Saturday, January 08, 2005

Holiday Conflict

My dad and I had it out my last day at home over Christmas break. Not an unusual thing, really, but it was the worst I’ve seen it in a long while. I got really emotional as well. It was interesting. My dad and I were riding home from church, and he asked me what I was doing to overcome my porn addiction. Because I’ve seen where previous discussions of this sort have taken us, I told him I didn’t want to talk about it. However, my father is a very concerned parent, and so he wouldn’t drop it. He insisted I tell him what I am doing.

Me – “Dad, I know where these conversations always lead, and I don’t want to go there.”

Dad – “I’m concerned about you and I just want to know how you’re doing and what steps you’re taking to overcome pornography.”

Me – “I really don’t want to talk about it.”

Dad – “I’m just trying to help. Why don’t you want to talk about it?”

Me – “Because our conversations don’t help. In fact, they make things worse. I’ve heard what you’ve had to say, and I really don’t want to hear it again.”

Dad – “What do you mean you’ve heard what I have to say?”

Me – “It’s the same thing every time: pray, read scriptures, blah, blah, blah. I know all the right answers, it’s just not that simple though.”

Dad – “Son, I want you to be a part of our family forever, so I am going to talk to you about this.” (Side note: A basic tenet of the Mormon Church is eternal families. He was referring to not only this life, but also the life after we die. I believe in the doctrine.)

Me – “Dad, I know you want to help, but our conversations make me feel worse about myself because everything I am and everything I feel is contrary to the Church, according to you. I’m a sinful, prideful, awful person, and I don’t need to hear it from you any more.”

Dad – “I don’t say those things about you.”

Me – “You think that homosexuality is awful, and I am gay, therefore I must be awful.”

Dad – “You’re not gay…”

Me – “Dad, you’ve got to be kidding. I AM GAY! I am a homosexual, and no matter what you think or want to believe, I like men! That’s the reality. It’s really hard to live in a homophobic family where all my siblings and parents think what I am is completely wrong! I hate it!”

Dad – “Homophobic! That’s a term invented by the homosexual community to help them justify their sinful behavior.”

Me – “Dad, those people are good people. Just because you disagree with their lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to abhor everything about them. I’m sick of seeing you guys act so disgusted when homosexuals are on T.V., or when it’s discussed in a political context.”

Dad – “We don’t hate the people, we hate the sin. We cannot look upon their sinful behavior as normal or acceptable.”

Me – “But, Dad, that’s who these people are. It’s not something they chose. WHY WOULD ANYONE ONE CHOOSE THIS!”

Dad – “There are a lot of deviant behaviors portrayed on T.V. as normal that we disagree with. We cannot accept such behaviors. We hate the sin, not the sinner. God made us man and woman for a reason.”

Me – “Dad, you just don’t understand. You don’t understand what it’s like to be homosexual.”

Dad – “Your trials are not much different from other people’s trials. All people have desires that they shouldn’t act on.”

Me – “I know, but with homosexuality it’s different. I can never have your blessing in being with a man. You don’t understand homosexuality, though you think you do.”

Dad – “You’ve become homosexual because of certain choices you’ve made in your life…”

Me – “Hold on, you think I CHOSE this! Why would you think I would ever choose this!”

Dad – “Because of your choices to meddle in pornographic material…”

Me – “Dad, pornography is a SYMPTOM of a much larger problem. Pornography did not MAKE me GAY! Who do you think you’re kidding!”

Dad – “You even said yourself that your sexuality is a product of your choices.”

Me – “I said my sexuality is a product of my CIRCUMSTANCES! Very different. Dad, you think choices made me gay because that fits into your religious paradigm. Well, you’re wrong.”

Dad – “God gives us trials blah, blah, blah.”

Me – “You’re right, dad. You know everything. Well, if you’re such a genius, why don’t you take my problem and solve it for me!”

At that point, I went downstairs VERY PISSED OFF and upset. I couldn’t even believe what I was hearing. I had heard most of his advice before, but I had no idea he thought I CHOOSE homosexuality. WOW! He came down after a few minutes, and he gave me a hug. I lost it at that point. I just started sobbing. I wish I did love my dad. I wish I did have a great relationship with him. Unfortunately, he doesn't trust me, he doesn't believe me and he doesn't understand me.

I explained to him that it was very difficult for me to talk to him because I can see both sides of the issue. As a result, I automatically take the opposite side when I talk to people about homosexuality. If I were to talk to a gay man about my decisions, I would certainly argue that my decision is best for me.

