Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway


I just received a $2,500 MacBook Pro with Retina Display for Christmas. I graduate in April from college with my Bachelors Degree. My parents are building a huge gorgeous half-million+ dollar house that I will be able to call home and you know what? I'm still not happy. I'm tired. So very tired.

I'm tired of a father who desperately needs medication but refuses it. I'm tired of being on the receiving end of his tirades of anger.

I'm tired of a mother who always seems to be able to pick out all the things I do wrong in my life.

I'm tired of siblings who still treat me like a child, and don't appreciate or respect what I have to contribute. I'm tired of having them tell me I have no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to health and fitness (it's just my major right?).

I'm tired of being betrayed by ones that I used to call my friends. Is it really that hard to remain faithful to someone?

I'm tired of people having their own opinions and ideas of me before they've even met me.

I'm tired of having my education on the line because of a Big Brother acting administration that threaten your schooling with your Church conduct.

I'm tired of being single. I used to be able to answer clearly about what I wanted, but I can't anymore. I'm so lonely, and so just over it.

I'm supposed to graduate in April and then move back in with my parents while I study for the MCAT. I'm not so sure I want to do that anymore. It used to sound so inviting with the thought of free room and board in a huge house. But I don't want to be micromanaged or yelled at anymore. I also don't have any friends here.

I will not stay near school. I'm so over that environment. I've thought of moving closer to Salt Lake, but that would make me alone and I know I would get depressed and lonely.

I've thought of California and Washington but have come to similar conclusions.

I just want to live my life happily and fulfilled without fighting, without drama. Without others interjecting. I just want to go to Med School and be successful. I want the Church a part of my life, but I also want to be able to have a boyfriend and be able to introduce him as that and it's not a big deal.


The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen
A kingdom of isolation, and it looks like I'm the Queen
The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn't keep it in; Heaven knows I tried

Don't let them in, don't let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know
Well now they know

Let it go, let it go
Can't hold it back any more
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door
I don't care what they're going to say
Let the storm rage on
the cold never bothered me anyway

It's funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can't get to me at all
It's time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me,
I'm free!

Let it go, let it go
Can't hold it back any more
Let it go, let it go
Turn my back and slam the door
And here I stand
And here I'll stay
the cold never bothered me anyway

Standing frozen
In the life I've chosen
You wont find me
The past is in the past
Buried in the snow

Let it go, let it go
Can't hold it back any more
Let it go, let it go
Turn my back and slam the door
And here I stand
And here I'll stay
in the light of day
The cold never bothered me anyway

Sunday, November 24, 2013

ROAR


In my last post I shared an email that I wrote to my siblings where I outed myself. It was literally days before I would be boarding a plane for my sister's wedding. It was the first time my entire family would be together in 5 years.

After I pushed send, I felt a huge weight lifted from my chest. I felt I could breathe and relax. Like I was no longer hiding anything.

Lyn called me literally 10 minutes after I had sent the email. She and her (now) husband were on the phone. She wanted me to know that what I had told them didn't change anything. They were surprised, but they loved me just the same. They said they didn't hold any judgement towards me, they actually held more respect for having the courage to tell the whole family and then choose to stay in the Church. Lyn also asked me about my heartbreak and how I deal with that.

My sister Lindsay who had up to then been texting me about a friend of ours who had decided to leave the Church and lead a gay lifestyle. She would always use words like "queer, fag, disgusting". I think my email shook her. She sent me a single text that said "I love you". 

My older brother James never said anything about it to me, though in his defense his wife just miscarried twins. And it's the only time that they've been able to get pregnant since they've been married. My mother did say though that he was indifferent about it.

My little brother Joseph (he's only 18) sent me a message letting me know that he loved me and to stay strong. My mother told me later though that he actually had a hard time with it for the rest of the day. He was hurting because his older brother had to go through this. He wouldn't talk to my parents about it, he just kept to himself.

My sister Ashtyn sent me a wonderful email back that got me to shed a tear or two:

"I love you GMSW! I know you are scared about judgement, but I am holding my little boy on my chest and thinking of my love for him and mom and dad's love for you. We all struggle, everyone has trials. The most important thing is not giving up. You could have given up and been done with the church so many times, it would have been easier that way you know. But you keep fighting and that says a lot about who you are. Satan always attacks the strongest, he does not attack the weak because he knows they will attack themselves. I was thinking today about Eva. The church is either true and I will see her again or it's not; It's true. It's worth the fight. We all have demons to fight, but it's worth the fight. I love you, my little family loves you, and I feel to tell you Eva loves you and watches over you. Time for me to try to sleep before Jared wakes up again. See you soon, and so excited to see you! Keep fighting cuz you got the eye of the tiger and we're gonna hear you roar! Sorry, I don't know Taylor Swift lyrics so the choices was the one Katy Perry song I know or The Wheels On The Bus. The people on the bus go up and down did not work as well. I love you! It will be alright in the end, trust God and in good things to come."

I feel so overwhelmingly grateful for my wonderful siblings. Their reactions could not have been better. Things have changed between us, but in a good way. The weekend was short, but the time spent together was wonderful. Their was no tension, no fighting, just the usual stresses of a wedding. We all wanted to spend as much time as possible with each other. I was able to play with all my nieces and nephews. They were as sweet as anything.

My siblings kept pouring on me love. My little brother Joseph saw that I was still the same brother he knew before I told him I was gay. We shared a suite together and had a lot of fun.

It was really hard to say goodbye to my family. But what wonderful loving, healing weekend.

So blessed.

Cheers,
GMSW


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Coming Out: A Family Affair


An email I recently sent to all my siblings:

My dearest family,

This email has been a long time coming. I've felt strongly prompted to write this out for a while now. 

I apologize in advance Lyn for writing this right before your wedding, I don't want this to take the focus off of you. It just felt like an appropriate time since it's the first time all six of have been together since Ashtyn's wedding. With the trials our whole family has gone through, I can't help but feel the necessity to be honest and genuine with my siblings especially with the limited time that we get to see each other, plus how fragile we have come to find life is over the past couple of years.

I'm gay, which Ashtyn and Benjamin I'm sure have already figured out a long time ago. Some people call it same sex attracted, same gender attracted, etc. A lot of people including Mom don't like to call it gay because it makes it sound like one is actively pursuing the lifestyle. To me it all means the same thing. I like men. So I say gay because it's easier and to me doesn't make it sound like I have some disease or disorder, or like I'm ashamed of that part of me. I'm not, though I used to be. 

How did I end up this way? That's debatable and highly controversial with a lot of people. Mental illness is a common thread with guys that have SSA tendencies. Another common thread is daddy issues which we are all aware of. My therapist knows that dad is a good father but he said between him and I, that "your father kind of screwed you up". I'm way past the blame game in this whole thing. I don't blame dad for anything in my life and haven't since I was 18. He's taught me how to give and how to work hard, which I'm really grateful for. 

