"As every unshed tear is a prison through which all of life's hurts are distorted, so every unresolved conflict is a filter through which all of my beliefs about life, myself, others, friends, love, and about God are distorted, too."
Resolve your past hurts!
"Whatever hurts we fail to resolve from the past we bring into our present relationships and will either hurt, contaminate or destroy these relationships." Dick Innes.
Remember: Hurt people hurt people!!
Im Leben homosexueller Menschen sowie von Menschen mit sexuellen Problemen jeglicher Art ist meist eine ganze Menge schief gelaufen und eine Menge Beziehungen zu anderen Menschen sind kaputt gegangen bzw. völlig schief gelaufen.
Ein wesentlicher Punkt jeglichen Heilungsprozesses ist zum einen die Vergebung. Es ist hierfür nicht wichtig, ob der andere bereut. Ich muss ihm nur jegliche Schuld erlassen und die Angelegenheit Gott übergeben. Das wird mich von einer ungeheuren Last befreien.
Unsere Vergangenheit und die Menschen, denen wir im Leben begegnet sind und die entscheidenden Einfluss darauf hatten, mögen - vor allem in der Kindheit - entscheidend zur Entwicklung unserer Neigungen beigetragen haben. Das können wir nun nicht mehr ändern. Was wir aber ändern können, ist, ihnen zu vergeben und uns nicht mehr als Opfer zu fühlen (selbst wenn wir welche waren). Jesus ist für uns am Kreuz gestorben, damit wir FREI sein können! Wir sind keine Opfer mehr - wir sind geliebte Kinder Gottes!
Wenn irgend möglich und sinnvoll (Einzelfallentscheidung) sollten wir auch versuchen, die Angelegenheit mit den Betroffenen zu klären. Sei es nun mit Menschen, von denen wir denken, sie hätten uns verletzt (etwa Familienangehörige) oder Menschen, die wir durch unser Verhalten selbst verletzt haben. Wir sollten zu ihnen hingehen, ihnen sagen, wie sehr uns an der Beziehung zu ihnen liegt, dass wir ihnen vergeben (bzw. um Vergebung bitten) und uns durchaus des Schmerzes bewusst sind, den wir ihnen vielleicht selbst zugefügt haben. Gott hat uns vielleicht vergeben - bis wir uns aber selbst vergeben können, was wir geliebten Menschen angetan haben, das kann noch eine ganze Weile dauern.
All das läuft auf ein Ziel hinaus: wir müssen uns von unserer Vergangenheit befreien! Wir sind nicht Sklaven oder Produkt irgendwelcher Umstände. Wir sind Kinder Gottes - und als solche sollen wir unsere Brüder und Schwestern lieben wie Gott uns liebt - und ihnen vergeben wie Gott uns vergibt.
"Dr. Earl Henslin warnt: "Wahrscheinlich 80-90 Prozent unserer Interaktion mit anderen Menschen wird von unserer Reaktion auf alte Verletzungen aus unserer Kindheit kontrolliert (...) Genau deshalb ist es so wichtig, sich diese alten Gefühle wieder bewusst zu machen und diese alten Wunden wieder zu entdecken. Wenn wir das nicht tun, werden sie auch weiterhin die Tyrannen in unserem Leben spielen. (...) Sie werden bestimmen, ob wir weiter verheiratet bleiben. Sie werden uns in Richtung Erfolg oder Versagen lenken. Sie werden bestimmen, wie wir unsere Kinder behandeln... Sie werden sogar über unsere Beziehung zu Gott herrschen." "Probleme werden nie von selbst besser. Die Zeit erlaubt dem Schmerz nur, sich mehr und mehr zu verschanzen, den Groll, tiefer zu gehen und das tägliche Leben wird dadurch immer schwieriger. Zeit heilt nur, wenn die Menschen aktiv für ihre Heilung arbeiten." (The Way Out of the Wilderness).
