A few times since I started this blog, I’ve written something that really pissed people off. Ironically – given that this blog features so much discussion of transgressive behavior – what my most controversial posts share in common is that in none of them did I actually do anything. Each of these posts concerns not my behavior, but my thoughts.
And man, have I upset people.
On a couple of occasions, readers have suggested I get help. (For the record, I’m a big-time consumer of “help.”) Some of those same readers have said I’m not “healthy” (whatever that means), that I’m a “pervert,” that I’m “creepy,” “invasive.”
I started writing this blog in large part because I wanted to speak aloud the fact that I was doing some things, having some experiences, thinking some thoughts, that I couldn’t discuss in my normal day-to-day life with more than one or four people. I knew from my time in 12-step-land, and therapy, that the experience of speaking truths aloud is healing, radically, particularly when it comes to shame.
The readers who react most strongly to the things I write tend to believe that I should be ashamed of my thoughts – that I should be ashamed that I noticed that sexually mature 13-year-old girls look in many ways a lot like sexually mature 25-year-old women, and that my body didn’t distinguish between the two nearly as clearly as my mind does; that I should be ashamed that I imagined taking advantage of a crowded train to molest, unnoticed, a woman; that I should be ashamed that I routinely objectify women in my mind.
But here’s the thing:
I don’t choose my thoughts.
Do you? Does anyone?