Jump to content
  • Join For Free and Get Notified of New Chapters!

    Are you enjoying a great story and want to get an alert or email when a new chapter is posted? Join now for free and follow your favorite stories and authors!  You can even choose to get daily or weekly digest emails instead of getting flooded with an email for each story you follow. 

     

    Headstall
  • Author
  • 499 Words
  • 1,009 Views
  • 30 Comments

Headstall's Reflections - 70. Chapter 70 Twelve in 1966

Old pain doesn't go away... it hides until we give it an opening. Just some self-indulgent reflecting.

***

 

Twelve in 1966

 

I’m glad our youth

Are allowed to feel hope

And love openly

Even run for president

If they choose

Not the case

In my time

One of inner torture

When love was illegal

Condemned as indecent

Grouped with bestiality

And pedophilia

By all the 'decent' folk

Ingrained in many

And there was no escaping

The hatred

Innocent desire sullied

It was a curse

That fed on pious bullshit

Remaining unfulfilled

Or distorted by fear

That pain… the pain

Of my era

Still has its way with me

For I obliged the need to hide

The best parts of myself

From the best parts of life

When mere existence

Seemed my only option

And burgeoning love

Lay unrequited

Suffocated

Beneath chains

I hadn’t the strength to lift

Twelve in 1966

My future bleak

And walls growing tall

Where was I to turn?

There was no safe place

Not for me

But then

As I remember it

There never had been

And it was one more thing

Piled on adolescent shoulders

So I betrayed myself

And carry the shame

The world has come a ways

That’s true

But I still wear my yoke

Oh, you can’t see it

But it’s there

Trust me

Ingrained

And it can still pull me back

Into that harness

Stitched with fear

And searching for words

Is to delve into

A misery whose echoes

Never die

I am thankful

For the young

Who can allow the inside out

And stand proud

Without fearing death

Or sadistic monsters

Who would hunt down

Ridicule

Maim

Violate… even castrate

Yes, that happened…

Or be ostracized

For something

Not a choice, but intrinsic

No longer the need

To control a thirst

So powerful

It parches your soul

And leaches your identity

To the point

You don’t know who you are

Yes, I am happy for the young

And I’m happy for me now

… I am…

But those echoes are still there

Repercussions

Like a million steel pins

In fractured bones

Holding me in place

And forever a part of me

I chose safety

Plotted a different course

Fooled myself

Turned away

And lived

Like so many

Born too soon

But the costs?

Not so easily added up, my friends

And only I know what I paid

And what I lost

 

 

Epilogue: Doctor Balero

 

I remember when my path

Took a violent turn

After my heartbeats rebelled

Going wacky from a burden

I refused to acknowledge

… years of pretending it didn’t matter…

Until the day I fell apart

After some gentle pushing

And skillful urging

Ending up on the floor

Of a professional’s office

Crying almost thirty years of tears

… screaming until no voice was left

While a stranger held me

Because I couldn’t fool myself any longer

Doctor Balero wouldn’t let me

It was the day all my parts entered the light

Thrust from their little boxes

And I began the journey to me

 

*

Yeah, definitely self-indulgent. But, I posted it anyway. :) 

Copyright © 2017 Headstall; All Rights Reserved.
  • Like 3
  • Love 15
  • Sad 1

Story Discussion Topic

Open Club · 75 members · Last active

A fan club for Headstall to chat about his stories as well as home to CoTT House of Cards Chat Topic

Recommended Comments

Chapter Comments



Self-indulgent? Nope.  I'm trying to think of another word besides 'powerful' because it's already been used to describe this poem, but if the shoe fits... so I'll echo what's already  been said.  This is one of your most powerful poems and a good lesson for today's youth.  :hug:  :kiss: 

  • Like 2
  • Love 3
Link to comment
2 hours ago, northie said:

And how many people share your reflections, Gary?  Those of your age, and those elsewhere for whom the barbarous torments and bigoted attitudes are part of their current everyday life. Progress is apparent, but it is uneven. Is it self-indulgent to examine past and present regrets? I think not.  :hug:

I know this is a whole generation of us who fought to survive as our sexuality emerged. It should be a manageable thing, but it wasn't, and we all had to face the uncertain future where traps were laid in abundance. There was no discernible path... we had to forge our own the best we could. You're right that progress is uneven, and I feel the need to warn youth that we could be put back in those chains. Look around us, and see what is happening. Fight for the progress to continue... use everything you have, because the alternative will steal your ability to be yourself. That, and not us, is the real crime against nature. Thanks, northie, for reading and commenting. I sometimes feel no one wants to hear an old fart talk about his old pain, and his fears past and present. :hug: 

  • Like 1
  • Love 4
Link to comment
2 hours ago, Marty said:

May have been self indulgent.

That makes it no less powerful.