Eine lebenswichtige Barriere gegen den Rückfall in unsere alten zerstörerischen Muster ist eine klare Aufzeichnung des Schmerzes, den unser alter Lebensstil mit sich brachte. Wenn wir uns erinnern können, was uns dieser Lebensstil gekostet hat, werden wir tun, was auch immer getan werden muss, um eine Rückkehr in dieses schreckliche Elend zu vermeiden. "Das gebrannte Kind scheut das Feuer" - solange es sich an den Schmerz erinnert! So ist unser "Suchen und unsere furchtlose moralische Bestandsaufnahme" ein wesentliches Glied in unserer Heilungskette.
"Es ist eine philosophische Beobachtung, die so tief ist, dass sie schon fast wieder zur Platitüde wird, dass die Vergangenheit eines Menschen nie wirklich vergangen ist, bis er beerdigt ist; dass jede Begegnung, jeder Vorfall im Leben auch wenn man sie längst als alten Kram abgelegt und im täglichen Leben vergessen hat - vielleicht nur mit der unendlichen Geduld einer Zeitbombe darauf wartet, ein gewaltsames Comeback in den friedlich einlullenden Alltagstrott zu machen." (Leslie Charteris, The Saint in Pursuit)
PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE.
I release the past.
I bless it
because it brought me
to where I am.
prepared me for the situations
in the present.
leads me for the situations
in the present.
The present leads me
to the future.
In the past
there have been situations
when I acted in ways
that were shameful.
Memories of these
try to creep in as
I also fear
a return to the old me,
the one who said and did things
that should have been
The old me
did those things.
The old me
thoughtlessly, or foolishly.
The old me
did those things
years (or minutes) ago.
However long it's been
I release the past.
I am moving toward
a more preferable future.
I let go of the past.
I congratulate myself
that it is past
that I can do better.
I aim for all
that God intends me
prepared the way.
The help and resources
are waiting for me.
I go forward to my good.
"I press on toward the goal
for the prize of the heavenly call
of God in Christ Jesus."
"Poverty of spirit is the capacity to say, "I was wrong" - and mean it. That simple sentence may be the most difficult one you'll ever speak on a consistent, daily basis. Saying it quickly amd sincerely is the essence of the sort of spirit which Jesus calls "poor"."
Bei der ganzen Diskussion, ob gleichgeschlechtliche Neigungen nun angeboren sind oder nicht, vergisst man allzu leicht einen wesentlichen Punkt:
Warum gleichen sich die Lebensläufe von Menschen mit gleichgeschlechtlichen Neigungen so sehr, wenn es doch nur die Gene sind? Warum hatten etwa so viele Männer Probleme mit ihrem Vater sei es, dass er überhaupt nicht da war oder emotional nicht zugänglich?
Im Erwachsenenalter, wenn sich diese Männer entschlossen haben, das bisherige Ausleben dieser Neigungen zu beenden, wird ihnen diese Tatsache oft erst richtig bewusst. Wenn man sie dann auffordert, sich doch einmal die bisherigen Beziehungen mit anderen Männern unter diesem Gesichtspunkt anzusehen (etwa, welche Art von Männern sie anziehend fanden und warum), sind sie oft selbst überrascht um dann nicht selten in zerstörerische Gedankengänge zu verfallen.
Da wird etwa dem Vater (oder alternative der Mutter oder anderen Bezugspersonen) die Schuld dafür gegeben, dass man nun "schwul" sei und alle möglichen psychischen Probleme sowie Beziehungsprobleme oder überhaupt Probleme mit dem Leben an sich hat. Dazu folgendes: Niemand kann dich "schwul" machen und niemand ist für die Entscheidungen verantwortlich, die du heute als Erwachsener triffst. Selbstverständlich hatte deine Kindheit und was auch immer damals geschehen ist einen Einfluss auf deine Prägung und Entwicklung - ein Einfluss, der auch heute noch spürbar ist. Und selbstverständlich muss der Koffer, den man ständig unausgepackt mit sich schleppt, einmal geöffnet und all diese Dinge angegangen werden. Dann ist es aber damit auch getan und er sollte wieder geschlossen und dorthin verfrachtet werden, wo er hingehört: in die Vergangenheit. Was auch immer geschehen ist kann nicht ungeschehen gemacht werden. Wir können es nur aufarbeiten, verzeihen und Verzeihung suchen und uns dann daran machen, mit den uns zur Verfügung stehenden Hilfsmitteln (Familie, Freunde, Therapeuten, Material, Gemeindemitglieder usw.) das beste aus der jetzigen Situation zu machen und unsere Zukunft im Vertrauen auf Gottes Weisheit, Liebe und Führung aktiv zu gestalten.
