Sunday, May 4, 2008

Feelings

Sometimes I feel such a strong urge to want to be with another guy. The feeling just seems to consume me. I feel lonely or... well maybe not lonely, but something. I feel like I'm missing a part of me. I alluded to this in my last post. It's as if God took something out of me and there's a void or emptiness now. Maybe it is just loneliness.

Anyway, I had this feeling rather intensely the other day and I was wishing and wanting so much that I could have a boyfriend. Then a strange sort of feeling came over me. I suddenly thought it would be weird to be with another guy. Just out of nowhere this creepy sort of otherworldly feeling entered my mind. I thought about myself having a boyfriend and all the aspects of a relationship with him and suddenly the idea of all that seemed almost like a turn off. To be perfectly honest, this is a feeling that's come over me more and more frequently over the last couple of years. But I don't know that it ever seemed as strange as it did this last time.

I wonder if maybe it really, truly is possible for a person to change their sexual orientation. Especially when I have feelings such as these. I'll admit, the last time I looked at pornography I cleared my mind of any sexually exciting, lustful thoughts/energy/whatever and just really thought about what I was looking at. I saw two guys having sex and the image of that seemed so very odd. I then imagined the two men being straight, and I almost felt repulsed. I thought of guys I knew at work or church and attempted to imagine them kissing another guy or having sex or being in a relationship with another guy, and it just seemed unimaginable.

I've always had such a strong feeling that God never meant for two men (or two women) to be with each other sexually. I guess the mechanics of that act just never seemed to fit the whole creation story and particularly the primary purpose of sex for procreation. (And please don't think that by that statement I don't believe sex is also meant to be an expression of love. Just that without sex, there'd be no procreation or life giving, and so that would have to be its primary function, or else all life would cease to exist).

I think about being with another guy, and I feel like if I were with another guy, that part of me which I feel is missing would no longer be missing. But then I think about what it would actually mean to be with another guy, and I start having these strange feelings. Something about being with another guy just doesn't feel right. Even though most of the time it does. But on that same note, almost nothing about being with a woman feels right.

I wonder sometimes if all this has something to do with feeling less than masculine. I usually don't feel very masculine at all, even though I know I do have certain masculine traits or characteristics. But I also wonder if it's because I'm not fully being myself most of the time. Naturally I'm more feminine in a lot of ways than what I usually allow most people to see or know. I try to be more masculine than I feel I actually am. And the thing is, I think deep down I prefer the feminine me. I like the fact that my eyes have a sort of feminine look about them, the way they're shaped. I like that my smile often has a shy girls look to it. I like that I talk with my hands sometimes. I like that my voice isn't real deep. I like a lot of the sort of feminine characteristics that I have. I just wish sometimes that I could be my feminine self toward another guy. And then I think about what I'd like from another guy—what sort of relationship I'd like.

I want a guy who'll love me for me. I want a guy who considers me something special. I want a guy I can cook meals with and go places with. I want a guy I can hold hands with. I want a guy I can share the holidays and special occasions with. I want a guy who will take care of me and who I can take care of in return. I want a guy who will hold me and love me and think I'm the best thing since sliced bread, and who I'll feel the same about.

I want kids, but I know no other guy can ever give me that. Nor could I do that for another guy. As much as mankind likes to play God, we humans still haven't found the way for two men to procreate. I'd have to be with a woman in order to have kids of my own. But I don't think I could ever be with a woman. Seems like the older I get the less likely that seems. God may have a surprise in store for me yet, but for now, I just don't see that ever happening. Maybe I'm too womanly myself to ever be with a woman. But there again, I don't think a woman could satisfy that void-like feeling within me.

Like I said in my last post, God please just take this feeling and do something with it. It's just annoying the heck out of me. I want something and that something seems to be a relationship with another guy, but when I actually consider pursuing that, something about it starts feeling wrong or unusual. Maybe I just can't escape the fact that I believe homosexual relationships are sinful, and that God wouldn't approve. Maybe I just need to accept this and accept being celibate and move forward along that path. Maybe that void will be filled by greater friendships or even by God himself. However it's filled, I just wish it would happen already, and in a more positive way than I've come up with myself.

~ ~ ~

And now on a whole separate subject, I was informed today that a friend of mine from high school, who I hadn't seen in a few years now, passed away last night. It's suspected he had a heart attack. To the best of my knowledge, this was the first person from my class who has died.

My preacher says from time to time that we are all just a heartbeat away from death. Well, I suppose that's true. It shocks me sometimes to realize just how fragile life really is. And I'll admit, sometimes the prospect of death scares me a little. I wonder if I've been faithful enough, or if I've truly had the right sort of relationship with Christ to be able to go to heaven. I think I have, but I guess sometimes I have my doubts. I get to feeling so far away from Christ sometimes that it makes me wonder whether or not He's still walking by my side, or if He's abandoned me. So far, He keeps pulling me back to Him. As a friend of mine recently put it, “I cannot see without Him as my eyes, or breath without Him as my lungs”. I like that. I can't escape Him and I'm glad for that. He never leaves me.

