I grew up living in a suburban town about 45 minutes out of Boston. I come from a good family, and though my parents were busy with their own careers, they did manage for the most part to be there for me when I needed them. About the time I was 11 or so I began to realize I was *different* from the rest of my friends. They were starting to talk to girls and I just wasn't interested. At the time I really didn't think much about it. In the sixties, we did not learn about sexuality and its related issues in school, and such things were certainly not discussed in the home. It wasn't an issue my parents were willing to entertain.
As I progressed through Junior High and on to High School the feelings became stronger and as my friends began full fledged dating, my heart just wasn't in it. When changing for gym, I would find my self checking out the field, and I would struggle not to pop a boner. When the guys got together to compare notes about their (more than likely imaginary) sexual conquests, I never had any thing to add to the conversation. I would get kidded about it and as kids are, eventually my silence *to them at least* began to scream volumes.
After a time of sidelong glares and under-their-breath innuendo I became aware of out-and-out rumors. Things like "I've never seen HIM with a girl, he MUST be a queer," and notes pushed into my locker. That kind of stuff. Kids really can be so cruel.
At first I would just try to shrug it off, thinking to myself, what the hell do they know, its only talk. I would try and convince my self I'd start to like girls soon, or tell my self I was only shy. But I knew the truth and couldn't bring my self to just deny who I was. I felt I had to be true to my convictions, if not openly then at least to myself. I couldn't just turn my back on the feelings that made me who I was.
I had never had many friends; the only person I ever hung around regularly with was Tim from next door. We had been friends since we were little.
One day, after school some wise ass decided that if Timmy was my friend, then we just had to be *FRIENDS*, so to prove himself a big, shit for brains, macho jock, he and a couple of his idiot toadies beat Timmy up.
They hit him because he was my friend!
So now it wasn't only talk any longer! Timmy did not deserve to be hurt! What they had been saying hurt me, bad!!!!!! But now it went beyond talk!!!!!!!!
In those days there was no Internet where a person could go for answers or help. You could not even talk to the school counselors at that time. It just wasn't done; things such as this were not spoken about in polite society. I was on my own!!!!!!!!!!!!
Then the shit hit the fan, I went to my best friends house to pick him up, we were supposed to go somewhere, I don't remember where, His Mom <B><I>INTERCEPTED </B></I>me at the door, at which time she said that my best friend since I was five years old, of some ten years was not to be seen with me.
When I asked if I'd done something wrong the answer was, “DID SOMETHING WRONG!!!! YOU'RE A F----- QUEER AND I DON'T WANT TIM TO CATCH IT. I'M NOT GOING TO HAVE MY TIMMY BEATEN UP BECAUSE OF YOU!!!!! YOU WILL STAY AWAY FROM HIM, AND THAT'S FINAL!!!!!!!! And the door slammed shut.
To say the least I was devastated. What was I going to do? Does everybody know!?!? What am I going to do!?!?!?! Oh shit NOOO!!! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?!?!?!?
I was feeling utterly despondent, I knew I was Gay, but other than getting an eyeful in the locker room, and a great deal of self satisfaction, (and never even having been caught at that). It was all rumors. Rumors that started at school, and now they were spreading all over town. I was feeling like I was being crushed, utterly destroyed.
To make a long story short, mostly because I don't remember it, I spent that Friday evening drinking a great deal of vodka and taking a great deal of my mom's sleeping pills.
I was rudely awakened in the hospital, to find out it was now Tuesday and to my despair I was still here to have to listen to who has heard the latest GOSSIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!
All I could was cry. I did not want to deal with any of this. Why me?!?!?!?
After a couple more days in the hospital (my only visitor was my Mom) I was released on Sunday.
The next day was Monday and I knew all too well what happens on Monday. School!!!!!!! I did not want to go to school! Not there! Not with those people! They all knew, and they had my attempted suicide as a total validation of their rumors. I did not want to go. I couldn't!
I Begged. I yelled! I screamed! I threatened to do it again, and this time I'd do it right!!!!!!! But when my father said, "You will go to school, and there will not be any more discussion of the subject" and he then turned away from me with a look of utter ....................I do not know what it was for sure, but I can tell you this one thing for sure, it was not admiration.
THAT'S, IT, NOT MY DAD TOO, NOOO! THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING.
So I went to school that Monday. My Father dropped me off at the door himself to make sure I got there. He said not one word to me all the way there. All that day not one person said one single word to me. Nothing, it was like I wasn't even there, I was exiled, a non person. I may as well have died that Friday night. In their eyes, in all their eyes, I was dead.
Now it was Tuesday evening again, and also again, I was rudely awakened in the hospital. Shit!!!!!!!!!!!!! God damn it!! Can't I get anything right?
After the judge ordered me to undergo thirty days *observation* and I was deemed, to be no longer a threat to myself, my Mom saw fit to enroll me into a private school, where I could start fresh *get put out of sight* and no one would have to deal with me and my *strange habits* ---------especially my father. After that the only time I ever went back home was for holidays, and I have never gone into town since.
I have to say this, this week it all flooded back into me, quite by accident, but I just have to get this out before I explode. When I was 14 years old and I was under a lot of stress (I tried to commit suicide two times in a week) a Judge, an esteemed champion of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, saw fit to expose me to the kind and caring ministrations of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. I was promptly strapped to a gurney, and hauled off to one of their many and varied pleasure palaces. Once there I was treated to all manners of comfort. All the Thorazine I could tolerate, Thorazine is a drug that destroys any effort to string together a coherent thought. It is like a living death..... And a nice comfortable bed, which I was strapped to... 24 hours a day. When it was time to eat it was done through a tube stuck up my nose and down my throat and they pumped it in. When it was time to go to the bathroom, I did right there, I was too drugged to talk to ask to go.
Now I think we should all praise Thomas Edison, after all without him we would not have such wonders such as electric lights, which was on all the time in my 6 foot by 10 foot cell ,,, or another wonderful byproduct *electro-shock therapy*, five times a week at no extra charge, "EST" As they loved to call it. I got strapped to a table, then electrodes are placed on my head, arms and legs, then they would pump enough juice thru me to throw me into convulsions. Then they would stop, wait 3 seconds and do pt over again, and again, and again, for 30 minutes every day, every fucking day. I would scream to be let go, I would beg for them to stop, and they would say take this faggot and push the button again. The smell of those electrodes singing skin and hair still haunts me... "AAAHHHHH!! America what a country, Gotta love it!!!!!!!!" And then the Doctors *if you could call them that* Thinking of nothing but ***MY WELL BEING***, such kindness, it is overwhelming...... They would tell me over and over that I was sick and it was for my own good, and if I would admit that I was a sexual deviant that was the first step toward a ***normal life***. They would strap me into a chair and with several of them there grill me for hours and hours, in shifts to get me to say what I could not say...Every day I cursed my parents for allowing this to go on *for my own good* and I hated them for it. And there wasn't a day I didn't pray to God to end it.....to just let me die.....
All in all I spent nearly A year there............They never broke me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And the center for higher learning they chose to inflict upon me was little better. I was treated like I had the black plague, no body talked to me, teachers included, at meals I sat at a table alone, they would wait for me to finish and leave before they would sit at the table (the tables were for 16 people.......). I ate alone for 3 years. There was a sailing team at the school, and I bought an old boat and restored it from the keel to masthead. When it was finished I asked to join the team, and in front of the entire sailing team, told me to leave, he would not have a queer on his sailing team........
That afternoon I set fire to the boat.....
If this seems a bit disorganized I'm sorry...