Wenn ich mir selbst immer wieder vorsage, dass es doch mein Vater sei, der an allem (was auch immer allen sein mag) schuld sei, beraube ich mich selbst der Möglichkeit, Dinge zu ändern (schließlich liegt die volle Verantwortung im Verfügungsbereich eines anderen). Ich werde mich ewig selbstmitleidig als Opfer sehen und nie einen Weg aus dieser Krise heraus finden vielleicht auch, weil ich dies gar nicht möchte, sondern mir selbst in dieser hilflosen Opferrolle gefalle.
Wenn ich jemals ein neues Kapitel in meinem Leben öffnen will, muss ich erst einmal das alte schließen und volle Verantwortung für mein eigenes Leben übernehmen: für meine Entscheidungen, meine Handlungen, meine Worte, meine Empfindungen und mein geistiges Leben. Ich kann an der Vergangenheit nichts mehr ändern. Die einzige Möglichkeit, etwas jetzt und in Zukunft zu ändern, ist meine Reaktion und Einstellung zu dieser Vergangenheit jetzt zu ändern.
Alles, was ich jetzt tun kann, ist für mich selbst mein bestes geben und den Rest Gott überlassen.
“He is the Truth, and He wants us to deal in truth with ourselves and our loved ones. We want the truth about you and your family to flood into and overrun the secrets that keep you in bondage to dysfunctional behavior and relationships”
― Henry Cloud, Secrets of Your Family Tree: Healing for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families
A Letter to Mom and Dad Concerning Childhood Wounds
(Posted March 2011)
Introduction by JONAH's Co-Director, Elaine Silodor Berk: This powerful and heartfelt letter was read by Stephen to his parents with great trepidation. In preparing to confront his parents about his childhood pain and subsequent same-sex attraction (SSA), Stephen experienced some physical and emotional difficulties. Nevertheless, his strength and courage enabled him to face his fears and explain to his parents where he was at and what he wanted. In that process, he was comforted and encouraged by JONAH's co-director, Arthur Goldberg. When he gave JONAH permission to print his letter, Stephen thanked Arthur for the help and encouragement Arthur had given him on his journey out of unwanted SSA and especially for Arthur's mentoring on how to approach his parents. He also commented that putting together the letter set forth below was "probably the hardest thing I'll ever do in my life."
Stephen's Dad was very stoic as the letter was read to him. But by the next morning, Dad had begun to internalize and recognize the importance of Stephen's efforts to tear down the walls of detachment that separated father and son. Stephen reported that Dad called him to express his deep sorrow about the past, indicating that Dad had truly heard what Stephen was expressing in his letter, and then - for the first time in Stephen's life - expressed an authentic emotion to Stephen. While asking Stephen for forgiveness, Dad's sadness became evident. He cried as he said, "I'm so sorry I treated you this way, and I'll spend the rest of my life trying to make it up to you."
Thankfully, the vow of Stephen's Dad to forge a better relationship with his son in whatever form it needs to take, has, to date, been most encouraging and father and son are intensely working together to overcome their mutual past detachment from each other.]
March 10, 2010
Dear Mom and Dad,
I have written a letter that I need to read to you as it is important for me to tell you about my struggles in life. I believe you may be unaware of some of them. I needed to write this out so I can present it to you in a somewhat organized way.
Please know that I anticipate this being the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, and very well may be the hardest thing you’ve ever had to hear and deal with. I fully expect that you will experience a range of emotions as I read this; you may be sad, angry, or fearful about hearing what I have to say. While I welcome any emotions you need to express, I need to make it clear that I want you both to listen to this entire letter before you actually say anything or attempt to respond. Do I have your word that you will remain quiet and listen until I have finished reading everything I have written?
