Saturday, December 29, 2012
So tonight as I was pouring over my iTunes library looking for music that fit my angsty mood, I received a text message from my friend Cassie. She's in Colorado Springs for the break visiting with her parents.
Cassie randomly wanted to know what the name of my hometown was. I told her and asked why. Turns out she was talking to her parents about me. Her parents had seen several pictures of us together on Facebook and thought that we looked good together. I laughed and told Cassie that I had several family members as well as roommates say the same thing. Then Cassie dropped a bomb on me: she thought we looked good together too (and yes in that sense).
I've known Cassie for a about a year now. She's pretty, funny, and hard working. We're good friends in the sense that we hang out a lot. I know a ton about her (from the number of people she's kissed to the mistakes she's made earlier in her life). She doesn't know much about me. She doesn't know anything about me being gay. As far as she's concerned, I'm just a guy who likes to dress well and spends a tedious amount of time on his hair in the morning. She's asked a lot about how I'm doing and usually regardless of what's going on in my life I tell her I'm fine. I've gotten the vibe over the past couple of weeks that she may have feelings for me but I brushed them off as paranoia from Finals.
So... Cassie likes me and is interested in pushing our friendship past friendship. In all honesty I'm freaked. I feel awkward when one on one with most girls. I've been looking for reasons why I couldn't date her when the fact of the matter is I'm afraid. I'm afraid I can't reciprocate her feelings towards me which realistically right now, I really don't think I can.
The thought of being a boyfriend or something like that to a girl gives me severe anxiety. Of course that's what I want in the long run, but right now the thought of making out with let alone kissing a girl feels extremely uncomfortable. I know how to be a good boyfriend; opening the doors, cuddling, cute text messages, flowers, dates, movie nights, holding hands, etc. But I don't know how to be a REAL boyfriend. In other words, I like the idea but not the biggest fan of the execution of it.
I told her that we will go on a date when I get back to school. I figure no harm can come from one date, so we will see what happens.
I'll keep y'all posted.
Friday, December 28, 2012
If you're looking for uplifting post, turn away now. Click back, read some other blog that makes their life seem like a walk in the park or go to LDS.org and read the latest message from the apostles. This post is not going to be happy in the least. You've been warned.
You know that moment in The Dark Knight Rises where Bruce Wayne is in prison and doing sit-ups and the prison doctor says that he is afraid of Bane? Do you remember his response? "I'm not afraid. I'm angry." Yeah that's me right now. Combine that with the bitch Miranda sticking a knife in his side while his back is turned.
Honesty is something that has always been important to me. My dad cheated on my mom. My ex-girlfriend (who I was practically engaged to) cheated on me with at least two other guys while we were dating. I don't trust people easily, but when I do, I trust them with everything. Lose my trust, you're gonna have to work your ass off to earn it back.
One of my charms/character flaws is that I am always honest. I say what I think and hold no bars with it. I'm not gonna pretend to like someone if I don't like them, but I'm also going to stick by my word if I do something. People always come to me if they want an honest opinion. They know I will level with them. My sisters do it all the time when they're trying on clothes.
My youngest sister is a pathological liar. She's so frustrating because she attempts to convince our family that she is living like she was taught when we all know she's living with her boyfriend, having sex, partying, drinking, etc. What makes me more angry than anything is that she doesn't own up to what she does. Don't pretend to be something your not.
My sisters actions and my feelings toward them pretty much sum up how I feel right now about other people in my life. I've had a couple of people come into my life recently who seem to have no problem pointing out my faults, mistakes and shortcomings. They seem to be under the mistaken delusion at times that I was romantically attracted to them (don't flatter yourself honey). I was being a good friend. You know what that means? Honesty, loyalty, compassion, and love. Don't bull shit me and accuse me of behaving a certain way or having other motives when I've always been upfront and honest. It's funny how they can be so quick to point the finger and then turn around and go do the thing that they were so worried that I was going to do to them.
People make mistakes and I get that. But don't tell me one thing and go around and do another, because the thing you feared so much with me is the thing you're now doing. Your word is all you have and once you go past your word, you have nothing.
From For The Strength of Youth
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
It's that time of year again. The year has come to a close and I get to not only reflect on the past year but also on the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We know the story of a faithful and righteous couple who trusted in God, expressed great faith. An angel appeared to the virgin Mary and told her she would conceive a son. Her son would be the Savior, the literal son of God. Very willingly and at a young age mind you she obeyed. Joseph whom Mary was espoused to, discovered Mary was pregnant and was going to quietly put her way. Then an angel appeared Joseph and told him what Mary had told him was true.
The couple made their way by donkey to the city of Bethlehem to be taxed. There they went inn to inn looking for a place to stay. One inn had no room but found pity in the young couple. He put them up in his stable.
There Jesus Christ, the King of Kings was born. Not in a palace nor place of importance. No, the Savior of the World was born in a stable amongst cows and chickens, in a manger.
From the most humble of beginnings came the great Prince of Peace. The one who would later perform the greatest act of love that has ever, and will ever occur; the atonement.
What hit me while I pondering the birth of our Savior was that though he was a God. He had to be born like we did. He had to experience the growing pains of life just as every one does. He had to learn and grow, he didn't just come to earth and start performing miracles and doing Heavenly Father's work. He had to work his way there.
Like him, I must go through my earthly trials and experiences to reach my eternal potential. Though born under less than ideal circumstances (being born with gay tendencies), I can and will through the Savior reach where I need to be.
Looking back over the past year, I'm so grateful for the experiences that I've had. I've gone through some hard things but always made it out on top. I've had some incredible people enter into my life that make wonder how I ever lived without them. I'm so blessed to have members of my family as well as the greatest friends that one could hope for who not only love me but support me in my challenges.
To everyone who reads my blog, I hope each of y'all have a Merry Christmas. May you feel the love and blessings of the Savior in your life.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Have you ever had your life moving along quite nicely and then were completely blindsided by something? I have, multiple times. The most recent was Thursday as I was riding in the car with my Mother on the way to the chiropractor.
