In my last blog I mentioned that the years following my one day marriage were filled with depression and suicidal thoughts. I never wanted to hurt this gal, but I didn't know what else to do. I was attracted to men and I knew it was not going to change. I dealt with guilt like never before, both because I felt like a worthless being due to my attraction to men and the fact that it had driven me to harm this wonderful lady. And I couldn't even bring myself to tell her it was because I was gay, I would rather have died than to have anyone know this secret. So I held it inside and withered away. With the loss of my marriage I had also basically lost my life. I no longer had a place in this church which had been my entire life up until this point. I had just flushed my career down the toilet, if the church frowned upon single men over 27 they screamed bloody murder when it came to divorced men teaching in their Educational System ( and if they had known I was gay?) and though my marriage was annulled the church still looked upon me as a divorced individual. My ward hated me, my Bishop hated me, my one day wife hated me, my own father was so angry with me that he would not speak to me for nearly six months. My father, who was one of the individuals who had told me it was just the jitters , was acting this way without ever once having asked me what was going on or what happened. I think he was embarrassed and out of that embarrassment let anger cloud his judgment were I was concerned. The first thing my mother said to me was that she was so sad, she had become so close with my wife to be while I was living overseas, and now she would not be able to keep up the friendship. . . I was basically alone, a closeted gay mormon man afraid that his secret might be discovered.
I decided that I would start driving truck for a time in order to escape the world. I spent the next few years running, during which time I became so depressed that life itself lost all meaning. One day while alone at my parents home, I found myself standing by a floor to ceiling window with gun in hand, held to the roof of my mouth. At the precise moment I was ready to pull the trigger the phone rang and I happened to look down at the caller ID and saw that it was my brothers home. Immediately I thought of what this would do to the kids as I reached down and picked up the receiver. The sweet little girls voice on the other end saying that she had just called to say "hi to Uncle Richie" made me realize that I could not do what I was about to do and cause such pain to those kids, I would have to find another way. . . A short time later the depression became so bad that I forgot about the kids and one night found myself on the outside edge of a freeway overpass in parleys canyon. I had climbed over the railing and was waiting for the right semi truck to come along. It was one o'clock in the morning when I saw the headlights of a truck in the distance. As it approached I noticed a minivan at it's side and the first thought to enter my mind was that if I jumped, the truck would swerve and kill the family in the minivan. I waited for the next one and it too had a car to it's side. I stood there hanging on the outside edge of the railing for over three hours and each time a truck drove by there was another vehicle close by. After having been there for about a half an hour a sheriff drove up the on ramp and turned off his engine while he sat watching me. He never moved for more than three hours, he stayed put and kept his eye on me the entire time. I can only imagine what was going through his mind. It was obvious that I was planning on jumping and I am sure that he was afraid of what might ensue if he were to approach me, so there he sat for half the night. At close to four thirty I decided this was not the way to do it either, I wanted to die but I was not about to risk the life's of a young family along with my own, so over the railing I climbed, walked back to my car, drove home and went to bed. I wanted to die but did not know how to do it without causing pain and harm to others. Thank God I was not so far gone that I did not care about what it would do to innocent bystanders. So for the time being I kept on living, tho this was not the end of my battle with suicide. In subsequent research I discovered that one of highest genres of suicide can be found among Gay LDS men. This was shocking to me at first but after having thought on it for awhile it totally made sense. When one is convinced, because of his church's teachings, that God does not love him and that there is no place for him in His Kingdom, his own life can lose it's purpose, he may no longer hold it to be sacred or of any value.