Wednesday, September 29, 2010

...who I am...

This is tough to write. It's something I haven't told anyone in my life. A decade later and it's still hard for me to think about but with everything that's been going through the news, I feel obligated to share. Please forgive my grammatical errors and skipped words. I want to write this, but I kinda don't want to reread it to proof it.

My father told me when I was little, during one of his man-to-man talks, that if I ever grew up to be gay, he'd kill me himself and then call the cops to tell them he did it. Needless, even though I knew very early on that I was gay, it wasn't something I expected to really become "out" about. I had never thought of the idea of being gay in the open. I knew no one gay, adult or adolescent, and there wasn't anything on TV about it.

Of course, I didn't much act like all my friends. It was hard enough growing up in the GT program where I was usually the only black kid in there and I was pretty smart. I just didn't fit in with the other black kids and when you are little and you don't fit in, it's usually noticed and teased. Now, I was never teased to the extreme some of these kids in the news have, but I had rough times. I would walk around certain groups to not get called names, I was really shy in gym class to not be made fun of and I was usually anti-social. Now, I had plenty of friends, don't get me wrong, but I was just...different.

In 8th grade, my uncle down the street had gotten the internet. We didn't have a computer a my house, so I would go down there to get on AIM, Expages, whatever...being a 13 year old boy, of course, I discovered other things. I had seen X-rated things before, but that was the first time I was discover actual GAY x-rated things. It was mind-blowing to know that there are those that cater and have my desires. I became obsessed. I would print out pictures and keep them under my mattress at home. After school, I would come home and well...I was 13. Get it?

One day, after my...happy time...I was careless somehow and left a picture out. It was around 5pm and I was doing the dishes as my mom came home. I'm not quite sure how she found it but it was apparently near my backpack. She came storming in the kitchen as was like "What the hell is this?!" I very obviously shocked answered, nervously "I don't know..." "It was by your backpack and it isn't Joshua's!"

At the time, all I could think of was to keep saying I didn't know, I wasn't smart enough to come up with a good lie as to where it came from or why I had it. She sent me to my room and called my dad. I couldn't hear everything she was saying, but she came in a few minutes later and handed the phone to me. My stomach felt like it was trying to escape my body. I talked shakingly, as he probed me with questions and I continued to respond with I didn't know where it came from. When I handed the phone back to my mom, I knew it wasn't over and I wasn't in the clear. My world seemed baron. Like I had no where to go and that I couldn't bare to deal with the consequences with what my dad may have just found out. I couldn't deal with the pain that he was sure to inflict on me and not knowing exactly how he was going to do it, was killing me even more. I couldn't take it.

I went to school the next day, the whole day on the verge of tears and not being able to tell anyone, anything. My mind was racing, I couldn't take it. Then IT went through my mind. Over. and Over. and Over again. If I couldn't take it, and see anything past that day, I had to end it myself. I had to end my life.

I always came home from school before my mom and brother got home so I had to act quick. I took the straps from a large duffel bag we had and made a noose and hung it in the closet. I tried not to think too much and didn't want to chicken out. I HAD to do it. Pulled myself up. Wrapped it around...and let go...

I was in a closet, mind you, so it didn't snap my neck instantly. I had to hold my feet up as the straps strangled me and cut all circulation from my head. I couldn't breath and felt myself going...

Just as my field of vision was going black and I was letting my last tears out, my mom came home early...I panicked and put my feet down and stood up. I didn't want to be conscious, somewhat, and deal with THAT. I ran out, too fast, because not all the blood was back in my head. I fell down. Then, like something came to me, I knew what to do...I ran to my mother and told her the well fabricated lie about how someone at school put that picture in my back pack. She seemed to believe it and I was so gleeful that I couldn't actually get away with it...before she asked for a name...

I made up the most horrible name and then thought I was in the clear...again. Nope. The next day, she called the school, no records of such a name. She finally sat me down and asked if I was just curious...it seemed like my best option...I ran with it.

Now, the talks and talks...and threats from my dad are a different post. But had not my mom came home early from work that day, I wouldn't be here today to know that it gets better. It gets better. Sure, as I came out, I dealt with some more brutal bullying and bashing, but I don't know, something from then, help me grow and be stronger to never want to end my life. Sure, I even gotten depressed about A LOT of things, but I can honestly say, since that moment, I haven't had anymore thoughts of suicide...They say once you hit rock bottom, there it nothing but up and that's how I feel...that was a dark, dark place...but it made me who I am...