I can’t even get through one page in the book that I am reading, Rising Strong by Brene Brown. I can’t tame my thoughts. What is my hurt? What is the hurt that I am hiding from? What did I bury far back in my mind and forgot about? The hurt that I left unchecked. That grew and lead to behaviours that took me so far from the man that I want to be today? The hurt that sabotages my relationships and career and happiness and just everything. The hurt that I am pretending isn’t happening to me, what is it!? I need it to surface. I need to face it and process it so that I can finally be my authentic self. I don’t want to hold myself back anymore. I don’t want to water myself down anymore. I’m tired of being afraid.
Rejection. The fear of rejection is always the root of all pain and fear in the psychology world, right? Could it be that simple? Is that my answer here? That I am afraid that people, places and things will reject me? I must then carry some shame. This is where my thoughts are today. I am trying to understand if I feel shame. Am I ashamed of myself? Maybe. Is it because I grew up around a religion that hates me? That I don’t deserve love because I am gay? I thought that religion was beautiful until it needed me to not exist. That I had a part of me that I had to deny myself to make this world a better place, for everybody else. I rejected that religion because I am real. I am a real person and those beliefs are not. Yet, the rules in that religion are supposed to apply to me anyway? Am I ashamed of myself because I am gay? I know that I am afraid of it. I am afraid because there are people in the world that want to harm me because they don’t believe I belong here.
Am I ashamed of my heritage? I’m half white and half first nations. I’m too white to be native and too native to be white. I grew up around people who hated me for it. That I am a disgusting creature because of the melatonin in my skin. Natives get everything for free, they’re all addicts and live off of our dollar. I grew up listening to people hate on my race but then tell me that I am a good native. Like I’m being obedient because I walk and talk and live the way they do. I grew up feeling defeated like I had to work twice as hard just to shine as bright as the next guy because of the way people made me feel about my ethnicity. Then blame for feeling that way. I once asked a teacher why people of colour filter out the higher we go up a chain of command and she rolled her eyes at me and then changed the topic. I’ve never seen anybody like me out there in the media or in politics. I saw first nations people but they were connected to their roots and to their culture and I… “was a good native”. I don’t know where I belong. Thus, did this become something that I am ashamed of?
The third thing that could bring me shame is… not easy to talk about. So it must be shame. I am a rape survivor. Whatever that means. I was four when it happened. I was violated and I was powerless. I have a different relationship with my body than most as a result. I think maybe I am ashamed of my sexuality. Like I am giving somebody my power if I were to let them… into my bedroom. I don’t know how to give somebody that trust. Maybe I don’t know how to give myself that trust? Perhaps I never learned how to get that power back? I’ve been to counsellors and to therapists but I’ve never thought about it like this. That I could be ashamed of my sexuality… or that maybe I see every man as a predator? I saw a quote once, in my counsellor’s office when I was nine that had the biggest impact on my life. “I am afraid that there will be a monster in me too.” You learn how this is patterned behaviour, how child abusers were victims of child abuse themselves. That is exactly a fear that I had. I became aware of what people with a history like mine can become. Drug addicts, prostitutes, child abusers etc. I made a promise to myself that I would not grow up to become like them. So far so good. But… I am going to make an appointment to see a therapist about this. I thought that I closed this chapter in my life but it is now clear to me that I didn’t.
Also, maybe I need to reach out to the gay community. Learn how to embrace this part of me. Maybe I need to reach out to my first nations community also. Learn how to embrace this part of me. I always thought that I was a proud gay man and a proud first nations man but when I think about it… I don’t even know what that means. Maybe I need to learn about these two communities that people identify me with and then learn how to embrace them so that I can fully love myself. So that I can truly be my authentic self and not be so afraid and ashamed about existing on this little rock. To carry myself with some pride as I walk through life in a world that is not designed for me.
I already feel dirty for bringing up the race card. It’s a sensitive topic. It’s often received as an act of defiance when I do bring it up. Like I attacked. That I am blaming others for the way that I feel. That I am trying to play the victim. Like I am trying to undermine and discredit the success of others by claiming they have privilege… That’s not what I am trying to do. I’m just exploring my feels here. Tolerance will go a long way. Nothing but love here I promise.
I’ll end this entry with a dumb little poem that I wrote years ago:
I have my feet to walk my own path
I have my hands to do my own work
I have my tongue to speak for myself
I have my eyes to see things my way
I have my mind to think for myself
I have my spirit to be who I am
I have my heart to share with whomever I choose
Last updated November 09, 2019