Either way, I think my arguments would be more sensitive if I were to discuss the issue with a homosexual man. I think God loves all people, including all homosexual men and myself. I think he sympathizes with their plight in life. I think he wants to help them feel peace and love just as much as the next heterosexual man.

Anyhow, my dad’s and my conversation left me with even more resentment for my father. It definitely did more harm than good. At least now I know he thinks I’m a screw up. He thinks I chose to have the worst internal conflict of my life. He thinks I am a failure and have made terrible decisions, which apparently made me gay. I forgot to mention this above, but I did tell him that our shitty relationship is more to blame for my sexuality than pornography. That’s a fact.

Just as a side note, the conversation I just transcribed has many holes. It’s really difficult to remember everything that was said and how it was said. Oh well, I think you get the gist of it.

What my father doesn’t realize is that I am inclined to do the exact opposite of what he says simply because I resent him so much. By the way, I am still a little emotional about it. Our relationship probably isn’t as bad as it seems. In reality, we're very cordial to one another. I respect him for the sacrifices he has made for both me and my family, and I think he is a genuinely good person. I simply don’t have a very loving relationship with him. It could be much, much worse though, so I can't complain too much.

After the episode, I emailed him and told him I resented some of the things he said to me. I’ll paste the emails below. In case you don’t have time to read them, he apologized for upsetting me, but he didn’t take back or apologize for any of the things he said. Oh well.

Here’s my email and his reply.

Dad,

I just wanted to tell you I was really hurt by only one comment from our discussion earlier today. You implied that I chose this. That'sabsolutely untrue. I resent that comment. I know you have theories about this condition that fit nicely into your religious paradigm, but I disagree with your ideas because in no way did I CHOOSE to be the way I am. I know you think you understand my situation perfectly, but you don't.

If you want me to be humble in this, then you're going to have to lead by example. I just want an apology. I write this only because if you insist on being a part of this -- and I don't think I have much choice -- I need to know you believe me and trust me. Otherwise, I never want to talk to you about it again.
------------------------------


My dear son,

I don't know whether or not you received my email this morning. The format for these things change and I don't email enough to keep up.

Anyway, I do apologize for hurting your feelings; I am not trying to hurt you, but only trying to help you.

I am sure you are not happy with your divided feelings & conflicts. I hope to see you resolve them in the future.

I desire only your happiness and peace of mind. At this time, I don't know how to help you with this. But there is one thing I know for sure: You will never, ever have happiness and peace of mind through SSA or homosexuality. It is against the laws of God and eternity.

You are an embodied soul and an eternal person of body and spirit. Peace and happiness come only through obedience to the laws, ordinances and commandments of God.

These commandments are the pathway to happiness. God knows this and that is why he asks us to follow his plan--The Plan of Happiness.

And he never gives us a plan or commandments which we cannot obey--all of us!

By your comments expressed Sunday, you seem to be using phrases from the gay websites and homosexual philosophy. Will you accept and read or view differing thoughts, truths showing the opposite points of view?

There are some things I would like you to see and read.

Love,

Dad

2 Comments:

Blogger Funky Fresh Freddie said...

Being gay is not a condition.
Your Dad will FOREVER make you fee GUILTY for being gay.
Your religion will FOREVER make you feel GUITLY for being gay.
I'm sorry but, your father is a closed-minded, weak, blind man for not accepting you the moment you told him you were gay.
I accept you.
Leave Morman country and move your ass somewhere you can feel free to be yourself without GUILT.
GUILT will be your death.
Don't pray to get "better", you are normal.
Scriptures will not change you.
Young men reading pornographic material (gay or strait) is NORMAL!
You dad is not a Saint. He has secrets that he is too ashamed to discuss.
Do not let him tell you that you are 'divided' on the issue - he wants you to be a strait man and will probably never see you as gay.
He says: "I desire only your happiness and peace of mind." (Being yourself, Gay, makes you happy)
Then he says: "You will never, ever have happiness and peace of mind through SSA or homosexuality. It is against the laws of God and eternity."
Then fuck God, fuck eternity, and fuck him!

Dude, I really feel sorry for you. If I were in your shoes and had a father that ignorant I would be scared.

3:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You and your dad may never agree on this. Focus on the fact that he only wants what's best for you, even when you can see where he is off base. He is steeped in the doctrine he believes in and cannot waver. You have learned that everything is not black and white. I would say you have the more enlightened viewpoint, but that doesn't ease your pain.

8:33 AM  

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