One of the many beautiful writings of my sponsee and loving friend, Andy N.
Congrats on 362 days of clean and sober living… I am so proud of you!
One of the many beautiful writings of my sponsee and loving friend, Andy N.
Congrats on 362 days of clean and sober living… I am so proud of you!
To really understand the following, please read the link above.
I am grateful for Arianna (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arianna_Huffington). It seems like not a day passes that I find something significant in #TheHuffingtonPost. It is pretty much all-real down to the core. The response I received privately and publicly to this post is very soothing. It’s soothing because straights, gays, lesbians, and #Republicans were emotionally affected for at least a moment. We all had similar responses – shock/sadness/empathy/anger. For me, if you haven’t heard me rant, I get quite emotional when I hear of homophobia and don’t sugar-coat my feelings. Let me explain… From my experience… I flat out cheated death. I wanted to die. I hated to live. Every dawn was a nightmare. A little dramatic? Absolutely not- I hated waking up. I hated the walk to the bathroom to piss. I hated looking in the mirror knowing that the guy standing before me was the same guy that was going to be sitting by himself at lunch. I hated picking out my clothes. I hated that I had allergies, asthma and Attention Deficit Disorder creating even more distance between me and normal. I hated that I got pleasure out of seeing people trip and fall (when it wasn’t me which happened quite often because I was a klutz). I hated that I didn’t understand what the teachers were talking about. I hated that I had to pretend to like girls when all I really wanted was their friendship. I hated when the girls I tried to be friends with would call me a fag. I hated when they stopped being friends with me because I smothered them with too much love. I hated carpool. I hated getting home and not having anything good to report to my parents. I hated that I had to close my bedroom door and cry my eyes dry into my pillow. I hated that I had to compose myself before sitting down at the dinner table. I hated pretending like school was fine. I hated feeling like I had to come up with something to say that gave my parents hope. I hated that my sister had friends. I hated that I couldn’t play with them. I wanted the boys that my sister used to mess around with. I hated being graded. I hated that I wasn’t a jock. In a nutshell, It wasn’t easy growing up closeted in a heterosexual only world. When I hear about a mother pushing religion onto her child that had the strength to be honest with her when he was twelve-years-old… I can’t help but think, “you stupid fucking bitch he’s going to kill himself”. And then he does… To me, drug addiction is death row… a delayed suicide. I’m not saying that the kid wouldn’t have found drugs if the mom hadn’t forced her ridiculous old school beliefs on him. But the chances of his survival would have been heightened. I have to give my parents credit… as much as I hated myself, and as much as I knew they would hate my homosexuality- I never doubted that they loved me. So my anger turns to sadness… the mother didn’t have the strength to pry open her eyes and her heart- at least not before the son’s tragic end. I feel intoxicated. Do I hate the mom? Yes- she’s a cunt! Do I love the mom? Yes- she’s a child just like the rest of us. Do I think she has redeemed herself for not giving her son proper nurturing? Yes, she has passed on the message to future dickhead parents to stop being assholes and realize that they should appreciate the child they brought into this beautiful world. If she were to read this… I would thank her for coming forward and sharing her part. As for the son, Ryan… I have a message for you. Ryan, I am so sorry to hear of your passing. You were so brave, braver than myself at such a young age. And you didn’t have the help you needed. I am you and you are me. The difference is … I am still here fighting for the both of us. You took one for the team. It is sad but true. Until we have human equality, there will be many more deaths. Every civil war ends in devastation before there is a “win”. Your mother would still be the beast she was had you not ended your life. Your action, your sacrifice, will save lives. Thank you. I’m not saying thank you for killing yourself… I am saying thank you for opening thousands… maybe millions of eyes. Thank you for your life story that will save others’ lives. Thank you for turning your mom into an activist. Thank you for letting me share.
“What would you like to be when you grow up?”
I love that question now… now that I am growing up.
