“I’m witness, I’m bearing witness to what you went through, and you didn’t deserve it.
It wasn’t your fault.
You are each entitled to your own life.
You’re entitled to be a person.
You’re entitled to be respected.
And you are entitled to be deeply loved.
“What they all must learn is to trust.
To trust us, to trust one another, to trust people.
“And as they build those connections they will increasingly access these unpleasant feelings that ulimately are threatening their sobriety.”
Dr. Drew Pinsky, Celebrity Rehab, Season 3, Episode 4.
I took my father to the doctor twice this week. He talked about living with the need for a new hip, aging.”
“Ultimately his pride is around overcoming challenges though sheer will,” I said to the doctor, who smiled and nodded back to me.
In my mind, I continued that thought, seeing that my mother’s behaviours is around failing challenges, then letting the self-pity around that disempower her enough that she fails the next challenge.
My mother puts failure into the world, while my father puts blind and intense self sacrifice into it.
I lived a life between them with no one to trust.
And while I feel virtuous following my father’s path rather than my mother’s, neither offers a full life.
Dr. Drew wants his clients to know that they are entitled to their own lives, entitled to be a person, entitled to be deeply loved.
And he wants them to be able to trust people.
As a “too person,” who has been taught that they are too queer, too smart, too stupid, too intense, too sensitive, too everything to ever be trustworthy, I was trained that it was always, always, always, always, always my fault. I was told that only my own denial was an acceptable solution, much like Roman Catholics want to teach queers that only denial is an acceptable solution.
How do you learn to trust people who get scared at too people?
Years ago, around 1984, a woman who wanted me to be a butch dyke for her asked me how long I had been in rehab.
Never, I said.
“Well, you sure talk the talk,” she told me.
One of the first sessions I gave at Southern Comfort Conference fifteen years ago, in 1994, was on TG & Recovery.
I worked hard.
So I still watch Celebrity Rehab, sitting alone and watching other people making connections that affirm them.
And sometimes, I cry.
But then I have to go upstairs to serve the snack. . . .