Friday, December 10, 2010

Hypnosis So Far

I think it's working out pretty well! Even my roommate said it was a big improvement. So here's what happened last weekend:

The roommate, his cousin (my ex roommate) and I all went out to a local pub. I fully intended to get smashed... mission accomplished! So with a little liquid courage and the hypnosis techniques, I was a lot more out going and talked up a couple of groups of girls, kissed one, and generally had a good time. Once my friends gave me a shot of whiskey (my poison) I started to get really sick and that was pretty much the end of the night there, but up till that point things went really well.

I've had another session since then. Not likely to go out this weekend due to finals homework, but overall I've even noticed a change in my mentality. Like at this point, I don't really care if I have someone to hang out with or not. It used to be I got bored, then bummed out, then depressed if I was left alone with no one to talk to. Now, I just don't care either way. I'm not actively looking for people to spend time with outside of my close friends, and I'm fine with that. It is fun to get out, mingle, and meet new people for sure, but right now I'm busy with school, work and gym, so I'm plenty occupied as it is. Maybe when winter break gets here I can get out more often and take this a bit further.

Anyway, long story short, the hypnosis so far has accomplished one positive thing I hadn't anticipated - namely that I'm comfortable just being by myself, that's the first step to being comfortable with myself, and once I can accept myself as I am, then I won't need to seek it out in others anymore. Like I said before, I'm already feeling that way now. Not that I WANT to be a loner or that I have to be one, just that I can be cool just hanging out alone, doing my thing, and not get all bummed out about it. I appreciate and look forward to the time I hang out with my roommate, his cousin, my lifting partner, or anyone else I consider a friend. But if they aren't around to hang out with, no big deal, I can entertain myself.

So I have four more hypnosis sessions left, I fully anticipate that I will accomplish a lot of my goals through this process. That combined with my general feeling of "just try it" will get me a long way to where I want to be.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hypnosis - A New Approach

So after doing a bit of research on the subject, I'm of the strong opinion that for someone in my situation, hypnosis would be an effective way to treat my underlying root causes of my feelings of inadequacy and my need to seek out in other men what I feel I lack. In other words, hypnosis will help me build the confidence in myself that I need to move beyond my homosexual attraction and get me to the point where I feel confident in myself that I not only no longer need other men to validate myself, but I become self sufficient esteem wise that I need no one's validation, consciously or subconsciously. At that point, I can feel comfortable approaching women without that fear of rejection and the expectation that they are as superficial as gay men (from what my straight and bi friends tell me, they aren't, so that's an irrational fear on my part that can be addressed by the hypnosis).

Here are a few sources I found on this subject. Yes I realize they are mostly older sources, however, should we discount old research that could potentially remain valid? Did the earth stop revolving around the sun or the world cease being round? Just because it is no longer politically correct to research this subject and the psychological establishment has been made to cower in the face of the militant GLBT activists who seek to quash any further research into the understanding of homosexuality if it doesn't suit their needs (ie, the only valid research into the origins and causes of homosexuality is purely genetic and any research into potentially alleviating homosexual attraction for those not comfortable with that lifestyle is completely taboo).

The first source is from the Canadian Medical Association Journal and it's a study specifically on the effects of hypnotherapy on homosexuality. The next source is a conglomeration of research on this subject by a PhD in Psychology entitled "Is Gay to Straight Possible", and the most recent date cited looks to be 2006, so a little more recent.

Now, all that said, I would like to remind my readers once again that this blog is for those men who DO NOT want to be gay, do not fit in to the gay lifestyle and seek a change to where they are more comfortable with themselves and their futures away from homosexual attractions and the feelings of hopelessness that come with not easily fitting in with gay norms and expectations. For those who are more easily able to adapt to and become a part of the gay community, live the gay lifestyle, and are entirely happy doing so, this blog, nor this therapy approach, is not for you. As with any subject being addressed in hypnosis, a clinical hypnotist cannot make the subject of hypnosis do anything his or her conscious mind refuses. A hypnotist can't make a straight man gay anymore than he or she can make a gay man straight if neither wishes to be that way.

