Monday, September 24, 2012

In which my faith in humanity is restored...

...one comment at a time.

So, yeah, I spent today periodically checking the comments on my post this morning ready to strike. I have been sitting patiently, like a sniper, awaiting the moment when I could obliterate the first offensive comment I saw so that people could see that I'm not all talk, and that I am dead serious, and that I really will NOT tolerate that stuff anymore.

And?

You people have left 80 of the most civil, awesome, respectful comments every written about this complex topic.

How annoying of you!!!!

And also

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Real dialogue is happening right now. Like, seriously, people are talking. Not everybody is agreeing. Not everybody thinks in the same ways. But everybody that has said something has shown civility, has tempered their words and opinions with conciliatory language, has avoided inflammatory phrases for the most part, and has even apologized if they made mistakes.

Part of me is so disappointed I didn't get to show off my delete-button skills.

But most of me is so freaking happy to see the discussion be so awesome. I mean look at some of these conversations! People are actually talking to each other about hard things. I have felt enriched and educated as I've read some of the conversations on that post, and heard people speak plainly and without fear about their deeply held fears and beliefs.

I have no idea how long it will last, but I'm taking it for however long I can. And I am loving it. Maybe, just maybe, this is a new leaf, and the tone has taken shape in a lasting way.

But you better believe that the part of me that got all serious this morning is still waiting, dormant, for the first comment to cross into my arbitrarily chosen line "too much" so that I can decimate it.

All right, folks. I'm tired. FFAQ response tomorrow? Maybe. I have lots to do for this training I'm doing at the end of the week which feels actually as time consuming and expensive as a small grad degree.

Good night. I hope you all sleep well.

106 comments:

  1. it's wonderful that you didn't have to delete anything, but i can understand the disappointment especially when you've worked yourself up to do something that is outside of your comfort zone. ;) i'm ready for my question to be answered!!! :D

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    1. I laughed way too hard and long at this.

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    2. FOLS-Friday? What am I missing? :D

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    3. Hahahahaha if we could alliterate that somehow he would probably totally go for it.

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    4. I wish this comment had a like button :)

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  3. Aw, what a dissapointing post...LOL. Good luck with that training, conference thingy...

    Bobi
    http://westernwarmth.blogspot.com

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  4. maybe you should put a little blurb at the top of your blog about how serious you are that people be civil. that way new comers will know ahead of time and won't feel judged when their comment is deleted.

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  5. Don't get too excited. It's just ONE post. As much as I'd like to be optimistic and hope for rainbows and sunshine, it probably won't last. We can only hope the civility will continue and that buttons won't get pushed that trigger the contention to rear its ugly head once more.

    Rest well, Josh.

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  6. Feed Old Ladies Sandwiches Friday?
    Fabricate Optimistic Literature Songs Friday?
    FOLSom Prison Blues Friday?

    <-- scratches head...

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    1. Hahahahaha...LOL. I admit it took a minute but I got it.

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    2. Oh geez. Blonde moment. Cause you even said that in the original comm...SQUIRREL! ...ent.

      Brilliant idea. Love it. FOLS.

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    3. Yeah I totally missed it too!

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  9. Sometimes I just need to get told who's boss. Don't be afraid to get a little rough. Sometimes there's no other way.

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  10. Lol...Thank you. Sometimes you can bug the hell out of me (with comments), but in the end I got nothing but love for ya. And just to get ya bug I'm gonna go ahead and sign this

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  11. Josh, I have been following your story and I would just like to express that I really feel for you and your predicament. I'm sure your feelings of SSA would have left you feeling quite desperate and alone- especially in youth. I truly hope that you are genuinely fulfilled and that you do deeply love Lolly, in the way a husband should love a wife, including the romantic and sexual side. Not only as best friends or bro/sis dynamic. Lolly deserves the best. I also hope that you are not caught up in love for the idea of having a wife and a conventional life. Not being ‘your true self’ never leads to good in the long run, being motivated by fear also leads to downfall. The good news is that it is never too late to change your life, it can be scary to close one door and open another. i encourage to reflect on what you truly want, forget the obstacles and limitations and pursue your dreams of real fulfillment. My hope for everyone in the world is that they know true, deep, full love. If you ever get the nervous feeling ‘is this it’ then please look deep in yourself. I imagine not expressing your gay sexuality with a male life partner feels much like being constantly on a diet of salad- because you believe its better for you, when there is chocolate, meat ect that you are constantly craving and that you need to be truly full- life is too short to live of salad.