But when I was a kid, that shit messed me up. Life was a giggly dream of singing, dancing, napping, recess, snack-time and playing gaily together with other kids. Back then, everyone was allowed to play gay because masc and fem had not yet been defined. And then there was that unavoidable day that the teacher decided it was time for us to talk about what we wanted to be when we grew up? My fluffy dream halted as if someone awakened me drenched in a pool of ice water. Had I known the phrase “Bitch are you serious?” Or “WTF?”, I am certain that my uncensored ways would have sent me to the mini-principal’s office.
But since I was a good kid, I played along and sat in a circle with the other munchkins and participated in the minor league college counseling session/employment agency interview. I was amazed and a little confused when each kid had some hint of an idea of what they wanted to do for work before they died (I was a little morbidly realistic). The professions were shouted out with joy as each kid raised his hand to share his plans for life. These punks were proclaiming to be tomorrow’s Doctors, Lawyers, Astronauts, Football Players, Pilots, Models, Musicians, Race-Car Drivers… Each one hit me as if I was the target of a machine gun. Then it was my turn… and I said “Doctor???” I felt a sudden calm and free feeling like I had dodged a bullet. Until of course, the follow up question. What kind of Doctor? There was a wave of silence then the theme of Jeopardy as all eyes stared and ears awaited my answer. “A kid Doctor???” Then Teach replied back to me, “You mean a Pediatrician”.
So there I was, stuck in a lie. Why would you ask a kid, “What kind of Doctor do you want to be?” I didn’t know all the options at that time. I wasn’t yet tainted by the reality that we are all going to end up frequenting some sort of Doctor’s office or hospital until we become a worm buffet. So I left class feeling like I had to start becoming a Doctor… then the day-dream kicked in. I was surrounded by my family, teachers, friends… (all the people that wanted only the best for me) singing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow”. I certainly didn’t yearn to be a pediatrician nor did I have a clue what I wanted. Rich and happy might have been a safe answer. But still, for me, this conversation was premature and overwhelming. Now I’m thinking it would have been priceless to see the Teach’s face if I had spewed out, “I would like to be a recovering drug addict, wannabe actor, homosexual, gay rights activist, self-incriminating writer/blogger, mobile DJ, single 40-year-old man that sells advertisements door-to-door”.
Due to the seemingly offensive nature of this blog that had some negative after-effects, I feel the need to prepare you for what you are about to read. Please note that this writing is based on a flashback of a boyish, immature mentality that objectified women and their anatomy. The boy was well-trained by a straight world that encouraged the objectification of women. Ironically, my only true friends were women.
For my second blog writing that I promised to release over a week ago, I had to combine a couple ideas. I wanted to write about Spring Break because I had just returned from Palm Springs with a couple gay guys (ages 22 and 23) that were on Spring Break from college. I also wanted to share a bit of my closeted adolescence that adds more significance to reliving Spring Break as a gay adult.
It is hard for anyone that is not gay to understand what gays and lesbians tolerate growing up in a straight-centric world.
Welcome to my adolescence…
When I was a kid, I looked forward to spring the same way a suffocating man seeks oxygen. Like many teens, adolescence was not my friend. Not only was I socially awkward, but I was a gay kid trapped in a straight guy’s life. However, I did have myself fooled into loving pussy because it was the right thing to do. Conversations with friends would frequently revolve around the bases. It fascinated me to find out what girls had been fingered and what guys were doing it to them. I’m not sure if I was getting off on it, or was just trying to make sure I didn’t fall too far behind. It was probably both.
Being a late bloomer, I was extremely evasive of anyone getting down in my business. Let’s just say I was underdeveloped and spent a lot of time praying to God for growth, girth, and grass on the field. Oftentimes I would refer to my family’s copy of ‘Where Did I Come From’ for clues on when my next development would take place. My obsession for pubes led me to my father’s cabinet in his restroom where he kept his Rogaine. I remember the cool feeling as I squeezed the syringe of miracle grow to my Vienna sausage area.
