Friday, December 9, 2016

Men Finding Peace East Idaho

I've recently had the wonderful and blessed opportunity to help launch a chapter of the Men Finding Peace support group/brotherhood here in East Idaho. I'm hoping it will cause more LDS gay/bi/SSA men in the area who are living their lives alone and scared and in secret to know they are not alone and there is a place for them where they can feel welcomed and loved and supported and encouraged.

Men Finding Peace is a group of men who share common goals and needs. It is a place where men can learn from other men what it means to experience SSA and simultaneously live a covenant life of faith. It’s a place where learning how others have found strength and resolve is explored with like men who share a common bond in brotherhood.

It’s a forum for healthy dialogue around what men are doing to live within the bounds the Lord has set, and thrive in a gospel centered life. This is a place where God’s grace and power in our lives is openly discussed without apprehension or apology, but without the intent to change or convert others. It’s a place where the opinions and experiences of others represent opportunities to learn and grow and where respect for our fellow man is considered sacred.

This is an open group where all men are invited to attend whenever our schedules allow without commitment in our already, over scheduled and busy lives. Where a man can attend without fear of being called on or called out, with the right to remain a silent observer for as long as they may wish.

This is a group where confidentiality is the only commitment we must make for admittance and participation. In this group, our personal safety is respected and upheld by everyone that attends.

Men Finding Peace is more than a social gathering of men who experience SSA or identify with what it means to be gay or bisexual. We value the power of community as a priority for finding strength and in building relationships that enrich our lives.  Men need other men.

For some men that have never attended such a group with like men, just walking through the door requires great courage.  We remember what it felt like and can never forget.  For others, this group offers a place of service and mentorship in an environment where everyone has the desire to learn and grow together.

If you live in the East Idaho area, please come to a meeting and see for yourself what a wonderful and positive, safe place it is!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Unmasking Myself

Today is Halloween, my favorite holiday of the year. I thought it would be a perfect day to post about the removal of my past masks of shame, guilt, sin, embarrassment, fear, anger, and self loathing.

When I started this blog 4.5 years ago I was filled to overflowing w/ all of the emotions expressed above, and my homosexuality/bisexuality/queerness was a big WTF? So many dark, vile secrets, thoughts, desires, and sins running rampant through my soul, tearing me apart. "I just know there's something dark in me. I hide it. Certainly don't talk about it. But it's there. Always. This Dark Passenger. How when he's driving, I feel alive. Half-sick with the thrill, complete wrongness. I don't fight him. I don't want to. He's all I've got. Nothing else could love me, especially not me. Or is that just a lie the Dark Passenger tells me? Because, lately, there are these moments that I feel connected to something else...It scares the hell out of me." I came across that quote about the Dark Passenger from the TV show Dexter and it really resonated w/ me. Indeed I did have a Dark Passenger inside of me, grabbing the wheel and taking control and running my life off the rails at his whim! I had absolutely NO CONTROL.

Fast forward 4.5 years to today; while I do still have some of that darkness down inside of me (and always will), I've come a helluva long way these past 4.5 years in self discovery, realization, understanding, control and acceptance. I have dragged those dark demons and skeletons out of the dark closets of my soul and out into the light. No, I haven't come out publicly on FB or anything yet, but I am pretty open and willing to talk to others about myself. I am much more at ease w/ myself and my past and addictions and urges and attractions. I'm usually happy to share my story w/ others and hope to turn some of the bad I've done in this life to good.

I'm so much more happy and content now that I've taken my many masks off.

Happy Halloween friends, and may you have the strength to take your masks and costume off and let the world and yourself see who you are in a whole new light.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Friend Requests...Never Again!

I recently had 15 outgoing friend requests to dudes who are in my same social circles. And there they sat! Day after day after day. Finally I canceled each and every one and have sworn I will not do that to myself again. I am again left to wonder what the hell is wrong with me!? Why would guy X have 25 other men as friends, (who show as mutual friends in our social circles), yet not accept mine!? Do I reek!? Am I poisonous!? Not hot enough?! Smart enough!? Gay enough!? Religious enough!? What the hell gives!? Stupid bastards.

So I say to him and the other 14 assholes who rejected me, which has become so damn commonplace lately: FUCK YOU! And that's just what you did to me...rejection. :( And I could have  been a really good friend to you.  Seriously, ouch! But I have faith that  what goes around comes around.

