OK. Maybe not the “best” title for an update entry… but knowing how dismal some of my entries have been through my road to recovery here, I just want everyone to know (albeit bluntly) that I am still alive and well.
Still living on my own, and yes, still using the library computers for my Internet (no, I don’t have a laptop and I can’t get to 43T on my phone). So, once again, sorry for the infrequent posts. Not a whole lot has changed since I last stopped by.
My depression has diminished tremendously over the past twelve months. I’ve been doing a lot better since I fired my therapist when he told me the reason I wasn’t being hired to be a parole officer is because I come off as “too gay” and should try to sound more “straight.” I was appalled. It is extremely empowering to fire your therapist—not saying he did not help me at all—but the empowerment is knowing when it is legitimately time to stop taking other people’s advice and trusting that you are healthy enough to begin following your own.
Speaking of my pursuit of a job with the state department of parole, yesterday I found out I am still being considered and have been moved to the next stage of the hiring process: the background investigation. There is an “investigator” who is working with me to collect information about my background, family, and former coworkers. I’m not worried. Whether I get the job or not, is not really within my control after all. All I can do is be open and honest. I have nothing to hide. That is the definition of confidence, to me anyway.
I’ve stopped putting my hope and faith and dependence on the idea of finding any one employment position. Currently I work two jobs to make ends meet. I am doing all right financially, but my youthful and naive perceptions of the adult world and economy are long gone; I have learned to lower expectations, be realistic and content with anything I get that can at least kind of pay the bills. The excitement I used to feel when getting called for an interview has died, and attempts for higher paying employment have become normal and routine, along with the belief that something will eventually come along.
I realize I am more mature than I have ever been at any time in my life. I have become wise. I have gone through enough trials and tribulations, enough depression and hopelessness, and come out on the other side as an independent young adult with a stable mind and confident self-image. I have reached a point in my life where encountering people who do not like me because of what I am (a gay man) is no longer a shock or outrage—it is just a reality I have learned to cope with, and previous experiences have given me the tools. I have dealt with peers at school rejecting me, my own mother rejecting me, the community not supporting me, and have watched as the national and state government have slowly begun to allow homosexual couples some equal rights. If there is one thing I’ve learned to wholeheartedly and fluently ACCEPT, it’s being misunderstood, despised, feared, loathed, and challenged. I expect it. All of those things are terrifying prospects to a young gay teenager who is just realizing he is gay. How overwhelming it is, and how hopeless it must seem, to consider those plights at the first awareness of one’s own homosexual identity. I don’t blame anyone, including myself, for having experienced suicidal thoughts and depression when emerging as a young gay person without any support system.
After all I have gone through, I now have confidence that I can overcome anything that comes my way. Nobody can break me, and anymore, nobody can frighten me or make me feel bad about myself. At times it seems absurd to do anything less than love all of who I am, because I realize now that I need to be my own protector. I need to be unafraid, and face the world bravely. I need to stand up for myself in the event nobody else will. My mother taught me that, when she did not stand up for her child. I’ve finally been able to heal from those phases in my young life. I am a survivor. 4 months ago