I enjoy emails from people who’ve read this blog and generally reply. I recently got a message from a young college student struggling with his own coming out story. He’s excited, he’s spent hours reading this entire blog (something I haven’t even done). His email has a tone of familiarity, like he knows me.
>For some reason, my shields go up. Nothing to be scared of, just the familiar tone is off putting to me. I don’t know who this guy is. I reply cautiously. He replies with one and then yet another long email. He’s clearly intelligent, he’s trying to be open, he’s sharing his thoughts about my postings, he’s friendly, but he’s pushing into my personal space. Im just wondering how someone locked up in a mental hospital can manage to send that many emails a day.
He hammers me a one line email demanding my IM address. Almost immediately, he pops up on a chat session with barrage of questions and comments. My defense system goes down. I realize now who I’m dealing with, I’m dealing with a younger version of myself.
He’s full on all the time. Aggressive. He wants to be in control. He wants me to like him. He’s going to set the rules. But reality, he wants me to understand him, he sees himself in me. I ask him some hard questions about himself. He resists, but slowly he starts to answer with what I believe are truthful responses.
He sends me his telephone number. “Call me now”. OK, I call. I’m imagining this hard core masculine voice. He answers, one minute in, my head is screaming gayyyyyyyyyyyyyy. He’s questioning his own sexuality? He may well be the only person left on the planet who doesn’t think he’s gay. He’s upset, but deals with it, when I tell him so much.
So I continue to get a barrage of email, chat windows popping up, phone calls and text messages from my new friend. He likes me. That’s OK, I like him too, he’s very sweet. But I see some of his tactics in my own. If he could raise my defense shield, god only knows what I’ve been doing to people.
>Sometimes the best lessons in life are seen thru the eyes of others.