You want to know why I really wished to be like others growing up? The real reason.

Yes, part of it was because I was being abused both at home and at school. But the real reason was because I thought there was something wrong with me as a man.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a softer, more sensitive type of guy. The type of guy who would much rather assess a situation then react instantly with violence. The type of guy who loves to listen to others and loves to help those in need.

I thought I was gay for the longest time just because I didn’t fit in. I wasn’t the alpha male type like I saw at home and at school. The only problem with being gay was I liked girls. Not boys. So what exactly am I then?

A mistake?

There was nobody around like me when I was going through all that abuse in my life growing up. No males at least. In my family and at school I was surrounded by “the tough guy.” The guy that showed no real emotion, got all the girls and was “hard.”

That’s all I saw everyday, all day.

I became that way because there was absolutely no one I could turn to who acted like me and who could give me encouragement to just be me. I remember being punched before every computer class by this same kid and just took it for I don’t know how many days.

No other guys stood up for me. They were focused on macking on the females.

So I tried. I tried to remain me – “the soft me” as they called me. I tried to remain nice, respectful and kind but nobody cared about that. They wanted rough and tough.

After so many days of being punched by that one kid before computer class and taking it, trying not to retaliate, I did. I punched back. I felt like nobody was coming to my rescue and I couldn’t take it anymore.

I became one of them.

Now I get it, my mother and father divorced when I was 7 years old. But that’s 7 years my father could have realized I wasn’t the tough kid. He should have realized that as a father before my younger brother and I left to experience life with my mother. Knowing my mother would most likely remarry and if the man didn’t embrace who I truly was, I might break.

And that’s what I did. I broke.

My therapist praised me recently though. She saw that I just wanted to be part of “the tribe” as she called it back in middle school, which was true. She said that I could have taken someone’s life or even my own life feeling as isolated and angry as I did, but I didn’t. I just wished to be like  “the tribe.”

It angers me thinking about it to this day though. Why didn’t God put a male adult or peer in my life to encourage and/or help me during that tough time in my life? Now I’m here an adult lost, frustrated and can’t seem to get over my anger towards God for what He didn’t do.

Why am I being punished so severely for not having a positive role model in my life? Why am I 27 years old with no clue as to what I am supposed to do with my life? Why won’t any women date me? Why can’t I find a way out of this after so many years of trying? Why was I even born?

All these questions are going through my head right now. But yeah, I just wanted you all to know the real reason why I wished to be like others back in middle school.

I guess being soft, kind, gentle and sensitive wasn’t “in.” Is it even “in” now? Still to this day I put on a “tough guy” routine when I walk past a group of guys. Not wanting them to see my soft interior. Fearful that I will be made fun of and picked on again. Fearful that again I will feel isolated and alone. Not apart of “the tribe.”

I don’t want to feel that way anymore. It was not a fun time in my life, but rather a very scary one.

Just imagine standing in your middle school lobby knowing kids would pick on you for wearing glasses that day and when it’s time to go home your stepfather may beat you because you speak too timidly. It wasn’t fun and it’s bringing me to tears just thinking about it now.

“Thank you God for putting this on my heart and on my mind. If anyone is feeling or has felt this alone and isolated before for being who you created them to be, please let them know that they are not alone. Help them realize that they have you Father and will always have you to carry them through whatever storm comes their way. Not needing to conform to what the world wants them to be. Help me and help anyone else find the path to freedom through your Son Jesus Christ. I need it and you may need it to. And help us forgive you and anyone else if we hold any anger in our heart for past hurts and pains. Thank you Father. In Jesus name, Amen.”