A couple months ago I asked my parents if I could order some new shoes and a couple new shirts. They said yes and they gave me their card to pay for it. I order the shoes and then ordered the five shirts that we agreed upon from Express. I got an email from Express saying that one of the shirts was out of stock so they refunded the money and shipped me the other four. One of the four I didn't like and sent it back. So instead of buying two more shirts, I bought three pairs of chinos from American Eagle instead that cost the same as one button-up from Express.
Now my younger sister is a pathological liar and lives a lifestyle contrary to that she was raised. She thinks we don't know what she does, but we do. My parents finally wised up about my sister and stopped giving her money or helping her altogether.
While riding in the car, my Mother accused me of lying to her and my Dad and using their card for more than what they said I could use it for. I tried to explain but she kept accusing me and shouting about the extra charges on the card with all the exchanging at Express and American Eagle purchase. It was hurtful because she was accusing me of acting like my dishonest little sister and then not even giving me the chance to defend myself.
Up to this point, I was so happy because I had been more honest with my parents over the past year and a half then I'd been in my entire life. Then here they are thinking I'm fraudulently using their credit card.
Her next accusation was that I bought the clothes to look like my buddy (who is also gay). She said that the clothing was flamboyant (colored pants) and she didn't want me to try to be someone else. Then I tried to explain to her that I bought the clothes because I like them, they were what was in style and I'm more than confident in myself at 23 years old and don't follow the crowd to fit in. I haven't done that shit since middle school. I told her I've loved clothes and fashion forever (stereotypical gay I know) and how was this any different.
To top off the conversation, she said that the weekend that that same buddy and I came down to hang out with her, my dad and my sister's family, my sister thought I was coming out of the closet (I haven't told her about me) and introducing my partner to my family. She told my mom that she loved me no matter what but she didn't want "that behavior" around her children. I was hurt and furious. My parents never said anything to me because they knew that my buddy and I were just friends. But my mother did make the comment that we have a lot of pictures together and that we drape are arms around each other a lot.
I explained that I've been that way since High School. I played on sports teams, plus serving a mission and just being a touchy person. I like to touch people. I hug people, I put my arm around them. I always have. It's never been a gay thing, that's just me. It's freaking society who says that guys can't express emotion and love towards one another without being gay.
So instead of my sister pulling me aside and asking me about it. She was completely rude and bitchy about it the whole weekend. She went and spoke to everyone about it but me.
Anyways... I digress.
To say the least, I was blind sided completely. My mom proceeded to tell me that my little brother asked her if I was gay as well as other people.
I don't even know how to feel right now. It's like I came home for Christmas and my family was holding this all against me and was waiting for the moment to dump it on me. It's like GMSW's big coming out party to his family.
Kinda at a point right now where I wish I didn't come home.
I thought my family trusted me and my parents were cool with the whole gay thing. Apparently I was wrong.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
I had originally thought that this blogpost was going to be about me making a joke about being gay to my parents, which at the time was really funny and it was cool to be able to joke with my parents and have both of them know. But my mind has fallen on heavier matters.
I have never in my life questioned if the Church was true. I've gone through my stages of rebellion, whether that be wearing tight dark pants with a studded belt, vans, and a beanie over dark hair in high school, or shaving my head into a mohawk at BYU to directly defy the honor code. I've always had a knack for doing things for shock value, but it has never been about the Church.
I know the Church is true and always have. I have a mother who would become the next prophet if females held the priesthood. She raised me to know and love the church. I have my complaints and doubts at times but always and unwavering I know it to be true.
I've experienced other churches and dabbled in "other' lifestyles at times, but nothing has brought me happiness and peace as the Church has. That being said, things have been and still are hard.
It's so difficult to want to be intimate with another man, or to want to marry another man and know that that's not God's will. Being gay gives you these inexplainable wells of deep rooted emotion. An aching daily heart is just something that you get used to living with, if at times it is stronger/weaker than others.
One who is not a member of the church may make the suggestion to just forget the church and go live the gay lifestyle. Hell, go marry a man. Why wouldn't you want to be happy?
First of all, let me be the first to say that though I struggle with reconciling my faith and my feelings, I am happy. The majority of my time is spent smiling and laughing. I find joy in this life. It's those moments that come up and I have time to dwell on being alone that I become disheartened.
Marrying and being intimate with a man is not an option. We know that because of the scriptures and modern day prophets. I firmly believe them and know that this was a trial that I was given. It took me a long time to be okay with that, but I do.
I could never marry a man because 1.) Anal sex is dangerous. The rectum is not lubricated like the vagina and you risk tearing that could lead to infection and possibly aids. 2.) Acting out with a man disqualifies me from ever donating blood or plasma ever again. 3.) I would be excommunicated from the Church and any marriage or adoption of Children would be a temporal thing in this life. 4.) Once the Savior came, I would be alone and in a lower kingdom. I would be shut out of heaven. 5.) Our Heavenly Father says it's wrong.
I know that this life is but a moment in the eternal scheme of things. I know that the trials and things that we face are here to give us experience and make us better. I know that I accepted this trial of being gay. I know that I will marry a woman one day, it just might not necessarily be in this life. Most importantly, I know that I am a son of God with eternal potential and worth and that he loves me very much.
Monday, December 17, 2012
Don't get me wrong... I think that it's awesome that there is this whole community within the Church of gay guys who blog, as well as North Star. It's awesome that guys like myself don't have to deal with this by ourselves. We can reach out and learn from each other. We can receive messages of hope and know that there are other guys out there going through the same things.
The downfall of it all, it IS the gay community even if it is members of the church. The gay community is freaking dramatic.
Being gay tends to harbor feelings of loneliness, neediness, jealousy, and pettiness. Gay guys are typically more emotional then your average straight guy. Those heavy emotional needs lead to behavior I would compare to those of a teenage girl.
I'm a very private person. When it comes to Facebook, I post pictures and sarcastic status'. There's nothing personal on there. When it comes to people knowing about my life, there are very few that I talk to and even fewer that actually know everything about me. It's not that I don't have a ton of friends. In the vernacular, I would be what one deems as "popular". But of all my friends, maybe one or two do I actually speak to on a deep level.