BUT, as they say, where there is a will, there is a way. If the subject truly wishes to change some aspect of themselves (and for myself I am seeing a hypnotherapist to address my lack of self confidence, which will allow all the other issues to fall like dominoes as a result), then that change is possible. If a hypnotherapist attempted to change a perfectly happy gay man into a straight one, it wouldn't work, and the clinical research bears this out.

So tomorrow is my first hypnosis session, she said that I will likely feel a lot better and more confident even after the first session. So we shall see what takes place and the outcome, but I am optimistic of some good results!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Why the Attraction?

For those of us who seek to grow beyond our attractions to other men so that we can move beyond the negative aspects of our pasts and grow into a more positive and complete individual, it might be productive to ask ourselves why are we attracted to other men. I believe this serves two important purposes. The first being that "knowing there is a trap is the first step to avoiding it", in other words, if we understand what causes us to develop the attraction, we can learn to recognize that attraction growing and develop strategies to effectively counter that attraction. The second purpose is so as not to repress that attraction, which will likely only serve to fester underneath the surface until is erupts in a manner that we no longer possess the ability to control.

For myself, and quite a few men I've met like me, our attraction appears to stem from the same combination of factors: rejection/acceptance, low self esteem, and lack of internalized masculinity. Often these factors are combined in various ways and various strengths, but can often be traced back to a particular event or circumstance in our pasts. For myself, mine stems from not really connecting with my father due to our family problems (though today I have a great relationship with him, it's just something I missed out on growing up) and not being accepted by my male peers. I had a few male friends growing up, but having to move almost every year of my life prohibited me from developing deep relationships with those other boys. So constantly being the "new kid" in school, I had to start over again at the bottom of the social hierarchy to determine where I fit in. By the time I hit high school, I just stopped trying to develop deep friendships and never really connected to anyone on a long term basis.

Growing up I was always the smallest kid in class more often than not, in both height and weight. This affected my self esteem, naturally, as I felt inferior to those taller or more athletic guys around me. My attraction to other men was not an attraction to them as a person, but rather to those qualities I felt I lacked in myself (as I've discussed on this blog several times in the past). Recognizing that this is the root cause of my attraction to other men, I was able to develop strategies to counter it, the main one being simply that recognition and the realization from my past that nothing positive will come from seeking out superficial qualities in other males, as I won't magically absorb those qualities into myself just by having sex with them. What WILL happen, however, is that I will get my rocks off, I'll be a one night stand, and I'll feel miserable after wards because I allowed myself to be used for sex and I used another person to temporarily fulfill my needs by making me feel "complete" for however long our sexual experience lasted.

I would much rather have a permanent solution to that "completeness", so now I see the qualities in other men that I desire, and I try to emulate them if possible. In other words, I try to develop my own innate sense of masculinity based on the qualities I would have sought out in sexual partners in the past. Sometimes this isn't possible, for example, my two greatest role models at this point in my life are my trainer and Tim Tebow. My trainer is about my height, so I could get up to his size, and I am actually in the process of working on that, so he's not as much of a stretch to emulate as Tim Tebow, who stands 6'2" and 245lbs. Proportionally, I would have to weight about 215lbs to match him, and that's just kinda too big. But he has other qualities that I CAN emulate: his ambitions and goals, his openness and courage, and in some respects, his spirituality.

In either case, that's not to say I want to be 100% like them. Neither role model is perfect, nor do I expect perfection in my role models or even myself. What I see in them is a complete individual who I can strive to be like, who despite their setbacks, they've accomplished a lot in their lives, and are trying to be the best people they can be. Ultimately these qualities are far more important than simply the physical. I will admit that the physical does play into my conception of masculinity that I seek for myself, but that isn't the only way I define masculinity. For me, masculinity isn't just muscles, it's personal responsibility, dedication to improve, and love of those important to you - a true and deeply abiding love that comes from the heart, not the groin.