Fortunately, it was not long after that when I developed and harvested a fine layer of hair in all the right places. But with growth comes responsibility. I was fearful and excited about my new equipment. Although I had the sexual energy of a stud, I knew that there was a glitch in the system… the homo feelings glitch. The plan was to proceed towards the female species with blinders that would deflect any doubt of my heterosexuality.
Some would say my accomplishments were victorious (or Oscar worthy). When I was seventeen, I experienced mutual oral sex for the first time with a very special girl (let’s call her Beverly). I went to her parents’ pad where we decided to go for a Jacuzzi. We made out and Bev’s tongue entered my lips like nobody’s business and pried open my jaw . It seemed like it had a mind of its own… practically raping my mouth. Because I have a short tongue that is tied down by skin to the lower part of my mouth, I was unable to return the “favor”. A few minutes into the tongue battle, the hot tub became steamier. Bev reached down to my swim trunks, untied my draw-string, ripped apart the Velcro fly, and her hand began to creep seductively towards my manhood. I was excited she was approaching my unit because I desperately yearned to earn hand job status. But in order to earn this high ranking, I was going to have to rise to the occasion.
The initial excitement boner began to mellow in Bev’s eager palm and I knew I was in trouble. The job was taking longer than expected and it was becoming quite obvious that my kosher dill had become less interested. Beverly gazed into my eyes with a knowing grin and proceeded to make her way down. I could practically hear the ‘Jaws’ theme as she went in for the kill. I closed my eyes and began to fantasize about Ricky Schroeder, Dolph Lundgren, Madonna, my guy friends, their dads, her brother- and the list goes on. The moist, warm mouth couldn’t fool me… this wasn’t working. There was only so much Bev could do with my Floner (floppy boner) before she looked up at me suggesting she had done something wrong.
I redirected our session to some reverse pleasure because I wanted to resume control and redeem myself. I walked my fingers to her wicker basket and entered. Hearing her respond with deep breaths and feeling her warmth and wetness, I was beginning to feel like a man. She sat upon the edge of the pool’s hot tub where I proceeded to move my face forward into the enchanted forest. Based on many porn movies that I had been watching (borrowed from my dad’s secret stash), I had a good idea of what to do. I guided my vibrating, handicapped tongue into her honey pot and was determined to bring her to total ecstasy. But then something unexpected happened. I noticed a strange metallic flavor… the kind of flavor that wasn’t dangerously rotten, but did sort of taste like aluminum foil. I hesitated at first, but then I could practically hear my peers cheering me on… “Eat the pussy, pussy is good”. I waffled in thought with my face inches away from the subtle spoilage… and said to myself, “Eat this pussy, this pussy is good”. So that’s what I did. I didn’t completely understand the appeal. But hey, if this is what makes girls happy, consider me a gentleman. I was privileged to go back for seconds and thirds later that week.
I didn’t want to lose momentum, so soon after, I had the golden opportunity to try the cunnilingus on another girl. I was a bit perplexed by her odorless, almost tasteless vagina and made it a point to tell her that I was so happy her female parts didn’t taste like metal. Who need flowers when you can give a girl a compliment like that?
Adolescence piece seamlessly changing to the subject of Spring Break
When you think of Spring Break, what comes to mind? Road trips, beach trips, and ski trips with the family? Getting together with friends and doing silly, crazy things? Maybe you remember playing truth or Dare, double-dare, double-dog-dare, triple dare, and playing “I never”. For me, it’s all of the above. Of course adding a driver’s license and some wheels to the equation changed everything.