I've stated several times before, I'm a damn good friend. I go out of my way to go above and beyond for all my friends. Texts, phone calls, Facebook, little things just because. That's what I believe by definition to be a good friend. In doing all that for someone, I expect a friend to reciprocate some of those same things. When they don't, I tend to become disappointed, and I know that.
What really pisses me off is when others use my desire/needs to be a good friend against me. There's no hidden agenda, there's no hidden motive. When I do or say something, it's from my heart. I don't want to compete with other guys for friendships. I also don't want my intentions turned against me.
The gay community just gossips and perpetuates things. Instead of talking to someone about an issue and being sincere, they go around to each other spreading things like a group of high school girls. I'm just over it.
It feels like more often than not there's a lot of people who are unhappy with their own lives, so they use their negative feelings to bring down others. I don't care what other people do with their lives. But when they bring themselves and their negative energy into my life, I'm not okay with it. I expect to live my own life and mind my own business and do the best I can. I wish others would too.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Sunday, December 9, 2012
After months of frustration in particular friendships with people, I came to a crossroads. I was done feeling like I wasn't good enough, I was done feeling like just an option, I was done feeling like I was not a priority. I stopped trying in some of friendships I really held dear because I was so tired of feeling hurt. I was so done. I still consider these friends to be dear to me, but they need to realize what they've been doing. They need to take the incentive now, I'm not going to be burned anymore.
To deal with the lack of communication with certain friends. I threw myself that much more into my school work and church things. I was being the perfect home teacher, giving blessings and coming once a month. I would go to the temple. I would truly seek the comfort of the spirit since I felt so alone.
Then life hands me a wild card..
I met a fellow brother fighting the good fight and something happened: we clicked. It's so easy to speak with him, I never want to stop. It sounds super gay but he makes me smile all the time. He genuinely expresses concern and reciprocates things like I've always wanted from a friend. He invests in me and wants me to invest in him. He give me the warm fuzzies. He just makes me feel so good. It feels so wonderful to not only be wanted, but to feel like there is someone out there who is thankful for the friend that you are to them. It feels good to have a healthy emotional connection with another guy. It sounds weird, but I feel like I just want him to know everything about me. I feel I can be one hundred percent open and honest and it's okay. No judgement.
Friday, November 30, 2012
Les Miserables is one of my all time favorite musicals. The music is beautiful and so powerful. My favorite song is I Dreamed a Dream and it is performed in the first act by the character Fantine.
Some background information: Fantine is a working class French woman very much in love with a man named Félix Tholomyès. Tholomyès abandons Fantine, leaving her to to care for Tholomyès' daughter, Cosette, by herself. Fantine out of lack of means to provide for Cosette, is forced to leave her in the care of the corrupt and selfish Thénardiers. She sends money to pay for Cosette's keep.
Unbeknownst to Fantine, Cosette is being abused and used as labor for the Thénardiers' inn. The Thénardiers lie to Fantine about the costs of Cosette and use the money for their own selfish wants.
Fantine is later fired from her job at Jean Valjean's factory, because of the discovery of her daughter, who was born out of wedlock. Meanwhile, the Thénardiers' letters and monetary demands continue to grow. In desperation, Fantine sells her hair, her two front teeth, and is forced to resort to prostitution to pay for her daughter's "care." Fantine is also slowly dying from tuberculosis.
At this moment when singing I Dreamed a Dream, Fantine finds herself at the lowest point she has ever been in her life. She laments the state of her life, how she started with so many dreams and expectations. Her lover left her. Her daughter is no longer in her care. She lost her job to provide for her daughter. She sold her hair, her teeth and is attempting to make money being a prostitute. In anguish, in sadness, in frustration, in utter despair she questions what went wrong in her life.
I included the trailer of Anne Hathaway singing in the new Les Miserables movie. She may not have the best voice but that doesn't matter. She was recorded singing the song live on set. She really cut her hair for the role. She really lost all that wait to become Fantine. The song proves it. You can hear her pain and anguish when you listen.
I've never felt so close to Fantine as I do now. Not that I've lost my lover (yeah that's a good one), or my hair, my teeth, my child or forced to become a prostitute. I just feel all my dreams, my plans, things I envisioned and wanted, attempted to do have not only not happened, but failed. I feel like the whole gay card causes a lot of that. My emotions over the past week or so have caused me to rape the replay button on my iPod and play this song over and over and over again.
I had a dream my life would be...
Monday, November 26, 2012
Friendships are like the Stock Market. It's dangerous, risky, and you're not always guaranteed a return. Invest too much into a bad stock and you'll lose everything. Invest into the right stock, you become rich. Continuous trading of your stocks will put you at a stand still, you will not progress in the marketplace and will become quite discontent with your situation.
I've been doing a lot of thinking the past week or so just evaluating friendships and people in my life, or more accurately stated attempted friendships in my life. I take an interest in someone and will generally want to be their friend. In doing so I'm investing anything and everything I have to that friendship. Texts, Facebook, phone calls, little favors just because, going to lunch, hanging out. I sincerely care about a person. I have a theory that my intensity with friendship is a sort of compulsive behavior which overwhelms people. So more often than not I make this investment and instead of the investment being worth it, I'm let down by people who don't care or really have an interest.
I promise I'm not that bad. I promise that I'm a damn good friend if you actually let me be one. I'm raw and honest. But I have a complete and unconditional love for my friends.
It seems though will all my efforts I still fall by the wayside. My returns are bad, people don't see my stock as something worth investing in.
It's frustrating because I don't know what else to do. I don't know how to make people care. I know how to listen to someone, to love someone, to care about their life, to ask questions, but I don't know how to have them do the same for me.
I'm at the point right now where I feel like I've been kicked one too many times and I've had it. My money is gone. I'm broke. I'm ready to declare bankruptcy and file for Chapter 11.
