Monday, December 24, 2012
It's been a couple of months now... feeling consumed with a sense of hopelessness with my "situation" and the loneliness, anxiety, frustration, anger and emptiness that follows - a punishing private pity party for sure! I've been an inmature boob.
I allow my feelings of inauthenticity to overwhelm me and overcome me to the point that I can't see beyond my own self. I forget or can't remember the joys and goodness and bounty and blessings and fortunes and love around me. All I can see is the terrible situation that is my life and nothing more. I can't sleep. I can't connect. I can't feel... And yet I'm overcome with feelings and emotions are very much camping out on the surface.
It has become this mode of operation for some time now. And I'm so tired... so tired... In this spirit, we took the family to Temple Square Saturday evening and downtown to enjoy the lights and spirit of the season that should be beautiful as usual. You would think with family, and kids all around me excited in the spirit of it all that I wouldn't feel so lonely and befuddled. But I was.
We shuffled to the manger scene presentation between the Tabernacle and the North Visitor's Center and stopped to listen to the scriptural rendition of the nativity. I stood there contemplating what I was doing, why I was so consumed, how lost and lonely I felt surrounded in the crowd of people.
Deep in thought I prayed for some kind of support to get through this current funk. I stopped hearing the speaker or the hustle and chatter about me and I looked up and my view caught straight onto the Christus statue through the window and I "heard" a voice penetrate me soul... saying:
"Please listen: You're okay! I love you! I love you completely as you are!"
It really was that simple. I felt the love of my Savior overcome me and envelope me to the point that I started weeping uncontrollably. My wife and kids wondered what was up with dad and I just tried to shrug it off, but I couldn't. I'm sure they didn't think much of it as I've been a bit weepy of late. I felt the spirit whisper to me that I was understood, that I was validated, that my feelings of confusion, frustration, anxiety and anger were realized. I was given at that moment a sense of peace that sustained me through the weekend (and an incredible Sabbath) to the point that I could begin to engage again with family, friends, neighbors, and myself.
I know that I am on the right path for me, as strange as that seems to some, and that I must keep keepin' on. I know that I will fall, that I am broken (as we all are "broken" in the sense of being imperfect) and that the healing and comforting and real affects of the atonement are a continuing event for me. I need this sustaining influence continuously to help me through the "pity parties" that keep me in the dark and feeling hopeless in my circumstances.
In that one brief moment on Temple Square, I felt a glimpse of blissful peace, renewing comfort, and reassurance, enough such that I can keep going, and keep doing the best with who I am, that I am loved and accepted for who I am. I know the funk will return. I will cycle again as I am known to do... But I hope for myself that writing this experience down will help me to remember.
There is always hope! I am truly blessed! I have been given much! I am surrounded with love!
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Monday, November 05, 2012
Life is a journey of connected choices. Mine has been a life "marginalized" by the choices I've made. I am forever making choices to be on the edge, on the outside looking in, never completely immersed in the middle, jumping into the fray just because it felt right, or authentic. Instead, it's always calculated, measured, weighing the consequences. That's the way we are supposed to make choices, right? The other day I watched with intense interest the FarBetween video of Mikeal and Mandi and their openness and honesty regarding the "choices" they've made in their marriage and their commitment to "make it work". I personally know Mikeal and feel an amazing love for him and for Mandi, as I know similar pain, sorrow, joy and friendship with my wife and our relationship together. It was Mandi's expressions of her pain in not being fully needed or wanted by her husband, particularly speaking of intimacy, that it hit home to me how much I have caused my wife to feel similar painful emotions of being trivialized, and marginalized in our marriage. And it pains me to know that no matter how hard I try, no matter how spontaneous and "dancing in the kitchen" I can be with her, seeking her out, telling her how beautiful she is, sweeping her in my arms and giving her a fat kiss by surprise, it still rings empty to her. She knows my natural affections and affinity remain elsewhere and she is playing the role of the supportive straight wife of a gay husband - and we both are marginalized. It was Mikeal's description of intimacy as "work" and "needing to be in another place to make it work" that rang true with my reality. His needs were being marginalized as well as he tries to "make it work". How many times have I used that phrase of doing my best to "make it work", regarding intimacy with my wife? How about every time? Yet, their choice to stay together is one where they have concluded that the reasons to stay and "make it work" outweigh those that don't. Thus, they stay together, just as my wife and I stay together. This is our choice, this is our journey, this is our path -marginalized as it may be. ***
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Saturday, June 16, 2012
This short film really defined me... down to the blue shirt, the khaki dress pants, the shaggy hair, and even the pen in the pocket and leather book bag... the unsure walk and stance... always looking out for the eye contact and quick smile from the cute guy... yet too shy to ever do anything about it... or too afraid to do so... always watching opportunity, fiction or reality, slip by. Can anyone else relate? For example: The other day I went into a small local shop to buy a gift card for my wife. There were several people in line at the cashier so it allowed me the time to admire the most beautiful, amazing guy working the register. He was sweet and cute and so good looking that it made me tremble a bit inside. When it was my turn he looked up and smiled brightly and sincerely at me, and I melted. I asked for a gift card and he gave me a hard time about getting a quick gift and I kidded back with him and we shared another smile and laugh. Our hands touched as he handed me the card and receipt and I felt something exciting about this little encounter. We shared a bit more small talk and smiles and then I thanked him... I wanted to tell him he made me feel so different inside and that he was so beautiful... but of course, I didn't. Sigh!