When mom told dad about me, the very first thing he said was "I hope I didn't contribute to this." He immediately felt guilt, which honestly made me emotional. It's not his fault, it's not anyone's fault. 

No matter how complicated and crazy our lives were growing up, mom made sure we always had family nights, family prayers and scripture study. We attended church every Sunday as well as mutual during the week.

Growing up in the Church, I always did what was expected of me. I fulfilled my priesthood duties and priesthood callings. I served in leadership positions and continued to stay proactive and involved with the church as I grew.

Academically, I was a straight A student. I was involved in music, sports, and leadership.

I worked part time during school and had a group of friends that I would go out to lunch with and hang out with on the weekends.

On the outside my life seemed fairly ideal, but inside there was this inner struggle that tore me apart constantly. I found myself attracted to other men. I had this desire to be close with them and intimate in the way most other men feel about women.

Most of my adolescence I would tell myself that these feelings would go away as I progressed in the Gospel. I continued on my journey through the church, and with each ordination, calling, experience, I waited for the feelings to disappear.

Do y'all remember Suzanne? My first girlfriend, my first kiss. I told her I loved her; we talked about the future and our dreams. We even planned to get married. Deep inside, I felt a part of me was lying to her because I felt I didn’t love her with my whole heart. We would kiss and I would feel awkward and unfulfilled. 

It wasn't until my first semester up at school when I was studying the Proclamation on The Family for my religion class that I truly figured out what was up with me. I decided to read a book entitled "In Quiet Desperation" by Ty Mansfield in order to "better understand" homosexuality and being mormon. Upon completion of the book, I realized: I was gay. 

This was June 2011. Mom figured it out and told dad around this time. We had a confrontation (over the phone) and some words were exchanged that weren't exactly christlike. I had an emotional breakdown. I spent most days crying and feeling detached from the world. I felt I had no future. I felt I was an abomination in the eyes of God. I felt unloved, I wanted to kill myself. 

How could God have done this to me? I had served a mission worthily, I had received the priesthood and gone through the temple? Shouldn't that mean a girl would just walk I into my life and we would get married, have 6 kids, and live happily ever after? 

I spent many restless nights tossing and turning, feeling at a loss of what to do. I felt like a sinner because I had this attraction. Largely because terms such as "gay" and "fag" are so loosely tossed around as negative connotations in the Church and even in our family. The Church is perfect but the people in it are not. And there have been some many ignorant and hurtful things said by people in the church about gay people that are not true.

My boss last semester after DOMA was overthrown said "Gays aren't allowed to go to the temple, and even if they are they shouldn't want to because if what they are doing." I asked her if she was talking about those actively living the lifestyle of people in the Church who were active but experienced it. Her response "There's no difference." I wanted to punch her in the face. How dare she insinuate my trial was too great for the Savior's atonement? How dare she imply my eternal worth was not enough for the temple? 

Despite what misinformed people may say the Church firmly believes that same-gender attraction (involving no action) is a personal struggle and not a sin, while homosexuality (which requires action), is a sin. Faithful and worthy members of the Church who do not act on their struggle with same-gender attraction can still have a calling in the Church, hold the priesthood (if they are a male), and go to the temple

I recall the words from Elder Holland’s talk on Missionary Work and the Atonement. “You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary”. I would like to take Elder Holland’s words and apply them not only to same gender attraction, but also to any trial that we experience in this life. It is necessary for us to experience trials and temptations in this life. Our Heavenly Father wants us to be like him, and in order for that to happen, we need experience what he did. Trials, suffering, temptations are necessary for eternal progression.

The first step I took was joining a support group for men that deal with same gender attraction that upheld Church values and beliefs. This allowed me to meet other men who like myself had this attraction but were determined to live in harmony with the Church. It also gave me the opportunity to voice my struggles and receive support without judgment.

The support group acted as a double-edged sword. For me it seemed that the more I tried to live the Gospel, the more Satan attempted to force me off the path. He would tempt me to act out on my attractions (something I had never done at that point) given me false reasons and excuses such as ‘you will never get married anyways’ or ‘you will be alone forever”.

I've made the mistake of acting out on some of my attractions. I felt awful. I was not happy. I was miserable and felt like I was worthless.

I decided it was time to get professional help. I decided to speak privately with my Bishop. I was going to inform him of my attraction and confessed how I had acted out on some of my attractions. I had never been so scared to talk to someone before in my life. I feared my Bishop would look at me in disgust and would not understand.

To my complete surprise, my Bishop did not only understand, but poured out his heart to me. He wanted to help me. He told me some very important things. Things that Satan tries to make me forget. I am first and foremost a Son of God. That is my divine worth. That does not change. No matter what choices I make. Being gay had allowed my relationship with Christ and my Heavenly Father to become tangible and real. My love and appreciation for the atonement has grown, as well as my ability to express charity to those around me and the trials they go through. Being gay makes me more sensitive to things, and emotional, I can relate to things where most other guys can't. Who cares if I like Britney Spears and Taylor Swift? Who cares that I like clothes and  taking good care of myself. Who cares if I don't like sports? This is not what my worth is built upon. 

“Over and over again, the Lord assures us of our worth and value to him. In D&C 18:10–11, he admonishes us to “remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; “For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him. 

Our eternal worth is given to us by God; it cannot be manipulated or decreased by anyone. Of course, if we are not living the commandments, we may lose sight of our divine worth and potential. Nevertheless, each soul’s inherent worth is always great in the sight of our loving Heavenly Father. I think that is imperative to know! Worthlessness is not an option for anyone."

As a missionary, I had taught continually of our divine worth, our potential as children of God, and the Lord’s infinite atonement. I allowed the clever bands of the adversary to wrap himself around me and tell me lies. I lost sight of who I was. I had allowed the adversary to make me believe that the atonement was not sufficient enough for me and this attraction that I suffered from. This is a lie. I think we as imperfect human beings with limited capacity to comprehend, don’t appreciated the atonement for what it truly is. The atonement does infinitely more than washing away our sins. The atonement has the power to heal, to give us power, to make our hearts whole again. The atonement has no beginning, it has no end. It was and is the single greatest act of love ever performed. Our Savior gave us the power to overcome our trials and our weakness if we choose to take advantage of his gift. At times we forget this, I know I have.

My journey with being gay is far from over. I love the Church and know that it's true, but I still have my good days and my bad days. I have felt the love of my Heavenly Father promise me this is a trial and that I will have my own family one day, and yet I have also felt true romantic love for another man. Knowing though it could never happen. Can you imagine that? Loving someone through and through, feeling so right? But knowing you can never be with them? It's a hard pill to swallow, and has left me with a lot of sleepless nights and Taylor Swift songs on repeat. Reconciling faith & feelings is not easy, but it is possible because of my Savior.

