21 October 2010

The risks of questioning aloud

I think there are various reasons I've held back vocalizing certain things in such a "public" or diffuse way as blogging it here, particularly concerning reparative therapy and attempts to live a heterosexual lifestyle. I haven't wanted to "attack" things people close to me seem very sensitive about or make it seem like I'm directly criticizing their lives or relationships by asking questions. I haven't wanted to be lumped in with acerbic cynics and uninformed critics. I haven't wanted people who tend to selectively gather information to read my thoughts and take them quietly to those who profess healing through all things reparative and have their questions silently addressed behind closed doors, away from critical response or dynamic conversation where the discussion will be fair. I can hear the responses now, "O-Mo is bright, but he hasn't tried this, he doesn't know what he's talking about and can't speak from experience. I can. And you can't deny a personal story." I haven't wanted to seem confrontational. I haven't wanted to be just another non-professional voice speaking about theories which therapists have been refining for years.

And I think part of me would rather hit someone with certain ideas in private, teachable moments, when they seem open to questioning and really considering "another side", to increase the impact of the ideas and really try to get them across in a meaningful way. ...Which I guess is like addressing them behind closed doors, away from critical response. Aw, balls, I hate it when I turn stuff around on myself.

And to be honest, even though I do think I have a better-than-average grasp on a lot of the stuff I've held back, there's always a small fear that when I actually try to vocalize it, I will be challenged in a way which will make me look ignorant, or I'll find that I didn't understand as well as I thought I did. This has always been a factor for me in holding back questions. I probably would have learned more in school if it weren't for this hesitation. This is no exception.

But as I've noticed so few people discussing the topic in anything but combative or dismissive terms, I want to get some ideas a little more out in the open. I may address issues around these ideas more in upcoming posts because I'm ready to ask questions openly, to invite dialog, to see where I'm wrong or need to challenge my paradigms more, or to potentially challenge others' paradigms.

And to be somewhat painfully honest, part of me wants to believe I would be completely happy with a wife who complements and brings out the best in me and children we have together, in whom we see ourselves, free from the theoretically unnecessary but very real and present burdens of societal defiance, legal and procreative limitations, and lingering, back-of-the-mind questions or "what ifs" about what will become of our relationship if we continue after death. Despite feeling confidently ready to face whatever might come while I was dating a great guy, and believing we could do anything if we did it together, the loss of that relationship has revealed lingering or resurfacing "unresolved issues". So I'm not so very interested in pontificating or staging a witty "wise-guy" routine right now. I'm more interested in saying what I'm thinking, raising questions, sifting out emotional reactions from rational assessments, and inciting some critical thought in others and in myself.

But to those of you afraid of losing the more wry or clownish O-Mo (if any such people made it to this point of the post), fear not: dry snark and sassy smirks may not abound, but come on...it's me...they're not going away.


blj1224 said...

Fortunately (at least in my mind), it would be impossible for O-Mo to refrain from dry snarks and sassy smirks :)

Bravone said...

Happy to be challenged, even if snarkily :)