I don't want to try any more, I don't want to continue to feel hurt and alone. I don't want to sit in the shower and sob as the water drowns out the sounds.
Friday, November 23, 2012
Today was a big day. I went to the temple with my sister. It's the first time I've been to the temple in a long time. It's the first time that I've done an endowment session in over a year. It has taken me so long to come back to the temple because of mistakes that I made acting out on my attractions a year ago. I never confessed them to a Bishop and though I've never done those things again, I have still felt constant guilt and unworthiness.
Today was different. Today I went in feeling that I truly needed the upliftment and peace that only comes with the Temple. For one thing, I hate Black Friday. When I say hate, I mean LOATHE ENTIRELY. I feel like it's complete hypocrisy. Thursday we're giving thanks and putting others ahead. Then the next morning people are literally crawling over each other to buy things for themselves. It's disgusting. Plus all the people gives me so much anxiety, but I digress.
I wanted to withdraw from the world and find peace. I love being able to take of my watch, leave my cell phone in my locker and just shut off the world and devote myself solely to the Lord.
As the session progressed, I felt actually peace. I felt the Holy Ghost. I felt like I was worthy (mostly) to be there in the temple.
Somethings that saddened me though was seeing how many more sisters there were there in the session than brothers. The ratio was probably 10 to 1. Wives are going alone and husbands are staying at home. Brothers are falling by the wayside as Satan focuses his attack on the family and specifically fathers. Though I'm not married, I do believe that married couples should go to the temple at least once a month together. I think it is absolutely essential for a successful and healthy marriage.
I do confess that as I watched the witness couple at the alter, I couldn't help but wish that I could be there too... with my own spouse (but sadly in my head it was a guy). I know that that will never happen. I know that thought was just the weakness of my flesh but yeah...
Thursday, November 22, 2012
I swear I'm not meaning to sounding like Debbie the Downer especially since this is Thanksgiving and all. This should be a post where I express my gratitude for everything that I have in this life.
I do have plenty to be thankful for. I have parents that love me and are still together after 30 plus years of marriage and are actually happily married. I have a Mother who is one of the most spiritual if not most spiritual faithful women I have ever met. I have a Father who has taught me how to work hard and provides continually for his family. I have the opportunity to attend a Church sponsored school where my education is high quality but at low cost. I have the gospel, I have friends, I have my intelligence, I have my siblings, I have not only a working car, but a beautiful working car, I have a laptop, iPod, iPhone, I have nice clothes, I am able to fly home and see my family several times a year.
But still none of this seems to fill me right now. It's the end of the day and more than anything I just feel empty. For one thing, this entire trip has been my sister (who doesn't know I'm gay) bothering me about my dating life and girls. It gets old and extremely frustrating. If anything it makes me put up a wall.
I sent out so many texts today to people telling them why they're important to me and why I love them. The returns were at most minimal. I do selfishly do things at time because I want people to feel like they need to do the same for me. It just gets so damn frustrating being the best possible friend I can to people, being so genuinely caring and honest, and in return you get nothing. You don't feel important, you don't feel like anyone gives a shit if you were there or not. You're simply not important enough or worthy enough for that person's time.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
This evening I had about 45 minutes before I had to leave to go to the airport to catch my flight to go see my sister for Thanksgiving. I ran outside to go move my car so it would be out of the way while I was away over the holiday. I turn on my headlights and nothing happens. No lights on the outside of the car come on, though the inside lights up just fine. I call my parents to let them know what's going on. My mom chews me out and makes a comment about wanting to know what she is supposed to do about it. We both know that any repairs made on my (rather expensive to fix) SUV, will be paid by her. I have no money. I go to school full time, year round. I'm preparing to graduate and take the MCAT. So it makes sense that I would call her and tell her what was up with the car since she was the one cutting the check.
I get off the phone with my mother and ask my grandmother if she can follow me over to the shop so I can drop off my car and have them work on it while I'm gone. She gets pissed because she just finished making dinner and we have to leave to the airport soon. I tell her we have time but she still acts annoyed and I have to convince her we can do it. She's super anxiety ridden all the time and has to have everything her way exactly how it's planned or she freaks out.
At this point, I was about ready to scream/cry/curse out anyone who spoke to me. Things don't ever go as we have exactly planned them. Life happens, shit happens. This is gonna be really selfish sounding, but did it ever occur to anyone that life never asked me if I wanted to be gay. I didn't ask for this. I didn't plan on having homosexual tendencies while being a member of the only true Church on this earth; the Lord's Church. I'm really grateful for the Church and I know that it's true, but because of the stance of the Church and often hostile environment created by misinformed members of the Church, it makes it really hard.
But what it all comes down to, what the fact of the matter is: I am gay. I have to deal with this whether I want to or not. I can complain and moan and say that it's not convenient, I can get upset, I can cry, I can curse, none of these things help me at all.
My orientation: The Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is my True North. This is what I identify with and where I find true and lasting joy. I know this is true, though some days are much harder than others.
If you find yourself struggling with these feelings, throw away any labels. Throw away identifying yourself as gay. Orient yourself towards Christ and all things will fall into place.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Before I talk about the conference, let me preface with an apology. This blog post is going to be pretty bipolar and all over the place because I'm going to be copying down my notes from my journal, so bear with me.
I was initially super apprehensive about going to the conference because of my previous experience with Journey into Manhood. Long story short, JIM was not what I thought it was going to be. I was expecting a gospel oriented agenda and spiritual upliftment, which at least for me it wasn't. The cool thing about this conference, it was exactly what I thought JIM was going to be like. It was completely gospel oriented. I felt the spirit the whole time and came away feeling filled and full of hope like most people do after attending the temple or general conference.
There are so many thoughts put forward, I think honestly the best way to go about this would just be to bullet point some important points:
*The key to overcoming same sex attraction is to not make it the central focus in your life. Focus on living the the gospel and as you do you will over come compulsive sexual behaviors. With the gospel as your central focus, your view of SSA will change, you will find joy, you will stop hating yourself, your homosexual feelings will not go away but they will diminish. One of the speakers made the point to say that any appetite that's fed (sexual addictions, SSA), grows in strength. Make SSA your focus, you feed it. Make God your focus, you feed yourself, he feeds you.
