Monday, February 13, 2012

The Issue Cycle 13Feb2012

This last week was a really interesting one for me.  Thankfully, none of it involved a tow truck or a police car.  It was just like I was noticing each and every last male that was even remotely attractive to me.  It really bothered me for a good part of the week, especially since some of my co-workers fall into that category.  Thankfully, I took the day off Friday to get a small reprieve from that.  I've also been noticing how often my thoughts have turned to lust, or how often I find myself indulging in fantasy.  I honestly don't know if this is due to an increase of temptations or if I'm simply becoming more and more aware of my thoughts and my attractions.  I do feel like I'm starting to gain more control over my thoughts.

Anyways, I noticed this morning that a different issue of mine was starting to come up.  I felt like I looked at my life and felt like I didn't have any close friends.  I realized that this is partially a lie on my part.  I have many friends that I can talk to, many people who are safe to share intimate and very personal things.  I just don't understand why something like this keeps coming up.  It could partially be to the fact that I have a tendency to push people away, even when they do get close to me.

I then realized that my issues tend to go through cycles.  I've started to see themes and patterns emerge with thing that I 'deal with'.  Similar issues tend to come up over and over.  Each issue tends to take it's turn on the 'top' of the heap.

Here's a small list:

Touch.  This one tends to be on the quite a bit.  I've often felt the desire to be held by another person.  Lately, I've also been getting desires to hold some friends of mine.  I don't know if it's an attempt to comfort them, or to shelter them.  One of my fears around this is that it's an attempt to try to take away their problems.  On a more positive note, it could be a desire to give to other men what I feel I need.  I've had some very positive and uplifting experiences related to touch and holding, so this issue doesn't seem to be on the top quite as much lately.

Nudity/Body Image.  One of the biggest struggles of the past week seemed to be based around nudity or even how other men look.  I found myself wanting to look, almost obsessively, at other men that I found attractive.  It was like part of me wanted to figure out what it was I was looking for in them.  I also found myself analyzing new men to see if I felt attracted to them or not.  In some cases, I found myself wondering what they would look like unclothed in various degrees.  Those sorts of thoughts unfortunately would quickly lead to inappropriate fantasies many times.  This is an issue that I'm not quite sure how to address.  I feel like I have made some progress with this 'issue', yet it is obvious there still is more work to be done.  Largely, this could be boiled down to either my own body shame, or perhaps just a natural curiosity about what men look like.

Friendship.  Friendship is the one that seems to be on the top most recently.  I see two guys walking down the street together and imagine that they're best of friends.  They're buddies.  They do everything together.  I find myself really wanting something like that.  I look at interactions between men at church, work, or in other places and I judge that they are warm and friendly with each other, and I find myself craving interactions like that or interactions with those men.  I've found myself many times looking at all of my friends and not feeling like there was anyone I was close to.  It makes me wonder what I judge a 'close friendship' to be.  There are many men I share personal things with, yet I don't feel close to those men.  It could be a part of my defensive detachment.  I could emotionally/mentally/behaviorally push men away when they get to close.  The defensive detachment could largely come from feeling hurt by different men in the past (whether they intended to or not).  It could also still be some burnout from my last few attempts at establishing a close friendship with another man.

To speak more of the friendship, I realized last night that I give some men great power to be able to hurt me, to make or break me.  I find that I can grow very dependent, in a sense, to men that I am attracted to.  If they interact positively with me, then everything is great.  If they interact negatively with me, then the world is coming to an end.  The whole thing is not a very healthy thing for me.  It often leads me to feeling hurt.

On another note, I think that friendship is largely based on reciprocation.  I know of many people, both male and female, that have tried to interact with me and share about themselves.  For whatever reason, I have felt like I don't want to share on the same level back.  On the other hand, there are men that I want to share about myself with them and be close to them, but I've felt like they don't want the same thing back.  Even though I realize that it's probably not meant to be personal, I often find myself resenting the man.  I feel hurt, bitter, and angry for a time, and then I find myself trying all over again.  It honestly makes me afraid that seeking out a close friendship with another man is a fool's dream.  Or, I'm afraid that there is something wrong with me that leads to these men not wanting to be close to me.  Maybe there's something about the way I act and share that scares other men away.  Perhaps my expectations are too high.  Perhaps my idea of a close friendship isn't an accurate one.  Or maybe I just keep pushing men away before they have a chance to get close.  Maybe I move too fast and share too much.

I don't know the answer to the friendship thing.  Relationships are complicated, because there are two different people involved.  All I know is that it's the issue that seems to be on 'top' right now.

1 comment:

  1. Andrew,

    Once again you've managed to put up quite an insightful post. I totally have felt so many of these same things, and much like you, they seem to go in cycles! Thank you for your bravery in sharing. I also often get in the "friendship" rut, which is silly because when I step back for a second I quickly realize that I have TONS of good friends! I just haven't always felt that reciprocation, like you mentioned. At least I don't usually feel the friendship reciprocated with the same degree of strength.

    Hang in there, bro! Thanks for being MY friend. I will always be there for you as a friend as well. :)

    My best,