Saturday, April 12, 2008

It's not good to be alone...


As posted previously, I've been really, really busy. I've been traveling every week, sometimes twice a week out of state to project all over the country. And, though I was speaking a bit tongue-firmly-in-cheek, there is something to the fact that being busy and occupied and scheduled, keeps me from stewing and angsting and dwelling on this one aspect of my life - being a man hopelessly attracted to men.


When I travel, I am in meetings and at projects from sunrise to sunset and I'm chasing planes and renting cars and checking into hotels very late at night, most often after midnight. Which leaves me with little time to "get into trouble".


Another observation this week... I've been gone most of the week and this time when I came home, my wife and kids had left on a scheduled trip. And so, I've been alone this weekend. I thought it would be good to be alone at home, but I'm feeling very disheveled. It's given me time to think and to contemplate about things - and to dwell more on "this one aspect of my life". And, without the safety net of family, of wife, of kids being around, and with time to be alone, I've slipped back into an angsty mode and a mode of unsafe behavior. I've been thinking of thoughts and dreams and fantasies that I really shouldn't be thinking about. I don't know that it's that profound, but having my wife and kids around me sincerely helps me to keep keepin' on in a more steadfast manner. Fortunately, they'll be back tomorrow. I miss them. I miss having my wife just being here with me when I'm home. That's a good sign, right? Thank God for family and for repentance.


But it makes me wonder... as I've allowed myself to admit (finally) that I am inexplicably attracted to men, and when I don't have safety nets of family and work and church around me, have I also allowed my personal boundaries to slip a bit, particularly when I'm alone? And then I excuse such behavior as being par-for-the-course of being "gay"?


And how valid is repentance when I don't feel the "guilt" of the past? Am I slipping into the zone of being "past feeling"?


***


On another note, I've been contemplating ending this blog. I'm coming up quickly on two years now. It's been a good run, and I've learned a lot about myself and about the situation I find myself in as a MOM striving to keep my marriage going, with a testimony to boot, as I gain insights and new perspectives from others in this community. But sometimes I wonder: "What's the point?"


I mean, I never set out on this cybersphere to be any kind of example or source of inspiration - and I find it clearly more inspiring reading the words and observing the examples of others - and at times it's felt pretty scary and lonely for one so uncertain of the next step or misstep that I might take on this solitary journey.


And then I read this comment a few days ago:


I have been a lurker for some time and have read your blog for the past couple of years. I've been out to my wife for about 2.5 years. Your thoughts and insights and experiences have been healing for me. You are certainly not alone as a married with children, gay man. There are many of us who struggle on a daily basis with very similar issues and yearnings, myself included. I would dearly miss you and Mormon Enigma if the two of you quit posting.

I respect you for your humble and candid expressions in this blog and hope to someday have the privilege of meeting you.


Wow! How many lurkers are out there? How many anonymous readers do follow this blog (among others)? Is there value to staying around and contributing, even though I still have no idea what I'm doing here or what more I can say? (I mean, really, aren't you sick of my "romancing the boy-toy" saga and never growing into a real relationship - be it with my wife or with a guy?) Am I staying for gratification of others? Do I need ego-boosting for an esteem that has basically been shot by facing these realities within myself?


Mind you, I'm not going anywhere... I would miss the associations and inspiration from others too much to disappear. But, I feel I'm stagnating, and I need a boost... This little comment has encouraged me, at a time when I'm alone and not feeling so great about myself again.


It's not good to be alone...

7 comments:

One of So Many said...

For many blogging is at first a blessing to get feelings and thoughts out that may not otherwise find a way to express themselves.

After a while the excitement of the blogging world, the friends, the realization that one is not alone, wears off and yes, it seems a burden.

In a way though, aren't you keeping a journal of sorts that contains feeling ans thoughts that you wouldn't probably not want anyone reading?

At least for me that's what it is. A journal of thoughts that i wouldn't otherwise write down.

I would hate to see your blog end, but ultimately it is your choice.

Beck said...

It very much so is a journal of feelings and thoughts that I wouldn't want anyone reading - and yet for whatever reason, I put it out there for everyone to read. It gives me, or a part of me, a voice that otherwise remains hidden, silent.

It gives me connection where there is no other mode of connection.

It give me, or that part of me that remains hidden, silent, a connection to myself...

Anonymous said...

Dang! You really noticed me! I'm the anonymous lurker you quoted today in your post.

I'm not really as cloistered as it seems. I'm very active on Yahoo groups and have posted for some time as just "Silver".

The interaction, sharing of ideas and having a forum to learn from the experiences and wisdom of others has been a blessing and a "safe place" to get my feelings out of my head and into some domain. I too know the "angst" of the struggle. Loved your choice of words by the way. "Angst" says it well.

