Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What now?

Well...I guess I am officially addicted to blogging. I started this blog as a way for me to sort out my thoughts since most of my life I have kept everything inside. Coming out has made me feel that it is time to start sorting things out. When I decided to follow through with this blog (after two previous attempts at starting a blog) I figured I would probably post once a week or so but it is turning into a daily activity...I guess it is turning into my not so private journal. Anyway, I just finished a big paper for school and so I thought why not write some. Only this time it can be about something I really want to write about, so here goes.

There are three questions that have been continually running through my mind over the course of the last month since coming out to my wife, they are:
(I don't think I can answer any of these questions right now but I need to start exploring them fully if I am going to be able to find inner peace and keep my sanity.)

1- Do I want to stay married?

I think so...but I think I might not want to anymore. This is the question as of late, there are moments were I really want to try hard to save my marriage and then there are moments of wanting to end it. There are several reasons for this shift in my mentality. I am realizing how hard this is for my wife. I noticed how rocky our relationship was before I had come out to her. I figured this was because I am gay and she didn't know,  but now I realize it's because there is an emotional rift between us because I am having trouble being 100% available for her. I want her to have a husband who can fully love her in every way possible. I feel like I am only able to partially meet her needs and I don't feel like that is fair to her. So part of the reason this question has surfaced so often is because I am concerned about how my short comings as a husband are/will affect my wife. I want her to be happy because I care about her.

My feelings are similar to her. I do not feel that my needs are being met. And I realize that she can't fully meet them for me either. I attribute this situation as the main reason I have a pornography addiction, pornography has been used as a means of escape and a bad attempt at meeting my emotional needs. I have been honest with my wife about my addiction and what I feel are the reasons I have this addiction. She has been extremely supportive and understanding toward my addiction. This is a horrible situation and one that will take major effort for both of us. I just keep picturing a future where we both have wonderful fulfilling relationships, right now the fantasy is that we both find super hot and rich husbands(hahaha), but we are both trying to decide what is best for us. Ultimately I know if our marriage is to continue we must both decide what is best for us as individuals and see if that does in fact mean that we will stay married.

2- What would a romantic relationship be like if I could completely invest myself?

Being gay and married to a woman there are obvious obstacles to being completely invested in our relationship. All I can say is that my gay persona has always invested in imaged relationships. I have never had a romantic or sexual relationship with a man. Hell, I've never even held a guys hand. So of course fantasy is my only experience. But my being gay does make it difficult to invest fully in my marriage. My inner "peter priesthood" says I should stop those thoughts and focus on eternal nature of our relationship but my imagination makes the "other" life seem so much more appealing. You know, "the grass is always greener." I guess I need to invest in reality and perhaps through sorting out my feelings in writing I can gain a little more perspective (hopefully).

3- What does the future hold?

All I can say is that I am glad that I look forward to the future now. There was a time where I felt so alone, like there was no hope, I honestly thought about ending my life but then I realized that I loved myself more than that and I firmly believe that my decision at that moment lead me down the path to being honest with my wife and now hope is returning.

I can image a future with a man, my husband. I love this fantasy (I've never been interested in the crazy gay party life, I want a real relationship/commitment). But it is just that, a fantasy, I struggle with gospel knowledge and the future I think this other life that could be filled with happiness in many regards while of course still have pain but it will be in other ways.

I can also see my self continuing on my current path with my wife but I have to be honest and say that it feels a little like emotional suicide right now as I am only beginning to understand my gay identity. My heart breaks when I think about continuing my marriage because I feel as though I will never be complete, it will be more like 80% of me is alive and the other 20% will be forced back into submission. I feel like a fraud and it hurts.

 But I have hope that as I gain perspective I will be able to make a decision about my future that will work for me, my wife, and our son. I love my family and I want them to feel loved as well, especially my wife I just don't know if I can give her everything she needs.

Not only has my personal relationship with my wife suffered by suppressing who I am, all of my relationships have suffered. I have numbed my feelings by suppressing a part of myself and it shows in my interactions with people. When I was growing up I had two best friends. We had so much fun with each other and always found time to hang out and go and do things. I was out going. I was on seminary council. I was involved with youth government. I made the varsity soccer team. Just to name a few of many activities. But in my junior year of high school I begin to shut down emotionally. I realize now it was because I was denying who I was. I quite the soccer team. I stopped doing as many things with my friends and by the time I moved away to college I had no friends to speak off. I mean sure I was still friends with my two buds, but we all had gone our separate ways, so I was on my own. I buried myself in school. I took 18 credits my first semester at college and 21 my second semester. I never did things with my roommates and I barely knew anyone in my classes. All I did was worked on homework. The only college friends I had all freshmen year were girls, I could be around girls before my mission because there was no pressure to date and I could escape my roommates, some of whom I found really attractive. But ultimately I buried myself in everything I could to avoid human contact. I was hiding my pain by keeping busy. To my parents I seemed like an extremely diligent and dedicated student but really I was masking my pain. I realize that this is still true today.

