Progress in the head but not the heart

Depression

I think I’ve made progress. My beliefs about gay people, about what it means to be gay, have shifted dramatically over the past 18 months. For too much of my life I accepted the dogma of the evangelical church about homosexuality – that it is a lifestyle choice, that engaging in homosexual acts is sinful and destructive, that gay marriage is a threat to society. I now recognize this for the bullshit it is. It is clearly not a choice, and there IS no “gay lifestyle.” The ethics of sexuality have nothing to do with gender preference. Whether gay or straight, people can indulge in immoral sexual behaviors – choosing to fulfill their sexual desires in destructive or exploitative ways. But people both gay and straight can also have sexuality as a rich and healthy part of life. And I honestly can’t see how it would be anything but good for society to formally sanction committed relationships, regardless of the genders of the persons involved. That’s all pretty drastically different from the party line I accepted for so many years.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 7.53.32 AMBut sadly I’m discovering that better beliefs do not automatically translate into better emotional health. My second coming out to my wife 18 months ago was spurred by desperation, and though it was agonizing, there was at least some sense of relief, a hope that things might change. But here I am, 18 months later, and I still wake up in the middle of the night, overwhelmed by shame and self-loathing. I am still plagued by fear and anxiety, growing increasingly desperate to find a future where I don’t hate myself. I had hoped to find wholeness – integration of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual selves. But instead I feel like I’m becoming more fragmented, one moment intellectualizing, the next, overwhelmed by the emotional baggage. Seeing my spirituality fade, but feeling no loss. Unable to focus at work, distracted at home, and physically exhausted.

What will it take to get past this?

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9 comments

  1. One thing that has helped me accept being bi, is knowing that I was made this way. It’s not a choice. And since God made me this way, he must be ok with it. But, I’m married, and can’t indulge in having a relationship with another woman. That’s where my conflict lies.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Greg-
    I really appreciate you sharing what you are going through. I hope that it helps a little to know that you’re not alone in trying to reconcile being a gay/bi man in a committed monogamous relationship with a woman you dearly love. If you haven’t reached out to the HOW group already, you might find it helpful as there are a number of other guys there in the same situation.
    All the best,
    Jac

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I could be completely wrong since I don’t know what it is like to live in your shoes, but perhaps what you are experiencing is growing pains. Sometimes we have to go through this trauma, this sense of feeling lost and full of angst and emotional turmoil, in order to reconstruct something healthy out of the broken pieces of the dogma we’ve held onto for so long. The process is painful, to be sure, but I don’t think it will last forever. God can’t build you up until he’s broken you down first.

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  4. Yeah, life is not a movie and doesn’t reconcile in ninety to one hundred-twenty minutes. Nor is there a guarantee of any particular outcome. We can’t skip chapters, or forward past the sad parts. But we can pause and reflect on the scenes that have thus far played out. And that’s the best thing we can do via blogging. So sit back, relax, enjoy some popcorn or a Mr. Goodbar, if you please. And enjoy the rest of the show. 😉

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  5. I read this morning that the human race has not only had gay people in it the entire history of the human race but the fact of males being able to be sexually attracted to each other helped to bring closeness and harmony to early human groups. I read it here

    http://www.cityam.com/1416925891/what-makes-people-gay-homosexuality-comes-hunter-gatherer-instinct-and-its-evolutionary

    I wish you the best in your inner struggle. Sadly all the facts in the world have a hard time changing the heart. My hope is you find peace in your self and happiness. Hugs

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  6. Even though I don’t know you, I send you my love. It’s been about 2 years since my wife came out to me, and it hasn’t been easy on either one of us. But, each day we get more and more honest, with ourselves and with each other. Some days that an amazing experience and other days it’s painful. At the end of the day, whether good or bad, it’s the human experience, and it brings me some peace to know that there are others sharing in this experience – a communion of sorts.

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    1. Thanks so much – I have appreciated reading your deeply thoughtful posts (for example the one on Secular spirituality http://tellyoumysins.wordpress.com/2014/11/28/secular-spirituality-two-songs-that-helped-me-contextualize-my-doubt/). And I had read the one about the evolution of your views on LGBT issues; but somehow I missed the one about your wife. I like your phrase here: “whether good or bad, it’s the human experience.” Peace.

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