Last night was one of those evenings that I was 'done' being a parent.
I was feeling a little on edge anyhow, b/c yesterday at lunch I ran smack into a guy I used to act out w/ pretty regularly. The sight of him didn't give me shame or remorse; it made me feel wickedly tempted and triggered....bad. I carried those triggered, jonesy feelings w/ me through the afternoon. I got home from work, had dinner w/ the family, and decided we should do a Family Home Evening lesson. We're not terribly consistent w/ our Family Home Evening lessons, per se, but we do spend an inordinate amount of time together at home as a family each night, so that's a plus. But when it comes to having an actual lesson complete w/ songs, scriptures, treats, etc, it's sporadic.
Anyhow, everything started out alright except my oldest daughter (10 yrs) was being somewhat hormonal and grouchy and didn't want to say the opening prayer. I played a song from the Primary Children's Songbook and yet me and my other daughter were the only ones singing. That kind of bugged me, since I knew my wife knows most of the lyrics too; so why the hell wasn't she singing? Then during the lesson, the kids would give silly answers to my questions and fight and kick each another. Was the freaking Spirit even present in the home? Needless to say, I could feel my resolution to even finish the lesson and any shred of good Spirit in my heart slowly ebb and withdraw. The FHE ended w/ me feeling totally disgusted w/ the state of my family, my (our) parenting, my wife, our children, our house, and my life. All the negative and dark feelings I experienced last year when I was excruciatingly tempted w/ living a gay, single life washed over me and flooded my brain.
I quietly slipped downstairs (no good nights or kisses or goodbyes), locked the door and took a long hot tub to let my mind wander and sink into depression and think more about some of the things that were troubling me and tempting me. I thought of a quiet, clean, organized apartment where I could have control and order and more "peace." Not having to worry about commitment and loyalty and fight my sexual demons. Dishes always done and clean. Laundry always washed, ironed and put away. No dry toothpaste spit in the sink. No wet towels laying around. No hair all over the floor. No crumbs or food particles on the floor. Having the kids out of sight and out of mind so I wouldn't have to stress and blame myself for their acting out and spoiled rotten behaviors. And, of course, the opportunity for sex or entertaining male suitors whenever or wherever I wanted.
But even though I was having these enticing thoughts, the good side of me was also there, fighting them off, and reminding me that family and children is where true happiness lies. Even though it's a struggle and a fight, they ARE my true joy and reason for living. Even if I should have the clean, organized apartment and all the freedom and things that come with it, I would know something was missing. My life would be lacking something. To only see my children on the weekends or every other weekend? To split holidays w/ them? To never snuggle w/ my wife in bed at night or talk and laugh w/ her and have her there for a strength, comfort and support? Are you kidding me???
I recognize that as a SGA man, I am truly and richly blessed to have the wife and children I have. Many men in my situation (gay sex/lust addicts) aren't so lucky and many will never marry a woman at all. I think for the most part, my wife and I are doing good by our children. We're certainly not the best, but neither are we the worst. I can say our children know we love them, that their mom and dad love each other and they have a safe, happy home where the Spirit resides. We're trying to give them the very best things in life and keep them safe from all the icky, scary things happening in the world, in addition to preparing them to live in it on their own someday.
Children are a challenge. They can be naughty, spoiled, little rotten shit asses. But they can also be the closest thing to heaven and purity and true happiness and innocence there is in this fucked-up world. My family is the reason I am still here, forever fighting this tremendous fight against that bitch Satan and his hordes, and struggling to keep the light in my life burning. I know where true happiness lies...and it lies in my family.
"Family: For Where Your Treasure Is, There Will Your Heart Be Also"