👍

Thanks, Marty. I'm pleased you found it so. I'm sure there are a lot of LGBTQ who can relate with that time... and the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that was my constant companion. :hug: 

  • Like 3
  • Sad 2
Link to comment
56 minutes ago, Albert1434 said:

Powerful stuff :yes:

Thank, you, my friend. You and I share that time period. :hug: 

  • Like 2
  • Love 2
Link to comment
4 minutes ago, Headstall said:

I sometimes feel no one wants to hear an old fart talk about his old pain

In some of my stories, I write about gay youth / young men learning about their history; LGBTQ history. If I might put it this way: you and people like you are that history. If you don't voice it, who's going to?

  • Like 1
  • Love 3
Link to comment
44 minutes ago, Valkyrie said:

Self-indulgent? Nope.  I'm trying to think of another word besides 'powerful' because it's already been used to describe this poem, but if the shoe fits... so I'll echo what's already  been said.  This is one of your most powerful poems and a good lesson for today's youth.  :hug:  :kiss: 

Thanks, Val. I didn't post this at the time I wrote it, because I thought it was tripe. But, there is some irony in thinking such. That time period stifled me and my growth, and shaped my inability to shed my chains, so why would I stifle my poetry, now that those chains are off. It is my balm and my release, and it is me being me, like it or lump it. :)  Thanks for the kind and encouraging words, sis. :hug: 

  • Like 1
  • Love 3
Link to comment
4 minutes ago, northie said:

In some of my stories, I write about gay youth / young men learning about their history; LGBTQ history. If I might put it this way: you and people like you are that history. If you don't voice it, who's going to?

You're right, northie. It's sometimes hard to shake the notion I am not worthy. Being gay was something I convinced myself was not for me... and that it was wrong for me. So, I turned from it. Sadly, the conditioning from my childhood still lingers no matter how much distance has been covered since, and how full my life has been. Yet, I am proud of how far I've come, and I did post this... overcoming hurdles is something I do. :)  :hug: 

  • Like 1
  • Love 3
Link to comment
8 minutes ago, Parker Owens said:

I wish I didn’t know what you meant in this poem, but I do, far too well. I’m glad you could enter on the journey to yourself. 

So many of us can relate, Parker. I wouldn't wish the helpless, empty feelings of that time on anyone. Young people should be able to enjoy getting to know themselves... I envy that. It took many years... a lifetime, but I got there, and while still young enough to be satisfied. Yet... I often wonder....

And I do owe a debt of gratitude to Doctor Balero, who told me if I didn't learn to accept and love myself, my time was likely limited. He said it with incredible kindness and support.

Thanks for reading and commenting, buddy. :hug: 

  • Like 2
  • Love 2
Link to comment

I don't see it as self-indulgent, either.

I grew up in a very liberal atmosphere. What you describe is frightening, and makes me angry at a world that can be that way.

I appreciate you reminding me that others have fought a long time for the rights that we enjoy today.

And, that there are others out there willing to help, even complete strangers. Thanks!

 

  • Love 2
Link to comment

What I see is a rough road to yourself, no self-indulgence. And to think some are still  fighting.

  • Love 2
Link to comment

Oh, my dear friend, you're sharing the truth of a past that the world is now trying to hide or alter for a salve to the conscience of the present.  These things can easily come back if we try to bury them, and that too is something that is being lost on the altar of political correctness.
Your world is/was mine as only four years separate us...but you had more options than I: I was not able to drive away from a rural life to see more until I moved in 1987, and no one was interested in me because I was cursed with thick glasses and terminal shyness.  Since I spread my wings later, I felt more able to be myself.  Even so, I had no great relationship until Kevin, and that was only in the 90s, while you have loving kids to show for your life and I have only memories.
We may now be in a similar place in life, but though I never really hid as an adult, my path had less traffic, so I envy you your road despite its twists and turns because it led to a full heart.
Indulge away, my dear.

 

  • Love 3
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
14 hours ago, Bucket1 said:

:hug:

Times have changed but it is important to remember the lessons of history

Yes, B, it is important to remember. But I sometimes wish I could forget enough to shed the fear. The stories of 'backwoods justice' for gays I would hear as a kid still haunt me. I never knew how much was true, but as a kid, it affected me immensely. Thanks for reading and understanding. :hug: 

  • Love 1
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
14 hours ago, Geron Kees said:

I don't see it as self-indulgent, either.

I grew up in a very liberal atmosphere. What you describe is frightening, and makes me angry at a world that can be that way.

I appreciate you reminding me that others have fought a long time for the rights that we enjoy today.

And, that there are others out there willing to help, even complete strangers. Thanks!

 

Thanks, Geron... it felt like self indulgence to me, but I'm seeing clearer now. I envy your liberal atmosphere, and I'm sure there were many in the sixties who were enlightened, but that was not the case for me. My family contained a lot of 'good old boys,' and I was privy to a lot of their talk, and never knew what was bullshit or truth. It scared the hell out of me, and having inherited my mother's looks, there were some disturbing comments about 'being too pretty' that began at an early age. I always felt I was being observed, and that was hard for someone so shy. Fortunately, the seventies arrived, and things changed drastically, but I had already set my course... self conditioning is powerful. 

Dr. Balero turned out to be a godsend... he snapped me out of it... well... him and my cardiologist... and the heart issues that led me to him. Thanks for the support, my friend. :hug: 

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
Link to comment
8 hours ago, aditus said:

What I see is a rough road to yourself, no self-indulgence. And to think some are still  fighting.

