Friday, March 9, 2012

Little Boy Green

Okay, so this I do believe will be the first post where I will actually delve a little deeper into how my mind seems to work and how I function as an individual. I am going to be trying to find words to express something that I feel at times is undefinable, something that for the majority of my conscious life I have accepted as a simple truth about myself. Forgive me if it is confusing, I will try to clarify everything the best way I can. I guess the best way to start is...

I was born with green skin.

Not literally of course, but its there just the same. Just beyond the realm of visual perception there is something about me that makes other people naturally want to shy away. Not get too close. Some people seem to be immune to this horrible "charm", such seems to be the case with my mother and my sisters, but for the most part, I have issues with getting people to get close to me. Or rather, getting close to me and sticking around.

I always knew I was different, and really, I'm not just talking about being gay. I could feel it when I started school. I was keenly aware I wasn't like the other children in my class. As much as I wanted to be, it always felt like something was off, that I was missing something in these interactions with others that only I seemed to be aware of. Still, I did my best to fit in during those early years. I always thought that eventually that feeling of "not rightness" would eventually drop away and it would be true. I'd be a peach skinned kid just like the rest of them.

I grew out of that pretty quickly. I found out I couldn't mask my differences for too long. I had to be free, and the charade felt like chains around me, dragging me down to That Place, a Place I always tried to avoid. Later I would find out that That Place actually went by Depression, but it wasn't the name that mattered to me. It was the ability to breathe without pain. So yes, I initially tried to come out when I was 11. Other boys were talking about girls and all of that nonsense, and I knew I would never have those kind of feelings or desires for a person of the female gender. My parents, of course, did not much care for this news. I know now that it wasn't due to any lack of love for me, it was more a concern of what my life would be like admitting this. Botetourt county was not especially known for its open mindedness. At the same time though, it felt like a slap in the face. My parents, two people that I thought could see past at least part of my green skin seemed all but enraged by it. Middle school was probably my worst years as far as any of that went. I felt betrayed by them, and took it out on them in spades. I had found a little comfort in Wicca, but always seemed unable to find my balance when I needed it most. Then I fell in love for the first time.

Looking back, all I can do is cringe.

I wish I could honestly say I regret nothing I have done in my life, but that would be a lie, and I want to try to be as honest as I can. I fell for a guy when I was way too young to even pretend to know what "love" actually was. I acted on these feelings, and of course, I got burned. Its not an uncommon story, almost everyone out there in the world has a version of it themselves. But for me, someone who never really felt like they belonged, a person who could, and still to this day, be surrounded by people he loves and still feel alone, it was cruel. I allowed myself to believe that I may have found someone that understood what it was like to feel the way I do. To have those days when you have to talk to yourself for almost half an hour to actually get yourself to get out of bed. Someone who wasn't afraid of me and what I may be able to do. To have that illusion shattered, it was almost unbearable. Coincidentally, this boy also introduced me the one thing that helped me "control" these feelings. At least that's what I thought it was at the time. Of course I realise now that its only an illusion, and the fact that I'm still fighting with it makes it all the worse.

It hasn't really improved in the 10 years since then either.

I found a few people that made me feel like maybe it was just all in my head. People that were able to see past the green and seemed to like me anyway. And I was happy... for a while at least. They all ended up leaving, at some point. I wasn't skinny enough. Not smart enough. Not butch enough. On and on pretty much leading me to believe that I just am not "enough".  It was official. I was not only green, but defective as a human being.

It had gotten to the point that everyone in my life had a compartment. These people were friends I would go out with. These people were friends I would talk to. These people would be the ones I share my secrets with. These are the people with whom I would share... well other things. No one could move from their compartment, and no one could be in two compartments. It was the only way I felt like I could effectively deal with people. The problem though is, people have free will, and as much as I may have wanted them to, they just wouldn't stay in the little boxes I had made for them. If I kept them in the box they were supposed to be in, it was easier to hide the green.

But you can't hide something like that forever. Just like coming out of both the gay closet and the broom closet, this is finally breaking the surface.

To be completely honest:

Sometimes I say I'm okay just to get you to leave me alone because your sympathy causes me near physical pain.

And there is really no real reason that I can name as to why I feel like this the majority of my time. I know that honestly, compared to most people and what they've been through, this is nothing. So why do I feel like this? I wish I knew. I am trying to find better ways to deal with all of this mess. I've started talking about it instead of trying to hide everything. But again I don't want sympathy. I guess I just want understanding. Maybe if I put it out there, maybe if I am honest with myself and others, I'll finally be able to shed my green skin.

Maybe... one day.

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