High School

31 December 2008
I received a message from a girl I knew in high school a couple of days ago telling me that she has been stalking my blog. The first thought was amazement. There have been a lot of people from high school who have found my blog. They have sent me emails or texts letting me know that they read my blog. I guess the main thing that amazes me is that they are perfectly fine with everything. It doesn't freak out them out that I'm gay. I would think that there would be a lot more people in happy valley that would be freaking out about it, but they aren't. It's nice to know that there are still a lot of good people out there who don't care about who I am attracted to, but rather who I am as a person. It also amazes me with how many find actually find my blog. It makes me wonder what they are searching for and how they find it. I remember a time when I was afraid that people would find out, but now I'm completely fine with it.

High school was not a good time for me. In fact, I hated high school with a passion. I was always angry, bitter, and rarely happy. I could fake everything--people thought I was the happiest person, that I had tons of friends, that I loved life, that I was straight, and many other things. The truth of the matter is that none of these things were my life. Sure, there were moments when I was happy and I could find solace and peace of my whenever I jumped into the pool, but my life was not what most people in my high school thought it was.

My angry and bitter stage of life started in middle school. I had a good amount of friends, but nobody I really connected with. I was welcomed into groups but I felt like an outsider. It hurt and nobody seemed to notice. I soon developed addictions to gay pornography and masturbation because it helped the pain go away for a moment, but it always came back. Then high school happened. A lot of my "close" friends from middle school ditched me and left me on my own. That hurt really bad and caused me to be even angrier. The loneliness never really went away. Nobody was helping me to fix it. Nobody was helping me get over my addictions. I prayed to God for help, but nothing happened. I went and talked to my bishop about my addictions, but he too was no help. He seemed uncaring and I never went back to him for help. I couldn't turn to my parents and friends because they wouldn't understand. They had no idea what I was going through because they seemed too absorbed in their own life. I couldn't go to any of my other church leaders because I didn't trust them because of my bishop and one of my leaders kept telling me that I was going inactive. My testimony fell apart and it has always been a struggle to get it back because of these events that happened to me.

Then I turned 16. It was a time for dating and excitement. I wasn't excited to date because I did have any guy friends to go on double or group dates with. I, however, found some guy friends and we were able to go on groups dates, but the loneliness still pervaded my essence and my being. I couldn't rid myself of it. A short time after I turned 16, I finally discovered the real reason why I was lonely--I came out to myself. I realized that I was gay because I had a huge crush on this guy. He was so attractive, sweet, and funny. I caught myself staring at him and wanting to be with him. I had crushes throughout middle school and my freshman year of high school on guys, but I always told myself it was because I wanted to be like them and that I wanted to be their friend. Ha! That was a huge lie. Even though I came out to myself, I was still in denial. I knew deep down that I was gay, but I didn't want to be. I still looked at porn, had crushes, and sneaked glances at guys in locker rooms, but I was in denial. This caused me to still be angry and bitter in life and my testimony was gone.

I came out a couple of months after high school. I made an amazing friend. I found that I wasn't lonely anymore and that I was happy outside of the swimming pool. I told that friend and he came out to me too--he was the first person I told that I was gay and I was the first person he told that he was gay. It was a good time and we were in love. This is besides the point though. I have changed so much from high school. I am finally happy. I have found meaning, purpose, passions, and everything between in my life. I am a completely different person!

Tonight, I am going right back into high school. Some old high school friends that I promised I would hang out with this break are throwing a New Year's Eve party. I wanted so bad to get out of it, but I couldn't--no other plans. The girl who is throwing it called me this morning and told me who was all going to be there and it is all of my old high school friends--I haven't seen them in over 2 years. I know that none of them have changed, but I know that I have changed drastically--some high school friends that I keep in contact with agree with me on that. I'm kind of scared to go back to them. I have no idea what they will think of me. I don't care if they assume that I am gay, know that I am gay, or ask me that I am gay--I'm over that now. It's more if they don't accept the new me. I know that I shouldn't care because they aren't even part of my life anymore, but I do. They were the ones who didn't ditch me in high school like so many other friends did. Yet, they were the friends who didn't notice my pain and agony. Ugh! This is so frustrating sometimes. I hope that their judgments will not make me fall out of my happiness that I've found myself in right now.