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    1. Dear Anon, Josh and Lolly address your concerns for them in the coming out post they did called "Club Unicorn: in which I come out of the closet on our ten year anniversary." It's the first one listed in the "popular posts" section. I definitely recommend reading it. They seriously address every concern you just listed in it and it's a great read.
      Regards,
      Christopher

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    3. Anon,

      Read my comment a ways below, I think it will help answer your questions and concerns.

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  12. sure you can survive on just salad but not thrive! plus what kind of half life is that!

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  13. @ Anonymous. I sure hope you are not comparing Lolly to salad, because if I were to compare Lolly to anything, it would be Sizzlers Steak and Lobster meal with a potato on the side plus the dessert bar. She's all that and a bag of chips.

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    1. Haha! I love this comment. 1. because it's hilarious and 2. because it's totally true. Lolly is amazing.

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    2. Um, what about the cheese bread. That is the most important part.

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    3. Good one BQ. Then maybe she is salad, like a taco salad. With that yummy taco shell, and the spicy meat, lettuce, cheese, green onions, tomatoes, SALSA, olives, sour cream. AY caramba! Lolly is a salad; a fulfilling, satisfying, delicious taco salad! OLE!!!

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    4. lolly is lovely, no doubt about it :) lolly is not the plain salad, i feel bad that lolly has a husband who is not attracted to her in a sexual way. This is important to a husband and wife relationship. Josh may feel he is constantly enticed by 'foods' that he personally finds more sexually filling as he may be never be truly fulfilled in a mixed orientation marriage .

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    5. Anon,

      Read my comment below it addresses your worries. I have no idea who is what anon, so I may have already said this in one of your comments above.

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  14. Dear anonymous - sounds more like you HAVEN'T been following his story if those are your concerns. Re read. His relationship and life with Lolly is enviable.

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    1. i have followed, read the coming out post, watched tv interviews ect. Sure it may seem enviable, but any relationship can be enviable when we are only seeing part of it

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  15. I am highly tempted to write something blatantly inappropriate just so you can enjoy deleting it. ....... >:)

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    2. "Something blatantly inappropriate!"

      There- I said it ...

      *waiting... waiting...
      *crickets...

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    3. Posting it twice so Josh could have the pleasure of deleting one while we stil get to enjoy your comment - that was GENIUS. :o)

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    5. Oh yeah. That totally just happened. And it felt so empowering! Bwah hahahaha!!! (You guys crack me up!)

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  16. I love your blog and reading about your opinions on subjects. I am so glad you have opened dialogue that alot of people ignore and don't talk about. People need to talk about the hard things! Anyway, i have a question for you. Some background 1st...i have 4 younger brothers and 3 are gay. 2 have chosen to live that lifestyle. We all live fairly close together in Utah and see each other often. I am concerned about my 4 little children seeing my brothers live the way they do. I love my brothers very much and don't judge them, but should i draw the line with what my children are exposed too? I'm not sure what to do about my children seeing my brothers with their partners holding hands, kissing, etc @ family get togethers. Help! In the past i have asked my brothers not to show affection to their partner around my kids, but i'm not sure if i am right to ask them that. This has been going on for years now and i have prayed about what to do and still not sure. Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated!

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    1. Nicole, I beg you, please don't ask your brothers not to show affection to their partners. Every family is different, but if it's normal in yours for heterosexual couples to hold hands and kiss in front of the children, then asking your relatives in same-sex relationships to refrain from doing the same thing is a judgment, and one that is likely to be painful. It can be heartbreaking to be told that your love is so dirty and shameful that it needs to be hidden from children and your own family. I know that's not what you mean to say, but that's what it will communicate.

