Elbow: April 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007


“I think you’re wonderful,” she said.

“I think you’re wonderful,” responded Elbow

She gazed at his eyes for a good moment and asked, “what are we going to do?”

“I don’t know. I don’t have any answers. Do you?”

“I don’t want any answers” she sighed, “I just want you.”

“I want you too. I just don’t know if being with each other is good.”

She started to cry and covered her eyes with the blanket that was covering both of them.

“I love you,” Elbow said, “I just don’t know what to do with these feelings I have for men.”

“I could never leave you. I love you too much. If you wanted a divorce then you’d have to be the one to leave because I couldn’t do it,” she whispered

“I don’t know if I have the courage to do it either.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I’m so sick of being in New York. I once thought it was really exciting to get picked-up on by so many guys, but not now. I’m not in the mood, and I just don’t have the energy to feel what emotions it evokes in me. Sometimes it’s exciting, sometimes it’s draining, and other times it’s frustrating because I’m trying to mind my own business on the subway and read my book without someone trying to “inadvertently”/passive aggressively get me to validate their gay existence. “I know you're gay, you know I’m gay, our gaydar is working, but that doesn’t mean that we have to stare at each other until one of us gets off at the next stop.”

I guess I would rather some guy just come up to me and start a conversation like any normal person would do. Why the lingering? Why the awkward eye contact? I don’t get it, and I do it myself. Maybe that’s why it bugs me, because I admit I’ve been guilty at the cruising techniques in the past. Before I was married and in New York, I made eye contact with this guy and we started a conversation and we went back to his place and made out. But now my life is a little different. I can’t quite follow through with the situation I find myself in. Maybe that’s why it bugs me so bad.

It’s just started to get annoying and I don’t know what to do about it. On one hand the validation is nice, and so I look to see if the guy is indeed looking at me, and then when he continues to linger I feel like I want to run away, I guess there are times when the guy is really hot and I’m interested, but even then I feel like it’s very passive aggressive. Just talk to me! “I’m right here.”

I have a brain. I can converse with almost anyone, even to the point of being intellectually stimulating. I’m funny and I’m very empathic, so why are you staring at me like all I’m worth is the outer goods? Once again, I’m guilty of it as well, but some guys are ridiculous and I’m voicing how it makes me feel. I’m going through a hard time right now. My life is in shambles. I want to make the right decision, and it’s hard with a pack of gay wolves breathing down my neck. (OK, that was a little dramatic, but it’s a good visual).

Monday, April 16, 2007

I see my life spread out before me, the edges of my existence reach at arms length and the width from side to side is the size of my arm span. The light reflects off the surface that captures information for me to look at in regards to where I am, where I’m going, and how I can get there. Life is the journey of a destination. I am the only driver that is authorized to manage the placement of my choices. I reach for things and I compose what I feel necessary, and I break into the darkness to find specks of light that can be used as flashlights in an awkward lack of identification. I seize things for selfishness sake, and I hold caring to be a principle of nobility. I take for my own self, and I give where there is pain to fill the void of pain. I sometimes talk with sincerity and I try to follow the parts of my heart that are consistently true.

Where do I go from here? I look and I take in the scenery, I see roads and rivers and I can tell where north is the opposite of south, but the question of location isn’t complete until I know where to place myself. Even standing on level and dry ground is merely the source of safety, but I want more than safety. I long for freedom and completion. The act of knowing isn’t knowing until the hour of exact rightness. I want to be found where there is no doubt, and where there isn’t a single longing for what isn’t already in my hand.

People can be my compass, the wind can be my compass, God is my compass, the chemicals in my brain are my compass, and images try to be my compass, but my soul is starting not to listen to either of their calls. Remembering where I came from isn’t hard, it’s the right of passage toward a complete past that drives me forward. I look at the sky and its viewing pleasure is not only desirable, but it’s beginning to call to me and beckon me to leave. The escape of leaving is only as feasible as the dream that holds distant in my heart.

