Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Depressing Post

Everyone on the face of the planet has bouts of depression now and again. That's life. But have you ever experienced depression to the extent that everything that you care about, everyone you love, and anything that you once thought important slowly  begins to fade away? That's the only way I can really describe how I'm feeling and what's going on in my head lately.

I know I should get on my knees and pray to my Heavenly Father and ask him for comfort, but I don't want to. I don't want to ask for a blessing. I don't want to visit w/ my Bishop. I feel nothing in that regard (spirituality).  Yes, I know where those feelings are coming from and who is telling me NOT to humble myself nor pray to ask for some divine help, comfort, and guidance. I'm fully well aware of the fact Satan has his hands around my neck. Yet, I won't do what I know I should do to release myself. It's dumb.

You're probably saying 'pull your lower lip off the floor and buck up' right? It's strange b/c I know and realize this shitty state that I am in yet I can't just turn a switch and suddenly make myself feel better. In fact, I feel like wallowing in this sadness and hopelessness for a while. I've almost been finding comfort in it.  What's interesting is I know I should attempt to surround myself w/ people who love me and care about me but I want to tell the whole world to go fuck themselves and be alone. I don't want to find a new hobby or do things that "interest me" b/c I'm so damn vanilla in everything I don't even know what does interest me or really who the fuck I AM.

I think these dark feelings lately are the result of several things going on in my life: My gayness. My guilt and secrets I still harbor and keep. My excommunication.  My feelings of worthlessness and mediocrity and poor self-image. The distance I have put between my Heavenly Father and myself. My medications (one of the side effects of depo provera is depression).  So do I count my blessings and try and remember all the wonderful rich joys and gifts I have been blessed w/? Will that help? I know that no amount of therapy will help. I've been down that road many times before and I was just left w/ an ass-load of bills, which further intensifies my anger and depression. HA! Oh the irony.
Besides, what can a therapist do for me...truly? Wave a magic wand that will make all of these feelings dissolve? Provide some insight that I may have never seen or realized before? Whatever.

I no longer find joy in being home with my family, playing w/ my children, playing the piano, spending lunches w/ friends, or doing projects around the house. I have lost my focus at work. In fact, hours pass at work and I don't do a damn thing. I simply can't get the 'umpf' to do much of anything anymore. Something else that's strange is I can't cry or have any kind of emotional release. My heart feels so heavy and my insides feel so empty, like there is a hole, or vacuum. But I can't cry and I can't FEEL. It scares me b/c of the 34 years I have been trodding through life I don't think I have ever been this depressed, this sullen, this withdrawn, this dark, or this 'lost.'

Fuck it all.




Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Pathetic Man-Crush

I did something this week that was totally out of character for me. I can't even believe I did it. I'm trying really hard to hold my head up and move on from it, but I feel so embarrassed and stupid.

I have been feeling incredibly alone and sad lately. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's the gray weather or just the general lack of excitement in my life. Nothing piques my interest anymore. It has been really hard for me to focus or generate ambition/motivation to do anything, including work. Sometimes at lunch I'll just sit in the car by myself, close my eyes, and listen to "Depressa Mode" HAHA full blast. The music is penetrating and dark and gloomy and it just feels good for my mind and I to get lost in the heaviness.  I think much of my addiction feeds on thrill, adventure, excitement, and adrenaline and yet my life has been pretty ho-hum lately. Don't get me wrong, it has been nice to have some of those areas in my life that are usually so out of whack more quiet, balanced and toned down, but it has unfortunately spilled over into almost all the other areas of my life as well.

One of the side effects of my DP shots is depression and lethargy. Perhaps that is some of it. I do take Prozac also, but I think in a way the combo of everything in addition to the current status of my life just leaves me feeling gray... a lot. Ordinarily, I would be looking for a screw or a smoke or some other 'naughty' behavior to pep me up and give me a rush. But again, my shots have really made the obsession, mania, and compulsion of my addictive behaviors or even desire to act out at all on any of it almost nil. It's wonderful that way.

