Friday, April 17, 2009

So, I did go to Barnes and Noble, not really knowing what I was doing. I walked around, looked at the books and magazines and kept an eye out for a cute guy. When I realized that there weren't any cute guys around I headed to another store - same thing, no success. I continued to a few other places, still nothing. I couldn't believe how dead all these places were. I could count the number of people in the stores on two hands. I have to tell you that this was an incredible anomaly. Places like these are always busy. What was happening? Why was I having such a hard time finding anyone? To be honest, I just can't chalk this up to coincidence. Personally, I believe there was a divine hand in my complete failure. I was being counteracted at every turn until finally, I had this incredible desire to be home with my family. For a moment, I felt like I had already lost them. I felt totally alone. I felt as though I hadn't seen them for years and there was this incredible need to go home and be with them. I felt like I didn't want to ever be out of their sihgt. I felt like, even though they didn't know what was going on, they were in some way helping me, from a distance, calling to me, "Daddy, please come home, we need you. Please don't leave us."

When I think back on this now, it all seems like such a dream. Did this really happen? Was I really considering finding a guy off the street? Do I really need to kiss a guy more than I need to be with and have a wife and family? Why did I come so close to destroying all I have worked so hard to build over the past 13 years? Am I really that weak and stupid? The more I think about it, the more I don't understand. In so many respects, the person that went looking for guys is not me. He doesn't resemble what I really want most in this life and in the life to come. Every day I pray that my desire for righteousness will be stronger than my desire for sin, until ultimately, I will desire sin no more.

I guess what it comes down to is that I've already made the decisions I wanted to make about my life. I want to have a family. I love my wife and children more than anything, including my desire to be with another man. I also realize that I'm not infallible. There is no way I can accomplish this without my Savior. I'm amazed that I have a loving Father in Heaven who so far, has helped me out of every situation where I could have fallen so far that I would have lost everything that I hold dear. I don't understand why He would do this for me, especially when I keep making the same stupid mistakes. I have done nothing to deserve His love and attention.


Anonymous said...

hurricane, mohohawaii, and elbow left their marriages and i am happy that they appear to have made successful transitions. many moho bloggers remain married and faithful, and i am happy for them as well. it sounds like you've decided your married cup is more than half full, way more.

i remained impressed with NancyB's conclusion that our obsession with sexual frustrations, as manifest by blogging, emails, and support groups just adds fuel to the fire. she's probably right

BigRedHammer said...

I am *very* glad that you came to your senses and didn't ruin your life by ignoring your obligations and loves. You have a lot going for you!

"In so many respects, the person that went looking for guys is not me. He doesn't resemble what I really want most in this life and in the life to come."

I just want to say, that "person" is part of you. It is true that it doesn't represent what you want in life. But LDS are *very* good at compartmentalizing each aspect of their lives. Don't think of the part of you that wants a gay kiss or to be held by a man as "the gay part" of you. It is all part of you. Your wife and family are part of that equation too. Same with your Church membership and callings. Don't build walls between each of them. Be a whole person.

I think Scott (Dichotomy) is a prime example of what a "whole person" should be. (Sorry to use you as an example.)

One last note: I believe the Holy Ghost is a spirit of truth. He comes when truth is manifest. That being said, coming out to someone is sharing the truth. Every time I have come out to someone it has been a spiritual experience. Looking back, every time I wanted to come out to someone it was a prompting. It sometimes came months in advance. I think Heavenly Father knew it would take me that long to feel prepared to do it.

Don't look for a specific prompting to come out. Think of the desire to come out as a prompting.

Scott said...

I'm glad that things worked out (or didn't work out?) and that you've gained a renewed appreciation for what you have and a determination to keep it.

I'm still wondering if Barnes & Noble is a traditional hook-up spot? :)

I'm going to have to agree with Scott's (BigRedHammer's) observation that integration is preferable to compartmentalization (and I'm flattered that he considers me a good example of a "whole person").

I know, though, that full integration might depend in part on how willing a person's closest family and friends are to allow that integration. If I really am any sort of example of integration, it's due mostly to the fact that Sarah has been extremely supportive of my efforts to put myself together, and has in fact been an active participant in the process.

A wife or other close family member or friend who is resistant to the idea of complete integration (or who is blissfully unaware that there is anything to be integrated) might make it more difficult--or even impossible--to become completely "whole", if the health of our relationship with them depends on some degree of separation or compartmentalization.

In these situations, I think the important thing is to find balance. I've tried focusing entirely on family and ignoring "the gay part" of me, and I can say from experience that that is not the way to go. And countless examples from people like NancyB's husband demonstrate the dangers of focusing on the gay to the exclusion of all else. Exactly where balance is to be found will differ for everyone, I'm sure, but in finding that balance we find peace.

Anonymous said...

give yourself more credit: the spirit may have kept B&N empty, but you made the decision to go to a mainstream bookstore instead of lavender bookshop or craigslist.

Bror said...

