Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Crying Coward

I like crying.

It's weird, but I almost feel good while I'm crying.  It doesn't matter the reason--I could be crying tears of joy or pain or sadness--but I don't want to stop.

When I told my third Bishop (the one who actually cared and worked with me) that I was gay, I cried.  And after I left his office, I went into an empty classroom in the Cambridge Ward building, and cried my eyes out.  I sat in a corner, and I let it all out.  I didn't want to stop.  The emotional release was so powerful that I'll never forget it.

The heaving, the sobbing, the blowing the nose.  I love it.  I love watching movies that make me cry.  I cry at the end of October Sky, I cry during scenes in Into The Wild, I cry when I realize that the life I always dreamed about would never be mine.

Yesterday, (as noted in the previous post) I cried during therapy.  I don't remember exactly how we got onto this topic, but I told her that I didn't deserve to have the boyfriend I desired, that I didn't deserve good things.  She responded "Why do you think you don't deserve good things?"

And the tears started to well up.

Just writing that question, "Why don't you deserve good things?" is making my eyes wet again.

I couldn't give her an answer for a long time.  Eventually I concluded that the reason I don't deserve good things is because I'm too foul, too ugly, too sinful and lazy to be blessed.  I have it so easy, so many gifts and so many wonderful, loving people in my life, and yet I accomplish nothing.   So many others, with the weight of the whole world on their backs, great men and women have scarified and dragged themselves up from the bottom.  Yet I remain content with the middle.

I am a coward.

Time after time I kept coming back to the word coward.  I struggled to justify why I felt this way, but couldn't find the reasons--I just feel like a tiny little man, who's so broken and lonely that his true potential is lost.

Dammit.  I'm at work on my lunch break, and I've got tears rolling down my cheeks. F**k.

I received my Patriarchal blessing in the fall of 2007.  I had been working with my Bishop to become worthy to receive it for several months.   The day I got it was one of the most powerful spiritual experiences of my life.  And my blessing said this "There will be individuals in distant parts of the world who will speak your name with reverence even though they may have never met you because of what you have done to assist them to understand to gospel of Jesus Christ."

I've always felt that my purpose on this earth was so great, so important--that I would change the world.  It's my destiny.  I knew this since I was a kid.

But I don't see how someone so broken can fix anything.

I'm not even really a Mormon anymore--how can some ex-mormon faggot sinner teach anyone anything about the gospel of Jesus Christ?

I have to stop.
I have to get back to work.
I have to force myself to go on pretending that I know what I'm doing.


  1. Crying is a really healthy thing. All my friends have red flags if something bad has happened to me and I am not crying. It's when I let myself cry that I also let myself feel whatever is going on.

    And you are far from a coward. After all, you're posting your thoughts and feelings on a blog. That is an incredibly courageous thing to do. It is people like you who are doing this that give me the courage to do the same.

  2. A good cry is cathartic. Don't worry about it, Ezra.

    As to your feeling like an underachieving coward, apart from the fact that I disagree, let me offer this bit of insight.

    When I was in my teens I used to stress out about finding and fulfilling my divinely appointed mission in life, and about becoming perfect by the time I died. I don't know where I picked up those two ideas, but somehow I did (probably all those YM lessons about being "the most valiant generation saved for the last days" on whom the world's destiny depended, etc.). I felt this huge burden to somehow figure out what mission in life God had ordained me to in the Pre-existence, and I worried myself sick that I might never "get it right" and would face some severe punishment if/when I got back to God's presence again. In your words, I feared being branded an eternal coward for failing to achieve my divine destiny. Yeah, Mormons do guilt pretty well, especially on their kids.

    Thank God, I have matured a bit since then. All the while I have tried my level best to make the right choices and listen for inspiration, and regardless, life has taken me in some directions I never dreamed of as a kid. Some not of my choosing. I've stopped stressing out about decoding some imagined life's mission from the Pre-existence because I will never be able to figure out such a thing. If there is one, and I do my best here, then it will happen without my stressing out about it. I'm also coming to terms with the reality that there are many things I would love to accomplish that I probably just won't get to. And that's okay. I have my priorities and I focus on those, and leave the rest to God. I try to concentrate on the most important things, and trust that if God wants me to go in a certain direction He will provide the way and push me there. The rest is up to me, and if I do my best to follow the Savior's example, improve my talents, and bless the lives of those around me, then I have faith He will give me a passing grade. I'm much more at peace with myself, with life, and with the world having reached these conclusions.

    Everybody has to find their own path. Hope these observations may help you a little.

  3. Ezra, I don't "know" you, but I have followed your blog for a while now. And maybe it is none of my business, but this is a public blog, so here goes...

    You are by no means a sinner. It is not a sin to be gay. And (with all due respect to my many Mormon friends) even living a gay lifestyle is not a sin. If there is a God, he/it made you. And he made you gay. Even Mormons acknowledge that our sexual orientation is something with which we are born. Does it really make sense that God would purposefully create some of his children with certain (and powerful!) urges to "sin"? Particularly when a temple marriage is required to live in the Celestial Kingdom with God forever. That would be just plain cruel.

    Use the head that God gave you, Ezra. It simply does not make sense. The Mormon church, like most world religions use (often successfully) fear and guilt to control its members. That is called manipulation. It is unfair and it is unhealthy. No God I would want to worship and live with forever would want such tactics to be used.

    You are a good person. Stop, please stop, letting the church convince you that you aren't. You are not a sinner. And you are not a "faggot". You are a valuable, WORTHY (and quite handsome) young man. Stop believing the lies. You are a homosexual man. Big deal. Our sexuality, though important, is only one small part of who we are.

    You were right about one thing. You are an ex-mormon. And that is the best gift you can give yourself. I, too, have left the church and the past ten years (that is when I left the church) have been the most peaceful and fulfilling ten years of my life.

    Stay strong, Ezra. Eventually you will meet a man who deserves to be with you. In the meantime, please begin to start loving yourself.


  4. I agree with Jennifer (sounds like something I told you many months ago, actually...)

    While I can not say for certain that you are *not* a coward, I do not believe this assessment to be entirely true. All that matters is what you believe. And if you believe it - well then... you've got to start making steps to be brave again my old friend. Viva con dios.

  5. I might get struck by lightening for saying this, but I believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are different things. The main crux of the LDS church is indeed the gospel of Christ, but I believe that other churches follow the gospel of Christ in many ways as well, in some ways even better than we Mormons do.

    In other words, I don't think you have to be a member of the LDS church (or any church, for that matter) to teach others about the gospel of Jesus Christ and/or to change the world.

    You are an incredible person! You were amazing with my son that loves to play games. That was so awesome for him, for he wears the rest of us out with his desire to play games with us constantly. Changing the world may come one scrabble game at a time, you never know.

    I am blessed to know you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and struggles. BTW, I have taking crying to an art form. No one is more of a crying coward than I am. :) So give me back the title, already.

    God bless you, Ezra. God bless you!

  6. Hi Ezra, the last time I cried and really sobbed was more than two years ago. It felt so good. I wish I could let go like that again. So I see you as being blessed with the ability to strongly feel and express your emotions. Congrats also on the guts to drive to Utah for a moho party, sounds like it was well worth the trip.