27 December 2008

Abuse hinders normal development
Therapists face daunting task in treating children

By Lucinda Dillon Kinkead
Deseret Morning News

Child sexual abuse cases are some of the most sensitive faced by therapists because the daunting issues of a child's behavior, sexuality, appropriate development, peer interaction and family dynamics all are impacted with these crimes.

Doug Goldsmith is director of The Children's Center at the University of Utah, which hosts a therapeutic preschool for 350 children ages 3, 4 and 5. About 40 percent of these children have been physically and/or sexually abused.

The age group is — appropriately — quite interested in their own bodies, he said.

"So if a child is masturbating, it does not mean the child has been sexually abused. If the child is wetting the bed, it doesn't mean they've been sexually abused," Goldsmith said.

But committing sex acts in a way an adult would is not age-appropriate. "Committing oral sex is not something that comes naturally to a child of this age. Putting things into the vaginal area is not something that is normal," he said.

An examination of child psychology and sexual abuse also must consider the uncomfortable notion that the crimes are not always entirely unpleasant to the child.

"A part of it feels terrible to the child. It can make them scared and confused," Goldsmith said. "But a part of it can also feel good." In some cases perpetrators have created a "secret" or "special" relationship with the child.

So a young child who has been exposed to sexually inappropriate touching, behavior or pornography often becomes "eroticized," he said.

"They are preoccupied with sexual feelings," Goldsmith said. Problems increase when that child moves into elementary school years. "Many stay very excited and sexualized."

So these children, victims of abuse themselves, begin inappropriate contact with other children.

In some cases, a child who has been made to feel helpless through abuse may try to gain power and control by abusing another child. In other cases it can be an effort to create "twinship," Goldsmith explains. "If I've been abused and you've been abused, then we have something in common."

"So this is not just about finding the adult perpetrator," Goldsmith warns. "It is happening in our communities."

And it is happening between children. This sexualizing of very young children is the most daunting aspect of child sexual abuse, he says.

"This is one of the problems, and putting a stop to it is very, very difficult."

For this reason, Goldsmith encourages adults to supervise children at all times, no matter what age. No closed doors. No kids playing upstairs while Mom or Dad are downstairs.

Through counseling, child victims can learn how to soothe themselves and interact appropriately, he said. "But it's a significant, significant relearning process."

The topic also raises issues beyond criminal actions to this society's outlook on sexuality and the situations in which adults include kids.

Is it a wonder, Goldsmith asks, that our children are having trouble with appropriate sexuality?

In public, we've got Britney Spears, Victoria's Secret catalogs and Abercrombie & Fitch ads with teenage girls showing half their breasts, he says. In private, there is an "epidemic" of men addicted to computer pornography. "We really don't know what kids are being exposed to," he said.

"Or kids in the birthing room," Goldsmith laments. "Is it not confusing to a 4-year-old to see his baby brother born?"

Has it gotten out of hand with children?

"Absolutely," said Goldsmith.

With 50 percent of marriages falling apart and new partners coming onto the scene, children watch as Daddy kisses his girlfriend — or worse, Goldsmith said.

"Kids are watching incredibly inappropriate behavior between parents," he said. "We really have to take a look at these issues and ask: 'What are we modeling for our kids?"'

