February 20, 2015 – Martin is 54 years old. He describes himself as being attracted to more than one sex (or gender).
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My name is Martin, I’ve struggled with unwanted same-sex attraction starting when I was 16 years old.
I’ll share my story a little at a time if that’s ok. As time permits, I’ll post more!
I use to hate that I struggled with this and I was bitter about it. I thought that all the time I spent struggling with this was just such a waste! I blamed my parents a lot for it and even God a little bit for giving me to those people! But now, I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
Part 1: “We’ll Be Best Friends!”
This is the beginning of my story.
At ten years old I stood upon a black top hill, peering down at the gathering below. A dozen boys encircled a hot-headed Greek boy, my best friend who I loved.
I had said something that hurt him deeply. I didn’t mean to hurt him, it was a misunderstanding. I loved him more than a brother, like David and Jonathan. I loved him more than my own life. But now, he was furious and in his heart and mind we had to fight.
But I couldn’t!
I didn’t care about the fighting part, I’d done plenty of that. I didn’t care about getting hurt either, I just knew, I loved him so much, I could never hit him. He was always a hot head and ready to fight.
I remember when George and I met in 3rd-grade. We had mutual friends so we had heard of each other. A bunch of my school friends played on sports teams with him. George had been attending Catholic school before moving over to our elementary school.
Our friends were really excited for the two of us to meet. They knew at the end of the previous school year that George would be coming to our school the following September. There was this build-up, this interest amongst all the other kids about the two of us meeting for some reason. It seemed a little funny, but I got into it too! I was like, “yeah I can’t wait to meet him!”
Then came the first day of school. All the kids had gathered out on the playground and when they had introduced us they backed away to watch, leaving George and I standing there in the middle. These were our friends: mine and George’s! I loved these kids. We started life together. They then became quiet.
Then George spoke his, first ever, words to me: “Wanna fight”?
I didn’t expect the question!
I didn’t want to fight him. We just met, but I didn’t want to back down either so, I said, “I’d rather be friends, but I’ll fight if you want to fight!”
He thought a moment and said, “No, we’ll be friends!”
Then we shook hands and all our friends cheered! I thought in my heart, “We’ll be best friends!” And we were. Our hearts were bound together with brotherly love and respect and loyalty and fun and laughter and friendly competition. We were innocent together, completely open-hearted. It’s one of the purest, Godliest loves I’ve ever known.
But now, I’d hurt his feelings, bad, and that alone was breaking my heart, not to mention the fact that he wanted to beat my face in!
You could see the anger in his eyes!
I had watched George’s father deal with his hot-headed anger in the past. He’d tell him “you need to learn to control your anger son!”
He was a big man with huge hands. He was a really good father, both firm and gentle with his son. I could see my friend loved and feared his dad with equal zeal. I loved him too because he was a great dad to my friend and always took time to say hi and talk me!
I stood atop the hill wishing I could turn back time and get my friend back.
We had come from gym class where we had broken into teams for floor hockey. Naturally Geo was nominated to be a team captain and given a team name “The Browns!” We had gathered in the hall outside our classroom and my friend was upset about the team name he was given!
I didn’t understand why and while I started out listening to him, I didn’t think the team name thing was that big a deal so I kind of drifted off and was just admiring my friend. Just thinking about how much I loved him and how grateful I was to have him in my life and how much I loved being his friend!
I did this a lot as a boy!
As far back as I can remember, I did it almost daily. Whether I was walking to school or walking home or riding my bike or playing or just laying in the grass in my front yard watching the clouds go by,
I would take out all the people I had in my life to love, one by one and I’d spotlight them in my heart and just think about them and admire them, my mom and my dad and all my friends.
The love and gratitude would just well up in my heart, it was a heart rush of love and sometimes it would bubble up and spill out my mouth! It got me in trouble sometimes.
I remember one time I was at school and waiting in a line for something and thinking about all my people and the love was welling up big time and a teacher came past and said “excuse me”. I thought “that’s so humble and so nice of her to say excuse me to a little boy” so I wanted to acknowledge her for that, and she was getting away so in a rush to express my gratitude I opened my mouth and said “you’re excused!” Oops! I spent an hour in her room after school.
So, as I was coming out of it, Georgie was still griping about the name and I chuckled and said “Ha, the Browns!”. And, BAM, I saw stars!
