Thursday, May 13, 2010

Am I delusional?

A couple of things have changed in my life in the last few weeks - good things. These changes have brought me to a self-evaluation or self-inventory again. The difference this time is that I don't feel a level of guilt associated with things. Instead, I am at peace with myself and what decisions I am making, and where I am going.

I may post more about the peace I've found and the lessons I'm learning in the future. For now, let me say that I'm comfortable with myself. I have come to accept me for who I am with no fear and trembling or guilt. I feel grateful for this acceptance and with this acceptance comes peace.

During this recent self-evaluation, I've decided (again)
to swear off the electronic eye-candy. Niente! Nada! (Now, how hypocritical is it of me to post about swearing off electronic eye-candy and then I can't resist throwing some in for good measure - go figure!) It's been 3-1/2 weeks and just a twinge of withdrawal. I know I've done this before (when I was caught by my son looking at PG images of guys kissing), but then it was out of an immense motivation of guilt. Now, I am doing it because it feels like the right thing for me to do right now. Anyone who has followed this blog for any extended period of time, particularly in the early years, knows of my attraction to eye-candy. But now, I'm okay in trying to move on. That doesn't mean that I won't or don't take in the view of the nice eye-candy walking by in the flesh, or sitting in the congregation - I think it's fine to notice and appreciate and enjoy such beauty. I even think it is a healthy change that I don't feel uptight or wigged out by it. It just is and I enjoy that this is how my attractions are - and I'm finally okay with it.

Could it be that after over five years of coming out to myself, that I am finally moving beyond my adolescent years? Am I maturing? Or am I in denial? Is this new cold-turkeyness going to backfire and I'll end up errupting into another gay pon farr? Or, am I finally settling into a new phase?

And with things going better with my wife and marital relationship, do you think that has something to do with it?

It's strange. It's not that I'm less gay, or think I'm decreasing in my attractions whatsoever, but it's like I'm not as hung up about it, and I'm going to enjoy the ride.

What do you think? Am I delusional in thinking things are getting better?

16 comments:

JonJon said...

Not at all delusional. I think it's a maturational thing. Like moving beyond the boy crazy phase. I think it just takes longer for gay mormon men because they aren't able to be as open or deliberate about it. It's all kind of quiet and behind closed doors so it doesn't unfold and evolve naturally into something more settled and realistic. The more I've keyed into how I'm feeling when I'm enjoying eye candy, the more I've been able to sense when I cross the line from mere appreciation to coveting and lust and as a result I am more successful at keeping it within realms that are healthy and organic. I think anybody male or female, gay or straight needs to learn that balance.

Rex said...

I don't think you're delusional at all. Shame is never very effective as a motivator. Until I decide for myself that I want to change something, I have to really know why I want to change it and it has to be for me.

Anonymous said...

Kind of counter-intuitive isn't it?

If you want to guarantee you will do nothing but think about sex then all you have to do is fight against it with all your might.

But if you allow yourself to think what you think and feel what you feel then you'll soon find you have time and energy for other things.

But there is more to it than just that.

These last few years you have been discovering who you are and replacing confusion and inner turmoil with self awareness and peace.

Regards,
Philip

Wyatt said...

You're delusional.

Carlo said...

JONJON: I do think that those like me who came out much later in life do go through a teen-phase or boy-crazy adolescent phase and it does take much longer for gay mormon men because we won't open up, can't open up and certainly can't be deliberate about it, particularly when one is married with a kids.

REX: Maybe this time it feels better because it is my choice and my path that I've decided to change. My motivation isn't so much guilt or shame, as a conviction of what feels right for me.

PHILIP: It is very counter-intuitive! I'm just beginning to discover that. You're so good in pointing out what isn't at first obvious, and I appreciate that.

Carlo said...

WYATT: So, why do you say that I'm delusional?

I know you care for me and desire the best for me. I really feel that and appreciate that. But I have to wonder...

Do you think I'm delusional because you know what's best for me?

Is it because you know that any real gay man can't make choices that are different from the choices that you've made?

Is it because you are convinced that no real gay man can ever make his marriage work with his wife, that he is delusional if he thinks he can make it work, and sees progress in the steps he's taking with that relationship?

Is it because I'm fooling myself by thinking that I can deprive my natural cravings with any good results?

Am I delusional because I'm being brainwashed by my religious beliefs and will never be able to find happiness on this repressive path of lies?