I have been talking a friend about the topic of abuse because we were discussing my childhood. I was a very promiscuous child. I was exploring sexuality at a very young age. I know that it started with masturbation around the age of four or five, if not before then. It then developed into having oral sex with my friends. He sent me the article above and it has made me wonder if I was sexually abused and don't remember it. I always thought that I was just a promiscuous child and that I curious--that I discovered what felt good. I have no idea anymore and I don't know what to think. Another strike against me for abuse is that when I played Barbies with my girl friends, we would have sex to make babies. Most children shouldn't know how to do that. I knew. I don't think my parents told me about it and I know that my girl friends didn't know what it was until I explained it to them. I never really thought about it because I have always had a curiosity for the human body. Maybe this curiosity is what drove me to discover these things or maybe I was abused. I don't know.

I was up pretty late last night thinking about my childhood. I was racking my brains trying to figure out if and when I was abused. It had to be at a young age if I was. If I was abused, I am pretty sure that it wasn't my parents--it would have been a peer. I don't know though. It hurts me to think about this because I became an abuser myself by teaching my friends about sex and sexuality. I just hope that I didn't hurt any of them and turn them gay like I might have been turned gay. The thing is that I don't feel like an abuser because I introduced the idea to them and they went along with it--I didn't force them to do anything. Ugh! This is so frustrating to think about.

Does anyone else have similar experiences like this? If so, I would like to chat. Please send me an email or comment here.

Does anyone have thoughts about this topic? If so, please share.

Tidal Wave

21 December 2008

-"Tidal Wave" by The Killers

He’s always trouble with his non-complacent
Shotgun eyes, shotgun eyes
His subtlety, his mystery
Not like the other guys

She’s always taken by his reputation
He’s so bad, he’s so bad
On Saturday night, they’re running for the shadow

You say your heart ain’t ever been broken
You think you know where you’re going
Tidal wave
Tidal wave come rushing over me
You say this life has given you nothing
You got another thing coming
Tidal wave
Tidal wave come rushing over me

He’ll get a warning sign to keep his distance
From her old man, from her old man
Now the story of forbidden love
Has gotta make a stand

So in the middle of the early morning
They’ll slip away, slip away
And we know they’ll do their best
Somewhere in the golden west

Oh yeah, and we’ll watch them drive
They’re so alive

You say your heart ain’t ever been broken
You think you know where you’re going
Tidal wave
Tidal wave come rushing over me
You say this life has given you nothing
You got another thing coming
Tidal wave
Tidal wave come rushing over me
Tidal wave

These tidal waves are caught off track
Come tomorrow, cause I can’t go back
Come together, can’t you see
Tidal wave gonna cover me.
These tidal waves are caught off track
Come tomorrow, cause I can’t go back
Come together, can’t you see
Tidal wave gonna cover me.

Cover me
I can’t go back
Can’t you see

Looking Back

16 December 2008
About two years ago, I came out to my first friend. That friend then came out to me that very same night and we became boyfriends. In a couple of days, it will mark the day that I last talked to him. That was a very hard day for me. As I look back, the separation was the best for the both of us. This event is what started me on my journey of self-discovery. I have learned so much in just two years about life, love, myself, friends, the world, and so much more. I know that I couldn't have done this with him in my life. He consumed me during the time when we were together. He was always on my mind. We were always texting, doing homework, hanging out, watching movies, swimming, playing, working out, eating (one of our favorite past times after swimming or working out), and many other things. We were inseparable. He is now serving a mission. He has made different choices in his life that led him there. He went on a different journey of self-discovery than me. There are days that I wish I would have been on a different path so I could be on a mission right now like him and there are other days that I am glad that I am on a different path and not a mission. There is one thing that I wish I could change though--I wish I could still be friends with him.

