Thursday, February 08, 2007

Came to believe

Being gay means a great deal more than just "sex with men." But we know that is part of it. For me (and, I suppose, for many), that was where our journeys started. I can't say I recall ever understanding that I had an "attraction to men." Since men aren't wired to have sexual attraction to other men, then I couldn't, right? Ha! Who knew? Not me.

But, from about the 4th grade on, I learned something that would ease the pain. All those years of compulsive masturbation. The drug that helped me sleep. And then, orgasm, ejaculation. OMG. What was that? Surely the lining of my kidneys were coming out! Ha.

I didn't know about straight sex till I was a little older. I just masturbated. A lot. Then, discovering some other men, masturbating in a restroom at the mall, I was overjoyed. I wasn't the only one! Then they came out of the stalls. The wanted to see mine. My what? Then . . . well . . . . they had their way with me. I didn't know men did that sort of thing with each other. OMG. This can't be happening. Oh, but the feeling. The drug. Even stronger than before. And they wanted me. Me.

But, with no way to process this information (even though I was sixteen at the time), I slumped into depression. And there was always masturbation.

Being a large, older-looking teenager, I discovered book stores. Of the adult variety. And glory holes. Then rest stops and, in grad school in the big city, sex clubs.

I knew something was amiss. But still, I would never have said I was "gay." Any time I engaged in such activity, there was an almost trance-like state that came over me. It was the drug my body produced, the neuro-chemical reaction. O god, what a high! I was lost in bliss, and completely without the help of any outside drugs. Just the ones I made myself. (Except for nicotine, which I learned to ingest at an early age, too).

And, after that voluptuous high, the fall was all the greater. The guilt, the shame, the humiliation. The unbelievable incongruity of this nice, caring, prayerful, good Christian boy with this dark, sensuous, pornographic demon who possessed him from time to time.

Over all the years, all the prayers, therapy, etc., it still didn't occur to me that I was, in fact, gay. Is this what it meant to be gay, what kind of a life was that? I didn't want to be gay (still don't, sometimes). I just want to be the nice, caring, prayerful, good Christian boy who's normal, with the nice, normal family.

So, marriage, children, stable job, very active in the church. It didn't go away. I was just running away from relationship. It was a problem with intimacy. It's just an activity to which I have habituated myself. Addiction, maybe. Oh, and then the Internet came along. OMG! All that stuff online. The drug I can produce myself, and no need to leave home, even. Well, every once in a while, on the road by myself, the trance sets in. I go looking, and well-trained to finding it.

Hours spent looking. Lies to cover up "why I'm so late." Excuses. Guilt. Shame.

It's all in my head, right? With courage, I can work through this, right? Guess again.

So, I finally come to terms with it in my 49th year. And now, I must come to terms with more than just being gay.

Even though I have broached the subject with myself before, once again I have come to the point of understanding that I am an addict. Oh, yes, I am gay. This is not another ploy to fool myself in that regard. But now I have come to see that gay is not something I chose, nor is it just all that filthy, dangerous, anonymous, sex; in rest rooms, and bushes, and parks, and bookstores.

My deeper self does want relationship, intimacy, companionship, and sex. Being gay is more than what I knew. And still, I hear the call and have the desire to be Christian. But wait, look! There are myriads of other gay Christians out there! I am not alone! Though difficult, the journey is one toward the desires of my heart, not just the wantonness of my gonads.

But addiction is there. I have come to believe that. I've seen how my behaviors, past and more present that I want to admit, are not about being gay. they are about lust, the drug, the high, the all-too-temporary release.

I have come to believe that I am out of control. Oh, not all the time. I can control this, manage this, keep a handle on this, put a lid on this. Then, the trance starts, the buzz, the chemicals that surge through my mind and body as I begin the search. I start looking for it. Wanting it to such a degree that judgment is suspended. There is nothing else. Fear of disease, arrest, humiliation, disaster, all melt into the back ground. I am an addict. And I want my drug.

Insane. Out-of-control. Putting myself, my family, my career, everything at risk. Serious risk. This is the dark, incongruous side of this nice, Christian boy. And still it lurks in me.

So, near the bottom of the pit, I must do something. But I can't control it. But I have come to believe that there is One who can restore me to sanity. The journey takes another very unexpected turn.

Shalom & Cheers, Joe.

7 comments:

Michael said...

We were addicts and could not manage our own lives. Probably no human power could have relieved our addiction. God could and would, if God were sought.

And you will come to know a new joy and a new freedom.

Congratulations!

Jeremiah said...

Wow, Augustine.

That was quite a "Confession."

All of us gay folk go through the sex addiction stage. Some of us get through and some don't. If you are "actively" acting out like the great Pastor Haggert, and you are screwing every man who walks while enjoying some serious Crystal Meth !!!

You are prone to drama - we know this, and you sometimes get wrapped up in words of sorrow, pennance and depression to the point of suicidal thoughts. This whole coming out journey has been a roller coaster of emotion, as I read it. And I still support you in my prayers and will try to help you as we can.

Step One: We admitted we were powerless and that our lives had become unmanageable.

Step Two: Came to believe that A power Greater than Ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Step Three: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over the the care of God as we understood him.

Sex isn't a bad thing, but addiction is. For God's sakes don't stick your dick into an infected hole, or else you will surely be FUCKED! Take it from one who knows.

You can't change the past but you can control your future. We can help you, and please stay away from the drama and the beating yourself up, you are so good at that. Once you start it will take us months to heal your self inflicted wounds.

Know you are in my thoughts

The Preacher Jeremiah...

Lemuel said...

How much of your story echoed in my soul!

A Troll At Sea said...

BearToast:

We are all still with you. Just take what you can handle a step at a time. What are you seeking, and what do you hope to find?

Hang in there.
T@C

James L. Malone said...

Joe - I'm a Gay, Christian Male and also a recovering alcoholic. I just celebrated a year of sobriety on Jan. 28th. Good Luck on your journey!
James

Louis said...

Joe - you seem to be linking this 'obsession' with sex, with being gay. Believe me, its not about being gay so much as about being male. There are plenty of hetero men out there doing the same. It's just with gay me n, you get two men who want the same. Don't make this part of your reconciliation with being gay.

Sexual behaviour is just that, and its only, I think, easier to find an outlet as a gay man than as a hetero man, since the girls don't seem to be quite so inclined (ok, I know, some girls are), but treat it as a 'sexual problem' not a 'gay' problem, or you just add to your woes. that's what I think anyway.

Journeyman said...

I knew something was amiss. But still, I would never have said I was "gay."

It amazes me how when we share our stories, we find ourselves in someone else's story. And in that, we find ourselves. Thanks for sharing!