..::|:.: Scattered Words

"in brokeness, I could see, that this was your will for me..." :: Jeremy Camp

5.29.2004

Typical?

Maybe. I just read an interview with director Brian Dannelly (I won't say where I was reading it -- cause it's a magazine that I'm sure some wouldn't approve of, though I went specifically for this interview) and he mentioned the first time he ever had sex with a guy was at Christian school. It actually made me laugh -- I don't know why. It just seemed logical for some reason. He did mention one of my favorite magazines, Relevant, in the interview.

Speaking of movies, I've asked the writer of this script to give me some excerpts to post for you all to read. I haven't been able to put it down so far. Not that it'll ever get made, it's too truthful for that. This is the third act, I think.

Interesting.

I guess this guy and I couldn't be more opposite, but I see why he went through so much to hid his identity. More amazing to me are the people who made him their mission in life. To each his own. And I mean that.

More.

I promised I'd write about this when I had more time to think it over. I still think that Joe is one of the most level-headed dissenters (from my opinion) that's frequented here so far. I wish that said more about him, because I like his post so much, but many naysayers here have been so beligerant, arrogant and rude -- it's just not the high praise for Joe that it should be. Anyway, one paragrah stuck out to me:

"Don't just think about homosexuality. Feel what comes up for you around your sexuality. Be with your feelings, whatever they are. You can do not good by denying them. You may not know what those feelings are, and some of your deepest feelings may be so deeply buried that they are a mystery to you."

He's right. You can't deny your feelings. The last time I tried to do that, I failed miserably. I tried to shut out pain I was feeling instead of letting myself live through it -- but instead I shut everything out. I became emotionless -- depressed. Dead. You cannot deny what you feel.

But you can't always trust what you feel, either. It's a total balancing act, I guess -- there's something to be said for that "gut" feeling. But feelings can cloud or judgement, too. I guess the real thing here is that all of this has little to do with my sexuality.

Yes, I said all of this has little to do with my sexuality. It's the tip of the iceberg, as a counselor several years ago pointed out to me. I've pointed out my sexual abuse (though most are dismissive of it -- I know that not all whom are abused turn out gay, but still), but there's more. A lot more. Specific memories and turning points in my development. I'll get to these, slowly. They're hard to deal with -- very, very painful memories.

And I have to relieve them. I can shut this stuff off, repress and ignore it as if it weren't there. I have to "feel" the pain; to grieve in order to heal. I don't want to. But God's taught me this lesson before, and I don't want to fall backwards. It's hard to type and cry at the same time though, so bare with me.

The Red Line.

I live pretty much on top of a red line metro stop -- so I have to take it to get pretty much anywhere. I don't mind, it's a nice time to read / rest / whatever.

Over the past two months or so, I've noticed this youngguy who always gets on / off at Union Station. I go there frequently myself, wanting to be around people and all and being in love with the food court. Anyway, he smiles at me a lot. And I smile back. It's hard not to, I mean it's flattering and all. And we always seem to be on the train at the same time. I think he works on the hill (can't be sure) but I haven't figured out his time schedule yet. I've had stuff like this happen before, but this guy always seem to be there when I am. It's not big deal I guess. We've never said so much as hi to each other. But should it progress, I don't trust myself a whole lot.

The banquet was fine. I got in, got out. Made my appearance and moved on. Too much baggage to deal with there. I'm not sure I could handle it right now.

Sigh.

I'm supposed to go to this mother/daughter father/son banquet at my church. I'd rather shoot myself in the head. I've been dreading it for a while now. I'm late so I gotta jet, but more to come later, I promise.

Masculinity.

There's been some backlash about one of my statements below, in regard to masculinity. Some cite examples of Sparta (whose armies had built-in homosexual behavior as part of their training regime) and gay men they know who are "more masculine" than any straight guys.

Lets forget for the moment that some gays -- so insecure and so lacking in real masculinity -- develop a hyper-maleness in order to compensate. It's an emotional and physical facade. So, then, the question becomes, what is real masculinity? What is manhood? I don't know completely. I really don't.

