Thursday, May 7, 2009

What Is It?

My blood is running ice cold and tiny pin pricks, shivers, are running up and down my spine. Butterflies are in my stomach, fluttering away, threatening to bring up breakfast. Oh Lawd! I'm trying to front; pretend there's nothing wrong. Oh far from the truth that lie is!!!

Tonight, my past catches up with me. Whether it's in a good way or bad way remains to be seen. Being home, I've been confronted left and right with old demons; issues long thought to be laid to rest. Guess not. Well, I'm a man now (in theory)... time to put the big boy undies on, put away those fears, and act like I got something swinging between my thighs. "Just Do It!"

Here's the reason for my trepidation. A good friend from high school turns 40 today. Recently we were lucky enough to reconnect through Facebook. Word got back through the old neighborhood I'm home and his moms caught up with me the other day. His family generously invited me to a large soiree they're having to celebrate this milestone birthday. At first, I was like "color me there" in my attitude. We hadn't seen each other for almost a decade, had fell outta touch. But then harsh insecurity reared it's head up from the depths.

"Yo Ian. Who the hell you foolin' Ain't nobody wanna see your faggot ass!"

That stopped me cold. Really? I've been keepin' low profile here. As I've mentioned being back home in parent's home, back in the old haunt, has been less than welcoming. Too many demons decided it time to take advantage of my sitch. "He's at a low point physically, let's attack him emotionally, then he's ours." Being back in my old home, my old childhood neighborhood, where so much negative shit went down, where some much of my young spirit was traumatized... well you have to gimme a lil leeway.

Here I have a great opportunity to reconnect, at the heart of the issue remains differences. Time to "come out" once again to somebody. Sigh. So tired of having to justify or explain myself. Unfortunately, Pat is on the long list of folk who don't know the deal. Now you're probably thinkin' to yourselves, "Oh please Ian, anybody who know you gotta know by now." True dat. Naturally, I go by that assumption too. Don't most people recognize by how I talk or my mannerisms, that I'm not batting for the Philadelphia Heterosexual Ball Club? Then again, people are prone to see what they wanna see.

What shouldn't be a big deal, is for me. I've never been one to deal well with confrontation, avoid it as much as possible. The subject of how I'm attracted to shouldn't come up, but I must admit, in a sports bar filled with heterosexual straight guys, not only do I feel awkward but also intimidated as well. On a whole, I generally prefer being around women and other gay/bisexual men. Old anxieties surface whenever there's prolonged exposure with straight men. I recognized most this anxiety comes from the sexual abuse, molestation and ridicule from childhood peers, and believe me, I've worked on these issues. I have. But then again, these are strange people in an unfamiliar situation. I'm nervous in the service, boys!

Oh and now I feel ashamed for feeling shamed. Internalized homophobia is such a bitch. And I don't deny having my fair share of unresolved matters concerning my sexuality, but life unfolds on a gradual process. What time it took you to get comfortable with yourselves is different from mine as will be different for someone else. Just support, lift, and edify one another as we go on this journey.

My ideal is not being surrounded in room full of most strangers. Yes, my friend Pat will be there, but then so will his wife, family, and a house of other friends, acquaintances, and associates. The demon of unworthiness is whispering in my ear, "You're stupid. You're a fraud. You're a faggot. They will laugh, judge, and ridicule you. You are reviled and unworthy to be here." I'm trying not to listen to those negatives. Gonna do my best to walk the walk and talk the talk. Gonna stare fear in the face, and as much as I wanna call to decline the invitation, I'm going...

Sigh. However, as people are prone to say, the Devil is a liar, and I'm not gonna punk out like that. Still, my fears abound. Cold, cold, COLD insecurities have always thrown monkey wrenches in my life, let it hinder me from blossoming, but no mo'! And what is there to be afraid of??? (I keep asking myself, but the nagging doubt is still there.)

Ian's Inquiry: So what do you do what doubt and insecurities step in the way. What solutions help you to find strength and courage to look fear in the face head on?


David Dust said...

I have the same exact feelings ... although not about my sexuality. My issue is my weight. But the feelings are the same: shame, doubt, fear, and low self esteem.

Some, on the outside, will dismiss these feelings and say "get over it", but the mind can be a cruel thing sometimes. No one else can really know what's going on in your head besides you.

Here's some advice: plant a smile on your face and drink heavily. :)


Ian a.k.a. Darktomahawk said...

Well David, you caught my hand in the cookie jar wit' this too. I'm a thick boy myself.

Most times it doesn't bother me, least of my problems, but when confronted with the "beautiful ones," especially straight folks, well then the weight exacerbates the issue too.

ToddyEnglish said...

One of my favorite books is called "Feel The Fear and Do it anyway." Those are words that I live by.
We are always going to be burdened by fears and insecurities (initially atleast).
However, to truly be courageous is to be afraid...Yet be brave enough to endure anyway. You may never cease having certain insecurities. But don't allow them to infringe upon your happiness.
True, they may point and jeer. But they may also welcome you with open arms. Sometimes you have to take the risk.

To quote my favorite Aaliyah song, "Heart don't fail me now...Courage don't desert me...Don't turn back now that we're here...People often say life is full of choices but no one ever mentions fear..."

Good luck!

Cocoa Rican said... can get rough. Although, I'll say that I was a strong gay man out of the gate and had no problem tearin' str8 guys a new one - figuratively and literally - so I don't have the trepidation about returning home or being around str8 guys. I will say that I do become hypersensitive that they can pick up on my being gay and to be honest, it lasts all of like 5 minutes before a thoroughly FUCK-YOU-GET-OVER-ME aura engulfs me and all is good. You're going to be great. I will say this though, if it makes you that uncomfortable, then use the option in your favor - DON'T GO. You're a grown-ass man bruh...respect yourself and your option to say, "Thanks for the invite, but I won't be able to make it."

nudeindc said...

I think we all deal with insecurities from time to time. But at the most fundamental and meaningful way, you are worthy. Whether you go or not, don't let anyone (including the demon on your shoulder) take that from you.


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