Posts Tagged With: survival

Sometimes We Need To HELP The Ones That NEED The Help!!!

I just finished watching the movie “The Help”.  It gives me hope that one day someone may watch a movie about how gay people are treated in these days and be appalled.  Just as there were stories in the movie of people that were strong, did good and helped change society; there were more stories of how hate made life for many more difficult, tense and in some cases intolerable.  Even as a gay person, I do not feel my road to equality is as treacherous as that of racial minorities, but none the less… I have hope for us all to see each other for what we are worth as human beings and let the hate stop ruining lives.

People of color, whether black, brown, yellow, tan, red, mulatto or even white have never had to defend HOW they became that way.  But for many gays, their stories are riddled with heartache about having to DEFEND who they are to their own families, losing friends, bullying, and even at times – sadly – violence, beatings, death or suicide.  I relish in the stories of gays that have had supportive families and friends, because although they may be more frequent… they are far from the norm.

More gays than not have tremendous baggage by the time they become adults, while some have DEEP scars.  In my case…. I carry a lot of baggage from deep scars!  I have a lot of people I care about, but less than a handful that I truly trust.  I feel undeserving of friendship, feeling I can never be as good a friend to others as I feel they are to me.  These insecurities tend to only make me suspect of people that are willing to be my friend.

The demon I wrestle with most is accountability.  I was molested as a child by someone in my neighborhood and my resentment grows stronger with age as I know this man has never really been held accountable for what he did to me.  I am told, “Thomas, you must forgive him to grow past this.”  But with no accountability…. I just can’t get past how it has so negatively affected my life.  A family member months ago berated me, called me selfish for trying to protect my mother saying, “Thomas, it is not all about YOU!”  Since when did looking out for my mother make anything about “me”?  But other family members forgive her for how she treated me, but she has not been held accountable for how she was allowed to treat me, so I just can’t get past it.

If there were a way to make these racist in “The Help” accountable for their actions, if bigots were held accountable their hatred toward gays (when someone being gay has no impact on them), if disrespect is not challenged – the world we all live in moves backwards instead of progressing.  Do you know someone that needs to be held air actions?  What is the more brave thing to do…. forgive and let the victim work it out alone OR to help hold people accountable for their injustice to others?  Our society has become too forgiving and too complacent.  I feel forgiveness without accountability is a coward’s way out.

It’s Too LATE to HELP Jamey – He Comitted Suicide because NO ONE held bullies accountable….

Jonah reached out….

John Encourages Jonah!!!

This happened November 2011…. MORE needs to be done!
http://kdaf.vid.trb.com/player/PaperVideoTest.swf

WHAT ARE YOU DOING to HELP?

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Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sleeping Is All I Do Good (Or Is It Well?)

Experience "faking" a smile is often confused with "having" a nice smile!

I am trapped in a life of feeling like a victim fighting to defend myself.  Depression is my way of existing. The one thing I do good is sleeping!  I even question my grammar skills to ask, is it only sleeping I do well or good?  I was molested as a child (1) and that may have set my path for life to fight to not be a defenseless victim again. I cannot break this feeling of constant defensiveness that borders on aggression (ok, ok, I am a mean, angry bloke that fights too much!! lol).  I want to write and explain how I feel and I find myself the victim of a poor education or weak mind that even infects this expression. Or should I say can not instead of cannot?

I have great friends and see them struggling with the pressures of life as well.  I know I am not alone in this experience of struggle, but, in general, they do not feel victimized by life.  To me I feel EVERYTHING is a struggle.  I have to FIGHT an insurance company to do what they are supposed to do for me.  I have to FIGHT my demons of a victimized childhood.  I try to bring attention to my cause with political leaders and have to FIGHT to be heard. I live with Multiple Sclerosis and FIGHT to live the best life I can in-spite of the constant pain and discomfort.  I am gay and have to FIGHT to prevent society from discounting my worth as a human for simply wanting equal treatment.  I have learned to live with this and feel the struggles and fighting to defend myself have made me a stronger man. Sadly now I also find I have to FIGHT to be respected within my own family.

Dad - The Watermelon King!

Recently my father passed away.(2)   It is understandable to be melancholy (or ma lunk o lee as Mega Mind would say).  But even feeling like a constant victim, I felt my father was in my corner.  When I “came out” to my family; my father, a very religious and conservative man, hugged me and held me by the shoulders and explained, “We (he and Mom) do not understand this.  But as long  as we remember we love each other, we will get through this.”  My life has become a series of getting through things.  I’ve lost the man in my corner.

