Having SSA and Being Authentic
By rmatt
6/3/2013 3:33:40 PM
I have issue about being authentic even in long bouts of sobriety (at one point 10+ years and never touching another male since I was 12). You live your whole life trying to live up to a standard as well as trying to live a "straight" role. Over time, even though you are not sinning at all, being deceptive becomes second nature. How does the Gospel reconcile such a dichotomy?

I spoke to my Bishop last year about my issues with SSA. He wouldn't even acknowledge that I said. Maybe it was my fault because I used an abbreviation who knows? It is frustrating sometimes. No wonder gay mormons commit suicide.



"Being authentic means we can live without fear....

No fear of who we really are. Only acceptance.
No fear of what others can do. Only God matters.
No fear of what we don't know. Instead we have faith that answer will someday come.

I am going to try and relate to you in my own awkward, inept way. Be forgiving, ok? Your Bishop comment touched a nerve with me. Going to Bishops and sitting in those horrid chairs has always been a painful process for me as a wife of a sex addict. Not just because it is humiliating. Not just because the reason I am there is so painful. I hate it because 99% of the time I have felt invisible.

As the wife of the addict I get virtually no acknowledgement as someone who needs help. Most Bishops (and I've been through 14 now) erroneously feel that if they can help 'fix' the husband then the wife will be ok too. I know they want to help me. But my problems really aren't on the table. None of them really saw me sitting there.

It wasn't until I really started going to ARP that I understood that I needed help individually, separately from my husband. I started speaking very clearly about what I needed from my Bishops. Most of them have no clue, no training, no understanding of these issues. They mean well, but they are Spiritual Guides but they are not specialists with addiction recovery.

Your post was about being authentic. Maybe someday you can authentically tell your bishop what you need from him. Maybe you can tell him that you are trying to talk to him about same sex attraction and you feel that you are not being heard.

Anyway, I know this wasn't what your post was about. Sorry I turned it into something selfish.

I think we all play roles. I play the happy wife role. I play the "I have a testimony" role. Being authentic means you speak your truth, not what others expect to hear. Not just to be different, but simply because it is true. One of the signs of a codependent is when we behave like a chameleon with the crowd we are in. I am it is built into our genetics to conform. Maybe learning to be authentic is therefore part of laying aside the natural man."
posted at 21:34:22 on June 3, 2013 by maddy
Shades of Grey to Black    
"Everyone of us have some sort of weakness and our Heavenly Father has told us that we have weaknesses. Satan knows exactly who we are and what our weaknesses are. He is here to work on those weaknesses. For some reason you had a thought a while ago about SSA. This thought aroused feelings and thoughts that you could not and still can not explain.

The question is how much of these attractions, thoughts, and feelings really belong to you and how much belong to an unclean spirit who knows your weaknesses and vulnerabilities?

I have had lots of experience with the assault waged by unclean spirits and their ability to influence and possess people. I have also witnessed much paranormal activity. See my husband was possessed with an unclean spirit of pornography and sexual perversion and my daughter has one of the most powerful unclean spirits there are possessing her. These powerful spirits that possess my daughter are called the spirits of schizophrenia.

However my daughter had to let that spirit in but it was when she was in such a vulnerable and demised cognitive state. Good nutrition, environment and things that uplift the spirit are so needed before one is able to have an unclean spirit cast out.

My husband had the unclean spirit cast out of him and he is like a new man now. His compulsions for perversion left and then he was able to break the conditioning and bad habits he had formed fairly quickly because the unclean spirits compulsions had left.

With my beautiful daughter on the other hand she has never broken the law of chastity and only delved into unhealthy habits for about a year and now is paying such a horrible consequence. She is a very good girl but when she was in such a vulnerable cognitive state these spirits conditioned her to think so many weird and unbelievable things about herself and that is exactly what they do.

It has been six years since my daughter got possessed and although she will tell me herself that she is possessed by an unclean spirit. Every time we try get her ready to have it cast out, they up their level of harassment and give her nightmares and frighten her so much that she backs down from wanting it cast out.

When my husband had his unclean spirit cast out they tried for a long time to get back in but the more he prayed, avoided looking at women. read the scriptures, served, hummed hymns and kept casting unclean spirits away from him when he felt their presences the easier it has gotten for him and us to dispel their unwanted influence in our lives.

I know that if you pray about this and really ponder how much of this SSA is coming from you and how much is coming from unclean spirits the Holy spirit will help you discern and find the right answers.

Good Luck and God Bless!"
posted at 20:10:34 on June 10, 2013 by Anonymous
Similar addiction    
"SSA isn't something I've struggled with, but I've had a mighty struggle with pornography to the point where I was seriously considering suicide a few years ago, so I think I've felt some of the emotional anguish of this realm.

