Monday, August 27, 2007

I Wish I Could Write

There are so many things I wish I could write on this blog. I keep trying to figure out how to write about certain things that's happened in my life. However, I keep having so much difficulty doing that. All the emotional turmoil that surrounds so many of the events of my life seems to just weigh me down whenever I begin. There's just too much to sort out. The stories are too long and too complex. My mind becomes so filled with emotions that I can't write down in words what I'm feeling, or what I've felt. I wish I could write more freely about the events of my life. Of things that's happened to me, of things I've learned, of things I've hated, and things I've enjoyed, people I've known, some whom I've loved, and places I've been and would like to go--some places I hope never to go again.

I have several regrets in my life. Probably the most profound in recent years would be telling my preacher what I struggle with. It was about this time last year that I told my preacher I struggle with homosexuality.

We had a meeting at church one night. I'd went to that meeting with my mind made up to ask my preacher for help, and to tell him. I waited for everyone else to leave, so it'd be just me and him. I asked if I could talk to him for a minute. He said sure, and so we sat back down. I told him I had a problem... and then I froze. I became so nervous I couldn't stand it. I was so afraid of what he was going to think of me. I managed to mention that I had went to a place for help back in April of that year. And then I couldn't say anything else. I just couldn't say anything. I felt stuck then like I do now in trying to write this. I remember just sitting there, nervously shaking my head and looking away, and I said a couple of times, "I just don't know how to tell you this". I then thought that since I couldn't speak the words to tell him, I'd come up with another way. I reached for my Bible and turned to a passage in Leviticus, where homosexual acts are mentioned as being prohibited and as sinful, and I told him to read it. He read through it and then just nodded slightly without looking up, and said, "Homosexuality?" I then nodded back and said, "Yeah".

After I'd finally made contact, that's when the questions came. He asked if I had ever had a homosexual experience. Did I have a boyfriend? (Believe it or not, that sounded so strange to me, hearing someone else ask me that. Up until then, everyone had always asked about me having a girlfriend--or lack thereof). And then there were many more questions after that.

I remember sitting there scared out of my mind. I was shaking all over, my left leg was bouncing up and down, and my jaw was quivering. I honestly don't know if there's ever been a time in my life where I was more nervous.

We ended that conversation with a prayer, and he told me he wanted to help me. I went home following that meeting with such a fear of the unknown. I wasn't sure how he was going to respond. I didn't know if he was going to help me or tell other people about me, or who knows what else. However, I did feel somewhat better having told him. I felt like the burden of keeping my big, dark secret had been lifted away from me.

So, why, you may be asking, is this one of my biggest regrets? Simple. Knowing he knew my secret caused me to be really paranoid around him. Not to mention, awkward. As a result, I gradually began distancing myself from him. But I was desperate for his help. And I wanted some sort of follow up. So, I eventually wrote him a letter, asking if he'd help me more directly. That was in, I think, January of this year. He ended up telling me he had a lot going on, and that he didn't think he'd be able to help me for the time being. That frustrated me quite a bit, because by that point, I'd begun to believe he just didn't want anything to do with me anymore. So, I kept trying to push him to help me, or to at least spend some time with me or to talk with me again. His response from that was to completely ignore me. Then, one day, as I was helping paint some at church, we had a couple of minutes alone time. He came up to me and said he wanted to talk for a minute. I thought good, but then he began talking about a lot of things that I honestly just took a lot of offense to. He basically told me he thought I was irresponsible and immature, and afraid of growing up. I can't say he was wrong on everything he told me, but on a few things I believe he was absolutely wrong. And I felt very hurt by that whole conversation. I felt like he was judging me, that he didn't really care about me, and the three months of constant avoidance which followed only seemed to back up those perceptions. I felt rejected, betrayed, and abandoned by the one person in my life who I thought would be the most understanding.

I felt terrible. And I just wished like crazy I'd never told him. I hated the way I felt around him. I hated that I'd spent all that energy and effort to tell him something so private and personal, and there seemed to be nothing positive at all to come about as a result of that. I ended up quiting church for awhile, because I just couldn't stand being around him. In April and May, I left every church service I attended literally crying my eyes out. I just wished so much that I'd never told him anything, that I could go back and forget all about telling him.

I'm back in church now. I've went the last four Sundays. I've tried to not hold a grudge. I've tried to forgive and forget and move on, and pretty much pretend that there never was anything awkward between us.

But I don't have any sort of relationship with me preacher now. I don't feel the way about him I used to. I wish that I did though. I wish things could be like they used to be. But that isn't the case. Neither of us know, I suppose, how to talk with each other. So we don't really. If he ever does bring up anything from before, I think I'll probably tell him to forget about it. That I don't want or need his help anymore. Telling my preacher has been one of the biggest setbacks I've had with overcoming homosexuality. Does that sound bad to anyone else? I mean, I know I'd planned on telling other people. I'd planned on asking others for help. My parents in particular. But after his somewhat negative response, those plans just went to the wayside. I don't know if I'll ever tell anyone else close to me again. I don't want to ruin anymore relationships.

I'm tired now. I know I haven't written this post the way I wish I could have, or would have liked to. My minds moving faster in thought than my hands are with writing. I just keep thinking about how I wish so many things could be different. I wish my life could be different. I wish I didn't have all the regrets I have. I wish some people could be more understanding.

4 comments:

RikFleming said...

Brother,

Its me, and you know I'm right there with you when you said:

"Knowing he knew my secret caused me to be really paranoid around him. Not to mention, awkward. As a result, I gradually began distancing myself from him."

Can I give you some advice and anyone else reading this? The next time you "come out" don't do it with one person. It can be too much for one person to handle. I chose my two best friends who are mature Christians. They are both sharing the load of helping me. To help a person with SSA can be a full time commitment in the beginning because a flood of emotions and fears are going to come out of you. My friends Phil helps me some days, Dave on others. But they have both given me a blank check to call anytime. Sometimes I call just to pray with them.

In the providence of God, I now have two others I can call and share the load. These two others are also fellow SSA strugglers and sometimes they can help me in ways that my two best friends can't because they know where I am coming from. Don't get me wrong, Dave and Phil are the BEST! But they have certain limits in their experience.

When it comes to writing, I'm fairly good. But I've been doing it for a long time. But don't write for us, write for you. This is a place for you to spill your guts and hear back from us. Don't worry about how your words come out or how long the post is. It isn't a contest and there are no prizes.

Let me ask you a question: IS fear dominating your life? If so, then conquering fear may be the biggest step you can make in your progress in reducing or eliminating your SSA. Let's work on that, okay?

You've got my e-mail address. Write me or call me if you need to.

Know that I love you and pray for you everyday.

Rik

The said...

Hey Brandon,

Sometimes people who struggles with the same thing do avoid talking about the problem because your pain reminds them of their own pain. What I am saying is that your preacher MIGHT not struggle with homosexuality himself. It might be the case that his son, his brother, his nephew, or his daughter, his aunt, ect...

I hope you've fully recovered. It's good you've poured out how you felt about what has happened. May God continue his ministry in you and complete the work he has started in you with peace and contenment.

Bless you!
Beast.

Matt said...

Hey Brandon,
I've just been reading through your blog and I'd love to drop you a line. Do you have an email address? Let me know at bacbeedvosch@gmail.com
Regards,
Matt

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I could understand your fear. I'm too. But you're more courageous than me. I can't tell even a word to any one.
Try to live the rest of our life. I don't think any solution for this.