Thanks, guys, for all the support and good words.
It really is a big help to me. I saw my shrink yesterday and we discussed this subject at length.
I jokingly asked him if he would give me a doctor's excuse for leaving the Baha'i Faith; since he and my therapist and my friends all tell me how injurious this experience continues to be to me. He laughed and said what I already knew.
That this is something that I get to decide. That it is solely (or perhaps soully
) up to me.
I guess that I need to talk about this need or want of mine to give up control of my life to someone or something else. At least part of this penchant seems to derive from the sexually abusive relationship with a father-figure type when I was an adolescent.
Since I was psychologically and emotionally incapable of having any good judgement about our sexual conduct and its subsequent consequences, I simply reacted to his needs and desires. Sure some of them meshed with mine. After all, I was a 15 year old boy with a healthy and developing physical sexual urge. My body responded even though my heart and my mind didn't understand what was happening.
I simply put all that stuff, like the sex and thes strong emotions around it, in a part of my mind where I only went at night when the men who sexually abused me. I kept the rigid, uptight, homophobic, socially acceptable front on my face and the sex and feelings hidden away, even from myself.
This dynamic has reproduced itself many times over in my life. I have always found a new abuser in some sense of the word. Now I believe that my faith in some sense is fulfilling the role of the perpetrator in my life. It is willing for me to shove aside all my wants, needs, desires and simply obey what suits it.
There is some resistance in me to moving out of this sick dynamic. It has the big advantage of being familiar...it's miserable but familiar. The alternative of leaving and seeking a new understanding of my relationship with God is scary and unknown.
I guess I wanted to say this so that anyone else facing this kind of choice knows that it is very common to have these types of "mixed" feelings about something that seems so cut-and-dried as leaving an abusive relationship, whether it is with a partner, religion, job, man or woman.
I know that I can do this. I also know that I cannot do it alone. That's why I'm so grateful for all the friends and supporters who now know the truth about what happened to me as a Baha'i youth.
I wrote a part of my life story and sent it out to about 20 of my friends and family. The response has been so heartwarming. Most of the people I know do not want me to suffer any longer.
They desire happiness and fulfilment for me. They have shared that desire with me. It is of immense help when the lure of the familiar of the status quo wants to keep me stuck. Don't rock the boat, is what kept me floating for many, many years as the effects of the sexual abuse continued unstaunched to contaminate my life.
Now I'm ready to rock the boat, turn the goddamned the thing over and break the oars, if that's what it takes to get beyond this abusive cycle in my being.
I'm finally feeling the anger, the betrayal, the lies, and the sadness of being told that I am wrong, that because I am gay that I am less of a human being than any other straight person. That because of my sexual orientation I cannot be what God wants me to be.
I would say that this is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, but that would be a lie.
The hardest thing I've ever done was to endure in silence the devestating effects of sexual abuse.
I never want to do that again. And so today, I will choose the unknown consequences of speaking out and moving beyond the wrecked facade of my life into new meaning and new discovery no matter how scared I am.
Now, I know that I am not alone.
And that fact alone makes all the difference.
Thanks, guys and women, for all the love.
I admit I'm still trying to find the "perfect" way to do this. The "right" words, the "exact" scenario, the "best" thing for everyone involved, but that too will pass when the time is right because I am not in this thing alone anymore. God is with me too and I know that because he speaks to me through loving friends like you.