Two dreams share the location of my heart, but on the map it’s only possible to be in one place at one time. I can’t ask for more than the present, and within the present moment of hope and justice, I see more than I am able to grasp and take in. I’m hurting to know and I’m hurting not to know. Why must I choose the destination of my soul? Can’t my soul take the wheel and steer me closer to the desired path. Surprise me of where we end up. Don’t confuse me with turns and pit stops. Give me the moment of clarity so that I can stare at the open road on a plan of return.

Have I found myself completely to be enabled to find my place? I’ll reach for more, and I’ll get more. I’ll strive for everything and I end up getting everything. That was the hope, but the reality is starting to prove empty.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Putting Together The Links

I’ve started to realize that there are things that I use to help me avoid what I’m feeling. I’ve been circumventing away from what my heart has been trying to tell me, and what my soul is trying to inform me of.

I’ve noticed that I use porn and masturbation as a way to avoid my true feelings about homosexuality. I use to think that the homosexual tendencies that I experience are strictly physical and non-emotional. I have since learned that that is far from the truth, and that I overwhelmingly have, first and foremost, an emotional connection to men and a need to connect to masculinity in a way that stimulates me romantically.

I place these feelings very deep within me. I see that these emotional underpinnings are what my conscious mind is trying to avoid. All along I though that my “weaknesses” for masculinity and the male form were entirely physical. And what the scapegoat of a purely physical attraction gave me was the sense that my attraction to men was purely superficial. And with a superficial attraction I was able to talk myself into relationships with women, without noticing the deeper meaning of the external appeal in men.

It sounded good and I was relieved to be able to tell myself that “superficially I’m attracted to men, only on a physical level, and that I am soly lured by the thought of masculinity, but the deeper region of my human essence isn’t permeated to the core and fundamental emotional component of who I am is not contaminated with homosexual desires.”

Learning I was wrong brought me to my knees. And I recognize the part that masturbation played in that it helped fuel the fire of my “superficially physical attraction.” Looking at the physical while the emotional lurked underneath caused me to only see the physical desire that I had for men and at the same time cause the emotional to cry out to be noticed. That emotional need was stifled and is continuing to be stifled by the fact that I use masturbation as a way to push out the emotional connection to men and what the emotional connection means. And what that means is that the love I have for my wife is not enough, and that I am depriving my soul of essential developmental opportunities.

Now I realize that what was once below the surface was an emotional and spiritual connection that I truly longed for. And now I see that it was too painful for me to realize. The masturbation literally kept my emotional desires for men hidden because I was reinforcing the physical desire to numb the shame I felt about feeling a desire to connect emotionally to men.

The emotional is surfacing and while it’s a relief to finally let myself feel what it has for me to feel, I’m left with not knowing what to do with it because I don’t know how to incorporate it into my life within the context that I find myself in…gay Mormon and married.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Just Venting

*Please don’t read this and think that my wife is horrible. I’m including the bad in this post because I have nowhere else to place the bad. I felt like I needed to vent. I love my wife and love so much about her. That’s why I’m still married to her, that’s why I’m still trying do what is right and admirable. But everyday I feel more and more like she’s out to make me suffer for “choosing” to be gay.

My struggle persists. My wife and I are continuing to discuss, to argue, to apologize, to blame, to avoid, to cry, to insult, to comfort, to beg, to hurt, to ask, and all the other verbs that seem like they would fit in that list. She cried herself to sleep a couple of nights ago, and I couldn't allow myself to let it go. I stayed up thinking about it, about what to do, and how to handle this incredibly awkward and devastating life change.

My wife doesn’t believe in the term “gay,” she doesn’t think that being gay and married to a woman is any different from being straight and married to a woman. Her solution is that I need to love her more. And she keeps telling me that if I’m gay then it’s impossible for me to love her, and that I’m a liar. No matter how much I contest her thoughts, she is focused on getting me to suffer what she is suffering.

She confessed that she looked at me today when I was getting out of the shower and judged me up and down. She started to point out all of the things that are wrong with my body and asked how I felt? She doesn’t get it. She acts as though I’m critiquing her and her woman features. I love vaginas, I think the female body is beautiful and amazing, but I can’t help it if my penis doesn’t feel an erotic connection to it.

