Maybe I could do 15 days of truth and just skip the hard questions.
Day 3’s question is: Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Before I answer that, I have to say that it’s probably going to be confusing to go back and read these questions/answers. On one hand, I love who I am today and on the other hand, I’m harder on myself than the world could ever dream of being. Or maybe it will all make perfect sense because it seems that the more I just lay it out there, the more people tell me they feel the same way and that I’m not alone.
So. Something I have to forgive myself for.
I’ve only talked about this on the blog once in a direct way and even at that, I left out a ton of details. I’ve woven it into other posts, but in such a way that it never revealed too much. I honestly don’t know if I can do it again, but I’ve made a promise to myself that if I did the 30 day meme, I wouldn’t hedge. Integrity sucks sometimes.
I have to forgive myself for allowing myself to slip into an abyss of depression, self-absorption and self-pity. It started in the early 90’s and culminated in a series of suicide attempts in 2004.
I think some of the other questions in this meme will lay out a little of the background, so for now I will say that I know how it began, but at the time I had no idea the path I was walking was so dangerous and toxic.
In this post, I talked about how I always felt different because I am gay. I felt tortured, like something was wrong with me, that something was missing, that I wasn’t strong enough to overcome my feelings. What I didn’t talk about in that post was the anger.
Anger ruled me from the time I was a child until I was in my late thirties. My anger did a lot of damage to my life and to the people in it. Finally, I convinced myself that I should do something about it and so I went to a psychiatrist who sent me down the medication road. I buried the anger beneath a ton of psychotropic meds that did nothing to solve the problem, but only caused a host of other problems.
I need to forgive myself for not standing up sooner. For not saying, “Enough” before I almost ruined everything – and nearly lost my life. I need to forgive myself for not believing in myself enough to do the right thing – which was work on the issues that caused the anger instead of just trying to dampen the rage. I need to forgive myself for spending more than 15 years being afraid to face myself. I need to forgive myself for being afraid to face life.
Most of all, I need to forgive myself for what I did to my family during that time. I have two sisters who don’t speak to me. One, because she thinks I’m a self-indulgent attention-whore and one because … well, because I was so self-absorbed that I cut her out of my life and we are absolute strangers now. I have a relationship with my brother only because he is a very generous, kind soul who was able to forgive me for the horrible thing I did to him, which in turn cut me off from my entire family (including MoC) for about 5 years. He forgave me even though I have never had the courage to ask his forgiveness.
And then there’s MoC. My mother watched my life fall apart and watched me actively try to end it – and only God knows the ways that must have torn her up. She watched them pump my stomach, she listened to me rip her to shreds while I was out of my mind, she picked me up and she never let go. I can’t even imagine what that must have cost her – and I need to forgive myself for putting her through it.
I think I need to forgive myself for being human.
I promised I wouldn’t hedge and I didn’t. Not really. But I can’t open a vein here. I just can’t. This was the best I could do and it is, without question, the hardest thing I have ever written. It’s enough.
And now I think I’m going to vomit.