If I could meet myself...


Staff member
Recently a fellow survivor requested to read a post linked in my signature. I realized after sharing it with him that the post is behind the member firewall. I bounced it off another friend on the site to see if it's a good idea to post it on the public side, and with his encouragement I have done so below. (My signature now points to the public link.) It's a short fictional story I wrote a few years ago with a theme around self-acceptance. I hope you find it helpful.

If I could meet myself as a young boy, this is how it would go in my mind....

Meeting Myself

October 21, 2006

I sat in the living room, going about my daily routine. This consisted of tapping out communication to another on my laptop, while my new flat television blared rock videos. I was trying to decide what next to do with my day. Hard to decide, since it was a Saturday. I was just in an auto accident last Wednesday morning, an accident which cost me a car, a days work and many of my nerves. Snow had fallen for the first time this season, signaling that winter was back to remind me that spending time outside was not near as desirable as it was only one month ago.
As I sat typing, a strange stillness was overtaking me, in spite of the blaring TV. I typed, but felt doubt. Doubt about lifes value. Doubt about my value. Doubt about the direction my life was headed, since I still lived alone in my settling home.
I typed some more, and I heard a faint whimper. Surely I was hearing things, I thought, so I went back to my communication with a friend across the nation. I felt helpless as he spilled his guts over what he perceived as his latest transgression against himself.
Again, I heard a sound. A faint sobbing. And it slowly got louder.
The sobbing came from behind the shoji screen separating the living and dining rooms. But how? I lived alone! I froze as I was unsure what I would see if I got up to go and look.
Whos there? I asked sharply, barely in belief I was asking a real person.
I am, the little voice sobbed back.
Come over here, was the only phrase that came to mind. I was scared, and yet felt a sense of authoritative comfort as I waited to see who or what would emerge from behind the screen.
My eyes were glued to the edge of the screen as a young boy emerged. He looked about 11 years old. His hair was light brown, combed in part to the right as other parts rebelled in various directions. He wore brown plastic-frame glasses, a short-sleeved dress shirt with brown and green stripes half tucked in, blue pants and black tennis shoes. For whatever reason, tears were streaming down his face. I was sitting low on the floor and yet he would barely look up to me, fearing even the slightest eye contact. He seemed very nervous, rather unsure whether to place his hands behind himself, in front, or just in his pockets. He stayed close to the edge of the screen, as if deriving some security by staying near a hiding place.
I studied him for a moment, trying to figure out how this sad, oddly-dressed and familiar boy got into my house unseen. That concern seemed to be overshadowed with another, more pressing concern: what was he so sad about? I forgot about the person I was communicating with online, and realized his calls for my attention had piled up on my screen. I quickly let him know I would get back to him later. After all, it wasnt everyday that a young child appeared from behind my furniture.
Whats wrong? I asked in a soft tone. All I got for a reply was a soft shrug of his shoulders as he sniffed back tears, keeping his eyes aimed at the floor between us.
Wait here, I said as I ran upstairs to grab my favorite tissues for such moments toilet paper, also known as kleenex-on-a-roll and a small trash can. I ran back down the stairs, two steps at a time, and found him sitting on the floor in front of the television, still sniffling but now distracted. Handing him the wad of toilet paper, I turned off the television and sat down in front of him. I really wasnt sure what to say next. It seemed best to let him clear his nose and settle down before proceeding with any questions. I gestured towards the small trash can as he searched for a place to dispose of his handful of tissues.
Can you tell me whats wrong? I asked as gently as possible. The boy paused, as if hoping that if he ignored the question, his responsibility to answer it would simply go away. I gently persisted, repeating the question. His face took on a more distressed look as fresh tears started coming forth. His eyes still would not meet mine, but remained fixed on his shoes as he sat Indian-style. I wanted so much to just take him in my arms and hold him, but this wasnt quite the moment for such a bold move. It would have taken the focus off of my question and delayed us from getting to the heart of the matter.
