Near the end of Part Three, I mentioned a remarkable incident that happened when I was seventeen. Unfortunately, it was an incident rivaling the best comedy of errors I have ever read. It was hilarious, unbelievable, and in some ways life and perception altering.
By my late teens I was fed up. I had had enough of the abuse, the lies having to be told to keep it quiet, and the uncaring, if not downright condoning, attitudes of the authorities, schools, etc. I cannot say that I was a “good” kid. I did basically whatever the fuck I wanted, and paid the price for it. But shit, I was getting abused regardless, so I might as well as have had some fun to deserve it. At least, that is what my mindset was at the time.
Anyhow, I did a very typical teen thing. I came home before curfew, yawned a couple of times, said good night, closed my bedroom door and out the window I went back to my friends. I had a really good time, until I was woken up, pinned down with my arms under the covers of my bed, and my father standing over me in just his underwear and shirt beating the crap out of me. Okay, I probably deserved it, but I had already formed two rules in my head. First, if you ball up your fist to me, you are not looking to discipline or reprimand, you are looking for a fight. Second, beware if you think I’m not going to retaliate if you choose to fight in an unfair manner. The beating stopped, and I took the time to shake my head and jumped up to continue the fight. I have no idea where my father got dressed that morning since all I saw were the taillights of his car going down the street.
My mother got up to find me cleaning a pistol in the living room, and one simple statement from me: “I’m going to kill the fucking coward if he walks through that door again.” After a series of frantic phone calls, and because it is easier to remove a minor from a house, off I went to the nearest psych ward with an open bed by that afternoon. It is probably the singular reason I am able to still enjoy my freedom now. There was absolutely no doubt in my mind that I was going to prison that night, and I was alright with it. I spent four months on a locked, private co-ed psych ward for teenagers while they tried to discover what was “wrong” with me.
Here is what they came up with: I was depressed, and manic, but it was all due to my severely repressed homosexuality. Yes, at that time, homosexuality was still something requiring psychiatric diagnosis rather than just being part of the greater human sexuality spectrum. As far as “severely repressed”… no shit, even I didn’t know! This wonderful diagnosis was achieved because to pass the time I would draw my old high school mascot, the head of a Trojan warrior. Can we all say WTF? Thankfully, society and even the field of psychiatry has moved forward from this way of thinking in the last 25 years or so.
What I found even more ludicrous in the entire incident is that after making this diagnosis, my treatment did not take the course of trying to “change” me, or giving me help on how to deal with it, or even once maybe asking if I agreed with it at all. Instead, my entire treatment regimen became focused on preparing my father that he had a homosexual son! Once again, all together now… WTF???
But funny how some things just seem to stick like a bad hangnail in the back of the mind. During my twenties, I again had a couple of female friends who also questioned whether or not I was homosexual, or at least bi-sexual. It seemed I could never get completely away from it. Finally, in my mid-thirties, I did have my one and only homosexual relationship basically just to see if it could be true that other people were seeing things in me that I could not see myself. Yep, that’s what I thought, I’m not homosexual, not even bi-sexual. Nothing wrong with either, it’s just not a part of my sexuality.
Moral of the story: Fuck the years of abuse, screw any ability to think for oneself, we have to save Dad from the indignity of a homosexual son! Yeah, I don’t think so!