It was two weeks ago when I last met B (PhD). I was not only heavily intoxicated, but was peaking a toxic shame cycle. I couldn’t remember the last time I had felt so low. It was a very different low. It was more of a numbness and a feeling of emotional immobility.
I was embarrassed to look at him. He is a stunningly handsome man, and I was afraid and embarrassed that I’d find him attractive in the middle of my therapy session, if I look at him. He made me comfortable and allowed me to pour out my inner feelings. He asked me about my take aways from the reading he recommended in my previous session. I had forgotten I had taken notes, but still managed to discuss all my findings.
We tried to dig out what my passion was about. He asked me what I would do if I win a lottery of a few million dollars.
I actually worry everytime I buy a lotto that I will win that much. I will not know what to do. But, I’d buy a house, get my mother migrated to Australia, and study psychology professionally. The rest I wouldn’t know.
When he asked about my passion and what cause I want to focus on if I am to give back to the community, on a day I was feeling numb, I couldn’t really think of it. I felt so unworthy and a waste of space. But, we managed to dig out that;
Mental health, suicide prevention, suicide awareness was close to my heart.
Towards the end of my therapy session, B recommended me a book. The Velvet Rage by Alan Downs (PhD). I’ve managed to read up to 80℅ of the audio book (over half of it I couldn’t stop crying). Good news about my personality is that I like to study, especially about myself and how human mind works. The more “Aha!” moments I have, the more motivated I become. Especially when I can discuss my thinking and opinion with a teacher like B, who knows only to nudge me gently. The TLC (tender loving care) that comes from a gentle nudge, yet allowing me to be “bad” motivates me to do my home work. Last week’s recommended reading, The Velvet Rage was great. I managed to map a lot of my behavioural and emotional patterns to various episodes of long term trauma.
I had written to B with my progress mid week. He gave me another reading. I was a bit like “Noooo! I still haven’t finished the book”. I’ve only read about 25% of the article. The reading inspired me to write this blogpost.
Whether us Gay “boys” come in various different personalities, different masculinity femininity mixes, working within a diverse set of industries, we appear to have a foundation layer of trauma that we all connect through. Each of our healing journey would be very different, since our upbringing was different.
But having read my recommended reading, the next time I look into another Gay man’s eyes, I would know
Our connection goes so much deeper than the attraction we share, the drug we use, the lifestyle we like, the fetish we are into, or the way we express ourselves.
It’s the trauma that connects us. It’s the healing journey that will grounds us. It’s the stories we hold well hidden within our lonely hearts that shine us.
Let me bid adieu to you by leaving you with a glimpse of the second reading I was recommended. I have a lot of homework left. But I don’t think I have to finish it all. I mean I can’t finish it in the next couple of hours, when I’d meet B again to discuss the reading material and my findings about myself.
“It’s not a question of them not knowing how to save their lives. It’s a question of them knowing if their lives are worth saving.
In the Netherlands, where gay marriage has been legal since 2001, gay men remain three times more likely to suffer from a mood disorder than straight men, and 10 times more likely to engage in “suicidal self-harm.”
All of these unbearable statistics lead to the same conclusion: It is still dangerously alienating to go through life as a man attracted to other men. The good news, though, is that epidemiologists and social scientists are closer than ever to understanding all the reasons why.”
– Nimeshe –