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#73033 - 12/30/04 10:33 AM Feeling Trapped
MikeInFlorida Offline
Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 43
Loc: Titusville
Hi guys,

I just have to get something off of my chest.
Lately I have been feeling trapped, and here is my situation.

About 10 months ago I found myself homeless due to my drug, and alchol abuse. I had just started to come to terms with the fact that I am gay, and I can't change that. I remember telling a homophobic friend that I was gay, and that I did not want to be. I guess that I had hoped that by telling him the truth, he would be more accepting of me, well he didn't, and I lost where I lived. This just made me drink more, and smoke more pot. After about a month of staying with a friend, and the constant use of alchol, and pot I got sick of my life. I justed wanted peace, and tranquility, and the only I thought that I could find it was to commit suicide. I had it all planed out. Instead of carying through with my plan, I had myself admitted into my local mental ward. I spent a week in suicide watch, and another in detox. When I got out I found that I did not have a home. I stayed in a local mission until about a month later I was introduced to a Homeless Recovery Program for Veterans. I thought that this was great!! There are 4 houses in the program, and today I am living in the "show" house (the house that they show to people who want to see where we live).

Ok, now here is where the cagged feeling comes in: The program is all vets / most homophobic men. I feel that I am not able to express myself as a gay man because of this. Since I have been trying all of my life not to be gay, i honestly don't really know what it means to fully express myself as a gay man, I only know that I feel trapped, like there is something more to me that I am not able to let out. What's worse is that I am a people pleaser, and for some reason I feel the need to be accepted. I have consisderd getting out of the program, but for what?

PLEASE, if you have ANY thoughts on this post a reply. Thank you so much.

Just a little more, I am just now attempting to accept myself as a gay man, and for some reason I'm finding that the atmosphere is hindering this part of my recovery.

PLEASE forgive me if I am comming across as a insane person, I truly hope that I am not.

Mike

_________________________
Love others, as you love yourself.

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#73034 - 12/31/04 07:03 AM Re: Feeling Trapped
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Dear Mike,

It sounds like you have come a very long way, buddy.

Congratulations on your sobriety and being a member of AA. If you have a good sponsor, I would definitely suggest that you discuss your living situation with him.

I'm sorry that you have to live in an atmosphere where men are used to freely expressing their homophobia. That really sucks. Prejudice and bigotry of all kinds definitely upset me and so living with it day to day can be a real challenge.

Still, you are probably going to face some measure of this homophobia no matter where you are. The trapped, caged feeling is what I would try to deal with. Forget about trying to change those other guys.

It would really worry me a lot for you to be back out on the street or homeless again. I am really afraid that would put your sobriety as risk. With us alcoholics, we have to put our sobriety above everything else--'be prepared to go to any length'.

In this case that may be just putting up with this bullshit from these scared little men until you can get back on your feet.

You alone probably cannot do it...just like you or I alone could not stay sober. But by now I'm sure that you have found a Higher Power to help you stay sober. Turn this situation over to him also. Let Him know that this is too much for you alone, and ask him to take it from you.

And then try that old favorite trick for using on people who piss us off---pray for them. It works every time. Some people say to do it for a certain number of days. I just do it until my resentment and hatred goes away. Sometimes the prayer is something like, "God please take these people into your care, because if you don't I'm liable to kill the son of a bitches!".

Usually the prayers get more spiritual as I go along. ;\)

Remember that you are not alone. Besides your Higher Power, you have all of us guys here--as a gay alcoholic recovering from sexual abuse, I feel like we have a lot in common.

Vent your anger, your frustration, your fear, your hurt--don't be afraid of these emotions. If you find a trustworthy person to share them with and then turn them over they will lose their power to dominate your life.

For us gay guys, there seems to be a double whammy of sorts. I felt isolated by the sexual abuse and then even more isolated as a gay guy.

So that meant I needed extra love and kindness. And when I asked for it, I got it. Not from the homophobic people in my religion, but from guys like you here and in AA meetings.

If there's a gay church in your area, I would strongly recommend you go there--no matter what denomination you adhere too, you will find loving, spiritual people who will support you there. They usually have counseling or pastoral services available.

In my town, there is a very big, active gay AA group. It did me so much good to be around gay men who were trying to do positive things for themselves and help others!

I guess I would urge you to put 'first things first'. Yes it is important for you to develop your self esteem as a gay man. But in order for that to happen, as an alcoholic, you must first remain sober....no matter what.

You have enough stress right now--you don't need the hassle of moving out, changing places etc. right now.

Instead of focusing on the assholes who put gay men down, just say "god bless 'em" and then focus on yourself and how much progress you have made. With the help of your Higher Power, you can overcome ANYTHING!

You don't have to take to heart the crap these guys throw out you. If you're familiar with the Fourth Step prayer in the Big Book of AA that's a good way for me to react when people are pushing my buttons. It goes something like this,
"God save me from being angry. Let me remember that I am dealing with a sick man. Let me treat him as I would treat a sick friend." That's a big paraphrase, you might want to find it for yourself in the Big Book.