From you my wonderful siblings, I ask for your patience, understanding, and non-judgement. The thing I need the most is love, even if you don't understand my trial, knowing that it doesn't change how you feel about makes a world of difference. 

Also, I ask that this remain in the family, if you would like to tell  your spouses, that is fine. Please just respect that this is my journey, my trial to share when I'm ready with others. 

Love always,
GMSW

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Don't you ever say I just walked away...


It's been a good minute since I've posted anything or really participated in anything with the MOHO community. I felt the need for a break for personal reasons. I didn't want this blog to turn into a bitch fest about how my life sucks because this or that. I've always wanted to be able to inspire people and give them hope. Another large problem is that more and more people that I know are aware of this blog. Which at times can make it hard to express my feelings or be completely unfiltered without repercussions.

I've looked for other ways of dealing with my pent up feelings and nothing has really seemed to work for me. If anything I shut myself off emotionally to feeling anything. I've become tired of hurting and tired of aching for the ones that I love who don't love or care for me anymore. I've made multiple mistakes over the past couple of months to try and just escape the feelings I'm trying to avoid feeling. Instead these mistakes just made me feel worse about myself and did not make me any happier. They fed habits and addictions and built up my guilt.

I had actually thought that I made progress in the past couple of months with regards to issues I deal with. I thought I had moved past people, I thought that I was stronger and more stable - and it a sense part of that is true. My doctor upped my dose on my medication and it has definitely been helping with anxiety. He even gave me emergency xanax for highly stressful situations and anxiety attacks. I'm taking my exams in my professor's offices so that I don't have panic attacks in the testing center anymore. I've been diligently doing cardio every day and eating healthy (this one is a lot harder). My body definitely feels a lot better than it has in a long time. But emotionally I'm just as torn up as ever.

There is so much going on with multiple relationships in my life right now. It's been a relief to find that there have been those friendships that have been different because of problems the other person was having... in other words it wasn't my fault. But then there's those relationships that I never thought I would have to live without, but have had to for a while now. I never stopped caring or loving and as much as it hurt, I had to let those I love make their own decisions about their life even if it didn't include me. I mourned for a long time, and it honestly sucked. There hasn't been a day that hasn't gone by that I didn't think about or miss certain people, But I felt I was able to heal and move forward. Then I randomly see them again after months and months and I fall apart. Every memory, feeling, emotion that I ever felt with them comes rushing back and I break down crying in my car. Seeing them, talking to them just makes my heart ache. It longs to feel what once was and aches as it senses the changes and as so casually cruel in the name of being honest words are said. The sad music has come back out, though this time I'm still able to live my life and perform the things that I need to at work and at school.

I've thought a lot about Jane and we've been writing ever since she left (it's been 5 months now). Her letters are always great to receive though she no longer says I love you in them. Part of me is afraid that she sending the friend zone message. If that's the case, I've put all my eggs in one basket and feel like I'm ready to throw my hands up and give up on marriage.

General Conference was this past weekend and deep down a part of me was secretly wishing/hoping that the apostles would come out and say that gay marriage was okay. I'm gotten so tired of trying to live a life that has so much hurt and loneliness in it. The thought of being with a man and having a family for the rest of my life sounds so much more fulfilling.

Thankfully the Lord knew that I needed some oil in my lamp. Traditional marriage was reiterated and reaffirmed. Multiple times it was mentioned along the lines of "God's doctrine does not change, though the world's morals do. God's doctrine is eternal and forever." Elder Richard G. Scott gave a talk in which he said something truly amazing "The Lord sees weakness differently than rebellion. When The Lord speaks of weakness it is always with mercy." The spirit resonated in my chest - something that hasn't happened in a long time. I've been beating myself up with guilt for a long time. The Lord knows that I'm struggling, but he also knows that I AM TRYING. 

I got a phone call today that my brother's wife who was pregnant with twins had a miscarriage. My heart broke first for my brother and his wife. They've been through so much and it's taken so long for them to get pregnant. I've been feeling anger towards God and have been asking the question all day, "Hasn't our family been through enough?" 

My dear sweet mother called and comforted me and pointed out the blessings of the trials that my family has gone through over the past ten years. We've learned to talk about things, we've become closer, we truly love each other. And though her heart was breaking for my brother and his wife, she believed that this would be something they would grow and learn from. 

My mother quoted Joseph Smith "All our losses will be made up, if we are faithful." This quote very much applies to my brother and his wife as they grieve the loss of their children, but it also applies to me. Truth is, I may never get a handle on this whole gay thing, and I may never get married in this life... but it's okay. I need to get my shit together and remember that as long as I'm trying "everything will be made up in the end."

And as I sat listening to conference surrounded by my niece, and two nephews. I felt the love of my savior and the confirmation of my desire to have a family of my own. I will one day.


Cheers,
GMSW

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Gay Problems


I feel like such an ass right now. I've been lonely and really missing Jane. I want to be close to someone physically. I want to kiss and make out. Preferably this would be with a guy but since I'm trying to avoid that kind of thing (it's not going to lead me to marriage in the temple with a woman), I've been trying to meet this need by going on dates with girls and attempting some type of emotional link. I haven't been kissing them, but there's been a lot of hugging and some cuddling.

My roommates introduced me to the trashy dating app called Tinder. It's a hot-or-not rating system with people that have similar interests as you. Two of my roommates brought home several different girls in the course of the week (and made out with each of them). Mind you though that these aren't the girls you look for as marriage material; belly button piercing, fake tan, exstensions, dresses like a floozy. 

I downloaded tinder to see if any girls found me attractive and raise some confidence and maybe get a NSA hookup. I ended up liking a picture of a girl I didn't realize I knew as an aqantance through one of my friends. She liked my picture and then added me on facebook. We began texting and then she's been wanting to hang out everyday.

We've had a lot of fun. We have the same sense of humor. I got my rig into a wreck this weekend off roading. She was there and was able to stay calm and talk me through my anxiety attack, which I thought was pretty cool.

Tonight we went for gelati and a drive. She annoyingly took my phone and wouldn't give it back. She started questioning me about my motives on Tinder and my dating life. I was honest with her... To a point. I told her I wasn't dating because it just has to feel right and I wait for that moment. I told her I was on Tinder because I feel lonely all the time right now. I told her a part of me just wanted a hook up. I told her I feel ready to move on to the next stage in my life; marriage, kids, med school. I told her I have severe dating anxiety and that I don't trust girls especially since Suzanne. 

She was obviously hinting around about us getting together. But I avoided the topic because I'm not interested. She didn't take it well. She got quiet. Her voice got cold and snappy. She asked if I wanted to go home.

