I lurk among the shadows contemplating my existence. This castle is old, the walls creaking and groaning with the battering of the howling wind. The only soul within this castle is me, and I’d rather it be that way, for I’d rather be alone with my thoughts.

Yet at the same time, I don’t want to be this way. I spend countless hours pondering and mourning what I lost or what I never had. Was it rejection by others that put me here? Or was it my own regretful actions?

I sit in the dark endlessly pondering what went wrong.

In its old age, my castle holds many memories. Echoes and ghosts of better times, sad reminders of a lost past. Many bad memories intermingle, haunting the rooms like dark shadows.

I hear the children of the night make their music, and I enjoy it. Another reason why the people of the village fear me: they ignore simple pleasures like these.

Suddenly, I see him on the street: an attractive young man out for a jog, shirtless, very fit and young. A woman runs alongside him. A girlfriend? A wife, maybe?

This guy seems to have his whole life together: attractive, fit, and heterosexual. He probably has the most normal life on earth.

I click my long nails together in interest as I spy on him.

I hate this normal Mister Goodie Good! He thinks he has it all, doesn’t he? A girl is all he needs, as society says, right? Why does he not pay attention to me? I’d love to have him as my brother, and his life would be enriched by my love in his life, too!

But he won’t notice! Nor will he care!

I slink back into the shadows as my anger and longing turn to bloodlust. I feast on the blood of the masculine, and I long to sink my teeth into him to suck him dry. I want to be him and emulate his masculine life-force, and I want him to love me.

No one else loves me. But his lack of attention forces me to take it from him.

To love without love is the worst pain imaginable. I will do anything to numb it.

Regret is the last thing I feel at the moment. What does this Mr Sexy McPerfect Life know about true suffering and pain? He doesn’t know the first thing about loneliness or what I’m going through or have gone through.

My thirst is quenched, at least for a little while.

I go back to my coffin, cross my arms, and go to sleep. I am still alone with no love in my life and know that sometime soon I will sink my teeth into the next masculine man I see . . .

Ultimately, I am not satisfied. I begin to weep over being so alone. How could anyone love a disgusting outcast creature like me?

Worse, how could God love something evil like me? Surely, he doesn’t love me; he’s probably long given up hope and will not help me. I am alone within the walls of my castle for eternity.

I sink into despair and lose all hope.

~ ~ ~

Before you get too weirded out and say, “Hmm, that’s enough YOB for today,” this is how I used to see myself at times.

The shame over my SSA made me feel that I was something evil, repulsive, and unlovable. My loneliness and lack of friends seemed to prove it.

One day out of the blue, I sat in the shadows as God said to me:

You are not evil or a vampire. You are broken like every last person on this earth. Even that guy on the street you saw is broken and not perfect. Despite your brokenness, you are not beyond my love and you never have been.

I sit back in astonishment. Really? After everything I’ve done and every man I’ve lusted after, God still loves me? Even in my lowest and most depraved state, he still loves a creature of the night like me?

I realized that having these thorns in my side do not make me evil. Especially if I have remorse and repentance.

God doesn’t want me to sulk in the misery and darkness of my own shortcomings. He wants to welcome me into a world of love.

Despite everything, he brings blessings of love and brotherhood into my life like I would never believe. These men love me and don’t see me as some monster to avoid. What on earth did I do to deserve these blessings?

God is like Van Helsing, and he has driven a stake into the heart of my dark self-perceptions.

I am free of my curse now! I walk into the daylight, but I do not turn to dust. I walk under the light of God’s truth and love and into the arms of my brothers.

Have your attractions and struggles with lust made you feel like an unlovable vampire? How do you distance yourself from such self-perceptions? How do you make the switch from unlovable to lovable, both with respect to other people and to God?

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    23 Comments
    • Reply Jim Roberts

      13 November 2017, 7:42 am

      Wow Eugene, the vampire analogy sure describes me. I am much older than you and watched Dark Shadows tv series as a young boy. I so related to Barnabas Collins – a vampire – when I was 8-10.
      I have had my times of moving into the light and thinking I’m not that bad. But always end up back in my dark “coffin”, where I seem to belong.
      Thanks for making me think otherwise.

