Wednesday, November 28, 2007


This is really going to be a vent session. I'm sure I won't feel quite this way later today, but these feelings are very real for now.

Sometimes I get so angry at the way the Church handles issues like same gender attraction. The advice is just to pray more and read your scriptures then everything will be okay. I wish that even just one of the apostles had faced these feeling in his own life. Maybe then someone would begin to give counsel that really is helpful to those in the situation.

I really don’t know what more could be said. I just get frustrated with all the promises that I hear on such a regular basis. The biggest among these is if you keep the commandments, you will be happy. I am keeping the commandments. I say my prayers. I read the scriptures daily. I am not happy.

I feel so lonely. Sometimes I can’t imagine the gay lifestyle being any more lonely or difficult. I understand temptations, but feeling this strongly from so deep in my heart is just cruelty. If God allows me to feel this way and still demands my obedience to a law of chastity, how can he be considered loving?

I've had a rough couple of day's with my relationship with my wife. She has had some rough days at school and that frustration has carried over into our relationship. So now I feel really alone.

It is so easy to believe that there is a man out there who would be willing to help me feel wanted and appreciated and still value my needs and desires. Maybe not. Maybe not. Maybe this is as good as my life is meant to get. I guess I should just be content with the hell I’m living.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Longing and Fear

I haven’t journaled nearly like I should have. So, this is going to be long.

I just had a very emotional dream where a mission friend of mine and I became friends again. He wanted some food from the country we served in. Anyway, I patched things up with him in the dream just before I woke up this morning. It was such a powerful dream. The feelings were so strong even after I woke up. He lives here in the same town as I do, but I haven’t seen him once, even though he’s been home for over a year. I had some pretty deep and powerful feelings for him on my mission and although I tried so hard to cover them up, I felt like he figured it out just before I got transferred. I simply haven’t had the guts to contact him and see how he responds.

Last weekend my wife and I were in Wal-Mart when we ran into a friend form High School that I haven’t seen since graduation. He was one of the first guys I ever really had a crush on. We had a few classes together and I wanted so badly for our casual relationship to be something deeper that I turned to fantasizing about sexual “male bonding.” Those feelings for him as well as the deeper emotional needs came flooding back to me that night. It is sometimes hard to truly believe with all my heart that acting on my sexual desires won’t fulfill those emotional needs.

I know that I need to some how develop healthy relationships with other men, but I am scared. I just don’t know how. I guess the feeling that I am having strongest right now is one of regret. I truly regret having let so many opportunities for friendship slip right through my fingers. I have been so afraid of re-experiencing the rejection I felt as a child, that I still keep myself emotionally detached and when the other guy doesn’t seem super excited about a the friendship, I cut him off. I can’t believe I have been so stupid! There are so many mission and High School friends that I could try to rebuild friendships with. But I don’t.

I want to justify myself and say that I am too busy, but that is a lie. I choose to spend the time in the safety of my home with my wife. I know that is a good thing, but I’ll never fill my deep needs for male companionship and friendship if I don’t try. I’m too afraid. I really don’t know what I’m afraid of. Rejection? If I never put myself on the line, I can’t be rejected because of who I am. Would rejection really be any different than never trying? Yet, is it really possible for ME to develop a relationship that is meaningful and fills my needs? Or will being around another man and getting closer to him, just make my longing for something more worse?

Who am I anyway? I have so long identified myself by labels and interests. Wrestler, Piano player, good student, cowboy. I like good music. I like to read. But who AM I? I believe I am a son of God. But what does that mean in my life today? I can’t bring myself to consign myself to the happiness that homework and work bring. Isn’t there more to life? Can the purpose of this life really be to just get through each day without leaving too many things undone? Sometimes I feel nothing more than obligation to live the perfect life: family, school, work, church callings, is that really all there is to life. Then why does my life feel so damn meaningless?

There are moments when I feel like things are okay and that happiness really does come from living by the Gospel, then I have days like today and I just want to put a gun to my head and pull the trigger. The inner contradiction just seems like to much to handle. I hate it.

Earlier this week I had a really good talk with my wife about my issues. I discussed my need to feel friendship with another male. She was so supportive and kind. She listened for 4 hours while I vented. Then I went and gave in to my habit of P and M that night! What the hell was I thinking? That had been the first relapse since my “Decision.” I told her about it the next afternoon and she was so good to me. I don’t deserve her. I am going to do better, but days like this really make it hard to control my feelings.

We had a really nice time at my wife’s family on Thanksgiving. It is a little hard because her brother, who’s 20, is pretty good-looking and really cool as well. I feel so awkward around him. I feel so damned awkward around any guy. Then we spent today with my family. I helped my dad with some projects around the yard. That was good. It took my mind off of things for a little while.