What the hell did she want me to say? Was I supposed to tell her I'm still pining over losing my best friend. That I'm technically waiting on Jane. That I'm gay? Here she is getting all pissed at me for a bunch of things that are out of my control. 

Grrrr... Women. 



Monday, July 1, 2013

Vain Repetitions


I decided to start seeing my counselor again. I haven't seen him for almost two years because I thought I was at a stage where I didn't need it anymore. The recent flair up in anxiety attacks, racing thoughts, reckless behavior, and thoughts of suicide would suggest otherwise.

There was a distinct contrast between this counseling session and my first one I had with Doug almost two years ago. Two years ago I had just begun my journey of gay-dom. I was reserved about talking about things and didn't really know who I was.

This time it was easy to be open with Doug and share about myself. I know that I'm gay (whatever, I accepted that a long time ago), I know what's right... but that's about it. I'm comfortable with Doug and it was very healing to be able to open up to someone and share everything that's been going on in my head since February of this year. It made it seem a bit easier to deal with since I haven't talked to anyone sincerely about how I'm feeling, or what's really going on in my head, or my life for months. I haven't felt like anyone cared; I've felt abandoned.

I told Doug I've been slacking in certain parts of my life and the worse part is part of me didn't care even though I knew I was supposed to be behaving differently.

One thing I told Doug was that I hadn't said my prayers or read my scriptures in months. I hadn't been developing my relationship with God or cultivate my own spirit.

Doug asked me what things allowed me to feel the spirit. What brought me closer to God? I told him that priesthood blessings, and singing/listening to gospel oriented music.

Blessings have always held a special place in my heart. I've always known that if I get a blessing, I WILL get better. I've always turned to blessings when I've felt I've needed direction. I had one friend tell me that she records her blessings and then types them up so that she doesn't forget them. That is something I've also done to remind myself of the warnings and promised blessings to me from my Heavenly Father.

Music has always had a powerful effect on me. I've been singing since I could talk. Singing a hymn will bring the spirit for me far more quickly than anything else. I've often received personal revelation from listening to/singing sacred songs. I sang at my mission farewell because I  preferred that over giving some long drawn out talk.

Upon telling Doug this he asked if I had been doing those things over the past couple of months. I said yes and then he said "Isn't that cultivating your relationship with God?" He told me I was being too hard on myself. He said that too often Latter-day saints get caught up in vain repetitions that don't mean anything and don't allow them to feel anything. He said we all have our own relationships with God and what works for one person may not necessarily work for the next.

What Doug said struck a cord with me. The spirit confirmed what he said. I should be reading my scriptures and saying my prayers, but it's not the action so much that's important, but thought thought as well. If one is just doing vain repetitions, one might as well not say anything at all. We must mean what we say and if we mean what we say, our actions will reflect that.

Some food for thought.

Cheers,
GMSW

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Same Mistakes


Every night I lay staring at the ceiling, my thoughts can't help but always think of you. My body shakes, quivers as the ghost of you being close to me passes before my eyes. Shutting my eyes tight, the pain so intense as I silently cry, hoping you're out there thinking of me and missing me too.

I spend my days keeping busy with but a shell of what I once was. My emotions are nothing now, I am but cold and devoid of that true happiness I rarely glimpsed. I keep myself busy with the mundane of day to day life, but how much longer can I go on with this gaping hole in my heart? 

I wish I could change what happened. I wish I could undo the words I said. I wish I knew how to fix this. I wish I knew what was going on in your head. 

People ask me how I'm doing. I say I'm doing fine. It's easier to try and feel nothing than to feel hurt from your absence. I concentrate my efforts on others and their lives, but somehow I always come back to you. 

I drive in the car and a song comes on and my heart falls apart. The tears start coming and I change the song, they all remind me of you. Your laugh, your smile, they way you made me feel.

I miss you. I love you. 


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Wasting All These Tears



I tried to find you at the bottom of a bottle
Laying down on the bathroom floor
My loneliness was a rattle in the windows
You said you don't want me anymore

And you left me
Standing on a corner crying,
Feeling like a fool for trying
I don't even remember
Why I'm wasting all these tears on you
I wish I could erase our memory
Cause you didn't give a damn about me
Oh, finally I'm through
Wasting all these tears on you
These tears on you

You ain't worth another sleepless night
And I'll do everything I gotta do to get you off my mind
Cause what you wanted I couldn't get
What you did, boy I'll never forget

And you left me
Standing on a corner crying
Feeling like a fool for trying
I don't even remember
Why I'm wasting all these tears on you
I wish I could erase our memory
Cause you didn't give a damn about me
Oh, finally I'm through
Wasting all these tears on you
These tears on you

And you left me
Standing on a corner crying
Feeling like a fool for trying
I don't even remember
Why I'm wasting all these tears on you
I wish I could erase our memory
Cause you didn't give a damn about me
Oh, finally I'm through
Wasting all these tears on you
These tears on you

I tried to find you at the bottom of a bottle
Laying down on the bathroom floor

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Path To Take


This past Saturday Suzanne tied the knot to the boy she has been dating for over two years. It brought a sense of closure and relief to me as I looked back on the past and my relationship with Suzanne and what might have been.

My family moved during my Senior year of High School. Suzanne was my sister's best friend that she had made from our ward. First time I met Suzanne she had come over to pick up my sister because they were going downtown. I walked down the stairs to see who was at the door, and she stood there all 5'3'' of her. The first words I heard from her mouth were "I didn't even know this neighborhood existed back here." I was immediately turned off because I thought she sounded like a snob, so I turned around and headed back upstairs to my room.

For whatever reason, Suzanne started coming over to our house all the time. It annoyed me because whenever she was there she would just make fun of me.We would all sit up in my sister's room on her bed Sunday afternoons after Church. Lindsay would be working on her online class so she could graduate on time. I would be laying at the end of the bed listening to Suzanne complain about her current boyfriend who was a complete and total loser. He was a punk that didn't go to church and the two of them were always fighting. She kept going on how she wanted to break up with him.

Suzanne, my sister Lindsay and I all worked together at a day camp. For one reason or another, Lindsay didn't go to work one morning and I didn't have a car, so Suzanne had to pick me up. We're driving in the car and she looks over at me and says that she had something to tell me. Absent minded staring out the window as we drove along the interstate, I asked her what. "I think you're absolutely beautiful and I'm really attracted to you." My mind came crashing back to reality and my neck snapped towards her. "What?" Apparently all her teasing had been flirting and I had been clueless to it all. Partially because I was gay (though that part of me hadn't really surfaced yet) and because Suzanne was absolutely what I considered to be out of my league; beautiful face, hair, body, teeth. She drove a Lexus and her family came from money.

