attraction and porn.  We shed some tears over that revelation.  I asked her to read the Evergreen website.  And we moved forward, with some measure of caution, but without the slightest clue what a trial this would prove to be for both of us.

My inner mind knew, right after getting married, that things were not going to be a smooth-sailing fairy tale as we had hoped.  But I tried desperately to push those fears away and have hope that time would make everything better.  It was about three months in to our marriage that I slipped up by looking at porn and soon felt that I should be honest with my wife and confess my mistake.  Nothing could have prepared me for the deluge of tears, the blood-curdling moaning and wailing, the palpable distrust and sense of betrayal.  She believed that our marriage was over.  The wailing went on for days and I just could not stand it.  The sound of pain in her cries made me wish I was dead - that is no hyperbole.  I was scared to death and just wanted to run.  I did not know how to console her.  I did not know if she wanted me to console her.  I felt MUCH more devastated about how she felt than I did about what I had done.  My heart was in an emotional vice.  I can only imagine what she was feeling, but the overwhelming emotion made my heart die a little more each day.

Things did get a little better over the following weeks, but life was little more than surviving for us.  I remember reading on some website the following statistics (the numbers don't seem exactly scientific, but my sense of these marriages from my readings of others' situations makes me believe that they are not too far off the mark):  It said that upon coming to terms with a spouses homosexuality about one third of couples divorce almost immediately, about one third takes time to really think things through (over the course of a few months) before divorcing, and only the final third decides to try to make things work.  Of those in the final third, about two-thirds end up divorcing within a couple of years.  Maybe someone out there has more reliable statistics?  But those were very staggering numbers for me.

We decided to stay together.  Or perhaps more accurately, my wife decided we would stay together while I tried to avoid making any decision either way at all costs, resulting in a de facto decision to stay together.  We sought counseling and my wife was convinced, or so I thought, to give me at least 6 months to really start to work through things if it was her desire to stay together.  However, it didn't take long for her to start trying to force me to make a decision and that sort of forcing brought me to the point of being suicidal on more than one occasion.  My mind could not grasp fully embracing either decision.  I attempted to take my own life at one point . . . insert very long story . . . and as a result spent four days in a mental institution (no wonder I can't make any friends - I'm crazy!!!).  It was only after that that my wife decided that she really would leave me alone to really figure things out.  I think that she must have counted out exactly 6 months from that decision because it seemed like things started to get heated again overnight.  She was threatening to move on if I did not decide to make things work.  I was, and still am, not fully decided.  I don't know how to even begin to make such a decision.  But I said I was going to give it my best effort to make things work.

That was almost a year ago.  I have still managed to somehow avoid making any real decisions in my mind.  About 8 months ago she started pushing me to find out when we would start having kids.  I kept punting the question.  I finally convinced her to wait until October before we tried having kids.  As you may be aware, October is coming very soon . . . and . . . er . . . I am almost out of time and definitely out of excuses!  I really do want kids.  I really do love her.  I really do like men.  And after reading about so many failed marriages, if I am eventually going to break or go insane I would rather do it before adding kids to the equation . . . HELP!!!!!!

P.S.  Maybe I should have titled this post "Procrastination, procrastination" because there is not much decision making going on here.


As others have said, I could probably take entire posts from Beck's blog and post them on mine and you would know as much about the way my mind thinks as if I had written the post myself.  I don't know how that happens, but I have really connected with his blog.  I like to read blogs from the beginning, but with over three hundred posts, it is taking me forever to get through his!  Which brings me to the following questions:

How do other people read blogs?  Do most people just read the most recent posts when they find a new blog, or do other people start at the beginning?  Do other people just skim old post archives and read the ones that sound interesting?

However, since I have wanted to comment many times about things that happened years ago, I finally gave in and decided to read a few of his recent posts.  This post is partially inspired by one of his posts.

A few nights ago my wife wanted to see a movie.  We are really struggling to make ends meet financially (i.e. I do not know if we will be able to buy food or pay rent - not looking for sympathy, just explaining).  So a "real" movie theatre was out of the question, but I agreed that we could maybe see something at the dollar theater.  Upon reviewing the listings, none of them really caught my eye.  While my wife was trying to decide if any of them sounded worthwhile to see I pulled up Beck's blog and saw a post about The Most Exotic Marigold Hotel.  He mentioned that there was a sub-plot about a mixed-orientation marriage and that it had opened up an opportunity for him and his wife to have some dialogue about his attractions.

