Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Outing the writer in me

I have never blogged (about anything) before, but I have to say that I am finding the experience of creating this blog not only tremendously liberating, but also stimulating.  It is liberating in that I am describing events and giving voice to thoughts and emotions that, for the most part, I have never shared with anyone else, and  that have been repressed and a source of secret shame and self-loathing for most of my life. I have finally given myself permission to express these thoughts, to relive these emotions, to describe these experiences, and I find this process not only liberating, but also affirming.

It is also stimulating, in that I am writing about these things for the first time in my life.  I feel that to write something is to affirm and give form, shape and texture to a memory, a feeling, a thought, then hold these up to the light and analyze and perhaps even admire them.  This process stimulates the creative juices in me and makes me feel like I am getting in touch with an integral part of who I am – not just my gay identity, but also that part of me that is a writer.

Once upon a time, I wanted to be a writer.  I remember writing my first book – a mystery inspired by The Hardy Boys – when I was in third grade.  A couple of years later, I wrote a collection of short stories for a “gifted” class I was in.  (Thrown away years ago.)  But it was when I was in high school that I did most of my writing and seriously considered majoring in creative writing once I went off to college.  (How I wish I still had the journals that I kept when I was 14-15-16 years old!  They would have offered such a window of understanding into the youth I was.)

But this passion for writing died within me as I advanced in my teenage years.  Like other aspects of what I assume to be my true self, this interest in self-expression was too closely intertwined with that other aspect of my real self that I wanted desperately to deny and repress – my gay self.  In repressing my homosexuality, I feel I also repressed other parts of my true self that might have affirmed or risked exposure of my sexual identity.

I guess this is what I have tried to express in other posts:  This journey for me right now is not just about my SSA.  It is also – particularly because of the added trauma of child abuse – an effort to recover my lost self that I believe retreated deep inside me when I was a small child in order to protect itself from abuse, then was further repressed during what is often a great awakening in a boy’s life:  puberty and its aftermath. 

So now, I am outing the writer in me.  He may not be a very good writer, but he is a part of me – the authentic, real me, and I welcome his coming.  I am also finding, parenthetically, that as I have begun to seriously engage in releasing and giving voice to repressed memories and feelings, that other doors to the chambers of my memory are opening, and I am remembering more from my childhood.  This is tremendously comforting to me.

So stay tuned everybody.  There are a LOT more posts to come!

We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end,
we become disguised to ourselves.
-- Francois, duc de La Rochefoucauld, (1613-1680)


  1. I found exactly the same to be true when I began blogging 3 1/2 years ago. Continued best of luck, and joy, as you advance on your journey.

    happy night!

  2. Thanks! I appreciate the words and feeling of support!

  3. This is so much fun to read your posts and experience your passion of life coming to the surface after so many years of repression. What a great process!

    I remember the same feeling over 4-1/2 years ago when I started blogging and I feel that same excitement as I see it happening inside you. Keep 'er going!

  4. When I was at BYU I took a "Creative non-fiction" class. We had to do free writes every day. And eventually my mind starting turning back to when I was 17 and figured out I was gay. We had to share my final paper, and among other things it was about my experiences trying to date (and failing) and why I decided at the time to try to change, but recognizing that it wasn't really working.
    That was terrifying. I don't think my professor really knew what to do. I got a B (and in all honestly it wasn't the best written personal essay). I don't really know why I did it. I don't know why I didn't think more about it in the years after, but sort of shoved it away.
    And I know what you mean about being afraid to write and create because of your "secret." You After my class, I would try to write but fearing the demons that would come out if I did. The same thing has happened as I try to compose songs, if I do talk about it it's always been in vague general terms.
    It's sad how much repressing this part of myself has kept me from doing and being the things that I want and need to do and be. I think when I say it's liberating to come out (at least to yourself), this is what they mean.