Updated: Jun 8
Part 3 0f 4 series on my experience in depression.
What little hope I had was soon dashed. I remember having the oddest of dreams. In the dream, I was an observer in a parking ramp at night. There was a big brawl happening between a group of black men and white men. There was nothing in particularly sexual about the dream, however, I woke up from the dream in a state of sexual excitement. I thought that was weird as this type of dream would never excite me in this way in the past. In fact, I can’t ever recall having a dream like this, ever. As I sat and bed confused by it all, I would now start an even darker path of depression. How could this be possible? Well, the thought that came next, as I sat there was a vicious self-accusation about my sexuality. My mind said: “You are gay.”
I tried ﬁghting this accusation with logic by bringing up my track record of interest in only women. “You are gay”. I thought to myself “it was just a dumb dream, with no sexual themes at all, how in the world can being gay be a conclusion that I arrive at?”. It was if my mind was deciding for me and against me saying “even if you don’t have a record of being interested in men, why would you have the dream about men fighting and then becoming sexually aroused by it?” I reasoned, “Well, I don’t know. I can’t control my dreams.” My mind continued, “Well, deep down inside you must be gay because your body responded a certain way.” No matter what logic I tried to use, my mind was relentless. It was a nonstop accusation. It was an assault on my mind like I have never felt before. It was absolute mental abuse by what seemed like an invisible force. It was malicious, it was insidious, it didn’t seem to rest until I was destroyed. After this night, the next morning the thoughts would return. It didn’t matter what activity I was doing or how hard I tried to think of something else. I kept getting the thought, “you are gay”. I still found women extremely attractive and had no intention on being gay but my thoughts kept saying “your gay”, almost if to force me to be gay. I found myself exhausted from trying to fight these thoughts. I knew I wasn’t gay. There was no evidence that I was even remotely gay except for this recent dream and accusatory thought that followed. At times I felt my mind was cracking in half. My brain was fried from all the rumination. I was physically, mentally, and spiritually tired. I began to think “I don’t know. I must be gay because my mind is saying I am gay. Oh no, now I really am a reprobate. God has given me over to reprobation.” My mind agreed, “He sure has. I told you He doesn’t care for you. He never has and never will. You are doomed. “It was a nonstop battle against the scathing accusations of, “You are not God’s child and you are gay.” This piled on top of not really sleeping at all and not having the slightest joy in any activity whatsoever.
As a side note I would like to say a few things regarding what I said a couple of paragraphs above. If a professing Christian is struggling with homosexual thoughts and actions, I am not saying they are a reprobate. What I said of myself above was how I was processing things at the time. My thoughts and feelings were communicating to me that (1) if I was having these thoughts then I must be gay and (2) now God is making me sink further and further away from Him because I wasn’t previously gay, and now, was apparently so. On the other side of depression, I came to know these thoughts as irrational thoughts related to the depression I was going through.
I had only been in Delaware for at most a month. I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to go back home to Rochester. Over the next days, I talked to my boss about having to resign from my job. My boss was amazing. He was very understanding when I approached him. I told him how rough things had been for me and that I needed to put in my two weeks’ notice. He seemed to be a bit disappointed that I was leaving, as he thought I was a great ﬁt for the job, but agreed that it was probably best for me. As time went on that day the depression seemed to get the best of me and I found myself urgently needing to talk to my boss again. This was unbearable. I couldn’t take it. I needed to do something. I went back to my boss and said “Hey you know what? I’m sorry but I need to leave in a week instead of two weeks.” Again, my boss was understanding. He was even understanding when I came back again at the end of the day, in tears, saying that I couldn’t wait for even a week and I had to leave that day. I should have felt the Lord’s compassion in this moment, but I all I could feel was darkness. My boss said to me “Carl, here is 100 dollars. Drive straight home and don’t stop. Call me when you get home.”
I didn’t drive home right away. I went back to my friend’s house where I was staying. I packed my things and left the next morning. My friends asked me to reconsider. I couldn’t. I think somewhere in my mind I was thinking “If I am going to die, it probably should be where my family is.”
On the drive home to Rochester, I drove faster than I have ever driven in my life. I figured if I got home, my depression would somehow disappear. Being around family and what is familiar had to be the cure. Up until this point, I had never received a speeding ticket in my life. Well that was about to change. As I was speeding through Pennsylvania, a state trooper pulled me over. As he approached, e asked if I realized I was going fast. I said “Yes sir. I am sorry. I am just trying to get home.” He looked at all the things packed in the back of the car and said “Are you moving or something.” I said “Yes sir. I actually just graduated from school and moved to Delaware, but that didn’t work out.” He said “I am just going to give you a citation. Please watch your speed.” To be honest, I didn’t care if the trooper gave me a ticket, arrested me, or shot me. The depression wouldn’t allow me to perceive this as a merciful blessing and I began to curse God out loud. The darkest thoughts of God came to mind. The most hateful feelings stirred up in me toward Him. I thought to myself, “God, if You hate me so much, why don’t you just kill me? I am already living in hell. Don’t You plan on sending me there anyway?” These were indeed dark days I would never forget.