I try not to get preachy around here. Yes, I like to throw my two cents out there, and sometimes I do get pi$$ed at some people's attitudes and I
comment, but for the most part, I try my best to contribute something positive and/or reasonably logical to a given topic/thread.
Such is the case here. This topic is near and dear to my heart as I'm a member of the LGBT community, and I have gone/am going through therapy. Not
the whacko therapy mentioned in the OP, just regular cognitive behavioral therapy. In fact I have considered becoming a therapist myself, and I have
worked in the mental health sector in the past. In giving my opinion here, I'm going to make an assumption, and I think it's a reasonable one; based
on what I have seen in the posts so far, I don't think anyone who has commented so far identifies as LGBT. If you do, then fine, you haven't stated so
publically, and there's certainly no need for you to out yourself here. I have stated in previous posts that I'm part of the LGBT community, so I'm
not busting out with anything new here. Just giving some context.
Within this context then, I think that I'm well qualified to comment on the topic ( not that the rest of you aren't - you most definitely are by
virtue of being part of the community of ATS ). This doesn't make me an expert or an authority on the subject, and it doesn't mean that my opinion
should matter more than anyone else's.
I'm just saying that direct experience should count for something that may ( or may not ) be missing from people's perspectives who are looking from
the "outside" "in" on this one. I think that's a fair statement.
Ok, first of all, it's tough to want to be a "normal" "well-adjusted" member of society and yet to know from an early age that you are somehow
"different" from "most" people. You see everyone else going about their business, having successful relationships, starting successful careers,
seamlessly fitting into the social arena, while you kind of stand on the sidelines and marvel, "How do they
do that?". You are somehow "out of
step" with everyone else, and yet, you can't quite put your finger on why
I grew up in the Midwest...hunting, shooting guns for sport, riding motorcycles, doing all of the "normal" "manly" things that were socially expected
of me. I got married at an early age, and had a beautiful daughter from that marriage. But as soon as I had an epiphany about who and what I truly am,
then my inner world began to crumble, from the inside out - psychologically, spiritually, socially ( yes, old friends dropped me and made fun of me
behind my back when I finally did come out ) - suddenly my whole identity was uncertain, and I turned into a mystery - most of all - to myself. This
state of being led to quite a bit of time where I felt desperate, and I did desperate things in order to try to forge an identity. I did all of the
usual things, substance abuse, partcipated in risky behaviors...I was just trying to bury my head in the sand and avoid having to truly come to terms
with myself and deal with my issues. I tried therapy a couple of times, but I was still abusing substances, so this didn't really help. I tried
meditation. Long story boring, I was lost. For a long time.
Now I'm sober, and I've been in therapy for 2 years, and I'm healthier than I've ever been. I moved to California all alone just to be in a place
where I could "feel like" I fit in and wouldn't be discriminated against. Where I could be myself without fear -psychologically, spirtually, and
I finally came out to my mom last year. My dad died earlier this year, and I felt I could never come out to him, and he never knew. I know he would
have rejected me and judged me, and I kept it a secret from him in order to save HIM
from the pain of having to process it. I have a friend
that has been in my life since I was 3. I just told him last year, and he was cool about it, and I wasn't treated any differently. I'm 47 years old
now. It has taken me all of this time, indeed my whole adult life to get to the healthy place where I am now. Sometimes I grieve for the lost time and
opportunities, but most times I'm just thankful to be where I am NOW.
To be honest, that's a lot more personal than I ever intended to get here.
However, this illustrated my point;
I know why desperate people do desperate things in order to try to "fit in" and be "normal".
To me, it's obvious, and I feel for those men who undertook that route to attempting to adjust and experience self-acceptance.
All that being said, I want to finish with this -
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
edit on 29-11-2012 by moonzoo7 because: typo
edit on 29-11-2012 by moonzoo7 because: typo
edit on 29-11-2012
by moonzoo7 because: typo