*Hope with a capital H is what's most important. The goal for those helping treat those who experience SSA is to give hope. To let them know that there is hope, there is a road, there is a path for them in which their faith and feelings reconcile.
*The most powerful and sustaining type of change that occurs in someone who experiences SSA is the change in one's heart. Having the faith to believe in a higher power and truly be able to say "Thy will be done." Change though is individual and it all comes down to what the individual wants.
*SSA can be likened to speaking english. One wasn't born speaking english. Though one may not remember it, you learned how to speak english. SSA is the same. No one was "born this way." Certain experiences and tendencies led to this place of SSA. Missionaries learn second languages all the time. They still think in English but are able to adapt and be proficient in another language.
*When one first starts accepting and choosing to deal with their same sex attraction, they tend to ask the organizing question "Can I or can't I change my sexual orientation?" Ty Mansfield said that this is a red herring that is presented to us. We don't need to worry about sexual orientation. We should worry about changing our own story! A spiritual change is much more important and key to overcoming this mortal overlay. One speaker noted, "I may like women, but when people ask my orientation, I tell them it is to the Gospel of Jesus Christ".
*"Either I'm in the driver's seat or my emotions are."
*Ty also made the point to say that loneliness and sexual attraction are often thrown together into one when it comes to SSA. He said it was important that they be separated from each other. Those feelings of isolation and emotional starvation need to be treated, so you can be healthy first. In deepening your relationships with people and feeding yourself spiritual and emotional, SSA will be treated as well. Though it is important to note that one can't base their happiness on another person or relationship. We can never learn to be happy married if we aren't happy single.
*Ty spoke on how his SSA is a gift and a blessing. It has taught him so much about the Savior and has given him such great faith and patience.
I would like to close this post with a quote from one of the speakers. Her Bishop felt prompted to say this in sacrament meeting (it just so happened to be her first Sunday back at church in 6 years). She knew when he said this, it was for her and her experiences with SSA:
"My greatest fear is that we get to the other side and realize that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ could have healed us."
I am so thankful for this opportunity I had to attend this conference, to be spiritual fed and reinvigorated to keep moving forward. I'm grateful for the atonement, for a loving Heavenly Father and a Savior who knows exactly what I'm going through.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
When I was in elementary school I didn't have a lot of friends. I was quiet, not athletic, and blissfully ignorant. I was the definition of "nerd". I wore the pants thats you could zip off the bottoms and become shorts. I would wear the white socks half way up my shin. I had large round glasses, I was pudgy, I wore my Old Navy Tech Vest almost every day - yes I was that guy.
My favorite thing to do was to read. I would devour any book that I could lay my hands on. Harry Potter was by and large my favorite. I have easily read each of the books in the series over a dozen times. Not only did I like to read. But I was usually the teacher's pet and top of my class.
My less than desirable traits ostracized me from the guys (lack of interest or understanding in sports). My lack of athletic talent or body removed me from the interest list of any of the girls. Anyone that was left was then turned off by my teacher's pet qualities.
So I didn't have any friend. When you're ten years old and have five siblings, you don't really care. I was perfectly fine hanging out with my parents or my siblings and their friends.
Middle School hit though and I began to experience the angst of being a teenager. I desired friends. I desired to be accepted. I eventually made a ton of girl friends (girls that were friends). But it the back of my mind I sought and wanted to be with the guys. I wanted to feel like I mattered and I was important and that I had a life. Everyone at school at stories from the weekend and pictures of themselves and their friends on their binders and in their lockers and I had no one.
Fast forward ten years to my Senior year of college. I have a ton of friends. Now mostly guys. I gave up trying to fit in a long time ago. I just behave as GMSW since there is no one else out there that is me. My friends love me and accept me. My body is in way better shape (not like it was in High School since I was a swimmer, but better than Middle School). I dress exquisitely well (I actually won best dressed in High School). I'm successful and I would say popular on the superficial level, but I keep my number of close friends really small.
I still carry with me the insecurities of having no friends from when I was younger, so I've acquired the habit of taking a lot of pictures. Pictures seem to be tangible proof to my older self that I have friends, I have a life and that people like me.
Pictures are interesting though. When one looks back at a picture, one never thinks back to bad times. A picture only brings back the good and the positive memories. Though sometimes those memories are painful because a relationship has ended since the picture and you really miss the person.
I've been reflecting over relationships I have in my life currently and going through pictures. Some bring happiness, others bring back pain, others bring back regret, others make me nostalgic.
A picture is worth a thousand words. What story will your pictures tell?
Monday, November 12, 2012
I'm an Exercise Physiology Major, and as such I am required to enroll in the Exercise Physiology class and corresponding lab. Today for lab we were required to do the skin fold test on our classmates and then have them do it on us.
I was dreading having the skin fold test done on myself. I was always the fat kid in elementary school and middle school. My body fat percentage was always a considerable amount higher than all the Ethiopian bean poles I went to school with. I'm in some of the best shape I've been in a long time right now, but I still have flash back nightmares of being teased and called fatty. So I was very shy about removing my shirt and showing my stomach. I quickly put on my shirt as soon as I could once I was done.
Then came the next part of the lab...
Each person in our group was supposed to find two people outside of class to do the skin fold test on. I called up a buddy I just met this semester, (who I do find attractive) and then I wandered into the fitness room and saw a guy just coming out of the locker room to work out. I've actually seen this guy several times a week when I'm in the gym and I may take some longer than needed looks.
Anyways... I had them both come into the lab and I took their weight and height. Then I had to ask them to remove their shirts so I could take the skin folds of their pecks and abdominal area. Lord, I've never felt so gay. I was really trying to not lust or notice too much how attractive these guys were. Both my age, chiseled body (with the "V"), tan, manscaped nicely. I kept telling myself "GMSW, they are not pieces of meat, they are people, stop it." I was pretty proud of myself though. I didn't pop a boner or anything like that, which was honestly something I was really afraid would happen. I kept it cool and remained professional.
