Okay... so it's pretty abundantly clear that I really don't have it all together like I think I do and that I need help - external help. This is really hard for me to admit. I don't know why it's so hard. I guess it makes me feel even more vulnerable that I already am.
I've been the one to listen and counsel with others who have been struggling... not necessarily with this issue, but any issues that life brings upon them, though I've tried to help those who have most directly struggled with this issue as well... and now I'm supposed to turn my life over to a "professional"? How? Why?
I think I've done a pretty good job so far in "managing" my angst with some success of being able to live in a degree of "normalcy" in this Mormon heterosexual context as a gay man. Over the course of two decades now (yes, don't faint with disdain as you read this, and don't write me off because I'm not in college, nor a recent graduate starting my career - I'm really that old (though I don't feel that old) and it really has been that long (and don't ask me how I've done it, because at times I'm not absolutely sure how I've managed to do it myself, but I've done it and at times with some convincing acting)) I've been able to put together a reasonably happy marriage (at times) and have been a reasonably good father to my children. Note: wow, can a sentence have any more parenthetical phrases???
But, I'm hungering for some validation of these feelings and of this struggle within. I'm hungering for a confirmation of what these feelings are for.
I know that with some, wisdom comes with age. With others, we just get older. I don't feel very wise right now. Will counseling bring wisdom?
Some things that I feel inside me that may or may not be very wise:
1. I have learned to accept these feelings as part of who I am.
2. I don't blame anyone or anything for the "why me?". These feelings just "are".
3. I've spent a lot of time blaming "me" for these feelings.
4. I try to not let these feelings define my whole essence of being.
5. I'm most recently obsessed with defining myself and justifying myself because of these feelings.
6. I struggle with the self-hatred, but have been making strides to not hate myself because I have these feelings. (This is a constant battle... sometimes the self-loathing gets pretty scary).
7. I really like these feelings. I mean, I truly do! I really like men and I really like the feeling when I like men.
8. I have felt "mostly dead" for a good portion of my life. It is really hard to live life acting as if I really don't like men when in fact I really do.
9. I want to feel alive.
10. I feel these feelings have helped me be sensitive to others, and to help others be better.
11. I feel these feelings have helped me to be more creative and expressive as a person.
12. I have been a tool for good for many people.
13. I haven't necessarily been a tool for good for myself.
14. I have felt guilt because of these feelings (though I really don't feel guilty about liking the feeling when I like men and them liking me).
15. I have felt guilt because I've denied these feelings.
16. I haven't been very true to myself.
17. I've been mostly true to my wife and kids.
18. I have caused grief on others (particularly my wife) because of these feelings. My kids have no clue.
19. I feel God's love for me, and I know He knows I have these feelings. He is aware of my struggles and needs.
20. I feel God is merciful and sees the "bigger picture" and will keep things in perspective as I deal with the "package" I've been given.
21. I have a firm conviction that I LIVED before this life and I accepted this "package" willingly.
22. I have a firm conviction that I will LIVE after this life and will continue to be the same person I am now, and that this "package" will help me to be who God wants me to become as I see the "bigger picture".
23. I feel, these feelings notwithstanding, I am "supposed" to be married.
24. This marriage ain't easy because of these feelings.
25. Maybe I shouldn't be married because of these feelings.
26. I feel warm and peaceful cuddling with my wife.
27. I feel happiest when I'm being held by a man who loves me.
28. I need affection from men. I hunger for it. I strive to find it in any form I can.
29. I don't particularly enjoy heterosexual sex (that's a topic in and of itself).
30. I've only experienced homosexual sex in fantacies and dreams.
31. I've never had heterosexual fantacies or dreams.
32. I feel the leaders of the Church don't have a clue what I'm feeling.
33. I can't talk to my Bishop.
34. I can't talk to my wife (without it getting really stressful and freaky). As much as she thinks she understands me, and as much as she tries, she really doesn't have a clue what I'm feeling.
35. I can't talk to anyone.
P.S. Did I mention that I really like the feeling of liking men?
Maybe I'm not very wise after all.