Being disrespected could be my career also Mr Dangerfield!

A recent family situation helped bring focus to the fact my family has little or no respect for me.  Why not, who the hell am I to be respected?  Respect is earned.  My father respected me even if I had not earned it and again I feel I fight life alone.  I may not have earned respect, but I sure have not earned disrespect!  The disrespect is spreading to the next generation of my family and with no one in my corner in the family anymore, I choose to isolate myself from my family because the acceptance of the disrespect makes even sleeping, the one thing I am good at doing, more of a struggle.

Writing my little blog is even becoming a struggle.  I voice my opinions about the selfish attitudes of politicians and this “Tea Party”  movement (teabaggers as I affectionately call them) and I get people justifying why their opinion is more valid than mine or trying persuade my opinion.  I used to enjoy respectable debate, but have even grown tired of feeling I need to justify why I feel as I do.  I guess the teabaggers feel they are victims themselves for having to pay taxes for programs that do not benefit them directly – so they have the attitude do away with them.  But since I feel I identify more with the people that these programs are intended to help – I only see them as bullies.  When they have solutions other than just cut, cut, cut – then I may see them differently.

I still feel like this kid inside!

Sleep and depression go hand in hand.  Fatigue is my most common symptom of my MS.  Struggle wears a soul down.  I still feel my Dad’s hands on my shoulders and hear him saying, “We do not understand this.  But as long  as we remember we love each other, we will get through this.”  I am just struggling to remember the “feeling” of being loved, respected and protected.  I am tired of all the struggle and resign to do the one the I am good at – sleep.


Maybe you can show me some respect? lol

1  https://thomasajohnston.com/2010/05/25/innocence-taken/
2 https://thomasajohnston.com/2011/03/24/no-one-wants-to-write-their-fathers-obituary/

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Innocence Taken

*Warning* – This is the most personal writing I have ever done.  I wanted to challenge myself as a writer to see how I would be able to present the subject.  It is very personal, and unlike my other stories… this one is not presented as entertainment.   This story involves the account of a very personal childhood sexual trauma and its life-long effects… proceed with caution if you are sensitive!  I have tried to be true to the subject and give comprehensive descriptions without ALL of the graphic details!  This post was very difficult for me to write and I could not write it in 1st person… I had to refer to myself as “the boy” as I wrote.  I hope this to be therapeutic for me to write about this topic for the fist time.   I hope people are able to see and  understand there are a lot of kids we never know have secrets and carry pain we may never understand.  It is a tough burden even as I have become an adult.

There was a boy.  A boy who many met and said, “He will either be a politician or a preacher”.  His mother had small suits for him even at age 5 giving him the look of a young politician or preacher.  He wore these suits to church with great pride.  This boy would meet regulars and strangers as the came into the church giving them a warm welcome.  For most, they may not have understood much of what he said because he had his own language due to a hearing issue, but that never slowed him at his mission – make everyone feel welcomed.  He was such a politician that he even would work the room giving the little old ladies kisses.  He was such a politician in that he had a motive with this strategy…. some of the old ladies would give him some gum as a reward.  If the gum had been money… he not doubt would be a U.S. Senator or may even President today!

This trusting and outgoing personality worked against him with one person… a young man.  When this boy was 5, this young man (I will call Mitchel – of course not his real name) was about 15.  Mitchel decided that the young boy was a suitable target.  There were many other young boys in the church, but this boy (now an adult) has no idea why he was chosen.  You may ask want was he chosen for… I can only say the boy was chosen to lose his childhood.

The boy’s mother had bought him a trench coat… no less a London Fog trench coat for a 5-year-old was quite styling in small town Mississippi in 1971.  This was the beginning of forced integration in Mississippi, but this historical event was not the event he remembers from 1971.  This boy remembers being led by his hand by Mitchel to a bathroom in the church.  The boy was confused why he was inside that bathroom with Mitchel, but soon the painful truth was found out.  Mitchel did not need the bathroom…. he needed a locked door and privacy.  This day is what the boy recounts as his very first memory of his life…. nothing before is remembered even as an adult.  He remembers his London Fog trench coat being removed and spread on the floor like a picnic blanket would.  The next action was Mitchel beginning to remove the young boys clothes.  The boy remembers being lain on his trench coat but not as picnic blanket, but as a bed.  Soon the boy saw Mitchel was undressing as well.  The naked boy could not run out without his clothes, what was he to do?

