Elbow: March 2007

Friday, March 30, 2007

Free From Indecision

One thing I haven’t written about are the good feelings that I’ve since received after finally making a decision. Believe it or not folks… Elbow has come to the final chapter in his indecisiveness. He has made a choice and decided on a path. And that is unparalleled!

After about two years of turmoil and complete and ridiculous internal conflict, I’ve come to realize that I don’t want to be married. I think my wife is amazing, I know that she would make any straight guy drool. But I can’t help it if my body doesn’t respond to her in that way. I know this may sound gross to some of you, but subconsciously I feel and think of my wife in the same way that I think of my sister or mostly my mother. There’s just not a lot of romance there, just really strong ties of familial love.

Maybe that’s normal. I don’t know. And for the longest time I’ve felt guilty about that, but I can’t help it. I don’t chose where my subconscious thoughts go. Before I know it I’ll have a Freudian slip and refer to my wife as my sister, or have a childhood memory and can’t remember if it was my mom or my wife who cooked dinner when I was five.

I’ve come to accept that there are things I can’t control. No matter how much I try, I can’t make my penis stand up for something it doesn’t feel. I can’t make my heart long for something that it doesn’t understand. And more importantly, I just don’t like being married. I don’t like the arrangement and the expectations, and is it fair to my wife to just stay married to her because “she’s worth it?” Because she is worth it, and she is amazing, but if I don’t feel it then what’s the point? Maybe I’m a bad person for feeling this way, but I can’t feel guilty about that anymore.

I’m happy. I’m content, and I’m overjoyed that I have come to a final chapter in this decision making process. So, I have the decision made and I feel good about it. Now the next step is the hardest part – talking to my wife about it.

I know it needs to be done. I’m just afraid that I’ll find myself on a cargo plane headed to Mozambique before I can actually muster up a backbone to let her know what I’m feeling. How do you tell your sister that you want to break up with her? How do you tell your mom that you think you guys should get a divorce? Awkward.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Hours

What do I do? How do I say it? I guess if I really felt it then I would have said something by now. Is it possible that it’s just too hard to say? I feel like my wife is so fragile that I can’t even begin to think about how she’d react by me saying that I want a divorce.

She might hurt herself, and I’m terrified of her feeling so hurt that she’ll loose all sense of reason. I’m not strong enough for this.

My hands are tied and I’m stuck. My mouth is taped shut and I feel like I can’t move.

I’m doing ok. I really feel fine. For the first time in my life I know what I want. I’m done with being married. It’s not because I’m gay and it’s not because I’m not attracted to my wife, because I am. I just don’t want to be married anymore and I don’t know how to tell my wife that.

Maybe beneath my decision is a feeling of stability that I’d like to keep. Who in their right mind would leave a beautiful wife and the possibility of having a family? I feel like Julianne Moore’s character in “The Hours.” I feel that feeling that she talked about as overwhelmed and unexplainable conflict.

In the movie she looks at her little boy and she loves him but she has to get away. There’s a scene in the movie where she drops of her son at a babysitters and she plans on leaving him, and she drives away and she just cries. She goes to a hotel room and the shot of her lying in her bed with water rushing around her as it fills up the room is parallel to what I feel.

The water is getting close to my mouth and soon my nose won’t have any choice but to give into the water.

I don’t have a little boy. I don’t have children, but I do have the “little boy Elbow” to take care of. He’s inside of me and he needs me to take care of him. And I keep putting him off. The little boy version of me is hurting and I don’t know what to do for him. I’ve been ignoring him for so long, but the more I write this I realize that there’s a little boy inside of me who wants to be ok and who wants to be happy.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

When Sleep Doesn't Matter

I can’t sleep but I’m ok with it. I find it amazing that there is so much time that our bodies need for sleep. What is it about sleep that is necessary for our progression on the earth?

Right now I’m confused. I’m bewildered as to what I should do. I prayed again last night and I just felt really lost. I keep thinking about how I to get a divorce. I think about leaving my wife and it makes sense, but I don’t want to loose her friendship. I really love her, maybe not romantically, but as a real honest and special friend. She’s too amazing to even describe. But I don’t want to be married anymore.

I don’t regret having gotten married. I don’t regret the last two years of our marriage. Every experience is of benefit to me, and I’m thankful that I was able to learn from it. But saying goodbye to what we have is pretty painful.

I realize now that I’m going through the process of getting a divorce without actually having told my wife about what I’m feeling. I just don’t know how to do that. I think part of me is still hoping that I’ll magically be ok and that I won’t have to deal with my inner conflict anymore. And I can just pretend that my feelings and thoughts never happened.

