My life's issues encapsulated in a post

Hi,I am a 25 year old Catholic male suffering from a possible case of quarter life crisis or something like that. This is actually my first post and the main reason why I created an account (although I do intend to on becoming an active member as I found a lot of answers on these forums - thanks to generous contributions made by the members).

Well to get straight to the point - I have a sexuality issue. I am a homosexual yet I have made the unpopular decision to live my life according to the church’s teachings as much as possible (I do have a problem with pornography, but that’s a separate issue that I’m actively working on). So far I have never been in a relationship with anyone. My sexuality is and has always been a complete secret. You my fellow readers are the first people I’m saying this to.

On the outside I lead a normal life. I have a good job and very good relations with my colleagues, blessed with loving parents, much-talented and have too many interests and hobbies to mention. Making friends was never really a problem for me either. People think of me as a fun, cultured and understanding.

Yet, regardless of the above, frequently I feel empty, as if my life has no purpose, as if I’m living a lie. There are occasions where I lose my motivation completely, its like a great feeling of apathy and lack of energy. I’m even finding it hard to go out with my friends on weekends, as if there’s no point. When I do go out, I feel alone, I see my mates chatting with the ladies, winking and smiling… Well I wink back, smile, maybe pass a comment and immediately retreat inside my head thinking about my life. It’s as if I still can’t accept that I am a homosexual.

Sometimes my parents/ friends, heck even my grandparents ask me if I have a girlfriend. I always manage to find some excuse or change the subject as quickly as I can. Deep down, this makes me feel devastated because I know that I can never love a woman properly and fully. This is my cross to bear, its a heavy cross but I do like to believe that God has given me this cross for a reason, a reason I hope to be able to understand one day.

Sometimes I wish that I would tell my parents the truth about me instead of having to blame work stress or lack of sleep when I’m feeling down or depressed (which has been my general mood lately. Unfortunately I am quite good at faking happiness with everyone except with my parents.Anyways, to cut a long story short, I was wondering if there’s anyone out there who had a similar life experience. I really could use some advice. Please appreciate that this is something I have never shared with anyone (it took me an hour and a half just to write this post). My sexuality has been my burden since my teenage years. Unfortunately this cross just keeps getting heavier each day and at this point I have no idea what I’m going to do about it.

Thanks for reading this and for understanding and apologies for the uninviting title but I’m not feeling very creative tonight :slight_smile:

This is a tough one friend! It really is…

Let me start out by saying this. Thanks for pouring your heart out in a post. That took courage.

I think the only advice I can give here is don’t live a lie! That doesn’t mean start dating men. What that means is don’t pretend to be straight and marry someone for the sake of being/appearing straight to appease everyone else. This would be a bad thing. Lots of Catholics deal with same sex attraction and there are many outlets check out this website and you will probably learn quite a bit of information.

couragerc.org/

In my opinion and you can do this what you will but be honest with everyone. You need to start opening up to people and especially those close to you. I would imagine this will be the most difficult thing.

Lastly you already mentioned it…the Cross! This is a very heavy one but Chastity if you cant reconcile the same sex attraction is probably the key. You sound like you are called to live a chaste life. I cant even imagine this as I’m Married with kids but what the church teaches is your not a candidate for a marriage vocation and you cant commit homosexual acts so Chastity. Sounds nice doesn’t it :smiley:

But really I really sympathize with you and will pray for you. go check out the website and tell me if you get anything valuable from it?

Welcome! I appreciate your desire to.live a good Catholic life. You are very brave to describe your challenges on a public forum.

I have no personal eexperience nor advice to give you. However, there is a nationwide Catholic support group called “Courage” that could help with the problems you.mentioned.

Praying for you. God bless you.

Thanks for posting. It sounds like a very difficult struggle for you.

I take it from your post that same sex attraction is exlcusive or predominant for you? As in, you really don’t find women attractive at all?

There are Catholic men who experience SSA, but also find women attractive, and they are able to have happy and successful marriages, notwithstanding their struggles.

