Stephen’s off to War

Stephen In the ArmyThose of you who have followed my blog for some years now will remember that I had a run in with an interesting guy while I was in Texas. Stephen (confusingly sharing my name) was my second boyfriend and the first guy that I guess you could say I had anything approaching a relationship with. It all ended rather badly due to a combination of mental illness, pills and a failed healthcare system.

When I last saw Stephen, I’d left him with his new boyfriend and a tenuous but workable support structure. It all fell apart rapidly when I left and Stephen ended up having another crisis which culminated in him living with his birth father, arguably a good thing for him.

He kept up correspondence with me. Through a haze of dissociative identity there emerged this new person, a far more complete and whole person. Still Stephen, but sadly with a little added toughness. I see Stephen as equal parts creative/sensitive, angry/violent and cool/calculating. These three characters vie for supremacy in his psyche. At the moment, the cool character is prominent.

Anyway, you’re not reading this for the pop psychology lesson, you’re reading this because you want to know why the boy in that hole appears to be dressed in army fatigues and why I have a picture of a boy in a hole on my website.

Well, the truth is, that boy is Stephen. He joined the US army and went through basic training. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, structure and discipline seems to be helping him. On the other I am amazed that with his history he was allowed a gun… Seriously, I am still extremely fond of him, but when we were together I used to hide razor blades. That doesn’t even begin to touch on the horrors of war, very real war that he’s about to find himself in. This is not a safe & healthy environment for someone with complex life experiences.

That’s right, at the moment, my ex boyfriend from Texas is currently in Kuwait, awaiting his posting to a stryker battalion in Afghanistan. It’s with a perverse twinge of pride that I notice he’s also been promoted to private first class. He sends me stories of what his life is like and I am a little shocked, to be honest. A young emotionally scarred gay man has now been sent to a war zone with powerful weapons and the world seems to think this is a good idea.

God help him. I mean that seriously, I’ve been praying for him in church pretty much every Sunday since I found out about his posting.