When I was a kid, I battled depression constantly, except I didn’t know what it was. You see, I was “The Son of a Preacher Man” but without the happy ending. As I am sure most preachers kids endured the same internal battles to a degree as I did, mine was a little different. I had a disease, an illness, an abomination and depravity of God…I was dying in sin. A disease that could only be cured by prayer, anointment and a rigorous religious regime. A disease that left me hopeless, hell bound and impure. A disease that made me feel isolated and alone, shunned and shameful. An unequivocal manifestation of sin in human form, to be classed in the same category as the child molesters and mentally deranged. God was the only entity that could intervene and spare my life from such a disgusting inner leprosy. I was gay.
As a child, I thought I had only two choices to make, which haunted me from an early age to early adulthood. I could ask the lord for forgiveness, denounce my sexuality and live a life of Christianity, never being true to myself. The other option, choose to be true to who I was internally, “GAY”, and live a life of sin with the undoubted truth that I was condemned to hell. As a child, I tried desperately to find a peace within myself, a peace that never existed. As I sit here now, crying, I am coming to terms with one simple fact…
No one ever told me it was OK. So in practicing a technique that my therapist shared with me regarding the healing of ones inner self, I am reaching out to myself at the age of six.
“Curtis, I know you are scared, I know you are confused, I know you are torn, I know you feel a lone, I know you are hurting but I am here to tell you that it’s OK. You’re not sick, you are not going to hell, you are not diseased. You are a normal six year old kid with more energy than I have ever seen, In fact I wish I could have some of it myself, now at age 32. You see, you grow up to be a man, a lost man, but a man indeed. All of things you feel now will lessen in time and you will become strong willed, smart, knowledgeable and creative. You’re six, you do not need the weight of the world on your shoulders. Even though you think that boy is cute, it’s a not bad thing…it’s normal. 26 years from now, being gay won’t be such a big deal and your parents will even accept you knowing the truth. ”
I wish that when I was six, I could have had a future visit from myself, to reassure me about what was happening. That doesn’t happen outside of the movies but it works when you go back in your heart and in your mind to tell yourself, it’s OK.
On-wards to grade eight I go.
“Curtis, this year has been a big for you. You came out, probably not the wisest way but it doesn’t matter, cause it’s OK. I know you feel more lost now then you did the last time we talked, but it’s OK. You’re a teenager, you’re going through puberty, you’re discovering your body and how it works. Your hormones are all over the place…it’s not dirty, it’s not wrong…it’s normal. This happens to every boy your age, gay or straight. Yes, I know you’re gay, and it’s OK. Mom and Dad are doing their best with what they know how, don’t blame them. They are ignorant but it isn’t their fault. You have anger towards them for making you go see a Christian Psychologist, he isn’t helping you..but it’s OK. I know he’s telling you that it’s only a sin if you act on it, I know that’s not what you need to hear. So I am telling you, that’s it never a sin, it’s who you are and God loves you anyway. I know you hate him…but don’t, even though as a doctor he should have known better, don’t let his ideals have power over you. He’s a kook. I know you have crushes on boys in your class, that’s completely normal. It’s OK.”
Typing through tears, never an easy task. This is only the beginning, but already I feel a little better. Telling my younger self that it’s OK is hard, because years of self persecution and torment have really messed me up on the inside. The purpose is to show yourself kindness, something none of us do very well. I decided to share this a blog post because it’s a journey I know I must do and one that may inspire you to look inside, forgive yourself and start being kind to the one that matters…you.
Just so you know…I forgive you.