Subscribe via RSS Feed Join us on LinkedIn Connect on YouTube

Gay Friends and Mental Break

May 1, 2017

gay friendsI was once told, “To be frank, I just don’t love you back.”

My first initial thoughts were obvious devastation. However, my more prominent thoughts splashed over me like a pragmatic wave, that the feeling of angst fervently diminished. My true gay friends offered me the same approach to support me. For some twisted reason, I was thankful for his honesty. Those same gay friends agreed. I understood that this was something that could not be changed; for we never really argued in the time we spent together. There was nothing to really say after we departed. I guess we’ll be better gay friends in the long-term. As much as I struggled to be vulnerable in this previous relationship, towards the end, I was saying “I love you” and getting a distant nod back. It’s the best form of negative reinforcement on someone really trying to put his heart forward, and to overcome some internal boundaries. Maybe I should have been more open and vulnerable in the beginning, as my gay friends have reminded me in the past. That is completely on me, and I take full accountability on that. It’s not someone’s job to read my mind, but it is someone’s job to take initiative if he’s previously heard these insecurities become vocal from me. We all have demons that haunt us. Through another past relationship with a narcissist that threw me into a psychological spiral for many months, and all the years growing up thinking my voice didn’t matter, being vulnerable was something foreign to me in the contents of a romantic relationship. I found myself in those earlier years living on the surface, because if there isn’t much depth, I could dust my shoulders off, and keep walking in the same direction as the wind. No harm, no foul. For whatever reason, I needed someone to initiate that conversation for me, for me to feel like I was truly cared for, and felt safe. It would give me permission to slowly un-lay those bricks from a vertical emotional stronghold I had built over the years from feeling that my soul was being eroded from the elements of life.

Recently, the mini-series “13 Reasons Why” has stormed up a conversation about mental health. Having issues with that through my adolescence and through other family members, I understand both sides of the argument. We have a side that notes that no one is responsible for the mental health of someone else, who didn’t take it upon him or herself to get the help he or she should have acknowledged. The other side is far more sympathetic, about an outside party being proactive about being more cognizant for someone who has mental health issues, and taking it upon themselves to offer aide. My viewpoint steers more towards the latter, as a lot of my gay friends would agree. The thing about this argument is that you truly don’t understand why I would agree with the more compassionate stance unless you have had those depressing thoughts on a long-term scale prior. The thing about people struggling with addictive behaviors is that they feel they can manage things on their own. This is their normal. That they feel they don’t deserve to be helped a lot of times. That they want someone to reach out to them, sometimes forcefully, because they cannot do it. You cannot make someone do anything, but you can be stern and come from a place of concern if a person needs to be jolted into a vulnerable self-reality. It’s your responsibility to make them realize something they would not be able to see feasibly on their own, because as one of your true gay friends or lover, that’s your job.

The main character in this show gives people a chance, despite being humiliated and scorned from her peers continuously. When you are in this mindset for so long, you start having thoughts that maybe you are the common factor, because the same feelings are happening from different people, and the common denominator is you. I often use this logic when identifying certain behavioral patterns on dates from feedback to an existing client, from different individuals. Even when she tries to get out of this dark cloud, there wasn’t really a time where one of her peers asked her how she was truly doing, and having some sort of heart-to-heart with her. Maybe it was even more sad to see that she thought her friends were actual friends, but in fact weren’t. That these “friends” had some ulterior motive, or blamed her for something unfairly. We have expectations that people should have normal coping mechanisms, but people don’t realize that when events starts billowing, that avalanche can put someone into a dark space, where they feel quite alone and not worth someone’s time. Their mechanism is completely broken. A simple hug would have diminished that cry for help into a more sincere form of admiration. Their mechanism might slowly begin to repair itself. Yes, that might have saved the main character’s life. Looking over the story as a whole, I do feel at times the knife was in the back and being twisted over and over again, but with that aside, Hannah wanted someone, anyone, to make her feel loved and wanted. When she went searching for answers, she was immediately pushed down the stairs. When she reluctantly did that time and time again her bones became brittle and left her to permanently ascend away from the achievable light.

So, we could argue that, why didn’t she seek a professional’s help? Well, spoiler alert, her “professional” was her school counselor, and even he could not get through to her. She wanted to seek her parents’ advice, but with them going through a slew of financial hardship, she felt she couldn’t say anything. Psychological help is expensive, and she would just be more of a burden to her family, her “safe house.”

If anything, this show taught me about kindness and being more aware. That maybe the guy at the networking event on his phone, really just wants someone to say “Hi.” That the older gentlemen in the gay bar alone, feeling like he doesn’t belong, maybe just wants gay friends. That the young boy that is new to Los Angeles shouldn’t feel like he’s the problem because he’s a nice guy, and bad dates keep happening to him. Maybe he’s searching for a community of some kind – one of great gay friends. That maybe when I see someone who is scared, that I should initiate a conversation of safety. If you are the person standing in front of a stranger who is about to jump off a bridge, do you say something or do you walk away? This show was about starting a conversation of perception and less about it being a voice of suicide prevention, and labeling someone “responsible for his or her own actions.” We don’t just want to be gay acquaintances, we want to really be responsible and communicative gay friends. We are now approaching current times where we fully need more compassion in our community, but just don’t say it – do it.

Be Sociable, Share!
Filed in: Dating Tips

Comments are closed.