Thursday, December 6, 2007

Vindicated!

"I am vindicated! I am selfish. I am wrong. I am right; I swear I'm right, swear I knew it all along. And I am flawed, but I am cleaning up so well. I am seeing in me now the things you swore you saw yourself" (Dashboard Confessional).
Today was my last therapy session. I just don't need it anymore. I have the tools to get through life on my own now. A little while ago I posted about the transformation that I've undergone since coming home from my mission. Well, now I have had that change confirmed.

If you have ever been to BYU's counseling center, you will be familiar with the little questionnaires that have you fill out before each session. What you may not know is that your answers are compiled into an evaluation that is assigned a number. The number 120 coincides with intolerable amounts of distress. 63 is the magic number. Any number above 63 means that you need treatment. Any number below 63 means you are a normal person and don't need help.

My therapist and I were able to look back on my history all the way to fall of 2004 and track my mental health number. When I started therapy, I was in the high sixties. I went up and down insignificant amounts for a while. In February of 2005 I had a brief relationship with big boobs girl. My psychologist mentioned that though I said I was really happy during that period of time, my number actually spiked up to the high 70's. When it was over, I went back down to the high 50's. When I stopped therapy at the end of the school year, I was back in the low 60's. Then I went on my mission. I came back after two years with a 103. I stayed in the high 90's for a few weeks, until I started this blog. Then I went down to 77. I continued to go down until a family tragedy that bumped me up to 116- a dangerous level. That lasted 3 weeks, and then I started dating guys. I went down to the mid 60's again. Then on November 8th, I went down to 46. I continued to get better. Today I am 24. That is so far below the magical 63 it's not even funny!

Basically, this data tells me that dating guys, for me, is healthy. So much so that it did for my mental health what dating girls, celibacy, faithful church membership, and a mission couldn't do. To quote a letter from the CCC, "It appears that your current level of distress is more similar to persons who function well in society and who do not feel overly burdened by their levels of distress." No wonder I feel so happy! Literally, I've never been better!

Please be sensitive and respectable with the things that I have shared in this post. They are VERY personal and very private. I decided to share them in such a public way because I wanted to provide hope for those who need it. To those who may feel like they're in the 80's, or even at 116- I know how you feel, and it can go away! I had to find my own path to make it happen. You will find whatever it is that you need to make it happen for you.
"So turn up the corners of your lips. Part them and feel my finger tips. Trace the moment fall forever. Defense is paper thin, just one touch and I'll be in too deep now to ever swim against the current, so let me slip away" (Dashboard Confessional).

11 comments:

biggins said...

That's great that you're doing so much better! Thanks for sharing your number journey with us all.

Random questions that came up as I read this post: did your counselor read your blog? and what did a BYU counselor say about you dating guys? Are they OK with that? Of course, don't answer if it's personal or anything.

Congrats again, hope you can stay happy and healthy!

Peter said...

Good questions.

My BYU counselor knows that I am dating a guy. He is under no obligation to report that to the University, in fact, his license would be jeopardized if he did. All psychologists must by law keep everything said confidential. The only exceptions are in the case of plotted suicide, plotted murder, or some sort of abuse.

And no, he doesn't read my blog, though he knows that it exist.

One of So Many said...

Boy that took me back to when i went to counseling at BYU. I thought my counselor was and did an awesome job.

Of course I could tell that I didn't seem to improve much with him (maybe I deproved? I never got the numbers like you did). Though it was a really new experience for me havening a counselor that really seemed to care how I was doing.

I also wanted to let you know I've got a blog up that I hope answers the questions posed on some comments left on your and/or my previous blogs. If not, let me know what I did not answer.

[əɪ̯ wʌndɹ̟] said...

Basically, this data tells me that dating guys, for me, is healthy. So much so that it did for my mental health what dating girls, celibacy, faithful church membership, and a mission couldn't do.

The exact same, and I do mean the exact same things has happened to me.

I have also been seeing a counsellor at the BYU for several months. I was seeing another one last year, but we just didn't click. I knew this one from before, and I have a really great relationship with him. He is LdS, but very... open and liberal.

Anyway, my point is that I found the CCC very helpful, after I found the right physiologist to talk with, and after I stopped trying to force myself to be a person that finally I realise I never was.

I'm glad that things are working out for you.

Parallel Mormon said...

Guys,

I worry that, while it can be naturally fun and seemingly uplifting to be with a guy, the nature of the relationship cannot and will not endure.

Frankly speaking, if we look at male and female anatomy, it is clear that man was made for woman and woman for man. Man does not naturally fit man that way, nor woman woman. This leads to the inevitable conclusion that something has to have gone wrong in me, in any of us Gay LDS, to make us crave the same sex.

The Gospel is true regardless of what our libido craves, thus the resurrection will indeed cure what went wrong in utero to make us gay. Then what? If we choose men for sex and intimacy in this life only because it feels natural and therefore right, what are we going to do when, in the resurrection, homosexuality feels wrong and heterosexuality right?

Brethren, you all seem like good guys, don't be bound by foolish traditions that limit your choices. You can be gay but "heterosexual within the bounds of marriage." Living the Gospel and knowing real, intense sexual passion sanctioned by the Father is a reality now, as well as having your own children.

Don't limit your choices to celibacy, sin or miserable suppression--there is another option, namely, marriage to a woman that is real, genuine and fulfilling. This relationship can and will endure, given our faithfulness to Him who showed us the path.

Chris said...

Parallel Mormon,

It's almost as if you didn't really read Peter's blog post at all.

You're beginning to sound like a broken record, offering the same advice to everyone, assuming that because you think it works for you it works for all.

Peter,

I'm glad things are going well for you! Enjoy!

J G-W said...

Peter - Thank you for sharing this. It is powerful. It says something crucial we as gay men need to learn and understand.

This is not just about seeking transitory pleasure, or "having fun." This is about becoming an authentic being.

It must feel great to be able to look back over the recent years of your life and see this kind of story arc...

draco said...

j g-w: I love the philosophy of authenticity! Heidegger is one of my favorites!

J G-W said...

Draco - my brother is an expert on Heidegger. Did you ever take any classes from him at BYU?

draco said...

J G-W:
It's possible- but I'm afraid I don't know who your brother is. I know a lot of the professors in the philosophy department...

J G-W said...

I assumed you knew my last name (which is the same as his...) Professor Mark Wrathall.

He is no longer teaching at BYU, JUST took a position at UC Riverside. But as I said, he's a Heidegger expert, so I figured if you were a fan, you might have taken a course from him...