Hang in there, guy. Don't let the bastards wear you down. Put your Higher Power and your sobriety first and all the rest of this will eventually take care of itself.

Pleae come back here and let us know how you are goind. You are important to us--here you are loved just the way you are. We are rooting for you and we are on your side.

You have suffered enough and now you deserve happiness and peace. Many of us do believe that God wants us to be happy, joyous and free. And I believe that if I can stay out of His way, then He will make that all possible for me. And I believe that He will do that for you too.

I hope all this talk of God and AA doesn't turn you off. Whatever faith you have, in whatever you have it will do. Just use it.

Look forward to hearing more about how things are progressing.

Regards,

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#73035 - 12/31/04 10:44 PM Re: Feeling Trapped
MikeInFlorida Offline
Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 43
Loc: Titusville
Danny,

I PROFOUNDLY thank you, for your words of wisdom here. I will pray about everything, and trust that my Higher Power WILL take control, and that things will work out according to His will.

It is so good to be able to talk/chat/write to someone who truly understands what all it is that I am going through.

I greatly look forward to starting a new year.
I hope you have a GREAT New Year too!!

Thank you again, so very much.

Mike

_________________________
Love others, as you love yourself.

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#73036 - 01/01/05 10:24 PM Re: Feeling Trapped
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Dear Mike,

Hope that this New Year brings you continued growth, progress, hope and serenity.

Thanks for your kind words. Any words of wisdom that I have were given away to me by others--free of charge, without copyrights or trademarks.

And so I give them away in my turn. I didn't invent them or think of them. These are things that have worked for others. I pass them on and hope that if they work for you, you will give them away to someone else who may need them.

I'm not sure if you can tell, but I have been a teacher for a great deal of my life; college, high school, ESL, Adult Ed, Continuing Ed--all sorts of things.

Sometimes I feel that in my enthusiasm to share what I have been given with people, I come across as a 'know it all' or kind of like I'm preaching. That's not at all my intent. I know about this stuff because I am a survivor not because I'm so damned much smarter than anyone else.

As for the feeling trapped and caged, I was in a religion for my entire adult life that condemns us for being homosexual. I stayed in that cage for a long, long time. I guess in some ways that's where I needed to be.

Just in the last year and a half have I walked out the door of the cage and begun to live my own life. I wasn't ready to do that before, because I was still too full of doubt and self hate.

Once I started getting better, it became easier for me to imagine better things for myself.

Now they are becoming a reality.

Anyway, when I seem to go on and on and sound like a preacher on sunday morning it is just my enthusiasm for getting well and helping others.

So thanks for bearing with me and for your kind acknowledgement.

You have helped me today.

Hope you have a Happy and Prosperous and Wonderful 2005.

Regards,

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#73037 - 01/02/05 12:30 PM Re: Feeling Trapped
dsbliss Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/08/04
Posts: 8
Loc: Portland, OR
Mike,

I too am a gay alcoholic and can understand some of your issues, but I can tell how I overcome part of the issues.

I have been sober for 9 months which has been a blessing, alcohol only made things worse for me. Finally admitting to friends and family I was gay helped. Admitting to myself that I was gay and to quit acting like I wasn't was a huge relief. For years I was ashamed of being gay, now I am happy and proud of it. I don't care what others think, including some of my family members.

With therapy I was able to overcome most of my fears about being gay and the acceptance of most of my family helped. By accepting the gay issues has made most of the guilt and stress go away, instead of turning to the bottle.

Don't get me wrong, I still have issues and continue to work on them everyday, but with gods help and friends I will succeed eventually, I hope.

I hope all works out for you, I hope some of this can help you.

Best Regards,
David


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#73038 - 01/03/05 07:12 AM Re: Feeling Trapped
MikeInFlorida Offline
Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 43
Loc: Titusville
Dear Danny,

Hope that this New Year brings you continued growth, progress, hope and serenity as well.

You are so very welcome for my kind words. They were al true. I do understand that any words of wisdom that you gave to me were given away to you by others--free of charge, without copyrights or trademarks. I just wanted you to know that I am very greatful that you chose to pass them on to me.

Your hope that they work for me is GREATLY appriciated. I will give them away to someone else who may needs them, just as you have done for me.

In your last post you wrote "I'm not sure if you can tell, but I have been a teacher for a great deal of my life; college, high school, ESL, Adult Ed, Continuing Ed--all sorts of things." Yes, I did have a sneaking suspicion that you are, and have been a teacher for some time now.

As far as you getting the feeling that you are sometimes a 'know it all', or kind of like your preaching. I did NOT get this feeling from you AT ALL, honestly.

I am so glad that you are a survivor, and have all of this expierience too share. It's a no wonder you are a moderator here. PLEASE continue to help as much, and as often as you are able. I for one GREATLY appriciate it.

