This post is for me... If you benefit from my stupidity and find any sense of inspiration in the wreckage that may become my life, I am glad... but I'm not writing this for you. I'm writing this for me... and I don't know how much I'll really share of what has been going on.
I crashed in confusion and despair last week for many reasons. I slipped up in so many ways, and came near to losing all that I hold precious and dear.
I mentioned that I was alone last week and weekend. When my son came home, I was engaged in a venture into the world of YouTube and PG-rated gay flicks / gay kissing / gay scenes from movies and tv. It is something I have done sparingly, and I am admitting now to myself that I do it for curiosity sake yes, but also for titillation (did I mention it was the PG-non-age-restriction version). Needless to say, I've found myself justifying such behavior because of:
1. my lot in life as a closeted gay.
2. my inexperience and fascination with "the other side".
3. my level of stress due to travel and business and busy-ness.
4. straight out temptation and caving to it.
I didn't think my son was home and when he came in, I had it up on the screen (again it was not pornographic (here the justification in my voice), but was just two guys fully clothed sharing a romantic kiss - and because they were fully clothed and it was just a romantic kiss between two guys where's the harm -I mean what if it were a romantic kiss between a man and a woman - how many movies reflect that romance - is there anything wrong with this??? Seriously, I don't think so and yet, in this case, I was terribly ashamed and felt guilty like I had done a tremendously hideous thing). He was shocked! (he knows nothing of my predisposition to same-gender attraction). He called my wife, who was out of town, and asked what was going on and that he was confused and didn't know what to do... And she called me (without him knowing) and confronted me (as she had the right to do). It was one thing when this issue was between us; quite the other when it now involves the kids. We had mutually decided not to bring them into this world of mine until at some point that we thought they would be ready to handle it - meaning, at such time that I would be in a position to handle them handling it. Now, there was a window of curiosity and doubt springing up about "what is Dad doing looking at two guys romantically kissing?"
I felt devastated. I felt like such a loser. I felt destroyed inside. This stupidity on my part (excuses aside), has led to more family stress and confusion in my marriage. My wife wanted to drop everything and race home to give our son support. She told me not to confront him as he had shared his confusion in confidentiality, but that if he did confront me, I would have to be honest with him. Certainly, the emotions and butterflies, the uneasiness and turmoil churned away within me.
I was tortured, not because of what I was doing per se, but that it was now affecting my child. How was I to deal with that? And what would it mean to my marriage.
He assured his mother that he was okay and I assured her not to rush home but that I would deal with it. She was more patient than I thought she would be, but said "You need to finally decide what you're going to do with yourself. Are you going to be part of this family or not? It's your choice!"
Yes, though this predisposition is not a choice, what I do with it and how it affects those around me IS my choice!
I then slipped into my self-destruction mode and started beating up on myself... stupid, stupid stupid!
I didn't feel like going to church on Sunday, but I fought back those feelings and went (I needed to be the righteous example to my son - and yet why did I feel like such a hypocrite??). There was a priesthood leadership training meeting and the Stake President spoke about revelation and the need to have NOISE and BUSYNESS removed from our lives so that we can be inspired and hear the still small voice whisper to us. Boy, did I feel like he was speaking directly to me. Here I was devastated at how stupid I am, and how I can't let some things go, and how I allow temptation to get the better part of me, and so I swamp myself with work and with projects and travel and assignments and noise and business and busyness and think that all my problems will go away if I just don't think about them and then I find myself "alone" and "weak" and not listening very well and I mess up the family foundation. What a moron!
I then mope through the rest of the meetings, even though they were awesome on repentance and choices... and I feel remorse and regret, and I know I need to be more repentant as I don't partake of the sacrament, and I feel a prompting to turn in my temple recommend and resign from my callings...
And I then begin to live in fear. What is he going to ask me? How do I answer? What is my wife going to do when I get home? How am I to assure her that I still love her? Do I need to talk to the Bishop? Do we seek family counseling? Am I best to just leave the home now? Do I go find an apartment? What about finding a gun? Wouldn't it be better if I weren't around? Why don't I just go find a nice cliff up the canyon?
I drove up into the mountains and parked my car that afternoon. I cried and cried. This is so stupid. I was remorseful, not because of who I am, but because of the fear of hurting those I love. Why can't I just leave this alone? Why can't I just bury it once and for all...
I went home and tore into my computer and deleted my "stash" of goodies - and purged them all. It was a passionate symbolism of my commitment to reform and move on and leave them behind. I felt the need to purge them from my life and to be free of them, of the deceit, of the hiding, of the lurking. I purged them all... and it felt good... If I don't have a "collection" then I don't need to add to it, right? And if I don't have to add to it, then I don't need to look again, even if what I'm looking at, for the most part, is quite innocent and benign.
And so I prayed. I asked forgiveness. I asked the Lord for comfort and wisdom in how to answer any doubts or confusions that my son now may have about me. Was he now wondering about my relationships with Will and Tim? He's seen me openly affectionate with them - is he now questioning everything he knows about me and what I may be doing every time I hug these boy-friends of mine? Or what about what he's thinking every time he sees me on the computer? What about then?
I began to drive myself crazy with such questions. What had I done to him? Did I shake his testimony? Did I shake his foundation? What had I done to destroy his self-worth and value?
He has not said anything to me, and since he doesn't know that I know, I haven't said anything to him. I don't know if that is a good thing or not. My wife has been super kind and loving and supportive since coming back. I've tried to show more affection and love to her and have thanked her for her kindness. I have also committed that I'm not going back there... and I haven't... and that though I haven't chosen this orientation, I can choose how I manage it and who I want to be around - and I must choose my family first.
I fear that someday, this will come back to bite me. And rightfully it should. The last thing I want to do is destroy the faith and love of my children for me. I want them to be strong and happy and well-adjusted in their identities, and I need to keep trying to do so for myself so that I can be a source of strength, not weakness, for them.
This has been so innocent, and yet such a wake up call... I feel horrible and yet so grateful at the same time.
I know I don't need the fear, the angst, the self-hatred...
But, I do need a good slap-in-the-face... and maybe this has given me a chance to start seeking the spirit again through all the noise, confusion, stress and pain.
I wanted something passionate to write about again in my blog... well, I'm sure there's plenty more to come.