How do I do this? I just have to end it. There’s no way around it. This isn’t a marriage. It's an illusion of hope. I have to end it because it's my responsibility. I always thought that if I was persistent enough that the Lord would do it for me and that she would possibly leave me before it got to this. I want her to end it because I don’t want to be the one to end it. I want to feel like the victim, but maybe now I’ll have to feel like an adult.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I Ache To Know

Someone: “Just hang in there.”

Elbow: “No.”

I prayed last night to see. I just wanted to know.
I prayed to see how I would feel if I got a divorce from my wife.
That spirit feeling came to my heart as it does when I ask if the Book of Mormon is true or when I think about the veracity of the Church. No intellect was attached to this feeling. I took it as God was saying that it was ok to get a divorce. At the very least, he’s letting me know that he’s there.

It’s pretty much more confusing than I ever thought it could be.
I ask if I should get a divorce and I feel the spirit…

I feel so close to something. I can’t grasp it, but I feel it and it’s real. I know that soon there will be a palpable decision made.

Everyday I confront my fears just a little bit more, and I think I’m making progress. I’ve been visualizing my feelings of distress and managing to conceptually feel my way out of their grasp. I’m seeing solutions that I haven’t had the courage to confront.

I ache to know.

I really want to have a letter telling me the steps to take. I need some concrete evidence that what I feel is right and good. But I don’t think that evidence exists.

I’m hanging by precept and concept. Where is “there?”

I want to blow something down. I feel really destructive right now.

I can’t hang on anymore.

I think it’s time to let go.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Realizing That It's Not Worth It

The conflicted angst I’ve been going through in these past four years is not only getting tiring, but detrimental to my soul. Feeling the heavy weight of my stress reminds me for some reason of a Mormon pioneer man pulling a handcart and physically feeling the burden of the trial that he has chosen to bear. Has anyone heard the Church philosophy that some Church leader said once about the pioneers looking at our trials and feeling like the trials that we face in this day and age are far more challenging than what the pioneers had to go through? Even though they died by hunger and that physically they were tested with sickness and conditions of strenuous torture to get to the Salt Lake Valley, the things that we go through currently far surpass the trials that they experienced.

Well, that’s bull shit. I don’t think the pioneers would say that. They’d probably be very upset to hear that what they went through wasn’t as hard as what we go through now. How do you tell someone who lost all 6 of their children to death and disease, who has to pull a hand cart with a bad leg and one hand because the other hand got bit off my a bear that their trials aren’t as hard as what the Mormons are going through in 2007? It sounds absurd.

Nonetheless, this post isn’t about the pioneers, but metaphorically I see myself as a Mormon pioneer man pulling this cart and then realizing that it’s not worth it. I want to walk away from the handcart, kick it as I throw my hands in the air and let out a huge sigh of release. Pulling a handcart in the snow and mud for what? All this just to get to the Salt Lake Valley? You can’t even drink the water because the lake is full of salt and not to mention that it’s a freakin’ dessert. And in 200 years it will be full of tourist skiers and shopping malls anyway. And I don’t want to break my back so that a bunch snowboarders can get a couple of slopes in before they can hit the nearest Starbucks for a non-caffeinated soy latte steamer.

Lately for the longest time I’ve been feeling doomed to conflict and destined to suffer with these feelings of gay Mormon angst for the rest of my life. I’ve thought a lot about being unable to shake off this turmoil and about feeling this way as a father and 60 year old and taking this with me to the grave. And I don’t want to feel like this for the rest of my life. I don’t want to feel like this for the next 10 minutes. And the only thing that has kept me going has been the desire to have kids someday.

Last night I laid in bed and for quite a while before I fell asleep, and I realized that if I feel conflicted and full of confusion as a husband then that’s not good for my kids, and that I’ll be a dad that doesn’t have control over what he wants. I don’t want to be a dad. I don’t want to have kids like this. My dreams of having my own children and raising them, involved me being competent and satisfied with my own self. And I’m not there yet, and I won’t be there until I make some changes…

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Why I love Gay Mormons

I live in a very gay friendly world. I think it would amaze everyone who reads this blog to see how many gay men and even a handful of gay women are in my life. In where I live and what I do, it literally feels like I’m surrounded by more homosexuals than I am with the heterosexual population. It even amazes me sometimes just how much I’m saturated in gayness. I could make long lists of people that are gay and that share my life with me. And I will:

- My best friend at work is a lesbian/bisexual (she’s not sure if she’s bi or a full on dyke, but she’s having fun trying to decide).
- More than half of the guys in my program at school are gay.
- My boss, who I’m very close to and have a great relationship with, is gay.
- All my and my wife’s friends are gay (with a few exceptions).
- My bishop at Church, yeah, he’s gay (he’s just not out to the ward, or out to himself).
- 75% of my volunteer organization committee is gay, and the head planner is a lesbian and she’s gorgeous, (I love her so much).
- And now that I think about it, I think our dog is gay (but that’s a different story).