Suzanne wanted to kiss me and be close to me (I should have seen the warning signs this early) but I refused because she was still in a relationship with her boyfriend. I told her I wouldn't kiss her till they were broken up. They broke up two days later and we started unofficially dating. We wanted to keep it a secret because so many people had warned me about her. They said she was bad news and I was a good kid. My friends said this to me, my parents said this to me. Me being dumb and 18 thought I knew better than them all.

Suzanne and I shared our first kiss together a couple days after we began dating. It was my first kiss and first girlfriend ever. We were laying on my bed after work up in my room. She was wrapped in my arms and I leaned down to kiss her because I felt that was what I was supposed to do. I was sloppy and unsure of myself. I felt uncomfortable which at the time I brushed off as nerves because it was my first kiss and I was in my bedroom with a girl, but in reality it's because I was uncomfortable because I didn't really like it.

Throughout our relationship she would try to make out with me and I would refuse citing I was preparing to go on a mission and I didn't want to do that. Again, lies I told myself to get out of something that I knew was uncomfortable to me.

Suzanne and I had a rocky relationship. I had all these external influences telling me that she was bad news and I was going to get hurt. My relationships with my parents and my close friends were strained because of this. Suzanne would want to spend all her spare time with me and I would feel suffocated. I would want to hang out with my guy friends instead (ironic). We would talk about marriage, how I was going to be a surgeon and she was going to be a nurse. She told me while I was at work, she was going to go shopping and spend all our money (this upset me when she would say this).

I left for college in the fall 3,000 miles away and we decided to stay together. I became very mentally ill at school and Suzanne kept me going because we would talk several hours on the phone every day. For once in my life I did feel that someone did love me (though however unhealthy that relationship was). I felt attractive and accomplished. Suzanne had been the first person besides my mother or old widows in the ward to tell me that I was attractive. I liked the way Suzanne made me feel and the idea of having a girlfriend more so than actually having one which is why I think that we stayed together for so long.

We began to get very heavily involved with each other. Suzanne flew out to visit me for Thanksgiving break. She spent a week with my family and I, we had Thanksgiving at my family's cabin. We ended up ending things over the break because she had a guy she liked and her and I had been fighting so much. A couple weeks prior I found out she went out to dinner with her ex boyfriend and had lied to me about it. I had to find out from my friends who saw them together.

I moved back home over Christmas break and her and I met up on Christmas Eve to discuss things. We decided to remain friends.

I enrolled at the local community college and got a job working at the hospital. We still saw a lot of each other. Then this guy broke her heart. She came to me for comfort and like a dog returning to it's vomit, we got back together. In this time I got my own apartment. We were both 19 now and felt much older and more mature. I hadn't thought about a mission because I simply couldn't do one being so temperamental with my medications. Suzanne and I began to spend a lot of time together. We decided to take our relationship a different route this time. We didn't include anyone else in our decisions. We were open and honest with each other (or so I thought) and didn't attempt to keep our relationship a secret. For a while, things worked. I was actually happy and she was too. I would get off work, we would grab a pizza, and then we would head back to my apartment and curl up on the couch and watch a movie. It felt good, it felt right.

Suzanne and I were in a good place and we both agreed we were happy. We began very realistically talking about marriage. We named our children, two girls and a boy. We had a wedding date set. We talked about residency and where we wanted to settle once I was done with school. Her parents were going to buy us a car for a wedding present. For once I was excited about the future and what was ahead. My life was planned out before me.

Then one day I received a phone call from my bishop. A member of our ward had been killed in a tragic car accident. My Bishop asked for me to sing at his funeral. I obliged and didn't give it a second thought.

The funeral came and I performed. This man's family was not Mormon and as I sang over the pulpit, I could see the spirit touch their hearts through the song I was singing. A line from my patriarchal blessing came instantly from my mind "Your voice will be talented to teach in a very special way". I knew when I got my blessing that was talking about my singing voice. The spirit overwhelmed me and I started sobbing. I decided that it was time to pray about going on a mission again. I received a blessing and the confirmation came... I was supposed to go on a mission.

This news ate at me over the next 24 hours as I battled within myself. I had this perfect job, friends, apartment, and Suzanne. How could I go on a mission? How could I leave that all behind?

Heavenly Father answered this for me. The 48 hours proceeding the revelation that I was supposed to go on a mission were hell for me. A bunch of skeletons came tumbling out of Suzanne's closet as stories and lies conflicted and I realized that the person I had been romantically involved with for the past year and a half was not who I thought she was. She had been unfaithful to me in our relationship and slept with a total of three guys, some while we had been dating. What made it more sad is she continued the trend already set in her family; both her parents had cheated on each other.

The sad realization came that who she was depended on who she was dating at the time. When she was dating me she loved the scriptures and going to church, when she was dating the guy after me she loved trucks and NASCAR and country music. She was lost and didn't know who she was. She had no moral foundation and no real testimony of the Church.

We experienced a very nasty break up. I was so hurt. I cried and yelled. I didn't understand how someone could hurt me so much and lie to me.

On the plus side, this solidified that I was supposed to go on a mission, it sure made it a hell of a lot easier.

Suzanne and I made up right before I left. She wrote me my entire mission. Then once I came home, I headed out to school and haven't seen her since. Things never clicked again and I never felt that urge to get back together with her. We remained friends on Facebook and would occasionally catch up.

Suzanne finally gave up on putting a front of pretending to be something she wasn't. So pictures appeared on Facebook of her drinking, wearing immodest clothing and hanging out with her non-member boyfriend with his cigar.

I feel like I dodged a bullet on this one. Married life is hard. Married life in a mixed-orientation marriage is even harder. I'm glad I didn't add infidelity, and lies to the mix as well.

Suzanne getting married got me to think about Jane some more. Her latest letter just had me falling for her even more. She sent a picture of her companion with her ankle hurt and Jane draped her hair over it to fix it because it's magical (a la Tangled). I really believe I could be happy with her. She has the solid testimony that continues to grow and become stronger which each passing day.

What the future holds, I don't know. But I do know and can testify that my Heavenly Father is directing my path to where I am supposed to be.

Cheers,
GMSW






Friday, May 17, 2013

Reality Television, Jane, & Panic Attacks


I changed my anxiety/depression medicine from Prozac to Lexapro back in December while I was home for Christmas break. I've been on Prozac since I was 19 and it had been working up till about 6 months ago (May/June of last year). I noticed I was struggling to concentrate and my anxiety seemed to be coming back. My doctor cited the reason from my body adapting to the Prozac and so it was time to switch up medications. He put me on Lexapro and for the first little while it seemed to work. Though for the past couple of weeks, it seems to have made my symptoms worse and upon looking up the label, that is an adverse reaction to the medicine and signals a reason to stop using it.

