Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Inside my head

My counselor has this annoying habit of saying, "I get the feeling you're censoring your thoughts."

It's annoying because it interrupts the story I'm trying to get him to believe. It may be similar to what happens when authors are trying to write their story and all of a sudden the character looks up from the page with a big smirk on his face and dares the author to get inside what's really going on in his head. It's like a challenge of some kind.

When I do censor my thoughts, it's not some kind of game I'm playing. Not intentionally. Sometimes I just get lost in my story... the story we probably all have going on inside our head about our past, our present, and our future. The story we want to believe about what our lives really mean, even if we hedge sometimes.
I had some spare time between classes the other day and did this experiment where I wrote out some of the thoughts in my head. I challenged myself not to do any censoring, just to see what's really there. I figured if I didn't like what I wrote then I'd have something interesting to think about. Here are some of the things that came out of my head:

  1. Sometimes I think people say nice things to me because they feel sorry for me.
  2. Music is very, very personal to me. I love Blues because it's all about feelings. The really good blues singers open themselves up and I feel like I'm in church listening to God speak directly to me.
  3. Sometimes I hate my dad and don't want to understand where he's coming from when he tries to manipulate or bully me.
  4. Sometimes I worry about what would happen to me if Matty died. It's the only time I think about suicide.
  5. Occasionally when I hear a homophobic comment, I wonder if they're right and I'm a bad person because I'm gay.
  6. Sometimes I wish I could be like other kids my age. There are a few times when it's felt worth it to put on an act and try to be one of the "cool kids" just so they'll like me and I'll fit in. But when I try, I end up hating myself afterwards because I sacrifice my true individuality.
  7. Sometimes I think about what it would be like to have sex with a girl.
  8. There have been a few times when I felt like I was going to lose control and become violent when I overheard people make fun of guys who are femme or effeminate.
  9. Sometimes I think my thoughts are all screwed up and I should be ashamed of having them.
  10. Sometimes I question whether I'm worthy of Matty's love. Somehow he always knows when I'm feeling that and all my doubts go away when he lightly brushes my cheek with his hand and his eyes give me this look that is so full of love it makes me cry.

23 comments:

  1. Brad, it surely takes a lot of courage to write here all this. I feel like you've given direct access to your heart, asking: "Am I a good person? Do I have a good heart? ".

    Yes and yes, Brad. Never doubt that. We all have fears, unfortunately. But you'll be allright :)

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  2. Oh B! Yeah. I can relate with those thoughts, even if some of them would have my own twist. I think we all think like that sometimes. You're brave to share them with us and I'm glad you feel this is a safe place to do so. I don't know about you, but when I have those kinds of thoughts, I give them to my best friend. She tells me I'm thinking crazy, that I'm loved and worthwhile and, even though I know she's biased, I feel better to have then out of my head for a little while. You are loved, Mighty Bradley, and you are worthwhile. Remember that. ((Hugs))

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  3. I think everyone has thoughts they don't want to have, I know I do. The key is not what you're thinking though, it's how you act on those thoughts. In my mind, there is no doubt at all that you are a good person with a good heart that is worthy of infinite love and respect. You can't stop the thoughts, but you can counter them with more intentional positive thoughts when they happen.

    And for the record, I'm a straight woman and sometimes I wonder what it's like to have sex with a girl, too. I think everyone is a little curious about something they haven't experienced, it doesn't mean much of anything except that you're open minded.

    Good on you for being brave enough to say them out loud :)

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  4. Brad, you are one of the bravest people I "know"! You and Matt are such an inspiration to a lot of people, you are both amazing people. I'm sure if there is one thing in this world you don't need to doubt, it is whether you are worthy of Matt's love or not! He seems like a pretty smart guy, I'm sure he finds you more than worthy ;) As far as these thoughts going through your head, I agree with the others, I think we all have thoughts were not proud of, it's how we act on our thoughts that determine the kind of person we are. Keep true to yourself, it's YOU that has attracted this forever kind of love you found with Matt, it's YOU he fell in love with!