Lesson learned from all of this: I will NEVER AGAIN send friend requests out to people, especially guys, who I would like to connect with. Never again! I just can't handle the passive rejection. I will focus on the friends I already have in my life and to hell with all the rest of you douchebags.

To those of you reading who perhaps know me and wanted to possibly connect more personally someday with won't be receiving a request or hearing anything from me anytime soon. Sorry, but the ball's in your court. Don't expect me to be reaching out to you. However,  should you choose me as your friend, I think I would be a worthy choice. But that's all you, dude.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

MOHO Facebook Friends..What the Hell is the Point?

Today I need to write about something that has been really grinding my gears as of late. I guess you could say it's going to be a gripe session on my part, so if you don't want to read a lot of angry negativity, please move on. But I really need to blow off some steam. I would love to put it on my public page so those whom I'm writing about can realize it and be called out; but to save myself a lot of unnecessary drama and questioning by my family members and those I consider my actual good, close friends, I thought I would just blog about, get it out of my system and move on.

This post deals mainly w/ friendships and connections w/ other SSA guys via Facebook. I have many friends on Facebook from my past, mission compadres, college and high school friends, family and extended family, etc. But I want to touch on the queer friendships out there in Facebook land.

First, what is the purpose of "friending" somebody on Facebook? For me, when I reach out to someone, I usually have some kind of reason or purpose for doing so, and no, it isn't lust-driven. Typically, A) I genuinely want to connect and get to know them better and hopefully spark a friendship; B) I find them interesting, admirable, intriguing, attractive, etc. and therefore I want to (A) again. C) Them accepting my friend request makes me feel like I am acceptable, ok, worth-while, adequate, etc. Granted, C is a reason that is highly unhealthy and I realize that; but nonetheless it happens and I own it. ;)

Now, I've always considered myself an expert when it comes to queer relationships w/in the LDS MOHO community, but I guess I still have much to learn and understand. When someone reaches out to me and sends me a friend request I think they must find me (interesting? admirable? attractive?) and want to connect w/ me on a more personal, deeper level. When it's someone I think the same of, I'm flattered. I'm a pretty good judge of character and weeding out the sheep from the goats or those who are snakes in the grass. I'm not looking for someone to sext w/ or a hook up or have some hot, electronic affair w/. My intent is usually good and I'm apt at recognizing the other guy's intent.

So I either send a request out to someone I want to connect w/ or I have received a request from someone I also want to connect w/. Then either they or I accept. I won't talk about the assholes who never do accept my friend request. Don't give me some bullshit story that you didn't see my request or something either. I don't give a shit who you are, when you first log in to Facebook, the very first thing you see is a little number over the people icon; so before you post or go to your notifications or do anything else, you always want to see who sent you a friend request. It's true, isn't it? ;)

Anyhow, after the friend request has been answered, I always send them a message and say thank for accepting or thanks for the request. At this point, is it so fucking hard to just shoot back a quick message and say "no problem. It's nice to connect w/ you" or "I'm excited to get to know you better" or SOMETHING!!?? Nothing, and I mean NOTHING grinds my gear more than a new "friend" who after I have initiated the conversation w/ reads my damn message (thanks for that feature Facebook messenger!) but then doesn't respond to it. Do you realize how shitty that is? Are you that big of a social retard that you can't respond w/ a thank you or at least acknowledge that I reached out to you? Are you that damn important or so uber busy that you can't give me some sort of affirming response? Damn, that's rude as hell!

Now I know I shouldn't jump to conclusions. Perhaps they couldn't respond at the time. Perhaps they were in a meeting or got sidetracked or were driving or something of the sort. I get it. But after a day or two goes by and my message is still just sitting there, I guess they aren't as excited to connect w/ me as I was w/ them or as originally hoped for or thought. So my "read" message just sits after day after day and unless I try and spark up a conversation again w/ them, we'll both just sit there and stare at one another over the information superhighway. WTF is the point of this!?

Here's how the next part will usually play out. I shoot off my typical "thank you" message via messenger to try and get the ball rolling for a convo. What follows then is either no response or closed, one sided answers.