I know it's not what I have. I know that just because other societies condone the behavior (normally for a specific purpose and a specific period of time) that doesn't make it representative of masculine behavior. The problem is, in most ways American culture has demonized manhood. It's not a good thing to be a guy, or even a little boy (girls are made of all things nice, remember?). We've abdicated its role and hidden its purpose. We fuel the development of a group of people who are confused, lacking, wanting and hurting. Why are straight people never referred to as "confused" -- though it's common to refer to a gay person or someone coming "out" as confused. Why do gay people have to go through a period of discovery?

Those are all rhetorical, mind you, but I'm sure some of you have the answers. I think about myself, and I don't fall hard either way -- masculine or feminine. And I know we all should possess some of the qualities of both.

Well, I'm confused obviously. Maybe I just don't have any great examples in my life. I take that back, I do have one -- and he's a good example. Now, I just have to figure out what to do with the example I have; how what I see from him can help me along on this journey.

5.28.2004

Quiet.

It's quiet in here tonight, for the first time in a while. That's a good thing, I think. I went to the drive-in tonight (a rare treat in the DC Metro area). All I could think of though, was the last time I was at the drive-in. With a guy. Whom I'd just met. We didn't see much of the movie.

Sense memory is really powerful. I'm starting to come to terms with the idea that these images and memories of things I've done will be with me for a very long time. A constant reminder of what I was? Okay, so maybe coming to terms with is too strong -- I'm just starting to realize it I guess.

That's all for now. Gotta sleep.

Wild at Heart.

I appreciate all the advice on books to read. Wild at Heart is more apt to my situation (and most gay guys) than most of you know. Many of us are so lacking in basic masculine qualities -- Eldredge's approach and thougts are particularly appropriate. Besides, I met John a while back (drove him to the airport when he spoke at my school) and I think some of you are missing his point -- and his heart. Read bringin up boys by Dobson, and you'll find he's not far removed from Eldredge. And despite popular opinion, I do have the capacity to think for myself -- usually. Sometimes other parts of my body take over for my brain, but...

Which brings me to what I was thinking about at work last night. I see these guys around, guys that I guess I think are "attractive" -- not that it's wrong to recognize a person's physical beauty -- it's just that after all this time my brain is conditioned to immediately sexualize that. But as I try to capture those moments, as I analyze and think about them -- I've noticed something more.

There's this twinge in my stomach. A moment of sadness, a moment of guilt -- a flash of jealousy. Jealousy. It's not necessarily their physical appearance I'm jealous of (I think that's part of it, though, I'm pretty in shape but entirely insecure) but rather their "masculine" appearance. It's like they have what I'm lacking, and it radiates off them. And I want it. Then I sexualize it, yada yada yada yada. I don't know. It's just a thought so far.

I've noticed.

A few more blogs out there, such as David:

"i really appreciate him and his attitude: honest, vulnerable, and obedient. very transparent, and intelligent as well. he presents his struggles in a very coherent light, and he has the best method for responding to nay-sayers ive seen in a while. although, as is typical, his comments get overrun by people having arguments rather than addressing him directly, which gets rather annoying. anyways, its a good read! or rather, i like it."

Then, there's Randy who works at Exodus like Alan. Good guys. If there are any more out there, send 'em my way.

5.27.2004

Every Man's Battle.

I like girls in suits. I don't know why. I noticed that at work yesterday -- and it caught me completely off guard. I actually noticed that a while back when I was working in government (briefly, but everyone wore suits), but still -- it's rare that I'm attracted to anything but a girl's personality. I guess that's not a real bad thing. At least that's what the guys who wrote Every Man's Battle say. It's not my battle -- yet.

Today has been good so far. I have hours and hours of work ahead of me though. But keeping busy keeps me out of trouble for the most part. Having this blog to direct my online activities to has been great as well, there are other things I'd be doing if I didn't have it.

Anyway, Elsie's made me think:
"...giving yourself to God is just the same as giving yourself to random sex - it's just a patch to stop him knowing himself. It's another excuse, it's another drug, it's another person to hide behind, to hang things off if they go wrong."

