Archive for April, 2012

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New Scars Always Bring New Lessons

April 2, 2012

ImageHi everyone! I just wanted to take the time to write a post to let you know I’m still here and I still review things every now and then. I’ve had a couple e-mails lately from people asking whether or not
I was still there, or if the e-mail was still active, and it certainly is, so I still welcome all questions!

I’ve been living in New York City, for almost 2 years now, and it’s just been a great, yet crazy busy place to be. I’ve got plenty of good friends, and also had plenty of well-meaning attempts at relationships! I continue to learn things every day, and like I’ve always wanted to do, I’ll bring that information about it to you guys, because I feel it’s always something to share. I’ve recently ended yet another attempt at a serious relationship, and so as I go through these crazy emotions and I get feeling down on myself, I figured writing a post to passing on my lessons learned will help me focus on the good in life and remind me what’s important. So you guys help me a lot as well!

I met him on May 20th, 2011 while out at a local bar in Hells Kitchen. It was technically past midnight, which means I met him on the fateful “Judgement Day”, something that had been joked about in the gay community for a couple weeks by then. We were both out and had some drinks, so it seemed like it was going to be a one night stand type of thing, which I don’t like to do, but my instincts must have been right about something. We ended up spending the entire weekend together and had an AMAZING time, walking around the city, eating food, and cuddling into each other’s arms at the end of each night. As usual, I had done my best throughout the weekend to hide any signs of an irregular bowel system, and I had done it pretty successfully. We didn’t have any messes, and I used the excuse of just always getting up to pee at night, to hide that I was actually getting up to excrete bowels, and so it wouldn’t seem abnormal to him. Now things between us obviously seemed like maybe this could be formed into something real. He was the sweetest, most caring person I knew at the time and had seemed like a great match for me.

It was the following Tuesday that we were driving out to a Wal-Mart in New Jersey to go shopping and right from the beginning of the drive, he confessed that he knew some information about me. I asked what he was talking about, and he admitted to Google-ing my e-mail address, and this blog was the first thing that popped up. This was something I had never thought of before, and I guess I always figured I would never let boyfriends read this blog, because it contains ALOT of personal information. My first reaction to him telling me this was an upsetness, and embarrassment. I wasn’t ready for him to know this, and I wanted to at least break him in, and not only that, but the first post that came up for this was the one all about sex and how I prepare for it, and what issues I had. I felt as though someone had broken into my diary or something and took away my personal feelings and thoughts. It lead to a pretty big argument between us and not a fun shopping trip at all. We shopped away from each other and cooled off for a bit and sat in his car in the parking lot before we left and I explained to him my intense insecurities and why I was so upset that he had read that. He assured me that it was nothing to him and nothing for me to worry about, but I had still felt uneasy. He had given me the perfect answer, but apparently, I needed to cool down some more.

What I didn’t tell him about another reason I was upset is because it had always seemed that once potential boyfriends know, even if they say it doesn’t bother them, I actually start to have more insecurities from that point on. It seems to me that as long as no one knows, we can always pretend it’s not there. But if they do know, then it’s something that’s always going to come up and always going to be the elephant in the room, so I worry that my insecurities were going to make it frustrating for him and start to tear the relationship away. It had happened with all previous guys before that, so I just expected the same. But it never did that to us. He was actually a perfect boyfriend, that honestly did not care anything about it. He gave me lots of respect for the effort I put in to making sex good between us, and he always knew that I would need to go into the bathroom for 5-10 minutes before sex, so he always allowed that. Because of him, my confidence in sex SKYROCKETED and I felt like it was just the best sex I’d ever had. I had felt that I was always clean and things were never an issue between us with that. There were a couple times when it wasn’t always clean, like if we wanted morning sex or something, but he still never cared about it, and so it still made me feel better. Not to mention, he was a tall black guy, so I had alot to deal with, if you catch my drift… haha.