One of my m.o.'s has been the need to be lusted after by a guy. But lately that need to be lusted after has evolved into much more of a need for attention and affirmation. Dunno why. What's bizarre is the attention and connection and bond I get from my wife, children, friends at work and church, group, etc. hasn't been enough to satisfy my need or fill the void as of late. But the attention can't come from just anyone. I know this sounds really shitty of me, but I could have lots of people (gay, straight, whateve) giving me attention or showing interest in me, but if I don't find them "acceptable" or "worthy" on my terms, it won't matter in the end. It has to be from somebody I am attracted to, however I may deem them attractive. I don't have a typical "ideal" guy, but there are some similarities the guys I am attracted to share. My wife thinks this has its roots in my adolescence, when the guys that I thought were good looking, cool, masculine, etc. rejected me, bullied me, and taunted me. So now I have some bizarre need to be affirmed that I am ok and accepted by a guy that for whatever reason fits that "cool, good looking, masculine-guy" image in my mind. But why, oh why, can't I feel self-worth just by the love and affirmation that those in my life currently give me? Or from God Himself? Or from MYSELF? Why do I feel like such a worthless turd? Why can't I FEEL and how, if ever, will I resolve these feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing?

This is what lead me to do the terribly daft thing I did this week...

There is a mid-20s guy that works at a McDonald's here in town. He's gay and totally cute (I think). I have no freaking idea why I have developed a man-crush on this kid. It's bizarre. But, for whatever reason, he fits that "cool, good-looking, masculine-guy" image in my fucked-up head. Because he's gay, I thought maybe I could get what I have been needing and lacking from him...that attention and affirmation.  I wanted HIM to like me, crush on me, and think of me too. Man, don't I just think I'm the shit!? It's effed-up thinking, I know. So anyhow, I know this kid's name and I found him on FB. I sent him a message which I knew would go to his 'other' folder b/c we're not FB friends. I simply told him I had been in McDs on Saturday and he had helped me and I just wanted to say hey and reach out. How ambiguous is that for a message!? HAHA After I sent it I thought maybe he wouldn't ever see the message since it went to his 'other' folder, so (I can't believe my utter and sheer boldness) I jumped in my car and drove to McDs. I rehearsed what I would say.."Ahem, Hey so-and-so, I just wanted to let you know I sent you a FB message and just wanted to come in and explain why I did so you wouldn't be weirded out." A good ice-breaker, I thought. Well, it turns out he wasn't there (of course) so I left my name and number w/ a girl at the counter.

That night I got a text from him (my stomach immediately started tingling) and we texted back and forth for a while. It was great. I felt on top of the world. I was getting the attention I craved and needed, all the while building up some stupid fantasy in my mind. I asked him if I could see him the next day and he said he'd hit me up in the morning. I couldn't even sleep that night.
 
I sure wish I could report a happy end to this story, but unfortunately it all went to shit and I am left reeling in my feelings of shame, embarrassment, and stupidity! He FB messaged me yesterday morning and told me he didn't really understand my intentions. He said you have a wife and kids, so what was I looking for? Did I just want to compliment his service from Saturday? Did I need a babysitter? Or did I want to ask him out but I was just too shy to do so? The way he talked (wrote) was in my mind coy and kind of flirty. It was AWESOME. :) I told him yes on pretty much everything, but he was still confused as to what I wanted. I told him that 'I have same-sex issues , that I knew he did too, and that I was kind of crushing on him and just wanted to go to lunch or get a drink or something and just talk...and connect. I said I wasn't looking for a quick screw or anything. I just wanted to be with him.  His response: "Let me tell you something. I wasn't worried about a quick screw or a date for that matter. If you wouldn't have beat around the bush and been straight forward with your intentions, we wouldn't be doing this now. Secondly, being gay or being attracted to guys is not an ISSUE. Sorry to tell you that. It's a preference."  (STRIKE 1) Ouch. Double ouch. Then I told him I was sorry for doing what I did. It was out of character for me to be so bold and brazen but I just had to throw caution to the wind and reach out to him. He told me to 'not be so dramatic' (STRIKE 2) and that he had to get ready to go to work. Totally blowing me off! And hard! I asked him if I could just stop by to say hello and meet him face to face for a minute to hopefully qualm his fears and that perhaps after seeing me he'd realize I'm not as freaky as I (unfortunately) had made myself out to seem. His response? "Even if I said no, it is a public place,  but I don't care haha." (STRIKE 3)

I haven't felt such feelings of rejection and hurt and embarrassment like that in I don't know how long! And from a complete stranger! What the hell was I expecting him to say or do!? I've never even met this guy!