I guess the difference between God and random sex is (how rediculous does that statment sound?) is that God is fulfilling. I know it doesn't always *feel* that way, but we rely on our emotions and feelings way to much anyway. They betray us. I reminded of that old poem "Footprints in the Sand" or whatever it was called. The times when God is closest to us are often the times when He seems so far away.

I remember the night that I decided to kill myself. I'd been planning it for months, I wrote the letters, I knew how to do it. God had seemed so gone to me for so long and I just wanted to leave. In hindsight, what I see now, was God wrestling me to the ground. Taking me six feet past the edge -- to a point where I had no choice to turn to Him (because that doing it all myself thing was so not working out). A dangerous plan, you say? Very. But God is dangerous, wild, unfettered and free.

Think about the danger in giving us free will in the first place. He could of created us in such a way so that the only choice we have is to love Him. But he didn't, He risked rejection to give us our choice. And we reject him everyday. I think I'm going to pick up Wild at Heart and read through it again. Eldredge talks a lot about this stuff and manhood in general. So much to think about.

5.26.2004

Slut.

I have no problem with being called that. I can hardly disagree -- I can't even begin to count the number of guys I've had sex with (I can count the ones whose first names I've known, on one hand).

Anyway, how do you really feel, Steve?

"Basically, he's an obnoxious little slut who's suddenly realised that sex does not equal love. So he turns to a convenient source of happy-clappy twats who will love him as long as he just doesn't do the nasty thing anymore. God doesn't like it you know."

Is that true guys? When / if I fall down, will you still be there? I suspect most of you will. I've never understood why it's okay for everyone but Christians to state thier opinions and beliefs? The world may never know.

More important things have been on my mind today though. Like last night's slight stumble. It gave me more insight into myself and my thought patterns / behaviors. But it also scared me. Is there a guarantee of healing? Of being fixed in this world? Paul's thorn stayed with him for his earthly lifetime. I'm not saying progress can't be made, I've already made progress. But the road is long, and its end may not be here on earth. There's something to be said for not doubting though (I can here all you TV preachers out there, shouting "name it and claim it"). There's also something to be said for reality. We're fallen.

I'm fake.

God I wish that were true. I wish I were making all this up. I wish that I weren't damaged, broken, incomplete, insecure, -- in pain. I wish that I was never abused, that I was never introduced to sex at the age of six or seven. I wish that my childhood wasn't ripped away from me, that I could've had the chance to grow up like the extreme majority of boys do, into the men God destined them to be.

I wish that I'd never turned to sex to self-medicate, to find love, to try to complete myself.

But I did. I can't change that. I can't alter my past. I can't wish it away. I can't pray it away. My past is my past. God knows my future, though. And He's promised He has plans for me -- to prosper me.

So, as amusing as this speculation is, it's deadly serious to me. Because I wish more than any of you that all this were fake. I wish to God it was. But it's not. The thorn in my flesh is very real.

Slander.

It really does have an answer for everything, I guess:

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander."

Nothing more to say about it.

Alan.

Take a look at Alan's blog, Executive Director of Exodus International. Good guy :-)

Emotional Dependency.

When I first visited Living Hope, I read an article on their forums that almost made me cry. I'd been seeing a counselor, and constantly described to him what could only be an emotionally dependent relationship with another guy on campus, but he could never label it or tell me what was wrong. He could never tell me why a relationship that brought me so much joy also brought me so much pain.

Eugene, at Living Hope, describes an emotionally dependent relationship like this:

-Jealousy, possessiveness, exclusivity, threatened by other potential relationships.
-Prefers to spend time alone with this person; becomes frustrated when does not occur.
-Becomes irrationally angry or depressed when person withdraws slightly.
-Loses interest in friendships other than this one.
-Experiences romantic or sexual feelings about that person.
-Becomes preoccupied with person’s appearance, personality, problems, interests, whereabouts, activities.
-Unwilling to make short or long term plans that do not include person or fit around their schedule.
-Unable to see other’s faults realistically.
-Becomes defensive about relationship when asked about it.
-Displays physical affection beyond what is appropriate for friendship.
-Refers frequently to the other person in conversation; speaks for the other person.
-Exhibits intimacy or familiarity with the Person that causes others to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed in their presence.

