Growing up as a gay guy in India was never easy. I had no idea what I was feeling, whether that was right, and I had no reference to what was happening to me as I went through puberty. During that process, I started hanging out with this guy who kind of seemed to get it! He allowed me explore my body and helped me realize that I was not alone. However, all of a sudden he broke off all contact with me and when I tried getting in contact with him, he told me that he had a girlfriend and that I should just be glad that he even considered sleeping with me. Did I believe him? I don’t know. I have since repeated the same pattern with a lot of other guys and have stuck around being the “other guy” because I feel that I am not good enough for anything but the “hand-me-downs”.
I have this constant feeling that I don’t deserve romantic love, its almost like I have convinced myself. I just can’t escape it. Even when opportunities did present for me to explore that aspect of my life, I chose to deprive myself of them. I have no rational or logical explanation as to why I did that. Whenever I was with one of those guys, I was overly self-critical, self-blaming, and just accepted whatever they said and defended it, trying to justify their position.
I guess it stems from a larger fear of rejection and being left alone. My father left our family when I was quite young; I went off to boarding school in 4th grade, when I came back home my sister left for her education. I always felt that people were just leaving from my life. In recent years however, this insecurity has morphed into eating disorders, self-image issues, and a diagnosis with chronic depression.
I feel like I need to look my best if I have to find someone who will settle for me at least. Its as if I am trying to sell a blatantly worthless product. It does occupy every waking moment of my life currently and to prevent it from affecting my work, I have just compartmentalized that part of me and have refused to address the issues. I don’t know if I will get to them, or if they will end up taking over. But it is a battle I haven’t given up just yet.