Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Thoughts about my childhood...

I've recently been poring over some old mementos that I got a couple years ago from my dad's house after my mom passed and it got me thinking about memories from grade school. I went to Catholic schools from kindergarten to 9th grade, so it was pretty traumatic. :) For some reason, it's been extremely hard for me to even think about them because I don't have a lot of very fond memories of those years, being the kid who was continually being picked on because my family was working class, because I was Filipino, because I was effeminate, etc. It was also at this time that my mom started to manifest a lot of mental health problems, particularly with paranoia, which she was never treated for. That, more than anything, really influenced my teenage years, which were basically spent trying to get away from her as much as possible.

I had spent a considerable amount of time trying to run away, both mentally and physically, away from those memories ever since I went to college. It took a couple of years of therapy when I first started graduate school at UCSF for me to finally reconcile a lot of those feelings towards my mom and be able to look at those years with some good memories. The therapy helped me renew a relationship with my mom, something that I'm grateful for since we re-established a strong connection with each other before she passed, even being ok with my husband. She was the main reason he went down to see my family, and he hasn't had a reason to see them since she passed. I don't particularly blame him, either.

Combined with the fact that my sexuality was something completely ignored and unaccepted by those closest to me growing up until I met my first boyfriend at 16, I didn't really felt like I belonged anywhere growing up, and had to make plans to find places where I would be accepted for who I was completely, which is probably why I looked to the internet to find a community of friends, many of whom I still keep in touch with 10+ years later.

What was probably one of the most painful times was the rejection of my best friend from grade school after I came out to him during my freshman year in college, even though it was pretty obvious that we were both gay. He basically didn't talk to me again after that. For some reason, I couldn't bring myself to let him know that my mom had passed, though I don't even know if he's still around (or alive, for that matter).

I also wonder about my first boyfriend who I stopped talking to my senior year--a guy who was supposedly involved with gangs, and yet was surprisingly comfortable with being with me. He talked about living together after graduation from high school, but I was way too young and too closeted to even think of that possibility at 17. I'm not sure what happened to him either, especially since although all the queer Vietnamese guys seem to know each other, his name has never come up in those circles. During my 10 year high school reunion, I was curious to see if he would show up, but he didn't, leaving me the only openly queer person at my reunion 5 years ago.

I'm also curious about my ex-best-friend, a fundamentalist Christian who screwed me over (not literally, thank God), and a whole bunch of girls by giving them hepatitis C. He was basically a misogynist pig, and I think he was closeted as well, since he couldn't really maintain relationships with women and all these gay guys seemed to gravitate towards him and he didn't mind their attention at all.

With all the drama that's happened this past year, my circle of friends has shrunk considerably, and that's something that's actually been a huge blessing in disguise. With this year coming to a close (thank God), I'm glad that what I went through growing up has given me a reserve to pull through, especially since it feels like I've been through the wringer....

1 comment:

:: jozjozjoz :: said...

All I can say that if it wasn't for the intarweb, I'd have never met you and Howie!