typeawordhere

Same Sex Attraction, Confidence Issues, Weight Loss and other Freaking Hard Things!

Can you see into the future?

Can you? I certainly can’t. I think it would be nice sometimes. I could definitely make some money if I knew the winning lotto numbers or what the stock market was gonna do, but that is as much as I would want to know. I have had a problem worrying WAY too much about things that haven’t happened and may never happen. This is particularly true about my attractions to women. Will I fall in love with someone? Will someone fall in love with me? Will my marriage last? Can I do what I know is right? And on and on. I think about it constantly and it takes so much energy. I don’t want to do it anymore. I can only control and focus on what is now. Am I going to clean my house today or not? Will I eat that donut or not? And if I come to a situation that scares me then I will still make a choice. What that choice is I cannot say because I am not facing it right now. I am constantly changing through experiences and it is silly of me to assume that what scares me now will be the same thing that scares me in a year, or in five years. So how can I speculate on what I would do if I don’t know who I will be? I can’t. I used to say that thinking about it was a way for me to prepare myself so I would know what I would do in advance, therefore making the decision easier. And that may work for some things, but not all.
I had a great conversation with my husband last night about all my fears and he was great at just listening. He is always so great at telling me to have faith in God and to remember that when I follow Him I will be blessed. Whether it is being blessed to never have to confront my biggest fears, or being blessed with strength to face them. My husband has faith in me. God has faith in me. My husband reminded me of that last night. And whatever the future holds for us as we venture into this new world of me being openly gay, we are a strong team with the spirit of God between us. I believe God has called me to this life and I feel his presence with me constantly. I need to trust Him and give my life to Him, and I will be happy. He will not fail me. He will not.

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Supportive support

So I don’t hide things from my husband. But I also don’t come right out and say things either. It is usually easier for me to write things down and really process my thoughts and feelings before I can really discuss what is going on. My husband has access to my blog and read what I wrote the other night. He is so loving and just amazing. He came home and we were able to talk about some of the things that I was feeling. Sometimes I do get scared to share certain emotions with him because I am afraid it will hurt his feelings. He is my husband after all. I know he loves me and takes care of me and for me to say that it’s not enough because he isn’t a woman just feels like I’m throwing all of that back in his face. But even so he is still able to love me and be supportive even though he would have every right (in my opinion) to not.

I am feeling better though. I was introduced by a friend to the work of a lady named Byron Katie. Here is the link
http://thework.com

Her take on how to change our thinking and turn things more inward has me really reflecting on the things that have been causing me pain, stress, anxiety and any other negative emotions. Here is a video I watched the other night that really spoke to me.
http://www.thework.com/watch-being_gay.php

I have since watched many other videos and am now focused on doing my own work. There is a worksheet on the website that you can download and fill in on your own. Anyway I just wanted to write and say that I’m doing okay today.

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Being afraid

I take on others pain as well and I just want so much to mean something, to be something for others. I know if I treated others the way I treat myself that I would not have friends. I feel like I am coming down from the high that was created when I came out to my family. Doing something so scary and being successful at it gave me a huge sense of accomplishment and a boost in confidence that I don’t often feel. As I was pondering my words from last night I began to try and clarify to myself what the correlation of me being overweight and being attracted to women might be. I’ve always known there was a connection but haven’t really wanted to think about it much. I assumed it was the obvious answer that I eat my feelings away or something cliche like that. But as I’ve really thought about it I know it’s more than that.
In my mind one must be beautiful to be desired, to be wanted. (i know my hubby tells me I’m beautiful but i was hot when we got married so yeah) And by beautiful I mean both physically and personality wise as well. So as I establish this truth for me, I asked myself these questions.
Am I beautiful?
The answer was no.
Why?
Because I’m fat. My answer had nothing to do with who I really am, just completely focused on my physical attributes.
Why am I fat?
Because I don’t want to be desired. More specifically I don’t want to be desired by another woman. So in turn I am fat to keep that from happening.
Why don’t I want that to happen?
I don’t know that I could withstand the temptation of another woman liking me. I’ve never had to deal with that scenario. In my mind I’ve made the choice to never indulge my desire for a relationship with a woman, but that doesn’t mean that I will stop wanting one.
Why do I self-sabotage my exercise and eating habits?
It’s easier to be fat and push others away to be safe. I don’t know that I could survive the fallout that would ensue if I were to ever act on my feelings. I am almost positive that it would kill me more than it would my husband, children and extended family.

