Saturday, August 13, 2011

House of Cards...

Why does life have to be so hard? Now that's a question that nobody else around here has ever raised before, right?

Where is the joy in making life so hard?

What's the big deal about self-denial and obedience first above all else?

Where does mercy outweigh justice? Shouldn't there be consequences to be paid? Drawing lines in the sand are not meant to be crossed - and yet, when they are crossed, then what? Is there mercy or justice? Does one offer more unconditional love by being empathetic and understanding? Or is that a disservice to the offense and that instead one should "pay" the consequences of one's actions? There are always consequences, right? And if not, then aren't we just enablers?

It's called tough love, no? You are supposed to show the way and it needs to be followed. And if it isn't followed, then what?

And why, when all emotions and anger and flare ups boil to the top, as they always do, does it feel like it comes back to one point... that you don't know how to love in the right way... you don't know how to love your spouse... you don't know how to love your children... you are a bad father because deep down, you're all screwed up yourself and really, you don't know anything about love.

So tempers flare... fights break out... family rules and "drawn lines" are crossed. Are there consequences to be faced - justice to be paid? Or is there forgiveness and empathy?

And even though others have their own choices to make that really have nothing to do with you, why does one feel so guilty? Why do you twist the situation to be so self-centered and selfish as to think that it's all your fault because your gay?

If you weren't so gay, maybe you'd have loved him better and been there for him, but you couldn't, or worse, wouldn't when he needed you, because you were so caught up in your own self-reflection. Where were you when he really just needed a father to love, to talk to, to share with, to have fun?

If you weren't so gay, maybe she'd have felt the love that she needed from her father and wouldn't have become so depressed, despondent, deluded.

If you weren't so gay, maybe you'd have loved her better, been a better companion and help-meet, someone who really is a partner for eternity who loves and knows how to love - but because you're gay, well... there really is just a facade - a house of cards - and sooner or later it just takes a little instability, a little lateral shear force and the whole incredible structure collapses into a heap of ruin...

Sure, you're the great provider - the one thing you do well - you "provide" for everyone, making sure all is taken care of and needs are being met - at least physical needs. But what about the other needs? The needs that make a person whole and complete without the need for anti-depressants and other stimuli to get by?

But this really isn't about you - you just twist it to think that it is. Your self-reflective, self-absorbed life leads you to think of it in no other terms. It must be about you. You're the problem.

Otherwise, why hasn't all that you've tried to do in "doing what's right" and staying on the "right" side of the line, and doing all that you're supposed to - keeping yourself from yourself, not revealing the authentic you because this other "you" is the "better" you that you believe you should be - why hasn't that paid dividends in helping those around you? Why are they hurting so much, feeling so much pain, suffering the loneliness and heartaches of lost hope, depression, and I-just-don't-care-anymore-isms?

It must be because of you, right? You and your totally screwed up, lie-filled, house-of-cards, unauthentic, incapable-of-love, anger-induced life!

There you go again - you're making it all about YOU again! You self-centered no-good!

So the "D" word comes up... you talk about divorce, and the inevitability of it all. Yeah, you're certainly a good provider, but that's about it. You're incapable of love because you don't know how and never will.

Maybe you don't and won't because you can't first love yourself enough to forget about it all and just let it all go. If you weren't so gay you wouldn't be so self-reflective and you'd be able to see the pain of others in the mirror instead of just your own, and what that pain must have inflicted on them. But because of the way you can't see past your own image of pain, you cannot see how to really forget yourself, forgive yourself, and begin to see others, know their own personal pain and grief, and forgive them, and extend mercy where mercy has been extended in abundance to you.

But, of course, it sucks to be you and because you are who you are, you'll never get to that point...

Yeah, life is hard. It doesn't have to be this way, but, it is...


Neal said...

I'm sorry you're hurting. (((Hugs)))

Andy said...

I've read your blog for more than 2years now, (ever since I came out to my wife, who knew before we married that I was attracted to men, but neither of us really understood that I was gay).