      You obviously love your brothers very much, so I highly encourage you to have some heart-to-heart conversations. You don't need to agree on everything, but let them tell you honestly about their experiences within your family, and be open to the possibility that you, or other members of your family, may have unintentionally hurt them at some point. Good luck, and I hope you'll get the help you're looking for :)

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    2. If your brothers smoked cigarettes I would expect that you would ask them not to smoke around you or your children, not only because of the smell but because of the example it sets. I'm sure your brothers know you love them and would know that a request from you for them to refrain from displaying physical intimacy with their partner in front of your children was not a condemnation of them.

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  17. @anonymous - sometimes there is more than sexual attraction. It seems like they have a soulmate kind of attraction that supersedes what most married couples have. So it seems they are happy! Do they have everything? Nope? Does anybody have everything? It makes me think of when the guy who played Superman was a quadriplegic. His wife was by his side after that horse accident, loving him, taking care of him. Was she missing out because they couldn't have sex? Were her sexual needs fulfilled? She took care of him, she didn't leave him for selfish reasons. True love is more than just sexual attraction, although that is great!

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    2. Camille said it perfectly! Thank you for that insight. It is so true! Some couples in a marriage aren't lucky enough to say they are married to their soul mate. That is what really matters!

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    3. Anon,

      I have never met two people more in love and connected. I personally am married to a man and we are both straight and still I envy their relationship at times. I am very happy with my husband, and he is my soul-mate no doubt, but because of Josh not being attracted to her physically they have a bond that is almost beyond comprehension. Their love is so deep and unconditional for one another. So to say that they are not fully happy because Josh is attracted to other men, is like saying I am not happy in my marriage because I am attracted to other men. That is how much in love and perfect they are for each other. They are SO happy and in love. Their love transcends physical attraction which I believe is the deepest love you can have, one which we all would want for our partner. Also they have a great sex life, and no he does not fantasize about men while having sex with her, so lets just not go there shall we?

      You may wonder how I know all of this, and well I am Josh's sister. So I have seen everything unfold first-hand. I haven't mentioned that before because I felt the environment was to hostile for me to give that information up. I figured some people would brush all my views and opinions aside because I supposedly was "blinded by my feelings for Josh and how close I am to them". But I have decided that my my voice is is valid and it doesn't really matter what people think of me.

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    6. Tammy....I just want to say that I think your thoughts on here are awesome. I've had convos with you in the past as anon and I have enjoyed them so much.
      Maquel...thanks for "outting" yourself. I do have questions for you as Josh's sister like when did you know and how did you feel about it?...just to start.

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    9. I thought the same thing, but wasn't sure if it was an appropriate thing to ask. I'm just curious about Josh's family.

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    10. Tammy- "Now go make me a sandwich."-Haha! That made me laugh really hard.

      Lola-I honestly cannot put a date on when I found out. I'm pretty sure it was 4-5 years ago. When I found out I was like "Oh, okay, makes sense." I remember telling my husband within the last year and he said "Oh, that makes sense." So it was kind of one of those "Ohhhhh * everything clicks*" moments for both of us. Looking back the one huge indicator was our childhood. Although I didn't notice because I too was a kid and younger (by 7ish years). In our home video's it is very evident that Josh is gay. You wouldn't be able to peg him now like you would have in our childhood. Does that make sense? Anyways hope Josh doesn't mind me sharing all this info, I will know soon enough! :D

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  18. Ok, so I have been following this blog for quite a while now, and I have never posted. In a way, I was wondering if anybody would post my thoughts, and I could save myself the trouble (and the attacks?). Well, in this new age of kindness, I'm ready to post, and if somebody has posted these thoughts already, my apologies for overlooking them.

    I have been married for seven years. We are both straight. When we met, we both received very strong confirmation that this was right, even though I was warned that it would be difficult. It is. Oh, we are both members of the church.

