Category Archives: My Dilemma

Wedding committee invitation

wedding-committee-kenya
Marvin reached out to her, she was a good listener, he felt safe to pour his heart to her. He wanted it! Wanted it so bad but couldn’t face what he wanted.

All he could say to her was “Please pray with me, if God tells you anything, do tell me”. It was quite confusing because in some way, she thought it was not in her place to put words in his mouth. Her policy was,

If a man wants to marry you, it should come out clearly. Playing charades trying to guess what this brother wanted was just too much work.

Months would pass then he would reach out to her. They would meet and discuss the same thing. A wife. Who do you want to marry? Anyone who is mature and born again. “Just pray, the Lord will guide you to your wife. You must face the person you want and tell them you want to marry them”, she advised him, evidently tired from carrying on with the mind games.

Four months later she tried calling him, to catch up, but a different voice spoke on the other end. I’m looking for Marvin. “Marvin speaking”, said a deep strange voice on the other end. “I am at the barber, talk to you later”, the voice said.

Oh, maybe something happened to him. She sent him a text to ask if he was OK, because some strange person answered his phone. The text was never replied. She got the hint and stopped bothering him.

A year later, she gets a text inviting her to Marvin’s wedding committee. Now wedding committees are made of friends, people who are involved in your life. Not people you deliberately shut off from your life like you had a bad fight.

After fishing for words to reply the text, she typed her congratulatory message and how she was happy for him. And why had he not communicated for such a long time? Let it be known that she bore no hard feelings. The reply text read “Thank you, God bless you”.

Wedding committees are like fund raisers.  Maybe Marvin sat down and came up with a perfect strategy. Just fish all contacts on my phone and let them come help me marry my wife. Smart, isn’t it?

That evening, she was added to a WhatsApp group for the wedding committee. She wondered when they became so close to each other. What part would she play in the committee?

Here’s what Marvin could have done better. He could have called her to catch up. Maybe even explained the reason for his silence. Maybe come up with an excuse for that strange Nigerian deep voice that answered his phone. Anything. Then, tell her the good news of his upcoming wedding. Maybe then, Molly would feel a part of the close friend circle. “Oh! Wow! Congratulations! I am so happy for you”.  Molly would say.

Then Marvin would ask, “We are putting up a list of people to help us organize the wedding. Would you be part of our wedding committee?” Nicely, the way a civilized person would ask. All these scenarios kept running through Molly’s mind.  People do not think alike. Molly thought resignedly.

Then, she was just feeling ambushed and taken for granted. How would you react if you were in Molly’s shoes?

(This is an improvement to the previous story for readers who were left hanging. All characters are fictional, the story is partly real from a friend’s experience and just a portrayal of the reality in today’s society.)

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Hormone replacement

Photo Credit: everydayfeminism.com
Photo Credit: everydayfeminism.com

I am multitasking, shifting between doing a term paper and  many other things including Facebook. A chat notification, it’s my friend Eugene. “Oh um i got something that’s been bothering me some time. I’d like ur opinion.”

I pay attention knowing very well that this might be another surprise. The last time Eugene told me something was bothering him, he revealed his struggle with his sexuality. “Out with it, what’s that?” I type.

“Woah! Thought you wouldn’t reply .OK it’s something I’ve been feeling for a very long time kay… To cut the Long story short into a header, I wanna get on hormone therapy but i don’t know who to talk to openly.”

“I’m bringing you the book i promised.” I type. “Hormones are good if they are your natural ones. Artificial could get you in trouble. Breast cancer and stuff.”

“Cool.. Miss reading. Specially now, kinda sickish… And I’ve checked the entire spectrum of hormones n their reactions. I feel imbalanced inside and I’ve thought about going to see a doc but how do you start? “hey so my hormones feel out of place ” and they wouldn’t understand. Anyway I just needed ur advice on what u think I should do regarding the pills,should I take or find some other way to create the balance?”

“First of all, you are too young to start thinking about hormone replacement. Do you know it is usually done to menopausal women and senile men. How do you know you are imbalanced? confused emoticon”

I do what any clueless person nowadays does. Type dangers of hormone replacement on google. I copy part of the article and send it to him.
_______________________________________________________________________

What are the risks of hormone therapy? In the largest clinical trial to date, a combination estrogen-progestin pill (Prempro) increased the risk of certain serious conditions, including: Heart disease, Stroke, Blood clots, Breast cancer……

The risks of hormone therapy may vary depending on whether estrogen is given alone or with a progestin, and depending on your current age and age at menopause, the dose and type of estrogen, and other health risks such as your risks of heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease, cancer risks and family medical history. All of these risks should be considered in deciding whether hormone therapy might be an option for you.
________________________________________________________________________

“Haha! too young? That’s an under statement. well through self diagnosis and it didn’t just start yesterday. Its been off/on for months. Either way I have to make a decision soon, it’s taking its toll on me. Might be also why I feel sick right now. So you know any other ways I can balance? The pills r a last resort.”

“Oh thanks.. I’ve read everything even asked a med student ‘friend’ bout what brands might be okay for me. Just needed an outside opinion. Oh! n’ I’ve tried eating healthy, exercises, engaging in versatile activities to see if they can boost the hormones to balance naturally.”

