I lost myself.


#1

In the past three years and In the past year specifically, I’ve lost myself.

As a child, I wasn’t brought up in a really religious household. My mom believed that Jesus was a good mentor for everyone to look to, but beyond that there was no real church in my life.

Despite that though, I grew up to be a person with strong morals and beliefs for what I wanted out of life. I didn’t want to have sex until I got married to someone (even though I knew same-sex marriage would take time); I had no desire to drink or do drugs of any sort. I wanted a relationship of faithfulness and happiness, and felt that I could be a good person to deserve that. These were things I believed not because people told me to believe them, but because they were how I felt and what I wanted for my life.

And then, I met Andy. He was kind and sweet, and I loved talking to him. When we were together we would connect on levels that I never experience with anyone. I fell in love with him, but there was one problem, he was in an open relationship with another person (a relationship of three years). Blinded by love for him, I still allowed myself to be in a relationship with him even though I knew I did not want that kind of love with someone.

I ended up giving him every part of me. I chose to give him my virginity because I felt foolishly that a feeling that amazing could not possibly end and “what the hell, I can’t get married anyway”…all this when I knew that he was with Ray, I still persisted.

We were in that relationship for two years. I wasn’t happy, but I couldn’t leave. I couldn’t blame Andy because he was always up front about Ray and him. It was my choice and I was hurting myself and I wouldn’t end it because I was afraid that all I had put into the relationship would mean nothing if I left.

We continued in the relationship and I did even more things. Andy introduced me to alcohol on my 18th birthday, and I drank even though it was not something that the real me would want. Then there was more, he introduced me to drugs and I ended up using them to numb my pain.

Things got worse and worse. I never let myself get addicted, but the pain from the relationship and the pain from the drugs wore away at me until I had to leave him or end up getting myself killed.

I left him 4 months ago, three years into our ‘relationship’, and now I have the pieces of myself that I have to pick up. All of the rules and dreams and hopes that I had for myself are hollowed out and filled with the pain I created for myself.

I used to have faith that there was a God, and I felt connected to Him. Even without religion, I felt His presence, but now I don’t always feel that. I can’t pray anymore. When I try, I feel like I’m talking to myself rather than the Lord and it hurts so bad not to feel Him any more.

That’s why I’m here. . . I’ve seen the Lord acting in the lives of my Catholic friends every day. My best friend invited me to church with her, and I was moved by the meaning behind the things that I saw…I just don’t know where there is room for me to join.

The Catholic faith and all of the doctrines I read from it is so daunting to me, and I’m just here hoping that someone can help me find a start. I would ask my friend, but she’s leaving to Germany soon for the summer and won’t be able to help me.

I know God is here, in this church and in its doctrines; I feel it in my core… I just don’t know where to start to find my place in a life I often feel I don’t even deserve any more.

Thank you for reading this. I’m sorry it’s so long.

Jacob


#2

wow, jacob! i’m so glad you’re here. i would have titled your post “i found myself.” :console:

i recommend two things to do ASAP:

find your nearest chapter of courage: couragerc.net/. this is the catholic organization that helps men and women who are leaving homosexuality.

keep attending mass, either at your friend’s church or one that’s closer to you if that makes it easier for you to go. i’m not a catholic (yet?) so i don’t participate in the eucharist, but the mass itself has been so effective at grounding me in faith and community. i sense that it had that effect on you as well.

i hope you’ll keep praying. i know it feels useless right now, but i promise: that funny feeling goes away, and god moves in to fill the void.

i’ll be praying for you, too.

love
emily


#3

I don’t have any advise for you, but you are in my prayers.


#4

Jacob, God loves you and is calling you to Himself. Trust Him. You’ve already made the first baby steps. Here’s what His word says:
(The prophet here is talking about Israel, but the picture of God as Father of us all, could not be more tender)

Hosea 11: 3-4 -
I myself taught Ephraim to walk,
I myself took them by the arm,
but they did not know that I was the one caring for them,
that I was leading them with human ties,
with leading-strings of love,
that, with them, I was like someone lifting an infant to his cheek,
and that I bent down to feed him.