She keeps telling me that it’s not a big deal that I’m gay, that I’m dwelling on it too much, and that I should just let it go. She says that she’s attracted to guys, but that she doesn’t have to think about it and feel bad about it because she just lets it go and she has me. How can I make her understand that it’s completely different? My homosexuality is something that she wants to push aside and not deal with because she believes it’s inconsequential. What she thinks is the central issue is my selfishness.

She comments that I have hurt her so deeply by what I have said. I told her that I just wanted to be honest with her. She tells me that she feels like she has no self esteem because of me. And my initial reaction is empathic and concern, but on second thought, self esteem that comes from an external source is not really true self esteem to begin with.

She feels the need to keep reinforcing thoughts like these: “I’m not good enough because I don’t have a penis. You care about some guy’s dick more than you care about me...”

I feel like I’m sticking around so that I can end this marriage as friends. But she doesn’t get it. I try to explain what it means to be gay, and she tells me that I’m wrong and that I’m making a bigger deal out of it than it really is. I'm lost. I don't know what to say to make her understand. She just doesn't want to understand, and if she doesn't want to I can't make her.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Forefront

I feel like a genuine thumbs up right now. I'm relieved that my wife and I are talking about what has been underneath the surface for about a year now. We're having a dialogue that is hard but rewarding. I'm learning how not to avoid my problems ever again.

As for our plans...well we don't know that yet. I've told her that I have needs that aren't being met. She tells me that she's willing to be married to me regardless. I tell her that I might not want to be married to her anymore. I tell her that I'm worried about her feeling inadequate. She tells me that she doesn't want to loose me. I told her that I'm hurting and that I'm not happy. She just wants to love me and make it better. I told her that I don't want to be a gay man married to a woman. She says that she would never have the courage to divorce me and that if I want a divorce, that I'm the one that will have to do it because she can't.

As it stands. I'm waiting. I'm taking my time, and in the meantime we are talking. We are relatively happy, and we are trying to make things work for the time being. I'm realizing now that this next step is the one that I was avoiding all along. I know that I'm the one that will have to end the relationship, and it's going to take every ounce of courage to do that. But for now. I'm taking my time before I make any final decisions.

In the past it was so easy to just put every negative thing I was feeling into this blog and then walk away for the purpose of not doing anything with it. I can't do that anymore. I've got to face what I'm feeling/thinking/hurting/hoping about and deal. Learning that was a very difficult struggle. Frankly, it sucked. But here I am with more knowledge than I had before, and that's a blessing. Life is about this, what I'm going through and what I'm experiencing. Life is about the process of discovery and the challenge to challenge myself.

My wife is wonderful. I know that in the past I've focused on the negative, and I regret that. She's peaceful and supportive. She's understanding and she's kind. It's expected that she's going to feel hurt and that she's going to feel the need to act out on her anger, but I give her an A+ for the way that she's handling everything.

She has held me while I've cried. She has pampered me and made me feel like I'm ok. She of course is struggling too, and she is also in pain, but she has been there for me.

We've made the decision to go to counseling together. I feel like that will be a good place to start. We're friends right now, and that's all that matters for the time being. I don't know what the future will hold, but I know that the future is brighter than I ever imagined it would be.

What lies ahead is huge for me. I am standing at the forefront of an extremely hard decision. I have no safety net and no perfect knowledge of anything. If I leave my wife, I am loosing a future with her, a possible eternal marriage, and children with the one woman that I've ever loved.

If I stay then I risk missing out on the chance to feel as happy as I see myself being. If I don't leave her then I might never be at peace with myself.

If I stay I might be happy and learn to live with the perplexity of our situation. If I stay I might end up realizing that my sexuality isn't as important as I once thought it was. If I stay I could be learning lessons that my soul needs to learn in order to progress.

If I leave her I might find someone who I can feel connected to, who I'm completely attracted to, and who meets all the needs that I have yet to fill. I just might feel complete and If I leave her I might be living a life that is completely mine, that is full of something that I believe in and that I am proud to be apart of and an advocate for.

And so I struggle still. I'm happy. I'm content. I'm worried. I'm sad. I wonder if I can actually make this decision without running away. I'm scared, but I'm trusting.