Can it be possible that I actually am okay with who I am as a gay man, that I have accepted and am at peace with my attractions and needs without guilt or shame associated with them?

I'm just stating that inside me there is a peace, and I like where I'm going. Is that delusional if it differs from your vision of where I should be and what I should do?

If you're going to state that I'm delusional (and I freely admit that I may certainly be) then please explain how or why you feel that way. I am truly interested in your perception.

Rex said...

Yes, that's why I mean by "for me". It's got to be my own internal reasons without things like shame, guilt, pressure from people, etc. I have to feel inside that I want to no matter what else and that these other factors are just annoyances. I guess for me it's basically a difference between internal and external. Things like shame and pressure are external. I have to want to change for internal reasons only meaningful to me.

Anonymous said...

Beck,

I measure progress by the degree of peace I feel within myself.

For me, the key was recognizing the role the closet played in my progress or lack of progress.

For instance, I found the more I came out, the quicker I seemed to progress.

But I also found that I came out in discrete areas and at some point had to open up a new area in order to make further progress.

For instance, initially I only came out to other gay people and that led to several years of tremendous progress but then I hit a plateau.

Then I started coming out to straight people and started to make even more progress.

But for some reason there is always this inertia when I start contemplating opening up a new area in my life.

Despite the positive impact coming out has had in my life, I still find myself resistant to taking the initial first steps.

Maybe it's the doubt and fear of rejection -or- maybe it's the fortitude required to work through whatever may come my way -or- both.

Or maybe I have just gotten comfortable enough in my now fairly large closet and satisfied with the level of peace I have attained that progressing further is no longer a priority.

Experts talk about "stages" gay people go through but it strikes me that these "stages" have little to do with sexuality and a lot to do with the relationship gay people have with their closet and how that relationship changes over time.

Or as some politician might put it, "it's the closet, Stupid."

Regards,
Philip

Wyatt said...

Carlo? Are you Beck?

Confused.

Anyway, progress is progress so if you feel you're going in the right direction then go there and do it your way. But in regards to you feeling as though your not going to be consumed by this fight anymore, well I think you yourself know that if you perceive it as a fight or challenge or struggle then that's what it will be and that's what it will turn into.

Your homosexual inclinations are inside you for a reason. Relationships, connection and intimacy are the basis and foundation for fully actualized and cohesive modes of operation.

The more you delay the connection, and the more you reject its properties for growth, you're denying yourself.

But I don't really know everything. I just think that cause I've seen both sides and been on both sides and life is just brighter now. There's not battles, not internal fight. I'm just exploring and living and blessed and happy and it's because my desires and in line with what my specified make-up is.

I think. Who knows really?

Wyatt said...

I guess I'm confused on why you need/use this blog.

If the Mormon church is true then shouldn't Mormon teachings provide you with all the solace and sanctuary you need?

Why are their cracks and holes in Mormon practicum that cause you to congregate here if the Mormon church is the fullness of truth?

You're gay and it's wonderful.

Kiss a guy. Hold a man. Don't smugly half-ass your physical fantasies with straight guys at church. And don't do it in desperation outside your meetings.

Again, just sayin'.

Beck said...

Wyatt... you're right... I don't know why I'm still here. I guess I'm holding on to some kind of connection of understanding where I don't find it elsewhere. I guess I'm needing this limited connection for at least some connection is better than nothing.

I guess I am still delusional... thanks for pointing that out so well.

Wyatt said...

"Nothing that you want is upstream...
this stream of well being
is a powerful stream
and it takes you downstream
whether you go easily
or not."
-Esther Hicks

Beck said...

Wyatt: Are you saying I should just go with the flow because it is inevitable so why keep trying to fight against the flow?

Since when is that a good life-governing principle to live by? What happened to "working hard" or "sacrificing something good for something better" or "nothing risked, nothing gained"? Muscles weren't shaped and sculpted and strength gained by floating downstream. Resistence builds strength, right?

Just call me a salmon, swimming upstream to die...

Bror said...

No

this blog author said...

Yeah, I KNOW your son was NOT the point of your post. But, YOU were the one who spent the first several paragraphs writing about him. Whatever.

Beck said...

TBA: I think you took my comment wrong. I was just trying to say that I didn't want to bring in the specifics of my son's call - keeping it a bit more anonymous - that's all...