#5

Dear Jacob,

Welcome to the Catholic Answers Forums, and thank you for sharing your story.

Know that you are in my prayers, :slight_smile:

~~ the phoenix


#6

Hi Jacob and welcome to the forums.

The title “I lost myself” to me means that you have denied yourself and have found Jesus. You want to follow the way He teaches. Please know that Jesus was down on Earth for all of us - sinners. Do not doubt Jesus’ great Mercy for all of us. Jesus always welcome you. Jesus’ heart is so great that there is always big room for you, me, and all who wants to come to the Lord.

You are in my prayers and God bless.:slight_smile:


#7

Jacob, your story touched me deeply and I’m so glad you reached out friend. Remember this when you feel lost and hopeless: the more misery we find ourselves in the greater Gods mercy is opened up. These words were spoken by Jesus to St. Faustina. Right now the merciful heart of Jesus is opened wider than it’s ever been for you Jacob, do believe for a second that God does not love you, He loves you more than you can fathom.

I recently came out of a dark period of complete pain and misery, utter dispair and self degredation. I thought there was no hope for me but Jesus poured so much grace on me when I least expected it and for one week it grew into a raging fire for Him.

I went to confession and let go of so much pain and sin. I did this several times just pouring out my heart. Just yesterday I poured out more to my Priest, I just wept and God’s grace has been keeping me safe, guiding and counseling me, washing me. I want to encorage you not to listen to lies that you have fallen beyond recovery, no, the harder we fall the more grace God gives us to rise again. Rest in the merciful heart of Jesus friend.


#8

I came from a background of a fundy pseudo-Christian cult and blatant occultism. I did not think any God of Light would want me after walking in darkness since I was a toddler! But a very loving priest told me that Jesus did not just die for us—but He would have died for me alone if there was no one else to die for but me!
It still chokes me up.
Just remember Jesus would have died for just you if you were the only there to die for!
Ravyn


#9

Jacob, welcome! All of us at some point feel so unworthy to receive any forgiveness from God for what we have done. All of us have made many bad choices in our lives, including me turning away from God and into sin many times. The best way to get over our bad choices is make good choices.

You remind me of an experience I once had. I was at a seminary for a priest vocational retreat, and I was walking around and just listening with my heart. I came upon dog lying on the ground. I approached to pet it but I didn’t move towards me. I just waited and it never moved. I know it wanted to be petted, but it didn’t take initiative and get up.

This made me think of God and free will and how he never forces anything upon us. But if we take that first step, Jesus will reach out, even further than we are and lift up us and make everything better. You are doing the right thing, Jacob, just take the first step. God is amazing. Welcome home to the Church! I hope you it :thumbsup:


#10

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see.
:blush:
Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed
:angel1:
Through many dangers toils and snares
I have already come!
Twas grace that brought me thus far
And grace will lead me home
:knight1:
The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures!
:knight2:
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail
And mortal life shall cease
I will proclaim from the veil
A life of joy and peace
:heaven:
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God has called me here below
He will be forever mine!
:getholy:
When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun!
:harp:


#11

Nobody deserves God’s love, but he pours it out to us anyway. God has been waiting for you, just like the Father waited for the Prodigal Son and ran to meet him.

Be assured that God it thrilled that you are moving towards Him and God is running to embrace you.

Best wishes on your journey.


#12

You sound like a younger version of me. You are not the only one what has ever been lost. I was in a relationship for 2 years then I left God all together. It took 30 years for me to find my way back. Only with the Lord’s help was I able to make it out. Now is the most critical time for you to lean on the Lord for help and to lean on the Church for support. We will be praying for you…God Bless.


#13

Jacob, Michael is right on. The darker our situation and the greater our sinfulness, the GREATER GOD POURS OUT HIS INFINITE MERCY ON US!!! That is a fact jack!!