Not all of those where characteristic of our friendship, but a lot were so close to what was happening that it was scary. He was one of the best friends I've ever had -- but the friendship almost killed me. It was a constant source of anxienty.

And honestly, he was probably the only guy friend I've ever really had. I was close to a few others in college, but no one was there for me the way he was. Come to think of it, friendships of any kind are hard for me to come by these days. I'm so distrustful -- I've been hurt so many times (most friends from college have turned away from me, not because of the whole gay thing [they don't even know] but for other reasons).

I know I'll have to trust someone again eventually. We weren't made to isolate ourselves. But, I'm gun shy. I'm not sure I can go through the process of making friends again, and then losing them. I can only grieve for so many things at once.

Sigh. So much to work on. Couldn't I just take a pill or something? Fix it all at once?

Understatement.

"This is apt to be an epic struggle for him - his prior lifestyle weighs heavily on him and invades his thoughts." :: The Mighty Barrister

If he knew how how how true that statement is.

Anyway, today was a much, much better day than yesterday. I have church tonight, and I plan on taking a nap before then, so this'll be brief for now.

I keep getting these advertisements for gay porn and gay magazines in the mail. I don't know where they got my address (well, probably from one of those stupid porn website trials I bought) -- what's worse is I don't know how to tell them to stop sending them to me (since I don't really know who's sending them).

No, actually, what's worse, is that I'm able to identify them before I open them, yet I still do. This one is full of what it calls "gay friendly" mainstream movies, or films with male nudity in them. Like I need to know that. Naked guys on camera have been the reason I've rented so many movies from the video store anyway -- I don't need anymore help that way.

5.25.2004

Dupont Circle.

An old hang out I need to give up. For those of you unfamiliar, it's DC's gay mecca. Normally, I go there because I'm lonely, and there's usually lots of people around on the street. Oh yeah, there's also lots of gay guys who check me out and artifically up my self-worth or something like that.

I used to hang out at JR's a lot -- a gay bar just off Q street (and down from the circle). Or rather, I'd let slightly older than me guys buy me drinks and then take me back to their apartments. One night, after *uhm* leaving a guy's apartment, I realized that my cell phone, which had been in my pocket prior to removal of all clothing, had been broken during my escapades. I guess that's what I get. I pray to God that's the worst of what I get.

Anyway, my point was / is that I'm starting to realize the things that I'm really going to have to give up. I think that in the back of my clouded mind, some part of me always thought it was temporary -- that I could turn back to my old vices if I wanted. I'm realizing that I can't. I won't. Like I said before, it's not what I want.

Falling down is easier than getting back up.
I went to gay.com tonight. Only for a moment, I immediately closed the windows, got up and left. Well -- it was *coincidentally* at the same time several new comments rolled in on my comments feed -- very encouraging comments that served as a good reminder. Flee, run away and flee some more.

Tonight was tough. I was close to letting go again. I'll like myself more in the morning than I would've otherwise, but you know what scares me -- the fact that I fell so hard after doing so well for almost six months. Does relapse have to be part of recovery?

Therapy.

I've gotten a couple e-mails from people suggesting therapists in the area, etc. I appreciate it, and I don't discount the need that I'll have to eventually go back into therapy (I saw a counselor for more than a year, and never told him I was gay -- we talked more about other things, that at the time were more pressing [if you can believe it]).

But the honest truth is, I can't afford it right now. $50 - $60 an hour isn't in the budget. When it's feasible, that's one of the first things I'll look for. I promise :-)

Strong.

The temptations (I don't have a better word for it) around me are strong right now. Last year, after about six months of no sex, I gave it all up because of something stupid in my personal life that made me feel bad. Instead of turning to God -- I ran to my drug and destroyed the best six months of my life.

I think that's what's happening now. I've had a stupid day, so I'm more drawn to drown out this pain with sex. And it's only a little pain. It's not even a big deal. But I can feel the temptation growing. It's really been growing for several days, but still. I don't want this for myself. I don't want to give in. This isn't what I want.

Why?

Steve left us here, but he still lets everyone know what he thinks. Again, over at the Naked Blog:

"...I question his sentiment - why bother putting this up in the public domain if not for personal vanity and oh gosh, maybe if just one other poor man struggling with homosexual attraction sees my words and finds strength from them, then maybe god will be pleased..."