Something my buddy told me which is what I'm trying to live by. It's okay to acknowledge someone is attractive (male or female) and then continue with your day. What is not okay is to obsess about it and lust. That's where you run into the whole sin issue.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
My older brother got married a couple years ago. Due to distance and serving a mission, I haven't had the opportunity to meet his wife until very recently. His wife came into town for a visit this past weekend. We were able to meet up for the first time and chat over some hot coco. We were both laughing because it felt like a date.
My brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia many years ago. He has tried to kill himself several times. My family has been dealing with the trial that it is for over ten years now. We tried many experimental treatments to try to help and "cure" my brother, but to no avail.
My brothers medications have caused him to put on a lot of weight and lose the body he used to be so proud of (he was studying to be a personal trainer for a while).
My brother has a college degree and is a genius (like most people who struggle with mental illness), but his disease debilitates him, dumbs him down and makes it so he is unable to hold down a steady job. He is stuck with these remedial minimum wage jobs.
Miraculously, he met his wife who married him knowing everything she would be getting herself into. They've been trying for a while now to have kids and nothing has proven fruitful. The doctors think that my brother may be infertile from all the medicine and treatments over the years. My sister-in-law though doesn't think so. She told me that she will have one child with my brother. Exactly one, a little boy. He's up there waiting, it's just a matter of when. She told me that she knows because she had a vision - for lack of a better word. She saw her little boy, he was not adopted because he looked like her and my brother.
Now my sister-in-law doesn't know this, but my conversation were her was needed. This past week or so has been a big pity party for myself. Given it was a hard week though; screwy friends, screwy elections, terrible test results. I've been feeling really sorry for myself and cursing God for my 'gayness'.
Yes, being gay has made me more emotional and more attached to people.
I tend to like girly music, Broadway, and Keeping up with The Kardashians.
I'm attracted to men the way that other guys are attached to girls.
I may not marry in this life.
Being gay does not prevent me from working.
Being gay does not make me really out of shape.
Being gay does not make me infertile. If I ever get married to a woman, I will still be able to have children.
Being gay does not diminish my intelligence.
Though I don't feel necessarily better about this past week. I don't feel as singled out or hated by God. Every single person in this life has their own cross to bear. Mine is just different than most.
Monday, November 5, 2012
I'm a gay mormon, so I already the tendency to be more emotional than most guys. I give and give and give with all the relationships in my life. At times I do it from the good of my heart, and at other times I admit I do it because I want a friend to feel obligated to reciprocate that love and care to me.
If some people would just look outside themselves and see that there is a person who genuinely loves them and cares about them. I stand there and most of the times these people just look right through me to other people in their lives who aren't even that great.
I know I'm not perfect. I know I make mistakes. I know I have truly crazy moments of attachment from being gay. I also know that I'm a damn good friend to people. I have always prided myself on the caliber of friend I am to people. I am the best friend that you see in movies, on TV, that you always wish for growing up.
I'm over people in my life who can't make up their damn mind. If you want to be my friend, then be it. Don't do it half ass. Make a decision and stick with it. Stop flip-flopping on your thoughts and your wants. Don't one second not want to talk to me and be completely detached and then the next act like you care about me. All that does is string my heart along and make it harder for me to move on.
Sunday, November 4, 2012
I know that I am far from perfect. I know that I have so many short coming and things that I need to work on, but one thing I do have a testimony of and do have perfect faith in is Priesthood blessings. What I love about Priesthood blessings is that anyone can have one, you don't have to be worthy to receive comfort from our loving Father in Heaven.
I spend the majority of Saturday in bed with a terrible migraine. I've gotten migraines since I was at least 7 years old. They usually incapacitate me. I get a terrible headache, I can't stand noise, light, or motion. I tend to get nauseated, flushed, and dizzy. I can't sleep and try to lay perfectly still with a bunch of pain killers in me and a cold washcloth on my face.
Ever since I was little, I would ask for a blessing once I got migraine. I knew that if I got a blessing, I would be healed no matter what. I always did all I could for myself before I would ask for a blessing because we are supposed to help ourselves before we go to God. Like clock work, after I get a blessing, I am able to fall asleep and the pain subsides.
This particular migraine was caused by lack of sleep and stress. Last week was midterms and I was averaging a good five hours of sleep or so per night. I texted my best friend's dad to come over and give me a blessing. He promptly left work (which really touched me) to come over and help me out. He gave me the blessing and as he spoke, I could feel the spirit. I could feel my Heavenly Father using him as a mouth piece. My best friend's dad does not know that I'm gay (though I'm sure he has his assumptions). His blessing to me was not just about healing from the migraine but about my life as well. I've been wanting a blessing about the whole gay thing for a while, but didn't want to have to ask and explain it to someone.
In the blessing I was told that my Heavenly Father was very aware of my circumstances. He told me that I would find true happiness in serving others and fulfilling my calling. But in order for me to help others out, I needed to be healthy myself.
I felt the spirit wash over me and confirm the truthfulness of these words. It was as if my Heavenly Father was saying : "You're doing alright GMSW, you're doing alright".
I love Priesthood blessings!
Monday, October 29, 2012
This past Sunday was the first awesome Sunday I've had in a really long time. I've really felt like I was in a rut spiritually and just didn't know what to do about it.
I helped teach Mission Prep for my ward and was able to share experiences from my mission of people I found and baptized. I shared pictures from when I first met them and then their baptismal date.The spirit was so intense and made me feel so blessed to have been a small part of bringing those people to the fold.
I then gave a talk in sacrament meeting on the Priesthood. I hate giving talks. I feel like I am rubbish at getting my thoughts across and I am never able to quite convey what I want to. I have always said that I'd much rather sing that speak, which is exactly what I did at my mission farewell.
I used Elder Uchtdorff's The Joy of the Priesthood as the basis for my talk. My talk actually turned out to be one of the better talks that I have ever given. I was able to take up the complete time allotted to me as well as use both scriptures, personal experiences, and words from modern day prophets to support me.