But I'm saddened that this old friend died. I'd just recently read about him in the local paper. He was involved with the direction of a play in the local theatre, and seemed to be really making a name for himself. I hate that he had to die so young in life. But I'm glad at the same time because I honestly do think he's in that better place now. He now has the rest of eternity before him, with Christ standing by his side.

I feel like I just have to trust God. I have to or I'll go crazy. If I trust God and allow Him to take me where He wishes and lead me in all things, that's the only way I'll ever be happy. And I guess I need to stop worrying so much. My counselor recently told me he felt I was thinking too much about the future and worrying about what might be or what could happen, living in fear of those things, rather than focusing on the moment at hand. I think he's right. I worry too much about being alone, about how my future will turn out, about what career to pursue or what direction I should be taking, and about dying before I've accomplished this or that, and there's just nothing good at all about worrying about any of it. All it does, thinking about those things, is drag me down. I suppose that's exactly what the devil wants of me.

I think I just want a change. I want something different and new and exciting.

Maybe I just need to pull my head out of my a**.

12 comments:

MR said...

Brandon,

Keep turning your thoughts and love first of all to God and then toward others. You will find great joy in worshipping God and pouring out your life for people in need.

If you focus on yourself and continually try to figure out why you are attracted to men, the results will be confusion and depression, not joy. Put that energy into pursuing God instead!

Jay said...

I agree with MR, Brandon. The essence of Christianity is looking outward, not inward. Let the Holy Ghost take care of what's inside, our job is to take car of others. That doesn't mean there's no room for introspection, of course, but just think -- while you're searching and searching for something to "fill the void," you might not be aware of something that's coming along that will actually do that, and you'll miss it.

Oh, and when you start thinking about it, any kind of sex is awkward and/or repulsive (gay or straight), especially amongst people you know. Why do you think it's such a taboo for people to talk about their sex lives? People don't really wanna think about it or hear it.

Now, I've been with another guy (not sexually), but in all the other ways that you described in your seventh paragraph. It's nice, but honestly, it's not all that. To put it bluntly, you can't find love in anyone else but yourself and Christ. Don't rely on other people to consider you special or love you for you. You have to do those things on your own. That's the only way to be content (whether you're single or in a relationship).

Okay, I know I'm rambling now, but one more thing: Those "feminine" characteristics of yours, exactly what do you think makes them so feminine? They're your traits and you're a man. So... Don't be ashamed of them. They are what they are and they aren't sinful. "Masculinity" and "femininity" are subjective, anyway. So don't worry about such traits. Trying to act like something you're not is not good for you or your witness to others.

Jim Jordan said...

You have two good advisors here, Brandon. You wrote a good, honest piece. And you are not alone when it comes to struggles, we all have them. My struggle has been that the farther I go in my walk, the more my business that I started in my pre-Christian days seems to slide toward inevitable failure. God is moving me out of that old career and He's not making it easy. But when I'm alone and I kneel down to pray I suddenly find myself worshipping Him even more and all of the struggles go away leaving only God and me. What a great feeling that is.

We all have our head in our a** in reality. Only by focusing on God and loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength can we keep our sanity through any crisis.

Brandon said...

Thanks for the advice guys. I think all of you are right. One thing I do try to do is help out and spend time with other people, but a lot of time it seems nobody else wants that. They don't want my help and they don't want to be around me. I get frustrated about that sometimes. I keep trying to make friends and, well to be perfectly honest I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing wrong in that regard. I think maybe I just don't know how to open up to other people as I should.

And I don't know if I fully understand how to let the holy spirit take care of me. I'm not sure how that's suppose to work. Am I supposed to pray to the holy spirit? Or were you all just meaning I need to trust God to take care of me through the Holy Spirit?

Jay said...

Or were you all just meaning I need to trust God to take care of me through the Holy Spirit?

That's what I meant... I mean, praying to God is praying to the Holy Spirit (and to Christ as well, it's a little thing we call the Trinity). But yes, you just have to trust that it's at work.

Brandon said...

Thanks Jay. I see what you mean. I'll just admit I sometimes get a little confused about the trinity. So, for whatever that's worth.

Yeah, I need to work on trusting God more. The last day or so I've honestly felt as though He was kicking me in the pants trying to wake me up to reality. I guess that'd be the holy spirit working through me. And I'm sure your prayers have made a difference. Thanks.

God bless.

Shawn said...

Hi Brandon,

This is my first time posting here -- I admire your courage and honesty to 'put it all out there' and engage in the struggle.

I was struck when you said, "But there again, I don't think a woman could satisfy that void-like feeling within me."