Well, ballsy-me, I did end up going to his work yesterday afternoon. I had to. I hoped that upon seeing me he'd forget what a weird-ass I had come across as and that maybe he'd end up liking me and maybe want to see me again. Uh, no; didn't happen. I told him again I was sorry for being so bizarre and so bold and for probably freaking him out. He told me not to worry about it, but he was so nonchalant and flat with the few things he did say to me. Then he said he had to get ready for the dinner rush (bullshit) and that maybe he'd message me. Didn't happen. And probably never will.

Today I feel split in two. I do feel a little bit of closure that I at least went in and met him fact to face and apologized. Yet the other part of me wonders if I have got him thinking about me at all. Will he message me or send me a text? Will his curiosity eventually drive him to reach out to me now? But then again, I am a mid-30s guy, married with children. If I had been a 24 year old and some mid-30s married dude was coming on to me I would have been like "As If!" HAHA

I know I'll never hear from him again. And that's for the best. And I will never, ever reach out to a person like I did to him again either. It hurts. Isn't that why they call them crushes? HAHA It feels like someone has blown a hole w/ a sawed-off shotgun right through my fucking chest. Sure, I could call a gay friend of mine and get a nice, long, tight hug if I wanted to, or even hold his hand and get SOME kind of attention and affirmation. But it wouldn't matter. I need it from that 'ideal' someone. But it's all in my head! That's what's scary. And what was I thinking in the first place reaching out to this guy? Even if my idealized fantasy had worked out and we began seeing each other and developed a connection/bond/friendship/etc it would have (AND ALWAYS INEVITABLY DOES) ended in getting in each others' pants. Then where would I be then?

Sigh.



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

HIV & AIDS


Warning! This post is long and boring, so don't read if you don't want to. But I really wanted (and needed) to write about a monstrous self-suggestion that, like lust, has consumed me for almost 20 years.

The power of one's mind is absolutely incredible. I am a firm believer that attitude and mood has a direct effect on not only emotional and mental health, but physical health as well. I also believe in the ability to brainwash or convince yourself of something that may or may not be reality. No, I'm not going to write about the "Mormonism Cult" and how we've all been brainwashed into believing that it's the one and only true religion. Blah Blah Blah. I'm not opening that can of worms. HA! But I do want to write about how for years I lived in complete and total anxiety and fear and had completely convinced myself that I had HIV/AIDS.

The first time I can really remember the reality of AIDS entering my mind and life is when I found out my gay Uncle, who was living in Ft. Lauderdale at the time, was dying of AIDS. This was in '95; he was 38 and I was 16 at the time. My gay promiscuity hadn't even really begun at that point (my encounters were still pretty innocent) and I admit I didn't even really know much about AIDS. In fact, I didn't even know my Uncle was gay. I guess you could say I lived a very naive and sheltered childhood and adolescence. At that point, the only thing I really knew about AIDS was that it was an incurable disease, usually transmitted via drug abuse and sex, and that the person's death was horrifying and painful.

Over the years, I have learned that my Uncle contracted HIV when he was living in Los Angeles. I don't know when or how long he lived with it before his death. I don't know if it was from a one-night stand or during a long-term relationship. I wish so bad I could talk with my Uncle and find out more about him, why he was the way he was and what kind of gay lifestyle he lived. Was he like the seldom few gay men in the world that truly want love and companionship and don't give a hoot about getting in each other's pants during the first date or encounter? Was the reason he contracted HIV was because he was simply with the wrong person at the wrong time? Or was his gay lifestyle more like mine...the anonymous, filthy, unprotected gay sex in bathroom stalls, cars, and gay nightclubs, spas and parks?

Whatever the case, he contracted it and it eventually killed him. And his death was not pretty. It's interesting how I can feel more compassion and depth of feeling and understanding for an Uncle I didn't even know very well just because we deal (dealt) w/ the same issue. This is something that my family or others could never really realize.


I remember after my Uncle died in Nov '95 by Dad and traveled to Florida to box all of his things and send them home. We spent a lot of time w/ his partner (who also had HIV) and met a lot of his friends (again, many were HIV+).


One day we went to the beach and I walked a ways down by myself to one of the beach bathrooms. I found a USED condom just outside the bathroom on the sand. I took it into the bathroom w/ me, I drank the semen out of the USED condom, then I put the condom on and jacked off into it myself. Wow. Wow. Wow.

