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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My Story of Abuse

Last night, I wasn't quite ready to go to bed so I stayed up a bit later and watched television. Flipping through the various channels, I came across an episode of 30 days. If you're not familiar with this reality television show, you may be familiar with its creator Morgan Spurlock who also wrote, directed, and starred in Super Size Me in 2004.

Similar to his earlier documentary in which Morgan eats nothing but McDonald's for 30 days, in each episode he or another individual spends 30 days engaging in a lifestyle in which they are unfamiliar or diametrically opposed to, while debating the issues surrounding that lifestyle.

Last night's episode focused on the theme of same sex couples adopting and raising straight children; and featured Kati a Mormon and member of the Latter Day Saints, who opposed gays adopting children citing that it was against her belief system and she feels "...that two parents of the same sex are ill-equipped to give their child the life lessons that can only be provided by two different sexes." I'm not going to go into a full synopsis of the episode in this blog however if you'd like to read a synopsis click here.

The point of this entry is to share my story of abuse at the hands of my own parents, who were straight and Christian (Southern Baptist) I am a gay man who was raised by my straight grandparents after my own parents divorce. I am 35 years old and have never had a positive, stable, satisfying relationship with a man and at this point I don't think I ever will.

This is due to the fact that I was always made to feel like there was something wrong with me the entire time I was growing up. It wasn't enough that I was picked on and bullied on a daily basis at school, but abuse also occurred in my home as well. I wasn't physically abused, but I was mentally and psychologically abused in extremes. At one point, I was forcibly put in a woman's dress, makeup was applied to my face and I was locked out of the house in an effort to "make a man" out of me.

My biological mother met and married a man who didn't want me around; and my father signed away his rights rather than pay child support. I felt abandoned by the two people who were supposed to love me regardless. I had no outlet, no where to turn. I cried myself to sleep every night wishing for someone who would love me for who I was, someone who would accept me, and let me be myself.

Before I found Wicca, and an inner strength I'd never known before, I attempted to kill myself by slitting my wrists. I hesitated and ultimately didn't go through with the act, however, when my family saw the scars on my wrists rather than see this as a cry for help they saw it as just another reason to make fun at me.

Due to the abuse I was subjected to I cannot get close to anyone, I don't trust people, at least not easily, and have very few friends. If I could do it all over again with a gay parent or parents, who would be the loving guardian I never had then I'd relive my childhood in a heartbeat and maybe then I wouldn't keep trying to fill the void inside me with food and sex.

I freely admit that I am not perfect, I've come a long way and I have a long way to go. But as a wise person once said, "I ain't what I could be, I ain't what I should be, but thank God[dess] I ain't what I was!"


Carolina Dean

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good Morning,

Isn't it horrible the way that people think about gay behavior? I was taught that it was an infliction that you decided that you wanted to participate in. It certainly was not an inclination that you were born with.

Of course I was born on a Wednesday and was in my first baptist church service on the following Sunday and knew nothing but Christianity and the narrow, brainwashed views that accompany that belief system.

However, I did grow up and ... still believed in christianity .... but then a slight change started taking place and I tried to ignore it. But I did start to question many things.

There was a news article about a minister that wore a sandwich board sign that said all gays should be killed. I KNEW that wasn't right.

Little by little as I thought through many aspects of life, I realized that I didn't always agree with the teachings that I was hanging on to, but I had no alternative. I struggled for a few years. I would go to the bookstore and purchase a 'new age' book and hope no one that I knew would see me in that section.

It's been quite some time now that I started believing that gay people & lesbian people were just that ... people. I love the bumper sticker ... 'Hate same-sex marriages? Then don't get one!", why would I care what ANY two individuals do in regards to their sex life? It simply isn't any of my business.

I judge people (yes, we ALL judge people whether we want to or not) on their personalities, their common sense, and just their likability. Nothing fancy.

I have been overjoyed for the same-sex marriages that are finally becoming legal! Hooray! Everyone deserves happiness and also the benefits that come with a legal committment. I truly wish all people would just stop pushing their views on others, but I am a realist.

Dean, I truly am sorry that your life has been difficult so far. I know there is really nothing that I can do to make you feel better in that area. But if knowing that there is a person hundreds of miles away from you that would love to give you a friendly hug and words of encouragement, can at least bring a grin to your face ... then start to grin. I do care.

You have to get out there and meet people through whatever avenue is available in your area. Seek out people to be with, to laugh with, to have talks with, and to love with. Sounds simple, but I know how very difficult that advice is. But it is something to strive for. Both of us actually, sexual orientation aside, we are all looking for friends to spend our lives with.

Blessings,
Sandy

Anonymous said...

You know, I just got to thinking about you and a question has formed in my mind .... You have always been 34 years old as far as I knew. But now you are 35 ... & ... you are a virgo? You couldn't have had a birthday ... okay ... how old are you really? 28? 42? Maybe you are deceiving us all and you are actually a spry-looking 77 year old? Hmm .... are you going to come clean with the truth or am I going to have to send a cute sailor on leave to your home to spank the truth out of you??? (As you can see, the summer sun is helping my depression quite a bit ... I hope I didn't offend you, did I even get a smirk?

Lots of sun,
Sandy

Carolina Dean said...

Sandy

Thanks once again for showing me exactly why it is I share stories such as this with my "audience". I'm not ashamed of my past and I hope that anyone young or old; gay or straight; black or white who read this blog they will see how low a person can fall only to rise to touch the face of God.

I was born 9-15-1973 as I write this I am STILL 34 years old, I will be 35 in about 2 months. As I figured it that makes me closer to 35 than 34 so I rounded up....lol

Dean

Anonymous said...

I am amazed at how brave you are. Wish I could come up with just a tiny fraction of the strength you have found.

I have nothing wise of wonderful to say, just keep being you.

-noon

Jeff said...

I have been reading your blog for a few months now but have just read this post for the first time. I too grew up in a Southern Baptist home and am gay. I did not suffer the same abuse you did but I am ostracized and marginalized by my parents, really by my mother but dad may not be hateful but he is not supportive either. I had an epiphany one day that really supported me. I was at the elementary school i went to as a child (I am 40 now) memories of being there as a child all came rushing back both good and bad. Being teased all of those years for being gay and how painful that was. I had no one to turn to then and I believed that when people said how bad I was that they were right. So for a change I had sympathy for myself and what I had been through and as an adult I was able to be the advocate for myself that I did not have as a child. It really cleared up many misconceptions I had about myself. No it didn't clear all of my issues but it helped with quite a few. Healing can be a slow and painful process. I now have a wonderful and supportive lover of four years who treats me like gold. He treats me in a way that I never knew I could or should be treated. I hope it lasts forever but even if it doesn't I know to treat myself and others this way now. I have to say that with the love and thorough care you give to this blog and your craft I have faith you CAN have the love you seek. Keep working at yourself and always always always LOVE yourself in the process. You have cheerleaders out here!!

Carolina Dean said...

Thank you for your inspiration comment Jeff. I'm really happy that you found someone that loves and cherishes you.

I'm sorry it took me so long to respond. Some days its harder than others to come back to some of these pages and be reminded of past mistakes, but what does not kill us makes us stronger....

dean