Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Comment on "What I've Learned Along the Way"

A follower of this blog who writes me on a regular basis sent me a long comment on my blog piece, "What I've Learned Along the Way." He was afraid it was too long to publish in the comment section. I told him I would post it for him.

His story fits well in the context of "What I've Learned Along the Way." He has had, as many of us do, some very difficult decisions to make in his life. He has tried his best to make those decisions based on what is best for him and his family. The results have not been entirely satisfying to him, but neither have they been altogether bad. Many of you will most likely recognize yourselves in his comment.

Hey Jack,

I just read your latest blog post.  Interesting to me, because I fall into the category of folks you described, the ones who choose to stay married and monogamous.

Lately, I have been very frustrated on many fronts.  My life just didn't seem to work out like I wanted.  

My marriage is mediocre.  Our sex life has dwindled to nothing (literally, have not had sex since January [last year], and last year was a nearly no-sex year too).  

My career is mediocre.  I got a decent education, with a couple of degrees.  I have fumbled in the work world.  I make a decent living, over the six figure mark. But, I have never really felt connected to my work in a way that is satisfying.

Family life is hard. I am thankful to have kids. I think I am a mediocre parent.  I wish for something better for my kids than I seem to be able to provide for them.

I am bisexual.  I was in some sort of denial about that for many years, even though it was as plain as day to me from an early age that when I watched porn it was the hard dicks that got me hard.  I never tried same-sex sex, and always assumed I never would.  But, the same-sex arousal caused me incredible shame and I know it had a serious impact on my life overall.  

But, the truth is, I can't blame my life circumstances on my sexuality.  I have struggled with depression.  I can be pessimistic.  This challenge runs in my family.  This is yet another burden I must bare. 

I was raised by a bipolar dad who was emotionally distant and at times emotionally abusive.  It left me scarred and self loathing.

I am quite introverted.  That has been yet another burden.  

I've done counseling, prayer, introspection.  Somewhere along the way, I finally started sharing the whole truth about myself, including the sexuality issues.  That was a necessary step, for me.  I had to come to grips with the fact that I am not completely straight.  It's hard to put a number to it, on the Kinsey scale, because I never tried same-sex sex. But, I am confident I could enjoy it. Maybe I'm a 2, because I've never bothered to try it. Maybe I'm a 4, because, damn, those porn images are hot. In the end, it doesn't really matter. I dig gay porn and it provides a useful release for me.  But, I like straight sex, and if I had a more engaged partner, I'd enjoy having a lot more of it.  As I have shared with you previously, coming to grips with who I really am sexually was helpful for me.  It was life changing, in that I was able to release the longstanding shame.

But, because the sexuality issue is not my only struggle, coming to grips didn't solve all my problems.  I'm still a work in progress.  I don't know that I'll ever be "happy" in the sense of being free from the trials of my life.  But, I am happier.  And, I am more at ease.  And, I know better who I am.  Or, rather, I can accept it better.  So, I am thankful.

Your blog has been helpful to me, as have your emails.  I enjoy reading what you write. And, I enjoy writing you about my thoughts on what you write.

I don't have a big network of people I can be the "real" me with, but I have a few people now, online friends with whom I can be fully honest with.  Only one is someone I would call a real friend in the truest sense.  But, I would consider you a "friend" in the sense that I have felt a degree of useful support.

I appreciate you sharing my version of bisexuality on your blog. I wonder how many people like me are out there. I think we tend to live quietly, in the closet.  But, I assume (now) that I can't be the only one.  I think part of my struggle to accept myself was that I felt I could not be me if I was gay or bisexual. To me, for years, accepting that I was gay or bisexual would have meant I should be acting gay or bisexual in the real world, not just in my head.  But, having gay sex, especially as a married man with a family, just simply never felt like an option I could or would consider.  I think that would have shattered my world too much for me to recover.  So, I hid from the whole thing, feeling I had no other options.

When I went into the discovery mode, it was not really by some active choice. I hit the lowest period of my life, and I was suffering from crushing depression and anxiety.  I felt that I had to deal with the sexuality issues. I suppose I felt prompted by God to finally deal with it.  That pressure to face it started three years ago.  I was absolutely terrified.  I didn't know what facing it would mean. But, even if my world turned upside down, I had no choice, because I was suffocating and seemingly dying the way things were.

Now, I am past that crushing, terrifying, ominous sense of doom.  

I'm finally able to see and accept who I am, and I know that gay is a word that applies to me to some extent, even if I can't put a percentage to it.  But, tangibly, in my daily life, things have not really changed.  And, for me, I think that is the right choice. It's not because I have a great marriage or a great sex life that I can't give up.  It's because I have a family and a sense of duty and responsibility and loyalty and honor to the people that I live with.  Honestly, I could think of plenty of reasons why living single would be easier, and sexuality is probably lower on the list than you'd think.  But, if I left my family, I know I would not be happy with myself, and I would not be doing what I believe to be the right thing, in my life.

So, I am making the right choice, for me, at this time.  That seems clear to me.

A Reader


Every decision we make, and even the decisions we do not make affects our lives for better or worse. This reader has tried to make the best choices he can for himself and those he loves. Sometimes that is all one can do, and sometimes it is the right thing to do.

Sometimes, even though we feel like we're not satisfied, we are where we are supposed to be. For instance, I'm always talking about how blessed I am, and how happy I am. That does not mean everything is just as I want it to be. I rather not have my cancer to deal with. I'd like to be a billionaire. But I'll never be a billionaire, and my cancer will kill me at some point. I basically have the choice to cry and complain about these problems or choose to ignore my wishes and appreciate the good things I do have in my life. Sometimes we cannot control what problems we encounter in life, but we can always control how we react to them.

I appreciate those of you who have commented on "What I've Learned Along the Way." One reader noted that he enjoyed the blog although he didn't agree with all that I had written. He is right on target. If I write about scientific fact such as, the sun rises in the east every morning, no one who is sane can refute that. But I rarely write about scientific facts. I usually write about social and cultural controversies, and my opinion concerning them. Wheather its my opinion or anyone else's opinion, there is always room for disagreement. I'd like to hear from those of you who have not commented on the blog yet. Part Two will be posted soon.

Hope all of you have been able to survive the record cold across the U.S. in the past few days.

Jack Scott

Thursday, January 2, 2014

It seems impossible to me that we have entered 2014. The years pass so quickly. Not only that, every year is shorter than the last. It makes me very aware of how important it is that we live each day well.

Some of you, I'm sure, remember that I promised the Hot Guys of January, 2014 would be published on January 1st. I underestimated the disruptive realities of my recovery, the number of kids and grandkids in the house for the holidays and a few other unforeseen disruptions.

My plan now is to have the January blog published by 8:00 a.m. Central Time on January 6th.

Thanks for your patience.

I hope each of you has a great 2014.

Jack Scott 
Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott