Host Isaac Archuleta sits with a guest who brought a great conundrum to the show, one that many queer people face: how do we live as one integrated being?
Being a queer person in a professional space, a spiritual person in a gay setting, or even a woman in a man-centered world, integrating all parts of who we are can be quiet the riddle, and the remedy might just surprise you.
Some of the episodes in our line up are what we call, RelationTips Q&A’s, a safe space for everyday folks to come on the show and talk with a therapist about a problem or topic they are struggling with.
These episodes are intended to highlight queer stories with the hope that others can relate and gain insight into their own journeys.
Guests on these episodes bring vulnerability into the space that allows for a deep, emotional exploration of areas that hit deeply for many queer folks.
For information about how to become a guest, visit us at iAmClinic.org.
Home is often a place where we create our identity. At first we color pictures outside the lines to show them off and have our caregivers and parents hang them on the fridge. As we grow, we parade around our skill sets and our personalities, all in the earnest hope of getting feedback from those around us. “Am I worth keeping,” we subtly ask ourselves in the subconscious corners of our awareness.
Home is a place where we test out our lovability. It becomes the place we leave to test and establish our place and lovability in the world, knowing home is a place we can return to. Well, for some of us.
For some of us, we grow worried that who we are isn’t enough. We begin to worry and shape-shift as a way of ensuring our place in our own home, whether that be our physical home, our relational homes, or our professional one. We prioritize the safety that others provide more than the safety we can find in our own beings, our own essence. Instead of expressing our true personalities and identities, we promote the image we think others might want to see, the one we think will keep us attached to others.
We briefly touched on the concept of enmeshment (and we’ll get into that in the next episode), but enmeshment, especially as queer children in straight homes, is our bread and butter. Feasting on the nutrients of enmeshment, we feel compelled to hide ourselves in our closets, shut down our personalities, and show the world another version of who we are. We buy into our costumes too well, one day having no idea how to be our authentic selves in any circumstances. We walk around thinking that the shade of our relational chameleon is the truth of who we are. We’ll feel lost, lonely, reject-able, and angry at the world for the cost we had to pay to belong within it.
In the next episode, the guest and I continue to dive into the subconscious to really tear down the layers that robbed her from knowing and experiencing home in her own body and context. Until then, I’d encourage you to examine any places you play a relational chameleon in your own life. Having some data points up to consciousness will play a major role in how you hear the next episode.
A major shout out to the guest. Her bravery to look inside is amazing!
Quotes in bold
00:02:48 – “Closested life splits us up into so many fragments and we are code switching and hiding…what parts of self were at one point disintegrated? What kind of parts of you are there?”
00:03:54 – Guest describes them selves as other’s describe them: feminist, activist.
00:04:49 – Guest’s identity was on hold because of religion
5:00 – Guest gives timeline of their religious experience
00:08:13 – Stages of coming out: 1. Coming out to ourselves, 2. Coming out to friends, 3. Coming out to parents, 4. Reconciling theological component, 5. Then we have to let people see us express our sexuality.
00:09:21- “What is it about the vulnerability that might be scary or challenging? Why so much privacy?”
00:09:56 – Guest learned in the past: question everything but don’t have your own opinions
00:11:34 – Guest’s friend reaching out to save her soul
00:13:19 – “Questioning is a form of rejection, of betrayal. To have a loved one or family member or close friend start questioning creates an unsafe dynamic.”
00:16:50 – “It sounds demeaning, belittling your intelligence. Not trusting you to make the best decision for your own life. They somehow have a superior moral compass that you are lacking.”
00:17:35 – Guest reflects on the judgement they face in whatever career they have
00:18:05 – 16:25 – Guests feels like they are always going into a cocoon and coming out of one
00:18:53 – “Who are you on the other side of this? What is your ultimate goal? What do you want life to feel like?”
00:19:20 -17:40 – Guest wants to take time out of the spotlight
00:22:24 – “I find myself wondering, where do you belong?”
00:22:40 – Guest’s partner has a good sense of home and family while guest has had to learn to create these things
00:23:44 – Guest doesn’t know if their life should be as it is or should be something else or could be something else
00:24:22 – “Many of us who have lived in the closet for so many years…the one thing that creates a lot of wounding for us is our own competence…our competence to shapeshift and be the chameleon so that we can fabricate a sense of belonging…is the one thing that confuses us and makes us feel so uprooted.”
00:27:41- Boldness is a very different form of vulnerability. Another kind of vulnerability is standing naked and unashamed. It helps create home.
00:28:47 – Tree metaphor
00:30:33 – How do you move past imposter syndrome?
00:30:45 – “When we come out, oftentimes, I think we leave our compass in the closet…what we want and what we need.”
00:32:22 – “One of the ways that we overcome imposter syndrome is to gently and continuously ask, what do I need and want?”
00:35:44 – Why do we compartmentalize ourselves? Enmeshment.
00:37:01- Illusion of control – controlling the comfort of others by hiding ourselves
00:40:29 – To get past enmeshment ask, how am I already enough?
00:41:53 – TaDa’s – “Performing to make people happy. It gets disorienting to stop performing to get people to stay because it causes us to ask ourselves where our value comes from and why people stay.”
00:42:41 – Guest wondered, without their job, are they desirable?
00:44:30 – Practice vulnerability by unstacking yourself slowly, handing over small parts of yourself little by little. If a person cherishes each bit, they earn your trust.
00:45:22 – Cliff of Vulnerability
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