My friend, my best friend who I loved caught me right in the jaw with everything he had and followed it with a flurry of punches! I just covered up and waited for it to stop. But while I was down there I was pondering why this was happening and I realized why my brother was so upset about a stupid name.
It was “The Browns” and my Georgie was very Greek and very dark! He had jet black hair and dark brown eyes and a dark olive complexion. He was a really handsome kid and I had no idea he was sensitive about his color. He was beautiful to me, I loved him with my whole heart. I never saw him as being different!
Our teacher finally came and grabbed him and me and scolded us both saying “what’s wrong with you?”, “you two are best of friends”. She made us shake hands. I was hoping it was over but when she walked away he said “wait until recess!”
So, I stood, and kids were coming up the hill to me and saying we’re your friend Martin, we’re all just down there trying to cool George down, we don’t want you two to fight!
As I stood there, my stomach feeling a little sick, I said in my heart, “something’s got to happen”. As I said that I looked, and off in the distance I saw two boys coming, heading straight for my friend and the group of kids! They were junior high aged boys. They walked straight up to George and one of the boys started pushing him around.
I thought “this is my chance!” and I began to amble down there real cool, but inside I was saying, “PLEASE DON’T LET HIM STOP BEFORE I GET DOWN THERE!”
I was sure I was going to get my face beat in by one or both of these guys, but I didn’t care it would be worth it to have my best friend back! In all my years at that school, this was the only time I ever saw junior high boys come through the school grounds in the middle of the day like that. It was unprecedented!
When I got down there, all the kids moved aside and let me in. I said “Hey leave him alone!” The boy goes “Yeah, who’s gonna make me?” and just with his fingers he pushed me.
I came up from my waist with everything I had, (trying not to look like I was trying that hard) and blasted him in the chest with both palms. It knocked him back on one foot and when he looked at his friend, I lunged at him to scare him. He jumped back and all the kids laughed. He took a step towards his friend, then two, then they took off running with all our friends chasing them. When the two boys rounded the corner of the school and out of our sight, our boys were right on their heels!
That left George and I standing there by ourselves. He looked at me, and the tears were welling up in my eyes and I said I’m so sorry! George threw his arm around my neck and hugged me and said, “It’s alright!”
Just then, our friends returned from the chase astonished saying! “They disappeared!”
“What do you mean they disappeared?” I said.
“We were right behind them and they just disappeared! They were nowhere! We even looked in the dumpster! They just vanished!”
“They must have!” I thought because they were a split second behind the older boys when they rounded that corner and it’s a distance of at lease 30 yards before a person could get out of sight! I tucked that in my heart.
I hugged my friend again and all the guys cheered! I thought about the fact that, here was something that seemed like the end of the world just 10 minutes ago, and now, I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
Part 2: “I’m not a son anymore!”
(Posted March 2, 2015)
I was 7 years old as I sat on the end of my mom and dad’s bed. My dad was getting ready for work. I did this often, I’d bring my clothes in and get dressed in there by him. I just wanted to be by him, he worked a lot.
This particular morning, I was sitting there watching my dad get ready and just admiring him and thinking “I loved my dad so much, what would I ever do without my dad?” Then quickly, I chased that thought from my mind because I thought “If I think it, it could happen!” and I didn’t want to jinx myself!
I loved my mom and dad so much, they made me feel so special and so loved. Somehow, I had gotten the idea that I “was” their love, I mean, I believed with my whole heart that I was made out of their love for each other, that made me feel so special and so wanted and loved!
I reveled in it, and I was grateful every day for them and for all the people in my life. I took them out daily in my heart and mind and was filled with love and gratitude. I would tell them “I love being your son!” or “I love being your friend!” or “I love having you in my life!”
I felt guilty sometimes though because, I seemed to love my friends more than my two brothers, but later I read in Proverbs, “brothers are born for contention, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother”, and that assuaged all my guilt.
It was Saturday morning, Memorial Day weekend 1969. I was 8 years old, soon to be 9, when I rounded the corner onto my street and saw my dad at the end of the driveway with my mom and two suitcases. “Come on, my dad’s going somewhere”, I said to my friend Junior. We ran up to them, “Dad, where are you going?”, I asked. “I’ll be back!”, he said. “I don’t think so!”, said my mom. I knew my mom well enough to know that my dad was never coming back!
I didn’t know what to say or do! My heart was breaking, I could feel the tears welling up, and I didn’t want to break down and cry right there for some reason, so I just said, “Can I go play now?” My mom looked at my dad and smiled, “Yes, you can go play” she said.