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Monday, May 21, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Tomorrow marks the beginning of the 7th year of this blog! When it began, I really didn't see this far into the future. Actually, in some ways, I thought I would have moved on by now, either:
1. moved beyond the hate and guilt and mistrust in my feelings and attractions and come to face the reality of my gayness, embrace it and all things 'gay', abandon my marriage, and never look back, or...
2. moved beyond the need for a blog and all things MOHOspherish and accepted myself for who I am while embracing the other parts of me, including my marriage, in a way that brought me fulfillment and joy, and no longer required some touch with this community anymore as I would have figured it all out and have nothing more to ponder out loud to a cyber audience.
Well, here I still am... and I still find a need to be here. The path I've chosen through these six years has not taken me through Door no. 1. I have chosen Door no. 2, and yet, that "fulfilment and joy" part, though sprinkled with happiness, is still lacking. There remains a hole in my heart, an emptiness that sometimes consumes me, a void that cannot be filled.
I am well beyond the "woe is me" mode of self-pity. I feel I have progressed somewhat in the direction of self-acceptance and self-assurance. You be the judge and tell me what you think. I feel I have internally come to terms with the essence of who I am and always have been. I have come to willing accept this as a wonderful part of my eternal being. And this blog has documented how I've received intimate and personal revelation in the Temple - a voice in my head as a clear and powerful message - from the Holy Ghost confirming that it's okay to be who I am, it's even okay to laugh about being distracted by beautiful men in the Lord's House, and that the Lord is laughing WITH me, not AT me, lovingly and gracefully acknowledging me - the whole me, the me that I've come to know and accept. I find peace and comfort, even progress in that.
Yet, I'm still stuck. I'm stuck in a rut. I'm trapped. I sense no real progression. I am not able to go forward, nor backward. I'm not OUT and so I'm still a prisoner in my own skin and circumstance. I have progressed to this point, but cannot progress any further. I've hit that hard ceiling of my closet's firm lid. My commitments, circumstances, environment, covenants, sacred vows, promises, keep me anchored for sure, anchored in good ways, but anchored nonetheless in this box. My convictions and personal witnesses are many and I am indeed grateful for the numerous tender mercies that keep me connected to that rod of iron, yet iron nonetheless around this ankle.
I've heard it said that if one is not moving forward, one is actually moving backward. Progress is only when one takes steps to change.
In some ways I have changed. I used to beg the Lord for the healing power of the atonement to HEAL me and make me whole from these afflicting attractions. I used to plead for the strengthening power of the atonement to STRENGTHEN me to resist these attractions and temptations. I now beg and plead for the Lord to HEAL my empty heart and feel the void that remains from years of self-loathing and guilt. I now plead for the Lord to STRENGTHEN me to be fearless in my self-acceptance, and to fight the fears that continue to plague me, each day wondering when I will stand up and be counted among the brave ones who don't shun their eternal true nature.
But I am not healed, nor free of guilt. And I remain fearful and weak, very weak, indeed.
In the coming days and weeks, I hope to write some more. I hope to find the inspiration that has recently been lacking, to place my thoughts again on this page. For you see... I still need this blog! Even if just for me to get it out there to be seen and heard by no one else but me! I still need to reach out, even be understood.
The readers of six years ago are mostly long gone, having moved on, progressed forward and upward to better places and better stages of life. Who is left? Who is out there? I need to know you are there. I don't chat anymore. I don't reach out to you as I did before. I don't meet you, break bread with you, embrace you. I hardly embrace anyone anymore, which is sad. I catch myself and stop myself from "doing what comes naturally" and each time I do, I do so consciously and purposefully limiting my reach, my touch - thus expanding that void.
In the real world, there's a shell, an empty man of lies and confusion, still in great need - six long years later!