    Here are my thoughts: I am not sexually attracted to my husband at all anymore. It probably has a lot to do with the difficult issues we have, but the fact remains.

    However, that does not mean I am running around looking for men I am sexually attracted to and cheating on my husband. That is not the essence of marriage.

    I don't understand why some people seem to think that sexual attraction is essential in order to have a deep, loving relationship. The idea seems ridiculous to me. Are we animals driven by our instincts? Yes, we have these instincts, and I may feel a spark of attraction at times, but I never have the feeling that I am unfulfilled or missing out when I don't follow up on it.

    Among my friends are four married couples who have no sex. There are various reasons for it, but one of those couples has been married for ten years, and they never had sex. She has medical and emotional issues that made intercourse too painful, and they tried. They have a loving marriage. She is my best friend, so I feel I can honestly attest to that fact.

    What I am trying to say is simply this: I hope NONE of us follow all of our whims of sexual attraction and feel cheated every time we do not.

    Like a wise person once said, love is a verb. It is up to me whether I do it or not, and it should never be equated with sexual attraction, which happens way too often. Being in lust is not love.

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    1. The problem I have is with what you've said is that it implies that being gay is all about sex. I have an 18-year-old son who is gay and I have learned from him that it is not really about sex. It is about love. My son is not sexually active yet, but he has a boyfriend. He wants to be with a man not for sex, but because that is who he feels he can have a successful relationship with, just like a straight person is interested in someone of the opposite sex for more reasons than just sex, as you have said.

      I'm not sure if I'm making any sense. I'm just trying to say that being gay is not only about sex any more than being straight is only about sex.

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    2. Carolyn,

      I don't think that is what Anon was implying, but I agree with your comments and appreciate your insight. I think Anon was disagreeing with the notion that Josh can't possibly be gay because he is married to a woman, and therefore must be attracted to her physically.

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    3. Maybe I was reading too much into it, but it seemed that this Anon was reacting to the Anon of 9/25 at 9:15 PM quite a ways above, who suggested that Josh needed to be with a man to be his true self.

      I felt like this Anon was saying that the only reason a gay man such as Josh would leave a relationship such as Josh has with Lolly, would be for sex, and saying that that is not a good reason. (I'm hesitant to make this about Josh. I know he has a great marriage. I'm thinking more of just gay men in general.) I agree that marriage is more than sex and that looking for better sex is not a good reason to dissolve a marriage.

      I'm just saying that sex is not the only reason, or even the primary reason, that a homosexual person would want to be with someone of the same sex.

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    4. Carolyn,
      Gotcha:)We shall see if they respond and clarify.

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  20. Therapist or not, training or not, Josh is at the mercy of his Church teachings, which basically say must must marry a woman, or be celebate, or you are a sinner. Guilt is at the heart of it all, and Josh you as a therapist know that you cannot live with yourself unless you follow the teaching of your church because otherwise you could not live with yourself. Poor Soul, victum of Religion, do your best to find peace

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    2. So I knoww Tammy, you are a lesbian woman married to a woman. I have a feeling that anon up here is a gay man. I am assuming anon is the same anon from above. I may be wrong and that's fine. So is the "gayness" (not mocking, just couldn't think of a different term) different. I mean by saying that that men are typically more sexually driven and women more by companionship. That is not.to say that these things don't crossover. (We clearly know that Lolly had a sex drive before she married Josh. Lol). Does this contribute to your differing views?

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    3. For me, guilt is innately programmed part of who I am, given to me by God to let me know when I'm doing something wrong. If I listen to my heart when I'm feeling guilty, it's telling me that something needs to change, and when I do so, I'll be happier, because I'm living in such a way that will allow me to progress and grow. It's a useful emotion that has helped me to overcome some addictions that were causing me to sink deep into depression, but because of prayer and turning to our loving God for help, he helped me overcome it (and continue to overcome it).