Me: "Thanks for accepting my request, Johnny"
Johnny: Either it sits there and they never read it, or they read it and don't respond, or finally later that day or even the next day finally respond with a "NP" or a simple thumbs up emoji (are you fucking serious? Wow! Thanks so much for that)
Me: If that's the kind of response I get, I'll usually give it a bit so they don't get the impression I'm hanging on to their every word or that fucking desperate or needy for their friendship and conversation. Eventually I'll write "So how long have you been married" or something similar to try and spark a conversation.
Johnny: Perhaps this is where the convo dies b/c the response never comes. He'll read it, but that's it. Or after a few more hours or days go by, I'll finally get a simple answer."6 yrs" Wow! That must have taken a lot of effort to type that message. He couldn't even type out YEARS or use punctuation. He must be a really, really busy guy. Eyeroll.
Me: Ok, asshole. I'll give you one more chance. So I again wait a bit before I ask one more question to see if this guy is really interested in getting to know one another..."Have you always lived in Utah" or something else relevant.

Now this is where I make the decision: A) Do I continue to try and milk conversation out of this backward dumb shit who obviously knows NOTHING about conversing w/ another human or just really doesn't give a shit in getting to know me better; or, B) Do I de-friend the fucker and put this farce of a connection/friendship/conversation behind me and move on? So I usually end up dumping him.

Guys, PLEASE don't reach out to me if you don't genuinely want to be friends. Don't be one of those friends from afar and think I'm the type of guy that will allow you to hide behind your stupid social media walls and keep one close eye on my private life. Or if you don't want to connect w/ me after I've reached out to you, then please TELL me. Don't just un-accept my request and remove the possibility of me ever sending you a friend request again w/o some sort of explanation. That is just pure shit right there and just plain mean.

So, if you're reading this and you know you're this type of person, please de-friend me now, unless I get to you first. Or, let this be a lesson to you and stop being such a freaking douchebag to other people. You're not the kind of person I want to be connected with or on a "friend" level anyhow. Go and hide behind your social media walls elsewhere or w/ someone else. Don't waste my nor your time. I need FRIENDS. I need good friends. I need genuine friends. And I need people who engage and converse and know proper friend and social etiquette. I don't need your bullshit.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

My Masculine Manifesto

I am a man.
I am a true man.
I am the man who I want to be.

I am loved, admired, respected, and cherished.
I am a strong husband, loving father, sweet son, sensitive brother, and loyal friend.
I am a mix of many unique talents, characteristics, traits, like, and quirks that make me the man I am.
I am made of memories, experiences, challenges, weaknesses, goals, desires, and dreams.

I am courageous.
I am strong.
I am determined.
I am in control.
I am a risk taker and an adventurer.
I am brazenly authentic.
I am compassionate.
I am a light to others.

I do not carry shame for the bad things I have done, for those experiences have given me wisdom and strength.
I love my family.
I am a hugger.
I have sincere passion in things that inspire or speak to me.
I have power.
I can do hard things.

I am a man.
I am a true man.
I am the man who I want to be.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Radioactive Man

Is there something wrong w/ me? Do I offend? Am I malodorous? Am I an embarrassment? Am I radioactive?

Am I not fit enough? Hot enough? Young enough? Straight enough? Gay enough? Mormon enough?

Is it b/c I'm married? To a woman? Living in Idaho? Committed to my family? Wanting to get re-baptized?

Is there something about me that scares guys away? Is it them or is it truly just me?

Will I ever stop giving a shit about whether or not guys like me or accept me and just love me for me?

Thursday, June 30, 2016

My Want to be Wanted

One of my weaknesses is the desire to be 'wanted' by men that I 'want;' translation: for men I am attracted to to be my "friend". I know deep inside my onion layers there is a reason for this desperation/want. It probably has its roots in feeling rejected and ostracized by boys/men/jocks/etc. in my adolescence. In my late teens I used my looks and cruising abilities to get the guys I wanted to get. This is when those feelings of male acceptance and bonding became sexualized. When I got the guy I had hunted or set my sights on (meaning we had a sexual experience together) I felt on top of the world. But when I didn't, I felt lower than the muck on the bottom of a sewer. While I have made strides over the years in accepting me for who I am and being comfortable in my skin and that I am in fact 'ok' as a man, I still don't 'love' myself and desperately desire to be needed and wanted and accepted by other men. But the caveat is these other men need to be men that I find attractive for whatever reason.

