A gay indie boy living in suburban South West London recounts his trials and tribulations dealing with sex, sexuality, growing up and getting older

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Therapy session 2

My therapist never talks to me until we're in 'the room' and we both sit down. He asks me if there is anything I want to discuss from the last session and I say, "yes... This idea of the hunger. Now it has a name I can't help but see how it has manifested itself in my life but it can't be filled."

We sit in silence for a while and I feel I am testing him. I ask him about the silences and I laugh. He asks if it makes me uncomfortable and what I want from him. "To feel better" I reply.

As before I'm just going to highlight the main relevant points:

On coming out: 

 "It seems like it was a story of secrets and lies. Your family never wanted to actively acknowledge your sexuality, which has had a lasting impact on how you feel about yourself and how you then present yourself. You always keep a little bit back. You know I hear these stories all the time and it never fails to hurt me."

On my teenage years:"We were all boys trying to make the break once, Allan. So you ran away to London so you could be you – it was a good choice"

On approval:"You've always enjoyed academia because it brought the rewards you wanted: to be seen as a 'good boy' or to be graded on your performance and this continues to motivate you. But life can be frustrating because you don't always get grades or validation, and so it has started to manifest itself in other ways.You have high expectations of yourself and others – and often punish yourself and them when you fail to meet them."

On office environments:"You put on a show and boss everyone around – show them that you're competitive and ambitious. Mean while, the queer geeky 14 year old Allan is inside panicking that he is playing with the big heterosexual boys who bullied him all those years ago. You feel like you're back at school and you can't contend with the popular kids in the class, and sometimes you worry they'll find out if you let your façade slip."

On me and my internal energy:Him: "So you direct everything outwards. Who is giving Allan the internal energy he needs?"

Me: (laughing) "There's no point giving any internal energy, is there? How are people ever going to know I'm intelligent if I don't publish a book? How will they know I'm talented if I never release a CD? How will they know I'm a great artist unless I perform live in front of thousands of people?"

Him: "And so approval... Looking to these external strokes is where you get your energy from?"

Me: "Yes. Approval is really very important to me."

He then paused pregnantly for effect. I knew why... He wanted me to think about that, but this is something I know and would readily admit to. Following on from this...

On isolation and ambition:

Me: "And so now I've come really far and realise I don't have as many friends as I would like, or I don't have a partner who loves me... And I feel very alone sometimes."

Him: "And so... Let me guess... When you're feeling lonely, you take on another project."

Me: "Yes."

Him: "Because you think that by being busy you'll get the external validation you need to remove the loneliness."

Back to on approval:Him: "And so you're busy and you fill your life with things to try and feed this hunger. But what happens when you've reached that point? What does success look like?

Me: "I don't know. I guess however much success I had it could never be enough. The love of my friends should be enough but it isn't."

Him: "Should it?"

Me: "Yeah... And maybe that's why things always go wrong with my partners. Because one person's love... It just isn't enough. It never can be."

He actually ENDED THE SESSION there. And I thought... Wow, that's a real stinger to go out on. I suppose he wanted me to think about that statement the most. And that's where I'm left... A bit of a punch in the stomach


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