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New levels of support!

We are pleased to announce the addition of a new support group to Silent Gays.

We now have two Facebook “secret” groups –
SG1 and SG2 to cover the level of support you may need.

SG1 (our original support group) is a group for people to share their hearts and stories, to rant and rave and find people who can relate to their experiences with religion and being LGBT. It’s very safe, supportive and non-judgemental. It’s also relaxed, fun and a great mix of all kinds of belief systems. Unconditional love is the foundation.

SG2 is for those who are really struggling, especially if their mental health has been compromised in any way. It’s moderated by counsellors (who care enough to help people voluntarily) who can provide gentle, loving support and advice, as well as referrals to the right kind of help. It’s a community of people who don’t feel safe anywhere else. And yes, unconditional love is the bottom line.

We are really excited about this, and welcome folks from anywhere in the world.

You can join SG1 by sending us your email address and we’ll send you the link.

To join SG2, send us a message with your email address for the link and a very brief statement of what’s going on for you.

Confidentiality is our number one priority, nothing will EVER be shared beyond the groups!

Feel free to contact us for more details.

 

 

The Psychological Legacy

If you’ve read my book “It’s Life Jim…” you’ll be familiar with how my mental state was affected by my life of battling sexuality with religion and the constant fight with depression and suicide ideation.

When my wife died it all came to a head and I had a “meltdown” or whatever you want to call it. The symptoms were a relentless combination of heavy depression (like walking around covered in a wet dark blanket, unable to think beyond the pain and confusion that keeps pounding your head), Intense anxiety attacks (that created a physical gnawing in the gut, confusion, a strange disassociation from my environment and a feeling that I was about to burst into tears), and an escalation of ADHD symptoms (lack of focus, restlessness, confusion, thought’s racing etc).  The suicide ideation thankfully went!

This lead to counselling and medication and living on the benefit. There was no way I could hold down a job!

Nearly six years later I’m doing pretty good, but there’s the legacy that I just have to live with despite my best efforts. All of these symptoms are still around. Yes, I get days where the depression hits (although nothing like it was) and I still get anxiety attacks, and the ADHD symptoms are the bane of my life.

I’ve learnt the triggers (mostly) and how to handle it all. I can sense better when I might take a nosedive, and I know how to “roll” with it and not be fearful.

But it’s still there. This is the legacy of a life ruled by religious control, cognitive dissonance, self loathing and emotional abuse. Will it ever go away? I’d like to think so, but I’m not holding my breath.

It’s like this for countless others. We are presumed to be over it and “all better now”. Sure, we’ve moved on and even enjoy life in ways we never dreamed of. My life is fantastic and fulfilling. But the legacy quietly lives on, reminding us daily.

Be gentle with yourself.

Learn your weaknesses and accept them.

Roll with them, don’t fight them.

Find the best way through it – socialise or retreat – talk to people or hide in your cave… there’s no right or wrong, just whatever enables you to move through it safely.

Get help if needed, any time, don’t be a martyr.

Life is good, no matter what the past has done to us. Life is rich and full of wonder and love.

Live it!!

We’ve only just begun…

Reparative therapy – Conversion therapy – “pray away the gay” – is on the decline and many organisations are closing their doors because they have realised that it doesn’t work. There’s a few fundamentalist die-hards that have regrouped to form even more evil and destructive “ministries”, and some of the smaller ones persist despite the overwhelming evidence that it not only doesn’t work but is extremely harmful.

So this is cause for cautious celebration isn’t it?gay deliverance

Well, not so fast. The problem is far deeper than these higher profile groups.

Most fundamentalist churches are extremely anti-LGBT. Perhaps they have a policy of welcoming them into the church, but it’s on the condition they change, and that’s where the fun begins.

The basic premises of reparative therapy have been accepted amongst Christendom as truth and adopted by every amateur prayer counsellor. Nearly every church has at least one “expert” ready to pray away the gay. They may be an elder who claims to have God’s anointing, a well meaning elderly woman who is regarded as the “intercessor”, the home group leader who has aspirations of running his own church some day, the prayer team who believe they can change anything if they pray long enough… many of them are really well meaning, genuinely believing they are helping people into freedom and new life. They all believe that anything outside the traditional sexual/gender stereotype is a sin – whether it’s caused by some deep emotional scar or a lifestyle choice, even if it’s from being led astray by ungodly relationships.

These are the ones that do just as much, if not more, damage as the established reparative therapy groups.

Deliverance (casting out demons) is a favourite practice in many circles, especially Pentecostal churches. Whatever methods they use, the results are the same – deep trauma, cognitive dissonance, lowered self-worth and much more – often leading to complex mental health issues and all too often chronic depression and suicide.

We may be winning the high profile battles against this evil practice, but we have yet to face the real battles. Religion itself is the enemy. A religion that is based on conditional, performance driven “love”, fuelled by traditions and dogma.

Unconditional love is the only answer – an answer that religion fails to understand at the deepest level.

Evangelicalism, You Have Traumatized Me.

This is a powerful comment by Robert Lofgren from his blog “The Gay Post-Evangelical”

The gay post-evangelical

Evangelicalism, You Have Traumatized Me.

 

http://www.thegaypostevangelical.com/blog/evangelicalism-you-have-traumatized-me