Friday, April 06, 2007


I don’t want myself to stop crying. I’ve been crying for two days now. It feels good, and it feels sad, and I still think there’s a lot of anger underneath it. I cry because I’m overwhelmed by what is going on. I cry because I’m sad about bringing up divorce with my wife, I’m devastated that I feel like I’ve failed. But ultimately, crying makes me feel like I’m getting somewhere, crying forces me to talk, and it also releases a lot of negative emotions that I’ve kept bottled up.

Wife: “I don’t believe in the term ‘gay,’ it doesn’t exist.”

Elbow: “Maybe it doesn’t.”

Wife: “Why do people feel like they need to come out of the closet? They’re just lying to themselves.”

Elbow: “Maybe you’re right.”

Wife: “Why are you wasting you time reading gay Mormon blogs when you should be focusing on how much you love me?”

Elbow: “I like reading them.”

Wife: “Well it’s messed up.”

Elbow: “Maybe it is.”

Who am I? I acquiesce to the point of invisibility. Should I try and stick up for myself, for my friends? Am I lying to myself? I can’t believe I’m asking these questions. I know the answers. I’m stronger than this, but I feel so horrible about putting my wife through this.

We’re going to go to counseling together. Maybe there’s a chance that we can end this marriage and still be friends. But the more she calls me a liar, the more she says that I’m fucked up, the more I want to throw my hands up and leave. But part of me is willing to be present for her and to take slow steps toward the end of this marriage.

I’ve said what I needed to say, but I’m still married because she’s not willing to let go. Ultimately, I feel anxious to leave the marriage and just walk away. But I also want to avoid this situation as much as I can. But if there is one thing I’ve learned is that avoidance is the worst possible way to cope.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Last Night

Last night was the worst night of my life. I still feel like it isn’t over and I’m terrified of what to do and what to say. I have no shield and there’s a lot about myself that I don’t know.

About midday I started to feel extremely overwhelmed. The thought of talking to my wife terrified me, but I knew I couldn’t drag this out any longer. I kept thinking of ways she would react, of ways that I would react. I spoke on the phone to several amazing people who helped me calm down and look at the bigger picture, but by the end of the day I was emotionally sick. I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t think of anything but having the dialogue with my wife.

I started to walk home and I started to cry and I couldn’t stop. I started feeling angry and I started feeling frustrated. I wanted to be destructive and harmful in someway. Intense pressure had built up in my chest and my entire body ached. I got home with tears flowing down my face and I couldn’t stop crying. For an hour straight I laid on our bed and wailed and screamed and no matter how many tears I was letting out, it didn’t seem like enough. My body was rejecting its own body, my heart rate was beating so fast and hard that I could hear it pounding over my sobs.

I kept saying that I was gay and that I was sorry and that I loved her. She was sweet and she held me and she caressed me. I continued to cry and the pain continued to increase. My body felt unmanageable and I was disoriented and didn’t know what to say or what to do.

My tears turned to silence and we talked about what I was feeling. It hurt to speak. My body trembled as my mouth formed words that I needed to tell her. I told her what I needed to say. I said things that I’d been thinking but never wanted to actually say them out loud. She was hurt. She yelled and she directed her anger toward me. I told her that I didn’t know if I wanted to be married to her anymore. She walked away without saying a word, and for an hour I sat frozen and listened to a heart beating inside my chest that was ferocious and unrelenting. My left arm was sore and throbbing in pain and my hand was tingly and felt like it had pins and needles sticking into it.

My wife doesn’t care that I’m gay, she never has. But she looks at it no differently than if I were attracted to other girls and that I just have to keep that in check. I told her that I have needs that she cannot meet. She said I was fucked up for thinking that she wasn’t good enough because she doesn’t have a dick. She cried and yelled and called me a piece of shit. I cried and I laid there unable to speak through the pain.