.nobody.likes me. Nobody. He worked hard to get these words out, almost as if saying them would condemn him to some kind of torment.
No one? No one at school, or at home? No one at church? I asked in amazement. He nodded as he wiped his eyes with his hands, forgetting the tissues were in immediate reach. I pushed the tissues a bit closer to show him it was okay to use more.
What about your mom and dad? Surely they like you. I was hoping to find some way to reassure this boy he wasnt as alone as he described, but he was not moved.
Dad is not even in the country, and mom.she ignores me when Im in trouble with other kids. She thinks Im stupid! I was sensing an angry tone in his voice as he spoke between sobs. I was also sensing something elsesomething familiar about what he was sharing.
What about church? I asked again.
I dont go to church. None of us do. I have friends that go, but I dont.
I have met some good people at church. Ive also met some not-so-good people there. But I do have some friends at church. Maybe you can find a friend there? I asked this hoping I had offered him something possibly good to consider.
I tried. The kids there were mean to me. They said all kinds of rotten things to me. I didnt know what to say back.
My heart started to sink. Here is this boy, sitting in front of me, feeling no hope of any kind for any possibility of acceptance. All I could do was listen to him sob away between words. I felt powerless to help him. My heart was starting to give way to feeling sad for him as we sat together in the quiet of the room. My eyes began to well up as I watched him, and I found myself looking down at the floor for both of us. I could no longer contain myself as I reached for the tissues, and I cried with him. He looked up at me, and we made solid eye contact for the first time since he arrived. I had nothing left but to affirm his sorrow with my own.
As the boy watched me, the look on his face had changed. With his focus on me now, he stood up and moved over to me, sitting in my lap. My arms went around him with a gentle warmth as he laid his head against me, and we both cried for each other for some uncounted number of minutes. I slowly rocked him back and forth, reassuring him how precious he truly is. He kept his face turned away during this time, feeling too ashamed to look at my face as I spoke to him in gentle affirmation. His glasses started pressing into both of us, so I asked him if we could set them aside just for a little while.
Im pretty blind without them, but its okay for a few minutes.
He looked up at me as I laid the glasses on the coffee table. Reaching for the last of the tissues, I wiped his face as dry as I could, managing a slight but warm smile for him. He continued looking up at me, not quite knowing what to think. I did not want to let go of him, knowing how empty his heart is. He laid his head back against me for a short time, and I rocked him back and forth some more. He seemed to calm down during this time, finally feeling a sense of peaceand acceptance.
I have no idea how long we just sat there. Eventually, he looked up at me and made a simple declaration.
Its almost time for me to go.
What? Time to go? I had so many questions, and yet so little time to ask them. Who was he? Where did he come from? Considering his style of dress, when did he come from? His familiarity gnawed at me more than ever. The boy put on his glasses as he stood up. I slowly took them back, and wiped them off with the edge of my shirt.
There. That should be better, I said as I placed them back on his face. He managed a slight smile as he looked around the room, marveling objects without the usual obstruction of his fingerprints. As I stood up, he gave me a fast hug, a hug that said he was grateful to have this short time with someone who cared for him.
When he let go of me, he walked slowly away, his young hands curiously making brief contact with furniture and appliances as he stepped towards the shoji screen. The flat television was a glory to his wide eyes, as if he had never seen one.
Wait! Please tell me your name, I implored.
When he reached the shoji screen, he looked up at me once more and gave me a smile I would not forget. With a short wave of his hand, he stepped behind the screen.
Then it hit me! I quickly walked over and looked behind the screen, and nobody. He was gone. Where did he go? I checked deeper, thinking somehow he could be hiding behind one of the panels. Nothing. He was gone.
It finally dawned on me who this boy was. His clothes, his glasses, the unkempt hair.he was me. I dont think Ill ever know how he came into my world for this short visit. I suppose what was important about this visit was that he felt accepted, even for a short time, so he could have the will to continue on.
I went to bed that night with a sense of calm for him. Hell be okay, I thought to myself. I knew his name all along. Its Andrew.