My next and first personal encounter w/ the reality of AIDS was after a sexual encounter I had had w/ an older guy during the summer after I graduated HS. I remember engaging in anal sex w/ him (I did him) and the condom broke. During sex I also noticed he had a weird lump in the middle of his back, almost the size of a baseball. Bizarre, I thought, but I shrugged it off. Anyhow a few weeks later I was taking a walk w/ another gay guy I had recently met and my encounter w/ the other older gay dude came up in our conversation. He told me that the other guy had HIV. I'll never forget feeling the blood leave my head, heart, and gut and sink to my feet upon hearing that. It felt like somebody had dumped ice water down my neck. That was the beginning of my self-deception and persuasion that I had got "it." Looking back I wonder if the younger guy was just jerking me around b/c I wouldn't have sex w/ him (um, YUCK) and that was his way of getting back at me. Or perhaps he really did know the other gay guy and he really did have HIV. I'll never know the truth for sure and have no idea where the two of them ever ended up.

Nevertheless, despite my fear and shock, I could never bring myself to get tested and I continued having many, many, MANY anonymous sexual encounters, sometimes safe, sometimes not. I know, it was so, so, soooo stupid, careless, wreckless, selfish, and prickish of me. I started feeling really mentally weird ALL the time (I thought it was a symptom of the illness) and out of it like I was high all the time. I also started having regular panic attacks, which I had never before experienced. During this time I was going to school and living in Pocatello by myself and was also working during the summers in West Yellowstone, MT. I was experimenting w/ pot, alcohol, and was smoking regularly as well. My life and mental state was, to say the least, tumultuous and deranged.

I remember lying in the tub one night in Pocatello and I started getting freaked out while looking at my naked body b/c I thought I was getting too skinny (another symptom/side effect of the disease). I was constantly looking and obsessing about any sign or symptom to crop up, from white things in my mouth and throat to night sweats; I consumed myself with any and all physical changes or abnormalities.

I began donating plasma, which was a way for me to have my blood tested, though it wasn't an official "HIV Test." And again, I was in constant fear that one day I would receive a phone call or letter in the mail that something was abnormal in my blood. And yet I continued screwing around! Perhaps it was my way of trying bury or forget my fear or fixed reality.

In 2000 I decided to go on a mission for the church. I told myself that everything would be ok and all my physical tests would come back normal if God wanted me to go and if I changed my lifestyle. Sure enough, they were and I ended up going. But the constant, nagging fear and anxiety that I had AIDS remained. I had still never had an official HIV test - never and had had 100's of sexual experiences, some major others minor.

It was during my mission that while looking in my mouth one day I had weird white things on my tonsils. Again, the blood drained from my head and ice water had been dumped on me. Here was another sure sign and indication that I had "it and that "it" had been simply hiding. I was so, so, so upset and scared. I eventually got up the courage to tell my Zone Leader I needed to visit w/ the Mission President's wife about seeing a nurse. I was a nervous and emotional wreck, but I couldn't tell him why. Finally, he got the truth out of me and told me, "dude, chill out!" He asked if I had ever had a severe strep throat. He asked me if the white things on my tonsils resembled cottage cheese curds and stunk really, really bad. Finally, he said it's no biggie, he had the same thing going on. It is simply bacteria that builds up in our tonsil pockets and holes and eventually comes out, or we can squeeze them out ourselves. Yea, pretty nasty, but you can imagine my relief and the peace I felt.

If you've been a faithful reader from the beginning, you already know my mission did not end well. I ended up having sex and doing everything else inappropriate and evil on my mission and was sent home after 20 months. But even after coming home and being disfellowshipped and even while dating my future (now) wife, I continued screwing around w/ guys, though let me just write here that the last time I engaged in anal sex with a man even to this day was while I was on my mission.

Anyhow, this is the part when any shred of positive view you may have of me will go completely out the window. For you see, prior to getting married, I still never got an AIDS test, or any other STD test. Yep, I know, I am a complete and total sick son-of-a-bitch for that. At that point, my wife knew I had same-sex issues, but she had no idea about any of my AIDS-related fears or how promiscuous and unsafe I truly had been. I'm a fucker.

After marrying, I did not physically mess around, touch or be touched by men. I continued cruising the parks and bathroom and would have encounters w/ gay guys and I would watch them act out on themselves or each other, but I was playing it safe, myself. My wife and I began having kids and building our life together, but I was still never convinced that I was clean.