I took this semester off to give my body and mind a break from the grind but I've been having daily anxiety issues. I've had an anxiety attack each time I've gone to the Plasma Center for the past two weeks. I had one a couple days ago when I was laying on my bed that left me unable to breathe or stand up. At work I'll be sitting at my desk and just start having an attack, and that's happened on a daily basis. Tuesday as I was waiting in the hall before a meeting, I had another anxiety attack. I had to sit down on the floor, put my head between my knees and focus on my breathing.

I haven't had anxiety attacks this severe or frequent since I was a freshmen fresh out of High School. I'm going to be headed back to the doctor to try and figure out a new medicine since the one right now is messing with my chemical balances in my brain.

Yesterday was awesome because I finally heard back from Jane. I received an email from her yesterday morning. Then my roommate came into my room and said "I got a letter from your girl!" You can bet that I ripped that sucker right open! She's doing good. Likes her companions for the most part. She took my advice about the food and not taking Tylenol PM on her first night there. It was so good to hear from her and guess what... she signed it with "Love" :).

So random awesome news... I was contacted by a producer from New York who's been reading my blog. He would like for me to take part in a reality television show he is putting together. He knows very well the the trial of reconciling faith and feelings as he comes from a Christian family and he is gay himself. This project is very dear to his heart. He wants to put together a cast composed of guys that are Mormon and gay. We set up a Skype conference call. He told me he was intrigued by me and my story. He said he wanted a guy like me and then changed it to "not a guy like you, I want you." He wants a cast that is dealing with being gay in different ways so some may choose to stay in the Church while others aren't remaining faithful. So the producer is super awesome and been really upfront with me. He told me to pray about whether or not I should do it.

Which is where I am now. Being on this show means that I would unmask myself as gay on National Television. I would of course tell my close friends and the rest of my family first. I would have to be ready for the criticism I well no doubt receive. I will have to be able to deal with myself becoming a type of "celebrity" and the invasion of privacy that entails. At the same time though, it would be a good chance to bring this conversation to the national stage with some sort of normalcy to it. People will be able to see a normal Mormon dude working through it. I would also be able to help pay for Med School with the salary that I would receive.

I haven't made a definite decision yet. There's still more conference calls to be had and prayers to be said. I plan on getting a blessing to help me make my decision.

Cheers,
GMSW

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Help Meet; not "Help Me"


Last night I went to Iron Man 3 with a new friend (Hans) I made at work and a group of his friends. The movie was awesome, but I'm not going to really talk about that in this post.

We were waiting in line at Texas Roadhouse and got on the topic of dating as most Mormons often do. He's single and 25. I told him I was going on a date Saturday morning and he should find a date so we could double. He seemed somewhat apprehensive about it, like he didn't think he could find a date.

Now Hans is an attractive guy, there's no reason he shouldn't get a date with a girl. I commented that it seemed he was scared of dating and there had to be a reason for it. He acknowledged that there was a reason for it (y'all know my mind immediately thought SSA). Turns out Hans was married for three years and got divorced last year. I was speechless.

Hans confided in me that his wife committed adultery while being married to him several times with several different men while they were married. When they first got married things were fine. She would read her scriptures, said her prayers, went to church, and attended the temple.

As their marriage progressed, Hans' wife stopped reading her scriptures and saying her prayers, she didn't want to go to church and plead with Hans every week to not go. She would entice him with such activities such as hiking and rock climbing (things that he loved) to try to convince him not to go. She stopped going to the temple unless it was someones marriage or something and then she put on a false facade and went so to not raise questions from her family.

Hans noticed his wife's change in demeanor. They were constantly fighting and there was no spirit in their home. He blamed it on himself. He thought it must have something to do with him. He must not be a good patriarch over his home or a worthy priesthood holder.

Hans found out about his wife's extramarital affairs from friends of his that worked with his wife. He confronted his wife and she admitted to what she did. Hans being the man that he is wanted to work on it together. He didn't want to get divorced, he wanted to try to salvage things.

The fights increased in number and their marriage just got worse and worse. Hans told his wife they needed to go to the Bishop for help. Right then and there, his wife left him.

Within a matter of weeks Hans lost everything. Prior to his divorce he had been financially comfortable with his wife. He gave his wife everything in the divorce. He was left with his car and clothes once the dust settled. In his words: "2012 was a really hard year for me. I watched my life, my marriage fall apart around me and I could do nothing about it; and because I was the man in the divorce, people automatically assumed that it was my fault."

The counsel that Hans gave me was to marry someone with a strong testimony. He thought he had, but he was wrong. We are to marry someone to be our help meet; our equal, our partner with God, like Adam and Eve were to each other. If a couple is together strong in the gospel, they will lift each other up, work together, become closer, and raise a family righteously in the covenant without much contention. When one marries someone not strong in the Gospel, one spouse becomes the "help me" to the other. One spouse is stuck trying to be the spiritual strength for the entire family. Many tears are shed, many fights are had, and many hearts are broken.

Coming from a family with "Help Me" circumstances, I can testify that this is true. My mother brought all the kids in my family to church alone most of my life. It was her holding family nights with us and waking up at 6 in the morning to have scripture study. She had to ask home teachers and Bishops to give blessings to her family. I myself was never ordained to anything by my dad, it was always another leader or my Bishop. Raising a family like a single parent was hard for my mom and I don't think anyone should ever have to go through that.

Something that my mother has learned dealing with my dad and Hans with his wife, the actions and choices of one's spouse is not your fault. You keep your covenants and do all you can, you will be blessed. If your spouse choses to leave the Church and divorce you, that's their choice. If a spouse decides to be unfaithful and lie, it is their agency that they are exercising, though it may be unrighteously. It is not your fault, you didn't do anything wrong. If anything one that goes through a divorce because of the actions of a spouse, you're extraordinary, because for one reason or another God knew that you could handle this difficult trial that no one else could.

Things are still hard for Hans. He is struggling to put himself back out into the dating scene, he feels out of place being single and living in married housing. He struggles with depression. But is also trusting in his Savior and knows that he has a plan for him.

This talk with Hans was a blessing for me because it reminded me how careful I need to be in the selection of my eternal companion. It also gave me peace in regards to the situations of others that I'm close to in my life. Things will work out the way they are supposed to. The Lord's hand is in everything.

Cheers,
GMSW


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Jane


This past weekend was somewhat of a game changer for me. There's this girl Jane. Jane and I have had the same schedule for the past four months. All of our classes are together. The first time I saw her, I judged her because I found out she was a runner up to Miss _______ (fill in the state of your choice). I made the judgement that she was a stereotypical dumb blonde that had gotten this far in college because she had cheated off people.... oh how wrong I was.

Jane and I spent a lot of time over the semester getting to know each other. We would work on physics, kinesiology, and chemistry together. Turns out she was much cleverer than me. I would give her rides home from lab. I would come over to her apartment and hang out. We would in-depth conversations about life and what we wanted. We would jam out to music. All the music on my iPod she loved... she would sing along. Not only does she have an incredible voice, but she can play the piano and guitar as well.