For Spring Break of my senior year in high school, some friends and I drove to South Padre Island. The small Island on the Southern Texas border was well known for its party reputation and encompassed a strip of bars and hotels along the coast. Scott, Jason, and I were best bros self- titled (by Scott) as “Babe Magnets” because we all had convertibles. We felt way sexy when we packed ourselves and luggage into my fancy, red, Chrysler LeBaron convertible. I didn’t know at the time that the red convertible Lebaron comes in third place of gayest cars in history following the convertible Miata and Mini-Coop. Babe Magnets (three Jews) came fully equipped with cash, weed, fake ID’s from Arkansas and Alabama, hair gel, and condoms. I can assure you that the cash, weed, IDs, and hair gel were used frivolously. The condoms were a symbol of us being responsible. Imagine Girls Gone Wild meeting up with the cast of Half Baked (Jewish version-oy!). Frankly, we didn’t have much game. But we did talk about pussy all the time like it was some party that all girls had invited us to… but forgot to leave us the address. Oftentimes, I would find a girl to make out with… but I would bow out of the situation for various reasons. Sometimes I was conveniently too drunk. If I was sober (er), I would start thinking about the girl being somebody’s baby… and how my actions may scar her for life (even though I was limp).
Being gay was a complete buzz-kill for Spring Break. Looking back, I was a fool trying to trick myself into having a good time. I was always living a straight (dorky) party-boy life that was anti-climactic. I remember being so jealous when my friends would successfully ejaculate with a hook up. It was if they had cheated on me. If I wasn’t able to successfully climax with a babe that was magnetized, then no one should. In retrospect, I was a bit selfish, jealous/envious, and territorial (very much like the lesbian).
This game of role-play, me playing straight on high school spring break, transferred flawlessly to college spring break. Even though I was out west at The University of Arizona, It was the same situation with a different cast. The new “babe magnets” were now in form of my fraternity, Sigma Nu. The main difference was my fraternity bros didn’t speak pussy with a southern, Yiddish accent. Sure enough, pussy talk led me and my brothers to Padre Island where I felt a haze of disappointing déjà vu. The only difference was I had a female friend of mine meet me there who was also “bisexual”. Meredith and I came out to each other as being bi shortly before this “vacation”. It was our secret and we had an agreement that it was okay to use each other if we needed to defend our precious heterosexuality. I was able to impress my bros by making out with Meredith in our hotel’s hot tub and switching bathing suit bottoms with her. Funny story… young adults acting silly, being stupid- this was all very apparent.
So let’s flip this humorous Blog/Essay/Chapter and get REAL.
Nothing was real… hookups, drunken fraternity party smiles, beer bongs, spring breaks, religion, relationships…
My life was a fucking joke! Nobody knew me- not even my best fucking friend and closest fucking blood-relative. The slightest real feeling I had would be self-assassinated to defend the honor of my family, my friends, my fraternity, my synagogue. Everything I did was fabricated to hide my homosexuality. I was so scared and lonely that my only fantasy was death. I couldn’t pray myself out of this nightmare because my Jewish congregation did not recognize homosexuality. I sought love and acceptance in horrible places that I can’t share openly about just yet… because I still have such deep shame. Many, many chapters of shame…
Breathe Jonathan, breathe.
Life is different now. Your parents know and love you. You and Lara (sister) share survival stories that have created a bond that no one else could understand. Your friends are all real friends. You change lives by sharing your pain and accomplishments. You have purpose. Cry, it’s okay. You have the freedom to laugh gayly, be proud, be sad, be angry, be wonderful, be cocky, be insecure, be slutty, be a role model, and be real…. Be human. How many people do you know that can be all of those things?
In closing of this blog/wave/letter/chapter/feeling….
When you see gay people gathering for gay prides all over the world, feel free to think of my childhood Spring Break. Feel free to attend the festivals and witness tortured souls that have been freed.
When you see another gay teen suicide on the news… think about all of the gay suicides that didn’t make the news.
When you see a gay couple on TV and feel discomfort, imagine the discomfort that these two individuals survived in order to find one another.
When you see a ballot that says legalize gay marriage, please check “yes”.
After eight years of sobriety, I decided that it was time to embrace my experience and share it like never before…
Do I fear judgement? Yes. Do I fear that I may not get a job because of my past? Sometimes. Do I fear a potential romantic partner may find out that I used to carry a baggy of crystal meth folded and rolled into the cap of a bic pen? Kind of.