Now here’s where something happened for the first time and here’s the real important lesson… because of my sexual confidence with him and how good he made me feel about my insecurities, I let myself lower other standards I had, saying he was still making up for it by accepting me for who I was. This should never happen, because someone should always accept you for who you are, with no conditions necessary. I looked past a lot of red flags with him, because I still thought he was perfect for me. For instance, he admitted to me a few weeks in that he has a felony charge, because he stole $25,000 from a previous employer when he was 18. He had also mentioned a DWI, and a domestic violence charge from a previous ex-boyfriend who he explained to be dramatic and who had exaggerated the incident. From what I’d known about him, he was just so noble and caring, I was sure there were other circumstances where those things couldn’t have been his fault, so I looked past them. And he had stated he’d learned a lot of lessons in life, so it had helped him be the man he was today. Since that is something I’ve known to be true in my own life, I could afford him the ability to take the same lessons learned.

Now let’s skip ahead of couple of months. We had been madly in love all this time and were now living together and had a great life going for us. For legal reasons, I won’t go into specific details, but let’s just say he did something slightly illegal, and so I was all too surprised to get a call at work from him one day asking if I would come to the local police precinct to pick up his belongings, because he had been taken into custody. This had been a devastating phone call for me, and lead to a few days of terrible drama, as I became the one he needed to post $5,000 bail on his behalf to get him out of jail, and the end result is that he was being brought up on felony charges for the 2nd time in this life. Obviously the red flags were literally slapping me in the face at this time, but I had loved him, so as Tammy Wynette said, “Stand By Your Man”, and that I did.

The court case brought on a huge amount of stress and we were fighting quite often. The fights would escalate sometimes and involve some shoving and intimidation tactics by him, which I certainly did not appreciate. He had an extreme jealousy problem and would be threatened by even the presence of some good friends of mine, which I found to be ridiculous. And so I always told him when I thought he was wrong and I demanded that he clear up those issues with himself. I’m stubborn as hell, so I wasn’t going to let someone else tell me what to do. The fights would almost always happen in the recent increase of drinking binges that he had been on. As a caring partner, I did what I could to try and point out how the drinking was causing problems in his life and becoming too excessive, but at the same time something like that would just get him upset, so it was something I was always weary to bring up. It had seemed I was in a catch 22.

We had decided to book a vacation to New Orleans to give ourselves a much-needed break from all the recent stress. There were high hopes for this, and we were both ready to have time away from the real world and focus on our love. Well, it was only the second night there, that both of us had gotten pretty drunk (as happens in New Orleans), and we had met this other couple and were hanging around with them all night. I had went to the bathroom with them, while he waited by the drinks and we were all talking and having a good time. When we came out, he was there furious and grabbed my arm and yanked me out of the bar. He demanded that we walk back to the hotel, which we did, but the whole time was him accusing me of flirting with those guys, and saying I must have done something sexual with them in the bathroom. When we got back to the hotel room, unfortunately our argument escalated so intensely that before I knew it, I was being held down on the bed and his fist was going back and forth across my face. I was finally able to throw him off me with my legs and I immediately ran for the bathroom to lock myself in. But on my way, he grabbed my arm, turned me around and threw me into the bathtub, where I landed into the soap holder and herniated my diaphragm muscle. At this point, I was in the tub sobbing, I couldn’t see out of my right eye, and blood was all over my face. I had felt paralyzed by the fall and I’m not sure if clarity hit him when he looked at me in that position, but he walked away into the bedroom and sat on the bed with his face in his hands. It didn’t take long for a neighboring room to call the cops, because they showed up while I was still in the tub. They stayed in the bathroom with me and locked the door while talking to me, and the whole time he was banging on the door asking to speak with me privately and telling me how much he loved me. I was sobbing to the cops, begging them not to arrest him, because he was out on bail and I’d lose all the money I posted for him if he got arrested. They finally got both of us to calm down and we promised to get right into bed, so when they left, it had seemed peaceful as we were both on opposite sides of the bed and didn’t say a word to each other. I fell asleep that night feeling like I couldn’t believe the point my life was in and that I couldn’t imagine how someone could do what he did to someone he loved.