While our situations are different in many ways, they are in a few ways similar. I have an attraction to a lot of different types of pornography. I've been sober for a little while now, but just the other day I got frustrated because I had a trigger come and was quite enticed by it. I accept that. That's frustrating. But, it is contrary to the commandments of God. Looking in I guess I could say that I am not being authentic to myself - if it's something I am attracted to and enticed by, why don't I do it? Married men can similarly be attracted to other women and desire them, does that mean that they can pursue them and have affairs because it's something they are attracted to and they need to be 'true' to themselves? Is that not being 'true' to myself? I don't know that I'll ever not be enticed by this stuff - I pray mightily that I will. but I'm committed to fight off each temptation that comes as I seek to improve myself a day at a time.

Once again, I know our situations are very very different for a lot of reasons - I just thought maybe that could help as it was in a few ways similar. Good luck and keep doing your best to stay patient and sincere as you seek answers."
posted at 21:47:35 on June 15, 2013 by recovery.gdo
Similar but different    
"Addiction is addiction but SSA is something that you are born with and/or develop somehow in your environment. In many cases, SSA leads to addictive behavior. But in some situations, I have gone through long stretches in my life without indulging in addictive SSA behavior and still not feel authentic. Guys in Church often say how attracted they are to other girls. That is normal, but here is the difference. A guy can't say how attracted they are to another guy. It feels just as natural yet they cannot express how they really feel."
posted at 22:51:53 on June 15, 2013 by rmatt
Adjust analogies    
"RMATT, with all respect to you and your trials, wouldn't your scenario be more similar to me standing in a group of GIRLS at church and announcing that I'm attracted to one of them? I should not feel like being attracted is a sin, and neither should anyone else. (Those who think SSA is sin are wrong.) But, it still might be a little awkward and inappropriate for me to share my attraction in the circumstance you have created. It's not very natural to do that as a young single person, gay or straight.

Also, just because I'm born with something or develop it in my environment does not mean I must indulge to be true to myself, does it?"
posted at 09:26:09 on June 16, 2013 by beclean
Analagous, but not quite.    
"Of course it would be awkward to announce that, but that is not what happens at all. Straight people will comment how attracted they are to other people or friends or express their desire to date someone. Even innocent comments are acceptable only to those who are attracted to those of the opposite gender. Furthermore there is a distinction unwanted sexual feelings and indulging those feelings. Indulging in addictive SSA behavior is a different scenario that others in the Church accepting you because you struggle with those feelings. You are forced to play a role and conform to an ideal because Church is often a hostile environment especially growing up as a youth in the Church. This is a sinless struggle that many must endure, that are expected to endure, yet we are forced to talk about it in hushed tones."
posted at 17:17:31 on June 16, 2013 by rmatt
Obviously different    
"Matt - it seems like we keep trying to make the two parallel when that is impossible because they are different. I said that our struggles were different and that the analogy wasn't perfect but perhaps had some lessons to get from it but I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for. You're right, there isn't anything like SSA. A porn or lust addiction has a lot of different tendencies and is also very awkward and shunned by others, and are sexual in nature. Your last line follows my current views exactly, for I am currently in a sinless struggle that I (and many others) must in endure to conquer lust, but you don't hear me talking about it in sunday school, in a sacrament meeting talk, or even in priesthood. No one does. It's the whole 'country club' culture of the church where we act as if we're all fine when in reality we go to church to be healed and to change.

Anyway, I just sense that you're looking at this with a bitter and closed mind and I don't blame you, it's a hard thing to deal with and I don't claim to understand completely what it's about or what you're going through. All I know there are some lessons that can be learned that you reached out on this website to learn, so I would respectfully suggest that instead of combatting those that offer help that you take what lessons you can learn from it and inquire more if you so desire."
posted at 20:13:19 on June 16, 2013 by recovery.gdo
Response to Recovery    
"Trying to explain a distinction has nothing to do with being bitter or closed minded. Its quite the opposite. My attempt is to explain a situation that most members do not understand and when they hear about it they put up their defenses. Sorry if this offended you. But then again, this is indicative of many who are in the Church. They would rather not hear about it thus pushing many members even further into the proverbial closet even though they have done nothing wrong nor asked for these unwanted sexual attractions. So instead of getting the help they need, they go on missions in attempt to "cure themselves." Some are successful in post-mission life but others either embrace the lifestyle or worse kill themselves. Thankfully the Church has made great strides with materials i.e. brochures and websites. Still the Church membership as a whole has a long way to go."
posted at 21:36:57 on June 16, 2013 by rmatt
Gay Mormons    
"Elder Bednar gave a talk about this. He stressed the importance of being "doctrinally grounded" and leave the "whys" up to God and the hereafter. The only thing is that this great talk was secretly recorded. Not sure why more leaders don't say more on the topic."
posted at 16:40:54 on June 17, 2013 by Anonymous

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"In recent years, as I have sung the hymns of the Atonement, it has been with an especially full heart—and also with full voice, when I can continue to sing—lines such as “How great thou art,” “I scarce can take it in,” “To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,” “I stand all amazed,” and “Oh, it is wonderful!”"

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General Conference May 1987