Since neither of us was partial towards any of the movie options I suggested that we could give that movie a try and briefly mentioned that I had read about a MOM subplot.  I do not really have a lot to say about the movie.  I enjoyed it and certainly would not discourage others from seeing it.  I asked my wife what she thought about it.  She only responded that she liked it and we did not say much else  about it.

The following evening my wife came home from the store with tears in her eyes (I really wish this type of occurrence was less frequent than it is).  I asked her what was going on.  She just said that she was having a hard day (we both have a lot of days like that which stem from me being me . . .  ):  She did not want to talk at that moment, but as I saw her work herself into a cleaning frenzy I soon recognized the tell-tale sign that there was definitely something that needed discussing.  When I approached her again about her feelings the first thing out of her mouth was, "Will I ever be number one in your life?  Or will Greg (name has been changed) always be your first true love like the man in the movie?"

While I had hoped that seeing the movie would turn in to an opportunity for us to talk as it had for Beck and his wife, I was taken aback by the approach my wife took right out of the gate.  With discussion starting off like that my initial reaction was (as it usually is) to shut off emotionally, mentally and even physically, if necessary, to avoid having to face reality.  But I didn't!  I still do not know if our conversation helped or hurt our relationship but I was more open and honest than I have been in months.  While I did not answer her question directly (I do not know if I could honestly answer that question even to myself at this point), I am glad that I opened up in some little way.

I told her that there are parts of me that may never be able to survive without male companionship in my life.  I said that I have a hard time distinguishing if my needs are mental, emotional, social, or sexual, but my brain is wired to need close male interaction and I do not think that will change in this life.  I reaffirmed my love for her and my commitment to figuring this all out.  And I admitted that at least part of the reason I have been so down lately is because I just feel really empty and lonely without any male interaction in my life.

For various reasons, ever since being married the only close friend that I seem to have left is my wife.  Maybe this is good or maybe this is very bad.  I don't know.  I know that she likes to keep me close (and I understand some of the reasons why).  Also, I have really been struggling with anxiety/depression which makes meeting new people very difficult for me.  My wife has arranged for us to do things with other couples from time to time, but without fail, and in no uncertain terms, these are couples with whom I have no interest in becoming good friends (I am very picky about friends when I really shouldn't be - I have so many quirks of my own I should not be so quick to discard potential friends!).  ARGH.  It is not normal for married men to have close female friends (of which I have had plenty in my life) and I know that if I were to get close to another male my wife would be highly suspicious.  What am I supposed to do?!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Decisions, decisions

In my last post I stated that I hate making decisions and I hate being told what to do.  It is a miracle that I even decide to get out of bed each morning.  Apparently this is obvious to those around me as well.  I have an aunt (who is not shy about sharing what she thinks) who described me thusly:  My only coping mechanism when making difficult decisions is to pretend that the problem doesn't exist.  Sad, but true!

I really miss the luxury of having the first twenty-something years of my life planned out for me.  I always did well in school and generally enjoyed being there.  I had an inner drive to go above and beyond by taking advanced courses, especially ones that would transfer to a university.  My parents did not go to college and I don't remember them really reinforcing that I needed to go to college, but I must have had good guidance from teachers along the way.  I knew from an early age that I wanted post-secondary education and did everything I could to be ahead of the game when that time did come.

I was always busy in the church.  Very few months would go by with me in a new quorum before I was called to a leadership position which I always took very seriously (what is that saying about all work and no play?).  I remember being the Teacher's Quorum President and having the quorum advisor calling me the night of our weekly activity to say that he had not had time to get anything ready.  I took it upon myself to get a structured activity ready.  When he showed up and said that we were going to just go hang out (I think he wanted to just get some food and play some sport) I was visibly annoyed and ended up just going home (yes, I was one of those Mormons that annoy the hell out of me right now - self-righteous and uptight, even from a young age).  I really procrastinated my final paperwork for my Eagle Scout award, but finished it in the end.

