Updated: Apr 14, 2019
Thinking back to that cold January in 2017 makes me freeze every time. I have still got the songs in mind that were played on the radio every day back then: Shape of You - Ed Sheeran, Scars To Your Beautiful - Alessia Cara, The Greatest - Sia, Rockabye - Clean Bandit. I cannot stand any of them. They are too close to that time, to that wrong feeling, to this fight of emotions. Do I love Sophie? Do I love god? Do I love men? Maybe all of them? My heart is torn. It costs time and effort to put myself back into January 2017. My heart still beats thinking of that dark and cold winter:
It is a super stressful time: master studies begin after our time in Mexico. We meet all our friends and families every weekend. On top of that, a construction project is going on in our Kingdom Hall (church) and Sophie and me support that as often as we can. That means getting up at 5:30am, shoveling snow at home and be ready for prayer and breakfast at 7am in the Kingdom Hall. That is just what I need. Just work, work, work. But please don't think or feel. Just smile and keep working. I say to myself. We usually finish our work at 5pm. Yay! Four new friends on Facebook! These occasions are perfect for networking amongst Jehovah's Witnesses. I enjoy that. I mean, as long as I am not alone I do not have to deal with my inner self. Just keep on chatting, talking, joking, laughing. But don't let a minute pass. I do not give me a chance to look into myself and see the mess.
"Tidy up around you, don't tidy up inside you."
How long would I be able
to maintain that high activity level?
I do a good job. I show to the pastors that I really want to give my best, be a good Witness, and spend hours into preaching from door to door. Still waiting for the approval of my new position as pioneer I started doing the auxiliary pioneer in January. That means that I do 50 hours of missionary work a month. The requirements are not as strict as for the pioneer position. There is no questionnaire to answer like I did for the pioneer application. And yes! The pastors accept me doing the auxiliary pioneer! They even assign me for a Five-Minute-Talk to give on stage in front of the whole community. Yes! Things go great! And I love being on stage! So, I prepare a very motivating and loving talk for my community with the topic why it is so important to visit every worship in the Kingdom Hall. I even invite some of my workmates to this talk since I also try to convert them being Jehovah's Witnesses.
I am so sure to start a better and new life and marriage after all what happened in Mexico with the metro guys.
I judge my memories. I tell myself how disgusting I was. How much I did not like what happened there. I lie to myself: I just tried it to see that I really do not like being touched by men. And how disgusting these gay guys are! Touching each other in the metro. I definitely do not want to be part of that sort of people. I am not gay!
While lying to myself I knew how much I enjoyed these situations, starving for touches. But my relation to my body and to sex is still imprisoned by the ideology of Witnesses. I cannot enjoy one thought, not one phantasy, not one touch. It is all forbidden, false, sinful, and disgusting. I am expected to hate something that I love. Instead of facing my reality I prefer relying on what they taught me to be the right thing and what I really believe. Switch of my brain, follow the rules. Because when I just follow the rules I would be happy. God promises me to be happy on his way. So, just close your eyes and work! Work! Work!
Well, in a way it makes me happy: I receive lots of positive feedback. The pastors announce me as pioneer. The whole community is applauding. Everyone comes to me to hug me, to give me a smile and a sweet word. We organize appointments for door-to-door preaching. I finally receive attention for all my work! But no one knows of my real struggle. No one knows that all this was just my way to distract from the real issue. My way to forget feeling. Can feelings choke under the weight of activities? Oh yes, they can! But they will not die. They will not change.
Feelings do not like to be choked.
Feelings do not like to be buried alive.
They want to fly high.
I was not ready for what my feelings would make me do. It is February now.
Finally! Sophie and me are both pioneers. All my brothers and me are pioneers. My dad is so proud of me. And I see some hope to finally feel as equal member of my family. But again: I try to receive love by doing, not by being. Being myself. But how could my family ever love the real Philipp? A gay son is the last thing that they would want to be part of them. So, I prefer their love for my actions. This seems better to me than no love at all.
The ecstasy of attention from my community and family does not help very long. Since my experience in Mexico men are even more present in my mind. My desire grows. Prohibiting porn to me makes my desire grow even more for manly bodies. And I am really strict with myself. I really abstain from pornography since November. But where to release my feelings? I start looking up gay cruising areas in Munich on the internet. Cruising areas are secret places for gays to meet such as parks, toilets, or changing rooms of swimming pools. Although I never have visited such a place I love what in my phantasy happens at these places. I definitely need a space to release my desire and curiosity. But where?
To be continued...
You might know yourself in this kind of situation when you have got feelings in yourself that you do not want to deal with immediately. You find yourself in a bunch of other activities that distract you from the original problem. It is always easier to look away and ignore and distract than confronting yourself with your feelings.
Be aware that your feelings are there for a reason. They want to tell you something. So, give them a minute to talk. It might be an urgent message.