I will keep you in my daily rosary, which is SOOOOOOO powerful. Keep praying and May the Love and Mercy of Our Lord, Jesus, touch the bottom of your very soul.:signofcross:


#14

When I came online to check on this thread, I truly was only expecting a few comments. Reading it, I was brought to tears because the love and support that you’ve all given me is more than I ever expected to receive, much less from people who I’ve never even met.

I’m going to respond to each of you individually, but I want to first thank you all for such an amazing response to my little post. Thank you; it means a lot. :blush:

There is not courage chapter where I live, but the main question I have is why homosexuality is something I would need to leave? From an age younger than I can remember I’ve been attracted mainly to guys, and every relationship I’ve had (except for the latest one) has been of love and caring and without sex.

You may have noticed that I didn’t claim myself gay in my previous post. Like I said earlier, I’ve felt God before, and when he was in my life I opened myself up completely to his change. Through prayer I told Him that I will love whoever he wants me to love and I’ve lived my life without labels in order to allow him that.

The people whom I’ve had relationships with have been guys because that’s what I’ve been attracted to even after opening that part of my life for His change.

Although I know now that I will have to live a chaste life because the Catholic Church does not allow marriage, I do not understand why it doesn’t. I understand the idea that the bonds of love between two people and the ability to reproduce children are the two main reasons for marriage, but in that case would not all people who are infertile be kept from marriage completely?

It’s like The Church feels the love of two men cannot be on the same level as the love of a straight couple, but yet the Church says that there is nothing inherently wrong with being gay.

Do not get me wrong, this is not an issue that would keep me from joining the Church, but I do feel that if it was so important Jesus would have said something about it while living in the flesh.

Thank you for your prayers and patience as I try to understand things.

I just realized how befitting it was that my mom named me Jacob; the supplanter. . . Thank you so much for your kind words. Maybe I can move past what my name implies some day soon.

Thank you; prayers mean more to me than you’ll ever know.

Thank you.

(continued bellow)


#15

I am not sure about how one goes to confession; do you have to be Catholic before you can go? What is there to expect in confessing my sins? I’m sorry, I’m just not educated in things like this.

Thank you so much for your words of inspiration and guidance.

I can only hope it’s true. That thought is truly inspiring. Thank you.

Thank you. Other than my praying, what first steps can I take? I’m not sure where to go from here.

I love that song. Thank you.

Thank you for your wishes and advice.

I’m glad to hear that people make it out. I just hope I can find my way back quicker. Thank you for your prayers and for responding.

Thank you.

Again, thank you everyone. You don’t know how much your wisdom means to me right now.


#16

Wow, Jacob. Your story really hit home with me.
It sounds like my story.

I’m now gay celibate. But, I feel for you, I did exactly what you did. I saved my virginity for a man too. I lost it to him at 23. I thought he felt the same way about me. He was 37, and lived with another guy. He told me they were just roommates, I believed it. I adored him and fell head over heels in love. I bared my heart to him. He was the first person I ever really loved (aside from brotherly love with my family and friends). He was just using me. I told him I loved him one night, and he told me he didn’t love me at all. It hurt so bad, I sat and cried on his bedroom floor and must have used a whole box of Kleenex. I couldn’t understand how someone could knowingly take someone’s virginity away from them knowing they had no intention of returning the love, ever. Our relationship lasted only a couple months…March - November of 1987. He was HIV+. We were “safe”. Still, if I had known that when we had met I probably could have saved myself all the hurt I went through. Good thing I was “safe” or I’d be dead now. So ,yeah we stopped seeing one another, but my heart was broken and aching badly. I later found out his roommate was his steady lover and he was lying. He had sex regularly with an assortment of gay men (this is normal in the gay world). They had an open relationship too. Open relationships are evil, they never last. But then again, at 43 years-old, I have discovered that gay relationships don’t last, period.

