18 February 2008

The Dark Side

Some people close to me casually acknowledge the difficulty of what I must be going through and then advise me to buck up and deal with it and move on with other aspects of life. While I realize their intent in helping me focus on the positives and not get mired in self-pity or paralyzing mental knots, it's hard not to resent the apparent insensitivity in that attitude. Regardless of what I choose in the long run, and even though I don’t currently feel like I'm in the depths of sorrow, there have been truly hellish times, and I sometimes attempt to express, in my blog, some of the more difficult or darker aspects of what I've gone through, without getting too "personal". I don't say this to mean I'm the only one going through hellish times, but I sometimes wonder if people understand the emotional and mental implications of this situation.

I sometimes feel that in my headiness and "reasonable" analysis, I manage to dehumanize my story. I don't fully admit the difficulty of what I've gone through or the intensity of what I have felt. So I may explore the "darker" sides a bit more or gloss over them less, at times, in an attempt to remind the reader that I'm a person with passions as well. I realize more negativity is about the last thing the blog world needs, and it's no mystery that there is emotional turmoil among gay mormons, so do I really need to voice mine? I think I do, to some extent. No matter where I'm going with all of this, my story isn't complete without acknowledging both sides of my own experience.

With that said, I don’t want to be heavy and somber and whiny. But at the risk of looking unstable or "all over the place", you may notice I'll share some of my thoughts from more volatile times as appropriate.

I hope I'm not just looking for sympathy in such posts. I'm not even looking for reassurance. Not usually, at least. Some entries I post are more for other people to understand what it might be like to be in my shoes. By the time I post the more angst-ridden entries, I've most often found my own degree of resolution to them and moved on or set them aside for later re-evaluation.

So just slap me in the face if you think I'm out of balance, and I'll either respond by adjusting or slap you right back. It'll be fun...


agirlwho said...

I don't know if you're up for this kind of comment, but you've heard plenty of things like this from me, so you shouldn't mind too much. ;) You know what I see missing from your labyrinth of thoughts about how difficult things are for you? A recognition that there is someone who completely understands. Yes, friends are wonderful (sometimes) and do understand (occasionally), but I know that Jesus Christ knows how you feel. He will never fail you. He has never failed me. You seem to be trying to organize and compartmentalize your messy tangle of dark thoughts into something you can handle, but the truth is, you can't do it yourself. I hope you can allow yourself to consider this possibility. For me it is so much more than that, it is reality. I love you and you know that. I hope you will be able to feel the Savior's love too.

The Impossible K said...

I agree with agirlwho 100 percent.
And frankly, it does bother me.
You can cover the dark side well enough, I think. I'd really like to see the lighter side though. I know it's there. You have a strong, amazing spirit. I have always admired that, even if you don't make it obvious.
And Christ does know- intimately- what you are going through. I truly believe that. Do you? (seriously.)

I apologize if this comes off a bit harsh, but you're a big boy. You can take it. :)

Felicity said...

I think this is your blog, so you can do what you want. It’s a place to share your thoughts and if they’re volatile at times, so be it. But I also think you have to be ready for whatever response you get—such is the nature of blogging.

As to the darker side of what you’re going through, yes its there. I think you do a good job of balancing negative with positive on your blog. If all of your blogs were light-hearted and fun, that wouldn’t be the real you. But then, neither is a blog full of whining/hell and damnation/”life sucks and then you die.”

So go ahead and post away. I think you’re doing a fine job. When its dark and somber I want to give you a hug and tell you its going to be alright. When its funny and sunny, I want to give you a hug and tell you you’re a delight. Maybe we should just hug…

Original Mohomie said...

Agirlwho, I'm "up for" most kinds of comments, if you mean I can "handle" them. And yes, you've been making a lot of this kind. I appreciate your encouragement in the spirit in which I think it was intended, even if it's not touching my hardened heart.

And yes, that aspect has been mostly absent for a few reasons, few of which I care to discuss in a public forum, so for now, my explorations will be more philosophical and experiential in nature, not dogmatic or mystical, for the most part. I'm not withholding "spiritual experiences". In fact, I have actually been glossing over a bit of the more difficult stuff, so maybe I'm every bit as miserable as some concerned people have expressed, but I don't feel that way.