As I write this I am holding back tears b/c I can see the look of disappointment on their faces, and all over something I haven’t even done. And it SCARES me. So bad. So I find that I am really just living in fear. Not the fear that people will judge me or know me or whatever. Fear that I am not strong enough for the long haul. Fear that if I let my guard down for a second everything will be destroyed. I have no confidence in myself. And maybe that is where my deep seeded anger comes from. I don’t know. I know I can be more than I am physically am but it’s like I’m choosing not to. It makes me to vulnerable. I’ve watched enough of the biggest loser shows enough to know that those who might be dealing with similar issues usually feel better and stronger when they get to the other side of their weight loss journey. I’m just a big ball of negative feelings right now. Anger, sadness, fear, frustration and what not.

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The best and the worst

So I was laying in bed tonight and having a really difficult time getting to sleep. My mind is just so full and the only way to get sleep is to write it all down. We were invited to a friends house tonight for dinner. They have kids that are in the same age range as ours and we were looking forward to a great evening getting to know this great family. It was a nice evening and we had great conversations, the kids played outside and the food was delicious. And as much as I don’t want to I feel myself once again drawn to a female, I am. The wife, let’s call her Bonnie, is just acting as women act. Being kind and reaching out in friendship. She is unaware that I have a difficult time making female friends, that getting close to a woman almost always leads to me feeling attracted to them, and that inevitably leads to depression and guilt. Because as much as I have accepted my SSA feelings and have really tried letting go of any guilt that I might feel, it still happens. I just get frustrated that I can’t seem to admire the qualities of women without feeling attracted to them. Bonnie’s personality is just so amazing. She shares her testimony often, has a spirit about her that makes you want to be around her. Is stunningly beautiful, has a great laugh and is just a fantastic person. She makes me feel good just being around her. During Relief Society today I was sitting next to her and holding my baby girl on my lap. She stroked my baby’s face to help calm her and as my baby drifted off to sleep Bonnie smiled and said she might just lay her head on my shoulder and fall asleep too. A rather insignificant comment usually….but not for me. My first thought was that I wish she would and that I could reciprocate by putting my arm around her. Followed by a skip in my heartbeat and the awe that someone could be comfortable with me like that. She’s too beautiful to want to be my friend. This interaction followed by having dinner with her, being near her and feeling like I mattered, is a most dangerous cocktail. And that leads me to now. Sitting here, thinking about her and how awesome she is and how great it is to have a friend. It’s the best feeling to have that. But it’s the worst because I now feel for her and am attracted to her. It sucks and is really conflicting. Knowing that I need healthy good relationships with women, but feeling like I am going down a potentially hazardous road. And it sucks because I have a loving husband who is thinking of me when we go to sleep as we snuggle close together, and instead of thinking of him I am thinking of her. And it makes me MAD! And ANGRY! And SAD! And not able to sleep. And I feel physically ugly and awful for feeling so much for someone that I haven’t known that long. That’s when the negative thoughts creep in. I already struggle with my weight and being 100lbs. too heavy does not help me in these situations. I start to question everything. Beautiful people usually hang out together so why is she inviting me to her house and treating me like I am a friend. I am to ugly to be her friend. And why am I so mean to myself? I haven’t done anything wrong. Maybe this isn’t even an SSA problem, but a reflection of how I feel about my physical body. I’m just so tired of being fat. Of not being able to lose this stupid weight. Of thinking because I am fat that it is directly linked to the kind of person I am. And because my appearance seems to say that I don’t care about my health, therefore I am not good enough to take note of. And on the downward spiral I go. Never being good enough for myself, or anyone else. So I write, and I pray and I listen to church music and try to feel comfort and know that I can love another women, I just can’t love her the way I want to.  

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Resources….so exciting I know.