I've been in "reparitive" programs for over two years now. Evergreen, Sexaholics Anonymous, Journey into Manhood, LDSFS 12 steps, individual therapy, group therapy, meetings with the Bishop, support groups for my wife etc.

My wife found gay porn on the computer in August of 2005 and Wow, what a ride since then. I don't mean to make light, it has been an arduous and excruciating journey. I'm more out than ever now and connected with married men in their 40's just like us (I'm 48). Trust me there are a lot of us out there dealing with this.

Couldn't agree more with you Beck, Alone is not good. It hurts. I am more connected now than ever with many friends who "struggle" like me. My cell phone is full of contacts, I have many in many states that I can call to talk with. There is help and love out there and lots of connection; safe, healthy, awesome connection that eases the hurt.

I don't call myself Gay, but, I don't deny the attractions, the reality or kid myself that I'll ever "heal" or find a "cure". I am at peace with who and what I am and what I'm attracted to. I just manage it better now and find healing and serenity in the atonement. For the first time in my life, I love myself and other men don't scare me or intimidate me like they used to.

I'm careful about how "out" I am. I have a wife and children. This society doesn't treat us kindly when we challenge their comfort zones. I ageee with you though, that the church is kinder somehow and starting to reach out in understanding (at least at the global level) although not in my Ward.

I may start a blog. Just haven't come up with a clever name yet. I have a lot to say at times. Thank you for being there for me and for your sharing. Your taste and choice of art and pictures sits well with me too :)

Thanks again for being here and for noticing me. Made my day.

Hope you stick around. I'd miss you.

Respectfully,

Silver

Abelard Enigma said...

I never set out on this cybersphere to be any kind of example or source of inspiration

That may not have been your intent - but, like it or not, it's what your blog has become. And you reached out to me at a time when I really needed it. As anonymous silver said, there are others out there in the same situation as you and I - and you give them a voice (I'm just the plucky sidekick).

btw, Anonymous Silver, how about "Hi-Ho Silver, away"? Or, you can just start your blog, and the first thing you do is conduct a poll or contest or something to let others help you pick out a clever name - I'm just sayin ... :) Seriously, I for one would love to read what you have to say. Email me sometime.

Bored in Vernal said...

Hi, Just wanted you to know I'm a lurker on your blog, too! I'm a straight woman who is active in the Church. You may wonder what I am doing here. I guess I realize life isn't easy for anyone. I've felt estranged from the Church in various ways, and I like reading about how other people are "doing" their lives.

I know in the end you have to decide what to do based on what your needs are. But I always hate to see bloggers leave--it's like a friend moving away. I read John's blog too, and he's been busy with his real life lately, and I miss him.

Damon said...

Beck,

Certainly, I would miss your post if it were gone. I am sure that you do not recognize the example you are.

You may not have all of the answers or any of the answers. Clearly, though, you have been an example of doing what you know is right...even in the face of great struggle, at times even torment. That is an example many of us need in life. It shows a great deal of character.

Do you falter? Sure. But then, we all do. It is what the atonement is for, what repentence is for. None of us have the right answers in this life...I'm becoming more and more sure of that...especially about being gay and Mormon.

However, Gay Mormons are often counseled not to interact with others struggling witht he same issues. However, interacting is how you overcome a sense of being alone in your temptation, how you realize you aren't a single freak of nature, and that there are others who are being successful and trying to be successful in living up to their covenants.

Your blog allows others to struggling with similar problems to interact and remain private if they need to do so.

If it gives you an ego boost, so what? We can all use those now and then. But does it truly help others? Does it make a difference? Yes. For us and for you.

And by the way, I happen to enjoy your choice of artwork and pictures too!

Sorry to hear that the past weekend has been hard. Like I said before...if staying busy helps you not think about the whole gay thing that's great...but no matter how busy you keep yourself it does come back and hit you over the head.

I'm not sure how to overcome that part. I suppose if I could, if you could then we wouldn't have much of a problem anymore would we?

Beck, don't be so hard on yourself. Recognize you're doing amazingly well with a huge burden...which mostly you shoulder alone.

I would miss you if you left too! But of course, always do what's best for you!

J G-W said...

My blogging has stagnated too... Partly because I've been so busy, but partly because I've sometimes wondered how much the blog became a place for self-indulgence and self-justification. But I think the blogging has value when it enables connection and honesty.

I can relate to your sense of wondering how much of your life is just propped up by the people around us (family, church) and by the public persona we've assumed. I posted my own post somewhat to this effect myself -- even before reading this latest post of yours.

I do think it is important to consider the possibility, when it feels like we're just going through the motions and there's no feeling there any more, that there's something important we're missing. Some message we need to be hearing but we're not, because we're listening in the wrong places. It's not always obvious...