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#71682 - 04/24/03 01:29 PM Getting braver, accepting myself1
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Last night in my class, I shared something that I don't normally share about myself. The situation and timing were appropiate for this and I don't want to get bogged down in the story line for this post.

I'm still having a hard time accepting myself that I am gay. I want to so badly convince myself that I am not gay and that I should go out and get married, have kids because that is what I was taught at home, taught at church and taught in society. While I like to say the HELL with all three places that taught me this, it does tend to dominate my life when I am not expecting it.

Lately, I have been working more on accepting me as me and not as some fantasy of what others put on me. I have been with Jeff for over three years now and would not have my life any other way. He means so much to me and he accepts me just as I am with no strings attached. I am learning for the first time in my life what love means and how to say "I love you" to someone that is so special in my life.

So last night in class we had a time of sharing for a certain topic. It was on the "elements" where you have earth, water, fire and air. Last nights element was "Fire". There are two things that I think of when I think of fire and one is Anger. The other is what I am now learning in my life (finally at the age of 38) that fire represents to me a passion of love I have and specifically the passion Jeff and I share for one another. (Ok, i'm about in tears in a good way because this is awesome stuff for me).

While some people in my class knew that Jeff and I were together, some did not. They may have expected, who knows... But I told my entire class last night about Jeff and what he meant to me and how he has impacted my life in a way that I could have never imagined. It was risky and a little scary to do this but it is the first time since we have been together that I have talked about our relationship in a public way.

I had several people who offered very supportive comments to me afterwards and a few tears were present in the room. One guy came up who I am good friends with his wife and he said, I am glad you are my friend. I loved what you said tonight. It feels good to finally say this to others in my school.

I'm tired of hiding from society the fact that I am gay and that I love Jeff. I've got a best friend that I have not told either although I have a feeling he is figuring it out. ONe friend of mine that I once told never seemed to accept it and to be honest, we don't talk much at all. I just don't need someone not accepting me for who I am. My cousin knows and is very supportive and another good friend of mine knows who is also extremely supportive. But I am moving to a time where I am not going to hide this. And I am moving towards a time of just accepting it and not trying to make my life into a fantasy that it is not.

Anyway it was a major step for me last night. Jeff came to the 2nd half of my class last night because we had a field trip to a Russian/Turkish Spa/Bath House. When everyone saw Jeff they were hugging him and treating him very nicely. It was so nice and I think it sort of took him by surprise.

Just wanted to share this....

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#71683 - 04/24/03 02:04 PM Re: Getting braver, accepting myself1
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Don:

How proud I am of you brother. You found out that is not what you are but who you are that is important in this life. I know that made you feel like you have never felt before because it comes through in the post. And what a great surprise for Jeff. Everyone is entitled to a partner to share the human experience with. Keep it up. Boy have you changed in the little time I have known you here.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#71684 - 04/24/03 04:30 PM Re: Getting braver, accepting myself1
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
Don,
That is so cool to hear. After I made the decision to open up to my friends and tell them what happened to me and that a guy might be in my life as opposed to a woman, they were nothing but supportive. I was quite surprised actually and ultimatly relieved. I discovered that the vast majority of people tend to be very accepting. I also realized how deeply rooted my own personal stereotypes are and that not everyone shares those stereotypes. So this is becoming more of a struggle over my own fears of being gay and not the fears of other. Take care Don.
mike

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

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#71685 - 04/26/03 08:54 AM Re: Getting braver, accepting myself1
guy43 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota
Don,

It's wonderful to see a survivor meeting with such success in his recovery. It's gotta be weird, scary, and hopefully fun to able to be honest with those who count in your life. Way to go man.

Sleepy Mike,
Quote:
I discovered that the vast majority of people tend to be very accepting. I also realized how deeply rooted my own personal stereotypes are and that not everyone shares those stereotypes. So this is becoming more of a struggle over my own fears of being gay and not the fears of other.
How does one overcome the stereotype we were raised by? Our parents, school, church, society all expect us to be heterosexual.

It's one of my deepest fears - Am I gay. Maybe, maybe not. I don't know and have I a lot of inner work to do before I can even begin to know where I truly am on the continum of my sexuality.

I envy you and Don and others who have, or are coming to, acceptence of what they are, be it gay or straight (after all). To be free enough to venture into the land of intimacy with another human being... how wonderful it must be.

jer


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#71686 - 04/26/03 06:42 PM Re: Getting braver, accepting myself1
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Jer:

Quote:
It's one of my deepest fears - Am I gay. Maybe, maybe not. I don't know and have I a lot of inner work to do before I can even begin to know where I truly am on the continum of my sexuality.
My brother it does not matter really what you are. The important thing is are you content and at peace with yourself. Straight, gay, someplace in between. God I am 62 and dont know. But I know that I am happy with my life, my wife and my daughter. Each and every one of us deserves a partner and happiness. If we have that and selfrespect and feelings for others and a willingness to share what more can we as for.

Nothing I can think of. So Jer just get comfortable with the person inside you and the rest will follow I guarantee it.

