Primal

Primal
By Trevor

Awake in inklings
No understanding

Primal is alive
No compass heading for a life journey

Dawn is breaking
A need is born

Yearning so powerful is felt in the bones
Fear tries to smother its life

Worlds apart
Sanity kept safe and clean

Masks fitted and worn well
Milestones and victories tallied

Dawn kept hidden
The curtain gathers the storm

Worlds collide
Masks slip and fall

Storm rages on
Dawn fights for space

Primal bursts out
Taking sanity captive

Attraction and need tasted
It lingers on

Primal acknowledged as life
Compass encased in sorrow

Chains
Life

Loss
Peace

Pain
Joy

Loneliness
Contentment

Primal lives on

– Trevor

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Scaping

Hold on! Don’t go there…keep reading…  🙂

I’ve been doing yard work today…some landscaping. It’s a beautiful fall day, 58 degrees, slight breeze, warm sunshine with a cloudless sky. Perfect weather to be outside working without working up too much of a sweat. Mowed the yard, trimmed, trimmed a tree, and gave some bushes their fall cut-back. Some of that is regular maintenance that needs to be done weekly, other periodically, and some other only seasonally. But no matter the schedule, it needs to be done if one wants their little peace of terra firma to stay looking nice. It means hauling away the clippings. This I enjoy.

It is truly amazing how I can grow hair in places I don’t want or need it, but I can’t grow it on top of my head. So, every few days I have to trim back all the wild and woolly sprigs that sprout and begin to take root…in the ears, in the nose…you know. Well, maybe you don’t. Anyway, it has to be done if I don’t want to start looking like the woolly mammoth. It’s my very limited version of man-scaping. It means cleaning up the sink and counter after my little trim job. This I don’t enjoy.

I’m learning to do some mind-scaping, as well. There is a whole lot of crap in my brain and life experiences that I’m processing. I’m standing back and looking intently at it…taking it in…seeing what is out of place, what looks good, what needs to go totally, what needs to stay as-is, and what needs just a little trim. Things about my childhood. Things about my faith. Things about my family. Things about my work. Things about my hopes and dreams (yeah, at my age i still have them!). Things about my fears. It means hauling that crap to the dump. Ah…but that’s so much easier said than done. It is not nearly as quickly completed as the yard or the hair jobs. It takes time, and whole lot more effort, and much more pain.

The thing about scaping – whether it be land, man, or mind – you create a new version of the “land” that you previously saw. Now it’s changed. Maybe not drastically, but it’s still different. It’s still the same yard, trees, bushes, man…but now it looks transformed. Sometimes the scaping is slight, sometimes it is rather severe. In either case, it is necessary to maintain and improve what is being cared for.

As you know, as you read my previous posts, that some of this scaping of mine has been rather aggressive, some more subtle. Just like you, i want to look presentable…even good.

It’s all necessary.

– Trevor

Friendly With Monsters

WARNING: If your sensibilities tend to be offended, you should stop reading now.

“I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed
Get along with the voices inside of my head”  – Eminem (The Monster)

One of my friends says that she needs a traffic cop in her head to keep all the thoughts going in the right direction. I, too, experience that…all the time.

Here are a few examples:

  • You just don’t get it.
  • How could I be so freaking stupid?
  • I love her so much.
  • So this is why people lose their mind when subjected to sensory deprivation.
  • Really? After all this time, I had to dream about him.
  • Stop expecting me to instantly be something I’ve never been.
  • My world would end if I lost them.
  • Maybe I shouldn’t have been born.
  • Where in hell was God all those times I prayed?
  • Being gay does not mean that I’m interested in wearing pink and raping little boys.
  • Living in constant fear is killing me. I wonder how many years this will steal off of my life?
  • Until you deal with the demons in my head, just stop telling me what “the solution” is.
  • Yes, I did it…I’m guilty…I know that! You can stop saying it any time now.
  • Do some research. And, something other than what originates from the extreme conservative mindset.
  • Run. Leave. Die. Stay. Fight.
  • I’m destined to be no happier the last half of my life as i was the first.
  • It would be nice to hear positive encouragement. Celebrate the baby steps.
  • What kind of chance do we realistically have?
  • I’d love to take a ball bat to those who did that to me.
  • Stop expecting perfect performance. I’m freaking trying!
  • Gotta embrace the losses, no matter my choice.
  • I’m sorry.
  • Please don’t give up on me.
  • Made it through yesterday just fine. Now to conquer today.
  • Be alive right now…in this moment.

