Tuesday, July 11, 2006

FUNDAMENTAL FEARS

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.

10 comments:

Dave Walter said...

Beck, that's excellent! I hope you're aware of how significant it is that you're able to separate the issues and fears into distinct categories.

Foxx said...

It looks like you could use some focus. :)

Rather than looking at all the obstacles, define for yourself what your goal is. Start with one to three things that you want more than anything, like: to be in love with your wife, happiness, to kiss a man for example - whatever they are for you. Dig deep. Ask yourself why you want the things you want, to see if they are in line with your goal. Find out what your primary need is. Then start tackling your obstacles as they get in the way of your ultimate goal.

If your goal is to be in love with your wife, think of things you can do to make that happen. Why do you want to be in love with your wife? To make you happy? To make her happy? So what you really want is to be happy. See how that works?

It sounds simplistic, but it has worked for me time and again. Life is a video game. One goal at a time, and lots of obstacles - some more complex than others. With patience and skill, you can complete your task.

I believe in you.

Beck said...

I agree that I need to set goals, primary goals that really lead me to where I want to go.

It's funny, but when I think about it, I'm afraid to do what I really want to do. I'm afraid to really live the gospel and embrace my wife and let all of this gay stuff go because I really don't want to do that as I've come to like my gay feelings. On the other hand, I'm afraid to really live my gay feelings because I really don't want to lose all that I now have and am.

I therefore am happiest when I do nothing by angst over this dilemma. Where is the focus in that?

Chris said...

beck, the only thing you have to fear, is fear itself.

Fearful is no way to live.

I believe in you, too.

Beck said...

"The only thing you have to fear, is fear itself" -- This has no meaning for me! I'm so into my fear of myself that I don't know how to face them and deal with them. This has become who I am! I know it is no way to live, but it is the only way I've found to hold all the pieces together.

I know I need to make a choice. But how?

Thanks for believing in me. I'm not sure I believe in me.

Kim Mack said...

What if you could have that eternal happiness with your wife and still have gay feelings? You can have the love of your wife and your family and keep your feelings you seem to love so much. No one's asking you to rid yourself of those ... except you. There is a way to do it AND be happy and at peace.

But I'm with the others here ... you have to choose first. It's the dual choices that are causing the conflict. Once you make a choice, and stick with it, either choice, much of the conflict will diminish. Of course, one choice will remain free of conflict, the other will bring much more on it's own ...

Beck said...

How in the world can there be any middle ground? How can one have both? That seems ideal yet unrealistic and selfish all at once!

Kim Mack said...

I don't feel unrealistic OR selfish. And the guys I see doing it don't seem that way to me, either ....

Kim

Foxx said...

Keep looking. Maybe there's not just sucky choice A and sucky choice B. You might need to find other options that allow you to channel your homosexual and religious feelings in a way that satisfies you.

Beck said...

Other options: wife upstairs and hunky boyfriend downstairs? Now that sounds fun!

Other options: Active LDS commitments on Sunday and let-it-hang-out gaydom the rest of the week? Even more fun!

I don't see other options yet. But, I'm looking for them!