I was talking to one of my best friends in the entire world yesterday (yes, he’s gay, and Mormon and has been with his boyfriend for 5 years now) and I was just feeling like I needed to tell him that I love homosexuality. And it’s true, I was thinking about it and I truly love homosexuality, I love lesbians, I love seeing two people of the same gender kiss, and it has nothing to do with a sexual component, but it feels kind of safe and sweet to see two people of the same gender together.

But what I wanted to write about is why I love gay Mormons! I really do. The only guys I’ve ever “dated” or have been intimate with were Mormons. I think gay men who are or have been part of the Church are really attractive. And it's very interesting because if I see a gay man and he’s really attractive, and I later find out that he’s a Mormon, well that puts me over the edge, not only is he attractive, but in my eyes he just got ten times more hot.

There’s something about men in the Mormon Church. They are sensitive, sweet, caring, and they are good fathers and husbands. And Mormon men are hot damn it! I think it comes from the fact that men are in quorums at Church, and the missionary companion rule that they always have to be together ect... And I think that’s why I haven’t followed through with any of the advances that I’ve received from guys, because none of them were Mormon. And because I’m saving myself for my Elder’s Quorum President, who by the way is also gay…

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Destination: Anywhere But Here

Buses look attractive, any airplane I spot looks inviting and when I look at a car on an open highway driving off into the sunset I salivate. Why do I always have this feeling like I want to run away? I’m in this constant struggle to keep myself from buying plane ticket to the Canary Islands or to Cozumel and just leaving without telling anyone.

I called my older brother yesterday and talked with him about my desires to leave my current surroundings. He knows I’m gay, in fact he was one of the first people I told back when I was at BYU. What he doesn’t know is that I’m having a particularly hard time lately with…life. Not a hard time with marriage or homosexuality or attractions or gay Mormon paradigms, but good old fashioned “Life.” Not the cereal, not the board game, but the thing that we are going through right now. What the f is life? I don’t get it. I look at where I am, where I’m sitting, and what my current state of living is and it doesn’t make sense to me. Looking up at the sky, staring into an old woman’s face and watching people try bounce back and forth from people to people in order to find a place in the world all brings me back to one conclusion: that we don’t know what the hell we’re doing.

So as I’m talking with my brother he gives me some good feedback and I listen and he talks and I talk and he listens, and then I realize that I’m hurting just a little bit more today than I was yesterday. And then I get scared because I think back to when I was at BYU and I started this gay Mormon journey and the pain started to hurt and sting a little and now it has become a cancer that is covered my whole body. And each day brings just a little more pain with it.

Don’t be surprised if I stop writing and you never hear from me again. Just assume that I left for a deserted island and I’ve runaway…

Friday, March 16, 2007

My Duplicitous Self

There’s something wrong with me, and there’s been something wrong with me for sometime now. I always thought that the problem within me was due to my homosexual tendencies, but now I’m realizing that that homosexuality isn’t the underlying problem. It exacerbates it yes, but deep down within the layers of my subconscious motivations, there lies the true issue of my duplicitous self.

What I’ve just recently realized is that I am afraid of me. I have fear living inside of me, I have it breathing down my neck, and it snowballs and expands to the point where I can’t do anything about it. And that fear has brought about two separate identities within my psyche. To combat one, the other persona was created subconsciously, to be in opposition with what the other wants. Each identity fights long and hard for what it is desperately trying to avoid. It is the fear of fruition that drives my two selves to be at constant battle with one another. And as the stakes are raised, the fight within me rages with more intensity.

There is the persona of Elbow that wants validation from a higher power that wants to live righteously and follow obediently the commandments that have been laid out. The other identity seeks after the experience of connection and intimacy with masculinity. But both are driven by fear. I’m tired of living in fear. I don’t care if I ever go to the temple again. I don’t care if I ever go to Church again. But ask me again in ten minutes and I’ll tell you a different plea, I’ll say how much I see the true power of Sabbath day worship and I’ll find myself feeling so overwhelmed by desires of goodness, that I’ll forget that I even wanted to leave the Church.

