Old and Alone

I went again to the support group this past weekend and myself and one other gentleman seemed to have been the first to arrive.  The priest mentioned that we weren’t the first but another individual had accidentally come an hour early because he had mistaken the time due to daylight saving time.

Daylight saving was a week ago.

This individual who is probably in his eighties, had gone an entire week living life an hour off because he was so isolate and unaware of the time change.  His interactions with others were so limited that there never was a need to recognize that he was off until a week had passed.  Later on during our time of sharing, the same individual mentioned how “sometimes when you get old, you wonder if anyone loves you anymore”.  These two incidences were absolutely crushing.

I joined this group in hopes of hearing older individuals who had learned how to live life well.  Sadly I am seeing and hearing stories about how this is not the case.  For many of the men, the only community they have is with other men dealing with SSA.  While it is good that they find some form of community amongst each other, seeing their lives, it makes me see such a huge void that the church needs to see.

A New Year, Unfortunately Not A New Beginning

I was really glad to be over with 2013.  Obviously both good and bad happened through out the year, but I was done with it by the end.  Sadly, despite the year changing always seems to create a mental illusion that I am getting to step through fresh doors into new opportunities, changes, and a clean state, the reality is that today started off exactly where I left it yesterday in 2013.

It is  hard for me to find hope anymore.

With every year, I am actually surprised at how much more difficult my circumstance become and in the end I feel ridiculous for allowing myself to be caught off guard.  That is the scary thing about hope; when you hope, you allow yourself to be vulnerable to being let down as well.

While I hate to start off 2014 as a Debbie Downer, the reality is  I am more isolated, alone, and lonely than I have ever been in my life.  I feel helpless to my situation.  My efforts to find friendship and community has left me hanging dry, bitter towards the church, and somewhat depressed.  The desire to give up on the celibate Christian life is stronger than ever.  While I have not gone there in action, I know my mind has been dwelling there for quite some time now.

God I need you now, more than ever.

Of Course I Can Ruin Vacation

I have had the last two weeks off from work.  While it was nice to have a vacation, I quickly realized two things: 1. Not being paid for two weeks sucks. 2. Having two weeks off as a single guy sucks as well.

Thankfully I had a good time the first week going on a road trip with my sister up north, however this past week being alone with no one around has been really rough.  All of my friends happened to be gone and so I literally spent most of the time alone.  I hate the fact that at my age, I am already looking ahead to years of vacations spent either alone or scrambling to find anyone else at all who is able to get away from their significant other.

I know I should be thankful for the time I have right now, where I can go anywhere and do anything that I want, without too many strings tying me down.  Of course, all of my married friends keep telling me this.  However, I don’t think anyone recognizes how lonely it can be.

Upon returning from his vacation, one of my good friends told me about a conversation he had with his wife about the future plans.  He told me about how they dreamed about what they wanted to do in the future and where they might move to…  It became abundantly clear that no matter how good of friends I may be with my guy friends, when it comes to their future plans, I don’t factor in at all.

I have been struggling with this thought over the last couple of days.  I know that my need for community has been a major factor for me returning to Southern California.  I don’t think I would be where I am at now, had it not been for the people that I knew I would be seeing on a regular basis.  However, to know that in a couple of years, all of those friends will be moving on to fulfill whatever dream they have with their spouse, really is difficult to deal with.  Simultaneously, it makes me wonder if I should release myself from my attachment to these friendships.  I clearly value the connection I have with them far more than they ever will and as a result, my life is being directed by such relationships far more than it should be.

My desire to leave has begun to kick in again.  Knowing that my friends would never stick around because of me makes me want to move on.  I feel caught because am aware of my need for community but at the same time I feel as though I am only setting myself up for a lot hurt down the road.

My Own Personal Hell

Last night I was hanging out with some guys and we somehow got into a conversation about our own personal kind of hell.  It was a very light hearted conversation as we shared some of the things in life that would make eternity in hell suck even more if it was personalized to our pet peeves.  I think it all started out due to a crying child behind us… thus someone said, that their personal hell would be eternity with crying infants.

After the first example, each person started throwing out their ideas.  Hell would be having to forever iron dress shirts.  Hell would be a continual to do list given to you by your wife, while she goes out with her friends.  Hell would be room temperature coffee being the only beverage.

I told them that hell would be the 5 minutes at church where everyone is suppose to greet the person next to them… except those 5 minutes would last for eternity.  Oddly enough, everyone agreed and related most to my example.  I think it is ironic how every church I know of has the time to meet and greet your neighbor and yet everyone hates it.  It is impossible to actually connect with someone during that time nor does it adequately allow for a new person to feel welcomed.  So why the hell do all churches still create such a hellish moment in their service?

When A Friendship Hits The Ceiling

One of my biggest fears with my friends is that at some point they will reach their point of limitation in our friendship where they cannot go further.  I have had enough people come and grow through my life that I don’t expect people to stay around.  Despite an incredible amount of grace that has been shown me, it has taken me quite some time to learn to trust even my closest of friends.  No matter how much I have forced myself to go beyond my insecurities and trust others, I live with the dread that it will eventually end.

I reached one of those points of limitations with one of my closest friends.  It hit me harder than I ever imagined.  He was someone that has walked with me for quite a while now and I am closer to him than any other friend.  To feel as though I reached the limit in that friendship was devastating.  A lot of hope I had in being able to develop solid male friendships has been lost…

I am really struggling to understand the balance between relying on God completely as well as having support from friends.  I know how easy it can be to become emotionally dependent on a friend.  At the same time, I feel as though God does use people in our lives to help us get through tough times.  I want to believe that a person like me can have a substantial, solid, and deep friendship with other guys.  I desire to hold onto the hope that there is a place for a single guy like me.  It is just so hard at times… I don’t feel as though I stand a chance in view of most guys getting married, investing in their career, or simply being emotionally/relationally stupid.

