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God, I'm on the edge...

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by JToivonen, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. JToivonen

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    Guys, I'm sorry to bring that up once again...but I feel overwhelmed with all those feelings and I felt like I needed to vent.

    But today I feel like I'm on the brink of collapsing...a total meltdown. I just don't know what else is true or not about myself... I'm totally confused and lost.

    But I'm still standing, I'll hang in here. My therapist told me last session that I suffer from a form of OCD that creates those neverending questions in my head, the ones that torment me. They wake me up at night, don't let me work and pull me down. It's not the questions themselves, but the fact that it feels like there are two sides of me - one, who wants to do "the right thing", stay married and that believes that I can be happy and fullfilled in a straight marriage. And the other, who feels sooo complete being gay and that longs for another men.

    The things is: who am I? What is true and what isn't? I mean, when I think of staying married, it makes me anxious and I have this feeling that I won't be happy...but then one side of me point fingers, saying "you only feel this because you're selfish and horny all the time. All you care about is your own satisfaction".

    And when I think of leaving and finding a man (I found one that I really fell in love with actually), my mind goes "the heart is deceitful above all things", "you really wanna leave your stable marriage, with someone you know so well and that loves you so much, to jump into the unknown, just to f*ck men? You selfish bastard! You naughty fool! Sexual pleasure doesn't stay for long..."

    So, I'm going crazy. Those thoughts really block me from moving on. So I again feel like just vanishing, disappearing...

    Sorry, I know it's sound neurotic, but that's how I feel right now!
     
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  2. JToivonen

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    Just to give a better perspective:

    When I thing I'm gay:
    - you're just lustful and filthy;
    - you're not trying hard enough to love your wife!
    - you truly loved her before...it can't be all gone...you must have done something to destroy it...but it must be in you somewhere. You have to fix your love for her!
    - so you're trading something valuable as your family and marriage just to screw around?
    - what if you regret later?
    - what if you realise you don't sex with men all that much?
    - I've been attracted to women before...what of it's just a phase and all comes back?
    - I'm nothing more than a fag, a male whore!
    - I feel so comfortable being gay...and I don't feel sinful at all...maybe that's because sin has blinded and numbed me! So I gotta fight it.

    When I think of staying in my straight marriage:


    - I like watching men, watching gay porn, having sex with a man was the hottest thing I've done...I can't do this, I'm obviously gay! (But then this voice screams "sinner!" "horny rascal!" "Don't be fooled by these claims urges and desires!");
    - I don't want to be here..I want to be somewhere else...(again, the voices "you're life is great, don't be ungrateful!");
    - My life is going to be boring for the rest of my life (sinner! Fool!)
    - I guess I can make it work...it wasn't that bad...and then I'm flooded with all this huge anxiety...and after I feel anxious, the screaming in my head starts all over again...
    - just the thought of making my marriage work makes me anxious that I'd be once again ignoring my true self and sweeping the dust under the carpet.
    - and do I really want to make it work? I mean, when I close my eyes and think I'm gay and free, it feels AWESOME (the screaming begins...)

    So, I'm just neurotic, paranoid. I'm a lost case, just a crazy gay who can't make his mind. That's how I feel.

    Sorry to bother you with that once again...I just needed to let this frustration out.
     
    #2 JToivonen, Jun 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  3. Bethatone

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    I totally get it! Don’t be sorry to try to explain out how you feel. You never know who is in the exact same place as you. Hoping it gets better.
     
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  4. MOGUY

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    Take a big breath and let it out slowly. Remember that you are truly loved. Just for right now, find peace in that statement. And repeat it over and over.
     
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  5. nerdbrain

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    I spent several years in therapy with a prominent psychologist who specializes in OCD. There are indeed some versions of OCD where the primary topic of obsession is sexual orientation, and it's closely related to the broader category of relationship OCD.

    The reason I left that therapy was because I decided that yes, the mind can play tricks on you -- but sex is sex. And my sexual fantasies, experienced mostly in masturbation, were undeniable.

    I left my marriage in order to discover more about myself. The journey has not been easy and there has been no neat conclusion. I still miss my ex-wife often. But going back in time, I don't see how else I could have handled the situation. The uncertainty was driving me mad. Now I am less uncertain, but still struggle with acceptance.