Truthfully, stepping away from my fears, I am humbled to realize that no one is really doing a background check on me. They either like me or they don’t. I’ll get the job regardless of my history of self-medicating. I’m going to fall in love with someone that beams love in their eyes and heart, not someone emitting judgement.
So why now? Why am I suddenly feeling the urge to free-ball my feelings on the very last hour of my eighth anniversary? Because. I love that answer. Because because because because… shut up.
I love that about 24 hours ago I posted my whisper that I have been clean and sober for eight years and I am still getting praised– about 260 likes and a bunch of congratulatory comments.
I was in an Improv class tonight and another actor asked me what I have been up to. I told him about being sober and he said he was wondering what c & s meant on my Facebook page. He appropriately told me that he was proud of me.
So I feel the responsibility to elaborate a little bit. Being that high school friends (and some bullies that are now nice), Jewish friends, family members, ex-girlfriends, ex-boyfriends, fraternity brothers, college friends, camp friends, pre-school carpool friends, drinking and drugging friends, 12-step friends, hookup friends, friends I don’t really know, siblings of friends, friends and families of friends that have passed, teachers, agents, casting directors, acting coaches have all come forward to give me their blessing.
To those of you who do not know the outline of my story…
I was diagnosed ADHD my senior year of high school. This fact was so important to my adolescent mental stability. If a kid can’t focus on a subject for more than a minute without getting sidetracked… How can he understand a lecture? How can he be part of a team? How can he feel a part of a group when it is natural for him to say what is on his/my mind… no matter if it was completely off-subject.
Now add to the equation that there were seemingly no gay and lesbian role models – local or famous. And the famous one’s were ridiculed. The upper class women of Dallas sure wouldn’t mind having a gay man pump their ego and their big hair. But the gay relationship he may have been hiding behind closed doors was a subject that was tiptoed around and taboo… but perfect for gossip and ridicule.
So my decision at the age of fifteen was to keep the secret and strive to be a role model, nice Jewish boy. And if I couldn’t fake it till I make it- then I was going to take pills till I never woke up. I would have rather been dead than gay.
I met a man months before I turned 16 who invited me to his home, showed me pornography, and offered me a line of crank. Crank was a speed in yellowish cheesy powder form. I was in gay Disneyland. The second I inhaled a small line of speed that burned like a MF… I transformed from feeling a part to feeling complete. My ADHD had gone into remission, my self hate of my sexual orientation diminished, and I felt like talking – a lot! The 35-year-old man that gave me the speed taught me how to use it like a gentleman… never tell anyone that I did it, never tell anyone that he was getting me to do sexual things, and never tell anyone I had gay feelings. I didn’t need my arm twisted to accept his rules.
So that is how it started. After High School and into college, I continued to sniff my way back to my drug supplier. I never wanted to buy it, so I really looked forward to coming home to Disneyland. It was very cyclical- I would come home to see my family… and I would feel either good or bad. Both feelings were good enough for me to go “party”. Funny how a party was heading over to someone’s house so I could get a drug fix that would relieve my queasiness triggered by the drive over to his gated community. It seemed like hours before he had my line prepared on the glass table. and I would return home a couple days later… no sleep or food for three days. Some party!
I came out gay when I was 21 which was such an exhausting time. Imagine trying to explain a taboo subject over and over again to people who feel you have been dishonest with them. Or the flip side… they feel bad because you didn’t feel close enough to them to share what was going on. And most importantly, I was coming out to the world about a subject that I hated. I hated myself for being different.
The coming out process may have began a healing process for my loved one’s. But it was too much for me. I wanted to be in control of who knew I was a homo, when they found out, and who they were allowed to tell. I quickly realized that I was no longer in control of my secret so I found a dealer at The University of Arizona so I could escape to my my Disneyland in another state. Don’t get me wrong, I became a great student – honoraries and Who’s Who?. I received a 3.5 GPA, ran for senate of the undergrads on an openly gay platform and won. The next year I was elected chairman of the senate. It was empowering and excruciating. Let’s just say I wasn’t a Republican and I wasn’t a Republican. As all good addicts do, in times of stress, I find my current drug of choice (cocaine at that time- ewwww.), and did lines in the student government office. After a roller coaster of ups and downs I made it through college and headed west to Los Angeles where I would follow my dream to be an actor.
