Sunday, September 28, 2014

Vacation Tremors

I follow a few different pages on Facebook, many are LGBTQ themed. One page I follow shows different LGBTQ families, usually in various forms of 'familyhood' accompanied by either an engagement, marriage or adoption announcement.

While I am genuinely happy for these families, I tremble in fear at the thought of that for me.

I recently saw some photos a friend posted on Facebook and they, too, sent shivers up and down my spine. 

These were not photos of any grotesque figure, no warning signs of the alleged zombie apocalypse, no bloody corpse.

My friend and his husband had simply posted pictures of their weekend getaway together.

I couldn't find the joy in their getaway. Yes, I was happy they were recently married. Yes, I was happy they had found time to go away together, away from their respective jobs and household chores. 

Yet, the fear of the getaway and the togetherness was overwhelming. For me.

But, I needed to know why.

Why was my friend's vacation with his husband upsetting me so? 

Then it hit me.

The planning, the organizing, but above all, the compromise.
"Let's go to San Diego."
"No, I want to go San Francisco."
"But, I've already been to San Francisco."
"Not with me you haven't. So, how about Santa Barbara?"

Sigh. Resignation.

I hated shopping with my ex, I hated doing anything involving compromise with him, because our tastes were so different whenever we compromised, neither of us got what we truly liked. It's very hard to tastefully blend Arts and Crafts/Mission styles (me) with Retro 50's/Modern Design (um, yeah). More often than not, I simply let him get what he wanted to avoid the drama of the Dance of Compromise with him and his Cancerian moodiness especially when disappointed (Can you say 'sackcloth and ashes?'). I ended up hating most of what we bought together:
Him: "What about this bedspread?" (Holds up a very floral pattern with a lace trim.)
Me: "Too frilly and feminine. I may be a queen, but I'm not a girl. And the colors don't even go with our wall colors. What about that one?" (I point to a solid color with some minor geometric pattern.)
Him: (Still holding the floral one) "There's green in the stems of these roses, and that's too boring. This one's nice." (Points to a solid dark brown spread with a few light green stripes, and it actually does go with the room colors; two different greens and a cinnamon accent wall.)
Me: "Fine." (It was the first thing I threw away when he left.)
It was later I realized I'd compromised myself away during most of the relationship. And not only with him and the bedspread and in other aspects of our relationship, but also with my partner before him. It seems to be a pattern I have.

One other aspect of all this I'm just realizing, now that I'm single, I'm relishing my independence and making my own decisions regarding my house and my life. I decided on the colors to paint his office in order to turn it into my library/meditation room, and I chose the colors for the powder room, as well. I have made changes to every room in my house except my bathroom and the guest bath.  I don't want to have to compromise that much with anyone. Anymore. Ever again.

Perhaps, it's more than the fear of compromise, perhaps even more than the independence. Maybe it's the fact I'm discovering who I truly am and beginning to like who I see, who I am becoming and am terrified of giving him myself away yet again.

Or, perhaps it is something else entirely. Perhaps it goes back even further. If I keep him happy, he'll stay. If he gets what he wants, he won't leave.

Yes, these are newly uncovered fears of mine. I admit I am unjustly comparing any future relationship against my past marriage and previous relationship. I may even be punishing myself now for not standing up for myself then, as much as I could/should have. I'm also fearful of falling into the same trap with someone new.

Then there's also the conundrum of getting to know him and his likes/dislikes while figuring out who I am, which could leave me even more confused, which in turn is also unfair to him.

But, maybe all this fear and confusion is a blessing, just in disguise. It's showing me what I need to look out for in myself as I meet new people in my life, whether as friends, or potential boyfriends on the path to finding someone special. Some day.

I'll just have bear all this in mind.

And if he does leave, he obviously wasn't worth it.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The White Flag

Two different people recently asked me if I had someone special in my life. I said no. They went on to ask if I was even looking, to which I also replied in the negative. 

I believe I've posted here where I believe that 'looking' implies a desire to actually want a mate/partner/husband, or whatever the mot-du-jour is. 

I can say, right now, I don't. 

I don't want one, I'm not looking for one and I am completely fine with that. 

Why this attitude?  

Two conversations recently came together in a perfect storm in my mind and then proceded to occupy my heart.
In the first one, I heard that damaged people can often employ emotional manipulation to get what they want. Yet, they may be unaware they are doing it, as they've been doing it for so long as a means of either protecting themselves or securing what they perceive they want/need. 

Let's face it, gay men are often very damaged, though many of us have learned to overcome and have repaired some of our damages. 

The other conversation I had was about gay men and sex. I was nervous about getting back out there for I knew I would have to cross that bridge. Someday. With all the STDs out there, it can be very daunting. Downright frightening. 

"Just assume he is HIV+, and protect yourself accordingly," my friend advised. 

"What if he says he isn't?" I replied.

"Don't take his word for it."

"So, I should assume he's lying?"
I also overheard two men conversing about their recent dates. Both may have been dating the same guy for it appeared they had the same date. They each met their guy for a meal then headed to a bar where the guy later told them he had a boyfriend who was out of town. So, could they just have a quickie? I happen to know they each met different guys because their dates were on the same day, but at different bars.

So, if gay men are emotionally damaged and may be employing some kind of emotional manipulation, perhaps subconsciously, to get what they want, and some may also be lying about their relationship and/or HIV status, how in the fuck do you know who to trust?

Add that to the string of disappointments I've recently experienced and it should come as no surprise as to the fact that I surrender. 

I give up. 

Yes, I do. 

And let's also not forget the other more rational fears I have if I should actually meet a decent guy, and it does get a tad serious, there's so much more to consider. But, if I've given up, why am I even thinking this? 

Maybe I truly haven't. 

Maybe I'm just extremely disillusioned. 

I just don't know what to think anymore. 

So, maybe I shouldn't.