You know what? You're absolutely right. No woman will ever fill that void. The thing is though, no man ever will either. Don't get me wrong -- God made us for relationship with Himself and with other people. So intimacy, friendship and companionship are all important. But, pursuing other people (men or women) in order to fulfill our emptiness will never satisfy.

I believe that at the core of my struggle with SSA lies a deep, unmet need for healthy affirmation from other men. I just didn't get it from my father, male classmates in school or at church. How that desire for affirmation became sexualized, I don't really understand -- but I can totally relate with your desire to be loved for who you are by another guy (in the romantic sense). The image has this lustrous quality; this promise to make you okay. Still, I've come to understand that this desire is rooted in fantasy and not reality -- it just doesn't produce the deep satisfaction in your soul that you dream it will when you finally do get that boyfriend.

As I began to understand that my real need is not love, sex and living life with another man -- but rather being affirmed in my being for who I am as a beloved child of God, that void has gotten a little smaller. And it aches a little less with each new glimpse of God's immeasurable, immovable and yet deeply personal love for me. Oh, it hasn’t gone away, and I still entertain the fantasy now and again, but as I accept and trust that God accepts me and affirms me in my very being, I realize that it is only God who can fill the void in me.

I hope you can experience God’s unashamed acceptance of who you are right now, as you are at this very moment. I pray you can receive His affirmation of your being, His beloved son, and realize that regardless of whether you continue to live in a state of grace or decide to walk off the deep end, His posture of love and acceptance towards you will not change.

RikFleming said...

Brandon,

You state, "I think about being with another guy, and I feel like if I were with another guy, that part of me which I feel is missing would no longer be missing."

That statement sort of reflects one aspects of the reasons why we tend to have SSA - a perception of deficiency in ourselves. But it is just a perception, it isn't reality.

I believe that the causes for SSA are multifaceted and but not every struggler has the same cause, though there are common trends.

I have read about 70 books related to SSA. Some are better than others, some are about 30% beneficial and others are about 90%. So, I tend to glean from them what is useful and ignore the rest. Too many people will ignore a book unless they agree with 100%, such perfectionism expected from a self-help book is silly.

I would like to recommend two books to you: Alan Medinger, "Growth Into Manhood" and Andrew Comiskey, "Strength in Weakness."

There are sections of these books that I don't agree with, but I found about 75-85% of it useful and helpful. I think you would benefit from these books. If you want, you can read them and then we can e-mail each other and dialog about what you learn and like/dislike about the books.

If you can't afford the books, send me your mailing address at rikfleming@yahoo.com and I'll have them sent to you.

Love ya always,

Rik

Mikey said...

It seems that most of the folks who leave comments here take the position that their sexual attractions are wrong/sinful and something they must overcome. While I respect everyone's opinion, I hope everyone realizes that there is an alternate point of view. Many people have resolved their spiritual conflicts with their sexuality, maintain a healthy relationship with God and a church community, and have found loving, committed relationships with someone of the same sex. It is possible to be spiritually minded, emotionally satisfied, happy, and gay.

Brandon said...

Mikey, I can't find any happiness in being gay, or that is, pursuing a homosexual relationship. It has never brought me any happiness. That's the problem. I'll concede, for some, it may be okay, but not for me. I just can't be gay AND happy.

Rik, Thanks for the suggestions. I actually have already read Medinger's book. I liked it a lot as I recall, but maybe I should read it again. Maybe I've forgotten some of it. As for the other book, I'll have to check that out. Oh, and love back at ya. :)

Shawn, I really appreciate your comments. Thanks for writing to me. I've been thinking the last few days along the same lines as what you wrote. I think you're right. No guy would ever do that for me either. That's why I wrote in my recent post that this is something "within me" that only God can take care of. I realized just the other day that really, Jesus is everything I want in another guy. He loves me more than I could ever imagine. He loves me so much he died for me, accepting my punishment, just so we could be together for all eternity. He comforts me. He takes care of me. He takes away the loneliness. He calms me. He accepts me as I am. He puts his arm around me and walks alongside me. He warms my heart, excites me, and fills me so full of joy and hope. And I'm sure if he were here in person he'd gladly wrap his arms around me, pull me to him and let me just hold onto him in a loving embrace. No human man could ever be better than him. I just have to remember that.

I wish you well on your journey as well. I'll be praying for you. And please don't be a stranger.

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ewe said...

I feel terribly sorry for you. I think you have absolutely no idea who you are. I am gonna send MY good thoughts your way. My prayers, for lack of a better word, do not dictate that you should feel shame Brandon. My god loves us for who and what we are not for doubts and societal expectations that never allow us to find ourselves. It is impossible to give from your source when you either do not know it or won't accept it. I really wish you happiness but if you put down gay people to try and prove something to yourself i am gonna confront you. I am gonna get all up in your face and i hope that someone who is not just part of internet chat always calls you on such ignorance.