Men who experience same-sex attractions (SSA’s) are often bewildered by them, and fail to understand the origins of these feelings. Very often, these men will also express feelings of inferiority. SSA’s can be considered street signs, pointing in the direction of unresolved issues. There are lengthy ways through psychotherapy to overcome feelings of inferiority, but there is also a short-cut: the Wolf Pack Game. In this article we will demonstrate the feelings and the way in which the Wolf Pack Game can help.
First we will demonstrate the Wolf Pack Game and the way that Ramses and Gregor responded to it. For Ramses it went smoothly. But Gregor experienced deeper emotions. We will then demonstrate how the feelings of Gregor can be addressed.
1. The origins of the Wolf Pack Game
How did the idea of a Wolf Pack Game arise? Ramses from Egypt who complains of always sensing inferiority, wrote to me (I told him: you look like a pharaoh, but you feel like a fairy (just kidding!):
“I walk on the street and all around me I see men and boys who don’t feel like shit, who are proud of themselves, some more than others. I’m drawn to the majority of them, physically-fit looking males aged 14-40. And there are also guys who I find particularly striking. They are strong, fit, and good. I’m thinking in particular of one, Ahmed, who is a few years younger than I am. In the streets, everywhere, he is Mr. Charisma and looks great and comfortable with himself.
I wish I were friends with him. I wish he would give me the time of day beyond a cordial hello at the many places we run into each other. I wish I believed I had what to give him. I do sort of, I have business experience, masculinity of the sort I’ve grown into. But I still feel less than him. I wish I were not only surrounded by guys like him, but that I felt myself to be a part of them.
But then I’d have to be totally real and I’d have to believe in myself. I would have to get over my sense of inferiority that I have had so long. I wish I just knew that I belonged, that I have tons to offer any group of men, that I didn’t feel difference and inferior.”
2. Where do inferiority feelings come from?
Feelings of inferiority in a man with SSA are very old. It is the conclusion that he actually reached as a child. One will see that he did not get that connection with his father and the maleness dad represents. The boy needed that connection desperately, but did not get it.
Because of the fact that all small children see themselves as the center of the world, and as the motor of everything around, a boy reaches to conclusions. This lack of identification and affirmation bewilders him incessantly. And he comes to tell himself:
“It is me, I am not good enough. Had I been good enough, I would have gotten it. And I am not getting it, therefore I am not good enough.”
This becomes a little computer program and it goes into a loop, an endless loop. It may very well haunt him till death if no intervention occurs.
He will need to revisit that computer loop, and see where this program in this day and age still has run. In what situation? With whom? Then he needs to change the program. Usually he is in a shame stance, cowering to the superior alpha wolf of the pack.
The game is extremely simple, consisting of only a few lines, yet very powerful.
I wrote to Ramses:
“I need you to write down a situation as often as you can, in which you feel inferior to another man.
a) Say to him (in your mind):
“I accept you and allow you to join the wolf pack. You are equal to me, to us, you are one of us, and we accept you. Come on in. Join our pack. I accept you.”
You have now reversed the roles. You are not waiting to become an alpha man, you immediately already take that stance from the moment ‘Go’.
b) Then write down how strange that feels. How weird, how new, how not-Ramses. A new sensation, a new Ramses.
c) Try it twenty-five times.
By doing this, you are consciously reprogramming your mind and inner voice to a sound which is other. It is as if you are learning to sing a new song and dance a new dance.”
4. The answers that Ramses sent
“Dear soldier on the train, you are young, you are beautiful. You are vulnerable, you are powerful. You are equal to me. I see goodness in you. I accept you. I feel warm inside as I write that. I accept you into the wolf pack :)”.
5. The answers that Gregor sent
Gregor also started playing the game, sending me updates on a daily basis about his feelings each time he played it. But he had a rougher time. Here are some of his emails, showing how his feelings on this subject emerge:
“It’s the second day of playing the Wolf Pack Game. It’s strange for me because I hardly dare to look at men in reality. Usually I just look at men on TV, pics or Internet. Today it’s different. I allowed myself to look at men in reality and there’s a part of me which thinks it’s not worth it. I’m more aroused now because of the guys I see in the streets. I keep telling myself the words in the game. But it’s harder than I thought to switch my thoughts after those 32 years of thinking that I am different. But I’ll keep trying.”
I wrote back:
“You say ‘it is harder than I thought’. Yes, it is an emotional and hard game to play. You are confronting yourself, head on, with your same-sex attractions in real life.
