Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Live, Love and Enjoy

I have spent a life time trying to help others who suffer. As a child and well into my adult life I was constantly looking for someone to come along who truly cared and who would save me from the atrocities from which I had suffered. It is somewhat easy to admit that someone abused you as a child but much more difficult to admit that it went on well into the teenage years. Marilyn Vanderber, Miss American in 1958, talks of her father and how he abused her almost nightly well into her late teens. If people have a hard time understanding how one could allow it to continue to such an age try being the one who it happened to. You become such an underdog that you have no idea how to make it end. It has become such a part of your life and you fear the individual so much that you don't know how to make it stop. While on my mission I came to develop a very close relationship with a particular family in Haverhill, Massachusetts. This family had a teenage son who used to beg my companion and I to take him out working with us constantly. We enjoyed having him along so we obliged whenever we could. We thought it odd that a young teenager would want to spend so much time with us. One morning we were at their house introducing a young man we had just baptized to seminary. The mother of this family was the ward seminary teacher. While there a huge fight broke out between this young son of hers and his step father. We were later to find out that the step father had been abusing the kid since he was seven years old. This particular morning he went into the room to wake him and did some inappropriate things to which the kid finally after all these years exploded. Many ask why he allowed it to go on for so many years, almost like they were accusing him of being responsible for the abuse. The stories go on and on but this much I have come to fully understand, The child, whether toddler, youth, or teenager is not to blame. These monsters used me and many like me to fulfill their selfish lustful desires. They used such tactics as death threats not only to myself but to my family members. They used drugs to try and control me, they would sneak them into food and on the back of stickers in the sticker books they gave me. They had so much control that one had no way of escape. Finally the day comes when they no longer have the control. For some it comes from shear age and rebellion. Some hit the breaking point and literally explode. It almost always comes to a stop at some point but for all it leaves scars that last generally last a life time.

I have recently had the blessed opportunity of working with some of the best people I know who were also abused as children. I have come to dearly love these individuals and have come to truly and completely admire them for the courage they have shown in coming forth and dealing with the shit that these abusing monsters inflicted upon them.

One of the similarities I have noticed is as I have mentioned before, people like to blame the Gay thing on the abuse. It just is not true. If abuse were to blame to for sexual orientation there would be so many more gay people. Most people I know who were sexually abused as children are hetro. I think the percentages who are gay are rather small. Anyone who reads this and has a story to share I would love to hear your story.

Go bless all you moho's out there who are suffering for whatever reasons. Know that you are not alone and that happiness is just around the corner if you will but endure. I believe that God meant for us to be happy, Gay Str8 it matters not, we were meant to live, love and enjoy eachother.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Is It Possible to be Grateful for Pain

As I have mentioned writing about abuse as a child has been a difficult decision. Then deciding what to disclose was even more difficult. If you say too much many read your words and think that your a freak. Don't say enough and, well you might as well not write anything. I have had a number of people email me regarding some of these last few posts and these emails have truly touched my heart. For many years you think you are alone in your suffering and then events take place which open your eyes to the pain suffered by many. For some the pain comes from living as a gay man in a str8 world. Others experience it due to abuse from childhood. And there are there those who have physical deformities, mental illness challenges, depression, and the list goes on and on. The one thing we all have in common is that we know what it feels like to hurt. Some have never experienced true love, but everyone on the face of this earth has experienced pain. Looking back I don't know that I would change a thing in my life. The abuse was unbearable at times. Living as a gay man in a Mormon world has proven itself to be an almost impossible task. and yet still I wouldn't change my experiences for anything. For you see I can honestly say for the first time in my life that I "LIKE" who I am. I like the person who resides within this chunk of carbon. I have a love of life and a love of people that I may not have been able to develop any other way than by surviving my experiences. I have a heartfelt empathy for those who are suffering which may never have developed with the pain and heartache felt along the way. When I see a child who has been harmed a flame ignites within that makes me do anything to protect that child. For those who read this post who wish their lives could be different, sit back for a minute close your eyes and ask yourself what is wrong with who you are? And I mean seriously wrong, not just the small stuff that we all know about ourselves that no one else knows. (those things that everyone does but thinks they are the only one who does them) You know like how many times you've masturbated, or the bad thoughts you have in your head when you think of that guy that just walked by. Those things aside, I'm talking about the important stuff here, you know like what the Saviour taught. Things like comforting those who stand in need of comfort? When was the last time you mourned with someone who was mourning? How do you react when you see someone who is hurting? How often do you pass by a stranger in need? If these things are in order then why do we desire to be something we are not? If nothing is truly broken why spend so much time trying to fix what need not be fixed.

I recently had a lady contact me who had been involved with the same group who abused me as a child. She is having a hard time dealing with what happened to her as a child. Working with her has been difficult because it has brought to surface many emotions and memories that I didn't care to have brought to surface. Though it has been difficult this individual desperately needed someone who understood to listen to her and help her realize that she is not crazy, that none of this was her fault. As we talked and she discovered that some of the same people were involved and that they took us to many of the same places her fears and anxieties were somewhat dissipated.

I have had the opportunity of getting to know another young man who was abused as a child and have been able to see him grow in leaps and bounds. (ya I'm talking about you g)

Two others have written telling me of the horrors they endured as children.

Though the purpose of this blog is not necessarily to talk about my childhood abuse I will continue to share some of it from time to time in the hope that those of you out there in the moho blogosphere who have remained silent about the abuse which may have taken place in your life may know that you are not alone, that you do not have to hide that part of your life. That there are others out there who know what you have gone through and who understand. I think the most common fear that I have heard from the moho's who have written me about their abuse is that if people find out they were sexually abused as a child then they will come to the conclusion that the abuse caused them to be Gay. Many have expressed the deep rooted feelings that they know within their very core that the abuse had nothing to do with their being gay. For those dealing with both abuse and being gay, my heart goes out to you, but also listen intently to what I had to say earlier in this post, for I truly would not change a thing from my past. The day will come when you are grateful for the abuse, in a weird sort of way. I know that sounds crazy but there are things you have learned and traits you have developed because of it that are of infinite worth. Learn and grow from them, accept who and what you are and that your past has created the present you. Without your past you wouldn't be who you are today. And for that we can thank the damn bastards! And then hope the Lord deals them theirs in the next life. By so doing you are able to somewhat forgive, move on and spend the rest of your life helping others who so desperately need you.

Isn't it funny how much abuse victims and moho's have in common?

First Blind Date

Screw Bella Lets set him up with Edward. . .
So today I went with my Brother and his family to Sacrament meeting here in Kansas City. After Sacrament one of the sisters in the ward was talking to my Sister in Law and was talking about lining me up. My sister in law stopped her midstream and told her that I would not take to the idea of being set up for a date. . . then she added, "with a woman"! My Bro and his wife have been great! They have no problems with my being gay and they have no problem with others knowing about it. The sister looked at her with a look of surprise and said, "you mean, he's. . .? To which my sister in law replied. . ."that's what I'm saying"! There was a pause and then the sister proceeded to say that she knew the cutest guy that they just had to introduce me to?

They couldn't wait to tell me all about it when I went over to their house for dinner a few hours later. Apparently the sister at church has plans to catch me before I have a chance to bolt after Sacrament next time I go and talk to me about her "friend"!

WOW! They say the church is different in the mission field but I never dreamed I would be set up on a date with a "Guy" by one of the sisters from relief society?

This one should go down in the annuls of gay church history!