So it occurred to me that maybe I should put links to some of the resources that have been helpful to me. I suspect though that some people who read this already know about them but I figured what the heck. The first link is for the church website that was launched a little bit ago. It has helpful information but honestly I haven’t been there a lot because I have looked and listened to pretty much everything on it. Here’s the link though
http://www.mormonsandgays.org

The second link is to a website that is pretty awesome. I am part of a forum of ladies that also experience SSA. There is so much good info here and it has been invaluable to my journey.
http://www.northstarlds.org

The next website is fantastic. It is for the Voices of Hope project.
http://ldsvoicesofhope.org
I have watched several of the videos and they have been so helpful and very inspiring.

The last is the newest link that was shared in our northstar forum. It is for a group of YouTube segments that were recorded by an amazing lady and her friend about her experience with SSA. They are titled The Forefront Talks and I watched all the segments and found them just awesome!

Anyway I hope this helps some people who might not know about such resources. They have made all the difference in my journey.

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Follow-up questions from my in-laws

SO the reception from my family has been really awesome for the most part. There is some processing still being done and that’s okay. I have had a lot more time to accept this than they have and I don’t expect them to be ready for all kinds of conversation right away. My in-laws sent me an email with some questions and I wanted to post them here. Some of them are pretty silly but it’s okay. I’m not offended. I am just so happy to be talking about everything. Anyway here is the Q and A.

First I would like to apologize for not being more specific about the reasons for why I was sending out my letter. Your questions are legitimate and I am happy to clarify and answer them the best I can. I’ll just go down the line and even through I might repeat myself I think it would be easier to do it that way.

1. Why now?
This has been a long time coming. With all the controversy going on about same-sex marraige and everything I have felt compelled to share more and more by the spirit. My dad has always been a great example to me and his willingness to share his conversion story has been a great source of inspiration. Like him, I too would like to share my story and help others in the church. I have had many talks with my bishop (who is great by the way!) and he advised me that before I could move forward with my desire to share, I needed to share with my family. It was wise counsel and I chose to follow it.

2. If as you say that you still have a testimony and love your family, why tell anyone?
It is because I have a testimony that I am compelled to share. Just like Alma the younger was compelled to share his conversion story and to become a missionary I feel that this is in a sense my conversion story. It has taken many years to work through my feelings and my testimony of the gospel, and how those two could co-exist peacefully in my life. I know the Lord is speaking to me and the spirit is compelling me to be a part of this movement in the church. I have tried to be okay not sharing but it is no longer possible. The spirit of the Lord is too strong and I can no longer ignore it.

3. How do you know you are a lesbian, have you had sexual encounters with other women?
This is hard for some people to understand. I have never had a sexual encounter with any women. I have been in love with another woman though. I don’t know how to explain it to you so that you can understand how I can know without having the experience. I remember reading a blog about this man trying to figure things out when he was a teenager. He tells of a moment where a close friend he was confiding in about his confusion asked him a very direct question. The question was, “If you were in a room with naked guys and girls who would you be attracted to?” It was then that he knew the answer to his questions. My answer is I would be attracted to the women. The only men I have ever been attracted to were the men I have been in love with. That has happened 3 times in my life. This is not the case for every gay person. I do not know why God has blessed me with the ability to be attracted to my husband, but I am grateful for it. Does that make me bisexual? I don’t know, but I don’t think that distinction matters anyway.

4. Where does this lead? Is this an announcement that you are leaving Lance to live with another woman?
This leads to information, conversation, honesty and sharing. I am not leaving Lance and am completely committed to our temple marriage. I am very much in love with him. More so than when we were married 12 years ago (wow!) Although I said earlier that I have been in love with another woman, that is in my past, and I have since cut off all ties with that person. My life has been so blessed because of that decision.

5. Do you want us to treat you differently? How?
I do not want you to treat me differently although I am not expecting things to just be like they were exactly. This information has probably changed how you see me and that’s okay. This is just a part of who I am. I refuse to be defined by my sexuality. I am first and foremost a daughter of God. So just love me the best you can. I have been anticipating this situation for a couple years now and it has given me some time to grow a thick skin. I know that I am loved. I know that my family would not be insulting or demeaning towards me on purpose. As long as you come to me with your questions in the spirit of love I know that we will be able to add a new level of depth to our relationships.