It is like in Pamplona, a city in Spain, where they release the bulls into the streets once a year, and brave men stand before the bull and try not to run away from his big horns. You are now standing straight in front of SSA’s, and the feelings overwhelm you. But it is only a mind game, and a safe one. You are not wasting time. You are unveiling some of the incessant mechanisms of your mind.”
“I have still been playing the wolf game. I don’t know whether I’m doing it correctly but I’ve played it 17 times so far. The strangest thing is that today suddenly a man who I had sex with appeared in my mind, and then another friend who once sent me some naked photos. I even tried to play the game with them. Strangely I feel so sad today. There are so many tears which just want to leave my body. I went for a walk today and I was crying a bit about me and my past. I don’t remember when I cried for the last time. How can I improve?”
6. A reply to Gregor
I wrote back:
“I am happy with your email. You say you feel grief and sadness: we all have that. It is no more than a healthy reaction to a very unhappy childhood. You amaze me. You are doing very well, great progress in such a short space of time, with honesty and willingness to look into yourself. You are intelligent, sensitive, dare to be vulnerable, and dare to let others look into the pain and sadness inside. You are doing great.
First let me suggest a book or two that I have in mind at this moment, based on what you have written:
1. Learn to love yourself and be yourself (you have done this too little in the past). A very practical book was written by Robert A. Glover PhD: “No More Mr. Nice Guy”. Stop pleasing others, start pleasing Gregor. And start loving Gregor.
2. Learn how to feel like a man among other men, accepting others, feeling equal and feeling great. I am particularly fond of Alan Medinger’s wonderful book “Growth into Manhood: Resuming The Journey”.
7. Gregor describes day 20
“Here are some of the feelings that I have written down several times when I play the Wolf Pack Game. I now do it more than once a day:
– I tell myself exactly as it is written in the instructions. But it was hard for me to believe in these words.
– Each time, I just want to look like him. Then I feel anger, sadness – I don’t look as good.
– I felt a need to be with him, or to be close to him, but I feel I don’t deserve it. I’m worthless.
– It’s hard to believe in the words of the game. Sometimes the guy looks so great, I felt aroused and at the same time I feel I don’t deserve it.
– I liked the way he looked. I felt unhappy that I didn’t look the way he looked, kind of jealous.
– I’m not good enough to be his friend, or be part of the team.
– I don’t deserve to be there as a member. I feel like a frightened child.”
8. Reply to day 20
Notice how Gregor is reverting back to his old inferior stance with his tail down instead of assuming the alpha male position, even when he is instructed to do so. Old memories and feelings just keep coming up. He even says: “I don’t deserve to be there as a member” although he is the alpha male! The feelings that he is disclosing appear to be very deep.
In other emails, Gregor had written about his abusive, alcoholic father and his possessive mother who had an ambivalent relationship with him. Gregor was caught in the middle, and shared his mother’s view that THAT man was horrible. Gregor had learned to take this very personally, vowing never to become like him. He would incessantly cling on to his mother.
Therefore I wrote to him:
“You speak of a frightened childhood, one in which you could not even experience the possession of a penis. Believe it or not, there is also good news about the fears that you had as a child. Your sisters were not frightened of being abandoned by your mother (I presume). But you, as a boy, you had great fear of abandonment. Why?
I think that you had indeed identified with the gender of your father, and I believe that inside yourself, at a very early age, you managed to see yourself as male. That is wonderful news. But you saw and witnessed how negative your drunken father could be towards your mother. He (the pirate) did not come to kidnap you to the wonderful world of men and sail the seas of adventure. So, you had no choice but to stay with Mom in the woman’s world of females. But you possessed the sign of all evil: you possessed a penis with erections, you possessed maleness, you were evidently not a real member of the squaw camp. You were intelligent enough to see and feel that you had all the makings of a traitor: a man!
You experienced yourself as a nasty little alien, and every erection you tried to conceal, proved that you too could, at any moment, turn into one of those horrible, abusive, undesirable MEN. Your mother had a love-hate relationship with your father and you (as a very sensitive and highly intelligent child) saw that ambivalence.
Your mother, therefore, had a great marriage problem; the quality of her life and her love with her husband became YOUR problem. Your very private problem. And no-one knew. Not your father, not your mother, not your sisters.
