Tuesday, June 19, 2007

If they really knew me

My single's ward is pretty cool here. I've been going to activities and starting to feel like I know people. Tonight I was surfing Facebook, looking up some of the people I've met. I found the profile of one guy who I've kind of made friends with. He's skinny and socially awkward like I am but just a really nice, good guy. He's one of the guys who I think could maybe become the type of friend I'd hang out with outside of ward activities. So I'm looking at his interests and favorite movies and stuff and thinking, "yeah, we could be friends." Then I looked at his groups and his top group is "No More Pornography-- The mission of No More Pornography is to eliminate both the use and spread of pornography throughout the world." That sounds like a great cause and everything so nothing against the group, but when I saw that on his profile, it hit me what a really good guy he is and how different I am from him and the first thought in my mind is: "If he only really knew me..." And suddenly I'm scared to make friends.

I sometimes feel like a poser. I miss having friends who know me and most of my issues and are still great friends. Maybe I'll eventually get to that point with people here. For now though I'm playing the part of the goody goody BYU grad. It's not a total act-- it's part of who I am, but it's not the whole story. Unfortunately it's just not really kosher to introduce yourself in Mormon circles like "Hello I'm [real name] and I struggle with serious moral / emotional / psychological problems." Actually that's not really kosher anywhere... except maybe support groups. I'm trying to be myself here. I'm trying to be honest with people. But I kind of have to be my best self if I'm ever going to make friends with the upstanding, churchy kids I need to be friends with. I'm just afraid of making friends and then a couple weeks/months down the line having them ditch me when they discover I'm not everything they thought I was. I wish I could give them some sort of disclaimer explaining that I'm slightly broken.

Writing this makes me realize how irrational this is because A) I can't think of a friend I've ever had ditch me cause I'm not perfect and B) even if that did happen I'm pretty sure I could get over it. It is something I worry about though.

Things are actually good right now. I'm trying to really become more like the goody goody guy I sometimes pretend to be. It's a process. I'm somewhere at the beginning but I'm moving forward. All this stuff takes time.


S+N said...

Some of the biggest homophobes are gay guys. In other words, you might have more in common with this guy than you think.

Robb said...

Yeah, announcing that one is a member of Pornography No More is pretty much the same as saying, "Hi, I'm Bill and I have a huge porn addiction that I am working on kicking." No one joins a group like that for the hell of it.

Of course, you could greet people by saying, "Nice to meet you. By the way I can be a real jerk, and sometimes I am borderline crazy." People aren't as shocked by it as you'd think. I use it a lot at work, but haven't tried it at church yet.

Abelard Enigma said...

Then I looked at his groups and his top group is "No More Pornography ... it hit me what a really good guy he is and how different I am from him

Something to think about: Perhaps he is battling his own problems with pornography. He may not be so different as you think.

Sean said...

real and true friends dont need to know "everything" about you to be a friend. but i suspect that Abe is probably right. and if he's not this guy still has some dark secret that he doesnt want the world to know. most every one does. and that is ok. unless there like phreakish psycho killer. so just follow your gut instinct.

gaydad said...

"slightly broken" man, that is so not true.

You sound like a really cool guy. You remind me of a huge massive muscle guy construction worker friend of mine who wishes he could swim like I can, he's so wistful, and I'm like Dude, give me just half your mass, I'll never be looking back, I don't care if I sink like a stone.

A gay mormon man is like a duck on the tree climbing team, you're going to be odd and not the most valuable player, but you don't want to play for another team so, so what, you're not broken. I think God put gays on earth because bigoted people can shelter themselves from races, cultures or whatever, by living in certain neighborhoods or whatever--you can't escape gays, they paratroop in to everyone's family, no matter what they do. Isn't it fun being god's instrument?

You are not broken, you are a normal guy who loves his family and friends at church and can't imagine a world without them. I couldn't either, so I didn't.

I was the exact same way when I was at the Y, and it worked out really good. We're the Mormon Will and Grace and are still best friends. We fell in love at BYU and we raised ourselves and the kids and had a blast.

But, we didn't have a clue I was gay though. Not sure whether we could have done it if we knew.

I have a good friend that stayed celibate ( a few mishaps..there's always repentance) and faithful and he is doing okay I guess, he suffers a lot, but he hasn't killed himself yet, almost though once. He maintains hope, but it is very hard to watch. The natural thing is to want your friends fulfilled and happy. I don't know how to live without the touching and holding though. Is that illegal, if you keep it to that? Or too dangerous, so discouraged? I need touch.

I'm glad there is at least this outlet, so at least you can "talk" to people who totally get you.
I hope there's some happy path there, I guess there is. You seem pretty okay.
You sure challenge my thinking, but I wish you the very best.

with you though, I could have never

isakson said...

Its funny because when we say "if they really knew me" we probably mean "if only they knew all the bad points and weaknesses of mine" as if that was the only way that we should be judged by anyone.

You're a good guy El V. The truth is that if they truly and honestly knew you they would love you a lot. Nobody knows you better than God and he loves you and knows your potential. Yes, He knows your weaknesses and all the things that you've done but he completely understands and knows your situation.

I think if we "really knew" everybody then we would love everybody as well. The times when people have problems with others is when they refuse to see the whole truth or background behind a persons life.

I've met you only once and only for a small amount of time but I know you're a good guy. The things you said at that first meeting with Jan really impressed me a lot and I felt like we think somewhat similar to each other. I hope you're well. Good luck in AZ.

Kimberly said...

You are really good at seeing the good in other people. It's a talent worth having, but one you ought to focus on yourself more often.

Like the others mentioned, I was going to point out that everyone has their own moral/spiritual/psychological issues. I have a friend who looks like your stereotypical happy young LDS mom, but her father was a convicted pedophile and she gave up two illegitamite kids to adoption before she got where she is today.

It's great that you assume the best of others, but try to remember that they have, have had, or will have their own struggles. Also, more importantly, remember that it's no lie to try to be "your best self", but don't do it for them. Do it for you.

Samantha said...

Don't get stuck in the Mormnorm comparison rut. You are you...there is something special about that. You come with strengths and weaknesses. You are both human and divine. You have something to share with others that no one else can give.

He probably is a "really good guy." He deserves a friend like you. Are there parts of you that you wish were different? He has those, too, I guarantee it.

We're all here on earth to help each other along. Each life enriches our own in some way.

End of lecture. :)

P.S. Your word verification was "turdz". I think you need to teach it nicer language.

Distinguishing Preoccupation said...

Good Post. I think it's okay that you struggle with this issue or that. In my experience, my best friends are friends who are imperfect or have problems of one kind or another. And thats why I like them. I want them to be honest with me and I want to be honest wit them.
You are likely absolutely NORMAL I'm sure. In fact, I'm confident of that with having followed your blog for several months now. It's the people who don't have the problems that you have to be careful around because ain't nobody free from issues in this life, and if they think they are, then they usually aren't honest with themselves nor their friends. At least that has been my experience.