6. Should we be concerned about your daughters, nieces or your sisters in law?
I had to honestly stop myself from grimacing when I read this. I know this is new to you so I am choosing not to be weirded out by this question. Just being honest. Are you attracted to your sister/brothers-in-laws? Are you attracted to your sons and daughters, nieces/nephews? My answer is no. I have appropriate attractions to appropriate people…they just happen to be women. I do not spend my days lusting after women just as you ( I hope anyway) don’t spend your days lusting after the people you find attractive. Let me know if you need more clarification about this question.

7. Is this a result of depression?
In the past me sharing might have been a result of depression. But I can tell you now that if I had come out during a bout with depression it would not have been in the same spirit. It might have been to confirm the worst fears you might have about the situation. But I am not currently depressed. In fact I feel happier now that I have shared this part of me with my family. I feel much lighter and like the Lord has blessed me with even more strength. The encouraging words I have received from everyone has made me feel so loved and confirmed to me my decision that sharing was the right thing to do.

8. How will your relationship with Lance change? Has it changed already?
Lance has know about this from the beginning of our relationship. I was very honest with him when we first started dating. I had no expectations of getting married but Lance is an amazing man. He was able to see past my being attracted to women and to just love me. To get to know me and have fun being with each other. It is because of his loving and open nature that I was able to fall so completely in love with him. He helped me to be his friend first and then when the attraction to him grew along with my feelings it only deepened our relationship. I expect our relationship to change as we both grow, but we have the spirit of the Lord with us. We strive to be close to God and Christ. I expect nothing short of eternity with him.

9. I have had people who had feelings toward homosexuality who were into porn. Is this where your feelings started or has brought you to this point?
I have never been addicted to porn. I find the whole thing repulsive and evil. It has never played a role in me forming attractions to women. I went through puberty just like everyone else. Instead of liking boys though, I liked girls.

10. If your plan is to continue to honor your marriage and family covenants for the rest of your life, why tell anyone? Why not just have the urges but continue to live the gospel? I know many members of the church who are alcoholics, adulterers who have the urges but continue to suppress them.
Suppressing the urges might work for them. And maybe if this was a different time I would do that. But it is during this time in our world where this issue is EVERYWHERE. I cannot sit silent any longer while there might be people out there that I can help. Asking me to suppress how I feel is like me asking you to not be attracted to your husband/wife. You can love them but don’t ever express that…ever. There is a lie that I see Satan telling people. The lie that if you are gay you must live that way. Just like the LGBT community has fought so hard for acceptance from everyone, people need to be equally accepting of people who are LGBT but choose to not live that way. For whatever reason. Living a gay lifestyle would not make me happy. How do I know? Because I know the plan of happiness and I have a testimony of it’s truthfulness.

11. Again why tell anyone unless your plan is to change the way you are living your life?
The only thing that I have been longing to change is the need to share my story and opinion. You may not understand and that’s okay but I know this is right for me. I did not come to this decision lightly. Lance and I have talked extensively about this subject matter. We have prayed, gone to the temple, done everything we can to make sure it is the right thing for us. I am attracted to women, but I refuse to let my physical body dictate how my spiritual self experiences this life. I am a spiritual being having a mortal experience. Mortality is so fleeting and temporary. Some would use that a reason to live anyway they wanted. But I know the truth and having what you want does not always lead to happiness. I would rather lead a life centered on God than on myself. Only good can come of that. That is my prayer and my goal.

I hope I answered your questions well. I really tried to be as honest and forthcoming as I could be. I appreciate your questions. It’s good and this is exactly what I want…to talk about it. To communicate. I feel great! I know it will take some time for everyone to process but I know things are going to be okay. I just feel like I am bursting with my love for God right now. I have been so scared to say anything and have been praying so hard. I know God will give you the light and understanding you seek. I have complete faith in Him. I love you all!

Kim

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Going Public. Not that it matters because nobody will see this anyway.

So today is the day. I’ve been super busy getting our house ready to sell and celebrating birthdays and anniversaries. But today is my day. The day that I came out to my family. Because I have such a large one I decided to do it through e-mail. I also wanted to give everyone their own space to react however they needed to. I just didn’t think I could handle seeing anybodies face. But I’m taking brave little steps one at a time. I kind of suck at being brave but I’m trying to learn how. Throwing this out there is a good start I guess. Anyway here is my coming out letter. Just thought I would share.