Had I not met my wife when I did and it had been a man instead; Who knows??? I dont. I feel comfortable with all the brothers here in the wolf pack and when I know that they have a partner to share the human experience with it brings me great joy; be it same sex or whatever.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#71687 - 04/26/03 06:51 PM Re: Getting braver, accepting myself1
Sick Puppy Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/03
Posts: 300
Loc: Nowhere Land
Don, I know how you feel, I have been mostly "out" since the fall but I am still pretty ashamed of it. For a while I was even scared to tell the guys here at MS that I was gay. We know what it is that makes us feel as if we can't be open about it, but to overcome that even a little is a great big step forward. \:\)

_________________________
And one day we will die
And our ashes will fly
From the aeroplane over the sea
But for now we are young
Let us lay in the sun
And count every beautiful thing we can see


Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

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#71688 - 04/26/03 10:31 PM Re: Getting braver, accepting myself1
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Josh,

When you write that you feel ashamed of being gay that felt like a kick in my gut. We are all sexual beings--some more than others. Just as we are all intellectual beings--some more than others. From all my studies, and we went into this very deeply at the med school, we are born with an orientation towards hetero or homosexuality. Apparently some can be active in either way but prefer one or the other. You did not make yourself what you are--you were born as you are. Then, with the various gifts you have you have done some really neat things that have made you who you are today.

Just recently I worried that sometimes guys write about being gay as though it is the worst thing in the world. Promiscuity, infidelity, being violent in sex, these are things I see as bad. But loving a man in a sexual way certainly is not. That is why it is no longer listed as a disorder. I think some still talk some nonsense about it. People talk nonsense about a lot of things.

As your brother, I say enjoy that you can love and be loved, that you can experience someone treasuring you, being kind to you and helping you to be the best you can be. I just can't see how it matters that the person who loves you be male or female.

You have come through the worst kind of an atrocity and still you can love. That is great.

Peace to you Josh.

Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#71689 - 04/27/03 05:05 AM Re: Getting braver, accepting myself1
brian-z Offline
Member

Registered: 07/11/02
Posts: 770
Loc: Western USA
Hello Don,

This makes me think of the time I told my best friend I was gay (all of 11 months ago). Now he takes great comfort in outing me to every one. I was a little embarrassed by this a couple of times, but after another mutual friend came out the tables have turned as he, I and this mutual friend were all roommates in a studio apartment just after college. And then to find out his last two roommates were gay, well... I feel I have an obligation to never let him live it down. We are still friends, if anything better friends. Although I donít get to see him as often as I would like these days, (being a vagabond does have itís consequences).

In the grand scheme of things being gay doesnít mean a whole heck of a lot. Frankly, I really donít care who knows, (excludes grandmother and anyone from rural Utah). Being out is your choice if you choose to be out then more power to you. If not then donít let anyone give you grief over it, (that includes your self).

Brian, The Blind Samurai


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#71690 - 04/27/03 10:05 AM Re: Getting braver, accepting myself1
guy43 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota
Mike,
Thank you so much for your reply. You've been providing loads of hope and inspiration that things can get better for me/us all here.
Quote:
So Jer just get comfortable with the person inside you and the rest will follow I guarantee it.
That is my goal Mike. Get comfortable with myself and the rest will follow. Sometimes I believe that it's possible, sometimes not.

When I first found this site it seemed to me that it was accepting of who and what people experiences, troubles and their sexual orientation. I didn't really expect it to be so accepting; I'm grateful that most of our community is; it's now become an expectation of mine. How wonderful this place is!

A bit off topic but a question -

Is having a partner, lover, permanent significant other a requirement for having peace and contentment in one's life? I've known people who didn't and they seemed content with their lives.

jer


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#71691 - 04/27/03 10:24 AM Re: Getting braver, accepting myself1
guy43 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota
A reply to Josh and Bob via Bob's(TheDean) reply,

Quote:
You have come through the worst kind of an atrocity and still you can love. That is great.
I would add that it's more than great... it's an amazing trimuph of Josh's spirit and core, inner goodness. Perhaps this (being able to love and accept love in return) is something we all have or can find if we try. Perhaps this is the true meaning of spirituality.

This, to me, is one of life's greatest challenges and goals: to love ourselves and to give love to others where we truly walk in the other's shoes and give unconditionally.

As I struggle with the pain of my neglect and abuse and trying to make sense of it and heal, my T reminds me that somewhere along the line during my upbringing I must have gotten some of what I needed; otherwise I wouldn't be able to feel the lack of having my needs meet then and now.

Bob, what you've written to Josh has touched me deeply in a good way. There are some questions I've been thinking about for a long time and welcome your thoughts and the community's as well:
Quote:
We are all sexual beings--some more than others. Just as we are all intellectual beings--some more than others.
I'm adding:
We are all emotional beings--some more than others.
We are all spiritual beings--some far more that others.

I've wondered do we, survivors of horrendous (or not, but damaging all the same) abuse and neglect feel and react more than those who weren't?

Did our trauma force our brains to open pathways (or break them) to deeper emotional responses and capacity to feel feelings?

jer

Pardon me for straying off topic in both of my replies.


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