Introduction To My Autobiography/Memoir/Non-fiction Novel
Chapter Cover Photo
Cover Photo for Autobiography/Memoir of a Clinical Social Worker

Well, so much has already happened to me.  Part of my story will sound like a moving and inspiring love story.  There is much to inspire you in these pages or chapters.  I have overcome so much to be successful in life.  I could not possibly enter the helping profession without overcoming my shyness and fears.  To help/heal others you have to get close to others, listen to them, and hear them.  Being shy and scared has been quite an obstacle to that.  

Look at some photographs of me as a boy.  I was quite a little guy, a small boy.  Small and skinny.  Here is a photo of me in Elementary School.  

 

 

Image of a pre-teen Bruce Whealton

By high school, I wasn't much bigger.  In fact, at five foot seven, I'm definitely not a big guy at all!  This never instilled in me a sense of masculinity or courage.  I was shy and fearful and felt not very much like the kind of person that fits in.  At least that was my sense and how I felt.  

Very little is more rewarding than helping others in some way.  Therefore being a therapist and/or Clinical Social Worker was a good and appropriate fit for me.  That's what I mean when I say that I was a healer.  I did things that brought healing to those in distress.  

I had fallen in love and had a wife as well.  Lynn was such a special person and she brought such goodness into my world.

Indeed, I had it all.  Everything was too good to be true or so it seemed.  I knew the joy that I had not dreamed was possible.  

Then things changed so suddenly and all at once.  This is where my story reads like a nightmare... or horror story had taken shape and was pulling me into a web of evil and depravity that would send chills up your back.   There was so much injustice as well.  I am still trying to make sense of it all.  I don't want to give away too much of the story but all at once in one single year, the year 2000, it seemed that things changed so fast and I was bombarded with pain and suffering of my own.  I was traumatized and went from the therapist with all the confidence in the world and living the dream to become a person who would desperately need healing.       

As a small guy, and a poet, and a Social Worker, I started making other connections.  New ideas were being birthed into life.  These are not the thoughts of a man.  I had dared not mention what was really on my mind for as long as I can remember.  It was bad enough being what seemed like a wimp, or a sissy, but to admit that I had this feminine nature?  That seems so complicated and difficult to admit.  My gender identity.  I don't feel that something bad is going to happen when I admit these beliefs to you, dear reader.  

I don't imagine that I am going to be hurt for not being masculine or male.  Don't get this confused with sexual orientation.  Gender identity is not the same thing as sexual or romantic orientation.  So, no I am not gay.  

Do you follow me?  As you read along, if you share my story and become a part of it, you will feel some of the things that terrified me.  You might cry and you might wonder how could this happen?  

Dear reader, anything is possible, no matter how good or how bad.  Just as hard as it has been to imagine the joy and success, so it is hard to imagine the loss and pain!  I knew that life was not full of guarantees of joy all the time but I never imagined such suffering and loss.  

There is a book that comes to mind now.  It's called "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden."  I was asked to read this first as an undergraduate student in a psychology class.  It's about a girl with schizophrenia.  Sometimes like takes directions that seem destined to create insanity.  

There is another way in which our reality is social in nature.  It is in the way we think about each other.  Maybe we heard something about another person, some kind of gossip.  That is going to fill us with many different ideas about that other person whether or not the stories we have heard are true or not.  Like I mentioned, I have always been shy.  As such, fear was a common theme in my life.  My fears might not make any sense to you and you might be very frustrated that you can't take away my fears or you might be frustrated that I am not taking your advice and letting go of the fears.  

It's complicated.  

It's not supposed to make sense all the time.  That's why I am putting in down on paper, hoping that it resonates with you, dear reader and you will give me some direction, support, kindness, friendship, love... a connection.  A social connection has always seemed to me to be all that mattered, like the love I have known.  

I fear rejection now, again.  Well, I have always had that fear.  That makes it hard to start a conversation and make a connection.  Like other shy people, I had all these ideas as to why you might not like me.  I also have so many ideas as to why you won't like me or won't get to know me.  Alternatively, I jump to conclusions about why you seem to have decided not to talk to me any longer.  That creates an awkward feeling along with all these negative thoughts.  It feels very uncomfortable.  It often seems like there is no way to escape the situation.  I mean if I did something to upset you and don't know it, you might think that I don't care about how I hurt your feelings.  What do I do?  

I should know it!  Right?  If I do something wrong I should know it was upsetting to you.  Who knows?  I assume the worst and get lost in my mind with so many ideas that can paralyze me and prevent me from making a connection.  

So, the stories we tell give meaning to our lives.  They can bind us together or keep us apart.  None-the-less, I hope you will read my story.  I hope it brings me closer to you and expands my social circle.  I hope this book helps me to connect and to find greater meaning in life.  I have been driven to writing.  You could say it's a calling.  It's a journey.  Please come with me and read these words, these chapters of my story.  

The story is still unfolding.  I'm still alive, more or less.  I am fairly certain of that.  Reality is social so without connections and a support system that sense of reality fades away and we hide in some part of our own minds, in a world of our creation and that's not reality, it's imagination.