My Dear Family and Friends,

I have written and re-written this letter a thousand times in my head. I apologize in advance if my thoughts seem scattered and unorganized. After much prayer, thought and discussion with Lance the Lord has revealed to me that it is time to write it on paper, and to share it with the people that I love most. I want to begin by sharing my testimony of the Gospel. I love the Lord and I love His Gospel. I KNOW it is the truth and that by following the teachings of Christ I have known and will know great joy. And although I am not the best when it comes to scripture study, I know that when I read them my mind is opened to true knowledge. Knowledge that is powerful and completely liberating. I have a powerful testimony that the Lord knows me personally. When I struggle to feel His spirit it is because I have distanced myself from Him. He has never left me alone. I know that Christ lives and that He understands all of me and loves me regardless of my faults. I am grateful to have that knowledge. This is my testimony. I know that I do not share it, but I do believe it.
With so much going on within the world today I find it so easy to get lost. For years now I have felt that I have something to offer those who might feel alone, guilt-ridden and depressed. I am gay or same-sex attracted or however you wanna say it. I have been for a long time. If you have suspected this about me please keep that to yourself. I really don’t need to know that. I have gone through so many emotions including thoughts of suicide. I have shared this information with a handful of people but lately have felt compelled to make my story more public. The thought of that has been utterly paralyzing. Lance has been an amazing man and has stood by me from the beginning of our relationship. He has been my safe place, my friend, and my comfort. Right before Lance and I started dating I went through a period of learning (which is a nice way of saying I was in crisis mode) and when he came into my life I was completely honest with him. He had no expectations of me and the Lord was able to let me guide the relationship. I did not think I would get married but the Lord had a greater plan for me. It has taken me a long time to accept myself. To realize that being me is enough. To try and force myself to think or feel a certain way is unrealistic and just ends in sorrow. God loves me and knows me, but He does have expectations of me. I know in my heart that as much as I would like to live the way I feel, it would not make me happy, not really. A life that isn’t centered on the Lord and Jesus Christ would not be a happy one. Knowing the truth makes living any differently impossible for me.
So why does it matter that I tell people that I’m gay if I don’t intend to live that way? It matters. It may not be your trial, but it is someone’s. And that someone may be in our family now or may come into our family later. Or maybe it is someone else we know, I dunno. All I know is that people need to know. It sucks having to hide how I feel about certain things. Not being able to give an opinion because I don’t want people to look at me weird. I’ve become great at hiding certain things and just not saying anything but I’m kind of done with that now. This matter is coming up in the church more and more and I want to be part of it. Part of educating people that just because you feel a certain way does not mean you are required or expected to live that way. We always have a choice but I fear that too many people do not believe that when it comes to the subject of homosexuality. Yeah, I used the big word. Don’t be scared, it’s ok. It’s not fair to feel like you believe the Gospel, and you are gay….now choose one or the other because you can’t have both. That’s a lie. And people need to know that. It’s important. It is also important to be loving and aware of the thoughts and feelings that are shared. This is part of the reason it is so scary to come out to your family. So worried about disappointment and being completely misunderstood. I don’t expect people to understand really (unless you are going through it too). But I do expect people to be loving and tactful. This is my life experience and I want to be able to share it with others so that I can help them know that they are loved. That being attracted to the same gender does not make you a horrible person who cannot be a member of God’s church and be happy. I have been blessed with marriage and children and although that works for me it does not work for everyone. I don’t know why God has given me this particular blessing but I don’t question it too much. He knows who I need to be and has a great plan for me. I have also come to accept that this might change how people see me and I have to be okay with that. It’s just the way it is.
I felt that I really needed to give people the space to absorb this information which is why you have a letter instead of a family meeting. Because I’m kind of a wuss when it comes to actually saying things out loud in front of everyone. I want to talk about it now though. I welcome any and all questions. You can call me or email me if you want but I am not going to judge you and I expect the same from you. This has been a very difficult thing to admit to myself, to accept and to be okay with. I’m still working on most of that. But that’s ok. Just like anyone I have good and bad days. Sometimes they turn into months but I recover. I will be ok. Also because I am sharing with my family I give you permission to share with others as you see fit. I want to be as open as I can and I know that I won’t get the best reception from others all the time. But my husband loves me, my family loves me…I’ll be okay. I love you all and am anticipating the conversations to come.

With all my love,
Kim

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