So ultimately we must learn to develop ourselves and our identities to the point where we become our own role models. We must be able to wake up and look in the mirror and admire ourselves (not in a narcissistic way) for both our strengths and weaknesses. For our successes and struggles. I made this quote earlier this week and I think it would apply to anyone, but especially those in our situation:

Challenge yourself to be more than you thought possible, dream beyond your previously conceived limitations, strive to achieve perfect harmony with your failures and successes, and never look to your past as a mirror or your future as an illusion. You are you, go be the best you that you can be!

Likewise, on the way home I heard this on the radio. Everything You Want by Vertical Horizon. The lyrics, in a strange way, are somewhat applicable if you think of it in the terms above. That we see someone that we want to be, but what we need to do is learn to see ourselves in that way so that we no longer need someone else to fill that role.

Most importantly, the very end of that video has a message I think speaks volumes to those of us struggling and trying to overcome this issue.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Addressing the Myths -

First off, a personal myth I want to dispel, I am NOT religious nor do I seek to "pray the gay away" in my situation. I am basing my recovery from homosexuality on psychological methods grounded in research and logic. That said, if I do include religious based information, it is usually for informational purposes and not to make a factual point.

MYTH: The APA/Scientists Say that Homosexuality is Genetic

FACT: From the APA Pamphlet "Answers to Your Questions For a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality"

What causes a person to have a particular sexual orientation?

There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.

Now, let's consider that once upon a time, the APA considered homosexuality a disease, correct? And it was Dr. Robert L. Spitzer who convinced the APA to change that view, and now (in 2005) has changed his view again, and believes that sexual orientation is changeable. This DOES NOT mean that homosexuality is a disease, merely that for SOME homosexuals, they do not accept it in themselves and it is counter their ideals and beliefs. So while the APA was, ostensibly, wrong before, they are apparently 100% right now? Perhaps the truth lies elsewhere, and were further research allowed into the subject by the National Institute of Health, perhaps we would find that 1. Sexual Orientation is changeable for those who desire to change it and 2. That Gay Affirmative Therapy isn't the best approach for those who seek to get away from the negative stigma that homosexuality has placed on them, often from the gay community itself.

One needs only to look at my blog, links I've included to gay website and what they say about myself and those like me seeking to grow beyond their "community". Homosexuality is, according to the gay left, welcoming, affirming, tolerant, and accepting. However, the caveat is, only if you successfully assimilate to the gay norms. For those who seek to be true to themselves who are more conservative, Christian, not into the "gay scene" or otherwise don't fit into the gay community as it has defined itself, then you are social pariahs and worthy of derision, ostracism, and general vile hatred rising to the same level that gays complain the most vehement religious fundamentalists throw at them.

I welcome anyone from the Gay Community to stand up against the most negative of your crew, I welcome anyone from the Gay Community to demonstrate that I am wrong and that the Gay Community is actually welcoming and accepting of people, no matter their ideology or preferences. So far, I have failed to see this, and the more negativity that is directed toward me and those like me seeking to distance ourselves from the gay community, the more our position is affirmed. In other words, attacking those who don't fit in to your stereotypes and norms won't make those people any happier or accepting of your group and what you represent.

As I've said before, the basic approach I've gotten from my gay critics is "You're gay dammit, come and be gay and miserable with us and let us continue to harass you because you aren't like us!" Fact is, the gays need a punching bag because they have been harassed for so long as a community. I understand the human nature behind that, it makes them feel good to have someone they can kick around, be it gay Republicans, gay Christians, or masculine gay men who don't participate in the "scene". But these gays apparently fail to see that they are perpetuating the same exact harassment that they've endured for roughly half a century from modern day society. Again, the hypocrisy is appalling, and something I couldn't stomach any longer.

Perhaps one day the gay community will wake up and say "Man, ya know, we've been total dicks to the gay Republicans/Christians/Non-scene guys. Why are we such nasty bitches? We should be more accepting and tolerant just like we want society to accept and tolerate us!"

