Not OK

Posted: June 8, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

I am not ok.

That’s it! I just realized it yesterday. That is the message that I have received for my whole life. It has never been ok for me to be me.

No wonder I have had such a difficult time. I have constantly been told that I am not ok by the most important voices in my life.

It all started with my parents. My dad is a total narcissist and it was constantly communicated to me that I needed to change, I was wrong, I don’t matter, etc. In my first 18 years of life living at home, the message kept coming to me that I was no good. In that sort of environment, why would I ever admit that I was gay? It would never be ok for me to be gay. I would be a disgrace to my parents. It would not be ok for me to be gay. So I hid. I retreated into myself. I withdrew.

Then I became a Christian. All of a sudden, I joined in a community of people who believe that GOD didn’t like gay people. So the message I received is that all of my new brothers and sisters in Christ wouldn’t like me if I was gay…and God didn’t like me as a gay person. So I had to change. It reiterated everything I had learned while I was growing up. I am not ok. I have to change. I am not good. And now, God doesn’t even like who I feel like I am. So I withdrew

Years later, I got married. And you know what I found out when I got married? I found out that I wasn’t ok. Admitting to my wife that I was attracted to a guy in the pool at our hotel on our honeymoon didn’t result in a safe place to admit the truth. And as we continued in marriage, I was reminded about all of the ways that I was failing at being a good husband. As these messages came my way…messages that I was no good…that I wasn’t ok…that I needed to change…I withdrew.

That has been my M.O. for years. I learned it early in life. I’m told I’m no good…so I pull away.

In all of my life, I have never been OK. I have always had to hide…to only let people see parts of me…because I have been told over and over again for 45 years that I am not good, ok, loved, just as I am.

I wonder what it will be like when I can fully come out and live life truthfully and honestly? How will life be different when I can be myself and know that I am ok just as I am?

I hope my life is revolutionized in the future as I’m able to fully be who I am.

 

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Comments
  1. Ron says:

    I think that it’s helpful to go back and label life experiences as part of the path to liberation. Paulo Freire says that you can’t be free until you have learned labels for your experience.

  2. Adam says:

    I feel your pain, brother. I grew up with the same message playing over and over in my head. Wanting to be perceived as “ok” pushed me into the closet, and I’ve worked hard most of my life to hide my true self from others. I’m clergy, too. For almost 50 years I kept searching for a place to be ok. It wasn’t working in marriage, but I didn’t know that until my divorce happened. And though I’m still in the closet, I’ve opened the door and experienced a little sunshine, too. I doubt I’ll ever be completely out, but I’ve made great progress in learning to love myself and be more open to others. It feels good. I wish the same for you. Thanks for your honest writing.

  3. Paul says:

    “To be fully who I am” is a great goal, but I haven’t even reached the point where I really comprehend how I have lived my whole life thinking I’m not OK. That is my normal, so I don’t even see anything wrong with it. Glad you have reached that point of self-realization. I hope I will get there someday.

  4. Ron says:

    Part of my holiness background was to offer a testimony. 🙂

    I am ordained. I have children and my wife and I grew apart as the kids left the house. The divorce was heart rending and she imagined that I had several affairs – one with church staff. I had the embarrassing task of going to those people in advance to warn them (except that I did not say that I’m gay). My only affairs were those of the imagination and porn which I accept are not what God desires. I would have fallen but it seemed like God built protection around me a couple of times.

    7 years later, the kids support me and my partner. He treats them better than I do! I kept the church job until recently and transferred. I’m attending a church that you might think was a little wild but we are certainly attracting the non Christians!

    So my testimony is not to give up on yourself because God definitely has not. The Gospel of Mark is a complete study of Faith and Fear. We have to take risks and God is faithful.

    Hope this helps.

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