Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thou Shalt Not Love - Part 1

I am going to do something different for a change to get myself out of this stupid writer's block. I am currently reading "Thou Shalt Not Love - What Evangelicals Really Say About Gays" by Patrick M. Chapman, Ph.D. It is the kind of book that I just want to breathe into my pores and savor, like the scent of a freshly bathed and powdered newborn. I just can't get enough of it.

I am going to highlight an excerpt from the book and then comment about it. This will not be the only contents of my posts, but it will give me something to write about when I am completely stumped. So here it goes:

Speaking about being in the closet:
Family secrets are a common problem for homosexuals, keep the secret can cause significant psychological and emotional difficulties... the internal conflict can be resolved by coming out of the closet, which is not a single event but rather a process of acknowledging first to oneself, and then to one's family, friends, and co-workers, the one is gay or lesbian.

Significant psychological and emotional difficulties. Hmmmm. I didn't exhibit any of those, did do I? (Insert loud roar here.) Well, there were just a few:
1. OCD, which was not caused by my being in the closet but was aggravated by my stress and anxiety living a lie.
2. Paranoia
3. Depression, which, again, may be hereditary but was amplified tenfold by keeping such a secret hidden for so long
4. Low self-esteem
5. Fear
6. Suicidal thoughts and attempts (failed, thank God)
7. Loneliness
8. Anger
9. Lack of trust
10. Shame
11. Lying
12. Smoking and drinking in excess to harm myself

My internal conflicts resolved by coming out:
1. OCD - still there but manageable
2. Paranoia - very limited
3. Depression - much subsided
4. Self-esteem has improved
5. Fear - I no longer fear losing my family or daughters; they have not abandoned me totally. I no longer fear I'm going to hell.
6. No more suicidal thoughts or attempts
7. I am no longer lonely.
8. I am no longer angry at the world, just situations.
9. I think trust has been quashed; can't seem to get over this one.
10. I am no longer ashamed of who I love.
11. I no longer lie to others to cover up who I am. (except to my grandmother - hoping that will be resolved in the future)
12. I no longer smoke. I only drink to relax or have fun, not to harm myself.

Yes, I would say that coming out has been a VERY good thing for me. How about you? If you are not gay, is there something you are hiding that you can let go of?

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