It's funny you picked Barnes and Noble. I have done the same before. It fun to see who is there and wonder hmmmm is he? I just want you to know I have these same feelings too. I think about it quite a bit. I too have a loving wife and loving kids. Why isn't that enough for me. It should be but I have this other part that you very well know about. It's there, I accept it, I must deal with it. I must say I like myself. It's crazy but I do not wish this part of me away. I wouldn't be me without it. You asked me once if I could change having my wife know I was attracted to men, would I. I have to say no. I have never regretted telling her at all. It took me 20 years to get the balls to tell her. I should have done it sooner. But I must say it has not made "things" any better. She still has her qualms about me. But I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off of my shoulders. It feels good. We just take it one day at a time. One of the best things about her knowing is asking each other if some guy is hot. Ha Ha So far we don't agree much. :) Anyway, thanks for your post. It's so good to hear from you.

Alan said...

I agree with Scott & Scott. Integration is FAR better than the compartmentalization that seems to run rampant through many Born In The Church Mormons' lives. Like mine was. It sucked. I am so much happier with the "integrated me."

And for me too, every time I've come out to someone it has been a wonderful and almost spiritual thing. I did it when I felt prompted to do so, and not before, and after considering if positive things would come from it. So far I've always been right. I actually have prayed about this more than once and have followed the promptings, and it's been great. No fears, in fact, I was eager to do it. The results tell me it was the right thing.

Hope this gives you some food for thought.

GeckoMan said...

By the time I wandered into your last blog post, everyone had already said what I would have said, so I was silent. However, my timing is better this time, so I'll share.

I understand 'man hunger' and cruising for some kind of connection, touch and knowing. Sixteen years ago, probably at about the same stage of family life as you are now, I was on my own in downtown Chicago, went to a bookstore and got picked up by a guy who was watching the gay section for a guy like me. We went to a nearby hotel lobby, and there I found out that he was actually a real person, smart and respectful enough to let me talk and tell my story. I realized from the conversation that even though I liked and wanted him, I wanted my family even more. He was gracious and gave me his name and phone number, just in case I ever changed my mind. I carried his name and number in a hidden recess of my wallet for years, as a reminder of the fact that marital fidelity was my choice.

I was shaking as I left the bookstore with him, it was like my family and the Spirit were screaming to me, "Danger, Danger!" I knew that I was literally on the edge of a life decision--could I be it all? That is, could I be both a promiscuous gay man AND an honest-by-example father, devoted husband, or faithful priesthood holder? Obviously, the answer was NO, so I ended up thanking that kind and probably frustrated guy who allowed me to come to my own decision, "thanks for spending the time with me, I'm sorry I can't go further with you, but I need to go home to my family."

Forester, I suspect if similar circumstances had worked out with you, that you would have come to the same conclusion. I'm thankful I got a chance to talk and that I chose a path of safety and home comfort over my curiousity and hunger. The Good Lord knows our hearts and lets us learn for ourselves. Yes, we can do wrong things at times, but how wonderful it is to have our agency, to repent and grow through our problems and get wiser with time and experience.

I think the most important thing I've learned is that I cannot do this quasi-gay thing alone. I need the support of my wife, and I don't want to hurt her any more than I already have. I also benefit from our gay Mormon blogs, which allow me a virtual reality of experience and friends who truly understand and share their hearts. By bringing my wife into my reality and myself into safe gay circles, I have taken immense pressure off my conscience and I'm now in a much more honest place with myself and my wife. I hope you can find similar satisfactin in your journey to peace and personal fulfillment.

Bravone said...

Forester, I am grateful the spirit helped you to realize the love and need you have for your family before you harmed your loved ones. I am no expert. I have learned from sad experience.

I am currently working on expressing my homosexual nature in positive and gospel appropriate ways. That "need" or desire you felt to "hook up" is real and happens because of an unfilled need. The trick for us both is to find appropriate ways to fulfill that need without violating covenants and the sacred trust of our families.

Congratulations for this success.

Robert said...

I know I don't comment much...but I do read a lot and I want you to know that no matter your mistakes or weaknesses, I truly see you as an exemplar for me and I really believe that you're worthy of it. I mean "worthy" because of the type of person that you manifest to be thru your writing and expression...not because of what you do. Really, I want you to know that I am so grateful that you are open and write and that you allow us to share in your experiences in a real way. Thank you Forester. You are a strength to me...because of the kind of quality you are as a father, brother, companion, struggler, champion, friend, and internet stranger/confidant. Really man, you affect me...and I'm sure you affect others...because of the nature of your person. Thank you.

Beck said...

I agree with Santorio that if you really wanted to, you wouldn't have gone to B&N as your first choice for picking up a guy. But, like you, I would have gone to B&N for the same reason of the "thought of the chance" of meeting a good guy, maybe a safer guy. It's a safer choice. But in the end, it's the chase and the thrill of the thought and not the real thing. It's all an illusion, a game I play in my mind. I play it in airports as well.

But in the end, give credit for your real desires manifesting themselves and you headed home.

As for Santorio's other comment of NancyB's comments that these blogs just add fuel to the fire, in some ways they keep me thinking about and dwelling on it maybe more than I should, but definitely in other ways, the strength and common sense and respect and support of "doing the right thing" really comes through in this community. I've never seen anything but that spirit in these comments and I think that is a good thing!

Since July 15, 2007