IDK what's going on in my life lately, but I've found myself frenziedly cruising friends of friends on Facebook for hours on end and occasionally sending requests out to guys I find attractive in hopes of connecting w/ them. This doesn't mean I'm looking for a relationship or a quickie w/ these dudes; I just NEED and WANT the satisfaction of them accepting my request. It's almost like my inner 14 yr old boy's way of ensuring that "yes I'm ok" to other men and that they are interested in getting to know me. And the men I've been pursuing/stalking aren't specifically gay nor have to be either. They just tickle my fancy for whatever reason. But it is usually physically based, at first. So if that guy accepts my request, I feel phenomenal. If he doesn't, I feel like shit and get hurt and angry at this stupid jerk-off who shunned me.

Oh, and I keep a detailed, thorough list of this activity - those who accept, deny, block, never accept, etc. and vice versa. Sometimes guys occasionally reach out to me (though, very few and far between b/c I'm the one that usually has to reach out or instigate anything w/ the kind of men who I want). If the guy piques my interest or attractions for whatever reason I'm completely flattered that he would reach out to me. But if I'm not attracted or interested in them, sometimes I still go ahead and accept their request but sometimes I won't. Nevertheless, if I don't accept their request I will always tell them why or at least make up something. Mr. nice guy, right? I wish the pricks I was reaching out to had that same kind of decency. At least it wouldn't make me feel like it was something about "me."

We all want to be wanted. You do as well, to some extent. For me it just sometimes becomes an obsession. When I try to break it down and deep think the whys and what-fors, I can't. I've never been able to deep think and dig through my issues. Like I said before, I think I know where it comes from, but I sure wish I knew how to fix it and learn to love myself and be happy w/ myself and content in the knowledge that my wife, friends, and family love me for me and I don't need assurance from men. I shouldn't need the men I'm interested in make me feel like I have worth or am acceptable or have value. Sad, isn't it?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

4 Year Blogger Anniversary

Here I am on my 4 year blogger anniversary; still in the battle, still trudging along; still learning, growing, falling, changing, and fighting. While I still have so far to go, I really have come a long way. I am so much more aware and at peace w/ myself and my identity as a 'gay' man. My appreciation for that part of myself has grown and the despair and the disgust and resentment is slowing fading and changing into strength and acceptance and resolution.

All of the experiences I have had these past 4 years have helped mold and shape who I am today, as well as where I am at spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and sexually. I don't regret a single thing. Are there a helluva lot of mistakes I've made? Oh you betcha. But now, more than ever, I know WHO I AM, WHAT I WANT, and HOW I'M GOING TO GET THERE.

Thank you, reader, for being here along w/ me on my journey. Thank you for your advice, critique, suggestions, love, support, harshness, patience, and wisdom. Now let's buckle up and head on into another year!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Leap: To Spring, Jump, Move or Act Quickly

It's been another loooong winter. Thank heaven Spring is right around the corner! Next year I need to be better prepared to face the long, cold, dark months ahead b/c every winter it's the same. I get sad, depressed, dark, and unhappy, and inevitably turn to my sexual addictions to give me a rush and surge of excitement and elation. But we all know how that turns out. I end up more unhappy and dark and sad than I was before. And this winter was pretty bad in terms of acting on my addictions.

In October I had 4 blows that sent me reeling into my addiction cycle:
  1. My Stake President said I still had a long way to go before I could even consider re-baptism (which I knew and accept, but it was sobering and kind of hurtful to actually realize and hear it said);
  2. I found out a major road is to be build right behind my house, which depressed and angered me in a major way;
  3. I had a falling out w/ my straight friend at work I've been kind of having a bromance w/ the past year - this was probably the biggest blow;
  4. I acted out w/ another friend of mine, which strained his and I's relationship and opened the same sex lust can o' worms back up.
Most of my memories of November through February are spotty b/c I was so enveloped in my addiction. The Christmas holidays came and went, and sex and porn and cock was all I was thinking about. I don't need to rehash it all in gory details; suffice to say it was a lot of sex, a lot of men, and a lot of masturbating and porn.

Aside from the many times the past few months I have lied, snuck around, blown off work, had multiple sexual episodes in one day w/ multiple men, deceived, and basically checked out on life altogether, there is one event that really stands out that I need to write about and get off my chest.