I’m screwed up because my version of being a good person is not being attracted to men. When I think about repentance I think that the path to wholeness is paved with straight thoughts and sex with my wife. THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BEING GOOD AND RIGHTEOUS! So why does my brain think that sometimes? And then there are other times when I think “wow, I’m gay and I’ll always be gay and therefore I shouldn’t be with my wife.” And the an hour latter I’ll be feeling like I miss her and I want to dedicate my life to her and I’ll be committed being anything she wants me to be.

The feelings that shift within me at warp speeds are so at odds with each other and so polarized that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to understand where they are coming from and where they are going. These feelings that I experience are so strong, it’s not just ideas and thoughts, but true heartfelt convictions that change at the drop of a hat. I feel so torn sometimes, and then there are other times when I feel so peaceful. My mind, my heart and my desires are all playing very frustrating tricks on me. I want to be constant, I want to be consistent. I want to feel something and continue to feel it. I’m tired of vacillating. I don’t want two identities of my own persona at odds with each other.

One minute I’m me, and the next minute I’m the second version of me, but both sides of me are never really able to get anything done because it’s all mixed up.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Winning Like A Looser

After a lot of overtly sexual and flirtatious emails, which included some fantasy narratives and the disclosure of homoerotic mental images including what we would like to do to each other and so on and so forth, Bryan wrote me the following email today:

"Elbow- This must be quite confusing for you -- well, it is for me! I am completely fine with tea, lunch, hugs, and occasional hand grasps. You're married, and an honest person, so I don't want you to do anything that would leave you feeling unfaithful or hurt. Also, I don't want youto hurt anyone else. This is hard for me to write because I believe we should do what our drives pull us to do. By doing whatever, I mean we should do what isn't going to be hurtful. We have to consider how we will affect others. Let's get together again soon. Have a great weekend. Keep me in your thoughts--the kind that involve fantasy. I'll do the same! -Bryan"

I'm feeling so "whatever," passive about this whole situation now, that I'm both glad and relieved that he wrote this. But at the same time, it makes me attracted to him even more. I’m just really uncertain about EVERYTHING in my life right now that I’m really close to just throwing my hands in the air and declaring that I’ve been defeated. The Church wins. My wife wins. Bryan wins. I win. I don’t know what I’m saying. Does anyone else understand what I’m saying? And at the same time, everybody looses because I can’t make and f-ing decision. Complacency is killing me!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

And The Next Move Is...

I wrote the following to Beck in an email earlier today:

"I don’t know if I’m going crazy, or if this is actually happening. I had lunch with him today. His name is (we'll call him) Bryan. It was a nice and friendly conversation. We discussed normal everyday things, and my passion isn’t heightened, but my interest in him is. I wrote him an email saying that I wanted to kiss him. He is reciprocating, and I’m just letting it happen and I’m not feeling guilty, and I’m not worried about the consequences. I just feel somewhat free, but at the same time I feel like I know that I won’t do anything, and that he’s not going to do anything that would put either of us in jeopardy.

He’s sweet and smart and we connect intellectually in very similar ways. I don’t know what I’m going to do next. I’m thinking that things will just die down and that the passion will only come out through the emails that we write each other. His body is so cute. He’s a little shorter than I am and he’s just thin and athletic and has amazing hands. Am I in this too much? Am I out of control? I don’t feel out of control. I just feel calm and relaxed.

Maybe I’m way in over my head. Maybe I’m too immature to realize what I’m doing. He’d kiss me if I asked him to. He’d do anything I wanted. I’m just not sure why I’m pursuing this. I want this intimacy with him, I don’t want the sex. I don’t want to get an erection, it just happens. Why?

I feel like I’ve questioned my sexuality and my position so much that my mind is just unable to process it. I am who I am and I’m trying to be better, and I’m trying to be happy and the two worlds collided in the past and I feel like I’m just going to let them crash together because it is unavoidable in delaying it.

I love my wife, but she doesn’t want to be with me, she just thinks she does. She thinks that I am someone I’m not. I feel like it would be ok if I were to end our relationship now. I feel like it’s close to the end.

Maybe I am crazy. This guys not the perfect man for me. He’s not even Mr. Wonderful, he’s just Mr. Interesting and Erotic. Are you rolling you eyes at me thinking what a waste I am?"