Bridge Over Troubled Waters

I’d like to apologize (to all 5 of you) for my hiatus in writing.  This breakup, which is essentially a divorce after 12 years, has been very emotional.  I never knew how many feelings were all rolled up into heartbreak–guilt, loneliness, confusion, anger, sadness, and so many more.  So it’s very difficult to process the feelings so publicly sometimes–or period for that matter.  I also felt like I was getting a little too journally and bitching about my problems.  I’d rather steer clear of the whining and be more reflective so that I can share the lessons I’ve learned with all of you.  And as always, any advice you can share is most welcome!  Those of us going through this will eventually cross that bridge over troubled waters.  IMG_7698

Happy Birthday?

Today is The Ex’s birthday.  (I told you that February was a very significant month.)  And living with him is hard as hell.  That’s part of the reason we broke up.  But living with him and not being with him is even harder.  Toxic at times.  It’s also hard because I still love him.  I have made it clear that we are no longer together, yet he continues to get angry when I tell him I’m going out or when I borrow a friend’s jeans because I stayed the night.  I literally mean a friend.  And I continue to accidentally hug him in he middle of the night because we only have one bed.  And then I have to remind myself that we’re no longer together.  Heartbreak all over again.

But just because you love someone, does not mean it’s healthy to be with that person.  We’ve forgotten how to appreciate each other and sometimes we’re both downright spiteful.  We need some time apart.  Not that I’m saying we will get back together, but it’s hard to imagine my life without him after 12 years.  But it’s hard to forgive the drugs.  Earlier this morning a needle fell out of my jeans pocket.  Well, I sure the hell knew it wasn’t mine.  He looked at me and said it was one he used to slam someone else.  Oh, so it wasn’t you that used it?  That’s supposed to make it better?  No the hell it doesn’t.  It may actually make matters worse.

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Happy Birthday?

We’re supposed to try and go out tonight, but guess who’d be footing the bill? Well, it sure the hell isn’t The Ex who recently quit his job that took him a year to find! Bitch, I ain’t rich! I’m still in debt from the last situation you got us into! Where’s all the money you had from the job you just quit? In someone else’s arm? Why do I let myself get guilted into stupid shit all the time?

Let’s turn this into a reverse-advice column–would you celebrate The Ex’s birthday?

Age of Heartbreak

Given the nature of this blog, how can I not write a post on Valentine’s Day? Even though this was never a huge holiday for me and The Ex, it was still something we would at least casually acknowledge by exchanging small tokens. However, this will be the first Valentine’s I’ll spend as a bachelor in over a decade!

Will I celebrate? My independence, yes. But this day? This day, no. This day is for romance. And I’m not feeling romantic. I’m feeling heartbroken. As much as I appreciate a nice date, it just doesn’t seem appropriate during this new chapter in my life–a transitional stage I’ve deemed the Age of Heartbreak.

I never knew that heartbreak was more than sadness. But it is. It’s much more than that. It’s anger and resentment and sorrow and confusion. And worst of all it’s loneliness. A feeling with which I’m unfortunately all too familiar. I also never knew that someone other than your lover could cause you heartbreak. But anyone dear to you can break your heart.

Now this is one of those moments where it’s hard to share my story and be respectful of my loved ones while doing so. But I’ve made a promise to be honest and I’ve made attempts to keep everyone anonymous. Therefore I tell you this:  The Ex and a Family Member both continue to break my heart as I watch them struggle with their respective addictions.

For over two years now The Ex has left needles and cock rings and douches around the house while trying to lie to me and tell me that he’s “holding them for a friend.” Like he’s a teenager hiding his bestie’s pornos under his mattress. No bitch, you had a sex party on the bed that we share!  That’s why you had to wash the sheets. He’s also given my underwear away to his tricks. He’s given away my expensive lotions and toiletries. I’ve confronted him about sleeping with guys he’d bring over, and then he’d deny it. Bitch, I saw the video! And yet I still feel guilty when staying the night at someone else’s house. I gotta get out of this situation.

I can’t run away from my Family Member because we’re flesh and blood. And if I run away from The Ex, I feel like I’m abandoning him in his time of need. But I gotta look out for myself. The countdown to the end of April is on!

February will have a few extra posts due to the significance that this month had in my recently ended relationship. Otherwise you can expect a new blog post every Sunday with a mini post known as the afterTHOT each Wednesday. 

Previous Commitments

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Twisted Love

I was finally in a place where I was beginning to love myself when The Ex and I met. And so I had made these promises to myself early on:

  1. Never become a teacher because school sucks!
  2. Never settle down with your first relationship because you need to know all your options.
  3. Don’t settle down before your career is underway.