Saturday, February 25, 2012
So... last week I sat on the front row of a Family Relations class with my wife at my side. The teacher, whether inspired or not, took my hand in hers and said something in front of the class but directly to me, staring me intently in the eyes - something that I've been pondering all week.
She said, referring to my wife: "When you said "yes" to her, at that moment, you also said "no" to everyone else, both MALE and female. You said "no" to other romances, needs, desires. At that moment, she became your romance, your need, your desire."
She then took my wife's hand, but still holding mine, and again speaking in front of the class, but directly to her, looked her in the eyes as intently as she had with me, and said: "When you said "yes" to him, you agreed to accept him completely and all that he is and isn't."
I was a bit shaken. I wasn't sure if she was inspired by the spirit to say what she said... but she summed up pretty precisely our relationship. Why did she say "MALE or female"? That sounded a bit odd. And why was my challenge to say "no" to everyone else and keep saying "yes" to my wife, instead of me being accepting of her? And why was she told to "accept" me for who I am, instead of saying "no" to everyone else?
In other words, she unknowingly cut us to the core, stripping all facades away. Maybe it was my fear of my "secret" being out that I felt like I was hiding behind a shear veil and everyone could see me for who I really am.
I am left wondering if I, forever, am to strip myself of my desires, needs, and attractions for men, and attempt to fill those needs instead with her. She, knowing of my desires, needs and attractions not naturally focused on her, is left, forever, to accept the real me for who I am. That is our lot in this life.
I'm struggling to put my desires and needs away neatly in the corner to focus solely on her, and yet, that is still my goal to do so. I have committed my life to be there with her, focused on her, focused on us. I don't always do that. I allow myself to drift at time, using means of "self-medication" to meet my boxed up needs. She knows, even if she doesn't fully understand. And for whatever unexplainable reason, she continues to accept me, the real me, and has come to accept that this is who I am, and for whatever reason, she still loves me just the same.
Now, those statements the teacher made could have been made to any couple. I understand that. We are not unique.
But, the uniqueness of our marriage, and its particular challenges we face together each day, hit home all the same.
And so it goes...
By the way, this is my 400th post! I'm quickly approaching the completion of my 6th year of blogging. At the rate I was posting in the first few years, I should have reached this point much sooner than now. At the rate I'm posting now, who knows if I'll get to 425 let alone 500 posts.
I have promised myself to continue to blog when I feel what I have to say is relevant to me and to this audience. At the moment, the frequency is down.... down, but still not out.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
January is always a very hard month. It isn't the post-holiday blues. Nor is it the increased darkness, cold, inversions that sink the soul. No, for me, it is something more...
January is the anniversary of my "coming out" to my wife. It's now been seven years! Where has the time gone? With each passing year, there are moments and events celebrating great improvement, but with each January, it's like those emotions of the first "revelation" of my attractions bubbles up again and renews its ugliness, if only in the sense of increased anxiety, emotions on edge, self-doubt and worthlessness all hitting her hard and thus affecting me as well.
In that environment, an amazing thing happened. It was a week ago in church. I was on the stand as usual and she was sitting second row back with clear eye contact with me. I could tell in reading her eyes that her emotions were close to the surface, ready to bubble over. We sang the closing hymn and our eyes locked. This particular hymn has special meaning to the two of us for a variety of reasons - it's one of "our hymns". As we sang, we didn't look down at the words - we knew them by heart - we stayed in an eye-lock.
In that connection, I tried to portray as I was singing, that I loved her, that I still did even after seven years of the "revelation", and that I hoped she felt that, too.
I started singing in our shared second language, and she could tell from my lips that I was no longer singing in English. I could see her change to our second shared language as well. It was then that I was hit by a spiritual feeling that overwhelmed my body - something that I hesitate to share but feel I need to. In that moment, I felt an assurance that I still did love her, that I did want to stay with her, that we are meant for each other to be connected despite my attractions otherwise, and how grateful I am for her still being there with me after these seven years!
It was an incredible moment of peace, knowledge, assurance, pure intelligence all in one. I started to tear up and so did she. That was it... and then it was over.
More than not, I wonder if sharing such personal feelings really has any value to this community anymore. I'm at the point of thinking I have nothing more to share... I've hesitated to share this very personal experience. But I hope it has value for others as they read this.
The feeling that came did not say that my feelings for men will go away or even decrease, they just are... and that is the way it just is... but it's okay, and it's okay to still share my life with an incredible, amazingly wonderful woman, and how grateful I am for these last seven tough years.
I hope that has value to you.
Thanks for listening.