*DISCLAIMER* This subject matter might not be for everyone. I apologize in advance if any of this is offensive to anyone. There's no vulgarity or inappropriate tone involved, but it is a personal matter. Finding this board was like discovering gold. There's no other way to put it. It is literally a life-saver. I won't go into too much of my life story. There is a time and place for everything. But if I can make this brief, I don't identify myself as "gay", but my sexual orientation is homosexual; or same-sex-attraction (SSA). I am a 28 year old [AA] male. I have pretty much had this SSA from as early on as I can remember. I have always wanted love and deep down been a hopeless romantic. In an ideal world, I would be a prince who falls deeply in love with another prince and lives happily ever after. But this is not an ideal world. It is a fallen world. So, naturally, my life has not gone as planned; not by a long shot. I make plans (relationship, domestic, academic, economic) over and over and over again, and things never turn out how I want them to. For men, professionalism is the most important thing on earth to us. You take our career or ability to be a provider or ability to be stable, you strip us of our identity all together. I'm sure any man can attest to this. But as I learn myself day by day, I am coming to the conclusion that my setbacks don't come from where I have been thinking they came from. It's not a lack of self discipline (to a degree, yes, but not solitarily). It's not just a lack of self esteem (although it is to a degree). It's not because of a poor upbringing. It's a combination of each of these things to a degree, but not simply. It's something bigger than these issues. Overall, it's a matter of identity. A sense of identity that I lack. I may have some sense of identity; obviously. Part of it comes from my writing and journaling. But, I'm still trying to figure myself out everyday; constantly. Even as I write this...I don't know what I'm going to write next--I just let it flow from the heart. I have even thought that it was my sex life which has stagnated my life. And while I realize that it IS a big part of the puzzle, I also realize that it is only a symptom of something deeper; something that is missing in my life--it's a deep void. But I know that it revolves around relationship. Relationship with who or what, I couldn't tell you. But my relationship with people is a start. I feel like people don't get me and I don't get people. I can smile and chat with the best of them. But deep down, I know that most of my interaction with people is superficial. People can be so fake themselves. Everyone knows how to have manners. But deep down, people can be thinking all kinds of things. It's even gotten back to me on several occasions that people were talking about me behind my back and speculating as to what was wrong with me. Some people were downright degrading and belittling me. So I know that people can act one way and be something totally different. However, my biggest issue that I'm dealing with now IS my sex life. It's a long story, but I have been experimenting (basically) from a young age...in trying to find out who I am and what I actually like. Even though none of those experiments has been with the opposite sex. Some of these experiences I considered healthy, but most of them were not. And the older (or more conscious) I have gotten, it seems the worst they have been...down to the most recent... A lot of these people I have been with, I wasn't even attracted to them at all. And they would've never known it, because I pretended I was...for whatever reason. It was basically all about the 'feeling'--never love or attraction. It was all about me; self affirmation. It's never been about the other person, because I couldn't have cared less about them. I now realize how narcissistic I have been. Because after just about every encounter, I have felt so disgusted, with myself and with them. And each time, I have felt that a piece of me -a big chunk, was chipped away for good. And I have been promiscuous, so there's no telling just how much of me has been lost. But the more I have done it, the less sensitive I have become. And now, I feel absolutely numb. And believe it or not, now, I am terrified that I will never be able to love again. Some of these people I was with were so disgusting, gross, and hideous to me; to say the least. It's like I can still feel them and smell them on me. And I can't stand it! I can't take enough baths to clean their energy off of me. I carry these individuals with me everywhere I go. I can't focus on my school work, my job, or anything else completely, because they are occupying space in my brain. I can't stop thinking about those disgusting experiences. I wish I could erase them from my memory forever; but that's not possible. And this is only what I think of them. There's no telling of all that they think of me. I know that they think I'm garbage, and at least not worthy of a relationship. Some of them have let me know, in one way or another. It's like they've already had me, so there's nothing else left to be intrigued by or remotely interested in. I'm not respected or seen as special. So, basically, I have no value at all to them. The irony of this is, I know that I could have had someone(s) much more attractive than them, but because I sold myself short, these people are all that I'm worth (if this makes any sense). I couldn't even get the caliber of person who I once felt I was worthy of. And even if I could/would, I would not be able to enjoy them, because their spirit would always be in competition with all of the rest of the spirits that I intertwined mine with. I would always have those other people in bed with me. And I would never be able to give all of me to my significant other, or receive all of him. I feel I would be doing any quality person a disservice. And this makes me feel worse than crap. I feel less valuable than a prostitute. At least a prostitute would've gotten money out of the deal. But I got nothing but a broken heart many times over, and bad karma. When you talk about feeling like crap; that doesn't even fit my situation. I feel much less than crap. Crap has some value, if you use it for fertilizer. I feel that everything I will ever touch will turn into dead weight. And I can't live with this. I really don't want to die. But I don't want to live either. I feel trapped and hopeless. There's no other way I can pt it. I am in a pit, and I seriously see no light at the end of the tunnel. I want to so badly. But I don't.