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Goodbye For Now From Blue

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I am taking an indefinite break from posting at AwesomeDude because of differences of opinion and negative comments for reasons I am not fully aware of, but which I have been informed of repeatedly lately.

I will continue to read at AwesomeDude and Codey's World. I will probably check the forums periodically, but I've asked to have my membership deactivated until and unless I feel my presence is at all wanted or welcomed.

I had offered to edit a manuscript for DaBeagle, but have still not received it. If he still wants me to edit, I will. I'd appreciate knowing if so or if not.

I will still be in touch with anyone who would like to say hi.

I'll still edit, if someone submits a story and I think it's a good candidate.

I'm dismayed. But it's been made plain that my posts have been unwelcome and problematic for some number of people.

I'll miss participating, but I'm withdrawing for the foreseeable future.

Goodbye, folks, I'll miss you. It'd be nice if some people miss me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Everyone.

First off, I'd like to apologize. I offended some people. I handled things in a way I shouldn't have, and I said some things without thinking enough. I would like to think I don't usually do that. I try not to let my temper or personal feelings get the better of me, but well, I did.

Several people were kind enough to point out a few things, including some things I got wrong. I would like y'all to know I appreciate that.

I needed the time off. My personal life is still a mess, still rebuilding, and all of the mess, emotional or real-world, has been spilling over for a long time. It is a big part of why I reacted as I did. For those that may not know, my grandmother had Alzheimer's and passed away last November. I've been her primary support for years. It's left me drained...and sad and angry, on top of existing stuff. It is tough, when there is no good, real way to let loose of all that. Trouble is, that's not completely out of my system. But the time away from the forum, I did a lot of thinking.

I've said before about my personal experiences growing up. Rather than go into that much again, just a little: I'm also legally blind / low vision / vision impaired. This affects everything about me, how I grew up, how I am now. I am mostly well adjusted about it, but I got teased and bullied a lot growing up. Being gay? I just thought they were calling me those names because I was different. It took a while before it quite dawned on me that I was "different" that way too: I liked guys. Uh, that's something most people here have dealt with growing up too. It doesn't explain why I have had negative or unhappy comments, does it? No, of course not. Most gay and bi people have dealt with the same sorts of things, maybe as persistently as I have. It also doesn't explain why I griped about negative feedback and so on. It sure doesn't much explain why I barked at another member.

OK. I've posted sometime before about it. One of my early pre-teen experiences was with a school friend, three times. The last time, we both screwed up. Two boys who thought they knew anything. We got in over our heads, there was emotional nonsense going on with him and with me. We both got hurt, emotionally and physically. I felt tremendously guilty for my part in it. After all, boys weren't supposed to do anything with boys, were they? Add that to an already shy religious boy who got teased so much, and well, you get a boy who grows up even more repressed. I still had hormones and feelings and the confusion that goes with discovering you like boys, either way more than, or instead of, girls. But that one experience, and the other, more ordinary experiences of being a teenage boy trying to figure out things like friendship, love, sex, boys, and girls...well, that one experience took its toll. When I finally had to face that yes, I really am gay, in college, my reaction was bad: I slammed the door on the closet and flunked myself out of a perfectly good academic scholarship. It would be years before I went back and got an associate's degree. It would be years before I began to outgrow that. The internet helped a lot. Finding gay stories helped tremendously. I was volunteering here before I finally, desperately, came out in person, shortly before CW started. I owe a lot to Dude and others here, and Codey, and to a few good people out there in real life.

All of that, particularly that one key incident, has a lot to do with why I care so much about this kind of thing, anything to do with being gay, bi, lesbian, transgender, straight, and questioning.

It is also probably why I went off without engaging my brain enough.

Folks, I am a mix. There are the well adjusted, optimistic, happy, friendly parts of me, the parts that "get it" about being gay, too. There are also the "poor little me, why me?" and depressive, poorly adjusted parts of me, including about being gay. (You'll have noticed, I over-analyze and I can't write a short post or email to save my life.) And yes, being gay is a big focal point and something of a sore spot -- and it should just be another facet of who I am.

I had also just recently written I wanted to turn over a new leaf. I am very, very tired of things being the way they are. I want a better, happier, fuller life. I want a life that includes a social life, roommate maybe, even (oh my) a boyfriend (what a concept that is) or partner (even better). -- But I am not there yet, and yes, I'm aware that shows. -- If you at times find my posts a little rambling or weird, well, I'd ask, please understand where I'm coming from. The biggest thing in my life recently has been losing the people I love the most, after long-term illnesses. Most of my support is just gone, gradually or suddenly, over a period of years. So if I seem a little wacky...I am, I know it, I don't want it that way, I want it better. So I hope people can kind of put themselves in my shoes, and see maybe why I say what I say.

I'd also like to say that the young man or boy I was in high school, for all his confusion, questioning, and inexperience, really was a lot better adjusted in some important ways. I really want that back in my life. Sometimes, in order to move forward, we have to step back and start over.

Anyway, yes, I'm back.

To folks whom I offended, I am sorry. That's not the kind of person I want to be. To folks who were alarmed or got worried for me, and who've missed me, thank you. Special thanks for those who took the time to reply, including constructive criticism, because you were right, and I needed to see that.

I am just me, I am who I am. I haven't really figured out this whole thing of being human yet. I'd like to think I'm getting better at it. :)

Ben W. | Blue | BlueCatShip

(Still long-winded.) (I suppose that could be good in certain applications.... :laugh: )

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We both got hurt' date=' emotionally and physically. I felt tremendously guilty for my part in it. After all, boys weren't supposed to do anything with boys, were they?[/quote']

I left out the real kicker: I felt tremendous guilt, not just because I'd been with a boy, but because I had hurt him. For years, I grew up feeling what I'd done was unforgiveable, inexcusable. That we'd both made mistakes, and that we'd both been kids who really didn't know what we were getting into, I didn't pay any attention to. All I was able to see there was that I had hurt a friend, physically, in one of the most intimate and embarrassing ways possible. I knew, intellectually, that if he'd done in retaliation what he'd almost done, well, I probably wouldn't have been there. But what mattered most to me was, I'd hurt a friend, physically and sexually, and that, as a pre-teen with a very developed sense of right and wrong...was very wrong.

(We saw each other later and I apologized, but it stayed with me, and I'm sure it stayed with him.) If we had only known more and trusted each other more and not gotten so off-track, what we were doing would probably have been really enjoyable for both of us. I think for him, it was probably just experimenting, exploring. For me, it was discovering about myself. If only we'd both understood more, and sooner. If only we both hadn't had the stupid idea that it wasn't right for two boys to do those things.

That's one of the key defining moments in who I am, what I believe and stand for, and a measure of how badly I screwed up. It is also a measure of why I have been a volunteer and care deeply.

Too much info, maybe, but it explains a lot of why I reacted as I did. I hope it brings some understanding to things.

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Same here! Hang in there, Ben. I've always said, everyone should be able to find some kind of happiness in their lives, especially finding a partner with whom to share it. It's never too late.

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I am just me, I am who I am. I haven't really figured out this whole thing of being human yet. I'd like to think I'm getting better at it. :)

And this, I believe, is the crux of it. We're all there with you, Ben. Figuring out this whole 'being human' thing and trying hard to get better at it. As long as we're doing that, I'd like to think we're on the right track.

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