Aside from ignoring the blaring "works" oriented sentiment -- as if God requires our service in exchange for grace -- I don't have much to say about this. Probably, because I don't know the answer. Why does anyone put anything up? Why is there a diary of a pedophile over at invisiblogs? Why does anyone write any blog? Why does anyone write anything for that matter? Songs, poems, stories? Self-expression, I think, is good for the soul. And, it's not like I have anyone in my life that I can talk through this with.

MORE: One thing I've struggled with for a long long time, is that God would heal me -- then turn me into one of those guys who travels the country telling others of his "gayness" and what God did for him. I have no problem with these guys, I just know its that I've never wanted that for myself. I fear having that. Maybe my attitude toward that will change -- but this is really a point in my life that I want to eventually put behind me. Not reminisce about for years to come. This blog, I guess, lets me talk to others with some semblance of anonymity.

Long day.

Not much to report right now. Well, lots, actually. But I've had a pretty bad day (work) -- I'm tired and just want to sleep for a while. I've found, that when all else fails, going unconscious for a few hours is a nice escape. Be back soon.

5.24.2004

Lots to digest.

Thanks to Joe for perhaps one of the most thoughtful responses I've seen from someone who probably doesn't agree with me. There's a lot (a lot) in there, so this is all I'm going to say for now. I want time to take it in and see what I think.

I can't really agree.

This post, from elcaminoreal.blog-city.com misses a big part of one of the most blessed things God's given us: each other.

"knowledge of homosexual temptations is a serious impediment to same-sex friendships. By self-identifying as someone with SSA, a person is severely limiting prospects for friendship with heterosexuals. Deep and lasting friendships do not require that one ever discuss what is best reserved to the confessional."

This might be as simple as the differing views between catholics and protestants (I assume that the writer is catholic, but I could be wrong). Though, I can't help be reminded of Galations 6 (bearing each other's burdens).

The writer misses some other key points about what SSA is -- I don't believe it's sin in and of itself (mostly) -- it's how we respond to it, our acting out that's the sin.

How?

I can't even watch Fear Factor anymore. Tell me, how, just how do they cast so, so many guys with perfect chests / abs / muscles? Is it a requirement?

Fantasy.

How do we really take every thought captive? I can't. Maybe it goes back to that will power thing, but I close my eyes and I see guys. Sex. Guys I've been with, guys I liked, the bath houses I've been in, the clubs. And the fantasies. I do fight it for a while (all around two seconds). Then I indulge. Heartily. Funny thing is, they're sometimes straight fantasies, but mostly not.

It's hard, when I'm laying there in bed at night, to not think of sex. It's hard to take those thoughts captive. And, it's getting harder. The more I abstain, the more there's no other outlet -- the more my minds crazy. Maybe Peter is right. The sex drive of a 22-year-old is a powerful thing to contend with.

I don't recall.

Saying anything like this:

"This guy claims homosexuality is killing him."

But maybe I did and just don't remember. If I did -- I don't so much think I meant "physical" death (though it's a possibility when you think of it).

The Bible.

I was going to post a big long "why you should believe what the Bible says" post -- but, I've changed my mind. Lee Strobel, a hardcore investigative journalist, does a much better job of examing the Bible in The Case for Christ. I challenge every one of you to read that book. Trust me. Just read it. He asks all the questions of experts that most of you are throwing out here, and he gets real answers.

Second, I thought we covered my motivations in one of yesterday's posts. Many of you make so many assumptions about me and proclaim them as fact -- but you only really know what I reveal to you here, and many of you aren't even listening to that. I'm not so much bothered by it, I just want you to be aware of what you're doing.

I studied the Bible in an educational setting intensely for four years of my life -- I know the book inside and out, I know its origins and I know its history. If you're going to argue against me with the Bible, know that your argument holds little weight for me. I'm not a scholar, and I'm not saying I know everything or that I can't learn anything from you -- but some of you just demonstrate your ignorance to me more than anything else (when you try to throw the Bible at me). ie, this comment from the Naked Blog:

"this boy looks in the pages of a book of lies and he finds a fear of the unknown (transliterated into the english through political ideology masquerading as religious dogma) that matches his own. I must not be gay, he decides."