I had female friends that would drag me out of my house to do stuff.  I did not date, per se, but I did end up taking someone to most, if not all, of the school dances during my junior and senior year.  I had a best female friend that I hung out with a lot, which caused some to assume that we were dating, but I always said that I did not want a steady girlfriend before my mission.  I really did like being around her, but there was never any draw to hold hands or kiss or anything.  I had male friends as well but never seemed to really connect with the ones that I really admired.

Since I started kindergarten almost a year later than most of the kids with whom I graduated (my birthday was two weeks too late to start kindergarten the previous year - I was devastated that my friends from primary were going to school and I wasn't) I only had a few months after graduation before I left on my mission so I did not have to worry about making decisions about college right away.  An in-state university had offered me a full-ride (plus money for books) academic scholarship without me even applying and they agreed to hold it for two years while I was on my mission.  I did not have anything against the school but was not sure that was where I wanted to go and just did not want to make any decisions about it so I asked them to just hold it for me.  I got BYU fever while on my mission.  I had contemplated going there before my mission, but with the majority of Elders around me saying they were going to BYU I felt a strong desire to follow suit.

In the end, money ended up making the decision for me.  My dear mother did most of the footwork (because I was trying to focus on being a missionary) of applying for me to attend BYU and two other schools besides the one that had offered me a scholarship.  BYU offered me a 50% tuition reduction scholarship and I knew that the other in-state schools would match the full-ride scholarship I had previously been offered.  I really wanted to join my comrades at BYU, but with a little encouraging from my mom I agreed that a full-ride scholarship was not something I wanted to give up.  I also liked the fact that the school was a couple of hours away from my family - far enough to have my own independence, but close enough to visit or be visited by them without too much advanced planning.

After my mission, school and work kept me pretty busy.  I did not really date at all during my first year at the university.  The singles' ward I belonged to was made up primarily of people who were close to being dishonorably kicked out of the YSA program (i.e. turn 30) and cliques of people who had grown up together in the same town their entire lives and consequently did not make any effort to get to know the new-coming college-goers.  I just did not really fit in there and kept to myself as much as possible.  I would later learn the boundaries for wards that had younger college kids that had moved away from home to go to school.

I knew I was supposed to date (and hated when my parents would ask me about my dating life) so I dated enough to show that I was putting forth some effort.  Almost without exception I would go on a date or two with a girl, not feel any real desire to go any further, and then wait a couple of months before making myself try again.  I often enjoyed the idea of the date (trying to make it unique or creative) more than I enjoyed the actual date itself.  There were only two girls that I took out more than a couple of times before dating the girl that is now my wife.

Marriage was next on my to-do list so I kept going forward as I was programmed to do . . .  To be Continued . . .

Monday, August 13, 2012

Why Do You Hate Women?

Yes, I am talking to you, you male-loving, chauvinist, homosexual man.  Why do you hate women?

This is a question my wife asked me during one of our many heated exchanges about my attractions towards members of the male gender.  Before I go any further, let me say that I love my wife.  She really is the best woman I have ever met.  This situation is probably at least as difficult for her as it is for me and probably much more so in some ways.  We had discussed, prior to getting married, that I had such attractions.  I told her about the therapy I had been through and how I was working through my "issues."  I directed her to the Evergreen website to help her process my initial confession (partially because I believed at the time that it was a good source of accurate information and partially because I could not handle all of the questions that I knew would ensue).  More on this in later posts . . . but to make a long story short, neither of us could have guessed what this would entail for us in the days, weeks, and months following our wedding.

Do I hate women?  I don't think so . . . most of my friends growing up were female . . . big shocker, right?  There were lots of girls that wanted to date me.  I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I was generally pretty popular among the lady folk both at school and at church.  Maybe I just "hate" motherly figures?

Let me clarify:  I do NOT hate my mother.  But throughout most of high school and ever since then I have not exactly seen eye to eye with her.  I really dislike getting advice from her.  This is likely due to the fact that most of her advice is unsolicited, blatantly obvious, sounds an awful lot like nagging, and generally misses the point altogether because she is so eager to give advice that she does not even listen to what is being said before climbing aboard her oversized soapbox.  WHEW!  That's been building up a while!  In her defense, I think it's genetic.  I think she inherited the worthless advice gene from her mother and I have likely inherited it too.  My poor children . . . (that is, if my seed ever does sprout - no attempts just yet).

