Thursday, November 24, 2005

Feeling Better

Wow, sorry for leaving on such a downer last post. I’m feeling much better now. Those crappy feelings lasted about two days, and then I got over it. I realized that it’s okay for me to not be exactly like my friend. We’ve very different people, and that’s a great thing. The fact that I masturbate and he doesn’t does not put him on a higher plane – just different ones. Plus, I would never want his life. I like mine a lot.

Today I watched the Johnny Cash film, “Walk The Line.” Wow! What a downer! I thought the movie was very well done. The acting was phenomenal, the writing was great, the story flowed well, and the cinematography was good, but Cash’s life totally sucked! It was quite depressing. It was nice, though, to be reminded of what life is all about.

During the movie I started thinking about what kind of life I want to have … not Johnny Cash’s, that’s for sure. I actually had a hard time pinpointing what kind of person I want to be. But I was able to determine what type of person I don’t want to be.

I don’t want to be the bitter gay guy who hates the Mormon church.
I don’t want to be that lonely guy who has nothing in his life but work.
I don’t want to be the rainbow flag-carrying gay rights dude.
I don’t want to be a closed-minded religious zealot.
I don’t want to be the guy who takes himself too seriously.

That’s what I’ve come up with so far. I am really worried about the first one. I have found myself criticizing the church. I really don’t want to be that guy. I don’t criticize other religions, so there’s no reason to criticize the one I belong to. Plus, there’s so much about the church that I love, so it really doesn’t make sense to find the inconvenient parts and attack them. The church is a great organization. Heck, I still believe it’s of God. That’s why it’s absolutely ridiculous that I criticize it.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

GM,

You don't criticize other religions because you don't feel that they have control over your life. The doctrines and leadership of the Catholic, Jewish, Baptist, Muslim, etc. religions can basically preach whatever they want. It makes no difference to you, because you don't feel the need to abide by any of these teachings.

On the other hand, you still cling to Mormonism as a church "of God." Its roots appear to remain deep within your psyche. At the same time, you have discovered, through your own life experience and doctrinal study, that parts of Mormonism do not seem right. Your fight against this cognitive dissonance is normal - sometimes you blame the church for teaching seemingly wrong and unfair doctrine; sometimes you blame yourself for your "sinful" flaws and inability to abide by the Church's doctrine.

I remember going through similar experiences. Sometimes I blamed myself for not being strong enough to comply with the Church's teachings; other times I was very angry with the Church for teaching flawed principles. While I didn't have the benefit of "blogging" back then, I did record my thoughts (as a good Mormon should) in my journal.

Eventually, I couldn't bear it any longer, and I left the Church. Now, I rarely criticize Mormonism because I no longer feel controlled by the Church. I can live my own life by standards of morality, decency, kindness, etc. as I've discovered these principles, not as some arbitrary man-made church has dictated them to me.

GM, I would recommend that you not concern yourself with fears about what you DON'T want to become, and focus instead on what you WANT to be. Don't be afraid to be yourself. I think you are afraid of becoming the stereotypes that you identify because, right now, you are not living openly as yourself. Whether we like to admit it or not, our sexuality is a huge part of our identity. When we keep large chunks of our identity private from family and friends, we feel insecure about ourselves because we fear that revealing these secrets will bring about unbearable rejection.

If you choose to stop living as a Mormon, don’t worry – there is live beyond Mormonism, and it can be pretty good.

Teddy

9:39 AM  
Blogger Randy said...

yes, focus on what you want to be. reach deep down into yourself and decide where your authentic happiness lies. i think you know the answer, but that you're very afraid of where that might lead. btw, i don't see the virtue in avoiding masturbation.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good comments, Randy and anonymous. However, I think that anything anybody says here is going to fall short.

GM apparently is so deeply conflicted that what he really needs to do is talk with a gay-friendly therapist.

I myself found psychotherapy to be wonderfully illuminating. It helped me identify and address issues far more effectively -- and quickly -- than would have been the case had I continued to rely on talks with friends, information on the Internet, books, articles, etc.

11:41 PM  
Blogger DCTwistedLife said...

Hey GM,

Good to know that youre feeling better about those things... I emailed you a while back but I dont know if you ever got it? I hope I had the right email address. Anyways, I really seem to have the same ups and downs as you do. Its hard, and I understand not wanting to be a sort of hateful or angry person, but its hard not to be angry when stuck in this situation....And I agree with the others who say to focus on what you want to be. Let go of what you dont want to be, because those things would probably start to fade away as you persue your other goals. Anyways, thats my two cents for now! Take care.

