Nate is bearing his soul and allowing the possibilities of others to feel safe in doing the same. Beautifully and carefully written although painful and at times difficult to read as it will make many of us take a truthful look within.
I’m very much looking forward to each new blog post and podcast. Nate’s writing and voice have helped me to reflect on my own story and see things from a new perspective. Keep sharing, Nate.
Nate is breaking new ground and shining light onto dark areas that are rarely explored. He has been through a difficult journey while managing to keep his head up, but I think we can all learn from his trials!
Nate’s story is so authentic and full of inspiration! His courage to share gives others hope as to what is possible. Thank you!
I don’t listen to a lot of podcasts but this is a must listen. It is so raw and real. I can’t wait to tune in each week. Bravo to you Nate for tackling these extremely difficult topics. I look forward to following your journey and healing!
The Other Side of Saved Podcast
I spent most of my life feeling shame over the details of my history and adult conflicts. One of the therapists I saw once said, “Nate, do you see your story as shit or gold?” It paralyzed me to think I had an option. Through the course of me overcoming my greatest hardships, I see gold. Even in the scariest and darkest parts – pure gold.
I had been taught about hell being the scariest thing I could imagine but it is where you go if you do not ask God to forgive you for your sins. No matter any child’s makeup and circumstances, when you grow up believing that you are being saved from hell, you will do whatever it takes to please God.
This show is for: the curious friend, the churchgoer, the adult survivor of sexual abuse, the child who feels different, the teenager wrestling with sexuality, those suffering silently, the suicidal, the formerly religious, the parents of LGBTQ persons, those hurt by church, those causing harm and inflicting hate, the addict, the spouse hanging on, the one hungry and working to overcome. This is for You.
I ran to catch up with my dad. I ran fast, and called, “Dad, Dad I’m coming.” I called again, “Dad, wait for me.” I made one more sprint. One more call, but the calling out began to be more of a question, “Dad?” I stared ahead, and realized that my dad had not paused to let me catch up to him. I understood for the first time: my dad was ashamed of me.
One Saturday evening when I was six years old, I was introduced to pornography. This exposure opened pathways in me to have pornography as an alibi from living life as a healthy human being. It has been destructive. It has been consistent. It has been reliable. And each time, it opens up a newer, wider pathway for me to get lost, and desire more. It is never enough. It is never fulfilling. It lies to me every single time and says “Check this out. You will be in control of everything in your life.”
I am terrified of people from my past having access to my future. I have had 2 years of adjusting to being openly gay. I had 38 years experience of being homophobic. I was quiet about my hurt. I performed. I made people laugh. I shared an image of success. I excelled, while hating myself. I hated what I desired. If I can be honest about my story and that helps someone else heal, it makes my pain worth it. It makes the frustration of the decades lost, worth it – to help someone else heal.
I was folding clothes by my bed and heard her voice again, “Your time in Denver is coming to a close.” I must trust that it is time for me to find a new home.
This is not a travel blog. I am terrible at planning and organizing my personal travel. This show is a way for me to connect with fellow survivors as I traverse the world in my new life. Today, I talk about the ways the harm of others have influenced me, my shame, and my victory over abuse.
Chuck was a 36 year-old shoe salesman at a department store near our home in small town Alabama. He assured me, in his own customized vocabulary, that he was the solution to my feeling alone in a large family. He hooked me into an idea that he was the source of strength that would be the foundation I had long craved.
There is no guidebook for how 13 year olds should reveal the angst living inside of them. The very things we can not say out loud, we assume our parents can at least attempt to find. Let’s not complicate our own awareness for those who have not been so fortunate, and assume “Surely, they know what was done was wrong?” This is furthest from the truth.
I put too much faith in bad habits and isolation. When I’m learning to speak out, reach for help, reach for growth, these parts of me that have worked so hard to preserve my secrets feel threatened and confused. I knew it was necessary to be honest.
In the course of my ambition to end my life there was mercy. To this day, I can feel the despair of what my 17-year-old self was facing: the terror of wanting to be someone different, while carrying the weight of not knowing how to change but willing to try anything. I lied by saying, “Hello.” I lied by saying, “Goodbye.” And I lied by saying, “I love you.”
I was taught that I needed to repent to feel relief. So, I did. I was taught that I was responsible for what happened. So, I apologized to God. I was told to fall on my face acknowledging what I kept secret. And with every bend in my body, I laid it all down. What happens when repentance is not enough?
Future plans + present growth = uncharted territory. I took a sabbatical for a year to travel the world in August, 2018. In January, 2019, I came home after visiting 22 countries and seeing amazing sights and meeting even more amazing people. What happens when you listen to your deepest knowing and the universe answers, “Yes!” Take a listen and you’ll find out.
I sat across from the staff psychologist at Love In Action, the most well known conversion therapy camp in the country, while he read a psychiatric evaluation he wrote from the forms I filled out. He followed up with telling me that I did not register on the Meyers-Briggs assessment, and that I was scary to him. I sat in the puddle of shame his words passed on to me. I was 20 years old, and had just followed all of their instructions to get prepared to make Love In Action my home for the next several months.
There is not one among us who has not experienced rejection or pain. Nobody is immune from feeling wounded by their divorce, or scarred from a meaningful friendship ending. But when we hold the other in contempt, we delay time, to avoid looking at our pain. We believe the lies that come with pain. We think we deserved it, and we inhale the self-hate, because it mirrors how we already felt about who we are. Until…
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