I had a big realization in my counseling appointment this week.
One of the things that I have been working on with my counselor (besides my sexuality) is the fact that I was raised in a narcissistic home. My dad is a narcissist and that affected a lot of things in my home life. One of the things that I have learned in counseling is that narcissists “groom” the people around them to believe that they don’t matter…only the desires of the narcissist matter. So as I grew up, everything in our home revolved around my dad…his thoughts…his likes/dislikes…what he approved of and disapproved of. And I had a very hard time getting to the place in my life where I could stand up for myself and what mattered to me.
Ultimately, that continued on throughout my life. I have always had a hard time making myself a priority. I always take care of everyone else but don’t do a very good job taking care of myself. And that played out well in ministry! I mean, come on, aren’t pastors supposed to care for everyone else? That thinking played well with my whole concept of Christianity. After all, I read in the Bible that we are supposed to think of others as more important than ourselves! For many years now, I have never made anything “about me”. It’s always about others. I don’t even know how to focus on myself and to make things about me.
And that led to an “a-ha” moment in counseling this week. I am feeling guilty right now with putting so much focus on my journey and what is going on in my life. I am bending over backwards to make sure that I don’t do anything to hurt my family. I am feeling very hesitant to take any more steps forward in the journey of my sexuality because I know I will hurt people and I would rather subvert my desires (hence the past 18 years of marriage) than to hurt my family. I feel guilty because it feels like I would be making decisions that are “all about me”. But as I was reminded by my counselor, I can actually do more damage to others by not being authentically me than if I choose to make some things about me right now.
Dammit…I want it to be about ME for once!
So I am going to learn to care for myself and to take a stand for the authentic “me”. And in the midst of that, I am going to trust God for the best for everyone involved…including me!