Nov. 17, 2015

Of Masks and Healing

by Allan Lummus




FROM: 23038076
TO: Clf Prison Ministry, The
SUBJECT: mp86 Of masks and healing
DATE: 09/01/2015 07:49:50 AM

mp86 Of masks and healing 9-1-15

A friend reveals something in himself I can spot, because it is part of me. F revealed in an argument with another inmate that he will not allow him to ruin his image, he (F) had worked too hard to construct this image to have it trashed. This reminded me of another situation where his concern for his image kept him keeping his cards so close to his chest that it shut others down and made people question his motives.

I understand the need to be the good guy. From my earliest memories I wanted to be that good kid. My mom's schizophrenia left her unstable. As the first born and prior to my father hiring a maid/care giver I was left to manage things alone with her. So I learned early to be what she needed, which was a good boy. Later my sister, teachers, other adults, friends all received the same treatment. What do you want from me to make you happy with me? I will hide whatever part of me that makes you uncomfortable.

My queerness (bi) was withheld from all, even my gay uncle and cousin. My first boyfriend Bobby, was closeted, so needed me to keep my queerness unacknowledged. So I played the straight guy. I stayed in my Baptist Church as my theology left evangelicalism and embraced liberal Christian existentialism and Unitarianism. I stayed in the relationship even after I determined it was harming me to make Bobby happy.

After leaving Bobby I bounded into another relationship in 6 months (Connie-Female). Without the needed self-awareness to deal with my past self defeating actions. Connie was uncomfortable with my queerness so I continued to live a closeted life. While some parts of me were being addressed: I started going to a Unitarian church, but the most important issue of sexuality was ignored.

My habit of hiding part of myself made it easy to start other behavior that I would not want to reveal and keep it hidden as well. My criminal behavior with porn was just another example of the same pattern of hidden behavior and compartmentalization (disassociation). It was not a radical leap but a sideways step.

So the heart of my healing will be tolerating the habit energy to hide while I let others see more and more of the whole me. I am doing it slowly with most people, but much more quicker with those that are closer too me and that I trust. I can already feel the difference in my body. That feeling of tight holding I had always in my lower back, is a rare feeling now. Emotions that I struggled to feel, much less express before, well up quite easily. I struggle to find words for the feelings, but they are at least present in my consciousness.

mindful prisoner | | allan lummus | po box 1010 bastrop tx, 98602


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