One point, don't always pin on your "gayness" problems that are a part of life. I've done it too, but if you reflect on it a bit, and look around, there are plenty of hetero men who have very similar issues and they aren't gay. I spent much of my youth blaming nearly every perceived weakness as somehow being connected to my "struggle" with being attracted to men. It's convienient to have a ready made scapegoat, but it's an illusion.
I can tell by your writings, your a good man that sometimes deals with hard stuff.

Then there is the part that hurts even worse. Is it really better to part, divorce, whatever you want to call it. Is it really better to let her go so she doesn't have this constant inferiority complex? Is it better just to own up to my sexuality?

I feel for you, and hope you can find comfort in who you are, and not view your life through some lens that may not be entirely good. (I say that for myself also).

MoHoHawaii said...

I'm not sure I understand the gist of what's happening, but it's clear from what you wrote that there's family disharmony and that you are really angry. Mormons don't do anger very well. We're not socialized for it, and it tends to freak us out when it happens.

The angriest period of my own life was during my attempt at orthodox LDS life in a mixed-orientation marriage. There are multiple, intersecting problems in such a situation. The first of these problems is the presumption that the gay spouse is at fault in virtually every issue that arises, whether related to sexual orientation or not. It's not fair, and you end up with more anger than you know what to do with. I've been there. I know what it's like. It's poisonous.

Ultimately (and I'm speaking only for me) I came to a point where I had to quit apologizing for existing. When I claimed my right to personhood, including the gay part of myself, things started turning around, and the anger subsided. This change in me was actively resisted by my wife and we ended up divorcing at her insistence. I think she sensed the change in the power balance of the relationship when I began to live without apology and self-hate. The outcome in my case is not a universal or predetermined outcome in other cases, but I don't think a marriage can survive if one spouse plays the role of universal scapegoat. I hope this isn't your situation, and if it is it's got to change. (I'm not suggesting that this is your situation.)

I feel for you, my friend. I hope you'll be able to take a deep breath and have some calm, frank discussions with the people you love and move things forward in nonreactive, constructive ways. If you're angry, express that feeling constructively and without blaming others, but don't just bury it.

I don't know if these remarks help or make things worse. If they are unhelpful, please disregard them. You know your situation far better than I do.

robert said...

This may help:


Beck said...

NEAL: I'm glad that got through... I'm needy for that big hug right now!

ANDY: It is convenient for me to pin life's problems on my "gayness". It is a scapegoat and easy way to dump things in that box and be done with it - but it isn't very helpful or healing.

Be it clear that I WAS THE ONE doing the dumping on myself - it wasn't my wife or kids. It was me. I like taking on guilt. It has been a life-long habit.

These explosions of emotion and hurt and pain and anger come where it feels like all the good is crashing down into a pile of nothingness... then the "D" word comes up out of frustration. But it always comes up.

We're not going there... it's anger talking, and frustration, and hurt and pain and stupid decisions and choices that make the hopelessness seem so hopeless.

But then there's another day and you keep trying.

Beck said...

MOHOH: Sorry to be cryptic and yet I'm not in the mood right now (maybe never) to spell out the details of what's going on and why - especially to the whole world. I don't need to... I just needed to get it off my chest and written down and out there, even if you don't know the details... the details aren't that important - the message, I hope, is still getting through.

No we Mormons don't do anger real well, though my dad sure knew how to be angry and my wife reminds me of that fact each time I explode, which makes me even angrier.

So then I internalize it. It's all my fault. I shouldn't be this way. I need to do better. I am better so why do I get in these situations... and my kids choices and her choices are not my fault - they just are, and I need to learn to deal with them with forgiveness and love.

But first, I need to forgive myself and love myself... and then maybe I'll be better use as a father and husband for my family in their times of hurt, pain and anger.

Nonreactive and more constructive means of communication are needed. That's easier said than done when you watch loved ones deeply hurting inside, deeply suicidally hurting inside, and you feel responsible somehow, even though you're really not.