Third, I love the comments and I read them all. I'm having trouble keeping up so I can't respond to everyone / everything that's said. But they're appreciated, no matter what your viewpoint is. I think we're all learning here -- and that's good.

Finally.

From the Naked Blog (no pun or anything intended there, I think):

"He says what most queens never dare quite face up to, except in the dark, drugged corners of their backrooms and brains. That much homosexual behaviour is shockingly, shatteringly different, more promiscuous, more demeaning, than the hetero."

As much as I really don't require this kind of validation -- we'll it's still nice. The blogger has his/her own opinion about how successful I'll eventually be, though.

5.23.2004

Wrong or right?

Who really cares? At least not me, not right now. Right or wrong was never the point, and believe me or don't, but it was never even part of the journey for me.

Moral implications aside -- there are other problems with homosexuality that I can't bring myself to live with. My "Design" post deals with some of that. Sexual addiction is a big problem. The promiscuity is another (and you can't tell me that it's not a "homosexual" problem, the hundreds of guys in the bath house every Friday night: having sex in the hallways, not using condoms, being with 3 or 4 or more guys in one night, it all tells me otherwise). I know straight people can be promiscuous too (and I would say they have some of the same emotional problems as homosexuals), but I know a lot of straight people -- none of them even come close to the promiscuity of the gay men I've known. All of them together don't come close to my own promiscuity.

I've been told over and over again that I can have a committed, manogomous relationship with a guy. I doubt it. I just can't see how. The relationship is so one sided -- so selfish. It's not love, it's emotional dependency. The gay men I've known have been just so, so -- self absorbed and carnal -- seeking to please and fulfill themselves instead of others around them (not even their partners).

I'm not bashing. I'm observing. I'm guilty of many of the same things. It's just not a lifestyle that I want to live in. God says it's wrong. Okay. I say it's futile. I say it's empty, painful, addictive, self-serving -- the list goes on.

Regardless of what you might think, I can't just ignore what's driving me toward men and why being with men doesn't work for me. Something needs to change in my life.

Paralyzed.

No more. I read Alan Medinger's book, Growth Into Manhood a while ago, and just recently have picked up again. The things he said really resonated with me, and I wanted to go through it again. Here's a good quote:

"Although a man may hate his homosexuality with all of his heart and mind, at the same time, there are ways in which he loves it. For many of us, homosexual acting out was for years and years was our way of coping with life, a way of escape, of self-comforting, of finding temporary relief from the terrible pain and emptiness we felt inside. We hated it and at the same time we loved it, and in our ambivalence we were paralyzed."

Sound familiar? It's probably why every now and then, I really, really miss being at my local bath house. Not because of not getting any -- but because I really miss it. I miss what it did for me, like a drug, dulling and pushing away a lot of pain and emptiness. If it weren't all so fleeting and empty in and of itself, I might be there right now.

The Design.

For sex (and maleness). God's. It's funny how so uncomplicated it is, yet we, in our amazing capacity as beings of free will (aka, stupidity), manage to screw it up beyond all reason.

His image. Male and female. He created us. Adam from the dust, Eve from Adam. They were perfect, they were good (and amazingly, God created no same-sex partners for his good, perfect creations). If Bible-believing Christians need any evidence that homosexuality wasn't / isn't an intention of God, its absence before the fall should be enough. But I digress.

This all brings me back to 1 Corithians 6. That becoming one with your mate. When I brought this up the last time, the typical response wsa that two guys can have that same oneness. They can't (my first response to this was, "The hell they can," but I thought it too strong).

The reason the masculine desires the feminine (and vice versa) is because she is his "other" -- the opposite of him. He finds a completion of himself in her. So, it's no wonder that a guy, who hasn't grown into his masculinity fully, desires first, to fulfill that. The result, is homosexual acting out.

I don't know if this makes a whole lot of sense -- but because we all can't agree on specific revelation from God (the Bible), maybe we can glean a little more from general revelation (creation).

Confused.

Anyone speak whatever language this is?