I moved to Calif. in August of 1996. I pursued acting and was landing a few lines on TV shows here and there. Then I was cast in quite a few indy films- always playing the part of a hooker, porn star, a kid that lost his virginity to two bar girls in a saloon, a guy doing a cheating wife, and then I played a serial rapist. Let’s just say my IMDB is quite impressive… you could probably catch an std just reading it.
I ended up meeting party people in LA and went to circuit parties, DJ’d 5 nights a week, and was really feeling Hollywood and my dreams coming true. And somehow, somewhere, the party became out of control. I had to make rules… no drinking after 11 so I could drive home, only on the weekends, just a glass of wine with dinner. My weekends turned into week-long binges. I always made it a priority to call family and friends just before I would start my “party”. And I fooled everyone. At least I thought I did.
The one binge per month turned into every other week I would stay awake an entire week without eating or sleeping. Sadly, in LA, everyone was telling me I looked like a model with my gaunt facial expressions and protruding abs (ribs).
In February of 2005, Valentine’s Day crept up on me and I did the math- I had not slept a day in February. It had been 14 days of taking apart computers, web-camming with strangers (hiding my face because I had morals), cleaning my room, and doing my taxes.
Other good memories… five days of no sleep and falling asleep at the wheel crossing Sunset Boulevard and awakening from the pound of my car’s left side onto a median… losing both hub caps and flattening both left tires. No one saw… I was good.
Then I allowed an attractive homeless man to shower in my apartment before he stole my rental car that had all of my DJ equipment in it from a gig the night before. The car was found over a week later with my equipment still in the trunk. Enterprise still will not accept my amends… which I find to be bittersweet. I have the strength to come clean about what I did… and the acceptance that not all damage is reparable.
Last but certainly not least, something I feel awful about to this day and hope to someday make it right. A friend of mine owned a mobile phone store next to a bar that I was spinning (DJing) at. A girl that worked there, let’s just call her Tonya, asked me to come by the store after my DJ set for a little partying. Once I arrived, she was carrying store inventory out the back door and was placing it in her truck. She told me (I was quite sped up) that the owners needed the items moved from the store to her truck. And if there is anything I need, please feel free to take it. I didn’t end up taking anything home with me… except a feeling of “what the fuck just happened?” And at that very moment, it dawned on me that I just committed a crime involuntarily to someone who had always been very nice to me.
8 years have passed since I have had alcohol or mind altering drugs. Giving up alcohol was extremely hard to do because meth was my preference. But I know that if I open the gateway of numbed inhibitions with a shot of tequila, my hand will gradually and quickly reach out till it finds my drug of choice… and I am back where I left off.
I hope this shocks you. I hope you can’t believe the double-life I acted my way through. I hope that maybe there is someone out there that is questioning their own addictive tendencies. I hope you feel you can call or message me and share your fear. I hope you judge lovingly that sex, love, gambling, eating, purging, and downloading is also part of my story.
Started Meth at 16
Got Sober at 32
Shared bluntly at 8 years Sober
After 8 years… think I am ready for a Blog or a Book.
Thank you everyone for clicking like today, thanks for your comments, thanks for loving me and allowing me to love you. Thank you my republican friends for taking a moment today to think … “I should stand up for Jonathan so he can find a partner and marry him.” I deserve the right to feel just as miserable as straight people (quoting Roseanne supporting gay rights). And then I want to marry a divorce attorney specializing in gay divorce. Cha-ching.
Special thanks to Lara, mom, dad, Matt, Mike , Matt 2, Jessica, and Rachel for motivating me to get sober and stay.
Thank you Zac, Gil, Emanuel, Andy, and Daniel for being my family. As well as others (you know who you are) that I see on a regular basis as we trudge the road of happy destiny one day at a time.
Much love and gratitude,