I was able to she her many different moods in many different situations. I was able to see her happy, sad, angry, stressed. I would go to her basketball games and support her. I found out she was athletic and very competitive. She was spiritual. She has goals in life.

The more time I've spent around Jane, the more and more attracted I've become to her. Attracted attracted, like I like her romantically. This is huge! This never happens for me. I genuinely found myself wanting to talk to her and spend time with her. I desired to be close to her and I could see myself marrying her and being happy. I actually felt "normal".

I really really like her. I spoke to my mom about it and she laughed. She said "I've never seen you behave like this about a girl. You're all giddy and you can't stop smiling."

We never went on an official date because she was preparing for a mission.

This past weekend was her farewell and I drove 3 and a half hours to see her speak. I sat on the front row of the chapel with her family. Her two little cousins were next to me and I had my arm across the part of the bench that they were leaning against. As I gazed up and listened to Jane speak, I shot a glance at the two little children next to me. I truly felt like I was getting a glance into the future. It felt so good, so right, so peaceful. I was actually longing for it.

Jane reports to the MTC tomorrow and I miss her. It's weirding me out.

I felt the spirit testify to me that there is a plan for me and it is waiting for me. Everything will turn out all right.

If anything, it gave me motivation to be better. I'm thankful for this opportunity for Jane to go on a mission. It will give her time to grow and time for me to work on myself as well. I want to be a man that she would want to marry when she gets back. So this is me moving forward and truly trusting in God.

Cheers,
GMSW

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Continuous Atonement


This past week has been my Spring Break away from school. So I've been able to spend some down time with my family, sleep in, and think about my life.

Saturday as I sat on the airplane home, I felt severe anxiety about my friends in my life. I felt like one by one they were either disappointing me or falling as a casualty to the war against Satan:

Adam and I have drifted somehow. Our schedules have both been insane. I've been preparing for finals and job hunting while Adam has been preparing for finals, graduation and finding a stable first career job. In addition to that, he's just distanced himself from me which has made me more frustrated. It seems like we used to be able to talk forever and never get tired of it, but now whenever I ask him how he's doing, his response is always "good". He never divulges or goes in depth like he used to. It's like he's shut himself off to me. He recently told me he doesn't believe the Church is true anymore which broke my heart. I support him and love him no matter what. But I honestly believe those feelings have been harbored and cultivated by attending a counselor who is pro-gay (when it comes to the Church stance on things) as well as associating with guys who are pretty much members now only by name. They are guys who aren't living the way they are taught, who are disobeying the law of chastity with other guys and who are all into finding fault in anything and everything with the church. I am gay and parts of me do want to be with a man. But I know the Church is true. I know that this is a trial of my faith, a trial that I accepted and because of that I am able to trust in the Prophet and continue to be faithful and follow the path I know to be right. Anyways, I stopped by Adam's on my way to the airport. I presented him with a birthday present that he really wanted as well has a heartfelt letter. I told him he was my best friend and that I loved him. We discussed how he was doing and what his position was with the church. He told me again that he didn't believe or support the Church like he used to. He said that he believed that Church wasn't the only true church. He also told me he is considering taking off his garments because they don't mean what they used to to him. I cried while he was telling me this and then in my drive to the airport afterwards (listen to Taylor Swift, All Too Well). I cried because I felt helpless in Adam's decisions, it breaks my heart to see him making similar decions to my own Father which led to a broken family for a decade. I felt heartbroken that he hasn't sincerely told me he loved me or that I was his best friend in over a month. He actually told me "This is what I worried about with this friendship. I didn't believe it was sustainable. It's always either hot or cold, there's no in-between." Ouch.

Stephen and I were talking to each other and Stephen dropped the bomb that he was drinking on the weekends to numb the pain and loneliness he was feeling. He was finally off Church probation for screwing up with Mac and it has left him bitter. He doesn't see hope and anything I said to him he rolled it off like it didn't mean anything to him.

Benji has found a new friend in the form of Alan, which is fine, good for him. I want Benji to have a ton of friends. But Benji has the tendency to make a new friend and becoming clingy and obsessed with them. He spends all his spare time with Alan but then complains that we never get to hang out. He never texts me anymore and then wonders why I get mad when I ask him to hang out and he's always with Alan. Then when we have hung out since he became friends with Alan, that's all I hear about.

David... I ran into him twice on campus and have been over to his house a couple of times when he wasn't home and spoke with his parents. His parents feel just as I do about Jaran (the other guy). His parents told me David used to be so full of life and energy. He used to be happy. Now every time they see him he looks sad and down. Jaran has taken over David and caused him to sever contact (on accident/on purpose who knows?) with his family and close friends. Jaran is manipulating David to live a life contrary to what he has been taught. It's sad and breaks not only my heart but his parent's hearts more importantly.

My other friend Erik who returned home from his mission a little over a year ago, just came out of the closet and is publicly dating a guy and announced it over Facebook. When I announced my support for traditional marriage at the beginning of the Supreme Court hearings on Facebook, Erik attacked me. He doesn't know that I'm gay. Part of me wonders if he and others could still call me ignorant and non-understanding if they knew about me.

These thoughts and worries about all my friends has been eating away at me. I recently deactivated my Facebook because I just felt pain and like I was alone in my battle, that these friends didn't really care about me anymore. They just looked at me as this ignorant replaceable guy. I've spent a great deal crying over all of my friends. I've begged the question to Heavenly Father "Why? Why am I so strong and able to stand by the Church and what I've been taught when others fall? I don't feel strong. I feel weak and simple minded." I have yet to come up with a reason why I haven't fallen to the teachings of the world. Though this girl I've been heavily involved with and interested in is leaving soon on her mission. I had the thought, "Maybe if I was married and just had my spouse I wouldn't feel empty right now with love and worry about all these other people. I would just have to worry and love my spouse. I wouldn't have to worry about her going anywhere."

