Monday, March 19, 2007

Crying in the Dark

There are times when I feel so fragile. It feels like the world is just too cruel of a place for me to exist. Where just the words from someone could crush me. It's a world where I just want to build a huge wall around myself and my family to shelter us from the evil and ugliness that surrounds us. Living at the end of times is difficult and often overwhelming. I feel like a child. I can't comprehend all that is going on around me and why there is so much hatred. It seems that everyone around me is struggling. They are tired. At work, at church, in restaurants, at the library, wherever I go, people are tired and barely hanging on. There has never been a greater need for the saving grace of Christ.

What is my role in all of this? I want to be a good father and husband. I want to contribute to society in a positive way. I want to be obedient. I want to be good. I want to help others. I want to make the world a better place. I feel like I'm stuck in a place that is difficult to move forward. I do okay at work, but not great, I do okay at home, but not great, I do okay in my church calling, but not great. I feel trapped. I often feel depressed, not just down, but totally overcome by blackness.

I have a good job and am able to support my family. I have a good education that allowed me to get a good job. The work is interesting, but something is missing. Something is not right. Is it just me? Should I be more positive about my work and the life I am leading? I have a great wife and children. They are my anchor and my hope, but they know something is wrong with me. I wish I could just pin it on the SGA, but that would be too easy. My SGA doesn't really create that many problems in my life. It's tough at times, but I don't believe that it is the cause of my suffering. My therapist tells me not to focus on the cause, but instead on the solution - don't ask why, just look forward. But I can't help but ask what is causing these feelings of incompleteness? Why are there nights that I can't stop crying in the dark - and I don't even know why I'm crying?


playasinmar said...

I wish I knew you better. If I did I could offer you better advice. I think you need help.

The first two sentences of your post sound like a suicide note.

Dave said...

Dude - you are gay and Mormon. Those two things don't mix well. You're in a marriage that I'm sure brings you happiness (i.e. children, for example), but it also prevents you from guiltlessly realizing who you are.

I was raised LDS and am very happily married with four children. I'm not gay, but began to lose my faith in the LDS church years ago in college (at BYU by the way) when I first saw how homosexuals have generally been treated by church leaders who are supposed to be inspired (of course they are not inspired but are just regular people). As an aside, that faith has long since completely died, and I'm frankly much better off because of it. Not bitter or angry at all. Just happier.

But back to my point: During the last 20+ years the church has softened its stance towards those with SSA, but it doesn't change that homosexuality is viewed as a huge sin. This foments massive feelings of guilt and worthlessness amongst many that struggle with SSA but want to remain LDS. And when I say struggle, I only mean it because when one stops caring about being LDS, the guilt for having or acting on SSA will largely go away, and the "struggle" therefore largely goes away. You're not in a box anymore.

Of course, leaving the church and its doctrines behind brings with it a massive set of problems, because the church can be a very valued and all-encompassing culture in itself. For many, that's a good and comforting thing. For you, I'm not so sure it is.

The point, my friend, is that you are depressed because you feel unable to act on who you are. That is not healthy. And it's very unfair to your wife. Tell her who you are. Be honest with her. If she can't accept it, then adjust and make the choices that are in your and your family's best interest. But the previous poster is right: you sound like you're considering suicide, and that is not OK. If you even sound like that, your wife knows something is wrong. She loves you and is very perceptive. Don't leave her hanging, man. Sit her down, tell her you love her, and tell her you're gay. Work with her to figure out what to do next. Do it together. Get it off your chest so you can at least live an honest life with the person that is most critical to it. You deserve that and so does she. Let your faith in yourself be your guide. Best of luck to you.

Dave said...

I just re-read the last post and it sounded a little less positive than I meant it to sound. What I wanted to say is:
1. There are a lot of people out there who are genuinely happy
2. You deserve to have happiness and so does your family
3. You unhappiness is directly related to the fact that you are living two lives that are directly in conflict with one another.
4. You will start back on the road to happiness as soon as you invite your wife into the life you live, in your heart and in your mind: "Sorrow shared is sorrow halved. Joy shared is joy doubled." Sharing with your wife is not a destination on the road to happiness, but merely the first step
5. The next step is to accept who you are, realize no one made you this way, and work with your wife on it.
6. There will be a lot of people, whether you know them or not, that will be rooting for you. None will root for you harder than your wife and kids.

SG said...

I'm not sure where to begin, except to say that this post could easily have been written by me. I feel the same way sometimes. But there are plenty of times when I don't feel so bad, or bad at all, in fact. Some would have you believe that you cannot have a testimony of the Church and be an active, worthy member and still be SSA, but you can.

Would you read my blog if you haven't? Some of it may be relevant, some may not. If you'd like to email off line, let me know in a comment here or on my blog.

We have so much in common; we can help each other. Don't give up. You don't have to leave the Church behind.

playasinmar said...

A woman came up to me and said
"I'd like to poison your mind
With wrong ideas that appeal to you
Though I am not unkind"
She looked at me, I looked at something
Written across her scalp
And these are the words that it faintly said
As I tried to call for help:

There's only one thing that I know how to do well
And I've often been told that you only can do
What you know how to do well
And that's be you,
Be what you're like,
Be like yourself,
And so I'm having a wonderful time
But I'd rather be whistling in the dark
Whistling in the dark
Whistling in the dark
There's only one thing that I like
And that is whistling in the dark

Since July 15, 2007