    It sounds to me like you are having a moral crisis, not an obsession or delusion. You are preoccupied with "right" vs "wrong." You feel that you are in an impossible situation, where both options are bad. I can identify closely with that; I've been there. All I can say is that when I felt that way, I was not in any shape to be a husband to my wife. I had to get out of that situation. I read many coming out stories and I calculated that, whether I liked it or not, most men who have gay fantasies eventually realize they are in fact gay. So I reasoned that ultimately the sooner I ended the marriage, the better off my wife would be since she would have more of her life to live free. And so would I.

    Again, it was heartbreaking and awful. But I am convinced I made the right decision. Really, it was the only decision I could make.
     
  6. Lilbird

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    Sorry you are experiencing this. It is not easy. I also was raised in a religious community that had very strong rules and messages about sex and marriage. As I was going through my coming out process and in limbo of whether to stay or go, I had some version of every thought you listed running through my mind constantly, for months on end. It was torture. Sharing the thoughts in therapy helped me untangle my own beliefs and reality from the messages instilled in me. It’s now been about 2 years since I moved out. Im on good terms with my ex, he has moved on, and he doesn’t hate me. My family has accepted me. Every now and then, the old self defeating messages will still run through my mind, but it’s nothing like before. I hope you will find your peace soon. From my experience, bring in limbo is the most difficult part for everyone involved. It does get easier, and somehow life keeps moving forward.
     
  7. justaguyinsf

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    Replace the messages you're telling yourself with messages that are not so self-critical. Do just that ... it's within your control
     
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  8. JToivonen

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    I've tried that...but then it's like this internal criticism, self-loathing and accusations would get harsher and louder...like "why are you trying to shut me up?" or "don't be a fool, I'm the thing that's keeping you from destroying yourself!" or even "that's Satan telling you lies! Don't buy it!"

    Of course I know it's not Satan. But still... it's something so rooted in my soul that it's really hard to get rid of it.
     
  9. JToivonen

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    One of the things that I'm trying to focus in order to get better is trying to separate which thoughts are my own and which aren't. It seems to me that all this paranoia comes from the deep-rooted dogmas that I've based my life on, even if some of them I already consciously don't abide anymore.

    Still, it's a harsh process and it takes time.
     
  10. JToivonen

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    I feel that way too...I mean, it's a no-brainer, I'm gay! All the gay porn, gay fantasies, the longing to be with guys, first only sexually but now also in an emotional level, the great time I had when I was intimate with a man, the way I admire the male body, the way I feel when guys flert with me... it's obvious I'm gay!

    Or is it?

    Isn't it just me being kinky? Or dirty? Or filthy? Or sinful? Or confused? Or just going through a phase? Or is it a reflex of my troubled relationship with my father?

    But, when I close my eyes and think of my future with a gay...it feels great (although a bit scary). Then I think it's my corrupted flesh wanting to gain full control and destroy me and my family. Wow. Sounds so crazy!

    Couldn't agree more. That's how I feel. And even if my rational side knows that there's nothing wrong in being gay, my other side yells "you're wrong! It's wrong! Don't be fooled!".

    It's a loop I don't seem to be able to get rid of.
     
  11. Mr B

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    I am the same situation as you, JToivonen. I am also struggling to reconcile deep-seated religious and moral beliefs, my strong desire to keep my family together and my love for my wife, with the late realization that I am in fact gay, or non-straight at the very least. I am longing for physical contact with a male and I find it hard to desire women at a physical level. While I am now perfectly ok with who I am, I am struggling to figure out what to do now. Also, from a Christian standpoind, there is an array of interpretations of what the Bible says regarding homosexuality and it is by no means a given that it is something to be strictly condemned in all circumstances. Christ's message is above all about love and acceptance and those who are persecuting gays in His name, are doing so in order to gain power and control over others. I believe that this is the very opposite of what He wants from us. Anyway, here is not the place for preaching, the point is to show that you do not have to choose between your faith and happiness, and there is increasing acceptance of Lgbt within religious organizations.
     
  12. nerdbrain

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    Another way to think about it is from a pragmatic standpoint. Even if they are sinful/kinky/whatever, you have these feelings and they’re not going away. So what are you going to do about it?

    It really boils down to two options. Either decide to repress them and force them down; which will likely lead to some very bad psychological outcomes. Or start to explore them and find ways to express them, which may eventually mean splitting from your wife, etc.

    Right now you’re sort of stuck between these two choices.

