Thursday, February 28, 2013

Laying the Ghost

...To rest, of course.

I fell in love the first time at 11. His name was David. It was ultimately a damaging experience, involving years of rejection and humiliation. It led to my marrying the first person who really showed me some attention, because, really, what other choice would I have? Part of his abuse was taking advantage and building on that old mindset: if I didn't put up with his crap, who else would ever have me?

Yeah, well, childhood often sucks. Eventually some of us get over it. There's therapy, support groups, and finding someone who not only actually really cares but has a beautiful, nurturing heart. Yes, I'm talking about Steve.

Yesterday a childhood (best) friend, Charlene,  reached out to let me know she'd found David on Facebook while looking for somebody else. Those of you who know me know that I don't Facebook. I've never tried to look him up. Were I to look somebody up, I'm much more likely to look up his mother, our long-ago church choir director, somebody with a much more positive influence on my life, and if she were alive - doubtful - someone I would love to thank for the experience of the complicated music she brought to us.

But I'm just not much for the where-are-they-now? search. In fact it was my brother's family who reconnected with my old childhood friend and got us back in touch with each other.

Following her email, I asked Rich to help me look up David in Facebook to see what Charlene was talking about. It's apparently a common name, and we had to add in the middle name and his history at Phillips Exeter Academy to pin him down. Had it not been for that, I would never have recognized him from his public profile. I could stand next to him, possibly even know his name, and never tumble to the fact he was the same guy.

Why? Because everything Charlene said in her comments about him was right. He was no longer as "pretty" as he had been, and I might add, has nowhere near the hair he did. There's a lot of wear showing on that face. Further, he's obviously gay, though not specifically "out" as such on his  profile page. I suspect it hasn't been an easy road for him, as he's now a therapist specializing in GLBT issues. After all, the stereotype, of therapists, is that you deal with your personal issues by taking them up in your area of specialty, just like recovering addicts tend to be the ones supporting other recovering addicts. Not only do you get to deal with your own crap, you're the one with the credibility to help the next.

(So what's with the special support group he offers dealing with "Kinks" etc.?)

Bless Charlene for her final comment: "It's no wonder he ignored you."

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