I remember finally coming out to my wife and telling her the God-awful, hellacious fear that had plagued me for (at that point) 8 years that I had HIV. I just knew I had it! I was going to be the special case that despite having had had sex w/ her hundreds of times and even after having healthy, normal children together, I would still have "it" hiding deep down inside me and eventually, someday it was going to rear its ugly head. I had been too bad; too vile; and had gone too far.

As the years passed my fear finally began to subside, though it would never be relinquished completely. For whatever reason, God had kept me safe through all the years of my dumb-fuckery, but I knew I wouldn't be so lucky the 2nd time, should I return to those behaviors and start screwing around w/ dudes again and committing adultery. My HIV phobia actually kept me from going completely ape shit and start acting out w/ the men I was having encounters with.

I remember going to a gay bathhouse in Los Angeles in 2008 and I was not wearing thongs or shoes and was walking in drips of cum and what not. And I was getting into the hot tub that only hell knows how much cum and stuff was in there! Barf! This is when my HIV fear began slowly growing again! What if I had had a cut or sore on my foot or heel when I stepped in the semen? What if there had been cum in the whirlpool water and it had entered a cut or something somewhere on my body? Constant, nagging, worry and fear that I continued to push down into the recesses of my mind.

This is why I am so fucked up today - years of bullying, anxiety, fear, hurt, sadness, anger that I have pushed down and never dealt with. This is why I have a hard time dealing w/ the complexities and realities of life. I cannot stand seriousness and scary things and responsibilities that I have to do or face. In a way, I am completely and totally mental!

In 2011, I FINALLY came to the knowledge that I'm a pretty fucked up sex/lust addict and began attending regular SA meetings as well as meeting w/ a group therapist. Right out of the gate, the therapist asked if I had ever had an HIV test or been checked for other STDs....again, the ice water down the neck feeling...why was she asking me this? Is it a sign? Has everything been culminating to this? Is it too late for me? I told her that I hadn't any anal or oral sexual encounters since I had gotten married, but she urged me for my own peace of mind self victory to go to the District Heath Dept. and have the whole gamut of STD tests. Believe it or not, after all those years I did end up getting the courage to go and take the tests. Especially the 'biggie!' I was so scared and nervous. You can't even imagine the relief and the peace and warmth that flooded over me when everything came back ok. FINALLY! I had confirmation that I did not have AIDS and that I was going to be ok. I told myself I would never, EVER do anything that would put myself in a situation that I would ever have to worry about fucking AIDS again.

Well, as you've read from my posts over the past 2 years, I have slipped and sunk lower than I ever have since I got married. I have engaged in frequent mutual masturbation sessions w/ strangers and have even descended to giving and receiving oral sex. Obviously fear couldn't and didn't overcome my perpetual wanton lust and sex addictions. :P

I did end up having to have a thorough blood panel for my being a possible bone marrow donor for a lady in need, which came back ok. But I still wonder. I know that HIV can be in your system for a long while and still come up undetectable in a test. My last sexual encounter w/ a guy was Dec 18 and my blood draw and test for the bone marrow donation was Dec 19. What if I had a small hangnail and some of the guy's cum made contact? What if I had a small cut on my penis or inside the tip of my penis and he had a mouth sore or blood from a cut in his mouth or on his gums that got inside me? What if I had a tiny cut or canker sore or something at the time and some of his pre-cum got in it?

If I really sit down and think deep about it, I will again begin to convince myself that AIDS has conquered me. I will die the safe, horrific, awful death my Uncle did. And I can't blame anybody but myself. Do you see why and how keeping God's commandments and staying faithful in a marriage keeps one truly free, at peace and safe in every way? Why do I continue to put myself (and my wife) in these awful situations and compromise OUR health, our future, and marriage? I know I'm an asshole and I've already lost my church membership on account of my stupid, wicked, riotous choices. And I know as sure as anything that next it will be my marriage and family that I lose and then lastly, it will be my life (physical and spiritual). I pray I can continue in the path of righteousness and stay far away away from any and all things dark and/or evil. Please stay away from me.

From Mormon.org: "Like our parents growing up, God gives us commandments to help keep us focused on what is most important and how to stay safe. All of His guidance is meant to keep us safe, help us stay close to Him and, in the end, to give us more freedom and happiness. The word "commandment" might make us think of the Ten Commandments—a list of "Thou Shalt Nots"—God does not only tell us what we should not do, but He also tells us what we should do. His greatest hope is for our eternal happiness, so we can be sure that His commandments are not restrictive rules, but they are divine guidance meant to protect us from harm and lead us to better ways of living."