Growing up, I had next to no true friends nor anyone that I could confide in. I had no role models, no close family members and certainly no one to talk to.
On top of my emotional challenges, I also knew that I was different then most boys, in that I was gay. I really struggled with my thoughts. I knew that being gay was not something that I could control. I truly felt alone.
I kept these feelings hidden deep inside of me. I never shared them, never explored them and certainly never acted on them. All through elementary school, middle school and high school, these feelings were hidden deep inside. My friendships with boys were always more connected, involved and intense. I can’t tell you the number of ‘crushes’ I had while growing up. I can tell you however that each and every one of them ended in heartache.
Because I was an extremely introverted young man, who would never stand up for himself, it made me a target at school for others to call me names. I would always cry as that was the way my body coped with any sort of pressure or stress. Words like ‘cry baby’ or ‘suck’ were repeated over and over by a cruel few for many years.
While in highschool, I had several times where I was bullied beyond the point of being called names. One particular day, I was followed home, all the while being called names. When I got home, the boys spit all over the front door to my house. It was humiliating to have to clean that up. I can tell you everything about this incident. From the weather, to the clothing I was wearing, to the names I was called, I remember it all like it was yesterday.
There were many times growing up, especially in my late teens, that I hit ‘low spots’. I felt alone, like the world would never accept me. I felt as though my family would disown me, friends would abandon me and I would be alone forever. The pain was not something that I can explain, not even today.
Having no one to talk to, or confide in, I was hurting mentally for many years. My world was a mess and I couldn’t find a way to make it better. The reality is that it was crashing. It was falling apart and psychologically I was suffering.
I had thoughts of an unknown future, depression and even suicide. Life was very dark for me during this time.