How christianity killed my ability to love
Now there's a provocative title for you!
Here's the story...
I've found an amazing guy who loves me to bits, just as I am. He's caring and romantic and, well that's not the real issue here.
The problem is me. You see, when I was young, my christian beliefs made it impossible for me to love someone. Sure I could love a woman, but being gay, this was rather a tall order. Of course I tried, and was married twice to amazing women, but them being women and me being gay, well, it was never going to work.
But there were a couple of guys I fell for, and one of them big time. My heart was bursting with love, not just physical, real love, passion, romance - everything they write about in Mills and Boon novels (not that I've ever read one).
I could never act on that love though. We could never be free to express it, because the church, the bible, christianity, religion, said it was sin. It said love between two guys was a sickness and God hated it.
So I shut it down, with every ounce of emotional strength I could muster. I then married my second wife, and together we did everything we could to live straight christian lives. I put all my energy into loving my wife. I learned how to do romantic things and to make love. I did my best, and believed that God would honour it and eventually make me straight.
But of course that never happened, and she died never being loved by me in the way we had hoped.
So now after four years I've found this guy and I'm scared, in a deep but subtle way. It's so hard to give myself to him. Even though I now know the christian view of sexuality is completely stuffed, its done its damage. The scar is deep and I have to now fight to undo the fear.
I find myself backing off, not wanting to talk, avoiding contact, not wanting to respond to his love (and I'm not talking about sex here) - because I've spent all my life suppressing that love, denying it, fighting it - so that now I'm finally free to enjoy real love, I find that the mechanisms of response are shut down.
Yes christianity - you did this! Some will say it was religion rather than christianity, but no. After living this for over 40 years, I can say without hesitation it was the very core principles of christian doctrines that killed love in me. "Religion" just made it worse!
Reparative therapy, done by one of the most deeply christian organisations, screwed the last drop of romantic love out of me, shut up my deepest emotions and crippled my heart.
Oh, I'm learning the depths of unconditional love for humanity, seeing God in all, in ways that are mind blowing. But to love another human with sensual love and romance, well, that's shut down.
I'm now on the journey of finding the keys to open it again. I have an amazing man who is helping for now, although that in itself is another complicated story.
It's slowly returning. I'm learning to give my heart again, bit by bit, seeing the places that have gone numb and allowing the blood of life to flow through them.
Christianity makes me angry. Religion even more so. But the God who I'm slowly discovering, the God who is Love - nothing more and nothing less - lifts me above that anger, as I let it. And sometimes that's a little hard!