I realize that many of my readers are interested in issues pertaining to the church.(So much so, that I don't even really need to specify which church!) In order to increase my readership, I should therefore try to talk about issues that affect or are affected by both my homosexuality and the church. Everybody seeing how that works? The only problem is, I really don't think about the church much anymore. It isn't really a part of my life like it used to be. During and since my rejectionist phase, the church has been a matter of relative unimportance. I don't even realize it when it's conference weekend anymore, much to my mother's dismay. :)
So instead, let's talk about my rejectionist phase, how it's affected and is continuing to affect me, and how I think that if I'd taken smaller steps and not got so caught up in "being a good gay" (That's its own post), I really could have mitigated it.
I consider myself to have left the church in late 2007, a good date to put on it, since I haven't been to church since I went to Florida. Interestingly, I didn't really go through rejectionism until the following summer. I think a part of it is which crowd you end up running with. Nobody is really above peer pressure, especially not an 18 year old in a strange place. In other words, I think the reason that I was able to avoid it was good friends and decent boyfriends. But even so, I started building a picture of a life that wasn't really the life I wanted.
So, we'll skip past the part where I still lived a pretty good normal life to the part where I turned into a "bad person" for a while. It was May 2008, and I had moved back to Portland and had a good job. I was dating a person who was not my equal and with whom I had nothing in common, other than that we both liked sex. We came from completely opposite socioeconomic backgrounds, but the real problem was that he was dumb a doorknob, if you'll pardon me for being rude. Even so, I didn't really start making bad decisions until I started dating him. That's not to say that it was his fault at all. I take full responsibility for all of my actions.
It started innocently enough with, "you've never smoked [green substance]?" You guys can figure out what it was from that, I think. I let him talk me into that, and it was all down hill from there. The next one on the list was a fungus. I was way more reserved about that, but I tried it anyway with enough coaxing. We went to his "Doctor's" house. That was an experience like something out of a movie. There were people out on the porch smoking, the house moved with reggae music, a couple of people were banging on bongo drums... There was a guy nobody knew in the back making burritos. Doctor herself was like something out of a story book. She was maybe 4'11", had long dread-locked hair, big thick glasses, and enough [green substance] to provide for the city of Portland. Along with other substances. The whole experience was entirely surreal.
Drugs were only a part of it. Our relationship was pretty much entirely about sex. When we didn't have anything better to do, we had sex. We usually did it at least twice a day, but sometimes way more. When he suggested we have a threesome, I turned him down a few times, but I did eventually give in. If he had known that I would ultimately cheat on him with the guy that we had the threesome with, I wonder if he still would have wanted to have one. We did it twice, and during the second time he got really jealous and upset. That was the end of that. Let me just say, that cheating on him subsequently is hands down the worst decision I have ever made in my life.
The sad part is, ultimately I was the one who left him. He had every reason to leave me, but he was convinced that he was never going to better. What's worse is, I think a part of him thought that that kind of behavior was normal or acceptable. Ultimately, I lead him on for quite a while before I broke up with him. Why he didn't break up with me when he found out is something I can really only speculate as to. But, for what it's worth, we're both in much better places now.
The choices that I made then were bad, and continue to affect me. Jonathan, for example, often worries, when his seasonal depression is particularly bad, that I have/am/will cheat/ing/ed on him. At the same time, he has feelings of jealousy about drugs and threesomes. It makes him feel inexperienced, because he never had a major rejectionist phase. He's also former LDS, btw. At the same time, he has the inhibitions that he should have, preventing him from actually doing those things. And hopefully, those will keep up, as long as I can try to influence him for good instead of for bad.
I guess the point I'm trying to make is, while it's tempting, when you leave the church, to throw away your moral compass, it's dangerous. The other point I'm trying to make is, don't make bad choices for a guy unless you're 1000% certain that he's the one. If he wants you to make bad choices, odds are very good he's not the one. When you finally get to a serious relationship, understand that he's going to want to know about your past, and that seriously bad choices can make for difficulties down the line. Be smart, and like your mom probably told you before every dance, make good choices.
I found that reading the Confucian Analects was very helpful in reestablishing my moral compass, for what it's worth if any of you are currently going through something similar.