Dad: this letter is primarily written to you. I know that I have recently expressed to you the deep depression I experienced as a young child and as a teenager; I understand that you have apologized for not recognizing these experiences. However, I believe that you don’t fully understand all that I felt and the depth of my pain. To put it simply and bluntly, starting at age 7, I spent just about every day of my life feeling a depth of sadness that I can only compare to what a person feels when they attend a funeral of someone they loved very much. I was desperate to be understood, specifically from the person who was supposed to be my male role model. I needed to know that you were there for me emotionally, something I regrettably never felt.
While I don’t remember exactly how much I cried growing up, I do remember fighting back tears just about every moment of my young life. Whenever those tears flowed, it was simply because I could not bottle them up any longer. My sadness needed to be released.
There is an instance that you may not even remember, but it was a very significant moment in my life. It was a turning point, a moment in which I completely stopped trusting you to be there for me in my emotional anguish. You were driving, your mother was sitting next to you, I was in the back seat sitting behind you and Graham was to my right. We were on our way to one of his baseball games, and it was a particularly hard day for me. I simply could not hold my tears back and they were slowly rolling down my face. I remember you looking at me in the rear-view mirror and very coldly and flatly saying “quit crying you little pussy.” You might as well have taken a knife and stabbed me in the gut, because at that very moment a huge part of me died inside. I felt totally emasculated and worthless. I now realize that as a defensive action to avoid such pain in the future, I built up a protective wall around my soul, vowing to never let you hurt me like that again with your words.
Sadly, by numbing myself to your words, every nice thing you have ever said to me since that day has had no effect on me. Over time, my lack of trust for you and my own emotional numbness prevented me from going to you with things I should’ve been able to come to you about: being taunted by the other guys at school, having them spit on me in class, becoming the laughingstock of gym class, and being called pussy, queer, and fag on a pretty much daily basis. Further, it was really infuriating to me that you didn’t seem to even notice that something was drastically wrong with me and my life. As an example, you got two calls from school about my threat to commit suicide. Yet we never talked about it. Other examples: I slept every moment I possibly could, often 12+ hours per day, and I ballooned to 225 pounds using food to try to escape from my pathetic existence. Why didn’t you notice these cries for help? Or, if you did indeed notice them, why didn’t you communicate your concern to me? To be fair, you were always there for me by providing for my physical needs without any reservation whatsoever. However, you were completely unavailable emotionally! I needed that kind of support the most, and I found its absence to be exceedingly painful.
Ever since my teenage years I have hoped and prayed that I could carry these hurts to my grave and would not have to discuss them with you. However, I now realize I must tell you and at the same time forgive you for your shortcomings. By informing and forgiving you, it will free me to complete my own healing journey. I know that if I hold onto these hurts, the negativity inherent in harboring such resentments will continue to weigh me down and prevent me from moving on with a normal life.
Because I wasn’t able to connect with you or with male peers at school, it was much easier for me to connect with mom and with girls. When puberty hit, this desperate unmet need to connect with males led to an envy of other males. And, in turn, this envy became sexualized. The result of these unmet needs were set against my moral compass and in turn led to an internal conflict. I have been fighting a war within me to overcome homosexual feelings since adolescence.
I carried this burden all alone until just four months ago, when I found the courage to tell my therapist in Chicago what I was dealing with. He was not helpful as he encouraged me to come out as “gay” and to fully embrace homosexual fantasies and ultimately homosexual activity. To him, this is who I was. This advice was completely contrary to my values and everything I want out of life. Many teenagers and young adults with same-sex attractions similar to mine attempt to overcome their isolation and shame by connecting sexually with others of their own gender. I’m proud to say that, to the contrary, I have successfully resisted strong urges to have any kind of sexual relationship with other men. I’m still totally pure sexually, never so much as kissing another person as long as I’ve lived. Even though I know this news is shocking and disappointing, I hope you are proud of my resolve to maintain my purity.
The thing that I really resent, and need to forgive, is that you were the one person that could have prevented these problems from the get-go. If you helped me learn how to trust men rather than envy them, and if you were there for me emotionally, I believe I would not now be struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions. It was your job to recognize what was going on within me as your little seven year old boy, your duty to find out what was wrong with me, and to take steps to make it better. It was your job to build up my masculinity, to enable me to trust rather than distrust men and to find things we could do together that would affirm me in my manhood and bring us closer together. Without these efforts, the net effect was my envy of other men and my sexualizing of that envy. Your apparent delegation of hard stuff to Mom --such as telling me about sex, taking me to the doctor when I needed help to get me through mental illness, and moving me into my college dorm -- also contributed to my reduced sense of masculinity and lack of closeness to you.