Well, I fuckin’ broke all those rules. And I may have harbored some resentment that I projected onto The Ex, which is unfair I know, but I’m only human and this was my first relationship so I was learning on the go. But breaking those rules actually helped me accomplish some goals. Teaching theatre made me realize that my mission as an artist is not only to entertain but also to heal AND educate with my work. And I wasn’t missing out on fun with other guys because The Ex and I would bring other boys into the bedroom on occasion. And my career actually started to develop because of the support from The Ex. I am so grateful for everything he’s done for me. Neither of us would be where we are today without the other, though sometimes he may not recognize all that I did for him. Asshole. Seriously, he’s delusional.  *side eye*

My resentment toward myself for not “following my dreams” kept The Ex at arms length.  I almost always had one foot out the door.  That’s not commitment.  Yet I was committed to this man for over a decade. Don’t get it twisted, though. He was no saint. He made too many mistakes that I couldn’t forgive. My heart was fighting with my brain.  And I suppose that is true love.

Star Crashed Lovers

It must’ve been a Monday because I only ever went to Hydrate on Dollar Drink Night. I’d been in Chicago for about a month, and I was already living the Party Monster lifestyleThis was my Rock Star Era. I was living in the city temporarily for an exchange program, and I was going out every night with no one to report to. I was barely 21 and I used my young, white boy, southern twink charm to get everything for free.

No matter the club, the routine was always the same: Shots at home; Get to bar; Buy first dollar drink; Do reconnaissance lap around bar; See same beautiful boyz; See new beautiful boyz; Locate prey; Settle in at bar next to prey; Time drink perfectly to be finished at same time as prey’s drink; Strike up conversation by asking what prey’s delicious-looking drink is; Accept drink that prey inevitably buys me (I learned a a lot about mixology this way); Go home with boy (not necessarily the same as prey).

So on this one particular Monday night at Hydrate 12 years ago, I followed the same routine. But there was a new player in the mix. It was this black guy. Or this Indian. Or…it was hard to tell in the light. But this guy was conducting sexual health outreach surveys for a nonprofit. (Sexual anything, mind you, certainly does not happen in public in the south.) I noticed this guy was pretty standard when asking others the questions. But when he came over to me, he got quite chatty. Definitely flirting. I was getting good at figuring that out. He started asking some really personal questions about my sexual activity. The answers to which had been much different only a month prior. He took my number in case I was eligible to do a paid survey in the future.

A few drinks and a few boys later, I’m standing in line behind him waiting to use the restroom.   Drunkenly I stated, or slurred rather, “you know, it’s not fair that you have my number and I don’t have yours.”

So he gave me his business card and told me to call him.  Excuse me? No.  I don’t call boys. They call me. But I did. The very next day.  I met him at Roscoe’s two days later. And he was black. For sure. Or Indian. Maybe. And we started hanging out every day after that. Twelve years later, this guy became The Ex and we are living together in a Pigeon Hole. And he’s black. For sure he’s black.

We were doomed from the start, though. The very first time The Ex came over to my cute little studio apartment in Boystown, we got into a major screaming fight. I kicked him out and slammed the heavy metal door in his face. It was two in the morning and this resulted in a noise complaint from the landlord. A week later we were celebrating his birthday. That’s when he introduced me to his loser friend we’ll refer to as Mr. T. I hated Mr. T.  But I always ended up partying with Mr. T because Mr. T was always there.

I never believed in true love. Not in the romantic sense at least. But to stick with someone through all the shit we endured together meant that it had to have been true love. So on this very day 12 years later, I raise my glass to a toast. Though we weren’t meant to be in this moment in time,  I will always love you, my star crashed lover.

 

Freedom Isn’t Free

For the first time in 33 years, I’m about to be completely on my own. It’s such an exciting time in my life. I think it’s something I’ve always wanted, yet I’m scared outta my fucking mind! Adulting with another adult is hard enough! How the hell do I do it by myself? Perhaps it’ll be easier because I’m not responsible for anyone else. But that seems a selfish way of thinking after a very, very LTR!

The Ex and I pretty much started our relationship on the day we met…which will be 12 years ago this month. However, I have no idea on which day our relationship ended. I suppose the last official day will be April 30, 2017 when our lease is up.  Yes, you read that correctly. I am living in a shitty, broke down, roach-infested box…With. The. Ex! I have deemed this studio apartment the Pigeon Hole. The view out the only window is a brick wall of the neighboring residence which forms a nasty little alcove with the brick wall of my residence. In this alcove, pigeons like to coo. Pigeons like to shit. Pigeons like to fuck. And they’re noisy fuckers.

So how the hell did I get conned into moving into a crappy, confined Pigeon Hole with The Ex?  Because you don’t just throw away 11 years (at that time), right? He’d provided for me. And now he was out of a job for the first time ever. But I was just starting my first full time job; I couldn’t support us both living in the one bedroom that we’d been in for 7 years.  And so we were kicked out and forced to find the Pigeon Hole. 

So why did it end after more than a decade? That’s an answer I have to be careful in formulating over the course of the coming weeks. I don’t want to be unfair to The Ex. We may despise each other now, but I have respect for him still. However, I promised myself I’d be honest to the 5 people reading this and to myself. So how did it end? Essentially the answer may be that we were doomed from the start like some Shakespeare shit…