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killing teens in the name of religion.......
#1
When I was fourteen I had a secret two year sexual relationship with my best friend that lived right down the street from me. I enjoyed our times in the bed room together. I always felt a sense of guilt wash over me once we were finished becasue i was raised in a christian background and i was always told being gay was wrong. I thought what we were doing was wrong but I kept on doing it because I didn't want to lose him as an friend. I moved out of the trailer park in the summer of 99 right before I started my senior year in high school. I lived on south main street at the time. I decided I wanted to start attending church again and started going to youth group on a regular basis. I broke off the relationship with my best friend. I came back to the lord and was in church multiple times a week all through my senior year of high school. The youth pastor Don Stock befriended me during my time attending SRC and we were pretty close.

I graduated high school and moved out to Chicago for college when I was 18. I found a church out there as well and attended on a weekly basis. The fact that I had same sex relations in high school started to eat at me. The desires sleep with my best friend again were not going away either. Every body but me went home for thanksgiving break. I had the apartment to myself so fantasized about my friend while doing what an normal teen boy does when left alone. That only made the guilt worst. By this time the days started getting shorter and it was getting darker earlier and earlier. I was stressed out from adjusting being away from home for the first time in college and was suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder as well since the days were getting shorter. I had the added guilt of my sinful same sex desires hanging over my head as well. I was a outcast at school and was very socially isolated because of severe social phobia I suffer from.

Two weeks before Christmas break I huffed some air freshener to cheer up a bit. It threw me mentally off balance and the next day I was extremely depressed. That evening the walls closed in on me and I became suicidal. I called my mother up in tears fearing for my safety. I was scared out of my mind because I lived on the 15th floor of a tall apartment building. She put me in touch with my youth pastor and we talked for a bit that night. I confessed about what happened in high school. I eventually made it through the night. I came home two weeks later for Christmas vacation. Pastor Stock and I talked some more about the same sex feelings I was having. The week prior Pastor White and Pastor Stock had discussed my situation together to figure out what guidance to give me once I came home. Pastor Stock asked me if I ever saw myself going back to that lifestyle. My desires said yes and my guilt said no. I told him no. He told me that by the grace of God I needed to fight these urges and I may have to deal with these urges for the rest of my life. He told me almost verbatim what Pastor White told me when I came out to him in present day. He condemned the behavior and told me to seek the lord out. I found out Pastor Whites wife caught wind of the struggles I was going through as well and that made me even more ashamed. Pastor Stock encouraged me to seek out Christian counseling so I could get all of it sorted out. I was a broke college student so that never happened.

I went back out to college in Chicago bound and determined to beat my same sex desires by trusting the lord. I was still attending church on a weekly basis and reading my Bible. I put a picture of pastor stock on my key chain to remind me to think pure thoughts. That was a big mistake. Three of my classmates noticed the picture on my key chain and started harassing me because they thought I was gay. I denied it but they still harassed me on a daily basis. No matter how hard I prayed my same sex desires were not going away. Two months had passed since Pastor Stocks pep talk.

A perfect storm started brewing. My seasonal depression still dogged me. I was socially isolated and stressed from school work. The harassment from my classmates continued and I already felt guilty enough about my same sex desires not going away. One day in the midst of the harsh Chicago winter I made the call life wasn't worth living anymore. I figured if I died then that some how I would go to heaven since I was not practicing homosexuality at the time. One night I huffed down three cans of Glade air freshener and took a few sleeping pills thinking when I drifted off to sleep that night I wouldn't wake up the next morning. I hated myself and wanted to die to make my pain go away. To my surprise I woke up the next day sick as a dog with a splitting headache in a fog. I wasn't supposed to be alive. I tried overdosing a few weeks later on ephedra based diet and caffeine pills. That attempt was obviously unsuccessful as well. After that I gave up because I figured I must of been put on this earth for some reason.

I graduated from college and moved back to Marion. I stopped going to church but still consider myself a Christian and thought being gay was wrong. I tried to live the lifestyle of an straight Christian because I wanted to have a wife and kids but my social phobia prevented me from dating. In my early twenties I thought I could remain an bachelor and nobody would know about my same sex desires.

I ran back into the closet when I was 18. For the past ten years I have been miserable living in denial not wanting to admit I am gay. I engaged in reckless behavior. I totaled my fathers truck by doing fishtails on a dirt road and rolled the truck when I was nineteen. I was lucky I was wearing my seat belt and only broke my arm. It could've been allot worst. I prayed to god to take me out numerous times since I have been in the closet. Done at least nine drugs since my teen years and struggled with addictions to five of them. I used to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day before quit smoking close to two years ago. I was hoping I would die a early death from smoking because I was miserable with my life being a bachelor hiding in the closet. I don't drink beer or wine. Hard liquor is my alcohol of choice and have lost count how many times I have gotten blacking out drunk to the point of passing out on the floor trying to run away from myself. Its extremely dangerous when you drink that much alcohol because of alcohol poisoning and the risk of suffocating on your own vomit. Some nights I was to afraid to go to sleep because I was afraid I would forget to breath because my breathing was that labored from all the alcohol I had consumed. Considering all the drugs I've done , the heavy drinking, reckless behavior and suicide attempts by all rights I should not still be here. All this is because I chose to take my pastors advice back when I was 18 and run back inside the closet. I cant blame it all on the church but it certainly wasnt a burden I needed to have tossed on me.