I laid there in bed and everything about my body hurt, and everything about my heart was in pain. My heart raced and my mind felt sheiks of terror in regards to how she was reacting. I fell asleep around 6 in the morning and got up two hours later to come to work.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Erection Exam

No, I haven’t spoken to my wife yet. And this post may be another attempt to avoid the subject but I need a break from thinking about it, at least for today. Plus, I went to the doctor yesterday and considering my experience, how could I not write a post about it?

It’s been about 5 years since I’ve been suffering from pain in my prostate, which the doctors have diagnosed as prostatitis. I’ve been seeing a lot of doctors about it and I had an appointment yesterday to meet with a Urologist that I had never met with before. I had to be at the doctor’s office at 9:30am. I knew that at the urologist’s office I would be given an always embarrassing and forever uncomfortable “internal examination of the rectum.” So I showered and didn’t wear any underwear because I don’t like wearing garments at all really, and any excuse that I can get out of wearing them will be employed, and I also don’t like having a lot of clothing to deal with when having to get naked at the doctor’s office. It’s just easier if I can slip on and off the pants, and not have to deal with the other layer. Needless to say, as you can tell, I’ve had many a urologist examine my prostate.

So I get to the doctor’s office, fill out paper work, give them a urine sample, and I’m waiting in the room for the doctor to come in. When the urologist enters the room, and even before I walked into the building I knew that the doctor would be gay. I just for some reason felt that he would be a fag. All of my other urologist have been straight, so I don’t know why I was so certain that this one would be gay, but sure enough this thirty-something blonde hair blue eyed short doctor walks in the room and he’s a flaming urologist queer. He asks me the usual questions, he asks me to show him where it hurts, he then asks me to touch myself to be more specific to show where it hurts, yada yada yada… And as urologist usually do he told me he was going to examine the goods as he slipped on his rubber gloves.

Now, I don’t know what was going on with me, but I felt really sexual for some reason, and I wasn’t attracted to this doctor so to speak, but it was an intensely homoerotic moment. I could tell he was kind of flustered and that he was liking our interaction, but he was also really professional at the same time, so it was this weird dynamic. So I unbutton my fly and down come my pants and for some reason I start getting an erection. Here is this male doctor eye level with my penis and I see my member start to rise to the occasion. I just pretend like it’s normal and assume that he likes it anyway and I turn my head and cough and by this time I don’t have a full on erection, but my penis is staring him in the face (so embarrassed).

So he then says to me: “have you ever had an erection exam?”

And in my head I’m thinking: “What the hell is an erection exam? Is he flirting with me?” So I was a little intrigued and very interested in what an erection exam was and just to make sure I heard what he said I inquired: “a what?”

Doctor: “an erection exam?”

So I said: “No. No I haven’t.”

And he proceeds to tell me to turn around and bend over. By this time I have an erection, and I think I’m getting an “erection exam” and then I feel him start to do a rectal exam. In my head I’m thinking “was this his Freudian slip or mine? Did he actually say “erection exam” and what he meant to say was “rectal exam?”

After he slides his fingers up my ass and playing around with my prostate he hands me some tissue and tells me: “everything looks good.” He carries on the appointment by asking me if I need to get tested for any sexually transmitted diseases and then he tells me he wants to see me in three weeks. I’m feeling good about myself because he wants to see me again like a second date, and then he stands up to leave and he looks me up and down and says in a really impressed manner: “how tall are you?”

Elbow: “A little over six feet.”

Doctor: “Very nice.”

And he walks out of the room.

I’m kind of excited to go back in three weeks, and I am still unable to decipher whether he actually asked to give me “an erection exam” or not.

Monday, April 02, 2007

For Her

I have a paper due tomorrow and I can’t write anything coherent about the topic. I’m feeling very nervous and agitated and screwed up. I spoke with playasinmar today online and he gave me some good advice. Why am I going through this? Yes I’ve made my decision, but is it the right decision? And even if it isn’t the right decision, will I be happy otherwise?

I just need to talk to my wife. That is the bottom line. Regardless of anything or any choice or thought, I need to talk to her and tell her what is going on. I know that’s what you guys have been saying all along, but I'm a slow learner.

I told playasinmar that I’d talk to my wife tonight. Pray that I can do that. I’ve got to do this, and not just for myself, but for her.