Most of all and what was most distressing, however, was the environment you created --- an environment where it became absolutely impossible for me to seek your help to overcome my homosexual feelings. I’d like to remind you of some of the things you have said over the years:
1. As a young boy, I remember sitting in a restaurant with you and Graham. Mom was out of town on a business trip. You said to both of us, “if I ever find out either one of you is homosexual, I will put you out of the house.”
2. While watching male figure skaters on TV, you were laughing and mocking them, saying “I bet their dads are really proud to have them as sons.”
3. You expressed a personal conviction that frightened me: “Having a queer son would be more than I can bear.”
4. While helping you clean out filthy trash containers, you colorfully explained that you believe “the only things that are worse than maggots are faggots.”
Actually, I don’t remember once since adolescence being in the same room with you for more than an hour when you didn’t have a demeaning joke or say something nasty about homosexuals. Naturally, I took all of these things personally. In fact, every time you have ever said “I love you” or “I’m proud of you” I would add the phrase within my own mind, “Not if you knew about my problem.”
I know I am far from perfect, Dad, and that I have a lot of work to do. But I can proudly say that I have done the very best that I could with the life and circumstances the Lord gave me. I have worked hard, done well in school, earned a great job, and am self-sufficient financially. I’ve maintained my sexual purity throughout the darkest times of my life, even when it would have been so easy to give in—as our culture constantly preaches. I’m active in my church and doing the best I can to build authentic and healthy relationships with men—relationships I needed all along. I am breaking down the barrier of distrust toward other men, a distrust that began in early childhood when you flatly stated that I was a pussy for crying out of my intense pain and telling me that I should stop it.
One thing I must insist upon. I will no longer tolerate the innumerable demeaning and incessant jokes about homosexuals. These are men and women who are in pain, just like I am. The difference is that I have the courage to do the necessary work to overcome this emotional adaptation. However, making such comments hurts me as well. This “request” is simply non-negotiable. If you do not stop, we will be unable to have any sort of relationship. For me to continue my progress at overcoming these unwanted attractions while hearing cutting remarks from you about the condition I wish to change makes me feel like my hard work is being completely undermined. I cannot tolerate that.
I do want to say that despite your shortcomings, there are some things that you did exceptionally well, especially given your own upbringing and family circumstances. You were a great provider for my physical needs and I never went without in that sense. I am very grateful for that. However, the level of emotional abandonment I perceived while growing up, especially given my intense and prolonged ordeal with mental illness, has created a nightmare I have struggled for years to overcome. Thankfully, I have now found supportive people that have also sought out and achieved change of sexual orientation and have stabilized their own emotions in a healthy way. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
I’d like to think that we can mend our relationship and that you could be a help to me in my journey toward becoming a new man. However, this choice is totally up to you and I am prepared to move on with my life in the direction of healing regardless of your decision.
Mom: I do not want to complete this letter without addressing you. First and foremost, I want to thank you for your sincerity and kindness in being there and trying to bridge the gaps that Dad did not fill. You did the best you could, but the fact is you were not and cannot be a substitute for the male guidance and support I needed and will continue to need as an adult. We are too enmeshed. What I need from you now is a clear separation and recognition that I am no longer a little boy. You can no longer protect me and fight my battles for me. I need these boundaries in our relationship so that I am able to grow into the fullness of my masculinity. I am a grown man now and am fully capable of taking care of myself with the help of God and other men in my community. While my love for you remains undiminished, we must create new boundaries, new ways of dealing with each other. This may look like, for example, long stretches of time when we will not talk. I need you to know that “no news is good news.” Please understand that I don’t love you any less than I ever have. My love for you is deep. However, I need some space to be a man to my full potential.
I hope I have been clear in expressing myself. I thank both of you for not speaking while I read this letter and I am now ready to discuss any of these issues with you.
With all my love,