Thanks for your thoughtfulness and words of comfort.

GMP said...

Troy and I were just talking about this last night that one really does need to have a solid, grounded sense of self (both positive and negative) and be realistic about one's strengths and weaknesses in order to give ourselves over to another person.

I don't know you personally but I have been following your blog and I think you're great. I think your ability to empathize on a level with your kids is something that a lot of dads find themselves wanting for, regardless of your other perceived weaknesses. For whatever that's worth.

Bravone said...

Makes me want to cry. Please give me a call. I put my youngest in the MTC Wednesday...

Anonymous said...


I am going to be selfish and talk about myself.

The struggle for me is between the man I want to be (a good man who doesn't hurt the ones he loves) and the man with needs so vital that each day I spend a tremendous amount of time and energy stopping myself from acting on those very feelings.

The trick I think is to be as authentic (i.e., for me, gay) as possible without crossing the line (that is to act on it).

It seems that once I reach a certain level of authenticity that that level is no longer enough.

And all the mental juggling going on seems like a huge waste of time until I remember that I am doing all of this out of love.

The only way it seems to work for me is to be somewhat selfish (i.e., to have the same feelings and wants that everyone else takes for granted) and in that way synch up my inner world (always gay) and my outer world (not gay enough) as much as I can without causing much heartache to my wife.

So I take baby steps when what I really want to do is leap right in to this authentic life.

This emotional balancing act is often mentally exhausting.

But the little extra peace I get from being as authentic as I can be without wreaking havoc on everyone's life is worth it.

Because when Daddy is not happy, nobody is happy.

But when Daddy is happy then things go so much smoother.


Beck said...

ROBERT: I couldn't make the link work. But thanks for trying to help.

GMP: I'm trying to be empathetic. I'm trying to give myself over to my family. I'm trying to be the disciplinarian and the unconditional lover, the lay-down-the-law guy, and the forgive-and-forget guy. For me to really play all these roles, I need to do the same with myself.

Beck said...

BRAVONE: Mi piacerebbe piangere insieme con te. Ne ho pianto tanto ultimamente ma adesso sono piu' tranquillo. Grazie per la disponibilita' e buona fortuna con tuo figlio missionario.

PHILIP: The authenticity thing does affect every aspect of life. All that is being said out of my mouth to my kids comes back to haunt me or validate me - whether or not I'm living my own life that way. Hypocrisy is hard to hide. Being real with oneself liberates to be real with those one loves.

Adon said...

Dear Beck,

I feel that we, you and myself included, are too hard on ourselves. I think it's inevitable, part of the conflicts between our belief system, our relationships in and out of the Church and our inner feelings.

Most of these conflicts are exaggerated due to our need to be honest with those we love and like and the lack of understanding we receive whenever we approach being open with them.

The more I delve into trying to relate to and understand my gayness, the more frustarated I get because I am trying to do this alone, making it in essence, an intellectual exercise which doesn't really provide any support to my inner being, to me.

I usually do this at night, laying in bed, my mind reeling with thoughts and emotions. Sometimes, those thoughts go rushing by like the cars of a train at a railroad crossing. At other times, I grab onto one of them and am overcome with the hopelessness of it all, tears rolling down my cheeks.

I am no longer young. I have few options for change at this point in my life. I could lose so much, more than I am willig to give.

I've been living a commitment (that's covenant to you snd me)that I chose willingly to make so many years ago. I really think I would be satisfied at this point in my life if everyone knew I was gay and I could just keep living life as I do now. I don't desire to make any great changes, just being able to be open with my thoughts, ideas, feelings and listened to, accepted and loved, ANYWAY.

You, Brother Beck are really not alone...I'm here too.


Beck said...

ADON: I know you're going through a hard time as well... and I know our stories, though not the same, are similar... and yes, we're not alone.

Thanks for being out there and if you disappear for a while, please reappear somewhere as your voice is needed to be heard, if simply for yourself to hear it!