“‘Cause I need an interventionist
To intervene between me and this monster
And save me from myself and all this conflict
‘Cause the very thing that I love’s killing me and I can’t conquer it
My OCD’s conking me in the head
Keep knocking, nobody’s home, I’m sleepwalking
I’m just relaying what the voice in my head’s saying
Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just friends with the
I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed
Get along with the voices inside of my head” – Eminem (The Monster)

And that’s the PG version.

– Trevor

Numb

Ever wonder if and when you will feel again?

I mean, you already “feel” many things – sadness, happiness, joy, stress, etc. And that tells you that you are still alive…life is still moving on…the world is still spinning. But have you ever felt like there is this ever present numbness that is also there…somewhat strong enough to get your attention from time to time…lurking under the surface of the humdrum of life…that in the quiet or noisy or peaceful or stressful moments of life becomes overwhelmingly apparent. You can be fine one minute and the next you hit a wall.

For me, that numbness is the need to be wanted as a friend, to be understood as a fellow sojourner of life, and to be approached as a person not as a mind to be changed. It contains the inability to answer all the questions I can think of or which are asked of me. It is the inexplicable contradictions that are my life. It is the desire that is felt in my very flesh and bones. It is the fear that I wake up with in the middle of night. It’s the “getting through today” life…just going through the motions…meeting all the obligations…creating as much security and happiness that I can…desperately searching for the happy moments of a life that has been turned upside down.

Being numb isn’t all bad. It is also what gives me some semblance of sanity when I am overwhelmed with loneliness. It also helps me move on from my past. Maybe eventually, I’ll forget some of it. In the meantime, I’ll numbly stuff it.

But, being numb is also dangerous. In my way of thinking, if one is not in touch with one’s total being, it can cause permanent damage to a life, one that was or could have been beautiful…a life that could have burst out of the cocoon in glorious color and wonderment.

The trick is learning how to wake up from the numbness. I’m not there yet.

-Trevor

Transparency works, except when it doesn’t

I’ve wrestled these past few days with whether I should have been so transparent with everyone. Whether I should have admitted who I really am. I mean, after all, I’ve kept this part of me successfully hidden for all these long years, so surely I could have gone the rest of my life, right? I could have figured out a way to manage the pressure and stress, just like I did in the past, right?? The pain and the heartbreak I’ve introduced into the lives of my family is just awful. Some are obviously struggling in knowing how to handle this new me. So maybe I should have kept it all locked away.

But, compartmentalized and hidden life is no life at all. It’s a prison.

Transparency works great in being honest and breaking down walls. It means that one is totally honest about what’s going on. I’m really transparent now. I’m an open book. Questions get asked, I answer honestly…about everything – temptation, sexual urges, you name it. I’ve never in all my life been this honest. And, it’s working. It’s releasing. It’s a breath of fresh air. It’s new life.

On the other hand, it’s not working so well. Well, maybe “not working” is not the right phrase. I struggle to know how to explain it, but on the outside it looks like the pain that my wife and family are dealing with. I see the pain and tears. I hear the broken hearts. I see the disappointment on their faces. I sense the hesitation of friends. I get the awkwardness of everyone. So, in that regard, it’s not working so well. I am learning that transparency has many negative side effects, just like the positive ones we all hope for.