I am concerned that the church is still condemning gay teens and not supporting them. My pastor only cared about my spiritual well being at the time and didn't take into consideration my physical or mental well being at all. I wish this was an isolated incident but its not. Its common practice for the church to condemn gay behaviors in teens and tell them to seek out the lord. The church does not realize it but they are actually helping to kill teens by not supporting them. Societies view on the LGBT community and the harassment from the bullys in school maybe pushing these kids towards suicide but the extra burden being place on these kids by the church isn't helping one bit either. One out of three teen suicides is an gay teen. Gay teens are four times more likely to try to commit suicide than there straight peers.

Even at the age of 27 this summer before I came out of the closet I idealized suicide in my head and had a detailed plan to kill myself. The only reason I came out of the closet and did not kill myself was because at that point I had nothing to lose, I could not get any more distant from the people around me. I came out to my friends and family in September. Everybody has been really supportive of me. Im no longer a Christian and consider myself agnostic at this point. Im still adjusting to the change of lifestyle but I am no longer feeling like life isnt worth living. Things are slowly improving for me as I accept myself as a gay man. I am currently living in Myrtle Beach SC and love it outside of Marion.
#2
Marvinteck, what a story! Thanks for sharing it. I hope that being able to write it down has helped a little.

I can relate to some of your story, but I never went down the substance use route. I got myself married when I was nineteen and hoped to grow out of liking men. Of course the people at church were keen to get me "settled".

It is the hardest thing in the world to move away from a formerly-held belief system. When I finally came out I went into counselling to help me deal with depression. I thought I was going to talk about being gay, but I then spent two years working through the stuff left by the Mormon Church I thought I had left 15 years previously, before I could begin to deal with anything else.

People who are sucked into religion have NO idea how much their attitudes and behaviour damage others. Congratulations for being able to pull yourself free. It's not such a scary world when we can finally take responsibility for our own decisions.

May your future be much, much happier.

Bighug
#3
Wow......I started getting angry reading that/ I hate the church for stuff like this. I certainly hope you find happiness. Cause you deserve it. My road to happiness began at 15 when i became An Atheist. Religion in my mind is poison. I only started getting better when i dropped it. Anyway thank you for sharing and I hope you are on way to happiness.Remybussi

Mick
#4
Good luck, Ben... You've started moving down a new road, which, I hope will lead you to happiness and inner peace. We can be spiritual while not belonging to any religion, respecting humans in their physical, emotional and mental needs, especially when there is no extreme boundary crossed.
#5
marshlander Wrote:I can relate to some of your story, but I never went down the substance use route. I got myself married when I was nineteen and hoped to grow out of liking men. Of course the people at church were keen to get me "settled".

I then spent two years working through the stuff left by the Mormon Church I thought I had left 15 years previously, before I could begin to deal with anything else.

If I wasnt socially phobic I would more than likely have a wife and kids as well right now. I was able to leave my addictions behind me. Sorta hard to make a family disappear once you come out so I am sorta glad I went the route I did. Thank you for your support and kind words.

My home town Marion NY is just directly north of Palmyra NY where Mormonism was founded. The Mormons would have an big festival called The Hill Cumorah Pageant every summer. From a outsiders perspective I always got a cultish vibe off them.
#6
Marvinteck Wrote:If I wasnt socially phobic I would more than likely have a wife and kids as well right now. I was able to leave my addictions behind me. Sorta hard to make a family disappear once you come out so I am sorta glad I went the route I did. Thank you for your support and kind words.

My home town Marion NY is just directly north of Palmyra NY where Mormonism was founded. The Mormons would have an big festival called The Hill Cumorah Pageant every summer. From a outsiders perspective I always got a cultish vibe off them.
Coming out caused dreadful disruption in my family and I had to take some very difficult decisions. Things are much better these days. This morning I had the wonderful pleasure of walking my nine year old grandson to school Smile

Sadly, he and his parents (my son and daughter-in-law) are very deeply bound up in the LDS church and they won't be resigning membership any time soon. It all went very quiet last evening when I described one of their recent prophets as creepy and a torturer.

Even at my most deeply involved in the LDS Church the Hill Cumorah Pageant always struck me as a very silly event and I had no wish whatsoever to attend it. Having recently looked at the all the very different accounts Joseph Smith gave of his "first vision" (given under various circumstances between 1820 and 1838) the whole nonsense surrounding the pageant is fiction of the most manipulative kind.
#7
Scary, hon.:frown:
#8
Bighug
I'm SO glad to hear you are doing better Ben.

I can't imagin what that must of felt like....just....ugh.:frown:
marshlander Wrote:....Even at my most deeply involved in the LDS Church the Hill Cumorah Pageant always struck me as a very silly event and I had no wish whatsoever to attend it. Having recently looked at the all the very different accounts Joseph Smith gave of his "first vision" (given under various circumstances between 1820 and 1838) the whole nonsense surrounding the pageant is fiction of the most manipulative kind.

Hmmm, seems they got the "S" and "D" the wrong way around doesn't it?
Silly Sarcastic So-and-so
#9
Genersis Wrote:...Hmmm, seems they got the "S" and "D" the wrong way around doesn't it?
Acid or £sd ...? The latter is certainly true, although you may be a bit young to have meant that Wink
#10
I hate the church with every fiber of my being. If I did believe in some god, I'd seriously consider the church to be an emissary of the devil, for all the shit they've done and keep doing. I don't really need to continue this rant, as anyone with a small knowledge of history the crimes this institution still commit.

That said, even if you weren't religious you might have suffered something similar. My dad, while an atheist like me, comes from a very traditional family, and I underwent the same extended denial phase (I came out to myself just in May) - though I had never actually considered suicide. But yeah, a conservative environment in general is horrible for gays, be it religious or not.


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