Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Trying to Regain Focus

This weekend was not kind. I had a nice time visiting Utarr, but it was filled with a lot of personal drama and angst. Nothing was going poorly outwardly, but I was just having a hard time keeping my thoughts collected and positive. There was a lot of what's-the-point going on as I visited with old friends and compared my life with theirs.

And then, amid all of those misgivings I'd had about life, I started to slip back into the old cycle of porn and self-loathing. I'm trying really hard to stem that tide of contempt and keep it from crashing onto me and sending me back to where I was a year ago, but I readily admit that I'm having a hard time with that.

Before I left for Utah, I had a conversation with a friend. I told her everything, all of my problems and sins and proclivities. I figured she'd be a good ally and I wanted her to know everything about me so that I could feel like I wasn't hiding anything from her anymore. I encouraged her to check up on me and be blunt with me often, just to have something to check myself by. And I even admitted to her that she was someone I could see myself with, someone I could share her load and my load with. She took it all like a champ and promised to be my friend and help me any way she could.

I hoped that telling her all that would make me feel better. I hoped that by letting her in, I could start to lay the foundation of a great friendship and maybe a great relationship, and I hoped that I could feel confident and less shameful about everything.  But that wasn't the case. Instead, I dreaded her text messages. I hoped that she'd get freaked out and give me the cold shoulder. For some crazy reason, I wanted her to hate me and cut me out of her life. I ended the conversation feeling better, but woke up the next morning feeling so ashamed that I told her everything, including the parts about my shallow romantic feelings for her. I admit that I regret having that conversation a little bit, and I wish I didn't regret it. Reading her in on everything was a good decision and I have no idea why I wish I hadn't.

After I made my mistakes this week, I tried giving myself a pep talk. I told myself that I was wrong and that my mistakes were bad, but they didn't define me. I remembered that I'd made mistakes before and that I'd come back from them. But it all felt so hollow. I felt like I was telling myself lies, like I was trying to minimize or hide my problems, a sure sign of that old shame cycle.

Last night, as I was driving home from a friend's house, I felt like I needed to pull over and just have a conversation with Heavenly Father. I told him about all my mistakes and I asked that he'd help me feel guilt, but no shame, so that I could move forward and get it fixed. I frankly asked him, "What's the point? Will it ever get any easier?" I reminded him of all the progress I'd made, but then told him that I still felt like crap. I told him about when I'm at church and studying my scriptures and participating in discussions, and yet I still feel incredible attractions to a few guys in my ward. I asked him why I felt those things even as I participated in one of the most holy things I am currently allowed to do. I asked how I could possibly hope to have a girlfriend, much less a wife, when I'd catch myself looking some actor's abs every time we'd go see a movie together.  I told him that I was afraid to get married or to go on a mission or go through the temple, because I was worried that all of a sudden I'd screw something up really bad and be so much more accountable for that mistake. I asked him if I really was in for 70 or 80 years of a life of quiet desperation. I asked when my "It Gets Better" moment was going to come.

Finally, I reminded him that I followed the second great commandment very well. I told him that I am a good friend and neighbor and I'm usually nice to most people. And, even the first great commandment I follow most of the time. I asked him why the few times I disobeyed seemed to nullify all of those other good qualities. I told him that my finite, mathematical mind didn't understand how my disobedience, which probably accounts for maybe 5% of my time alive, completely overcame that other 95%. I just don't understand why I'm cursed with such a poor self-image that a few mistakes can convince me that I'm destined for the 7th circle of Hell.

But, I admit, as awful as it felt to say all of those things to him, I could tell he was listening. I'm still worried and concerned about my long-term and I am still ashamed and wish I could just go to sleep for a few weeks because I'm so emotionally and spiritually exhausted, but at least he was listening.

Ugh, I'm trying so hard not to sound emo right now. Guess that'd be today's main failure. Better than the alternative failures I suppose.


  1. emo, no. you don't have to be repulsed by your feelings b. you're a champ. xo

  2. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for letting us in. I think you are truly amazing, and I can't wait to talk.


Be nice, mmmmkay? I allow anonymous comments, but not anonymous (or even attributed) douchebaggery. The Gay Mormon Pioneer's tolerance for hate and venom are incredibly low, but his love of communication and debate are high, so have an opinion, but be kind and gentle when you share it.

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