Transparency would have worked well during my growing up years, but my home environment was not one where transparency was welcomed. It would have been good to be transparent before I got married, but thinking I could handle “it” and stay straight was a more “logical” choice. So now I live in the realm of delayed transparency.

I can’t go back. Not that I want to, because the hidden life from before was just as maddening. I just want it to get better.

Because, I’m the same guy. I’m the same Trevor that they knew before I officially came out. This is the same country boy that they grew to know and love. I’m just a truer me than you’ve ever known. I’m still me.

And because I’m me – now more than ever – I hope that transparency works really well. Soon.

-Trevor

Gravity

“The force of attraction by which terrestrial bodies tend to fall toward the center of the earth. Heaviness or weight.” (Dictionary.com)

Most people’s life, after a certain number of years, falls into predictable and comfortable circles and patterns. You might say that we find our “gravity” – that we find those things that are in harmony with our “center,” that carry a weight of importance to us.

For the majority of my life, my gravity centered around my family, my faith, my friends, and my work. Probably not significantly unlike many other people. My family means more to me than anything else in this life. The love of family simply cannot be replaced by anything else. My faith has been a part of my entire life. I was going to church before I was even born. 🙂 I have some dear, dear friends who love me so unconditionally it blows my mind. The irreplaceable love and loyalty shown by them is simply amazing. I’ve always been a hard worker and stable provider for my family. In all these things I am blessed and proud. These are my elements of gravity.

But things are different now.

You might say that they have “devolved” to a “raw” stage.

The love of my family is still strong. But, we’ve lost much of the “warm fuzzies” we used to enjoy. Now there is a palatable tension, an underlying hurt, mistrust, and anger. There are more questions than answers. And tears. There are lots of conversations around “can we make this work” and “how will we survive?” The love we are experiencing is a ragged edge love. No pretense, no false fronts. It’s just out there…take it or leave it. No easy answers. Some extended family have been my strongest supporters…others haven’t been given the chance, sadly enough, because they aren’t “safe.” I still gravitate back to my family first. It just doesn’t look like it used to…and time will tell what it will look like in the future.

As far as my faith goes, I saved the baby and threw out the bath water. Yes, I’m a christian…I’ve saved the baby Jesus. But, the bath water – all the trappings and crap of the “church” – yeah, not interested. Now to be honest, I’ve been on this journey for several years now, but it brought this crisis to get me to this point. I just don’t care about “church” anymore. What I’m looking for is a community of people who will be brave enough to admit that they have a raw and ragged faith, who are sick to death of the cliches, who refuse to always quote a promise from scripture accompanied by a sickeningly pasty “holy” smile, who will eat with sinners instead of condemning them, and who are no longer buying the bait and switch played so well by the modern church. You see, since I grew up in it, I know all the tricks of the trade and I’ve finally gotten ill from the overload. I’m done with all that. My faith is simple, uncluttered, and powerful. And, unlike my earlier faith, this new faith of mine tells me that God loves me just like I am – gay.

For those of us who are making this journey, it becomes obvious who your true friends are. Those who truly loved me before are still here, in spite of it all. Others have walked away. And my attitude has become…”their loss.” I’m still a great guy. It is truly sad that a label will so easily wreck a friendship. I do have to say, though, that those friends who have stayed, have become more precious and appreciated than ever. There are days when they are my very lifeline.

Work has taken on a new face. As I mentioned in the previous article, I was a pastor for nearly 20 years. I am a preacher’s kid, to boot. So most of my life has been about engaging people to help them in some way or another. Now…I’m just an hourly worker. I’m not ashamed of my job, in fact I really enjoy it! It’s just different. It’s good.

So, in all these things, my center of gravity has shifted. Really, the dust hasn’t settled yet from the shifting as things continue to fall into place. Life is different. Life was difficult before, it’s even more so now. Relationships were tricky before, they are even more tricky now.

Gravity shifts when transparency happens.