    In my own case, I knew I couldn’t keep forcing them down. I had to explore. It has not been easy for me. But I can tell you the journey has not been what I expected. Earlier this year, I started dating trans women, which is something I never thought about at all. And so far it’s been great. I also still date cis women. And I’m much more open to the possibility of dating men, though I haven’t been pursuing that aggressively.

    I still have a strong emotional attachment to my ex wife. I care about her very much and we spend time together regularly. But the idea of sex with her is off the table. She has moved on with her life.

    I don’t know if I’d describe myself as happy, but at the moment I’m ok. A few weeks ago I was so depressed I spent all weekend in bed. But those episodes seem fewer these days.

    I’m making an effort to be more outgoing and to cultivate friendships. I’m having fun here and there. I’ve been having some great sex. Honestly right now I have nothing to complain about except my own internal conflicts.

    Anyway, I hope this is helpful. I really try not to tell anyone how to live their lives. But based on my own experience, and having read many stories here on EC, repressing your feelings is not an option. As troubling and confusing as they may be, they are a part of you. In order to be a complete person, you need to find out what they mean and make peace with them.
     
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  13. I'mStillStanding

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    Reading through your questions a few are very similar to the ones I faced myself when I was going through the process. Figuring out which voice is answering the question... is gonna help a lot. I’m not an expert and get scared when people start using the word ocd in relation to sexuality. Where I’m at in the south (USA) it’s either ocd, another treatable mental illness, or demonic possession that causes homosexuality or at least that’s what a lot of people say... and I do mean a lot. So that makes me nervous.

    The questions most important to me to answer was how did I explain my gay away to myself.

    Since I was young:
    *I am more comfy with girls because I don’t like sports and such so I don’t have anything to talk to boys about. It’s not cause I get butterflies around the cute ones.
    *I am not attracted to that guy I just wish I looked like him (I’ve always been very self conscious).
    *Ironically all the girls I crushed on growing up went out with the boys I had to explain my attraction to... doesn’t take much to figure that out lol.
    *I only watch gay porn because straight porn is demeaning to woman.
    *I view sex differently that why I’m not as crazy about it as my friends and that’s ok (I always felt weird about not being sexual).
    *My ex and I were best friends and I thought that was what love was suppose to be. We only kissed twice before we got married and nothings else. Our sex life was never like everyone said it would be. That’s ok we aren’t that sexual and our relationship isn’t built on that.

    It took a couple months to sort through this all but I did! When I made since of it all, then I could move forward to the next step. Once I knew how I covered it up from myself all this time I knew it wasn’t am I gay? It’s I am gay! Then I could work on why it’s took me so long to get here.

    That was my process. I hope you find some comfort soon :slight_smile:
     
  14. Oldguy55

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    No....you are just like me
     
  15. SevnButton

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    Hi @JToivonen -
    It seems your inner dialog has become a battle. I'll tell you my perspective, in the hopes that it will be useful to you. I see the inner dialog much like a conversation between two people, and when the two are not listening to each other, they both yell louder and louder hoping the other will listen. Typically such conversations don't go well.

    When one of my inner voices is making me uncomfortable, I don't say "shut up". Instead I say "Thank you. I know you're trying to keep us safe and well. I'm listening and I hear you. I will consider what you say, and balance it with the rest of me. Thank you". Often then that part of me doesn't have to scream so loudly anymore.

    For me, just about the time I found Empty Closets, all I could think about in my spare time was the idea of having sex with a man. It was intense. When I started listening to myself and reaching out to others, it became much more manageable.

    Good luck, man! This not an easy road, but it can be a really good one.

    Hugs-
    =Sevn
     
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  16. NotTooLoud

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    I think that frequently our "inner voices" are those of our parents. Yes, they looked after us and kept us safe (mostly), but they could be very judgmental and sometimes toxic, especially regarding sexuality and gender issues. They were people too, sometimes right and sometimes wrong in their ideology and beliefs. I think it is important to keep your "inner voice" in this context.
     
  17. NotTooLoud

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    Leaving your marriage won't be easy. But it will be the best thing you can do for yourself, your wife, and everyone else who is close to either of you. At the same time you are giving yourself the opportunity to find a relationship with real intimacy, you will be doing the same for her. It is not her right to be dependent upon you (emotionally or financially) and it is not your obligation to sustain her dependence. The longer you linger, the worse it will be for everyone. I feel your pain, but I know what I'm talking about.