As promised, today I’m going to share the rest of the story about my journey that began standing in my bathroom admitting my sexual truth to the man in the mirror, and ended in me coming out to the world as bisexual in last week’s post Anything Other than Straight.
The day that I stood looking at my own reflection, you’ll remember that I had three thoughts.
You’re not gay.
But you’re also not straight.
And, that’s okay.
Ever since that summer day, many things have become far more clear to me, and just as many things have become far more confusing.
When I was five or six years old, a grown man made me put his penis in my mouth.
The memory is filtered at best.
I don’t know who it was. No face presents itself in the occasional shameful flashes I have experienced since the abuse occurred.
I don’t know if it happened once or multiple times.
I don’t know if anyone else was present.
I don’t know if the man touched or molested me.
I don’t know if I secretly liked it or secretly hated it.
All I remember is his impossibly giant member being pushed inside of my mouth.
Even then, the memory is so damaged that I don’t know how real it actually is. For that reason, I have told exactly two people about it before today. Well, three if you count the therapist I’ve been seeing since I went all crazy town at the beginning of this journey.
Still, this fact, which could have everything to do with everything or nothing to do with anything has been the source of so much perplexity for me.
I mean, I have had to ask myself. What if I only experience attraction to men because of that? What if that is the reason intimacy has always been difficult for me? What if that one moment in time messed me up for freaking ever? What if… what if… what if…
There are so many what ifs surrounding the sexual abuse from my past. I’ve tortured myself trying to pinpoint the cause and effect of my abnormal sexuality. Even this far into it, the concept that same sex attraction is a symptom of something else is still so engrained into me that I search eternally for a cause so that I can maybe cure myself of it and once again be “normal.”
The abuse is just one dynamic I’ve had to look at.
My therapist has helped me be able to see many ways in which I’ve dealt with this attraction over the past 22 years. While I like to believe that I’ve done a successful job covering it up and hiding from it, the truths are all less opaque than that.
Truth: I have always had a tender place in my heart for gays. I remember sitting through Sunday School classes as a teenager and feeling only unease, injustice, and sympathy as I heard the hateful things that were relentlessly said about them in a church that claimed to love them.
Truth: too many people have asked me straight-up if I’m gay. Including both of my ex-wives, both of my parents, and one woman that I have dated since my last divorce.
Truth: ever since I was a young teenager, I found some sort of joy in pretending I was gay to the people who love me. It’s almost as if I have always wanted to test people’s acceptance of it.
Truth: I have many, many gay friends. And I jump at the chance to spend time with them. In a lot of ways, I’m more comfortable with them than I am with my straight friends.
Truth: while married, I once told my therapist that I thought I was asexual because I didn’t feel like I was attracted to women or men. She helped me see that such wasn’t the case.
Truth: I have questioned my sexuality. Many times. Just never with the courage or ability to think an honest thought about it.
Truth: I always have been overly studious about making sure other people know that I’m not actually attracted to men, even though I would often point people’s thoughts in that direction.
Truth: I’m homophobic. Still.
Did I just say that?
Because it’s a very important truth. In fact, of all the truths, it’s probably the one that is most significant.