40+ former pastor - how did I get trapped in this closet and should I even try to get out?

Page:   1 2 3 4

Joined in 2010
June 9, 2010, 03:38

Hi all

I have really been encouraged by reading the posts on this site. I been especially encouraged by the stories of AVB, Shan and HillsBen.

Ive been attracted to guys since I was a kid /teen but I just put it all down to ‘experimental kids stuff’. I didnt know any gay people and I never attached that label to myself ( Im not gay – Im just sexually attracted to guys lol)

At 18 I had a dramatic conversion experience and found myself in a really wonderful penticostal church (AVB even prayed for me at a ‘Jesus Rally’ and it was a very powerful experience 🙂 . I was married while still in my teens and continued to pursue my new found faith with a passion. I had never experienced love like this before – from God, my wife and my church community.

Sex, sexuality, sexual orientation were not subjects that were ever discussed in church circles and I guess if you were having problems ‘you just prayed more’. I prayed a lot more.

As I became busier in church life I found that any sexual attraction to guys became less and less and so I discovered that ‘my key’ 🙁 to dealing with all that ‘gay stuff’ was to pray and pray and pray and work harder and harder in church. However people who pray and work that hard often end up in the ministry as did I (for 19 years).

Sure the ‘gay stuff’ would pop its head up occasionally like an unwelcome ‘jack in the box’ but long periods of fasting, prayer and working harder seemed to help (for a time). Keeping jack in the box was taking a tremendous toll on my emotions and in reality my world was a big house of cards waiting to fall.

A few years ago I was the victim of a violent assault and my house of cards came tumbling down. I no longer had the emotional / spiritual energy to deal with anyone else’s problems much less my own (keeping jack in the box). I resigned my church because just making it through each day required all the resources I had and I no longer had the energy to fight off my sexual attraction to guys. I then began seeking out contact with guys and during this time I made some gay friends (non sexual) who have helped me understand more about these issues.

It was sooooooooooo amazing to have conversations with people like me.

I did undergo 18 months of counselling regarding the assault and related PTSD. Since the assault I have been on very poor talking terms with God (my doing) although I still attend a church. The counselling helped me to come to terms with the assaut and I also found that I became more accepting of who I was as a gay man. I finally came to admit to myself that I am gay.

I can honestly say that I didnt know I was gay before getting married but then I didnt know what being gay was. I am still married to a very wonderful person who has done nothing to deserve the hurt that my coming out of the closet would cause. But I also know that she deserves better…I really dont know what the next step is….

Joined in 2007
June 9, 2010, 04:29

Interesting story Jayz. Can’t say what the next step is. No one can tell you what you have to do but what you can do. Hope you have some good advisors (Anthony can help you better).I think it will be a good thing to stay married. Women think different than men, I mean they are more relational. And there are gay men who marry a women and can work there marriage out. I personally think you need to stay faithful to you wife. Does she know you are gay? The Holy Spirit his guidance is number one in all the advise. You have to choose only you are responsible for your life and give account to God. That’s a bit what I think of it.

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
June 9, 2010, 10:03

Hi jayz

Welcome to f2b!

You did what so many of us do – the best you could without knowledge, time and opportunities to discuss sexuality. And this was not helped by living in heteronormative environments that tend to suppress our gay selves.

I’m glad the counselling was helpful with the assault and some of the gay stuff as with finding gay friends to talk with.

Whatever your decision, there’s no need to rush. In my experience, it was good to explore who I was and feel more sure about that before coming out. But we’re all different. For some, coming out to a trusted friend/s where there’s a good chance of a positive response helps strengthen a healthy sense of self.

Discussing in the forum and contacting some of the guys at f2b is a great idea for gaining support and wisdom in this process as well.

Keep us posted.


Ann Maree

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
June 9, 2010, 11:14

well hi Jayz…..glad you found us. How did you do that BTW.

I have found it is very common for those of us who are gay and in churches to throw ourselves into the Lords work/ christian service. This serves two main purposes.