Incidentally, I don't think my labyrinth of thoughts is mostly about "how difficult things are for me", so either I'm not portraying my thoughts quite effectively, or people are reading into the negative stuff and glossing over what I see as the more hopeful aspects. And maybe most people just don't deal well with what I consider stark reality and find it bleak compared to their version of hope. Whatever the reason, I feel pretty OK with how things are going, whether or not others are comfortable with it from whatever side of whatever perceived fence. And believe me, I get it from both sides. It's just that the churchy voices are more publicly vocal here on my blog.

ImpossibleK, I am a big boy, so I'll take it. I've considered not voicing my ideas because of how much it is likely to "bother" certain friends when they realize how deep some of this stuff runs and how temporary it is not. What you may not realize is that most of what I've expressed in my blog, perhaps both positive and negative, are just the tips of the icebergs.

I always used to rely on Christ understanding me and being my one true friend and source of real love, hoping for answers in the next life which I believed would come. And there's probably still merit in focusing on that again. But I just don't feel it. And since that did little for me, here and now, other than making me "feel better" and putting a bandaid on it and postponing really getting to the nitty gritty and seeking a conscious path (letting things just 'fall into place' stopped working for me years ago--again, a topic for another discussion), I have taken a more mentally proactive approach, and yes, possibly at the expense of what you would call "faith". But I'm not bothered by that. Not now.

Maybe I'm arrogant. Maybe I'm hard-hearted. Maybe I'm faithless and proud. Or maybe my "faith" requires some difficult decisions to be made on my own right now, and it's gonna suck big time for a while. But I have confidence I'll be OK, as I sort out what I really believe to be true and set priorities and make possibly agonizing decisions about it all.

Sometimes, I think it best to cancel this whole blogging thing. Nobody's really going to understand what's going on inside of me anyway, and, like I said in this post, nobody really cares about the "process" in the long run. In the end, people just care about whether my decisions fit their understanding of truth and their definition of happiness.

If my blog has become too heavy or heady or faithless or uninspiring, perhaps the best thing to do is to call it quits until I have something more sunny to say. Seriously. I've actually put effort into making it lighter-hearted, but at this point, maybe that's not even enough, and I need to take things quietly inward for a while.

I still have some posts I'm working on or toying with. It'd be hard to kill the blogging bug, but maybe putting it on hold is a good idea for now. I even feel my blog is not as enjoyable as it used to be, and I'm not willing to fake it or pander to a crowd or change my rhetoric to sound more or less "faithful" (in a mormon mold manner) than I am.

Too bad--I was actually thinking about posting only the parts about how people care about decisions more than "struggles". I should have left it at that because I think it's going to be overlooked. Or maybe I'll edit the post...

Original Mohomie said...

Posts duly separated into two. :-)

A Girl You Know said...

Your apostate friends says: I think working these things out in your "heady" way is good for your and helping you right now. If relying on "faith" just isn't doing it for you, it will only hurt you to attempt to take your more faithful friends advice and try to force yourself to continue seeking comfort in a way that's just not working for you.

I can relate. I used to get the most painful periods you could imagine. I would wake up in the middle of the night, cursing God for this pain and lack of understanding. How could Christ know how I felt? He was a MAN! The "heady" part of me found a parallel - that once every month I was going through something that Jesus is WORSHIPED for doing once in his life: bleeding for nothing more than the possibility of giving life to others. Sorry, tangent.

My point it, you have to do what works for you. It seems to me, writing things out - be they dark or glossed or whatever, will help you work through the inner turmoil you are experiencing. There will be comments that feel like an uncaring "buck up" but there may also be comments that spark an idea within you that will make a difference for you.

In any case, you can always write out your feelings to the full extend you desire, and share them with nobody. You'll even be keeping a commandment... keep a journal!

Original Mohomie said...

Thanks for your words, all. It really is good to have an array of friends who aren't afraid to speak their minds. :-)

To be fair, I just want to clarify that nobody has ever suggested to me that I should stop blogging. And I did sort of invite input as to whether my readers felt I was out of balance, and they gave it.

So I hope this discussion doesn't look like a bickering match. I think we're all reasonable folks. I know you all personally. Anyway, just wanted to make sure it was clear that my hesitation to continue blogging is one I've had and one that resurfaces from time to time, especially when I wonder if it's actually doing any good or if it's turning into a narcissistic word vomitorium.

I have plenty of journal entries I simply don't publish, as well. :-)