“You need to see a real doctor, not a med school student. I can recommend a doctor.”

“Who is okay with me being ‘gay’ then fine coz he/she might understand what’s going on for me. Oh n the med student is an established doc/surgeon, I don’t know 4 sure. She deals with microbiology, smthng smthng transplants and evolutionary development. That’s why I took her advice with caution and not taking everything. So about that doc you can recommend?

“I’ll give you the number. Meanwhile try eating  lots of nuts (Peanuts, cashew nuts, coconut), beetroot, cabbage, carrots, corn, beans, garlic, parsley, peas, potatoes, pumpkins, soy products, split peas, squash, yams, zucchini.”

“Love coconuts n zucchini.”

Days later….. Still on chat.

“How are you Julllie, oh btw I started hormone therapy. I’ve not felt so okay in a loong time.”

“Did you get help from the doc whose number I gave you?”

“Noo! I didn’t call her sorry. I was dialing her number yesterday and well, I couldn’t do it. Guess i just didn’t really find enough strength to… How to start explaining ur gay, u feel like a woman in a man’s body, have I prayed for this thing to go away?….list is endless. I cant deal with that right now. Am really grateful you tried to help me out. If anything comes up, I know she’z on the back burner.”

Eugene went into a chemist and ordered birth control pills, without prescription. I feel a little ticked off at him not taking my advise. But then again it’s not my duty to influence his choices. He has a mind and a free will. What angers me is the casual way in which  the chemist sold him the pills.

“I asked for the pill as if I had been sent by someone. The chemist was a lady. She just told me that my girlfriend probably needs them for her hormones.”

I’m trying to understand this young man. I’m trying to help, sometimes he gets on my nerves. Doesn’t he care for his health? How would you react?

Eugene’s cry to be understood.

Image borrowed from: http://communityjournal.net
Image borrowed from: http://communityjournal.net

Wednesday
“I have something that’s been bothering me, I’d like to share”,he said.
What’s it?
I’ll just share when you come next time.
‘Ah! Why are you doing this to me? You’ve now aroused my curiosity.
Curiosity is good, at least it will give you reason to come.

Saturday

“There’s something you wanted to talk to me about”
“Nah, I’m good,  I already dealt with it.””Why don’t I buy that? You really wanted to share something with me.”
“No. I’m good. Let’s just leave it that way.”
“OK, if that’s what you want, I’ll respect your decision.”
He unleashes a sheepish smile and the room goes into an awkward silence for one minute.

“That thing you wanted to tell me must be disturbing you.”
“Yes, it has bothered me for a long time. I just don’t know how to start and whom to trust.”
“I’ll let you know, I am a counselor and you can trust me with your secrets”
“Well, you see, I’m gay.” He says it in passing, as quickly as possible, and looks away from me.
“What makes you think you are gay?”
“I’ve felt like this ever since I was five years old. Dressing up as a girl was my thing.”
“You know what? I won’t Judge you, I have always suspected it from your feminine characteristics. I just didn’t want to arrive into conclusions”
“I have been sending you clues ever since we met. I just didn’t want to be very close to my dad’s friends. You just know how he reasons.”
“What made you tell me?”
“You seemed nice, understanding plus we get along quite well.”
“Do you know God loves you? He understands you.”
“Me and God have not been close of late.”
“Tell him some of these things, he is the one who created you and he understands your struggles.”
“Well, I’ll try to pray. One thing I told God is I will never be hypocritical with him.”
“Is it OK if we pray together?”
“Sure, why not.”
(Prayer)

After the prayer, “Wow, I haven’t felt that way in a long time. Thanks for the prayer.”
“May I hug you? ”
“Yes. Oh! I needed that.”
“By the way, I didn’t know you would be this cool about it. Thanks for your understanding.”

This is my dilemma. As a counselor, I am not supposed to be shocked at a confession. Even if I am shocked, I should not show it. I have many LGBT acquaintances and I try not to judge them. I see the human being in them, and we get along well. This is the first close friend who has shared a dilemma with me. Eugene, 18, (Not his real name) needs my help. He usually has bubbly moments, and other moments he wants to be alone, he is gloomy, sometimes he even appears suicidal.

He lives with a single father who is a pastor, and a sister, 23, who preaches to everyone she meets (Born again, holy, going to heaven). The pastor’s worldview is holiness and righteousness. Although I am a born again Christian, sometimes I disagree with their approach to Christianity. I also am aware that this is Eugene’s family and he should learn to live with them.

My fear is, I don’t want to mislead him. I also don’t want to be blamed by the his father to have encouraged him  into the choices he makes. (His father once suspected that we had a love relationship going between us because we were so close.) I couldn’t hide my disgust from him. I just looked at him and said under my breath, “I’m so glad you think so highly of me.” Then told him that Eugene was younger than my youngest brother, and I talk to him just the way a big sister would talk to a kid bro.

“Do you plan to tell your dad about it?”
“Well, I can’t handle their reactions. For now, I just have to act normal according to his standards, because I live under his roof.”

*Disclaimer*

Eugene gave me permission to share his story. I just had not yet figured out how to. Now I have.