Tuesday, July 15, 2008

No big deal...

I had a really vivid dream last night. It scared me how real it felt and I awoke in a pool of sweat. I found myself cuddling in bed with another man. He was holding me and kissing me when my teenage son came in the bedroom to report that he was going off to hang out with some of his friends. His reaction to my being held by another man, naked in bed, was matter-of-fact and nonchalant. It was as if this was no big deal and that everything was cool between me and him. I don't know where my wife or daughters were - as far as I can remember - they didn't exist. And yet, why was I so wigged out that my son "caught" me in bed and yet he didn't really think anything of it?

The man I was with tried to lovingly comfort me and calm me down. When I looked back into the eyes and arms of the guy that was holding me, it was a guy I work with from time to time. I have no physical relationship whatsoever with him and yet in my dream there he was in my bed with me. When I recognized him, it was at that point I awoke in a panic.

I don't dream very often. My dreams are few and far between and often come out as disjointed vignettes. I'm not like J G-W who has meaningful, thoughtful and intelligent dreams. Oh to think what John has to endure as he contemplates much more significant, relevant subconscious thoughts!

In the end, I continue to feel vulnerable and exposed. Why am I so afraid of being found out? What am I so ashamed of? What's the big deal? In today's world, being a 20-something, maybe it wouldn't be such a big deal - but for this old bugger, it still is a big deal.

As I conducted priesthood meeting on Sunday, I thought of all these good brothers before me who were fellow old buggers, who didn't have a clue of what vain and silly things I had done this last week and how confused and torn I was inside, longing to be loved and understood, and yet unable to tell them. What if they did know - would they stone me out the door of the church? My facade securely in place, I proceeded to greet each with a firm handshake, making eye-contact one-on-one, and several I gave warm hugs. I needed that touch. But in doing so, I felt isolated and alone - I felt not apart of them. I was separate. I was different, and they had not a clue what was going on inside me.

We were having a discussion on the post-mortal spirit world. There was a quote that was read that said: "The spirits of righteous people who have died are not far from us, and know and understand our thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and are often pained therewith" (Teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 326) and "Sometimes the veil between this life and the life beyond becomes very thin. Our loved ones who have passed on are not far from us". (Ezra Taft Benson).

My thoughts went to the idea that my loved ones, particularly my recent family member who has passed on two months ago, are watching me. Do they have a clue? Do they know my issues and struggles? Do they see me do stupid things, and are pained at my struggles that I've tried to keep private and closeted all my life. The thought that they are aware of my thoughts and feelings and emotions and are pained therewith give me pause. Maybe it's presumptuous of me to think that I'm this important to be the focus of their attention, as I've thought that those who have died are way to preoccupied with other concerns than with those of us still in our mortal estate - I thought they had more important things to worry about. I'm not real comfortable with the thought that our dearly departed see all that we do in secret. Somehow, I know the Lord knows, but does everyone know?

I don't know about you, but I'm not real comfortable with the idea of dearly departed grandmother or grandfather watching me in the shower or noting my every indiscretion. I hope that they don't see everything, but that they are allowed to see that which is needed to be seen, to help us along the way.

So, with the dream of my son knowing and not caring, with wondering about priesthood brothers knowing about my issues and fear of rejection from them, with these thoughts of the afterlife and dear loved ones knowing every needful thing, and with being too open and exposed in this blog, I keep asking myself - what's the big deal? What am I so afraid of?


Kengo Biddles said...

Sometimes dreams are just dreams.

And sometimes they're telling you that you shouldn't be worried about things you are...I know I face that.

It's hard to process dreams like that...trust me I know. But at the same time, it's nice when you don't have to worry about things anymore with people.

You're in my thoughts, Beck. :)

Abelard Enigma said...

I proceeded to greet each with a firm handshake, making eye-contact one-on-one, and several I gave warm hugs. I needed that touch. But in doing so, I felt isolated and alone - I felt not apart of them.

That is exactly how I feel. Being in the bishopric, I try to make myself visible prior to meetings. I greet people, shake their hands. I make a special effort to greet all of the young men/women. I've been in the same ward since it was first organized back in 1985 - yet I feel like a stranger among them. Nobody knows the real me - they only know the facade I've built around me. Yet, I've had this facade for so long that it has become part of me - I've not even sure if it's possible to dismantle it anymore.

I'm not real comfortable with the idea of dearly departed grandmother or grandfather watching me in the shower or noting my every indiscretion.

Please, I hope that can't be true! Although, I'm sure I would provide them with endless entertainment :(

Damon said...


I think you're afraid of what we're all afraid of. Rejection and hurting our loved ones. I know those were my two reasons for being in the closet when I was in the closet. They were good reasons...I thought.

When you talk about the lonliness and the feeling of being disconnected I understand that too. I used to sit in Church and wonder..."Would all of these people love me, be friendly to me, interact with me; if they knew I was gay?"

Being unable to present my true self made me feel ingenuine with everyone I was hiding from.

