How do you love when you are terrified that you will only hurt the one you want?

How do you love when you are terrified that hurt will drive them away and leave you a crumpled empty shell?

Where does the courage come from to open ones self up - to take the chance - to make the step - the step that lands you in the human race?

How do you know if you are really out of the closet? And if you think you are, then shouldn't that include the confidence to put ones self out there to find that love instead of hiding in the shadows still terrified...

Some days I really wonder... I mean I know I came out in the manner of telling my family and loved ones. But did I forget to come out to myself? Its as if I am watching it through someone else's point of view. I see my life - I know that I am gay, I know the desires, but the experience of those feelings those emotions those wants for love... real love... all seem like such a disconnect like I haven't been able to make myself believe its all real? And that its ok to be me.

Instead I fill my life with obsessions, shopping, new hobbies, technology, books, sleep, and work. I go the motions, I take the steps, but somehow I still haven't joined the life of the living? The mess that is relationships, of love, and of experience.

For over 8 years now I have been single. For over 8 years I have not had a date, nor the courage of seeking one. I have lived the single life and all the while told myself its not a bad thing. Its not... but its not enough.

The last relationship I had, and the only honest one from my side, I was being used for a taxi service and a lending institution. When I wanted to share and experience the emotions, the physical, I was shut down. And I, ME, I felt guilty when I ended that relationship - because I still felt guilty for causing any kind of pain on the part of my former companion. A guilt not deserved since there was no emotion for them.

Maybe I am simply to filled with emotion, a vessel that has reached critical mass but that contains that which will not stop replicating. With the seal on that bottle top knocked loose, I can't seem to contain or handle things like I used to.

For over a year now I will be going about my day, about my life, in peace - and without warning the raging storm, my soul in agony, tries to scream through. Like a fresh crack in the wall and the tears and emotion bursts forth with strength enough to shatter a planet. But just as quickly dissipates until it makes its appearance at some other unknown date. I can't help but to wonder if I am loosing my mind or if my soul is simply done being bound to this body and trying to break free of the shell it is shackled too... Is something trying to break free of me, or simply break through to take over? Is it ME inside that has been hidden and is hurt and angry trying to break the facade? Or is my coping mechanism simply failing...

And to this I stand with a family in need, but hindered by distance I am left unable to support, unable to help, unable to move in a direction. I feel so helpless I want to do something but there is nothing for me...

This move to MA has been the best and hardest thing I ever have done. Without this move I would not be alive today, but because of this move I am 900 miles from my family, from my friends. And today my life is filled with only those that I know from my work, and a family a town away that I don't fully know how to relate to, and feel so unworthy of their kindness. I don't know if to trust those that I work with. Some I know not to - and the ones I want to, I simply fear I am being naive

But to expand my life - to step into the world, I have to summon a courage that doesn't seem to exist. I WANT, more than air, for friendship, love, and laughter in the local. But the steps - to even go out to a bar to dance to watch, to be... I am terrified.

So much fear.. so few answers. And amidst all of this I think I may have finally defined my belief's in the spiritual... Such an odd time for mystical clarity.

To step away from the organized, the church, the institution and realize that for me its not about some book that has been handed down and revised by men of the ages. A book with suggestions for practical living in a time not our own, not divine true guidance. For me its a matter of planes of existence. That we have our physical world. But that there is a plane just "next door" of the spiritual. Where an over all driving force - not so much a single mind, but an energy, the souls/spirits of those passed and those to be, exist here and help to guide our lives and thoughts if only we are open to them. To believe that there is something more there - something personal between that connection - be it Allah, God, Jesus, Buddha, or whatever name it is given. Its all a personal thing - that can NOT be mass produced in a church.

As with all life there is a yin and yang. A good and evil. Its what helps to define us and our lives and to guide us in the direction we know we should go. With this knowledge I know that who I am, and who I love is not a cause for hatred - for self loathing- not a cause for supposed damnation. But simply that I follow the flow of life, treat those around me with respect, honesty, and kindness. And hope that somehow in the journey I find the capacity to love myself and that even more than that to find someone else to love who will love me - making that glowing path blaze through life in spirit and in physical all that much more. I know that I should not let myself define myself by my physical, though it proves over and over to be such a challenge.. such a life shaking challenge... I know in my head what I feel like I should appear as - I have the image, but the mirror shows the truth..

In my mind I am the man I want to be.. In my life I am some stranger holding me hostage inside of me...

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Written while at work a few weeks ago:

"I stop. I go. I live. I move. I wish, dream, hope. I cry. Life moves. I stay."

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Written tonight:

"A shake of my head, I turn my eyes down. Studying the ground before me, I turn to look into the foggy distance and wonder. Looking to study my position I drop my shoulders as if carrying a burden 5 times my capacity, turn my head and eyes back to the ground. Twisting in place, first the upper-then the lower, My feet follow in step. I turn my back and walk away to a direction in peace I seek. In search of love of life I hope to find. One step after the next... into the shadow - into the fog, hoping to survive what's ahead...one step after the next until I've faded from view, but a memory of this moment... and lost to the new."