My organizing trauma, in many ways, stems from events that occurred when I was around four or five years old. Things happened in my family that led me to inevitably blame myself. My mother left, and my father revealed his homosexuality. Her reaction was to remove herself from the house where she, my father, and I lived.

Despite her departure, she remained an important part of my life. I spent weekends with her. However, I inevitably began to believe, on some level, that I was bad. I thought her departure was a result of something I had done, or worse, something I was. This belief has burdened me with a lifelong anxiety about revealing myself to women.

If the organizing principle of my life is the belief that I am so flawed that a woman who truly knows me will leave me, it creates a significant problem.

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