Some might say that there is much about ourselves we don't share with the public at large. Perhaps that's true, but typically our sexuality isn't one of those things we have to ever hide...unless you're gay.

When I came out, when I became honest about who I was it lifted my self esteem and I found out who my real friends really were...and some had to fight hard to accept me, but they did. I knew those who said they loved me, really did.

Your situation is so vastly different from mine. You have children to consider and that raises so many other questions about being open to everyone. But I think you've made the right choice.

Your dream could have lots of meanings...so could your concern with it. I guess only you really know what those things are. Dreams are often expressions of our deeper psyche. LOL I am sure that really doesn't help dealing with it though.

By the way, in reference to your last post which I saw just today, we all fall along this road of life. We are all given our struggles and our choices. I respect you for making the choices you have. I respect the reasons behind it. I respect the fact that you are willing to fight your battles instead of hiding from them. And I lose no respect in hearing you might have lost one small battle...look at all those you've won!

As for our dead loved ones...if they truly know EVERYHING we're doing and struggling with then I also would think that they've had their minds opened to understand why we do it too. And I think that will give our loved ones on the other side greater perspective and understanding.

I may not know you Beck, but I love you just the same. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Silver said...

Thanks for your support for Beck's choices. I felt validated and respected as well because, I too am a MOM and have made very similar choices. I'm glad I did and I'm still in the closet too. It's hard to be in here but, thanks for the support of those who chose to marry and have children, I felt lifted by your comments.

My teenage daughter had a dream. I was at the kitchen table in her dream, holding hands with another man. Her reaction was to rebuke me, throw all of my personal belongings and clothes out of the house and completely reject me. On a Saturday morning I got up to hear her recounting this dream to her mother (I'm out to my wife). On some level, subconscious or otherwise, she must know. Yet, consciously she doesn't or has never acknowledged it. It all gives me pause. I'm glad your dream had a better outcome than my daughter's. Her's was my worst nightmare. Anyone want to interpret her dream and give me some insight?

There's a lot of anxiety surrounding these issues. I'm still not sure what is best as I deal with it all. I'm just groping along in the dark still.

Beck said...

KENGO: I'm not sure what this dream is telling me. If it's "not to worry" then it isn't working for I'm doing a lot of worrying. It's made me think even more and dwell on it and I'm not sure that's a good thing...

ABE: I try really hard to connect, but it doesn't work. The only real connections I've made are with the younger crowd and they're all marrying off and going their own ways and I'm left with old farts that I can't talk to or relate with... They only see the facade and don't "know" me. I won't let them and thus, we don't connect.

Beck said...

DAMON: I appreciate you seeing the difference in our situations. I want so much to be connected and understood; loved, not rejected. Fear is a real roadblock. The timing with my kids is not good right now. It may never be. I'm just currently in a boiling up period and need to let it ride and settle down again.

Your thoughts on those who have died who see us - instead of being grossed out or disappointed, see us more as the Savior sees us with understanding, larger perspectives, and more compassion... I like that... not so creepy.

Thanks for commenting. You're right. We don't really know each other, but I feel a strong love and compassion for you as you comment and share here with me. Thanks.

Beck said...

SILVER: When my son confronted my wife on my PG gay kissing movie YOUTUBE viewing, I was terrified. I know he suspects but we don't talk about it... meaning, I'm waiting for him to come to me. I've told myself that if he does, I will be honest as I can be, hoping the spirit will be there to guide us through it.

I'm sorry about your daughter. Subconsciously she must know, but all you can do is be you and be the loving father and anchor that you are for her and to show her that you still love her mother dearly and that you're not going anywhere... I wish this were easier to discuss with our kids. I wish the world, and especially the church, would help facilitate such dialogue with more compassion and not so much disdain.

The "groping in the dark" is standard operational procedure... There is no light, or the hope that we have is so faint it's hard to see through the fog of doubt, guilt and shame.

BTW, thanks for helping me to sort between guilt and shame.

Public Loneliness said...

I know people who swear dreams are one's unconscious mind telling you something is about to happen or will happen. Just try typing 'dream interpretation' on Google and you'll see what I mean. To me a dream is just a dream, I hardly ever remember any dreams I have anyway, so if it is erotic, well lucky me!

Beck said...

PL said: "I know people who swear dreams are one's unconscious mind telling you something is about to happen or will happen..."

Maybe for others, like the Biblical Pharoah and Joseph, but I think of my dreams as wishful thinking more than personal prophesy. Will my son be accepting of me and not really care as he comes to know his father is homosexual? Will I come to be sleeping in the arms of a good-looking coworker of mine?

I don't know, but I sincerely doubt it... I think as real as they are and as subconscious as they may be, they are still wishful thinking on my part.

Abelard Enigma said...

I think for me, particularly when I have homoerotic dreams like that, it's my subconscious self acting out in ways that my conscious self would not do.

Sigmund Freud often discussed latent sexual meaning and significance of dream symbols. Once someone asked, "You seem to smoke a lot of cigars, what does *that* symbolize?" which evoked the famous (but unsubstantiated) quote "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

And, sometimes a dream is just a dream.