“When I told my friends ‘I’m gay,’ I was a celebrity”
My name is Dan and I’m 16 years old. I was in therapy with Dr. Nicolosi for about 6-7 months.
Before therapy I was kind of an outcast, really not social with anybody except one person who was very shy like me. Then my parents found out I was looking at gay porn and thought I should speak to someone. At first I was kind of skeptical about it, but after the first session I was really captivated and I really was looking forward to it.
When I started to talk to Dr. Nicolosi I realized that there was a lot of information that hadn’t crossed my mind that I started thinking about. Maybe that was just another side of my brain opening up and thinking about these new things that I hadn’t thought of before.
For one thing, I never thought about the long-term effects of looking at gay porn. Would this mean I am gay? And what would that life mean for me long term?
My friends thought my being gay was fine, so in my head, I thought it was fine too. But I once I started realizing what’s going to happen when I grow up, it kind of changed my mind. From there it got me thinking about other things and more realistic things and that’s just the point to where I knew that I had to stay in therapy.
I was Skyping with my friend -- this is before I told my parents. I always had my door closed, I was always locked up in my room, and this time they came in and they looked at my computer screen. I tried to hide the Skype chat, and it was basically about me asking my friend if I should come out to my parents, to tell them that I’m gay.
So at that point ironically I told my parents everything and from there they just thought of as many things as they could to respond to this. Then they contacted Nicolosi, thankfully. We were all stressed out and my dad was like on a research rampage, just trying to look for everything possible, and he was having some trouble finding what he could do to help, because he knows nothing about this, and it’s not like it’s something we can talk to other people about.
At first we tried this other therapist, but he really didn’t help. He tried to help, but it did not work for me. So my dad kept looking, and he found Nicolosi online. My dad said he had talked to Nicolosi and that basically the assumptions he could make about what had happened in my life, from hearing what my dad told him, were true. So I was like, OK, this guy is definitely something different than my last therapist, and it’s worth a try.
In therapy, we got into shame moments when I was young, moments with my friends that were traumatic. Those were the events that I hadn’t really thought would have a big effect on my life until they were brought up and given more thought.
I kind of dug deep into the meaning of those events and once you kind of analyze them you realize that all the emotions that were hidden because of those events kind of just spilled out and I kind of came clean. It really is a relief to do that because you just feel like you found the source of everything that has been going wrong in your life. It wasn’t just gay porn that was the problem, but it was how I saw myself with other guys.
When I was about 12 years old my best friend, Marco, made fun of me in front of some girls. It was a big shock and shut me down. I did EMDR with Nicolosi and got over it.
Once I started thinking about it I realized I shouldn’t have let little things like that bring me down because that’s something that Marco didn’t think about probably a minute after he did it, while that memory stuck with me for so long.
Another was the basketball memory of where I kind of messed up and I put a lot of blame on myself for one little mistake. We were doing like a practice drill and I cut a cone that I was supposed to go around and the coach called me out on it in front of everyone and because of that, the whole team had to run. That put a lot of guilt on me and made me think that this was my fault and all the other guys were going to hate me.
As much as the EMDR helped with the past shame memories with guys, what really helped me was growing in self-confidence and internal feelings. Going to social activities and stuff has definitely helped a lot too because I remember before therapy it would be a struggle for me to like, even order food at a restaurant, because of how nervous I would be.
When I started therapy I was at the point where I could look at a random guy on the street and get a really strong feeling inside like a heart drop and also kind of get that sudden shock of fear. So as time went on there were ups and downs but eventually I got to this point I can look at a picture for as long as I want and not even get any feeling.
Change isn’t something that just happens. There was a lot of self-focus and hard work but as time goes on and the truth comes out you realize that it’s not what you really want.
I see all this gay stuff on T.V. and if people want to find gay role models they can do what they want, but after what I’ve been through, I can see that it’s not really the thing for me.
My OSA (opposite-sex attraction) is a lot stronger, definitely. It’s to the point where my SSA was when I started therapy; that’s where my OSA is now. It, like, switched. The more l got myself thinking about what the SSA was all about, and what it was based on, the stronger the OSA got. I don’t have a girlfriend yet but female images can get me aroused, like the gay guys used to. I know I can get married some day, which was out of my mind before.
I was at a party last night actually and it was really fun and it made me realize all the things that I have been missing out on because of fear-- Nicolosi calls it “anticipatory shame.”
I feel like my parents are still a little bit suspicious but they have a right to be. They have been going through this for a long time. Before I was just locked up in my room with the door closed and the only time I would come out was to eat. Now I’m giving them just the truth. Our bond has grown a lot more.
Yesterday me and my Dad ran over to swimming and later my uncle and grandma came over and we all had a BBQ. I used to avoid family and feel uncomfortable because I thought I was different.
One of the things I worried about was that I had already told my friends that I was gay, and they were all supportive, like I was a celeb. When I started to change, I worried they would be disappointed. The best advice I would give a guy like me would be not to worry if they’ve told friends. Don’t think about the effect it’s going to have on them, think about the effect its going to have on you. Your friends can say someone else is OK being gay all they want, but they are the ones who are going to get married to someone of the opposite sex and have a family.
Motivation is what is needed, because if someone doesn’t have the motivation they are not going to think about any of the realistic stuff, about what’s going to happen in the long run. Don’t give up as hard as it might seem; if you just keep pushing through it you’re going to get there eventually.
By the end of therapy, when I looked at gay porn I thought that it was nothing to get aroused over. Nicolosi made me see porn realistically. Now If I think about this guy and what he’s doing with his life and the pictures he’s taking to please other guys, the porn loses its excitement-- in fact, it’s just ridiculous.
Last week was Prom Night and we were all just dancing in the bus, it was a party bus and it was pretty small and there were a lot of people and it was crowded and we were all just dancing and then that’s when I was dancing with Janet. We were dancing and she was getting really close and so was I, and I just felt myself getting aroused in a real physical way, and it was just like a really good feeling. It was one of those things where you don’t want it to stop. It was really good. I definitely think she noticed but she didn’t say anything. But she smiled.