I laid it out there, but I'm not complaining. I've been a lucky man in how it all unfolded, compared to some of my gay brethren from those times. And yeah, LGBTQ people are still fighting, all around the world. I belong to an organization that does what it can to make things better, but it is an uphill battle. Thanks, Adi... I appreciate the support. I guess it's a good thing to know other's stories... :hug: 

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
Link to comment
6 hours ago, ColumbusGuy said:

Oh, my dear friend, you're sharing the truth of a past that the world is now trying to hide or alter for a salve to the conscience of the present.  These things can easily come back if we try to bury them, and that too is something that is being lost on the altar of political correctness.
Your world is/was mine as only four years separate us...but you had more options than I: I was not able to drive away from a rural life to see more until I moved in 1987, and no one was interested in me because I was cursed with thick glasses and terminal shyness.  Since I spread my wings later, I felt more able to be myself.  Even so, I had no great relationship until Kevin, and that was only in the 90s, while you have loving kids to show for your life and I have only memories.
We may now be in a similar place in life, but though I never really hid as an adult, my path had less traffic, so I envy you your road despite its twists and turns because it led to a full heart.
Indulge away, my dear.

 

We shared the same world, CG, but circumstances were different for everyone. Some of us were more fortunate, and some weren't. If there is one light in this all, it is that my fear protected me during those formative years, but there never should have been the need for fear in the first place. In my case, it was a gift to find myself as I entered my forties, and I was able to minimize the damage to others. I still got to be me. Any yes, you're right, for the most part, I do have a full heart. Love ya, buddy. :hug: 

  • Like 1
  • Love 2
Link to comment

As unique as our individual journeys are, they often include pain and growth, the memories of those shouldn’t be forgotten.

As weird as it sound, Darling Gary, you make your pain beautiful.  The scars are still there and they have shaped you, sometimes they pull to remind you they remain but I view your leeching in writing as proof that you’ve overcome it for the most part, that you won’t let them win.  

Some scars are on the outside, most are on the inside and as I’ve said to you before, this form of therapy benefits those who read it, as I dearly hope it benefits you.

Whatever causes our pain, well it remains....”Nature remembers every injury but forgives by going on.” ~Terri Guillemets

Who you are is natural, how you were made to feel about it is not....yours is one of many painful journeys to self acceptance but you made it....many don’t.  I’m very thankful you made it.  :kiss:    :hug:     🍻

 

Edited by FanLit
  • Love 1
Link to comment
On 7/18/2019 at 6:02 PM, Headstall said:

 I sometimes feel no one wants to hear an old fart talk about his old pain, and his fears past and present. :hug: 

Old fart?  Where?  😉

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
1 hour ago, FanLit said:

As unique as our individual journeys are, they often include pain and growth, the memories of those shouldn’t be forgotten.

As weird as it sound, Darling Gary, you make your pain beautiful.  The scars are still there and they have shaped you, sometimes they pull to remind you they remain but I view your leeching in writing as proof that you’ve overcome it for the most part, that you won’t let them win.  

Some scars are on the outside, most are on the inside and as I’ve said to you before, this form of therapy benefits those who read it, as I dearly hope it benefits you.

Whatever causes our pain, well it remains....”Nature remembers every injury but forgives by going on.” ~Terri Guillemets

Who you are is natural, how you were made to feel about it is not....yours in one of many painful journeys to self acceptance but you made it....many don’t.  I’m very thankful you made it.  :kiss:    :hug:     🍻

 

Yes... many didn't make it through past eras, and that is part of the pain. I might have pushed away that part of me, but I was always aware of the world around me. Sometimes, it was like I was two people, but only one got to live.  

I get what you mean about pain expressed through poetry(writing). It doesn't sound weird, my friend. Writing gives voice to that other me, and pain was a big part of his postponed journey. And in saying this, it's not to say I wasn't a whole person... I was... I just wasn't in touch with my entire identity... it wasn't in my best interest... or so I told myself for those many years. I was wrong, but I wouldn't change it now, not if it would change my beautiful family. I made my choice, put my life in motion, and lived it. 

I like who I am... the part of me who was a shadow, is now fully in the light, and has lived a good life too. It was delayed, but it was/is worthwhile. I am fortunate in the end. :) 

But, I would never wish my journey on another. Our formative years should be unencumbered by narrow notions and real fear. I wish that for all the LGBTQ youth around the world. Unfortunately, the battle is still being fought, and there are still those who feel the need to hide who they are. 

See how poetry makes us think? It has helped me immensely in coming to grips with my past, and maybe it spurs the occasional reader to self reflect, or see the world in a different light. The thought of that makes me happy. Cheers, FanLit. Thank you for delving into this work, and for supporting my efforts. :hug:  

 

  • Love 1
Link to comment

View Guidelines

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Newsletter

    You probably have a crazy and hectic schedule and find it hard to keep up with everything going on.  We get it, because we feel it too.  Signing up here is a great way to keep in touch and find something relaxing to read when you get a few moments to spare.

    Sign Up
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..