I don't expect that to ever happen, because playing the perpetual victim while simultaneously making more victims out of those who don't conform is an easier approach. Gays don't so much fight back against discrimination so much as bitch out and drown out any valid debate. Anything even remotely questioning their approach, norms, or positions is automatically "homophobic". When you have reached the level where free speech isn't allowed and all debate has ceased, you have become your own enemy.

Ken Buck, Connexion, and some clarification

So I've been linked from Connexion again (yes I track where people see my blog from) and apparently it's in connection to the recent statement made by Ken Buck on Meet the Press:

GREGORY: Do you believe that being gay is a choice?
BUCK: I do.
GREGORY: Based on what?
BUCK: Based on what? I guess you can choose who your partner is. GREGORY: You don't think it's something that's determined at birth?
BUCK: I think that birth has an influence over it, like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that basically, you have a choice.

So another commenter on the board actually made this point, but choosing to act on your homosexuality is a choice. Let's say for the sake of argument that being homosexual is 100% genetic (and science hasn't concluded that yet, nor will gay activists allow further study into other avenues, but I digress). No one holds a gun to your head forcing you to have sex with another dude, right? So you do have the choice on acting on your homosexuality.

But on the point of homosexuality being like alcoholism (and I believe it is), it is like a compulsion and comprised of habitual actions. For those of you reading this, how often have you had anonyomous sex with a one night stand and felt guilt or regret after wards, only to do the same again the next weekend? How often have you felt that you seek out the same types of guys, hoping to find someone who matches you and completes you, looking for that guy that has what you feel like you lack in yourself? How often have you tried again and again to fit into the gay culture only to be burned out of the drama, BS, and back stabbing that goes with the scene?

Homosexuality is a sexual preference, gay is a lifestyle. Everyone has a choice as to what lifestyle they will pursue. There can be plenty of non-gay homosexuals in the world (and plenty have contacted me about this subject). They are made to feel rejected and alone, but surprisingly, they seem to make up the majority of the homosexual population. Unfortunately, they have been so brainwashed by the gay activists, that they don't believe that there is any choice other than to be outcast and miserable (but true to themselves) or fake and fit into the gay culture.

For those of you reading this who are 100% content being gay, amen, more power to you, this blog isn't for you, this blog offers nothing in your favor, nor does it seek to "convert" you to something you're not comfortable being. But that works both ways, there are many homosexual men who are NOT happy with the gay lifestyle and who question if there is something more, a better path for themselves. Those are the men I addressed in the third paragraph questions. Gay affirmative therapy is just as damaging to these men as reparative therapy would be to gay men who are content with the gay lifestyle. Forcing people to be something counter their ideals and values is inexcusable. Again, that works both ways. Those men trying to overcome and leave behind their gay past and even overcome their homosexuality shouldn't be attacked by those who are, supposedly, 100% happy being gay. If you're happy, go be happy, leave the guys trying to be happy too alone.

Homosexuality is neither a choice nor is it biological, it's a mix of the two, and like alcoholism, certain situations can exacerbate the inherent nature of the individual and the ailment will manifest. Someone could have alcoholism run in their family, doesn't mean they will be an alcoholic, but it does mean that they have a higher propensity to turn to alcoholism as a coping mechanism if something affects them deeply and negatively. The same is true for homosexuality. Certain people probably have genetic precursors that could lead to homosexuality, but whether they act on it or not depends on other environmental situations. In either case, both are a method of coping with situations that at that time are beyond our control. Neither is inherently evil, but both can lead to negative outcomes in extreme cases and when the compulsion rises to the level of absolute dependency.

So hopefully that clarifies issues a little more. I am sure I will still have plenty of critics from the gay left, and again, this blog isn't for them as I am not trying to "convert" people who are content with their situations. This blog is for those men who are not content and who want to seek another path in life.

And for the record, AGAIN, I am NOT religious, so I don't buy the whole "pray the gay away". It might work for those individuals who are deeply religious, but I'm not, so it won't work for me. My approach is more based on reason, logic, and psychology.