      • Reply Eugene Heffron

        13 November 2017, 7:47 pm

        My parents were big into Dark Shadows haha. In my case I relate to the vampire in the Werner Herzog remake of Nosferatu. He tries so hard to pass himself off as a normal guy when Jonathan Harker visits but fails miserably because he’s awkward and creepy. Plus he loses control of himself when Harker cuts his finger…
        And yeah you’re welcome to be helped to think otherwise. We may seem like creepy demented creatures but we are sinners like everyone else and God loves us the same.

    • Reply Thomas Mark Zuniga

      13 November 2017, 9:20 am

      Resonating, convicting. All I ever want some days is to suck the masculine life force from other men who seem to have it all together. I must really force myself to tell myself that even the manliest man on the sidewalk (or in the grocery store) also struggles, also sins, also doesn’t have it all together. Thanks for putting words and even a visual to this mindset, Eugene. Appreciate you so much.

      • Reply Eugene Heffron

        13 November 2017, 7:49 pm

        Thank you Tom, that means so much! Yeah it can be hard to believe that the most confident, charismatic, and good looking masculine guy may have similar or even worse vices. You just never know.

    • Reply TriggerWarning

      13 November 2017, 10:30 am

      It is an apt analogy. It made me think of that Anne Rice novel, Interview with a Vampire. There is an undercurrent in that book of homoeroticism, two undead men feeding off each other and teaming to feed off of others in an eternal, repeating hellish scenario.
      For myself, I am more of a stalker than a vampire I think. I like to hang around places frequented by men so I can enjoy their company. I do not feel badly about this behavior. I meet guys when I’m fishing, or at church or at the grocery store and they do not seem to mind me feeding off their personalities. Some have become friends. I take their donations to my life gladly and enjoy I their presence. I think it’s fun to just sit down on a bench at a state fair or farmer’s market and watch guys. It’s not about lust, or so I tell myself. I’m learning or, as you say, feeding. Is there really anything wrong with this? I like men.

      • Reply Eugene Heffron

        13 November 2017, 7:59 pm

        Right, Interview with a Vampire does come to mind with that. I like that movie.
        And I would say just enjoying the company of men isn’t a bad thing for sure. Only lusting after them would really be considered “feeding” in my opinion.

    • Reply Robert Fleming

      13 November 2017, 1:04 pm

      Wow, yes and I don’t know! That’s my gut reaction. But really, you made me think. I’m not sure I’ve been accepting the gift lately.

    • Reply Bradley Joel Morton

      13 November 2017, 11:54 pm

      For the longest time, I felt sorry for myself. Even after I left the gay lifestyle, I would think to myself ‘I’m God’s pet faggot’. I just simply refused toi see myself as God sees me: His child. To do so might mean thinking like those Christians who told me that all gays go to hell. Why was I attracted to men? Why did He take my best friend from me? Why did I keep going bacy into the cycle of codependancy and emodep? Sex with a guy hadn’t moved him an inch off his throne; neither had pornography. So was He still interested in me?
      Maybe because he was married to the backslider (Jeremiah 3:14). Maybe He saw that I was worth it. Maybe He knew that I was too mule headed to come to Him on my own. Maybe He sent the stroke, because He knew that would be the only way I would listen. Maybe He believes in me. Maybe He will never give up on me, even when I gave up on myself. Maybe He loves me.

    • Reply royal

      14 November 2017, 1:52 pm

      So poignant. So poetic. Drawing deeper understanding and feelings.
      “I spend countless hours pondering and mourning what I lost or what I never had……..” This line specifically carries my life-long pain. Of a life
      that most men got to live that I will never experience, of love towards other women who I will never love (at least romantically), of being a sixteen-year-old who was innocently studying hard as other boys and girls paired up.
      Its hard dealin with this. But hopefully one day it all shall make sense. Meanwhile let’s continue with our online camaraderie because for some of us this is all we have.

