So what are my fundamental issues???:
* I'm gay.
* I'm married and have children. This has been a long-term commitment over two decades - not a just an immediate deal.
* I love my wife and children.
* I like my family life.
* I try to be "in love" with my wife - it doesn't always work. There is a difference between loving my wife and being in love with my wife.
* I have a firm belief and testimony of the Gospel.
* I have doubts and concerns about the Church.
* Though I have experienced "joy", I'm too conflicted to be joyful right now.
* I still believe there is a right and a wrong.
* The line between right and wrong is getting fuzzy.All of the above create major conflicts in my life.
* All of the above create major fears in my life.
What are my fundamental fears??:
* I fear that I will never be truly happy.
* I fear that I am losing hope.
* I fear that I will never know what it is like to truly love another man as my heart desires, to be held by him, romanced by him, kissed by him, treasured by him.
* I fear that cyberspace is becoming too important and reality is becoming less significant.
* I fear that I will never make my wife truly happy and once the kids are gone we will have nothing left to hold onto, even though we both treasure our covenants together and hope for eternal blessings.
* I fear that my children are missing out on an active and engaged father in their lives because of my confusion.
* I fear that I will deeply hurt, confuse, and disappoint my children and even lose them if I were to come "out" to them. I'm not willing to risk that right now. I don't know if I ever will.
* I fear that I am too old and no one will find me attractive. I'm attracted to those younger than me and that puts a distance between us in a potential relationship. I dream of being younger all the time - and I tell myself it's a midlife crisis kind of thing - but I'm sure that it is more than that. I'm very insecure about getting old. It has nothing to do with facing death - it has everything to do with potential LOST opportunities of relationships.
* I fear that if I embrace one aspect of my life, I'm giving up a tremendous treasure of the rest of my life.
* I fear that my insecurities and internal comflicts keep me from truly bonding with anyone or embracing life.
* I fear that my testimony is waning. I don't feel good about that and it worries me.
* I fear (respect, honor) God for I know that I am his Child and He loves me and this life is a gift and I'm feeling like I'm about to screw it up.
* I fear my fears are making me selfish.
* I fear I worry about my fears too much. I heard a friend say that he believes that if he worries hard enough, his worries won't come true.
* I fear what others may think of me if they knew I was gay. Though I have come to personally appreciate my "gayness", I fear being shunned and hated for it by neighbors and ward members.
* I fear being found out.
* I fear that one day I will make a mistake and will be forcefully outed.
* I fear that I am beginning to become addicted to porn.
* I fear that I like it.
* I fear that I no longer regret my gay feelings and instead I really, really like them!
* * * *
The combination of all of these things came together in Church on Sunday. It was after Sacrament Meeting. The very fine service just ended with the closing prayer. My "friend" had been sitting a few rows ahead of our family. I had watched him throughout the meeting and couldn't keep my thoughts from wandering to him as I tried to concentrate on the speakers and musical numbers. I had been sitting with my arm around my wife, my kids at our sides, the image of the "perfect Mormon family", and here I was thinking erotic thoughts about HIM.
After the prayer, he stood up (all 6'-6" of him) and turned around to exit and our eyes locked! He smiled a gorgeous grin of happiness as we stared at each other. My wife didn't notice, fortunately, as a sister member in the row in front of her started talking to her. We remained seated and I kept my right arm around my wife.
HE came toward me and I knew he was coming for me! I jumped inside! My son stood up and left toward the back of the chapel, so there was space just to my left side on the bench. HE slipped into that small vacant space next to me and gave me a tight hug and squeeze. I squeezed him back with my left arm and pulled our faces together. We squished our heads and cheeks together for several seconds (at that moment I wanted to give him a quick wet one right then and there). He didn't pull away and seemed to enjoy our physical contact - all the time my right arm is now resting on the back of my wife as she leaned forward to engage in a conversation with the sister in front of her.
For a few moments, I was smack dab between my two "loves", my eternal companion, and my eternal lust. He started talking about his life and what was going on as we continued to squeeze each other tighter and tighter. I was now getting nervous that my wife would notice, but a funny thing happened... I didn't care. I felt so excited to be with him, even in that very awkward arrangement. He wondered how I was doing and I didn't know what to say... I just turned my head to him, our faces very close together and I just stared into his eyes and began to swell up. I didn't say anything! I couldn't say anything! For a fraction of a second, I truly wanted him to carry me away in his strong muscular arms and take me off into the sunset right then and there to a place where we could live happily ever after.
Of course, my "happily ever after" was sitting on my right side and we both knew it. Soon it was over, our "moment" together, a stolen bit of excitement where my heart raced with joy. I wondered if I would ever feel that way about my wife. As I said, I love her dearly, but I'm not sure I'm "in love" with her. She wonders and now so do I, if I ever was. I think I was. I want to think I was. I want to think that I can be again...
I know my relationship with HIM is safe. I know it isn't real. But for a few minutes, it was pretty ironic as we sat together the three of us. I wanted so much for it to be different. But I know it can't.
I'm too old. I'm too confused. I'm too conflicted in my beliefs and in my situations.
I'm too afraid.