I knew at the time that, that smile, was just to hurt my dad, but I didn’t know what to do! I just wanted to run and hide!
Leaving my friend just standing there, I ran around to the other side of the house, to my hiding place, the place I would go if I was in trouble or if I just wanted to be alone, or whenever we were playing hide and seek. No one could ever find me there!
I sat there with my back against the foundation of my house, and I cried, deeper and harder than I had ever cried. My world was gone! I knew my life had just totally changed! I had just lost, not only my dad, but the love that held me together, the love that made me special, the love that made me, me!
I literally said in my heart “I’m not a son anymore!” That was the thing I cherished most in my life, son-ship, “belonging” to them, “being” their son!
I remember being at a campground (on vacation the summer before this happened). Walking around with my mom and dad in the evening. Meeting other families and how it made me feel whenever they would introduce me as their son. It was a feeling of belonging, of being special and loved and wanted. I was proud to be their son. It was my identity. It was “who” I was!
I cried so hard that I didn’t make a sound for about a minute or two. I don’t even think I was breathing. I cried for a while and then I said in my heart, “I can’t just sit here and cry; I have to go out there and live the rest of my life.” So I sat up, dried my eyes, and went out to face it, feeling alone, uncertain and very different.
Part 3: “You Don’t Even Have a Dad!”
(posted March 21, 2015)
“You don’t even have a dad!”
I stood in a circle with a group boys, talking. Three classmates, my best friend George and a boy I had never met before. The other boys seemed to know him. I’d never seen him before, he was a little bigger than I and he didn’t really seem to be very friendly, at least not to me. He kinda talked around me like I wasn’t even there.
As I listened I gathered that, he went to the Catholic school that George had come from, and he, George and the other boys still played youth league sports together.
The newcomer had turned the conversation towards an upcoming father and son banquet, I was just listening and, wanting to be part of the conversation, I asked, “When is it?”
With that, this boy hit me in the chest with both palms, so hard
it knocked me backwards and out of the circle.
“You don’t even have a dad”, he said!
It took me completely by surprise,
I just wasn’t expecting anything like that,
I didn’t even know this kid!
I thought in my heart. . .
“I don’t even know him!”
“How could he know that about me?”
“Just by looking at me?”
A wave of shame flooded into my heart,
I wanted to hide my face!
I wanted to disappear!
I wanted to go away!
I didn’t know what to say or do!
The pain and hurt in my heart must’ve been all over my face,
because the next thing I saw was my best friend George’s fist
blasting that kid!
First an uppercut to the jaw, then a roundhouse to the side of the face! Then, George hit him in the chest and knocked him back and out of the circle just like he’d done to me!
“He’s got a new dad!” said George.
George turned, ruffed up my hair, slung his arm around my neck and said, “Come on, let’s go!”
We turned and left that boy standing there by himself, holding his jaw!
My friend, I love him so much! I’ll always love him, he’s the best and closest friend I’ve ever had. His actions on my behalf that day, did a lot to ease the pain, but that shame, at least some of it, became lodged in my heart.
It was the fact that, I didn’t even know that boy! How did he know I didn’t have a dad? That always bothered me! And, from that day on, I was a little more withdrawn, a little quieter, a little more reluctant to join in.
It wasn’t until years later, in my twenties, as I was just reminiscing and pondering the thing, that I realized what happened there! I didn’t know him, but he knew me, or at least he knew of me! In fact, he might have hated me!
This boy went to the catholic school with George and no doubt,
he felt like I’d taken his place! I’m sure he’d been hearing about me from George and the rest of our “mutual friends” and was aware of how close Geo and I were and he hated it!
Jealousy is what it was all about! I believe the whole thing was a setup! He’d brought up the whole father and son banquet thing,
specifically to hurt me, because he was hurt! I know that, if some other kid had ever come in and taken my place in my friend’s heart, I would’ve had a very, very hard time with it.
But the truth is, no two boys were ever closer, in spirit and in heart, than my friend George and I. I thank God for the time I had back then, for having known the pure love of a true friend! God knew, intimately, the love that was born between the two of us boys, I believe He authored it and delighted in it!
It would be my parent’s divorce that would eventually separate my friend and I. It was an ugly two-year affair that ended with my mother getting full custody of my two brothers and I, the house being sold and the money split and me having to move away from the home and the friends that I loved! The last bit of stability I had left!
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