I too, was in a church (ICOC) that condemns us for being homosexual. I stayed in this church for 7 years, and perhaps I too needed to be.

I am in a recovery program, not just here at male survior but I am living in a recovery program, and part of my recovery has, had to with my self acceptance, and all that, that involves. I fell that I am getting to the point that I am ready to statr living my life outside of this recovery program, but continue to recover in all areas of my life. I guess that this is where the caged feeling comes in. I feel that I am not able to fully be myself here within this program (Not this: meaning male survior, but the my other recovery progam.

It has became easier for me to imagine better things for myself, and now I think that I am ready to make them my reality.

There is nothing wrong with going on and on and sound like a preacher on sunday morning, when what you have to share is the truth, and helps others. As far as your enthusiasm for getting well and helping others to get well, I share this with you honestly, all bs aside.

There is absolutely no need to thank me for bearing with you.

You have helped me today.

Hope you have a Happy and Prosperous and Wonderful 2005.

Love, Your Friend,

Mike

PS: PLEASE Private message me here at male survior. I need to talk to you about something VERY important, and very personal.

_________________________
Love others, as you love yourself.

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#73039 - 01/04/05 12:13 AM Re: Feeling Trapped
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
OK, Mike, will do.

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#73040 - 01/04/05 03:21 PM Re: Feeling Trapped
lostcowboy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 798
Loc: Rhode Island
Hi Mike,
Quote:
PLEASE, if you have ANY thoughts on this post a reply. Thank you so much.
Does this include thoughts that may hurt your feelings?

_________________________
"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus
Pretty much my life as I have posted so far. Triggers!

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#73041 - 01/05/05 05:49 AM Re: Feeling Trapped
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Mike
I don't often reply on this forum, but sometimes I feel that I have something to add, like now.

Quote:
The program is all vets / most homophobic men. I feel that I am not able to express myself as a gay man because of this.
I work in a very male dominated, working class, environment where homophobic comments are very common. As are sexist and racist ones unfortunately - I suppose every sort of 'objectionable' comment can be heard there at some time or another.

But what I've started to notice recently is that it's mainly the 'herd mentality' at work, if you get these guys on their own and start talking to them then their apparent predjudices are actually very shallow.
But put these guys in a group and the macho stereotypes swing into place.

I've noticed this because as I've gone through my training to become a counsellor and I've become more open about my abused childhood then the guys I work with have started to trust me and open up to me a bit. I don't do counselling at work for sure, but I think that they look upon me in a different way than they used to.
And I'm always surprised when I come away thinking "shit, he's actually a very decent guy!"

Also, two guys I work with have gay sons and that has changed attitudes greatly. They see that their fathers and families are treating these young men as they would any other son and begin to question their own prejudices.
I know that both my friends struggled greatly when they first discovered that their sons were gay, but it was a short struggle with their own issues. Love won through.

I agree with Danny though, it probably isn't the right time or place to try and change these guys you're living with. And they might be too rigid in their beliefs to change anyway.
But a few might surprise you if they allow themselves a bit of freedom of thought.

It's a bit like the soccer hooligans that have plagued Europe for many years, many are respectable family men with responsible, professional careers.
But in a pack on a Saturday afternoon they become violent thugs.
I suppose our ancestors hunted in packs and the gene is still inside us somewhere?

It is wrong to talk in a homophobic, racist or sexist way even if the herd mentality is in overdrive, but I also think it's too deeply ingrained to go away for many generations to come - if at all.

Danny's also right about not making it your No1 problem, it's their problem.

Take care, and I hope you find some better place to live soon.
Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#73042 - 01/05/05 09:07 AM Re: Feeling Trapped
MikeInFlorida Offline
Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 43
Loc: Titusville
Hi Dave,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and feelngs on this. As I told Danny, I HAVE found a better place to live. It is obvious to me that the next step in my homelesness recovery program is to move into a 3 quarter house, right here within the same town that I currently live in. I will be moving shortly, and this has helped to alieve the impounding feeling of begging trapped, and caged.

Mike

_________________________
Love others, as you love yourself.

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#73043 - 01/05/05 11:13 AM Re: Feeling Trapped
brokentoys Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/03/04
Posts: 149
Loc: So. California
Mike,
I'm sure Florida is much like So Calif in that the weather is good enough you can be homeless about 12 months of the year with much less problems than in the more severe weather areas. Still you have taken steps, even steps with distasteful things attached to them (i.e. homophobia), to pull yourself up and make something of your life. I for one applaud you. It is always easier to wallow in our own self-pity and bad circumstances than to work our butts off to take control of our lives and change them for the better. Good job brother! I hope good things continue to come your way and you are able to continue to improve your circumstances! May this new year be a happy and VERY prosperous one for you!
Broken

_________________________
It's easier to go down a hill than up it but the view is much better at the top.

Arnold Bennet

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