Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lonely Night

I am generally a pretty happy guy, but like everyone else, I have my days.  Today was one of those days when I felt like my body was heavier than my skinny little muscles could bear.  It started off well enough.  I fell asleep on the sofa last night and woke up to a screaming baby second cousin and three teeny bopper girlies rampaging around at 7 am, but times like those I actually enjoy.  I could hear my grandma, aunts and uncle, who are visiting for the week, chuckling to themselves about my goofy sleep habits because I rarely sleep in my bed (I am occasionally so lazy when I get in at night that I can't handle the stairs to my bedroom.  Sometimes I try to climb them but give up halfway and spend the night on the staircase.)  I woke up to my visiting family eating breakfast and I felt genuinely happy to be around so many loud, loving people.

But sometime during the day, some wire got crossed and I got depressed.  Today, I had a meeting with my therapist, a great woman called Max* who I haven't seen since I left for school.  She truly is the friend I pay.  I know she cares about me and she's done some selfless pro-bono work when I was unemployed, giving me sessions for free.  She occasionally calls and checks in while I'm at college, just to be sure everything's okay on my end.

Anyway, we made an appointment to meet today just to catch up and talk about the things I'd called her about a few weeks ago.  It's something I really shouldn't blog about, since it's not really my story to tell, but I had called her that day because an opportunity opened up that might allow me to have a relationship with another man.  I was so conflicted between my feelings for him and my testimony.  As our friendship stood, he wasn't worth risking my future in the Church and my desire to serve the Lord, but I acknowledged that our relationship might deepen later and then I don't know how I'd react.  She offered some great interim advice and we made an appointment to meet today.

Since that phone conversation, I've been put into contact with more gay men than I could shake a dick stick at.  I had dinner with one such, before I found out he was gay, a few nights before I came home for Spring Break.  The entire dinner, he was on the offensive, psychoanalyzing my behavior and conversation topics.  He interpreted every action and every discussion up to the nth degree and as much as I hate to admit it, he was right on many counts.  I don't necessarily chalk that up to his skill as a psychologist, as any dinner with a stranger is bound to be filled with discretionary limited disclosure, but the way he attacked my defense made me feel like I was his prey.  Only later did I find out that he was gay and I'm 99% sure he somehow knew I was as well.  Complicating things even further, this craptastic dinner directly led to a fight that night with a friend that left me feeling betrayed and led on.  Yay for the end of Winter term.

As I related the details of the story to Max, she became incensed.  I told her about how I started turning the conversation on the unprofessional psychologist (UP), a fact that I'm pretty dang proud of, and she cheered.  Literally, in her quiet office with therapeutic music, she cheered in her seat.  She said that she is fairly certain that the UP had somehow picked up that I was gay and was saying everything about my defensiveness in a ploy to get me to admit it, leaving me in a compromising position and giving him the opportunity to take advantage of me.  I don't quite know if I believe that, but the possibility is there and it is feasible.

Our conversation also led to a discussion of my progress towards developing feelings for women.  Max and I fairly strongly feel that reorientation therapy is bunk, but that reorientation and intimacy can come from the concerted efforts of the mind combined with the power of the Atonement.  I told her that I had little news to report in that area.  I'm not sure how I feel about my prospect as a future husband and father.  I've had hope in the past, but it's been dwindling as of late.  I left her office feeling clarified a little, but the reality of my situation was once again at the forefront.  I am scared I'll have to choose between a life of loneliness or a life I know I can't believe is right.  I don't want to live the next 80 years of my life alone and I even less want to live the next eternity in regret.  As of now, my only hope is building that mystic relationship with Christ, the relationship that fills all needs and fulfills all righteousness.  But even that is a relationship I'm somewhat skeptical of.

So I get home from my appointment to the aforementioned teeny bopper and baby cousins.  The adults had all gone out shopping and errand-running, so it was just me and the girls.  The older kids were content with playing the Kinect, so the baby and I went into the back yard.  I took a seat on the porch swing and watched her play in the yard.  My mind wandered back to the conversation I had with Max and my heart sank.

Before it could get too low, however, I was interrupted with a call from my brother informing me that he and his wife were separating.  My brother never talks to me about anything more serious than fixed-gear cycling and which level to play on Halo, so this conversation was at once a breakthrough and another source of depression.  I played the supportive role well; I didn't want this to be the last time he confided in me.  Still, I couldn't help but feel like they were giving up too soon.  They wanted to end it on amicable terms, which I admire, but part of me thinks that if you're not screaming and verbally abusive, there's still hope for improvement.  Another part of me thinks that he's throwing away a good life.  I also think that he presented some compelling support for their decision.  And I also think that he's wasting his heterosexuality and I resent him a little for it.  And him talking to me, while I love it and am grateful he felt like he could confide in me, only added to the burdens I've already been feeling today.

Phew.  It's been a lonely day and I find myself doubting love more and more the longer I stay awake.  I guess I know a good remedy: now the only decision I have to make is couch or bed?

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