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

texaschick says...

sorry I haven't posted in awhile, I have thought about ya and hoped all is well, seems as if it is, just remember you are a whole person and take a break from trying to figure out the sexuality thing every single day!! I think even some of us that are "basically" straight still spend a huge amount of emotional energy worrying about sexual related stuff when we are single. Have you choosen to not explore a relationhip with a woman ever? Have you ever considered being totally honest with a woman and then dating her just to see if it made you feel anything. I know you basically know you are gay because of the emotions you get from men, but how do you know how a woman could make you feel. I guess because I am really and truley bi-sexaul It is easier for me to open my self up to a varitey of different loving relationships, I don't like labeling myself as anything, and I think everyone that does is a little silly, I mean why go around saying I am straight, gay, or bi, why not just be you and date who you want, find love where you can find it??? I don't know most of the gay and straight community seems to think I am insane? What do you think about being bi-sexaul??? Is it even harder than being gay or straight? I would love to hear what other blogers think???

HUGS AND KISSED - TEXASCHICK:)

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Texaschick- you are RIGHT ON. I consider myself straight because I never have same sex attractions. But what difference does it make? Why do we need labels? Why can't we be able to date and fall in love with those to whom we are attracted?

8:13 AM  
Blogger DCTwistedLife said...

In regard to what Texaschick said... I personally think Bisexuality is a sham...but then most gay men seem to think this way as well. Another thing is that psychological studies seem to indicate that women's sexualities are more 'flexible' than are mens. Thus bi-sexuality is possible (supposedly) in men, but it's less likely. Men are more likely to categorize themselves as one or the other. I speak for myself, but if I truly felt I was bi-sexual I would try to ignore my attraction to men and focus on my attraction to women. Problem being that I really am not attracted to women, even though every day when i see a pretty girl I question this. I have to go through in my head if I am actually attracted to her to not. It comes down to sexual attraction and its really not there for me personally. Its difficult to get through every day, but its part of the psychological denial / acceptance process that gay people seem to go through.... anyways, my thoughts for ya.

8:15 AM  
Blogger redhwk said...

hey just thought that I'd give a shoot out. Ah being gay and at BYU to boot, I remember those good old days! don't worry you'll make it.

steve

11:21 AM  
Blogger Elbow said...

I hear what you are saying.
Gay stereotypes are a really difficult barrier when comming to terms with sexuality. I feel the same way that you do in regards to the fact that there are people who stereotype the word "Gay" into meaning flags and parades and whatever.
There's always the fear of ending up as a bitter gay man because loneliness is the path for most people who don't get married. But I don't think that's true. You will and can be whatever you need to and want to be. I have complete faith in the fact that you will turn out to be an amazing and positive force for good, no matter what where you are at in life.

3:16 PM  
Blogger David said...

I think you have a good list going for what you want out of yourself in the future. I can relate to not wanting to hate the Mormon church and end up bitter. I also believe the LDS church is of God, but there are a lot of things in this world that are of God.

It's ok to say that the Mormon church failed you though. It failed me, I lived in partial misery my whole life until accepting myself as gay. It makes me angry that so many gay mormons tear themselves apart over their homosexuality, some even kill themselves. God made you the way you are, and it's not so that you can tear yourself apart and live in misery.

Take the good parts of life and the Mormon church and be better for them. There can be so much happiness in life, but we have to reject the things and people that pull us down and make us feel inferior.

12:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DUDE, WHERE ARE YOU????? COME BACK TO US!

11:22 PM  
Blogger Sariah said...

Okay, I've been reading your blog for quite a while, but I never comment because I don't know that I really have anything insightful or helpful at all. However, I wanted to let you know that I read you and I think about you a lot.

I really wish I could help you as you struggle with this (and it seems like such a struggle because of all the things you write), but as I am completely straight (and in many ways the stereotypical LDS girl: went to Ricks, met and married an RM in the Temple, now have 2 kids, etc), I don't really know what you're going through personally.

I can say that everyone has struggles and problems to varying degrees, and I have suffered through a lot of my own in recent years. While some may say they do not compare to yours, I don't care because they are my own problems, not theirs. Anyrate, I get the feeling from what you write that you have a pretty strong testimony of the Church. Hang on to that. You know what they say: The Chruch is perfect, but the people are not. Just remember the basic priniciples of the Gospel and worry about that more than anything. That's what I have to do when I struggle with things. I don't always agree with some of the teachings of the Church or of the people of the Church, but I know that Pres. Hinckley is a prophet of God. You have to know that, or else everything else won't matter. So, hang on to your testimony and I don't know if I can say everything will work out (I hate it when people say that), but that will keep you strong on some respects. Don't worry about the mistakes you made or make... just keep working to do what's right. That's all any of us can do, anyway.

Also, I think you should come out to your family. Yes, it will be difficult, but I'm sure they love you and while they may have a bit of a hard time with it, you'll see just how much they love you anyway. I know many people in the Church are a lot more accepting than others think. We just need to be given that chance.

Well, I hope I said everything right and for those of you who don't like what I say, well, just ignore me. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what others think of me, just what I think of me.

3:06 PM  

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