Mitchel was a son of a trusted (and wealthy) neighbor.  The boy relaxed…. this was some kind of game.  But then Mitchel joined the boy on the floor.  The boy had not even seen his father naked that he remembers, so seeing the pubic hair on a male body was also new and confusing.  Soon the boy felt the grip of Mitchel’s hands as he was lifted and laid on top of Mitchel, but not in a position to be told a story because all the boy saw as the private area of Mitchel that was used for peeing.  “Why was hair there?  Why is my face here?” the boy asked himself.  Then another new sensation, the boy felt his “tallywacker” taken inside the mouth of Mitchel.  Then as the boy looked up again he heard, “Kiss it”.  The boy had kissed little old ladies with mustaches and knew this was not worth any piece of gum and refused.  He felt a slap on his small ass that was equal to discipline and not a game and he gave Mitchel’s dick a kiss.  This time it was a simple lips against the dick with no open mouth.  The boy had of course never had an orgasm and could not explain what was happening and reported to Mitchel, “I have to pee.”  But the boy did not know what was happening to him.  Many do not know (I hope) that a child can have an orgasm without ejaculating and there is a pleasurable sensation.  “Do not tell anyone because you did not stop me, you are guilty also.”, the boy heard.  I did say earlier this time… because this story repeats itself over 8 years.  The boy kept the secret out of fear and shame.

The boy began to lose fear about the encounters with Mitchel, because Mitchel refered to the encounters as “the game”.  “Do you want to play the game?”, the boy would hear.  At some point… it had become a game… even the boy found pleasure in “the game”.  The last time was april 16, 1979.  This day is marked for a couple of reasons. Tornadoes were in the area and the boys’ family went to Mitchel’s parents house because they still had power.  Mitchel was away for college and not living at home at this time, but was home for a visit.  The boy knows the exact date as not only the date of his last encounter, but also the day his best friend’s father died.  After “the game” the boy came back into the room with all the adults and saw everyone crying.  GUILT stabbed the boy in the heart.  He thought all the crying was because they knew what he had been doing.  He felt guilt for what he had done, he felt guilt for being more concerned about his situation than his 11 year-old friend who had just lost his Dad, he felt guilt because “the game” was a game that he had grown to enjoy.  That is a lot of guilt for a 12-year old.

There are a lot of ways to cope and the boy’s mechanism was humor.  He became the class clown or at least tried.  At 17 the boy was a good-looking young man himself.  He was tall and thin with a swimmers build.  He had done some modeling that would give most an ego or sense of pride, but not this young man.  This young man was still the boy. The guilt ridden, class clown was now alone at university.  He had few friends to be the clown for and Mtv was new with limited videos to pass his time.  This is when a bottle of pills began to feel comfortable in his hands.  The thought of taking them all at once would pass.  The more times the bottle was held in his hands…. the longer he held them, the more he thought.  The thoughts were only of how to find relief.  The thoughts consumed him even when the bottle of pills was not in his hand.  This continued until that he was not able to set the pills down.  There was a bottle of cherry vodka at his apartment.  He knew when purchasing the vodka that he would want or need some flavor as his plan was to drink all of the bottle with the pills.

The vodka was removed from the freezer and the boy, now a young man, prepared a large glass of ice to pour the freezer cold vodka over.  He drank about 8 ounces before the first pill found its way to his lips.  He sobbed as he placed pill after pill and swallowed the cold vodka.  Once the last pill was placed in his mouth he forgot the glass and killed the remainder of the vodka straight from the bottle.  The boy was dead.  As he felt his stomach heaving, he had no idea his friend was with him.  He woke the next day feeling hung-over and not dead.  He prayed for death as he began to cry again uncontrollably.  The boy was dead… but the young man with A LOT of problems remained.  His friend asked why the young man had drunk so much.  The friend did not know or realize the pills had been in the mix.  But getting sick from drinking too much cherry vodka saved the young man.

The young man wept as he told his friend the story.  It was the first time he had told anyone.  The 3rd grade teacher did not understand why the boy would break into tears explaining why he had not done his homework.  She thought it was because of the guilt of not being a good student, but little did she know about the guilt the boy had.  She missed it!  So did everyone that laughed at the clown.  The family, the friends, the teacher and preachers all missed it.  Actually everyone missed it.  The boy was now a young man with a headache and a friend that knew his deepest secret.  The young man told his family.  He did not become a politician or a preacher!  The healing began …. but as I write this – the scar remains!

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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