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Giving Gay Another Chance...Why is this so hard?

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by out2019, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. OnTheHighway

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    These types of messages, however small they may seem, actually have a significantly larger impact on creating shame than we sometimes want to admit to ourselves. And many small instances reinforce the messaging. Continue to get in touch with those memories and those feelings. When you do, think about how you can rise above those feeling and develop the confidence in yourself by diminishing those events or finding closure to them.

    There are different ways of working through the shame and no one right way works for any particular person. And I know I am simplifying it significantly here in this thread.

    Some people meditate and can work through their own emotions, some write adult letters to their younger selves, some go and find those very people that created the initial shame and confront them, sometimes hypnotherapy can be useful, sometimes simply talking it through with friends, acquaintances or people can be therapeutic (including here on EC), and there always is a visit with a trusted therapist (and it should one where you have good personal chemistry and can be completely honest and open) . In many instances, as my experience reflected, it is some combination of the above.

    I wish there was a manual that a person can follow to sort through all of this. I personally think it would have helped me advance farther along on my own journey in a much more expeditious way if such a manual existed. But unfortunately we are each left with our own path to follow which we need to do on our own and in our own time.
     
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  2. out2019

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    Yes such a manual would be helpful, I see a lot of universal things people feel and say here that I can identify with, everyone's circumstances are a little different and subject to change. For some people it's easy to work through coming out in a matter of weeks or months others it's years...
     
  3. Journey616

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    We look outside of ourselves for answers about anything. On EC we hope that someone else’s answer will be our answer. But the reality is the real drivers manual is you. When you are off the path things aren’t working. The mind is distracted, it worries, it compares, it becomes a web of possibilities. We trick ourselves into thinking it’s our choice of who we are. But when we are on the path, there is an ease to life. Things slow down, more moments are captured, there is no choice, choice only brings misery. When we surrender in full we can be who we really are. Follow your path it’s a beautiful journey. It may take years it may take days. Whatever it is be you.
     
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  4. Bastion

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    This is a very uplifting and positive message. Thanks for sharing that.
     
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  5. OnTheHighway

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    For true self actualizarion, I would be very skeptical if anyone can do so in a matter of weeks or months. There is much more than simply looking in the mirror and saying “I am gay” (or whichever letter you subscribe). From my perspective true self actualization, and living our truths, requires we release the shame that caused us to build our emotional walls and letting go of any remnants of internalized homophobia.

    Some might accept simply embracing their sexuality as the beginning and end of the journey, but for me it was the catalyst to embark on a life long journey towards true self actualization.
     
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  6. OnTheHighway

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    I express a similar perspective albeit a bit differently. Life is akin to floating down a river. When you are going in the same direction as your river, your progress is smooth and consistent. When you try and go up-stream and/or follow the water against the tide, life is difficult and challenging. We each need to find which way our personal river flows and then follow it. This context is a bit spiritual, but whether we talk about a manual, a river, a guiding light or some other form of destiny driven comparison, our paths In life are made easier when we progressing forward towards or with consistent our own truths. Figuring out which way our river flows is an important part of living our truths.
     
    #46 OnTheHighway, Aug 4, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
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  7. Chip

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    There kind of is. It is (at least in its present form) focused on recovery from addiction, but the work is actually so broad and there's almost no discussion of addiction per se. The real focus is on childhood traumas, whether seemingly minute and insignificant, or major, and how those impact us later in life. In book form it's called "Conscious Recovery" and there's also an online course called the Conscious Recovery Experience. It's profound and life-changing for many who are in the earlier stages of coming to terms with the wounds of childhood.

    Brené Brown's Connections and Daring Way curricula (which are only available facilitated by a professional, usually in weekend workshops) are also a great way to at least start working through this material, though I totally agree it is not a rapid process.
     
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  8. NotTooLoud

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    You are gay, and people will still love you.
     
  9. OnTheHighway

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    I, for one, did not even realize I had such childhood wounds until after I embraced my sexuality. And I only embraced my sexuality because I could no longer deal with hiding behind my emotional wall. As a result my emotional wall rapidly and uncontrollably crumbled rather than being slowly dismantled in a methodical way.

    As I have engaged with others, I have found many in similar situations whom have not even realized they had childhood issues to contend with. And those that participate here on EC often have similar impediments where it is not understood how such childhood traumas can bring shame resulting in low self esteem, low self worth and diminished self respect.

    I vividly recall the message exchange you and I had a handful of years ago (if not more) where you were the first person to suggest I had underlying trauma associated with historical childhood physical and emotional abuse that was a foundation for my diminished self respect, confidence and self worth. You made the comment as I was exchanging messages with another member that was also a survivor of childhood sexual, emotional and physical abuse. And such notion hit me hard when I read it given a) back then I had always projected confidence which even I thought was real confidence and b) while I was participating in regular therapy sessions I had never addressed the childhood trauma with my therapist (where my then therapist and I did not have the right chemistry to be productive).

    Aside from actually knowing a specific book or program exists as you reference above, and even if I did I probably would not have even known it necessary to read, most go about their journey figuring things out as they go along. We are taught math, science, history, biochemistry and even sex education in school (however limited such learning is), and our parents are supposed to raise us with care, compassion and understanding. However we are not taught about human emotions, the conscious or subconscious to any real degree unless we take specific courses in college or university.

    So for the most part, it is understandable how many of us our left to figure things out on our own; which goes to support why EC can be such a valuable tool on our individual journeys. Combined with professional therapy, EC is a great sounding board to provide direction and comfort when used properly.
     
    #49 OnTheHighway, Aug 4, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
  10. OnTheHighway

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    Having just gone to the site, this looks very enlightening! Would be great to see a program tailored specially to the shame that drives people in the closet, and overcoming the shame in order to live our truths! But I can see how this could be a great resources.
     
  11. out2019

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    Yes I agree, but some people can have experiences, for example, finding a community or individual you connect with can help speed it along. I am not saying finding a boyfriend is the 'answer' but it might speed up the cycle of things and have something tangible to help overcome obstacles, rather than just ruminating at home.

    Other than the Brene Brown stuff, any good sources for shame. I listened to it but it didn't really resonate with me - I don't know why. It could be I don't understand enough yet (I am not being sarcastic, I am still trying to understand my own thoughts and blocks).
     
  12. Bastion

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    I can understand what you might be going through. Maybe I said this before, but for me I just decide to make new friends a while back with people from the lgbtq community in my area. And I started getting called names. For just friendships. And I didn’t do anything. Can you believe that?
     
  13. out2019

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    I heard stories like that and it's kept me away. I am sure there's one where you'd fit in too - maybe a hobby based group (since hobbies can often attract like minds) vs. general LGBTQ
     
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  14. OnTheHighway

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    Think about each of your own journeys and the challenges you are working to overcome. Then think about he broader LGBTQ community at large and imagine how many within the broader community are facing their own challenges and struggles with shame. I have come across a significant number of people within the community that have not done the hard work on themselves. And their embedded shame is reflected in their own individual actions. I think this is why some perceive difficulty in making genuine friendships and connections in the LGBTQ community.

    The only option you have is to persist. Continue to explore various avenues for meeting like minded individuals. And over time, you can meet very good people within the community that you can connect with.
     
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