But if your SSA is exclusive, then it would seem you are called to a life of celibacy. I’d suggest you start exploring the support group previous posters have mentioned and perhaps meet with a trusted priest, who will be able to share with you some of the struggles, experiences, and advice he will have from living a life of celibacy himself.

:hug1:

Welcome, brother. No guidance or advice, just hugs and prayers. :slight_smile:

Catie

Welcome!

I have been thinking about this issue lately…after I watched a documentary called ‘The Bible Tells Me So’ (or…because the Bible tells me so…can’t remember). It documents how different Christian families and denominations deal with having gay children or a gay spouse, etc… Fascinating. And, scary!

You won’t find a better, more accepting attitude towards homosexuality than you will in the Catholic church! They interviewed the family of Dick Gephart (politician) and theirs was the only family that got it right! They accepted their lesbian daughter immediately and without reservation. They are Catholic. Other ‘Christians’ rejected, shunned, and dis-owned their children with some suicides and general turmoil being the outcome.

As a parent of 4, I can tell you that although having a gay child is not what any parent wants, all parents NEED TO KNOW this. Tell them. I would be more pained if my children were heterosexual and promiscuous than if they were gay and chaste, I guarantee you that!

Your decision to live chastly is the correct one, and I applaud you for it.
So, you can’t get married…meh… You can do a lot of things I can’t.
You are called to something different, that’s all! The graces that you are being given to bear your cross with dignity are immense!

“By your perseverance you will secure your lives”. Look that passage up and read around it for some comfort and strength. I think it’s Philippians.

Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance, direction, strength, fortitude & wisdom in your time of need.

Hi porsche911,

As I was reading your post, I was thinking that if I were you, I would just go and talk to your pastor/parish priest, too, like someone else has already mentioned.

This is obviously something that you have kept to yourself for a really long time as a cross that you have been carrying, and I would talk to your pastor and get his advice, too.

Welcome to the forum, too!

May God bless you during this stressful time for you. Prayers said for you, too. :console:

No matter where our walk in life my lead us, the ultimate end of life is the same for everyone, union with God. One of the greatest motivations to achieve this end is love. Love can conquer all obstacles. How can you love someone you don’t know? The logical answer would be, get to know the one you should love by an encounter. God will grant you this encounter if you are serious in your intentions and desires. Ask Him to turn you on, He accomplishes this by the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Love. I can assure you once touched you will never be the same. You will find life worth living, full of purpose, and even a peaceful joy. Step out in your faith. If you think that your faith is not strong enough, ask for a stronger faith. Yes life’s crosses can be pretty heavy, but we weren’t expected to carry our crosses alone. Even Jesus had help and love makes life endurable and we carry our cross willingly. No one escapes the burdens of life, so it is better to suffer for a good thing, than a bad thing, with a definite advantage. This post was an answer to the O.P. I agree with you tawny.

I, like you, am called to a celibate life. (Not SSA but terotagenic meds) I’d like to suggest a different point of view. Like priests and religious, you are freed of a spouse or children and the obligations these brings. You are available to devote more of your personal resources to bringing about the kingdom of God.

Celibacy is not your cross, it’s your gift to God.

Hey there :slight_smile:

First of all, let me just say that you’re not alone! From what I’ve seen in this forum alone, there are plenty of people who are facing the same struggles, including myself. I can relate with how hard it must have been to write this post as it is something very close to your heart.

I’d recommend that you look at a thread I started recently, it may be of some help to you and give you an alternative perspective: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=960040

I think most people who go to confession regularly feel as if they ought to go through life with the word “HYPOCRITE” tatooed on our foreheads. The difference between the way we try to seem and the actual compulsions that we deal with and the thoughts that cross our minds is that wide. We know too well the chasm between the mind and heart of a saint, of a person suited for eternal life, and the mind and heart that we actually have. Just that can tempt a person to despair.

The truth is, we can expect that those spirits sent to tempt us will try to do exactly that–tempt us to quit, tempt us to conclude that holiness is impossible for us or that a holy life is an empty life. It is the voice of the devil that tells us that trying to live according to divine life is an empty life or that God is asking us to do something that we are constitutionally unable to do.