PS One thing I always got a kick out of from the gay community was how they can defend any sort of discrimination or offense from a Democrat, but if a Republican were to do the same, he or she is the most vilest person on the planet since Attila the Hun. That was mentioned briefly in the Connexion link, and something I'm fairly used to from the gay left.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Words of Encouragement from my Trainer

I wanted to make a record of this in case something happens to the text message because what he said to me means a lot. I am thankful for the support he's given me and how he always seems to know the right things to say to get me back on the right path.

Wow man - I just got back from church and got your message. That's very moving bro, thank you. Yet I hope you realize you inspire me to challenge myself as well. Thanks for being so open and honest with me as well as yourself. You are a great person and I believe you are meant to do many great things and overcome many great challenges in life. Keep your head up bro! Life is calling you and all you gotta do is listen and follow the voice of truth that's speaking to you. You're a great man, and I'm proud to call you my client and friend, it's always real and just stay motivated, focused and open and before you know it life is changed before you. Thanks again for your kind words bro. Ttyl

I sent him a snippet of the lyrics from the song Everyday by Rascal Flatts.

Reflections on This Weekend

So I thought I'd write a bit about what I did this weekend and some new goals. Saturday I went to the AA meeting with my trainer, and had a few questions pop in my mind. First one being, do I really have to use God (whatever I conceive "God" to be) as a support? Well as I said before, being a deist, it's tough for me to view god as a personally involved entity when I haven't viewed god in such a way for most of my life. According to some of the other participants, the purpose of reliance on god is to destroy the ego and pride within that says "I don't need anyone's help, I can do this on my own." Well, personally I never thought I could do this on my own, that's why I rely on the support of my close friends, my family, and all the information I can get my hands on, including other people's experiences with addictions and homosexuality.

But this idea of destroying the ego got me to thinking, how do you destroy your ego if you have no identity? I've spent most of my life having my identity externally defined by others that I never really developed a core identity of my own. I honestly don't know who I am, I only know myself by what others have defined me as, both positive and negative characteristics. So one goal (more on this later) is to develop my own internal identity, on my terms, ignoring what others think of me, especially if their definition of me is something negative.

Hearing the members of the AA discussion group talk about their epiphany moments when they realized that they needed to change made me wonder, what would be rock bottom for me, and do I have to go that far to effectively change my life for the better? Would it be getting HIV? Would it be becoming addicted to meth and rampant unprotected sex with numerous anonymous men? Would it be going back into the gay culture and doing the above in addition to whatever other addictions would go with it, and spending all my time among other homosexual addicts? I don't see myself going that route at this point, so I would hope that I don't need to hit "rock bottom" to have my epiphany moment. I still think my epiphany was July 12th, even though, like many addicts, I've relapsed several times since then. But after each relapse, my desire to jack off to pictures of dudes or even hook up with a dude decreases more and more. In the last 3 months, I’ve only acted on my homosexuality with another dude three times, a big improvement over my previous life of a different dude every weekend. I recognize the triggers now and I’ve learned gradually to set effective boundaries to ensure I don’t fall into the same self destructive patterns again. I admit it is tough, being as the homosexual addiction is all I’ve known for a decade. But if narcotic addicts and alcoholics can overcome their addictions, so can I through hard work and perseverance.

One thing one of the AA participants mentioned was meditation. Something I’ve not done because I tend to think too much. So I think I’m going to consider looking into how to meditate positively and work on reducing the negative thoughts in my mind that prevent me from growing as a person. One thing my trainer said to me was going to the AA meetings is positive in a somewhat negative way in that you look around and see people who have gone through a lot worse. But in a way, this is ultimately positive because if you see people worse off, you know better than to follow their path and end up the same.

