Monday, February 11, 2008

A Prayer . . . and an answer

I think that my post last night was as close to a sincere prayer as I've had in a long time. I really expressed my feelings and let the Lord (and others) know exactly how I felt. I haven't done that. I just pray for what I think I'm supposed to pray for. I usually feel too guilty to express anger at God. But that is where I ended up last night, with a desperate plea for some evidence that He cares.

And I think that I might just be experiencing that answer right now. I haven't received any clear answers. I'm still confused and angry and frustrated. But I don't feel quite as alone or abandoned as I did. I have a sense of hope about staying true and faithful, in spite of the struggle. I need to find a way to keep that sense of purpose even when I feel miserable and alone. I do still need a friend. I don't have a clue how that is going to happen, but until it does, I can rely on my Savior. I may still hate the imperfect way the Church and it's leaders handle this situation, but I know He loves me and cares for me.

I love my wife so much. I tell myself that I only love her as a friend, but what is the difference between that and what a husband "should" feel? Really? So I don't experience the "ideal" feelings with her. Isn't that the attitude I hate in the Church? Can't a relationship still be good, even really good, despite the fact that it isn't "ideal?" Can't I still be good, really good, even though I don't fit the ideal pattern? I really don't think that I could bring myself to leave her. I'd end up doing something stupid, and then I'd forever regret the damage I'd done to our relationship. I don't think I could live with that.

I'm not all better. One brief touch of hope can't compensate for weeks of pain and despair. However, it has made me stop and think. I'm curious to see what happens next.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

On a Ledge

I am referencing my very first post Making the Decision. I really don't know where I am going with this, but I need to write to sort some things out. Anyway I am back on the ledge: looking down, looking up. It isn't the same ledge, but I'm faced with the same decision.

Only now, I have already tried one of the two options. I have tried to climb upward. I was reaching so hard. I believed in the promises whispered by the still, small voice. I made every effort I could to rise to the top. In many ways I made it. The problem is that once on top (back completely living the gospel), I found out I really was as alone as I had remembered. There were a couple of people who may have given an effort to try to help. Unfortunately, all they could do was say, "Just be happy. Keep trying. It's worth it."

That's not a whole hell of a lot of help. It doesn't help to know that what I'm going through is normal. In fact it makes it worse. I simply cannot believe that a "Loving Heavenly Father" would put His "children" through misery like this. Whether or not the Church is actually true is of little importance. John 7:17 says "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." Well, I've done His will and I have felt nothing but abandoned. A testimony is a personal witness, the things we know. Well, I know that God has not lived up to the promises made by His servants. Now whether that means the Church is not true, or that God doesn't exist, or that He simply doesn't care, I don't know. And, really, it doesn't matter to me. I can't rely on other people's testimonies, and God has ruined his chance to preserve mine. If the Church really is true, then that means that I am simply not Celestial material, because I can't live the gospel with what he has given me to work with.

Maybe if God had directed me to Provo, then I would have had the opportunity to meet and make friends with other people who are going through the same thing. But I felt "directed" to be here. I never would have met my wife if I was in Provo. And I believed that I was supposed to marry her and that everything would work out for me as long as I kept doing all that I was supposed to do. Well, here I am alone. I guess that's God's plan for me. He really must want to see me fail, or else He made a really big mistake. He has just pushed me too far. His only hope to keep me from completely losing my faith in him is to find a way to kill me soon, so everything will be okay in the next life, just like He promised. I won't take my own life, though I have desperately wanted to. But the church teaches that death is the only way to be happy.

I know some of you are saying that there really is a way for me to be happy and fulfilled living the gospel. I don't believe it. There may be for you, but not for me. My therapist convinced me to talk with me wife to help her understand my needs so that she can work to fill them. 1) Sexually, telling her can't help. 2) I did talk to her about my emotional needs for connection. And she has been great at trying to meet my needs. The problem is that I feel even worse. I don't feel any more connection, but I do feel guilty that she is trying so hard. It is neither her fault nor mine that I am flawed to the point that the things that should help don't.

And it isn't like I sit around and wallow in m own self-pity. I do so much to serve her and try to make her happy. I also find a lot of ways to serve others. The gospel promises that service is supposed to help me feel better: happier and less concerned about my own problems. Again, it just makes things worse. I don't know what else I can do for the service cure to work.

The last week I have started to consider leaving the Church and everything. I don't believe that it could be any worse than what I am going through right now. Before, one of the main things keeping me from doing so was the fear of eternal consequences. But now, I really can't say that I believe that. Right now the ONLY thing keeping me from packing up and leaving is knowing how it would rip my wife's heart to shreds. Still, I know that this struggle is taking its toll on her as well. I'm beginning to think that she would be better off without me. She is still young enough to find someone who can feel and be what she deserves. It might hurt her like hell in the short run, but it would be better for her than me dragging her though this hell for the nest 50 years, or even worse, leading her on and having kids before I lose my strength to pretend anymore.

The funny thing is that since I have considered leaving, I have felt the first hint of hope and happiness that I have felt in weeks. If God really wanted me to live the Gospel why wouldn't he have let me feel some hope sooner? Why would my personal experiences go so directly contrary to what the gospel promises?

Anyway, I haven't jumped yet. I haven't actually decided that I am going to jump. However, I'm here on a ledge. I'm not in a great rush to make up my mind, but I can't stand here in the middle for long.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


I really feel like I've hit the end of my rope. I am so sick of this fight going on inside of me. I feel like I really don't have any choices left. The gospel and everything associated with it have an iron grip on one half of my soul and my challenges in mortality have an equally unyielding grip on the other. Neither are going to let go. For all his power, God seems content to just keep pulling. I cannot choose one without cutting off the other half of my soul. I oscillate between which half I'd rather lose. In the meantime, my soul is getting stretched thinner and thinner. Maybe someday it will just snap and I won't have to worry about this struggle anymore.

I've lost all hope of finding any fulfillment in a "healthy" same-sex relationship. Straight guys simple don't like me. I used to have a lot of hope that developing relationships and making friends with other guys would help ease my pain. Now, I'm convinced that isn't possible within the Church.

I am so sick of the Church and it's incessant preaching that if I just "live the gospel," everything will work out. When? "Oh, In the next life. Then all the holes in your soul will be fixed." That brings two thoughts to mind:
1) Why would such wise leaders make it so painfully clear that the only hope I have for happiness in living the gospel is death. That could easily be 57
or more miserable, agonizing years away. That is, if I don't do anything to shorten it, which happens to be an unforgivable sin.
2) So the hopelessness of the above brings me to my current conclusion: maybe I don't want all those hole fixed. Maybe the holes are caused by the gospel.

I have become so apathetic toward everything related to the church: my callings, this stupid school, even worse the men leading it who get confused about whether or not they are God. I absolutely hate going to church on Sunday. I can't even read more than a few verses from the scriptures with out slamming them shut in disgust. Is it really better to read them at all then?

I am just so lonely. I am having a hard time believing that this can really be God's plan for me, if he even has one.