I read an e-mail conversation between my dad’s siblings about Sister Beck’s General Conference Talks. Apparently a number of women across the country have spoken out against her portrayal of the ideal LDS women. Although I really didn’t feel too strongly about that particular issue I felt that the discussion could have just as easily been about a General Authority’s comments about Same-Sex Attraction. A couple of my Uncles and my Aunt were fairly blunt that anyone who felt bad about the Church’s portrayal of the “Ideal Life” must be steeped in sin and not have the Holy Ghost with them. Anyone who was depressed about anything relating to the ideals of the Church just doesn’t have a testimony. I wanted so badly to write something. It made me so angry!

If anyone were to observe my life it would seem so good and perfect. The thing is that nobody gets to see what goes on inside my head. No one else has to deal with the feelings raging inside me.

I don’t know what I was really trying to say other than venting my feelings and confusion. Sorry it was long. Thanks to anyone who is reading this.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Up and Down

This process is sure a long one. Thanks so much for your supportive messages. I means so much to finally have others know and still want to help.

I spoke with my Bishop on Thursday night. I was nervous about how he would respond. I didn't think I could handle anything but support. He just said, "I'm unfamiliar with Same Gender Attraction, but have received a lot of information form Salt Lake. I need to study up on it." He was so supportive and positive. He was so grateful that I told him and was starting the process of changing. He told me he did have experience with pornography and gave me some very helpful counsel about how do deal with that addiction. I was amazed at the love he showed me. He gave me a blessing and the part that really stuck out to me was that he blessed me with patience, not only with myself as I work to overcome this, but also toward those who would try to help. It felt so good to finally know that I had done what I needed to be right before the Lord. I know that the repentance process is far form over, but the hardest part is.

Yesterday I was hit with the realization that this battle is far from over. The previous couple of days had been really easy for me as far as the feelings for other men are concerned. I guess I had kind of hoped that the process was beginning to work But today they were back with a vengeance. It was a little depressing.

Also, I think that the reality of the situation hit my wife. She was very quiet. She doesn't feel that she is quite ready to talk about all of her thoughts and feelings. I can totally understand that. I have had years to work out how I feel about my situation and I'm still in the dark. I can only imagine how she is feeling after three days. Still, it is hard. She is really my only friend and with our relationship strained, (still filled with love, but awkward) I struggle. She did tell me that she still loves me and needs to realize that I am the same person I was before. I've been dealing with these feelings all along; the only difference now is that I am getting help and she knows.

This morning has been a lot better though. I have learned that I need to be proactive about being ready for feelings and temptations. I simply cannot afford to neglect daily prayer, scripture study, or serving my wife.

This journey sure isn't going to be easy. Before when I turned to P and M to satisfy my urges, I was able to somewhat repress them. Now I can only pray for the strength to resist long enough for my heart to begin to change. No, this won't be easy. Still, I know there is hope. I cannot begin to describe my feelings of gratitude to the Lord. The reassurance and love that I have felt form him are overwhelming at times. Has he taken away my trials? No. But I no longer feel so alone and powerless. Someday, the pull of attraction to men will have no power over me. Until that day? I keep reaching upward.

Again thanks so much for your advice and support. I will continue to stay in touch.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Making the Decision

I wrote this on Tuesday of this week, the day I decided to finally deal with my feelings of Same Sex Attraction rather than giving into it. I post it here in hopes that it might be of some help to someone else who is struggling to make the same decision.

Right now I am standing on a narrow ledge. I’m hundreds of feet down from the top of the cliff. Above me is an un-climbable wall devoid of hand holds. I cannot ascend more than a few feet. The only direction I can go now is down. That is what I’ve been doing for the last year and a half. Now I am here as far down as I can inch. Below me is the great unknown. I see clouds far below me. They look like little sheep, they’re so far down. The ledge on which I stand is very narrow. I have barely enough room to stand. Here on this little ledge I am being torn apart. Feelings inside of me are screaming “Jump!” These voices are as real and as powerful as anything I’ve ever known. They tell me that freedom is below. True happiness awaits. It is easy to believe. Things both above and here on the ledge are hard, unhappy. I don’t fit in. This part of my being yearns for something real. It swears that it is right, natural. I never asked for these feelings. It’s not my fault that they’re here. Maybe I do belong down there, wherever that is. Jump! Go for it! Do it before it’s too late! Live true to yourself, don’t let them make you miserable. Why shouldn’t you just do what you’ve always wanted?