Another thing one of the participants said was that the “ism” is a symptom of deeper issues. I know this to be true and it seems to be a common thread among those of us who go down the homosexual addiction path that we seek out in other males something we feel we are missing in ourselves. Whether it be some physical trait (the most common root cause) or some other aspect we feel we lack (masculinity for example). So we seek out in those other males temporary situations where we feel like complete men by getting sexually intimate with another male that possesses those qualities we seek. We’re not attracted to the person, we’re attracted to those traits we wish we had ourselves and we’re just using them to fill that void we perceive in ourselves. Thus, lack of self confidence and low self esteem sent many of us down this path of addiction, and ergo the surest way to overcome that root cause is to build your personal self worth to the point where you no longer need to seek out in other males what you feel you lack because you have it within yourself. In fact, this seems to be a common trait with addictions in general in that the purpose of the addiction is to cover up that void we feel within ourselves so that we can ignore it, if even for a small time.

The Evergreen group (an overcoming same gender attraction group comprised of Mormon men) was an interesting and largely positive experience. It was a very small group. One participant’s story in particular resonated with my experience and gives me a lot of hope for my own progress.

They suggested several resources to me including a pamphlet from the LDS called “God Loveth His Children”. Granted this document is heavily religious, and again, I’m not. But my world view is based on the idea of trying to avoid negativity. Religious people call that avoiding sin and temptation. Whether one believes in a god or not, avoiding negative situations and outcomes should be something we all strive for. Can some people be happy in their homosexual addiction? Sure, I suppose, just as some people can be happy being an alcoholic or drug addict. It certainly makes you feel good to be drunk or high, and for a time, you forget your worries and don’t care about anything but enjoying the moment, regardless of the potential consequences.

Again, I know that will piss some gay people off me comparing homosexuality to an addiction, but I’m sorry, they are analogous. The mentality is the same, or perhaps worse, because so many homosexual addicts have been brainwashed that they can’t change who they are. I’m not talking about the ones that don’t want to change and are “happy” being gay, I’m talking about the ones who recognize the negativity inherent in homosexuality and want to escape it, but feel they can’t because they see it as inherent to who they are. Granted some alcoholics feel the same way, that change isn’t possible and they just have to accept that they’re stuck with their addiction. But any addiction can be overcome, even a genetically predisposed one like alcoholism or homosexuality.

The Evergreen group opened with a quotation from C.S. Lewis on Temptation:

“A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is.... A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in.”

And that got me thinking about whether we should put ourselves into situations where we are faced with our temptations in order to fight against them and overcome them. Maybe it’s like working out at the gym. If you only curl a 5lbs dumbbell, your arm will never get bigger (well maybe if you curl it hundreds of times non-stop). We definitely must fight and not succumb to our temptations, but does this mean we avoid them, does this mean we should seek them out? Would putting ourselves in those situations risk too much and risk the chance that we will fall to our temptations, or would being in that situation and standing up to them give us greater strength and allow us to overcome future temptations as well? I think ultimately it depends on the individual. When we feel sufficiently grounded within our own identities, we know that we can easily stand up to any temptation that comes our way because we’re over it, it no longer has that same power and control over us that it once had. If we’re not to that point yet, then placing ourselves in that situation is probably not the best course of action until we reach that point where we are stronger individuals and more secure in our identities.

So with all that said, my first major goal is to develop that strong self identity, that internalized self worth and strong self confidence that will allow me to stand on my own feet as an individual defined by my own terms and able to overcome any challenges or obstacles that come my way. This may take months or years to achieve. I know that one aspect is the physical; physically I’m not where I want to be yet. I think back on the types of guys I’ve sought out and I want to be like them. Once I am like them, or have even surpassed them, the physical goal will have been achieved. Social is another aspect that needs work, and that’s an ongoing process. But I’ve already made a lot of progress there, and I don’t feel I’m the same person I was two years ago in that regard. Outside of that, I already have a lot of personal traits that comprise my individual identity that I have to be confident of, including my intelligence, my loyalty, my ambition, and my dedication to all my life goals.

All in all it’s been a very productive weekend and I look forward to moving beyond this addiction and developing new strategies to overcome challenges and develop my personal identity.