That is half of your problem–that is, the problem common to all of humanity. The other problem is also difficult, however. How do you cope with it when others assume they know that you are called to married life, when they just assume that if you do not have plans for seminary that getting you married off it is a matter of finding you the right partner?

You may disclose whatever portion of your spiritual struggles to anyone you like, but I would do it for the sake of your own spiritual profit. Talk to your confessor or someoneelse who is bound to be discrete, and decide what you want to tell others, how you want to tell them, and why you want to tell them. Don’t do it so as to make someone else comfortable or because they might think they have some right to have you disclose anything that interests them to you. You may disclose some things about yourself and not others. For instance, you may know yourself to be both too ambitious for money and too interested in sex outside of marriage and yet decide to disclose both, just one, or neither to whomever you please. The only thing you must disclose is that you must disclose all your serious sins to your confessor. Other than that, reassure yourself that having a sense of privacy is NOT lying. Letting others make assumptions about you without correcting them is NOT lying. That is your right, and no one has any room to complain to you about that.

What I would not do is to make your struggles into your identity or make the difference between your call and the expectations of your parents into your identity. That doesn’t mean that you should try to deny that you have a sexual identity. It does mean that it is not a good idea for a man struggling with lust to start thinking about himself as “a guy with a high sex drive.” It is better to concentrate on the virtues you want to develop than to concentrate too much on the sins of your past or the temptations that you fear are coming. “Sufficient for the day is its own evil.” The truth is this: Sufficient for each moment is its own evil. The work of this moment may include getting ready for future trials, but it does not include working yourself up into a lot of anxiety about trials you don’t have yet.

I’m going to resist the temptation to tell you how to handle these assumptions everyone is making about what you ought to want in life. I’m going to resist the temptation to tell you how to cope with having different desires than your friends have or that your friends assume you have. Instead, I’m going to encourage you to find yourself a Simon of Cyrene to help you to bear your cross. I don’t mean us. I mean someone you can know in person as a person. Find someone who can help you work through this in the most faithful way possible. That is the goal. You don’t have to go it alone.

I have gone through replies. I’m literally overwhelmed with the positive and encouraging replies I’ve received. Thank you for the feedback and thank you for all the prayers received. I spent some time in prayer and reflection yesterday evening and I am considering speaking with a priest who is an old family friend for some spiritual direction.

Today was a rather interesting day. It’s hard to describe but even some comments and statuses that I’ve read on facebook were incredibly encouraging. It’s as if God was encouring me through various subtle actions that were performed by people unaware of their positive consequences. This was one status update from a priest friend of mine:

Saints are not people without sin. They are those who are in touch with their shadow self (weaknesses) and are at peace with it without denying it.

Just when I was starting to feel alone in this I was reminded that God is walking each step with me. I really felt energised today, even my colleagues noticed and told me that I was looking brighter than usual.

This year I will be walking the way of St James in Spain. I will be on my own and intend to use the time as a time of personal reflection, as a retreat from the usual work routine.

With regards to sexuality: I really do understand the beauty of the act of love between a married man and woman. It is a reflection of God’s love to the point that the two are able to create. Love creates, just like God is love and the Creator of everything. I also understand that homosexual attraction is not a sin per se but when a person engages in an active homosexual life, that’s where it becomes sinful. It becomes a distortion of the act of love which imitates God’s loving and creative nature.

I will have a look at the courage website as many of you pointed out. I am not aware that there are any such support groups in the country where I am from which I think is a shame.

Welcome! I’m so happy you decided to come here and pour out your heart. You sound like an awesome person! It must be so frustrating to have sexual wants and not be able to fulfill them in the vocation of marriage. Your love and dedication to God is admirable.
I would talk to a priest about advice on how to try to tame the sexual appetite and try to figure out your vocation in life. Maybe he can also advise you on how to speak with your parents. I think with their support, a huge weight could potentially be taken off of you. Even if they aren’t supportive, there are friends, this forum, support groups and God. Praying for you!

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