      There is a distinction between the innate guilt of our consciences and the shame we feel because of what we think others think of us. I truly believe each of us deep down knows the difference between right and wrong, and it hurts if we act against that.

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    4. I disagree with the comment that he is "at the mercy of his Church's teachings", because we all have our agency and can choose to follow and believe whatever we want. If he didn't agree with the doctrine of the church he could have just left the church, many do it. There are many people who use to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and other churches who are no longer because they do not agree with the doctrine. I feel you are saying he is a slave to his religion. He would not be apart of it any longer had he felt different from the teachings. He is a big boy and can decide for himself what he believes regardless of the teachings of the Church or anything else for that matter. Your comment feels patronizing?, is that the right word? Like your talking to a little kid who doesn't know any better. Which I feel is really silly.

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  21. I do feel sorry for Josh, and I know he has had great contemplation on this. He probably even went into psychology because he was trying to find an answer to his problem. How can I be gay and accept Mormonism? The reality is still the same, he has no choice if he wants to remain a Mormon. His Church will not condone homosexuality that includes sex with the same gender. He does not want to abandone his only know foundation in life, his family, friends, and everything else so he has chosen the only path he thinks he can follow. I do feel sorry for him and all members of the LDS Church that have struggled with something that is basically an innate conditon, that they have no choice in, and they have no real good solution. The Church has not offered them anything except that they recognize that some members have SSA, that they should be accepted, but that they should not act on it or they are sinners. Poor souls all of them. They are all suffering, and they will continue to do so until they are free to be gay and also to not be sinners. The Church will eventually "have a revelation" or they will suffer continued strife and internal hate and discontent within their ranks, and Josh is not helping, sorry buddy. There literally are thousands of Mormon stories that support the notion he is just rationalizing why he is complying with the Church doctrine. Poor soul

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    1. Contrary to what you perceive he is very happy. I am his sister and can attest to his happiness. This is by FAR the happiest I have ever seen him in his life EVER. He is at peace with himself, has a beautiful family, loves his religion, so on and so forth. I wish you could know him personally because I assure you your worries would be quelled.

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    3. Tammy,

      Could you elaborate on your analogy? I'm not sure exactly what you are saying:D

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    5. Tammy,

      Can I just say you hare HILARIOUS. You constantly have me laughing and I always enjoy reading what you have to say. Just wanted to put that out there:)

      Interesting questions regarding Anon. Also I get what you are saying now, makes sense.

      Your right, it might not be the right view for Josh, but it is Anon's view to have.

      I also answered you and Lola's questions above, just letting you know if you had not seen it.

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    6. Tammy, I want to say I love you attitude. YOUR the person that is going to change the hearts and minds of people to really "see" you and understand you and your community. This is what I am talking about, pure kindness, respect, and patience for everyone's opinions. Can I be your friend? :)

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    9. I am trying to be funny in response to your comment but it is so late and I am tired. So I am failing miserable. Something about your comment being a baby produced by a comedian and a waiter. Yeah...

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  22. I think like Josh has said, love is key to it all. God loves us, and we trust him to lead us to eternal life and happiness. Sometimes what he asks us to do might not make sense to our own understanding and perspective, but we have faith in him and trust that he knows better than we do what will bring us eternal happiness. This life is certainly difficult, but it's such a small portion of eternity.

    I do not know what it feels like to have same gender attraction. I simply don't. I can try to imagine, but we can never truly understand what other people are going through without going through it ourselves. There is one person who went through everything - Jesus Christ. Regardless of what our struggles are, and we ALL have so many, he knows exactly what we feel and knows how we can be happy. When I see Josh, I see someone who is happy in Christ, which to me has been the truest source of happiness in my own life.

    I don't hold my religious beliefs over anyone else, and don't expect everyone to believe as I do, but I sure know that Christ has brought me a great deal of peace, love, and joy in my life, and He is who I will turn to as I fight and struggle every day to make it through the challenge of mortality.