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  5. Sweetie, I wish you could see how normal this is. I think they must call it stream of consciousness because like water, it's fluid thinking that's all over the place when it's not contained. I grew up Catholic and "God knows what you're thinking" so you can imagine how cringeworthy I think my thoughts can be lol. I think we all get some satisfaction out of imagining getting our anger out on people that deserve it. As for your worst fears, you don't know what you can survive until it happens. You are stronger than you know. Trust me, you are so worthy of all the good things in your life. I'm a huge believer of "living well is the best revenge" so live well!

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  6. You're completely normal for having those thoughts, and very brave to share them with us.

    I think that some worries can be turned into positives. Your #4 has always been a fear of mine too. But it encourages me to appreciate the time I have with my husband, and reminds me to share my feelings more.

    Other worries can be let go with time. I know you to be wise beyond your years, thoughtful, intelligent, compassionate, funny. I can't imagine you ever needing to act like anyone other than yourself. And I have no doubt that others are sincere when they say kind things about you. Try to remember that you don't have to censor yourself - you're already perfect. :)

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  7. Thank you for giving voice to those thoughts that are so difficult to give voice to. Very brave, buddy. Now. Here's a challenge for you: can you also give voice to the thoughts about how you're AMAZING without censoring those? An equally difficult task...

    Edmond

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    1. Hi Edmond. I like that challenge you left me. I have a feeling this is going to be harder than it sounds, but, I don't know, maybe not. I'm going to give this some thought and accept your challenge. Thank you.

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    2. Very, very astute. More of us need to take on that challenge, Edmond! Thanks!
      Jay

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    3. I agree with Edmond. My therapist recently gave me the assignment to make a list of things that I am good at. It was very difficult to do as I am usually thinking about all the things I am bad at. But the list gives me something positive to focus on so it was worth it.

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  8. It takes a lot of courage to be so open and show your vulnerability. You're braver than I am, for sure. Thank you for trusting us enough to let us inside your head. You shouldn't be ashamed of any of those thoughts--although I want to bonk you on the head if you think I'm just being nice because I feel sorry for you! Bradley, you're one of the most beautiful people I know. And I say "know" because you do let me inside your head and your heart. I feel like I do know you, even if that doesn't go both ways.

    Try to remember that thoughts are just thoughts—not facts. They're your mind's way of processing your feelings, and they're subject to change. Don't be ashamed of them. You are a deep thinker, and when you share your thoughts with us, it's obvious they come from the heart. Whether they're painful or joyful, they touch us. I admit I was a little misty-eyed reading this list. (((group hug)))

    I also second Edmond's suggestion that you challenge yourself to writing down ten positive, uncensored thoughts about yourself. You don't have to post it, but do it for yourself! Hopefully you'll see that even though you may have some insecurities, you also have a lot to be proud of. xoxo

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  9. Oh, I wish I could give you a big hug right now. That was such a brave thing to do. I think we all keep things a bit hidden even from ourselves. But what a great idea to really examine your feelings. And you should know that we all thing you are wonderful and worthy and all the things you may doubt sometimes. <3

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  10. That’s a difficult thing, to catch your thoughts like that. The thing is, I think, to let them go again. The negative thoughts especially, but the positive ones too. Sometimes the letting go is even harder to do, just to float on top of all that internal chatter and not allow it to overwhelm our mood and responses.

    It sounds to me as though you are doing really good work with your counselor, I wish I had him to talk to, too. :)

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  11. I love the total honesty and vulnerability of that list. I think it takes a lot to share those kinds of thoughts with all of us. Thank you.

    And yeah, I can relate to a lot of those thoughts, too (including the one about wondering what it'd be like to have sex with a woman).

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  12. Wow Brad.... that must have been a really hard thing to do.

    We all have thoughts on our heads that we don't want to acknowledge afraid that people are going to think we're bad persons. You acknoledged them, put them out there and I can tell you that it doesn't make you a bad person at all. You even can see it by yourself. No one is judging you for having this kind of thoughts. In fact, you can see that you're not the only one. And you can add me on that list too.