Another other part of me resists. I look down into the void below. As I contemplate jumping, it tries to convince me not to. It throws out so many reasons. Some say it isn’t worth it. Only pain and misery lie at the bottom. Still, I know that pain and sadness are part of the life above as well. Why is one pain better than another? Your family will be disappointed and hurt. Your wife will be devastated. How could you do that to her? How could you be so selfish to do just what you want? These feelings are wicked and wrong. What have I always wanted? To feel loved, accepted. To belong and to be valued. Why can’t they understand that. Why is it so wrong to need a friend, to need some one who cares about me? Why must I always be the one to sacrifice? They always say sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven. Where are they? Why am I so unhappy and unfulfilled? How can it be my fault? If these feelings are such an abomination why are they here inside of me? Why do I have struggle so hard just to get through life? Where is the joy? I have tried so hard, so very hard, to live as I should. To do everything just right. How can a life so miserable, be divinely appointed? I’ve tried so many times to get back on top, I doubt I actually can. One by one, the first army of voices defeats and disarms every attempt to stop me from jumping. The war inside me is destroying the battlefield. I feel my heart being torn, broken. Tears pour from my eyes.

And then, from deep inside another voice cries out. It is barley audible, scarcely more than a feeling. “Please,” it pleads, “remember.” Remember what? All of my pain? All of the things I’ve never experienced? It doesn’t react defensively to my anger. In the same soft tone it answers. “Remember how you’ve felt when you were close to me. Remember the times before, on other cliffs, when you were ready to jump, so tired of the struggle. You were not alone. You are not alone now. You’ve never been alone. I Am here with you. You don’t have to jump. You don’t have to do this. I promise that you will not be happy. The others up above don’t always see clearly. That life is not what matters. However, it is the only way that you can find your way to the life that awaits. You are not as alone up there as you might think. I have friends who will help you. They won’t judge you. You will meet many, even those who claim to be my friends who will still hurt you. But my friends will only help you. You’re right. You can’t get back up. But with their help and with my power, the way is open if you so choose. I know that right now the choice is not easy. The way to return will be difficult. It may take a very long time. But I promise that it is worth every second, every pang of discomfort. You aren’t sure right now whether you believe me. I do not condemn your uncertainty. I can only plead that you will believe me. I have been in your shoes. I have heard the voices you hear, but please, please don’t listen. I was able to resist their allure. And yes, they are alluring and they are powerful. But I did it and I know you can, too. I will help you and guide you every step of the way. I know the way to a happier life. Take my hand, please.”

I paused for a moment, the truth of his words slowly sinking into my heart. I had felt happy before, fleeting moments. I had somehow survived other ledges, other calls to jump. Could the promise of a life beyond the one above really be true? If it was he couldn’t jump. If all the voice said really was true, it would be worth anything to achieve it. Could I find the path to true joy above? Would I find the love and companionship I needed up there?

At this thought, the first voices respond with demonic power. They scream inside my head and heart. “Don’t listen to his lies!” they order. “That’s just the remains of the false traditions of your fathers. Nothing matters but the here and now. There is no happiness to be found above. Jump now before it’s too late!” The last voice is quiet but strong. It resists the attacks of the first easily. In the quiet, meek pleas I now see a wrath against these feelings. He sees them as his enemy, our enemy. The enemy of the man I could become and the life and joy I could have. He strikes with vengeance and precision. Still the feelings in side of me are strong. They fight with a fury I have never known. The war inside me is destroying the battlefield. I feel my heart being torn, broken. Tears pour from my eyes.

I know of the strength and power and rage of these feelings. Somehow now they seem weak, even afraid. Many times before, I had thought “Maybe I could try to climb up again.” At the thought the feelings seemed to give up, but now I see that they were secretly laughing. “Go ahead and try.” They would scoff. They knew I’d fall again, sliding further and further down the cliff. Each time they grew stronger. Each time they pulled a little harder and a little further. They continued this game, until now I am here as low as I can go without jumping. Why don’t they play the game again? Could it be that they fear the power of the voice? Could he really have the power to bring me back to the top, free from their grasp?

I look upward and see for the first time a thin cord just above my head. A small note is attached to the end. I can barely make out the words. “Pull for help.” Was this the way to meet the friends he promised to send? Would they really come? Or would I simply prolong and enlarge my pain and misery, falling again to this same place just later, maybe too late to find the freedom the feelings promised? I don’t know. I really don’t. But I do know one thing. I can’t stay here. The war will destroy me. I either jump or reach up. Down the easy, fast way or up a painful, difficult process. What do I really want?

Breathing deep, I close my eyes and. . .

Reach upward.