My advice is “don’t go there”. I’ve been where you are going. All you will find in gay relationships is lots of great sex…followed by lots of pain, betrayal, lies, deceit, backstabbing, promiscuity, disease, etc. Our media lies to us and makes us feel nowadays that gay is okay! It’s not. It’s phony and it’s a big facade.

If you are like me and you have values and morals, and have always felt close to God, but strayed because of lusts for other men, you will find nothing but hurt in the future if you go down that road. You will never find a fully committed man, beause gay relationships don’t last. They stagnate quickly. When the lust dies (which it will eventually) there is nothing left to hold the relationship together. No glue. As soon as one of the partners grows bored with sex, he looks elsewhere, and the pattern starts…partner after partner, after partner. In search of Prince Charming, who truly doesn’t exist.

Start going to Church, start reading Catholic spiritual books. Read about the life of a saint that interest you.
Receive Holy Communion. Pray to God when you’re really feeling down.

When you pray to Him. He is listening.
The reason you don’t feel connected to Him right now is because you haven’t been connecting with Him if you live a gay life. It’s difficult to persue pleasure and remain spirited to God. Trust me, I’ve been there too.


#17

Firstly confession is one of the seven sacraments of the church given by Christ and you can read about it in John 20:21-23. Jesus gave the authority to his disciples to forgive sins in His name, it’s not that the priest has power in himself, but He stands as a representative of Christ to forgive sins, in otherwords, as a tool for Jesus Christ to work in to forgive sins. So when one enters the confessional, he/she sees the priest but it’s *Christ who is working through Him to give absolution. *

So confession is powerful on several fronts: one being it’s of supernatural charactor so there is real ‘spiritual’ healing in it, yet it also incooperates our humanity, we hear the priest, we* see* him, we hear the words, “I absolve you of your sins in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit”, it’s powerful healing for both our soul and our physcy. The important thing is to come at with confession intending to hide nothing but to bring all things into the light and let the healing mercy of Jesus Christ wash us. When one does this and hears the words of absolution, it’s incredible and you feel deep deep washing taking place. I hope this helps some:)


#18

See, here is where I am confused. I did not lust for Andy. Our relationship grew out of friendship for each other and he respected the fact that I didn’t want to have sex with someone I was not going to spend my life with. He gave me my space and treated me with respect, and it was only when I wanted to that I gave him that part of me. Also, he never deceived me as to his relationship with Ray. It was a bad decision, and I won’t be making the same mistake again, but he was always honest with me.

I know I can’t be the only person who has been attracted to men who could live fine without any of the sexuality of it. The fact that there are gay Catholics out there living celibate lives shows that I think. I also know gay couples who have been together for decades and remained faithful only to each other.

I’m not saying the lifestyle isn’t inherently promiscuous. Just like in the straight community, I know there are people who just have sex. I’m not one of them, and I’ve seen others who aren’t either. I’ve made the choice to be chaste in my life from this point forward, and I’ve said that to the Lord. If I go into relationships telling the people I’m with that, and sticking by my promise to The Lord, is that not enough? Or is the way the Lord made me so that I will never be able to have that kind of love?

Thank you, this is really helpful to me. I had the wrong idea about the purpose of confession. Is confession only for those who have had their first communion?


#19

Please everyone understand that I am not arguing about the teachings of the Catholic faith when it comes to homosexuality. I’m here because I want to learn and understand the reasons behind these things. With the way I see things, I just don’t understand. :-/


#20

Yes that’s correct. But there is what’s called “perfect contrition” which is a deep desire to turn from sin and make your confession as soon as it’s possible. If one dies in a state of perfect contrition if they were not able to make their first confession then an individuals sins can be forgiven if their hearts intent was to go to confesson and with a truely repentent heart. It’s good to really pour out your heart to God now in the place you are at and beging to communicate with Him. You may ask Him for the grace to have a contrite heart as well, this is a prayer that will always be answered speedily.


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