I realize that I can't change the past, the different paths that I have been on, and the choices I have made. I can only choose the path that I am on at this moment. I love the path that I am on. It has taught so much about myself. It has started a new period of self-discovery. What is my path now? It is the path of things that I love and am passionate about. I am in love with swimming, coaching, medicine, school, Madonna, research, my goals, and my friends. These things fill my time and teach me so many things. I have learned that I absolutely love life, even though it sucks sometimes (actually this semester life has pretty much sucked the whole time). I have learned not to feel lonely and if I do how to fix that. I have learned that people love and miss me. I have learned that I am a leader, not a follower (I have always known this but it has become more prevalent in my life). I have learned that I can have one of the hardest semesters in my collegiate career and come off top in all of my classes. I have learned that I don't have to hide anything anymore--I am who I am, which includes all of my faults. I have learned about HIV and I am starting to write a paper with my advising professor. I have learned to create and achieve bigger and better goals in my life. I have seen Madonna in concert and that renewed my love for her. I learned at the concert that she is amazing live! I have a renewed passion for swimming and coaching it. I have had a greater sense of my calling in life. I know that I am supposed to be doctor, even though I have many other talents in other areas. The last major and probably most important lesson I have learned is balancing all areas of my life. These things that I have learned have all come from the path that I am on right now--the one that I chose.

Where does this lead me now? Do I change paths, stay on the one that I am, or do I move in the same direction while exploring little side paths? I'm not sure. I go by feel. I do what I feel is right. I know that the path that I am on is wrong for me when areas of my life start to suffer because of choices I have made--the balance is thrown off. I'm going to keep on trekking in this life to find out what it is supposed to be and who I am.

One last thing that I want to say is that I am finally truly happy with no conditions placed upon my happiness. I love myself, my life, and everything that it involves! :)

Christmas Spirit

14 December 2008

I found this little treasure online today. This man sure found a way to show the true meaning of Christmas in this Santa Claus race in Paris, France.


13 December 2008
This entry to going to be about my best and most favorite cousin in the whole entire world! Let's just say that I have always loved her a lot, but now I love her even more. She's the best!

Last weekend, I went down to Arizona with a bunch of my swimmers to a huge swim meet. While I was there, I got some sun, met an Olympian, had great fun, met up with my cousin, met her awesome boyfriend, and came out to her (this is why I love her even more now). The story behind my coming out to her was anticlimactic--I thought it would be. I have been thinking about coming out to her since I first came out, but my parents wanted to keep it on the DL with family members so I refrained myself. I finally decided that it was my decision whether or not to come out to her, not my parents, so I planned on doing it on this trip.

She picked me up for dinner and fun. We chatted in the car on the way to her boyfriend's house. We caught up on what what going on in each others lives and had a few good laughs. I met her boyfriend and we headed off to see a glass art exhibit off in the desert. Well, the exhibit didn't happen because it was already sold out--that was disappointing, but that didn't ruin the night. We then headed off to an amazing Mexican restaurant (I can't remember the name). On the way there, I told her that I was gay. She told me that she expected and that she knew because she has read my whole blog. We then chatted about everything... my past boyfriends, life, parents, future, goals, etc. It was really good and her boyfriend was really cool about the whole thing too. I am really happy that she and I are much closer now and that things are going well for the both of us.

Flash forward to this morning...

I received a text from her last night. I actually didn't get it until this morning because I was asleep--I went to bed around 9 because I had a rough day yesterday that involved spending most of the day at the hospital and getting a colonoscopy. This is what her text read:
Hey cuz. I stumbled onto an article today about a BYU art exhibit and to my surprise saw your cute face and your brother. I want to tell you how much that meant to me. When I saw those pictures I just cried. Sean, I am so proud of you. I think about you a lot and I love you so much. I'm glad we were finally able to talk.
This was such a wonderful text. I started crying this morning when I got it. It made me feel so good and loved. It makes me so happy to know that I can be so close to her. I only wish that she lived closer so that we could hang out and party. I can't wait until she comes and visits for Christmas. It is going to be a blast!

I love you Valpal! :)

PS I'm thinking about coming out to my extended family this Christmas. Does anyone have some thoughts or advice on it?

Getting Published

01 December 2008
I just got out of the meeting with my professor and he basically told me that if I work on the project he gave me and gave some insightful discussion to the results I get, I will be published! I am so excited! That is all.