It wasn’t too long later that now I was thinking how someone could stay with someone who did what he did. Yet, here I was, still madly in love with him and couldn’t bring myself to be without him. I won’t need to elaborate any further, but that obviously wasn’t the last time I was hit by Brandon, nor did it show that any lesson had been learned on either of our parts. We kept fighting with each other, and as I mentioned before, I’m stubborn as hell, so I would never be smart enough to realize that I needed to be responsible enough to de-escalate the fights. So I just kept saying my nasty things, because I knew that even if he hurt me with bodily harm, I could still hurt him with my words. Over the course of my knowing him, I had to replace two closet doors in my apartment and have a hole patched up in the plaster of my wall as well. After New Orleans, It took almost a month for the blood to get out of my actual eyeball, and the bruises faded some time before that.

Needless to say, my self esteem plummeted consistently over the next several months that we were together and it took me a long time to finally reach the conclusion that this isn’t the person I should have in my life. I hid away from family and friends, because I was ashamed of the fact that I was allowing myself to be a victim, and then justifying it because I said he loved me for who I was and accepted things about me that I didn’t think anyone else would accept. It created feelings I hadn’t had since I was coming out and having the trouble of accepting who I was. I finally approached him one day and told him I was no longer happy and no longer wanted to be with him. I had been terrified to bring it up with him, even though he joined Alcoholics Anonymous to try and control his drinking, because I knew he hadn’t had any improvement on trying to control his anger. He was extremely upset, but besides being pushed into a couple walls, and having a new hole punched in my closet door, I was able to walk away unscathed, yet still hurting on the inside to a great degree. That was just over a month ago now, and the times since have been upsetting and dramatic, with both of us saying how much we still loved each other and didn’t want to be apart. It can very easily be compared to a band-aid, where you just can’t tear it off, because of the pain you’re worried you’ll have. And I just didn’t know how to accept not having him in my life, because I’m so passionately in love with him.

Now I should say it obviously wasn’t all bad, he truly was an amazing person, he just had a lot of issues to deal with himself, so that projected those issues onto other people. He had been abused as a child and I know that was a huge part of him having these issues. He was noble and always stated that he wanted to take care of me and support me and that he had even wanted to marry me within the year. He talked about providing for a family and the times that he was unemployed, he was up at 8:00am, dressed in a shirt and tie and walking all around New York City all day putting in resumes and doing interviews. When he did finally get a job, he had quickly worked his way up from a temp position to full time, and received rave reviews from his supervisors. He joined Alcoholics Anonymous in an effort to control his drinking because he knew how much it bothered me and he kept himself sober since the day he entered it. But the end result of it all is that he was just too young (he was 23) and hadn’t really learned enough life lessons to realize where the wrong can be, and to realize how to make smart decisions in life. I’d like to say it was one of those “right person, wrong time” scenarios, but I really don’t know if that’s true. I feel like the right time wouldn’t be for a long time to come because of the amount of things he needs to learn, but it’s also hard to label him as a wrong person, because we just seemed to fit together so perfectly besides those obvious issues.

There are times when I sit home alone on my couch and I’m just so upset because I miss his arms around me on this couch and the comfort I felt then. I think about the scar left on my heart because of this, but I also think about the scars I had on the nights we fought, and no one should have scars on their body as a result of relationships. To this day I have that scar under my right eye that never quite healed right, and I can look at it everyday as a reminder of why I should never change my standards for someone I love. The scar on my arm reminds me as well and the fact that I can’t fold down my left ring finger all the way reminds me. In my first post on here, I stated that my scars remind me that the past is real, and just as the scar on my stomach reminds of what I overcame in sickness and surgery, these new scars remind me of what I overcame in feelings of hopelessness and captivity to love.

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This is not the face of love.

P.S.– If someone you know is in a violent relationship, you should understand that most of the time, they DO NOT have the ability to walk away on their own. At the same time, they are almost always going to reject any help you try to give them, because they are already ashamed of themselves, and can’t think of someone else telling them they’re doing something wrong. Just let them know that you want them to make their own choices and that you’ll be there for them if they need anything. This will form the beginnings of the self-esteem they need to make the choices in their life and will bring about happiness for them. Be patient and be understanding.

If you yourself are a victim of violence, please do not believe that it should be justified because of other personal factors they accept about you. If that person came along, there’s no reason that a similar and non-violent person won’t come along as well at another time. Because they always will. Learn to love yourself first and you’ll begin to see where life moves along at a smoother pace.