Also, I really DO NOT see eye to eye with my mother-in-law. . . likely MUCH more about that to follow in future posts.  She also likes to give advice.  It usually comes by way of her daughter (my wife), but boy do I hear about it!

What is wrong with me?  Aren't gay guys supposed to have especially close relationships with their mothers?  My siblings often teased me about being her favorite (although that has definitely changed since coming out to my parents), but I do not think that I was ever so close to her that she squeezed my love for women right out of me (is that how the close-mom-relationship=gay-son argument goes?).

In summary, I do not like being told what to do (but I am oh so humble about it :) and it seems like it is the women in my life that like to tell me what to do.  BUT, I also don't like making decisions.  Go figure!  What's a guy to do?  In conclusion, if telling other people what to do is the essence of being a woman then I am guilty as charged!  But I know there is much more to being a woman and many men also like to tell people what to do.  I am grateful for good women in my life.  I do not hate them.  I just happen to have a broken sexual-attraction-for-females gear.  Wow!  I did not anticipate this post going this way.  Hope in makes sense should anyone actually read my ramblings!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Blog Name: An Explanation

I must really have some issues to work through because just choosing a blog name was quite an ordeal for me.  And even now, two sentences in to my first post, I am already regretting my choice.  My mind is so crazy lately!  (Or maybe I am just becoming more aware of it lately?)

Since I have not added any profile information and just wanted to jump in to my first post, let me announce from the beginning that this blog is destined to become yet another in a growing list of gay, Mormon, married blogs.  I am hopeful that joining this blogging community will be therapeutic in some  way as I try to find some peace in my world of cognitive dissonance.

Now on to the meaning behind my blog name:  You would think creativity would come easily to me, right?  I mean, let's face it, I am attracted to men so naturally I am creative.  Haha.  I do not know how these two things are connected, but I do generally fit in to the gay stereotype of being more creative than the average male, however I also over think things a lot so my blog name and probably every post contained herein is far more cerebral than it need be.

(Insert smooth transition to my next thought)  Confession time (hold on because this blog is already off to a runaway-train start):  As a newly pubescent boy I became guilty of the "M" sin whilst in the shower with the water pressure hitting just the right spot and me reluctant to make it stop.  I was not prepared at all for what would happen next.  Within seconds I felt the effects of the  most exciting sensation of my life turn in to the most dreaded, anxiety-provoking, God-fearing guilt I could imagine.  What had I done?  Was I going to hell?  Was I going to jail?  Had my childhood innocence been replaced by an existence as the vilest of sinners?  Such questions might sound like hyperbole, but in reality, I was certain that life as I knew it was over.   As soon as I was out of the shower and dressed I dropped to my knees and offered up the most fervent prayer any boy my age had ever offered as tears rolled down my cheeks and I feared for my own salvation.

In the days and weeks that followed I was continually haunted by my offense to God.  I tried to forget; I tried to convince myself that it had not happened; I hoped I would find some loophole in God's law that would exempt me from having to confess my misdeed.  I could not tell my parents or my bishop or anyone.  What would they think?  What would they do?  I could not hide it from my mind.  So I hoped for the next best thing:  amnesia, head trauma, anything to take away the memory so I would not be held responsible for not confessing.  I just wanted to start over.  I wanted my mind to be a blank slate.

Now here I am, a decade and a half later, hoping once again to be a blank slate.  It has been about two and a half years since I started to come to terms with the fact that I am sexually and emotionally attracted (maybe even addicted) to persons of my same gender.  I am also a believing Mormon.  My awareness of these two, very compelling, seemingly irreconcilable, components of my identity have been the source of more anxiety and sadness than my 12-year-old self could have imagined.  I want to start over.  I want to be at this point in my life with only one of these two driving forces in my cognitive awareness.  I would even settle for a half-erased slate.  Please God, take away one or the other.  I can be gay.  I can be Mormon.  But I don't know if I can survive being both.