Just after New Years, my wife had a bad gall bladder attack that took her to the hospital. She had an ultrasound on it, which in addition to the massive amount of gallstones, it also revealed a strange mass on her liver. They wanted to do a CAT scan on her liver, but wouldn't be able to until the next Monday (1 week later). That week was a very difficult time for her and me, full of worry and grief. I think I buried mine in acting out, porn, and jacking off compulsively. Rather than being more emotionally present and comforting my wife in a better way, I turned inward and to my addiction. But it gets worse...

The day of her CAT scan, which was scheduled at noon, I went to work in the morning like usual and immediately began responding to Craigslist ads. I had a few responses and for the remainder of the morning, during my drive to the drive to the hospital, admitting my wife for her CAT scan, and sitting in the waiting room whilst she was having the procedure, I was completely lost in my addiction, emailing back and forth w/ these potential hook ups. After the procedure, my wife and I went to lunch together and talked about things (although I can't even remember what we talked about b/c I was NOT present). I went to the bathroom a few times to check my email on my phone. That afternoon, I went and had one of the hottest and most incredible hook ups I have had for a long time.

Immediately thereafter I received a call from my wife that her diagnosis was clear. I felt like absolute SHIT! A complete fucking waste of a human being and so undeserving of such blessings and such a wonderful wife and family. But even though I felt like such garbage and yet relieved about my wife having received a clean bill of health, I went to the gentleman's house again after work to act out w/ him the second time that day. That night, the truth came out of my riotous living the past few months and I promised I'd do better. But our talk and come to Jesus meeting was futile. It didn't help. I have continued to act out and fuck around pretty consistently these past 2 months; until yesterday, God willing!

Yesterday, Leap Year day, February 29, I allowed myself to completely abandon all self restraint and control and acted out in the morning w/ someone, performing as the bottom; jacked off to hard core porn at noon; acted out w/ another hook up in the afternoon, performing as the top that time; then jacked off to more hard core porn last night. 2 hook ups being top and bottom and 2 porn sessions w/ 4 ejaculations. I did this on the premise that I would use the Leap Year Day as a special reminder of my last acting out episodes and a spring board into sobriety again. I don't know why I always have to use special dates and times as memory markers as the "last time I did X, Y, Z", but I am doing that again w/ Leap Year.

I know I have a lot of haters out there and I know you think I'm an absolute pathetic waste, but so be it. This is MY life, not yours, and I'm trying to figure it and myself out in the ways I want to and what works best for me. Yep, I've made a helluva lot of mistakes and in some ways AM a mistake, but no matter. I haven't given up. I'm still aware of my situation and I'm still fighting.  I've just invited you all along for the ride on this crazy train. So just sit back, relax, eat your nuts, sip your soda, and enjoy the ride.

February 29, 2016 may be either A) the last day of my old life, or B) just another day. I guess we'll all have to wait and see in the days and weeks ahead. Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Is All That We See or Seem But A Dream Within A Dream?

I read somewhere that addiction reeks havoc on the memory banks. I experience this first hand. There are huge holes in my life and various details, experiences, and people I can't recall. It gets pretty bad at times. My parents and I refer to the years 18-20 as my 'fog years' b/c I don't remember a lot from that period, which coincidentally is also the time of my life I was the most promiscuous. However, there have been several days, weeks, and months when it's almost as if I've been a Rip Van Winkle, placed into a self-induced sex coma and then waking up to find I don't remember a lot of things in between. It's a complete gray, dead zone.

I think it comes from never being present in the present; to never drink in the sights, sounds, smells, etc. of various life experiences. It's almost as if I live w/ ADD - I'm always on to the next thing. I never allow myself to stop, breathe, and let things sink in. I never relax and ENJOY life. Sometimes my forgetfulness and memory loss get to the point it frightens me! Do I have a brain tumor? Do I have early onset of Alzheimer's? What gives!? In addition to all of this is the incredible amount of guilt from my behaviors and shame that I feel which I push out of my mind, swallow and stuff way deep down inside. So rather than keeping my brain a volatile place, full of emotional turmoil and angst, I keep it flat lined and therefore, dead pan.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) defines sex addiction and other addictions as "a chronic brain disease that affects memory, reward, motivation, and related circuitry." Chronic brain disease! That's it! I always say if you were to cut off the top of my head and look at my brain, it would look like a bowl of oatmeal, completely ravaged by sex addiction. And if you were to cut open my torso, it would be empty and only steam would escape b/c I'm so empty.

I'm sorry, what was the point of my post again???