Be Alone or Feel Disconnected

Sometimes I feel more lonely being around others than when I am completely alone.  I have written about this before and I am really feeling it this weekend.  Last night I went to an Angels game and today I got to play a couple hours of beach volleyball with some friends.  I should be excited and happy I had opportunities to hang out with others, but instead I am in a complete funk.  I think the biggest reason why is with both activities, the other individuals had to “fit” them into their schedule around the time they spent with their wives or girlfriends.  For me, this was the only interaction I was going to have with people for the weekend.  Even while hanging out, it just felt weird to be around a group of people who I would call “friends” and yet know that not one of them really knew what was going on in my life.  Their lives could continue on without me and it would not make any difference whatsoever and yet for me, I need them in order to have even a remote form of community.

I don’t know which is worse: being alone or being around others and feeling completely disconnected.

I honestly hate having to force myself to interact during these times.  Everything inside of me screams to retract and isolate.  Tomorrow I have another BBQ to go to, celebrating the graduation of one of my friend’s wives.  My attendance honestly does not matter as no one would even notice if I did not go.  I feel as though I am trying to wedge myself into my friend’s already complete lives.

Seeking Solitude

I always thought I was returning to the States because God was calling me to invest in community.  Somehow I felt as though if I opened up to people and truly pursued relationships with people, slowly the community I have been desiring so deeply would materialize.  Despite my efforts, I have found myself to be more isolated than I have ever been in my life and I am realizing I have been missing a crucial step needed before community can develop… solitude.

Being in community is an essential part of my development, growth and healing.  The truth is I will never be satisfied with the community I have if I am looking to them to fulfill the isolation and loneliness I feel.  The church will never be the family I crave.  The curse of a single/homosexual Christian is that life is a long walk alone.  Somehow I have to learn to be fully satisfied in God alone.  While this is such a “churchy” concept and I have heard it so many times, the reality is I don’t know how to be fully satisfied in God.  As I live day after day completely on my own, I can’t help but desire a tangible and physical love.  In seeking out advice from others, all I continue to hear is how I need to keep on “trying” and be even more disciplined and devout in my search for God.  While there will always be areas in my life I need to work on, I always have thought the Bible speaks of a God that pursues us.  I feel as though I am spending ours in silence waiting to hear from God and all I hear is silence.

While I don’t know exactly what God is attempting to reveal in my life at this moment, all I can do is return to solitude.  I am trying to stand firm on the truth of the Bible and ignore how far off my experience seems to be.  God is the consuming fire that refines me.  This process is and will continue to be painful. Perhaps in the end I can pursue community not from a place of selfish neediness, but from a place of truly knowing who I am in Christ.

A Series Of Unfortunate Events

For the past three weeks, I have felt as though I have had zero control over my life.  Also, never would I have thought that issues with my car would be capable of completely taking over my life.  It really makes me appreciate the year I spent traveling without worrying about the “stuff” I owned in my life.  In the end, I feel as though I don’t own my stuff but my stuff owns me.

Ever since my accident, I have continued to have one thing after another go wrong.  Every time I feel as though I have finally managed to get things under control, something else goes wrong.  After all thats gone on, I am pretty sure the devil is the master of the auto industry and has a direct switch to everyone’s check engine light.  It seriously felt as though everyone in the car industry are all Satan’s little minions sent to torment us/rape us for everything we have.

I ended up having a couple melt downs through out the past few weeks which was a rather humbling experience for me.  I reached the point where I felt so overwhelmed by all that was going on (not just issues with my car) that I simply couldn’t handle everything on my own.  It was a really pathetic moment to look at my life and realize that almost every aspect of my life wasn’t going well and I felt powerless to change things.  Everything from my living situation, church, friendships, job and car all seemed out of my control.  No matter how much I tried, I felt incapable of succeeding at life in general…

I hate showing weakness, but it was reassuring to turn to a few people during those moments and see how they were more than willing to be there for me.  It was also interesting to reflect on why I was willing to let certain individuals see me in my broken and messed up state, while I hid it from others.  I guess it is an honest reflection of how much I actually trust certain individuals… which for some is a lot less than I would have thought.

Now that things have finally calmed down a little, I really want to refocus again.  The month of March basically was a black hole that never existed.  I feel as though I made no progress at all and I really need to start moving forward again.  It has been a rough start to April but I am expecting things to start improving soon.  I just don’t see how things could get much worse… (and yet life always seems to surprise me).

Too Few For The Church?

Deep down, I have a desire to see the church step forth into a new light regarding their awareness of issues regarding homosexuality and more specifically celibate Christian men and women within their community who have same sex attractions.  It hurts me to see how a blanket statement is thrown over all Christians as being the main example of hatred and bigotry towards homosexuals.  The church has a long way to go and on more than one occasion I have had people ask if I would ever be willing to lay aside the control I have on who knows my story and be willing to be the face to the issue by address the church.  At this point I don’t believe I am ready.

There may come a day where I could see myself addressing a larger group regarding this issue, however I feel as though I am going to have to learn a lot of humility and reliance on God before that day comes.  Furthermore, I know I owe it to all of my close friends to share with them my story directly before they find out through word of mouth.

As much as I desire to see the church move forward, I have had some doubts about how that should even take place.  While our story or voice is never heard in the church, are we so small of a minority that it isn’t worth addressing our needs with the church as a whole or in a men’s group?  There are so many others, all struggling with their own respective issues that I can’t help but wonder if I am being selfish for wanting the church to grow in awareness of those struggling with S.S.A.