The part that stuck out to me was:
Monday, October 22, 2012
For the first time in a long time, I am really happy.
I just got back from the most amazing weekend. My buddy and I to spent the weekend with my family. My parents had flown in to spend time with their grandkids. I was able to spend so much time with my friend which I haven't been able to do in such a long time. I usually only get to see him for short periods of time. But this weekend, it was just him and I. I didn't have to share him or compete with others for him. It meant the world to me that he set aside the weekend for my family and I.
In addition to that, he got along really well with my family. First thing he did when he met my mother was hug her. Then when we got ready to leave to head back to school, he hugged both my mom AND my dad. My family was so kind to my friend. They really loved him. There were no awkward moments or pauses. Everything just felt so relaxed and right. What makes this all so significant is that my parents know that both my buddy and I are gay.
If only it was that easy with everyone.
I'm so thankful for this weekend! I'm so thankful for a wonderful friend. I am thankful for the greatest parents in the world. I am thankful for all those wonderful people in my life who love and accept me for who I am.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
At the beginning of every class for the first twenty minutes my professor has engaged couples go up and tell their story. They show pictures, stories, when they knew they loved each other, why they loved each other and how they got engaged.
I can usually handle these okay. I like to see the pictures and see these two people so truly in love with each other. For one reason or another though, today's couple who presented really shook me up. For one thing, they were both beautiful. They loved each other so much! All I could feel the whole time was a growing pit of misery and sadness as the thought kept screaming in my mind "I can't help but feel that I will never get to do that." I feel like I will never find a wife to marry. That no one will want to marry me.
I've tried dating more this semester than ever before. Dating girls! As much as I try to force myself, a girl doesn't do anything for me. I'm simply not attracted to them. I like boys. I am gay. Through and through. Add being a member of the Church and knowing its true, knowing that homosexuality is wrong leads to feelings of constant sadness, and guilt.
At the end of the presentation I was in silent tears. Longing for an eternal companion. Then my professor started his lesson. We spent a good twenty minutes talking about the evils of pornography and masturbation. So I got kicked in the balls again... I'm not perfect, I do struggle with porn and masturbation just as any other guy - gay or straight. I know it's wrong, I know I shouldn't do it. During the whole class I just felt like shit because we were being railed about it.
A small part of me feels like it isn't fair. I'm gay and can't be with a guy. I will have to be celibate for the rest of my life, God couldn't just let me have one thing? Why can't I just have masturbation? I know that's completely selfish and incorrect but right now I don't give a damn.
I'm tired of being single, being the eternal wingman to the most attractive guys in a group of people. I'm tired of pretending like it doesn't hurt when I'm crying inside all the time.
Honestly, who gives a rat's ass about me? Would it really matter if I was gone? Would people even notice? Or would it be healthier for the the LDS population to have a sinner such as I removed from their midst?
Thursday, October 11, 2012
It's funny how one person can say something to you and it means nothing, then another can say the same thing and it means the world to you. I'm always going off on how I feel lonely and don't feel like people love or appreciate me, I haven't felt that way the past couple of days that's for sure.
My roommate was supposed to go with me and some friends to a movie. He bailed to go hang out with this girl that he really likes. I was a little irritated but more disappointed. When I got home from the movie, he came into my room like a dog with a tail in between his legs. He told me he felt awful for what he did. He regretted it as soon as he left. He said the rest of the night he felt like crying and that he was afraid he had damaged our friendship. It really upset him because in his own words "I want to be you best friend". It was a very flattering gesture and did move me. I felt loved that's for sure. I forgave him immediately. I would do anything for other people in my life to say that to me, I love my roommate and his friendship, but him telling me that had me going "oh that's nice of you".
In addition to this. My roommate and his friend have been inviting me to do everything. They check up on me to make sure I'm okay. They have told me now several times that "I'm really cool". If anything, it makes me blush because I do not feel cool whatsoever. I feel weird and quirky.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
I'm tired. I'm tired of working my ass of for our friendship. I'm tired of saving your ass with school. Always bailing you out because you procrastinate and go have fun instead of being responsible. I'm sorry you feel like we're not really friends, but I'm not going to sit around and wait for you to want to do something with me. You're always with your brain dead girlfriend. I don't want to be just an unappreciated homework source for you. I'm sorry. I have more dignity than that.
And to you, I don't know what else to do for our friendship. I've worked really hard to show you that I care. To show you that I'm genuine and want a real friendship with you, but you can't seem to reciprocate. It's always when it's convenient for you. I'm sick of always being the one to text you and asking you about how you're doing. I wish you would just give me the time of day.
And to you, you hurt me. You and I are the same person. We work so hard to move the world for people and they never show us the same courtesy. I have gone out of my way to be the best friend possible to you, but I always came behind others. You always cared more about them even though they treated you like shit. You stopped texting me, calling, really being my friend for whatever reason. Now you're gone for a while and have for the most part stop talking to me all together.
Last but not least, to you. Until I met you, I never knew I could love someone so much. I never knew someone could make me so happy. I know that we are just friends and that's fine with me. But at times I let my thoughts get away from me and I dream about a life together. How it could actually work and I could actually be happy. But I know that it's not the Lord's plan and I'm fine with that. But I can't help wishing that I meant more to you, like others seem to. You are the world to me. I do anything and everything for you. You're always on my mind. You smile, I smile. But I feel like a third even fourth tier. I know you still love him. I know you talk to him all the time, I know you text him all the time. I know you want to be with him all the time. I know if you had to choose it would be him over me. I'll admit that I'm insanely jealous. But also hurt because I wish I meant that much to you. That you wanted to text me all the time and talk to me all the time, spend time with me. Not that you would have to, just the thought that you would want to.
Love is blind, so you couldn't see me.
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Last night I went to a movie with some friends called Pitch Perfect. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. It's a bit crude but I was laughing the entire time. Rebel Wilson is hilarious. Think of the movie has Mean Girls + Glee and a dash of Bridesmaids.
