For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
- Mosiah 3:19
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
So I've slipped into a pattern; I act out on Saturday nights. I maintain sobriety and composure during the week, even on Friday night, but come Saturday night around 11pm I start to ruminate on the supposed emptiness of my life, and I start to yearn for something, for someone to fill that void. I grab my phone to start cruising grindr and craigslist and I eventually find someone. This leads to acting out, sometimes the guy wants help "filling his tank" and so I oblige. Other times, they just come and go.
I realized how the last two times I acted out on my need for connection, that I was simply being used: objectified, something was being taken from me, I was taking something from them.
Let me explain...As I struggle to find my place as a gay man in the Church, or rather as I struggle to define my relationship with the Church as a gay man, I hit on a tension - a seemingly irresolvable tension around being lonely for mortality or having a meaningful relationship. Of course, this is an old trope that causes such crisis in so many, as it revolves around the doctrine of family.
Anyhow, this struggle leaves me feeling isolated, angry, resentful, which then leads me to resolve finding a partner. But in the process of finding a partner, the truths that I've uncovered from my interactions with the divine, lead me away from finding a partner, and I'm left feeling angry and lonely, so then instead of finding a partner, I resort to a brief connection with some anonymous person. I use them to fill this void in me, they use me for their purposes.
Several weeks ago, as I was in the process of acting out with one of these guys, he asked me if he and his twin brother could come over the next day and do this again. After he asked this I said no and asked him to leave. What stung the most was the way he said this; it was the first time I felt a sense of my humanity being taken from me (it may have always been that way), and it hurt deeply. I felt used, I felt like an object whose sole purpose was to "pleasure" this man and his brother. I felt sick.
You'd think that experience was sufficient to bring me a moment of clarity and to bring me back to sanity - alas, the addicts mind is fucked up. And so that's how my mind works. I tried my best to get through Saturday night without acting out. A number of things triggered this last episode. One guy I had coffee/tea with, I realized was not interested in me. I felt rejected. So in an attempt to pre-empt acting out, I dropped my phone and laptop off with a friend Saturday night. It was terribly difficult to do, but I let it go and did not act out Saturday night. I woke Sunday morning sober. It was thrilling, then I went to church and it was all down-hill from there. What is about church that makes me feel so crappy, out of place, and lonely? I suppose that's a rhetorical question, I know what it is. But then I came home feeling lonely, and alienated, picked up my phone and laptop and then started cruising ads again to medicate my loneliness.
Sunday evening a guy responded and came over. I opened the door, he walked in, said nothing. I led him to bedroom and then he opened my pants and proceeded to give oral sex. After it was over, he got up, did not look at me and simply walked out. It was a horrible feeling - I felt more alone than before he showed up. He took from me what he was seeking, and I tried to take from him, but I took nothing. Rather I was left with nothing, I was left with a feeling of shitty-ness.
That night before bed, I dropped to my knees and simply blurted, "God, please help me; save me from myself..." It was a sincere pleading. I don't know exactly what kind of help God will give, but I'm getting closer to realizing that I do not have to control nor have expectations about the kind of help He will provide. My responsibility is to simply be grateful for every hour I'm sober and thank God for His help that hour.
Perhaps in that process I will come to resolve the seemingly irresolvable.