Identify one experience from your childhood that taught you to hide your true self - some event that led you to believe that hiding was safest. As you go about your day, recognize when you're acting on this belief, and remind yourself, I am not that child anymore, and this belief no longer serves me, since it holds me back in life.
Yikes. I wish I didn't have so many events to choose from.
When I was in high school, I came to terms with something I'd already known to be true for quite a while - that I am attracted to all genders. At that point, I considered myself bisexual but I'm likely more in line with pansexuality based on this definition:
|Courtesy of Queer Babble|
It was great for me to be able to embrace that side of myself, even though I wasn't able to really do so publically. A few of my close friends knew but that was about it.
All my friends at the time openly embraced and lobbied for same-sex marriage and other related rights. Living in a very Tea Party-esque household, I couldn't, no matter how much I wanted to.
One day there was a rally and we drove by it on the way home from school. My mother was livid to see my boyfriend at the time as well as all my friends there. I got a thorough lecture about how civil unions should be enough for 'gay people' who didn't need to shove their sexuality in everyone's faces.
There's so much wrong there.
It took me until I was in college and others sharing their own struggles with me for me to be upfront about it.
I grew up hearing, again and again, the same things about sexuality being pushed in people's faces and how it was fine to be different like that... but not in front of others, not in movies, not in shows. You could be yourself as long as you did it in secret where no one could possibly see you.
What kind of message is that to send to any child?
I opened up about my sexuality as well as my sexual abuse at the hands of another child when we were young at the same time. My mother's response was that the abuse must have confused me. Besides, I was dating T at the time, so I couldn't like everyone unless I was a super slut.
I wish I was kidding.
I know now that degrading myself for my sexuality and feelings serves no purpose, other than to replicate my mother's words in her absence. I refuse to do that to myself.