The main character of the movie is Beca. She is a sort of rebel, whose a bit cynical and feels out of place. She meets this guy Jesse who treats her like gold. He really cares about her and is there for her when no one else in the movie was. She kept pushing him away but he continued to love her. In the end they end up together, and I admit that I developed a crush on Jesse.
As I was driving home from the movie, I just kept thinking about how I wanted that special someone in my life. That relationship that the person cares about you unconditionally and always wants what's best for you. The problem is, I like boys and have no interest in having a relationship with a girl. The Church does not support homosexuality and that will never change. I know and accept this, but sometimes (like last night) it's hard.
I walked in the door to the apartment completely dark, my roommate (who happens to be the Elders' Quorum President) was laying on top of his girlfriend making out heavily. There was no one else home. It struck a nerve with me and for one reason or another it made me really pissed. He's the Elders' Quorum President, what kind of example is he setting? He is setting himself up to get into trouble.
I also couldn't help but feel bitter because I feel like I could have a stable, healthy relationship with another guy that actually means something and isn't based all on sexual tension. We would actually be able to have intelligent conversations, cuddle, hold hands, kiss without ending up in the Bishop's Office.
I know this is all a device of the adversary. Though it sucks, I'm trying to move on. I hope that everyone has been enjoying conference so far! Crazy about them lowering the age of missionary service huh? I think back to when I was 18 and no that I could have never gone then. I was plain and simply not mature enough.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Today in my religion class we talked about the law of chastity and its significance. First of all we discussed why we were given standards. Standards are important for security and consistency. One can simply look around at the current state of the world and see the result of the disintegration of standards. Something for me that was worthwhile noting is that the law of chastity is the same for gay people as it is for straight people. The Lord has the same consequences set in place for those who violate this law.
My religion teacher relayed the story of David. The same David who slew the giant Philistine Goliath. David was a great man. But because of his choices (he committed murder), he at best can hope for the telestial kingdom.
David shirked his duties and instead of going to war with his men he stayed home. It is worth noting that we are tempted the most when we are alone, where we would do things by ourselves that we never would in front of others. David ignored his duties and Satan seized an opportunity. "If the devil finds a man idle, he will put him to work."
David went up to his room and caught a glimpse of Bathsheba bathing on the roof. Like any man he gazed once, but instead of turning away and stepping away, he looked back. He lusted after her. He seduced her, made her pregnant and then placed her husband on the front lines of battle killing him to cover up his sin.
David lost his place in the celestial kingdom to cover up a sin. The thing is, adultery though wrong, is a sin that is repentable through a Bishop. David was not too far gone. He could have come back. It was when he tried to hide his sin and committed murder that he lost his place.
Had David turned away his head and not invited Bathsheba to his home, he would be exalted.
Interestingly enough, Christ comes from the lineage of David. The point of this? One does not need to be a 10th generation pioneer to be a faithful follower of the God. One can be the first, the break in the chain that makes the difference.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Karma... you are a beautiful thing. I don't want to sound prideful or mean, but it makes me happy to know that no one can run from consequences, that bad people will have their comeuppance whether that be sooner or later.
There was this guy Mac who reached out to me when I first came out on North Star. We started communicating and it was really nice. It was completely healthy and strictly a friendship. Given I was really needy and needed someone there for me in dealing with all this. Mac told me he had been through a lot and made plenty of mistakes. He had been kicked out of a church sponsored school twice for acting out.
We would text and occasionally talk on the phone. I made some mistakes over this period of time. It made me lose all trust in gay men, especially in the church. So I decided to remove any traces of them from my life. I deleted Mac from my Facebook and from my phone contacts.
I returned to school and ran into a mutual friend of Mac and I. I had been struggling and feeling alone, and decided that I needed help with my struggle. Part of my resolve to change and get help was apologizing to Mac. I texted him and he completely ignored me.
In the period of time of us not speaking, I had become friends with an amazing guy named Stephen who Mac was in love with. Mac was super jealous of our friendship and he took the opportunity over the next couple of months to talk shit about me and all the things I had screwed up with. He put on the facade that he was doing so well and was choosing the right when in reality he was cruising gay dating apps and seeking a relationship with our mutual friend Stephen.
Mac went out of his way to sabotage my relationships with people and make my life hell. It really hurt. I didn't understand why he was being so mean. I didn't understand why he was going out of his way to make my life miserable.
My mother always told me to be a bigger person and not care what other people think. So I continued to try to reach out to Mac and be his friend though his comments and actions about me often came back to me and left me in tears on my bed.
Well karma has come back around and it is a beautiful thing. Mac no longer goes to a church sponsored school. His plans to originally go to school with Stephen fell through and they are no longer friends. He sabotaged his own relationships and life because he is so lost and unhappy.
It is worth the wait! Be a bigger and better person. It makes you so much happier.
"What goes around/comes around." - JT
Saturday, September 29, 2012
LDS.org - Support Materials Chapter - Tragedy or Destiny?
I suggest reading this talk for anyone who is going through a hard time. It doesn't just have to be because your gay.
Two things stood out to me:
1.) Should all prayers be immediately answered according to our selfish desires and our limited understanding, then there would be little or no suffering, sorrow, disappointment, or even death, and if these were not, there would also be no joy, success, resurrection, nor eternal life and Godhood.
“For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things … righteousness … wickedness … holiness … misery … good … bad. …” (2 Nephi 2:11.)
2.) Fifty years later, Elder Spencer W. Kimball, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, found himself far away from home, recovering from major surgery. Unable to sleep, he recalled the day his mother died: “I feel like sobbing again now … as my memory takes me over those sad paths.
It is okay to cry. It is okay to experience hardship while trying to press through something. I know that I've had this mistaken belief that I have to be perfect and just pretend like everything is okay. I know now that I am allowed to cry when things are hard. I am allowed to ask for help. I am allowed to pray to my Heavenly Father and say "Heavenly Father, I am just so sad." What I am not allowed to do is give up. This is absolutely essential.
I hope that someone is able to benefit from this as it has helped me greatly.