Firstly it keeps us busy so we dont have to think about the ‘issue’.

Secondly its a subcouscious way of balancing out the ‘bad’ in us. Getting Kudos from God and others. Balancing out the scales so to speak.

What is interesting is that this seems the same both for those who have acted on their same sex orientation and those who haven’t……..mmmmm… is about identity. (my personal belief….but i think i’m right…hehe)

The other thing that comes up in your story and many others is that most of our lives its like treading water. We are using so much emotional energy trying to suppress, hate and deny the gayness that exists at the core of our being that when something happens like a tragedy, loss of a loved one, marriage breakup, mid life crisis or something else that needs to draw on additional emotional reserves then the thing we have buried for years begins to surface refusing to be ignored.

Joined in 2008
June 9, 2010, 21:00

Sure the ‘gay stuff’ would pop its head up occassionaly like an unwelcome ‘jack in the box’ but long periods of fasting, prayer and working harder seemed to help (for a time). Keeping jack in the box was taking a tremendous toll on my emotions and in reality my world was a big house of cards waiting to fall.

Hi jayz,

Welcome to freedom2b[e}. I can so relate to the “gay stuff” you mention above. I was very much like that in my twenties and thirties – implicitly acknowledging that I was sexually attracted to guys, but because of my heavy involvement in a church environment, I chose to ignore it hoping it would go away – but it didn’t. I only came out to myself two years ago after a falling out with my church. I also tried the praying and working harder routine – and it was just that – a routine. Keeping jack in the box also tooks it’s toll on me until I found freedom2b[e].

We are here to support you in your journey!

Joined in 2010
June 9, 2010, 21:50

Thanks Pierre

I am appreciating the support I am experiencing here. It. feels so much better to start getting all this stuff out…even if its only in text. I know I will have to leave my ” neutral space in my head – my ‘no think’ space” and begin to think / examine / choose a path into the future. It does help to know others have had to do the same….and survived the process. Thanks again Pierre

Joined in 2009
June 9, 2010, 22:02

Hi Jayz

Good to see your posts on here- and welcome.

Glad that you got something from my posts. Honesty is a really difficult thing when you’ve been hiding for so long- but this is the kind of place where you can share these things- so much support. It’s also a great way of working things out. But at the same time some anonymity from the lurkers.


Joined in 2010
June 9, 2010, 22:12

😀 I was one of those lurkers for a short time, when I read more of the stories last night I knew i had to write something – even though it was about 2.30 am by the time I had finished :tired: – but worth it!

Joined in 2007
June 10, 2010, 02:59

Look to my time even later as you. :p

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
June 11, 2010, 11:25

Hi jayz

My heart really goes out to you. My marriage was very important to me too. No one goes into that sort of commitment so they can get divorced. I never thought it would happen to me and I’m guessing it’s the same with you. Whatever happens, you will still be there emotionally and financially for your family, but yes, it won’t be the same.

Of course you don’t want to hurt your wife but she’s hurting already, currently under the misconception that you’re seeing another woman when you’re not. She’d sense that you’re hiding something and her deduction is as good as any, especially in light of the text that came through. I guess you’ve got to consider which is more hurtful: hiding something from her that she senses and that keeps you both apart, OR, being truthful and facing up to the fact that this heterosexual relationship is unlikely to be able to give each of you what you need.

And in all of this, you’ve got to process things in your own time. Building supports in the LGBT community is good and even finding some supports that your wife might talk with at a later stage (such as a PFLAG representative), could help both of you cope better. Have you considered counselling or life coaching? I mention these because there’s a lot to work through and often it helps to be alongside an objective and confidential person during this time. You need to find the supports that work best for you though.

This is a difficult process but people do come out the other side of it, as many of us have at f2b. In my observations, the journey, transition and recovery are usually helped by having some quality supports in your life.

Keep talking with us. And I’m sorry this is so painful.


Ann Maree

Page:   1 2 3 4
WP Forum Server by ForumPress | LucidCrew
Version: 99.9; Page loaded in: 0.079 seconds.