    You're an amazing young guy Brad. You & Matt make a difference here on this blog and out there in your RL. Don't ever doubt that. Don't ever doubt that you are worthy of all the love you get. *hugs to you both*

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  13. You sound like so many of us, Brad. I know many of those exact thoughts have swirled through the tapioca that makes up my grey matter. It's also fairly amazing that someone your age can be not only so introspective, but open and honest about those thoughts at the same time.

    When I was in therapy, I absolutely censored my thoughts, for many, many reasons. Mostly because of #9. One line sort of got to me "... it interrupts the story I'm trying to get him to believe". I wonder why he wouldn't believe what you are telling him, unless he perceives on some level that you're not telling him the truth (not necessarily the whole truth, but at least the truth)? Perhaps that's a question in and of itself. I know every word out of my mouth was carefully vetted, in fact, I'd probably rehearsed it on the way to the office. But perhaps I was there for different reasons than you are.

    Finally, I don't think there's any doubt about #10. You are worthy of Matt's love. You said it yourself. When he brushes your cheek, and the doubts fall away. Yeah, man. You're special, he's special, and you have each other!

    Peace <3
    Jay

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  14. Thank you to everyone for taking the time to leave me your comments. To be honest I wasn't sure how laying all this out would be received, like it might be seen as too negative or whiney. Or that I would be negatively judged, probably because I judge myself too hard, I'm not sure.

    It really means a lot to get this feedback because I get lost sometimes inside my own head and can't always see clearly what's really going on. So, Thank you.

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    1. I know my experience here has been 100% positive. I think that's why I stick around. There's a lot of people here who aren't so hateful and negative, who will provide the support so many of us are looking for, each in their own way. I know my friends here in the blogosphere have helped me come out to friends (family is next), listened to my rants, all of it. If I can pass on some of that positive energy, I'm happy to.

      And judge you? Ye gods and little fishes! The day I judge someone for being open, and honest with themselves as much as with me, I'll have to simply take my lashes - there's a lot in the Bible that I don't agree with, but "judge not lest ye be judged" is right at the top of the list of things that I do!

      Believe me, it's easy to get lost in your own head. Been there, done that, got the emotional scars to go with it. You're doing fine, and we do all care. You're welcome.
      Jay

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  15. Well I guess I can't say anything that hasn't already been said. You are so brave and loved. Keep being you and just know you can say whatever you want. I think lots of things but I don't think I'm as brave as you. Take care and many, many hugs to you and Matty.

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  16. Like everyone here has said: we all have those angry thoughts, those negative thoughts, those confusing thoughts and those curious thoughts. Natural and fine as long as we aren't letting them dictate our actions. From what I've seen here, you don't really do that except on those self negative thoughts. Next time you think that you aren't worthy of being loved (by Matt or anyone else), there's two things to remember: 1. When in doubt, believe that the person who loves you thinks you are worthy of there love, so honour that by trusting that they're right and; 2. Even if you can't quite believe that from time to time, they want you and need you so, really, even if you weren't worthy, it makes no difference because it's how THEY feel about you, so allow them to love you anyway :-)

    Thank you once again for being so brave and honest and sharing that with us. It's nice to know you aren't alone, that we all struggle with issues and rejoice in life and everything in between. That these are human experiences that we all share in one way or another.

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  17. Brad, you are amazing for sharing those thoughts with us here, as so many have said, it takes great courage to be that vulnerable and I hope you keep that part of you always.

    I also liked the challenge you were given and accepted - that is actually a challenge we all should take because we are probably all guilty of doubt, fear, insecurity that all run through our thoughts and perhaps your "censoring" is simply choosing what you want to focus on, which is actually quite wise.

    There is a self help author, Mike Dooley, who says "thoughts become things, choose the good ones!", thoughts happen, it's the ones we hold on to and focus on that are the important ones as they will play a part in how our lives unfold.

    It is not always bad to get angry about things you observe in life, as that can be fuel for change - anger is not always a negative thing, again, it's how you choose to channel it that can make a difference.

    Take care of yourself, hugs to you and Matt :)

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  18. I just want to cut and paste what Edmond wrote. I have such respect and admiration for you, Brad.

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