    • Reply Dean Bailey

      15 November 2017, 2:50 pm

      Metaphorically Brilliant! There are just so many parallels that resonate with me, or that I wholly identify with in this posting, Eugene. The questioning and inward doubting of God’s love toward me, however, is certainly the most troublesome of them.
      Funny thing is, I am well able to look at all of this with the external clarity of the Truth of the Gospel (for I am both Biblically literate, and able to understand its Truth and meaning), and I find it so rich and full of Christ’s very powerful wisdom and knowledge that easily dispells all of my negative inward thinking toward myself… and yet it all seems to remain so very elusive to my human heart; always just outside of my tangible grasp! It almost seems to make the Gospel into a cruel spiritual tease, and an ultimate source of tragic despairing at times, rather than the creultimate hope of all mankind that it actually is. But I know that this negative perspective all flows from within my own flesh, and the ugly self-image I have of “me,” rather than from any cruel intent of the Father (knowing also that God is Love).
      I could go on and on with this. But to cut to the chase, I know that the real problem here is my image of self, rather than my belief in God. Because, until I am able to at least love myself enough to see myself through His eyes (instead of through my sin), then I’ll never be able to grasp with my heart the immense and eternal measure of the love He truly does have toward me… and indeed, toward us all.
      I’m still working on it.

    • Reply Norberto Paz

      5 December 2017, 1:08 pm

      I came back to this website for the first time after a whole year and I have to tell you that not much has changed since the last time I visited. The authors continue to dwell in an inner darkness of hopelessness and despair, never really living in the light. Suffering and experiencing life as a curse, not really knowing the joy of living from the heart, afraid of revealing your true self, afraid of being honest with yourself and with the world around you. You cannot reach people’s hearts if you only live in constant shame and guilt. HOW can this be the life that GOD promised us in His Son? Were we not promised a life of abundance? A life of peace, a life of joy, of love and good cheer? I came here seeking brotherhood and all i found was brokenness. I came here seeking hope but instead I found despair. This is NOT the life that Christ died for us to have. God does NOT take pleasure in our suffering. We were NOT created to live in fear and shame. The stories here in this website never change, they’re always stories of defeat and hopelessness. What does a young gay man like myself have to look forward to in life if this is all there is? Nay, I tell you, I will walk against the many even if I am condemned by all but I will embrace what I was given and use it to serve humanity with love and truth rather than stand behind some “castle walls” and watch others dance in the sun while I sit in my “coffin” mourning over that which is actually mine for the taking.

      • Reply Thomas Mark Zuniga

        5 December 2017, 1:52 pm

        I hear you, Norberto. Life isn’t all darkness. But it isn’t all light, too. The problem in church culture these days is that there’s a total pendulum shift to the light without any regard for the darkness. Perhaps we’ve swung more to the darkness in response, if only to bring light to those needed stories. But there’s plenty of light to be found in this community. We have a flourishing Facebook group for Patreon supporters and even the comments sections of these posts are filled with support and brotherhood. I hope you stick around longer this time to see this light shine through.

      • Reply Thomas Mark Zuniga

        5 December 2017, 1:55 pm

        Also, the second half of Eugene’s post depicts his turn to the light away from the darkness, in large part thanks to this community. The light is here, brother. It’s all around.

      • Reply Eugene Heffron

        5 December 2017, 6:59 pm

        Hello Norberto. I’ll echo what Tom said and ask, did you read all the way to the end of my blog? Even though a majority of it is dark it still ends on a very optimistic and happy note. My views of myself of a monster and a vampire are what I USED to see myself as before I found the love of my brothers. I most certainly do not see myself in the same light now. I’ve realized that my attractions and sins do not make me a monster, evil, or beyond God’s love. I’ve realized that everyone on this earth is broken, even men who are as straight as an arrow but despite that we are all worthy of love which is a pretty optimistic view in my book.
        Yes, a lot of the blogs on here may detail a lot of our struggles and bad moments but I feel it is important to share those. These stories inform other SSA men that they are not alone as many have most likely gone through the same things so they don’t have to sit in darkness thinking they are the only ones. I believe that we need to experience the darkness in order to appreciate and enjoy the light. Having that said I agree that perhaps there could be more happy blogs on here. I’m thinking I’d like to blog about the joy I’ve found in my fellowship and love with my brothers, so thanks for giving me that idea!

    • Reply Drew

      26 April 2018, 6:26 pm

      Good Lord this is what I feel! It’s great to know that someone else feels this way. I also love how you brought it back to God. God alone is the source of love and is the only one who can fill our void. This really resonated with me. Thank you!

      • Reply Eugene Heffron

        27 April 2018, 11:24 am

        You’re welcome Drew! I’m really glad it resonated with you. And amen! God is the source to fill our void. And he doesn’t want us walking around with such self loathing.

    • Reply Micah

      20 June 2022, 11:12 am

      I love you for your courage to be vulnerable and expressive through art. That is a gift

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