So I had my weekly trip to see my Therapist, Mike, today. He started the conversation about Minnesota passing the law that allows Gays and Lesbians to get married. He asked me, "How does that make you feel?" I had to think for a few moments before I answered. I told him, "It makes me feel liberated."
So we began a conversation about me being a lesbian. He asked what was it like back years ago when you figured out that you were not the accepted standard of the mid 80s. I had to think back what it felt like back then. I remember hiding it from everyone but a few close friends. I was afraid of what they thought. Plus lets face it, I was brought up in the Christian church and being gay is completely frowned upon. I so remember that when I was struggling to come to terms that I "might" be gay.
According to the church I am going to hell. Most people who are Christian think this way. (I say most, I know not everyone does, but remember this was the mid 80s and most did then.) So I struggled with that, on top of what would people would think about me if they found out. There was also fear, guilt and shame involved because of what I perceived other people thinking about me if they knew. It is amazing what our own minds will dream up for us to believe.
So we talked about that and I remember saying, "The one place back then when I felt I could truly be myself was in a gay bar." Because it was the one place that I could hold someone's hand or kiss them in public and not worry about judgment. He asked me if I could truly be me now? I replied with no, not even after all these years. (I am not embarrassed about being a Lesbian but I'm still not comfortable completely I guess) I still hide who I am from a lot of people. I still to this day not even with people I know and who know me, hold someone's hand or kiss them in front of anyone. I can in gay bar, but not sitting in someone's home or definitely not in public. It's funny, I don't want to make them uncomfortable but I will make myself uncomfortable instead. (This goes back to the whole church, fear, guilt, shame that I feel still to this day.)
He asked me, "What would it be like if you could really just be you." I told him, "I really don't know, I never thought it was possible."
"Do you think you would be happy?"
"Yes, but I'm not sure how to get there."
He told me to keep in mind that it really doesn't fucking matter what people think about you. Just be you and be happy with that. He also told me that I was amazing. To have lived through all the things I have and to still be a good person was amazing.
I told him one of the things I wanted from all this was to just be comfortable in my own skin. So he recommended a book, which I am going to have to buy on kindle or get from the library. It is called "Man's search for meaning." by Viktor Frankl. This man was a Jew who survived the concentration camps in WWII. He did it by staying true to himself and not hating his captors. So that's my next thing I need to get. I want to read this. Anyway, I am getting off target.
Towards the end he brought the conversation back to the Gay and Lesbians getting married in Minnesota. He asked again what I thought about it. I actually started to cry a little, as this thought occurred to me. I said, "That wedding that I thought I never could have and a lot of my friends have had, now I can too." I really can now. I matter. My love for another person matters. I'm not a second class citizen anymore. I can have that special day too. Invite my friends and family. And check that DAMN box on my state tax return that say, MARRIED instead of Single. (Because that matters too) And the haters? Well they can just keep on hating cause it makes no difference to me.
And now, maybe, just maybe, I can finally just be me.