Thursday, July 02, 2009

A LIFE STOLEN

In the 6 days I took the Naproxen, I gained 8 lbs. In the two days since I stopped, I lost 8lbs. It really does seem that anti-inflammatories are not for me.

I have used up all of my spoons today. Damn. I didn't get up at 5am to go swimming and I slept till 8am. I told myself I would go to the afternoon session. I also wanted to go the talk and demonstration at the church tonight. I did wonder if I ought to do both and maybe swimming could be off the menu today. I decided to go swimming. I managed half of my usual laps and it is clear I will not be going out again today. Maybe it is the heat, I feel so weak.

On the way to the pool I saw a young man walking on the side of the road, his shirt off. He had a defined torso, flat stomach and I was immediately transported back in time to the dark days of my life.

Prior to puberty, I had male friends. I knew though that I was not acceptable to my parents, especially my father. By the time of puberty, I knew this for sure and I was suddenly not acceptable to my male peers either. Quite simply, I did not fit the required standard for a boy. I was soft, gentle, sensitive, attributes I was to be ashamed of for the rest of my life until I saw the world differently.

I equated boys who were built like this as 'real boys', and men built like this as 'real men'. My anorexia / bulimia and exercising was all about trying to look like that, thinking that if I did, I would be acceptable. It never did happen. I never looked like that. I have come to realise that only person whose acceptance I need is my own and today I have that.

You know, our expectations of ourselves and of others can really ruin lives. I resent the fact that my first 49 years of life were miserable, that I was robbed of any chance of joy and happiness because of the expectations of others, which by it being the only teaching I had, the expectations of myself. That my life was dominated by shame and fear and the teaching that I was unacceptable to my family and to god.

I know different today and I know what joy and happiness and peace are. Now that I do know these things, I know exactly what I was robbed of and it makes me angry and sad. I don't let it dominate me and I don't dwell on it but I'd be lying if I said those 49 years of darkness were not a source of deep regret for me. I am aware I cannot change it, cannot go back in time. This just makes my loss more profound.

However, I am fortunate in that I am aware of my good fortune. Others don't escape the darkness. I did. I enjoy today. It is all I have. Today. I am glad of that.

I was thinking the other day how homophobia is far more insidious than most of us think. Homophobia is the reason I was never treat for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, why I was never seen as an abuse survivor, why my self harming and eating disorder, the paranoia, the agoraphobia, were not seen as the result of abuse. No. My homosexuality was seen as the problem. Either in itself or my lack of acceptance of it. No one ever asked me if I saw my homosexuality as the problem! If they had, I could have told them I didn't think about it, I just was, and I didn't understand why others found it a big deal and they didn't seem to think that being beaten, and bullied and molested all my life was anything to be concerned about.

I wish I could say that others in my position would be treated differently today. I know that it is isn't so. The evils of fundamentalism abound still. Insidious bigotry still pervades society.

The difference for me today is I see the falsehood of such bigotry and no longer suffer under it's weight. I wish I could say the same for the rest of the world. Both the bigots and the victims of it. Both pay the consequences. No matter if people justify it by their religious beliefs, they still reap what they so. It does make me sick when people are so cowardly that they hide behind their 'religion' when they say their religion causes them to be bigoted. Shame, shame, shame upon them.
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