Archive for November, 2013

Do you want to know the truth?

November 16 2013

I answered my office phone this evening to hear a very distressed guy on the other end.  He muttered something that I didn’t understand.  I told him that it was the wrong number and was about to hang up the phone when he said,

“I need the crisis hotline.  This is the number I found!”

“I’m sorry, it was the wrong number.  I hope …”

“Can you talk to me?  I’m really distressed.”

What was I supposed to say? No?  Of course, I said yes.

“Well, it all began over the summer.  I reconnected with a friend from high school.  <pause> He was a guy.  I never thought I liked guys in that way, but do you want to know the truth? <pause> I liked it.”

It went on.  He proceeded to tell me almost every detail of his dating life from that day on.  After about twenty minutes, we were still talking about events that happened one month ago.  So, I asked what happened recently to make him so upset today.  (After all, I did have work to do, and now I’m in an awkward phone call and don’t know how to get out of it without causing more mental damage.  How did I get myself into this situation?).

Last week, someone called him a not-so-nice name in the bathroom.  I felt bad for the kid.  He didn’t want to admit to himself or to any of his friends the truth — that he liked guys.  He could tell me, because I was a stranger.  But, he was horrified of any of his friends finding out.

Towards the end of our conversation (conversation is very generous of a description — I said very little), he told me he was worried about going to a party the next day.  He didn’t want it to get out that he liked guys, and he thought that he might slip and hit on a guy or something.  So, I told him about the buddy system.  Always have a buddy going to the party, and never leave without that buddy.  He liked the idea, but didn’t like the idea of turning one of his friends into a buddy who knows the truth.  But, I may have convinced him that he needs to find a friend he can trust.  It’s too isolating to hold things in.  I also suggested he talk to a real doctor.