I hold two callings, I teach 20 hours of collegiate/community classes, at the same time I am working to finish my doctoral course work, prepare a recital, learn a complete solo role for an upcoming concert, and I am finishing two extra certificates for graduation. I am a workaholic, but its not because of my drive its because if I am not busy I have to face who I am. My wife began complaining about a year ago that I was dull. If I was at home all I wanted to do was crash on the couch and watch a movie or TV. She would ask what hobbies I would be interested in developing. I said music was my only hobby and that is also my job so I am "hitting two birds with one stone." I realize now that I didn't explore other interests because that would mean exploring myself and finding out what I like. And that would open up too many unwanted feelings. I don't like this dull, emotionless drone that I have become.

In my future I want this to change. I want to achieve balance. I want meaningful relationships with the people around me. I want deep personal friendships like I use to have. I know that this will help me gain perspective on life and make me more able to love and be loved. I see a future where I have many friends and a handful of close personal friends. People I trust and can confide in about every aspect of who I am. I want to find extracurricular activities that I enjoy and share them with my family and friends. Overall I want to develop myself as a person rather than an emotionless drone.

In short I hope the future holds something better than what I have been experiencing. Well I think I have filled my "journal" pages for the day. I don't feel any more secure in a decision then when I started this post, not that I expected I would, but my thoughts feel more organized because I have given them attention in a more analytical way. Ultimately I don't know 100% what I want so all I can do is keep asking myself: What now?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

There is beauty all around....even inside me

Three years ago (almost to the day) I was fortunate enough to be accepted into one of the greatest music schools on the planet. This has meant a great deal to me as a student and as a person. As I write this post I am sitting in a rehearsal for one of the nations best orchestras and I can't help but feel gratitude to have been blessed with such an opportunity. Music has been a integral part of my life as an aspiring opera singer I of course spend most days entrenched in music for several hours. Music in many ways is work for me but right now I am an observer listening to beautiful music fill this enormous concert hall. As I listen I can't help but think how much I enjoy music as a means of personal expression. I have been able to explore music in many manners but my favorite has always been emotional exploration. There is nothing as gratifying to me as figuring out how a song is alive emotionally and working to express each songs individual story. This realization now seems ironic to me because I am only now beginning to realize how emotionally cut off I have been for a good portion of my life.

Throughout my life I have done little to nurture my own emotionality. I have worked hard to hide all traces of my inner self so that no one would discover what I thought was a hideous and disgusting part of myself. (The gay part) This cover up left me dull and sarcastic. I mourn for all the years I spent hiding my true self because I now realize that I have a very caring and warm nature that has been suppressed. I never thought that by attempting to bury a part of myself, I would become emotionally stunted and flat out mean. Since coming out to my wife my emotions have been very close to the surface. I find my self crying in movies and while reading, something I thought to "gay" to be appropriate before. The challenge with this is that I find myself getting overly emotional at times, but this is a challenge I prefer because this way I am in touch with my inner self. I never thought that I was killing myself emotionally by hiding a part of myself but the gay "part" of myself was so key to who I was/am that by burying it I have hidden away a great deal of myself.  I know I am now on a journey to rediscover who I am and in a sense experience life instead of just living through it. Life has new meaning for me, I am now an emotionally invested person who gets to have meaningful experiences and interactions with those around me. I no longer need to bury my feelings or push people away. This will probably not be easy but it is exciting.

The world offers so many beautiful and enriching opportunities, which I am ready to experience. There truly is beauty all around even inside me.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Self Acceptance

Well......I have attempted to start a blog previously but was to worried about how lame I would probably sound and perhaps a little shy about being a gay married Mormon man, but everything changed about a month ago. My wife officially knows and I am beginning the process to fully accept who I am.

Who am I? I am 30 years old, a son, a father, a husband, and a student. Needless to say these things all add up to a pretty busy life. I am a doctoral student in music with an emphasis in vocal performance. I love music and it has been a means for personal expression in an otherwise repressed life. I enjoy soccer, I love legos, I am an avid Walking Dead fanatic, Oh and by the way I am gay. I feel totally comfortable adding this descriptor to all of the others I give to myself, this was not the case a few years ago let alone a month ago. About three years ago I finally put all of the pieces together for the first time. "I am gay," this thought sank deeply into my mind as I sat on our couch taking a break from my intense study session to prepare for my oral defense of my comprehensive exam for my masters degree. I took in a deep breath and let the thought sit. After a few minutes I broke down crying, I was mourning for the person I thought I was, for my wife, and my young son. What did this mean for all of us? My concern immediately shifted to my family. I knew I wasn't ready to share my realization with anyone yet, but I felt a pressure building that would take three years to finally admit to my wife that I was in fact gay.

As part of my journey to understand who I am I have decided to start this blog. In part as having a means to express myself but also in the hopes of meeting others who share my same situation (gay, Mormon, & Married). Any of you out there who have advice for me I promise it will be well received and is truly needed.

I think this is enough for a first post, I have many thoughts to organize and I'm a blogging virgin so I don't want to babble. Just like this blog my personal journey in truth is only beginning, so I don't have to share everything all at once. I do not know what life holds for me but at least now I am ready to accept myself.