I Thought I Was Strong, Till…

Lately, I have been, from others’ perspective, addressed as a hateful person. Most people, who I’ve recently crossed path with, have excepted that I would connect to them as the same way and level as most people do. I’m not impolite. My mom taught well. I address every person respectfully, even though, they haven’t displayed the same degree of respect that I had. However, it seems to me that there exists a certain disconnection between being polite and being life of the party.

Regularly, people misinterpret my way of behaving socially as the way I want to be seen. I had struggled when finding strategies to connect with people. They come up with absurd conclusions about my character. For this reason, I decided to be myself, which means to wait for a moment to let my personality shine through. It has been challenged because it seems difficult for people to fancy my behavior effortlessly. Consequently, it has affected me in ways I thought I was over with.

For example, a couple of days ago, my boyfriend was speaking with a friend of his who happens to attend the same college I teach a class at. Because of my boyfriend’s jealousy, he needed to know if this “friend” of his was in my class or will ever be my student at some point. For his surprise, he realized that I was being honest. However, he did not expect what his friend got to tell him about me.

This unveiling chat began because it was my boyfriend’s birthday. So, this so-called friend congratulated him on this important occasion as any person would have done. However, my boyfriend’s curiosity got a little out of hand. He started asking his friend questions about the classes he was taking. Knowing my lovely boyfriend, I know he got a little impatient and annoying. I believe that at some point his friend got a little suspicious about the whole questioning business. He didn’t know I was my boyfriend’s boyfriend. He has seen me around, but that was it.

My boyfriend had the brilliant idea of telling his friend that I am his boyfriend.  It was fine by me because it meant that we reached the let’s-make-it-official-by-telling-people-about-our-relatioship period. Of course, my beau’s intention was to let his friend know I’m taken (I ain’t no Brad Pitt or underwear model, I’m just a regular guy, so it is hard for me to figure out my boyfriend’s constant fear of losing me).

What came next was this flood of negative remarks about me. “He’s hateful,” “He is a hateful, pathetic faggot,” “He doesn’t talk to anyone,” “He’s so arrogant,” “Everybody hates him.” My boyfriend was surprised with these comments. At certain point, he was happy because he knew that I was fooling around. I was trustworthy. But, it clearly made him feel a little uncomfortable.

When he started telling me all the awful things his friend had said,  he never expected that I might get hurt with such realization. I tried to look neither taken aback nor bothered, yet calm and collected. Nonetheless, thinking of what other people might think about you is quite unsettling. I tried to keep my cool as much as I could, but I eventually bursted into tears. My boyfriend didn’t know what to do. First, he apologized. He regretted telling me. But, despite my emotional burst, I thought he made a good decision by telling me.

What Did I Do Next?

I used to think that I was strong enough to be unbothered by others’ opinions. Through the years of being bullied, I had built an impenetrable wall that might stand firm and untouchable, regardless of whatever people might say or do to me.

Nonetheless, to discard any scar we’d gotten due to various struggles, because we believe it’s been healed, doesn’t hide the truth that it can be reopened with the slightest pressure. I found out the healing is a never-ending endeavor. I didn’t expect how a few words would bleed out those scars. I remembered high school, my first years trying to get a job and being mocked or set aside, and I remembered my family’s disagreement with my “life style choice”–as they called it–and my introverted personality.

Everything came to me. Every hurtful memory occupied my mind. Every punch I dodged and took felt real again. I thought that I was going to be a stronger and different person from the scrawny, defenseless teenager that I used to be.

So, how can you lift your self up right after feeling like crap?

Well, you cry. But, you must cry with all your heart’s feelings and deceptions, let them out until there is no tear or emotion left. You need to feel every dark time coming over you, taking over. If you are alone, don’t be scared, let it out, but be sure that you are strong enough to be there and pick yourself up. This is a cleansing process, not a way to find the worst solution for our problems. You should picture every tear as a gray tear, full with all those horrid emotions bursting out of your soul, and every breath to take in is the devotion you have for your self. Picture this emotion in colors such as golden, green and yellow.  You will see at the end that you will feel relief and ready to go on.

I sometimes cry alone. I wait for my boyfriend to text me good night, and then, in the lonely hour, I start recalling every bad day I have had since the last time I cry. Every tear runs with every hardship and heartbreak I had.

I’ve been told that guys can’t cry, but I deem it as the silliest thing ever taught to people. I need to cry from time to time, with or without my boyfriend. I don’t cry right after something happened. I just wait for the right moment; for instance, when I’m driving at night, when I’m at my apartment after a long, long day at work, when my boyfriend is with me.

The Aftermath

After that heartbroken episode I had after realizing what most people thought about me, I started feeling better, I had kept locked up so many emotions that I felt I wasn’t allowed either to acknowledge or to express because my “haters” would smell my fear and desperation. It’s a land of wolves out there, I was being a sheep. Yet, wolves cry. So, I figured out that I was not a sheep, I was a wolf, who was in pain and needed to howl.

This has been one of the hardest lesson I have ever coped with, Realization. Masquerading my inability to overpower the hostile attempts from others to put me down behind a Mona Lisa’s smile magnified each unwholesome sentiment of saboteur. As a result, I don’t wait for a full moon to howl, I howl whenever I’m struck into the need to pour down tears.

Now, I don’t hold anything back anymore. If I feel the need to cry, I will. Obviously, I’m going through life crying everything that doesn’t happen as I’ve planned and expected to turn in. Life has its times which expect us to be strong. But, I don’t think of me now as an emotionless human being as many people believe we should. I believe that the wide range of emotions are the very best of being human and being alive. If we laugh, we surely can cry. I notice now that every time I laugh, I do laugh from my heart.

Noteworthy, people still make me feel downhearted, but they won’t spoil the fun the I have by living my life any more. I will waste a napkin and some tears, then I will move on with my life.

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5 thoughts on “I Thought I Was Strong, Till…

  1. Thank you for sharing, Saile! I’m so sorry about your struggles and would just like to say: Don’t let heteronormative, patriarchal society—or the people who are slaves of it—trick you into thinking you’re not strong. You are strong as fuck, brother.

    I totally feel your pain as a fellow gay man (technically I’m bisexual and in a relationship with a girl again too, but you could call me gay considering that the last 9 weeks aside I’ve lived off swallowing cock almost every single day since I got to college in 2015 hahaha).

    Anyway, I’ll say more about this tomorrow (so sleepy RN) but I feel you bro and have some encouragement. Long story short I got bullied by homophobes so badly that I have PTSD because of it, one of them got kicked out of college, and another is in jail—while I’m just busy thriving and not letting their hate get to me anymore. Have a good night bro

    • Also I will add that I was not exaggerating haha. My evangelical Texas family can NEVER know I’m queer, so I’d never done anything with a man when I got to college and was still in denial. Then I was like “Screw it. It’s college. I can’t hate myself for things I can’t control & deny this anymore. I’ll get Grindr and go all out!” So I’ve had a steady set of friends with benefits since then (I know that sounds crazy but I’ve been consistently too unstable for something serious anyway), a gay app presence, and the fact that giving head happens to always make me happy, clear my mind, etc.

      Whatevs! Sorry for the long anecdotes & unnecessary sexual honesty at times! Peace

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