Friday, January 9, 2009

Losing My Religion

That's me in the corner
that's me in the spotlight
losing my religion

This is it. I must be really going crazy. As I tried to ease into the room, I felt the fourteen pairs of eyes piercing at me. I was the last one to arrive and this was it. This was therapy. Group therapy. A Workshop on how the relationship that black gay men have with their fathers affects the relationships that black gay men have with their partners and friends.

I was not sure how I got myself into this mess. I wanted to turn-around. This force kept holding me down. I will not even tell how I met the therapist or about hour previous one-on-one session the night before that ALMOST went Overboard….(ALMOST!) I promised him that I would give group therapy a try and well I guess from the looks of it…I was trying it.

My first thoughts…I was beating myself up for wearing khaki slacks and a cardigan. I guess that was my way of trying to assert myself… to prove that I was more than a pretty face, a young dummy with nothing to offer, You know…that sort of thing. Channing (the therapist) warned me before that I would probably be the youngest in the group, that most of the men were in their mid 30’s, and probably would consider me a baby. Well I’m far from being a baby and I guess I felt the need to dress the part. Anyway, can you say OVERDRESSED! These men had on jeans, generic t-shirts, sandals (yes in the Winter)… so you can imagine how silly I felt.

They had so much food and I did not understand why. I didn’t eat. I hate eating in front of strangers. So I filled out my name tag (contemplating jotting down a fake name…but decided against it since Channing already knew my real name) and waited for the show…I mean session to began.

Well, the fact that Channing had passed out an article that he xeroxed from Wikipedia did not impress me. I do not know if that was the English Major in me coming out or the Judgmental Major in me coming out…whichever it was…I tossed it aside and deemed that I would not be able to get what God obviously wanted me to get from being there…if I spent my time worrying about fashion, food, and how it irks me when people use Wikipedia as a reputable source.

Can I just say that once I finally focused… I was in for some serious healing. Channing kept emphasizing a point that hit home… “How can you as black men…love another black man when you cannot, will not, or do not love your father?” Channing asked us to write down the recurring negative feelings experienced in our last relationship and then the recurring negative feelings experienced with our father. In my last relationship, I did not feel “good enough”, “handsome enough”, “equal enough”, and “valued enough”. Ironically, this is the same way I feel with my father.

You see, I only saw my father one time in my life (Refer to my I Am My Father’s Son Post) and we do not have a relationship. I feel nothing for him and I did not realize that this nothingness affects the hell out of me. I guess I always felt that if he thought I was special, that he would seek me out…that he doesn’t even lose sleep over me when he closes his eyes at night….that he has a relationship with his other children…but not me.

Until I faced this…took care of this…then it will continue to daunt me…that it will show its evil faces in my relationships and friendships….and it was true. It was too true and I was too done.

The men shared, and of course I sat silently…but on the inside I was saying something…a whole lot of something. I was touched by their tears, their testimonies, them having to tell their fathers about their sexuality…and what it did to them…how it broke them…left them into scattered pieces….similar to the way I felt scattered my whole life… underneath my togetherness.

“Until we are honest about our experiences, our feelings…even those that are painful…until we do the work with our fathers”, Channing said… “We can’t progress.”

When the fifteen minute break was called, I couldn’t move. I was there…but I couldn’t move.

Here ended the first half of the session. “Be sure to come back for the second half…we’ll be discussing something, I’m sure you all will enjoy….SEX”, Channing announced.

P.S. I ran to my car and for fifteen minutes I cried like I never cried before.


  1. I knew from the first paragraph that this was gonna be a deep post for me to read. i took a deep breath. lol

    man. u brought up some great points. in my case, i love my father, but i dont like him. i guess that extends to my relationships with other men; i dont care too much for who they are as people, but still find myself in "love".

    the things that i feel my father sees in me as flaws, i'm always careful not to let others see in me. like, my father used to call me selfish as a child. when i got older, i had a complex and ended up being the type of person who got taken advantage of and hurt because i left myself to open, i was too giving...all because i never wanted anyone to call me a selfish person.

    my father and i aren't speaking now, by his decision.

    i feel in many ways i'm losing valuable time with him. why can't we be men about it. why can't we be men about it?

    good post!

  2. I'm looking for my father. Can you help me find him? I have searched all over for him. If you could maybe give me a clue as to where to look for him. Give me a description as to what he may look like, act like. Make my life easy and tell me you know him. I think I'm close sometimes to finding hm, I've had leads. The first one was with this guy called dad, searched the windows of his soul countless times but I didn't sense that he was my father., said he was my glorious father. Showed me facts and figures and everything. My next lead was myself...I've been told that I was just like him but I didn't see it. But then how would I know what to look for when I have nothing to compare to. My next lead was to look to my mother to find my father. But when I look into the eyes that look back at me I see darkness, a void. I feel like I'm chasing my tail because I asked her too and she said if wanted to see my dad I should look in the mirror because I was just like his ass. That I am him and was me. But that was not the question I asked her. I asked had she seen my father. He wasn't within her. Next I looked above my head to heavens and I reach out my hands but my father did not extend his back. I shouted out his name and I even called his other childs name to get his attention or so I heard was his only begotten son. No response. I know tried that same thing with my dad and I got a similar you think my father is anything like him. I was told my father lives through my mother. So do you think that my father can't find it within himself to love me because I remind him of my dad? Because that's how she feels. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to look for him on Sunday, I hear he always still that day. He likes to rest. So I show up every chance I get to his house and sit with his other children hoping that by getting to know them I will get to know him. They seem to love him. I can't wait to meet him! But I haven't yet. Then I was judged and told that I should be looking for him on Saturday. Maybe he is looking. If he is tell him I'm right here waiting. His beloved daughter.

  3. Sadly, I was not invited by you to this therapy but hope to be invited to the next one about my favorite subject- sex.

    P.S. I did appreciate this blog- your candor and intelligent prose. I do still miss your presence in my life.

    P.S.S. I think your blog's colors make it hard to read. Red and black are not easy on the eye. Black as a background is appealing on posters, but not for text.