And you could not be yourself, because being yourself means being male, having a penis, and turning into a horrible full-grown, abusive and insensitive monster. That is how you experienced it.
Where is a little boy in such a predicament supposed to go? What is he to do? He is small, vulnerable, dependent, incapable of loving himself (because all males are bad), incapable of growing up to become a real man (=a monster). What else can happen other than the emergence of fear? Fear of abandonment. Your dad was too drunk and too insensitive to perceive your emotional needs. Besides, you were already on Mom’s side anyway, and he knew that very well. Mom, so you felt, could annihilate you, crush you, if she knew what a monster you may grow up to become. A haunting voice in the back of your mind! Whether she really said or meant that, is beside the point. You felt it nevertheless as an immature child in a seemingly unsafe and above all, lonely world.
So, you tried to hide your oncoming maleness, tried to be non-male, non-abusive, non-everything a real man could be. You even wrote to me once that you sometimes wanted to be a girl. You learned to hate or conceal yourself so as not be associated with your father. You felt your mother’s marriage problems, and blamed yourself. For what? For being MALE, for having erections, for longing for maleness, for wanting to be a real boy and eventually becoming a real man.
Thus, you rejected maleness in general, and in doing so, you rejected your own maleness too.
But you are genetically driven to identify with maleness and the men’s world. It is a genetic drive all heterosexual and homosexual men have. So, a part of you searches for that lost aspect of your person. You search for it incessantly, finding it on the Internet: gay porn, gay chat rooms: you found it at last. The men’s world, where being male is good, is exciting, is fun, a world where sharing maleness is the norm and where there are no women around who could denounce you when you possess or show your erections. There are men in a man’s world, who love their – and your – erection. You find confirmation at last.
And there you can masturbate and feel the surge of sexuality flowing freely through your body. It feels so good, so right.
We call these same-sex attractions a reparative drive, an urge or drive to repair what was broken at a very early age, namely your healthy identification with maleness and the healthy self-love of, and pride in your maleness. This pride ultimately leads to self-confidence, a state of mind for which you yearn so desperately. And yet it feels like paradise lost. No wonder you experience a sadness, a sea of dry tears which you cannot fathom.
If your mother had settled her marriage problem with your father, if perhaps she had sought help from a pastor or psychologist, or in any other way had not bothered you with her negative feelings and had seen them as her own very private affair, your life would have been different.
You are a lot more male than you imagine yourself to be, or rather, than you allow yourself to be. And so, you beat yourself over the head with every good-looking man you see. You tell yourself over and over again, “I am not worth it”.
What this Wolf Pack Game is showing, is that you allow all men to be male, but there is one person for whom you make an exception: Gregor.
It is not as gay-lib insists, that you were born this way. To the contrary, your feelings of being different (and less worthy) stem on the one hand from the past, the dysfunctional triangle you got caught up in as a young child, and on the other hand from the present-day fact that you are not giving yourself permission to be a male like everybody else. And that is based on childhood fear. But those days are over. No woman will squash you, ever.
Once you realize that, then you have reached a very important insight. You have stumbled upon part of the solution. Your mother appeared to give you no permission, so you felt. And now, you are the one repeating that childhood situation and saying no to Gregor, it is not other people who are saying no to Gregor.
They are not rejecting you, you are the one doing it. If you say to them ‘I feel inferior’, they will have no idea what you are talking about. Someone needs to give you permission. By lack of such a person, Gregor, do it yourself.”
The Wolf Pack Game is an ideal way to feel like the Alpha Wolf straight from the beginning by assuming that role yourself right from the word ‘Go’. When you write your reactions down every time you play it, new feelings and insights are bound to emerge. You found it all by yourself, it is your own achievement: ‘Now that I am an adult, I can handle anything thrown at me’. And that adds to the self-confidence you felt you would never reach.
Gay-lib tells the mainstream media that you were “born this way”, and then the thus informed media tell you that you will always stay this way. But this is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Therefore, dare to think out of the box, especially the box of being a “gay” person for ever more. Your full sexual potential is not an Atlantis which has sunken into the sea for ever more, as gay-lib insists. There is no scientific evidence of it.
Get yourself a snorkel and understand that a new self-narrative means a new chance, a new life. Dive deep. Stay on the move, take your time but keep on developing as a person who has merely had a bad and sad start in life. Saddle up for the ponies. Don’t keep those horses waiting until you are an old man.
to be continued.
Job Berendsen MD, Amsterdam.