Saturday, April 30, 2011

For My Childhood Friend...Thank You for Your Courage!

I failed my friend when he reached out to be a friend. I was not at a point in my life then when I was ready, willing and wanting to admit the truth to myself – I'm Gay!

As young children, my friend was an effeminate young boy like me. We laughed a lot and teased each other. We talked about our boy crushes when we didn't know it was wrong. I remember the innocence of those conversations.

It was when we entered our teen years that I couldn't be different. I was already odd. I struggled against my own life. Parents divorcing. Alcoholism. Sexual Abuse. Hormones surging through my teen body. My body betraying me. Lots of confusing thoughts about who I was and who I could be.

He came to me during our high school years. He was still the same. He was as effeminate as I remember him to be. He tried to tease me. He reached out to me to be my friend. I am ashamed to say, I recoiled in disgust.

High school was not an ideal time for me. I was bullied. I was touched without my consent by the jocks who thought it was funny. They tried to stick me in my locker. They took joy in making me uncomfortable.

My friend committed suicide while we were in high school. I know the decision about suicide is personal. What I know is that it leaves families and friends struggling with why? If only? How come?

I have spent a great deal of my adult life coming out, standing tall, speaking out against homophobia, and living my truth. Still to this day, over two decades later, I think about my friend. I wish at times he was here. I wish for our conversations about men and love.

On the days I want to feel sorry for myself or don't appreciate my life then I remember. I'm ALIVE! I don't know why but I am here. I may never know 'why' but my friend isn't here to struggle with those existential questions or quandries.

Here is to my friend. I miss you dearly. 

In your honor:

I refuse to be afraid of being around someone because they are unique. I refuse to alienate them because they are different. I refuse to ostrocize them because society doesn't deem them as appropriate.

I will be there as their biggest champion. I will cheer them on. I will be the one in their corner. I won't allow another human being pass by me unrecognized. I want them to know, I appreciate their courage.  And damn it, show the world YOUR TRUTH - Fuck 'EM!

Living Incoherent Discordant Lives: Telling the Truth About What Happened and Healing

What I've come to know is that I have learned to live my life - fully, coherently, and in harmony with all my selves. I've spent many years living different lives. My emotional life being kept away from people so they didn't know I was hurting.

As a survivor of sexual abuse and assault it is your silence that does not hold your perpertrator accountable nor does it allow your healing. I have to come to a place where I can speak my truth. I can talk about what happened to me. I am able to honestly say this is what happened to me. This is how I survived. I don't speak this ugiliness into the world for pity nor sympathy. I speak it into the world so it doesn't lay hidden in my psyche nor will it have the power to render me useless.

When you allow abuse to go unnoticed it invites so many other types of abuse in. It is 'the silence' and 'the secrecy' that it thrives on. When sexual abuse took my youth it then invited in emotional abuse. As I staggered to stand I was taken down by a sexual assault. I lay there thinking what else could happen when the physical abuse stood over me kicking what I had left. I awoke to a bottle of booze and a deep need to forget what happened. If I acted like nothing happened and I ignored it then it didn't.

Needless to say, the day does come. The day of your own reckoning. The day you ask yourself, “Do I want to live like this?”. You get a choice.

Healing and forgiving is not forgetting. All that ugliness seeps back into your life. Sometime it is when you are not looking. When you are laughing and enjoying the world. A familiar figure reemerges into your life. Someone who treated you in familiar ways. You are confused and wander with them to find yourself back where you began. Don't fret. Forgive yourself. Dust your ass off. Stand tall. Say a prayer. Move on.

When someone comes along who does treat you right. You are suspect. They may say things to you that you believe are BS. You look at them with distrust. You are thinking to yourself - I got you. I know this story. I know how this will end. I will get you first. Needless to say, you were wrong.

All I can say is that if someone truly does love you, they will love you past and through all the hurt you've experienced. They know you. They know the essence of who you are. They will be your biggest champion. They aren't afraid when you are having a flashback. They are there to hold you when you cry. They help you understand that all humanity doesn't perpetrate hurt. It is with them you come to know what real love is. Love of a friend. Love of family. Love of a mate. Love.

So like I once told my therapist, “I know I'm fucked up. Just help me manage my fuckedupness.”

Throughout life we evolve and grow. Don't stop while you are in the midst of it. Keep moving along. I know I am.

I wake up most days knowing there is a kind, deliberate God who does have my back. I may not understand what is happening to me at that time so I pray for guidance or wisdom. I trust that things will turn out ok. I've already survived bad. Cause, Baby, I got some skills now on how to GET UP when you knock a bitch DOWN.

I wake up knowing love. I deliberately surround myself with people who I can trust and love. They are good in returning it. I run like hell from those who want to hurt me. I know now, life is about living. I know LOVING MY LIFE is the justice for all the abuse I've endured so get out of my way, I ain't done! XOXO