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  23. Tammy and Comapny, this is beyond logic, and Josh's need to be part of his community has a strong emotional pull on his mind. Its not so simple has having your "free agency" and choosing. How simple minded is that anyway. He has been part of the Mormon Church, family, friends, and activites all his life. Its not just decide if you belive, its stay will your community or be rejected. Rejection is a strong emotional "punishment" which Josh does not want to endure so he has chosen the only path open to him without "sin". Poor boy

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    2. I am Josh's sister, if he had decided to date and marry a boy my family and I would still have loved him the same. Yes I am sure there would be those who would reject him, but many would not. I love Josh unconditionally. Plus you are assuming that my parents pushed him to not "live the lifestyle" etc. They were loving, and nurturing, and let him know that no matter what he chose to do their love and support would not change. He is not some caged Gay man who is waiting to come out, he is OPENLY Gay and has chosen to be married to a woman who he loves. It may be beyond your comprehension but it is real and true.

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    5. Maquel...thank you and know your family is awesome. There are other families like yours. I have seen and met them, been in there homes, that lovingly accept their children's choices. Josh is doing so much good at furthering that.

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  24. Tammy, I assume nothing about Josh's Parents. He is in a community that rejects same gender sex. He is trying to survive without rejection, and he is doing it in a way that rejects his true nature. Sorry, but the end result will not be peace and happiness. Poor Josh

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    2. OOOOO! Me too, me too!

      Also I was the one to make that comment not Tammy:D

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    4. Maq and Tam- you two are cracking me up! Can I be the ugly step-sister just to get in on some of this action? Lol

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    6. Suzthefooz,

      You are welcome to join the club of "sister's" aka Team Awesome.

      Tammy,

      Quit complaining! :D

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    1. Tammy, the more you post, the more I like you. I have a good friend who is gay and he respects my beliefs and feelings and I respect his. We get along quite well, despite our political, religious and cultural differences. I suspect you may be like my friend and his partner. And probably loads of fun, just like them.

      Seriously, though. I love how you respect people's choices while perhaps holding a different understanding. Poppy is right. You are making a difference.

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  26. Re: developing same sex friendships.


    You post gives me food for thought and self reflection.
    If my thoughts and feelings are to be posted PLEASE omit anything that might identify me. Thank you.
    The insights I have already learned about my beliefs and attitudes regarding my self, my body, and my sexuality have come from a lot of therapy and counseling, a lot of prayer, and a lot of 12 step program work. I am 60 years old and I'm STILL learning concepts and having paradigm shifts from events from my childhood. I did not talk until I was 4 years old and very quickly went from silence to full sentences.
    My parents both came from dysfunctional families. It took a long time but I know my parents loved me as much as they were able. It wasn't nearly as much as I needed but I have forgiven them and been given the gift of knowing that I can forgive myself for not being able to love my own children, especially when they were young, as much as they needed. I learned early on that sex was like the cookies in the cookie jar: forbidden but very desirable, even if I didn't know why. I was molested several times mostly by one man. I think he saw how great my emotional neediness was and took advantage of me to seduce me gently. I have wondered how my life might have been different if he had caused me physical pain. I already held the belief that my parents did not love me but fed, clothed, and sheltered me because it was their duty since they had given birth to me. I was set up for high confusion when this man molested me.
    I know you've heard the saying, "Negative attention is preferable to no attention." I saw myself as a nothing until the molester came along and gave my body attention that gave my body pleasure. Even as an 8 year old boy I knew something was wrong but didn't say anything because I was a nobody. It was only after I learned he was meeting my little brother that we told our parents and the man was arrested.
    With experiences like these I was still able to have male friends but I often Wanted to sexualize the friendship. I was repulsed by anyone who was fat like I was. I learned to manipulate people into feeling sorry for me.
    Back to the present: I would say I am about 80/20 male/female in my sexual preference (and most of the females look boyish, Marilyn Monroe does little for me but Audrey Hepburn is quite attractive). I have not told my wife about my ssa. I am thankful to have hope and to KNOW my Father in Heaven loves me.

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