Hi Andrew,
Your story makes me yearn for the ability to feel such closeness to, that much in contact with, that much a part of, that much in touch with... the child. Thank you so much for a story that I will aspire to, with a sense of somethimg akin to a true love for myself (my child).
Thank you.
My fraternal brothers.

Hi, Andrew, what a magnificent post about a young boy.

His meeting with his other self. Little Andrew.

I know a young boy too, I met him at a WoR in Georgia.

But first I had to make a deal with God to get him back.
The deal was if he gave little Pete back to me. I would give up something that was/is a great part of my life, something i got a lot of pleasure out of, still do. Then, along with that I promised HIM that I would try and come back to HIM.

HE, gave little Pete back to me. I gave him a hug and kiss. I told him that I love him.
Then seconds later hanging on to him for dear life I pulled him into my bosom. Told him again that I love him, more hugs and kisses. I told him that he was always a good boy, and i'm never going to let you go.

I then made him a solemn vow/promise, telling young Pete...

"I will take your hand, and I will lead you from the depths of darkness, into the sunshine, forever into eternity."

Since our first meeting, young Pete has taken me from the infinity of the heavens. To the depths of hell, and everywhere in between.

He has taught me more about myself in these three short years, than I ever knew about myself in the previous 69 years on earth.

Oh, on that first part of my deal. I broke my promise within the first week.

The second part, well I did try and get closer to HIM. I went back to the religion of our birth, Catholicism. I went for a year. But, I never felt at home or accepted there. There is no room for a gay boy/man in their religion. I gave it up.

But, I have found a place where young Pete and I are accepted for who we are. A child of God, made in his image and likeness, who just happens to be gay. A place at HIS table finally.

I didn't know me until now.

If you look to your left you will meet young Pete, as he is me.

Heal well my brothers, heal well. I hope and pray that my brothers here will find their inner child and share their love & life with, forever into eternity.

"I will take that lost boys hand, and I will lead him from the depths of darkness, into the sunshine, forever into eternity," As he is me.



Thanks for your story--even the plastic horn-rimmed glasses and striped shirts, been there. I've lost count of the times I've fantasized about being rescued from an Episode by a dad-like figure, sometimes even by the present-day Me.

Keep healing, even if the scab gets knocked off once in a while!


New Registrant
Thank you Andrew!

I will be showing this to a wonderful man just starting his recovery.


C. E.

Staff member
We are all architects, building bridges to the boys we were. Thanks for sharing, Andrew.



Excellent. As I read this, I kept thinking how much the young boy was like me and also how the compassion you felt for the boy is like me now. It would be wonderful if we had someone to comfort us back then, but I had no one.

Thanks for writing this and sharing it.


Andy it amazes me how alike our little boys are except the glasses. I didn't get mine til 25. I always asked myself want would I say if I could go back in time and visit my boy in his bedroom trying to pull what was left of his sorry world back together. I have not found the words yet but when I do maybe I will have access to a time machine Mike


Wonderful article. The little boy lost but you found him, with love and comfort now. I am still trying to connect with my child, I separated him for decades but hope to fully connect and integrate because we truly should be one. Thank you


New Registrant
Oh my gosh...how incredible...and I have often thought "If I could meet myself in the midst of abuse that I encountered as a young child what could/would I say to myself/! Thank you for sharing such an incredibly beautiful encouragement and insight! Take care


Greetings Andrew!
Thank you for sharing this with me. Wow, I can sure relate. No matter what age I grow into, I still feel that lonely boy, looking for a hug, for affection from another man. Not in a "gay" way, but in a fatherly way.
Like you I was rejected by most people.
So I went looking for that with other men. Always wishing to be someone else. Till this day I still have jealous feeling when I see men I wish I could be like.
It was a very touching and moving story, that hit home.....
God bless you for sharing with me. Hope we connect sometime.
Hello Andrew. I can relate to you as I have know a little boy with blonde hair that would be friends with you. He has visited me too.

Thank you for that great story. I really appreciated it.