Heal Before Help

I had an eye opening experience yesterday. Recently, a guy at work (who works first shift) has been working with my group of people that I work with on second shift for an hour before he leaves (He comes in an hour later than regular first shift and leaves an hour later). Two days ago we were talking about a facial skin condition – I do not remember the name of it. One of the people we work with has it and she is taking an antibiotic for it. He commented that his boyfriend had had it in the past. I had assumed this guy was gay from the first time I had seen him but what caught me off guard was how strong he was in himself and his sexuality. What also surprised me was no one that I work with made any comment negatively towards him. Yesterday, they talked again and he shared his dream of being a songwriter. He got together with his boyfriend because his boyfriend sings so they could work together and be together. If everything works out for him, he will be moving in a month and will not be at my job anymore.

One of my goals at work is to always reach out to other gay men that I know and to let them know that I am there if they ever need anything. I have not come out to this guy yet but he could probably guess that I am gay too. His strength in himself made me realize that I need to get through my own struggle before I can help others. One thing that Joyce Meyer has said that really resonated with me was “You cannot give what you do not have.” I need to have personal experiences that prove that “It Gets Better” before I can tell other people and help them through their struggle. I feel like I have put the cart before the horse. Healing for me is needed so that I can better help others in the future. It is also hard to follow a leader when they are wishy-washy. I need to find my strength though I know I am a born leader.

In the end of my middle school – early high school years, my parents made me go to a Christian psychologist because they had found me cutting. I have only done it twice in my lifetime and will never again. It is just another thing that I can use to relate to other people’s lives. I was hurting so much that it came down to that. It was such a release at the time but it just was not healthy. The psychologist had his own share of problems, as my dad told me. That is why we stopped seeing him. I think he was so willing and wanting to help other people that he repressed his own problems. I could see myself falling down this same trap and I really do want to help other people but I need to make sure I am real about my problems and work them out in my life.

It has helped me that I read God vs. Gay?: A Religious Case for Equality by Jay Michaelson. He has brought more things to the table that I had not thought about before and things that I had thought about before. For the first time, I have more peace about who I am than I ever have before. Now I ask the question: How do I continue on the road to complete healing, the road to living confidently as a gay man? (If anyone has any advice to share, feel free to say something in the comments.) I think one inevitable thing in that process is moving out of my parent’s home. In time that will happen.

Maybe I am being too hard on myself but I definitely think there is truth to this. It has been rough recently and will be for a while. I am more emotional as they have everyone working 12 days straight without a day off. When it is all said and done, it will probably be a lot more but no one knows when our next day off will be. I wanted to cry yesterday at work. I want to cry right now as I am writing this. Though it is rough now with many different things going on, I will endure and get through this.

One thing that I need to invest in is praying for my future husband on a daily basis and praying for the people struggling with their sexuality on a daily basis. I think it will help me to have more hope and to know that doors of hope are opening for others because of the prayers that I have prayed.

Thank you to everyone for your positive and encouraging comments on my last post. I really appreciate it.



6 responses to “Heal Before Help

  • Rich

    You definitely are your toughest critic. See the good within and the God within. Perhaps you will also see the boyfriend inside.

    • jmtromm

      Honestly I could “marry” the work of helping gay men with their sexuality and life in general.

      Our book for book discussion next month is definitely one that I need right now though I feel like I will disagree with the author before even reading the book.

      One thing I know I need to work on is relating to different gay men that express themselves differently than I do. The only way I can become more comfortable with that is to just dive in to different experiences and situations that take me out of my comfort zone.

      Thanks for the advice!

  • Rich

    Give the author a chance on this one. After I located the book, I read the intro. He is not the type of person I expected, but I do not disagree with his general premise. I am leaving Saturday so the rest of the book will wait for my return.
    When you say “just dive in to different experiences” I instinctively want to say “with caution” on certain things. I trust you know what I mean.

    • jmtromm

      The only reason why I think I will disagree with him is from all of the different books he has written. Most of the books are autobiographies. He has also written a book entitled “The Golden Age of Promiscuity” and “Dating the Greek Gods”. In the interview link that I posted, his books seems to contradict themselves as he focuses on relationships and sex but then writes the book “Finding A Boyfriend Within”. I am interested in the book and the life of Brad Gooch. Wikipedia also says that “Finding A Boyfriend Within” “calls for gay men to have self-respect by cultivating an imaginary lover.” This concept interests me but also freaks me out.

  • Alex Diaz

    Despite your lack of “experiences” you still have hope. (at least I’m assuming you do) Everyone and anyone can always use hope for a better life.

    As far as confidence for me it really came down to what gay is what it is not. Then it came down to becoming an Atheist since I realized I would never be fully Christian and some fun Bible sessions in a Medieval Art History course I took this past spring (sorry, this one doesn’t really help you). Thirdly, the people I surrounded myself with has a huge impact in how I carry myself. Now I am to the point where I can walk into any situation with out fearing about the HUGE “gay” sticker on my forehead. This came about from learning where gay fit into my life, err go it simply means I like men. Doesn’t mean I dress “fashionably” or I talk with a high voice and say “betch” all the time. Hell, I dress in athletic shorts to the Symphony sometimes. Oops?

    Point being, I learned that I had to stop worrying about challenging everyone’s perception on sexuality around me. The anxiety came from me, myself, and I only not the people around me. This took me about three years and a lot of soul searching…

    I wish you luck in your endeavors as always and send much Canadian love to you! (I’m in the middle of the Ontario woods working at a camp….) You seem pretty confident in what you want you’re just waiting and thinking through life which is pretty normal.

    Cheers Mr Josh,

  • Rich

    I hope you are not getting two responses from me. We are in a remote area with bad connection. He freaks me out too and is not the person I expected. From the intro I like the idea of taking care of yourself first so you can then be a better boyfriend.

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