Saturday, January 15, 2005

Comments? Questions?

In the previous blog I received two very interesting comments. Firstly, I’d like to thank the two anonymous people who made the comments. I’d also like to address them.

The one comment said I am dealing with two different problems. I agree completely. I have a porn addiction and I am gay. They are very separate. Like he said, even if I do kick the porn habit, I will likely always be gay. I'm glad he made that distinction because apparently I have been blurring the lines between the two issues.

I only disagree with one part of his comment: the origin of my sexuality. I don’t believe I was born gay. I’ve mentioned in previous blogs why I feel this way. Perhaps I am wrong, but that’s what I believe based on my experiences and feelings. Nonetheless, I don’t believe I CHOSE my sexuality – as does my father. For ME and MY situation, I believe the explanation for my sexuality lies on the “nurture” side of the argument. I don’t believe that this is necessarily true for all gay men. Homosexuality may very well be genetic for some gay men. I don’t know.

Anyhow, thanks commenter for believing that I CAN overcome my porn addiction. Right now, that’s the issue I want to deal with most. Thanks for your support. You’re probably right, however, that I will always have feelings for men.

As for the other person who commented, I appreciate your hope-inspiring story. I wish I were as strong willed as you in overcoming your heterosexual porn addiction so quickly. I don’t think it will ever be that clear cut for me, but who knows. Maybe over night I will just be able to give it up! I would pay a lot of money for that to happen.

I’ve been emailing one of my blog readers quite regularly for the past month, and I just thought I would share a portion of my reply to one of her emails. You see, she is working on a project and has been asking me questions about my situation and my feelings. In her last email she asked if I truly believed a porn addict could overcome his addiction completely without ever reverting to it.

This is what I wrote:

The question you asked is the scariest yet. :) I contemplate it a lot. To begin, let me say I have heard stories of porn addicts who have gone 10 years or more without it. So, yes, I do believe that it is possible for people to actually, sincerely get out of porn. Now let me tell you how I feel deep inside. I feel like I will never get out of porn entirely. Mainly because I have been involved in it for about the past 7 years – barring the two-year mission break – and have seen no results from my efforts to get away. I mean, you’d think after having gone two years without it that I would be “cured” from it. Well, not so. I quickly returned to my old ways the WEEK after I got home from my mission. Really, the only reason I wasn’t involved in porn during the mission was that I didn’t have time for or access to it. It was wonderful. I still masturbated on my mission, but not nearly as much as I do nowadays. I could go months without masturbating on my mission. Anyhow, my situation has been that I ALWAYS come back to porn after a few weeks, months or even years of trying to give it up. It’s sad.

Now, for the bright side…I have this hope that someday I will conquer my bad habit. For some reason, I know that I will someday, but it’s hard for me to BELIEVE that I will someday. Does that make sense?

Now I am going to be even more honest about my addiction – something I just recently noticed about myself. Within the last year or so I have stopped trying as hard to kick the habit. I have been so fed up with my failures that I don’t want to fail anymore. I’m afraid. I hesitate to try new methods for breaking the habit because I fear that the methods will fail. I don’t want them to fail; I want them to work! So now, as a “solution,” I avoid possible solutions altogether. This is really a catch-22, I realize. I don’t even know if I am making any sense. I guess what I am saying is that if I keep trying new or old solutions, I will eventually run out of them and then I will be DOOMED to a life of pornographic addiction! AHHHHHHH! I just reread this paragraph and realized that my thinking is VERY ridiculous. I wish I didn’t feel or think this way. I really need help. WOW!


Here are some of the other responses I’ve written to other questions in other emails.

Question 1: If you knew the Lord would make you attracted to women one day, would it be easier for you to stay the course or that much more harder not to?

If I knew the Lord would someday make me attracted to women, then it would be SOOOO much easier to stay the course. As you know, I've not had homosexual experiences, and I know I can endure longer, as long as there is an end at some point. You see, my greatest fear is that someday I will get married to a woman, have kids, and then walk out on her and my children for another man! No woman or child deserves such treatment, yet I've heard stories with similar endings. That's why it's very difficult for me to take girls seriously or to try to get into a serious relationship. I just don't know how long I can last. If I knew that at some point down the road I would be completely "cured" of homosexuality, I would be much stronger through this trial I think. I guess that's kind of my problem: lack of faith. As my father would say, if I simply believed that would happen, then it would. He's probably right, but 9 years of believing that has produced few results. In fact, I'm much farther from the path than when I was 18 and preparing for a mission. I think that was the spiritual climax in my life: ages 18 -19. Anyhow, my testimony is strong enough that I know this is God's restored church and that homosexuality is a sin, but it's weak enough that I don't see an end to this trial and I don't know if I will ever be able to have a family because of it.

Question 2: If you didn't have the gospel in your life where would you be right now? Happily homosexual on a beach sipping a pina colada in Cancun with your domestic partner?

Without the gospel in my life, I would certainly be a flaming homosexual. Okay, maybe not flaming, but I would be dating men, having sex with them, and essentially living an openly gay lifestyle. Would I be happy? Probably. Like you said, I think people can be happy regardless of the sinful life they lead; however, I don't think I would have the same peace and joy that I enjoy as a member of the church. Plus, I would most definitely be agnostic without the church. What a sad state! Not knowing your purpose in life. That is scarier than being gay.

Question 3: Are you endowed? Serve a mission? Have any married friends?

I am endowed. I did serve an honorable, full-time mission. I served my mission in Europe. I became a trainer and district leader at eight months out. I became zone leader at 16 months and assistant to the president at 18 months. I would usually never showcase my callings like this, but I figure as long as I am anonymous, it's no big deal. However, with that in mind, you must know that I have not been to the temple for nearly 4 years. The last time I attended a session was while I was in the MTC. I miss the temple greatly, but I don't feel worthy to go. Well, actually, I'm not worthy to go to the temple. Since about the first week after I returned from my mission, I have been involved with pornography and masturbation on and off. I'll get into it for a week or two, then I'll be clean for a few weeks. Then I go back to it. It's really a stupid, predictable cycle, but I can't seem to break it. I will break it someday.

My temple recommend expired about a year ago, and I didn't bother to renew it because I knew I wasn't worthy. Plus, I never use it anyway. Right now it's been about two weeks since I last meddled in the Net. I have a goal to go 30 days without porn so that I can get a new temple recommend. My bishop recommended I be clean from it for at least 30 days. We'll see if I can ever do it. I want to, but apparently I don't have the will power for it -- yet. However, I don't know if I'll ever feel really worthy to go to the temple. Even when I went through before my mission and during my MTC stay, I always felt a little guilty about being there -- even though I had confessed every possible sin and was told I was worthy. Anyhow, you can probably tell that I am sad about my temple attendance situation. Oh well, it could be much, much worse.

Yes, I do have married friends. Being nearly 24 years old, it's impossible to attend BYU and not have married friends. In addition, all my close friends from high school are married or engaged. Of course, when I'm asked about marriage, I just tell people I am focused on my career and just waiting to find that special someone. A lot of Mormons think I am probably too focused on my career, but they can think that. It's a better than having to explain my sexuality. :) "So why aren't you married?" "Well, I'm gay. That seems to be the biggest problem." :)


As a final note for this blog session, I told my dad in an email today that I won’t be talking about my problem to him anymore. We’ll see if that happens. I just can’t deal with him right now. He’s a great man, though. Don’t forget that.


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