These thoughts practically consumed me as I sat on my three hour flight. I felt the prompting to continue reading The Continuous Atonement by Brad Wilcox. It's a book I bought two years ago at the prompting of my Bishop when I first began my journey of being gay. I bring it on the plane every time I fly home to read but have never gotten around to it. I began reading:
"To Be Embraced  
I have interviewed many who feel as if the blessings of the Atonement are meant for others and not them-for General Authorities like Elder Wells and not for the rest of us. They don't feel like they qualify because their lives don't match what they consider to be the ideal:  
One man came home early from his mission. (I had to come home early from my mission because of illness)
Another is in his thirties and is yet unmarried. (Biggest fear I have)
A young woman never knew her father because her parents divorced when she was little and he refused to maintain contact. 
Yet another young woman went on a mission, married in the the temple, and then found herself in an abusive relationship. She was divorced before her second anniversary. 
A middle-aged woman was trying to earn a living at the same time she was raising her family as a single parent and didn't have enough hours in the day to do all expected of her. 
Another sister felt like she might as well be a single parent. Her husband was not a member and did not support her in her efforts to bring up the children in the Church.  
A middle-aged man was deeply troubled because his ex-wife left the Church when she divorced him and now the children, who remained with their mother, were being bombarded with anti-Mormon literature.  
One mother was struggling to deal with her teenage daughter's suicide, although it had happened many years earlier.  
A teenage boy was anxious for acceptance from other males and responded eagerly when a popular boy extended friendship. He soon discovered sexual favors were expected to maintain the relationship. He tried to cover his guilt by convincing himself his new lifestyle was acceptable.  
His father was wrestling with feelings of hurt, embarrassment, and guilt. His son now claimed to be homosexual and had left the Church and participated in demonstrations against it.  
The list of struggles seems endless. Obviously, many people live their lives far from the situations they planned and hoped for when they were children. This gives us all the more reason to turn to the Savior, whose message is not just "Come unto me," but "Come as you are." He doesn't say, "Go get your act together and then come back when you fit the mold." He says in essence, "Let's start right where you are, and go from there." Christ doesn't wait to offer blessings until our families look like the happy groups whose pictures appear in the Ensign magazine or in TV commercials. He doesn't require us to fit any mold before He is willing to mold us."
I feel sorry for the soldier and old woman I was smashed in-between. I started sobbing. I felt the Spirit wash over me incredibly strong. The Spirit testified to me off the truthfulness of Brother Wilcox's words. I didn't receive a miraculous revelation or fix all solution, no I received the love and comfort from my Savior that he was aware of what I was going through, what Adam, Stephen, Benji, David and Erik were going through as well. He knows that none of us have our acts together. He knows that our lives are far from where we planned where they would be. But that was the plan. Had our lives been perfect we wouldn't need the Savior to mold us.

I know and testify that if my friends turn to the Savior, all their infirmities will be made whole. They will know what's right, they will know where the need to be and what they should do. In the mean time, it's my job to continue to love them and be an example.

I'm thankful for a Savior who knows me perfectly and loves me in spite of my many imperfections and faults. I'm thankful for his glorious and infinite atonement. Without him, I am nothing.

Cheers.
GMSW

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Family: A Proclamation to the World


THE FAMILY

A PROCLAMATION TO THE WORLD

WE, THE FIRST PRESIDENCY and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
WE DECLARE the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.
HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.
THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.
WE WARN that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.
WE CALL UPON responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

All Too Well


If you've been following my blog, you've noticed that this semester has been the semester from hell for me. There's been a lot that has gone on and the majority of it has been out of my control. Twice now this semester I have found myself suicidal, the most recent being two weeks ago. I didn't realize how far along I was with my thought process until I came across the warning signs of suicidal behavior and it scared me:

5 Warning Signs of Suicidal Behavior:
-Talking about having no purpose
-Withdrawing or isolating oneself
-Displaying extreme mood swings
-Abruptly ending relationships
-Avoiding work, school or jobs 

I fit every single one of these warning signs. I've felt beaten and have frequently retreated to my room to be by myself and away from everyone. My moods have gone from happy to extreme depression and loneliness. I have felt frustrated with friendships in my life and felt like people didn't care about me and weren't putting any effort into our friendship. In the process of all this, I was avoiding the gym and doing homework because I just didn't want to deal with it. 

There are very few people who I have told just how close to suicide I was because I don't want people to make a big deal out of it. I don't want to screw up my schooling or future by having to get checked into a facility. I don't want people to treat me differently either. 

For whatever reason, I feel emotions so deeply. So much deeper than anyone I have ever met. Things really effect me when it has to do with anyone that I know and love. I don't have an explanation of why. Just if my friend has really hurt me, I hurt and am in agony. If my friend is going through a hard time, I ache to fix their pain and make things better. If my friend is happy, I'm right there with them ecstatic as can be. 

The only person that I can think of whose emotions mirror mine is Taylor Swift (I know, how stereotypically gay). One reason why I love her so much is her ability to convey honest raw emotions so explicitly. Her songs speak to me. When her voice quivers in a song, mine does too. When she is lying on the bathroom floor crying singing You're Not Sorry, I am too. When she bemoans the guy who doesn't know she exists and how much she wants him with her Teardrops On My Guitar, I'm right there on my bed hugging my pillow crying with her. 

Music has always spoken to me. So when I'm feeling a strong emotion (good or bad) she's my go to girl.

I've always thought my capacity to love and express emotion so deeply was a gift. More recently and in communicating with friends, I see that not everyone can handle it. It can put people off. For a lot of people it's not something they understand and it overwhelms them.

I realize that I have a lot of work to do. I realize that I need to not let others dictate my happiness and that's something that I'm working on. It's really hard.

I walked through the door with you, the air was cold,
But something about it felt like home somehow.
And I left my scarf there at your sister's house,
And you still got it in your drawer even now.

Oh, your sweet disposition and my wide-eyed gaze.
We're singing in the car, getting lost Upstate.
Autumn leaves falling down like pieces into place,
And I can picture it after all these days.

And I know it's long gone,
And that magic's not here no more,
And I might be okay,
But I'm not fine at all.

'Cause there we are again on that little town street.
You almost ran the red 'cause you were looking over me.
Wind in my hair, I was there, I remember it all too well.

Photo album on the counter, your cheeks were turning red.
You used to be a little kid with glasses in a twin-size bed
And your mother's telling stories about you on the tee ball team
You tell me about your past, thinking your future was me.

And I know it's long gone
And there was nothing else I could do
And I forget about you long enough
To forget why I needed to...

'Cause there we are again in the middle of the night.
We dance around the kitchen in the refrigerator light
Down the stairs, I was there, I remember it all too well, yeah.

Maybe we got lost in translation, maybe I asked for too much,
And maybe this thing was a masterpiece 'til you tore it all up.
Running scared, I was there, I remember it all too well.

Hey, you call me up again just to break me like a promise.
So casually cruel in the name of being honest.
I'm a crumpled up piece of paper lying here
'Cause I remember it all, all, all... too well.

Time won't fly, it's like I'm paralyzed by it
I'd like to be my old self again, but I'm still trying to find it
After plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own
Now you mail back my things and I walk home alone

But you keep my old scarf from that very first week
'Cause it reminds you of innocence and it smells like me
You can't get rid of it 'cause you remember it all too well, yeah

'Cause there we are again, when I loved you so
Back before you lost the one real thing you've ever known
It was rare, I was there, I remember it all too well

Wind in my hair, you were there, you remember it all
Down the stairs, you were there, you remember it all
It was rare, I was there, I remember it all too well

Cheers,
GMSW