Posts Tagged broken heart

Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself

It had arrived. Although this would be my third year “participating,” I was legitimately scared. I wasn’t sure why it was so scary, but honestly, I was petrified for so many reasons.

My first interaction with Pride Weekend was a mistake. I was making my way to Governor’s Island for a polo match with my family when we found ourselves “stuck” in the parade route. The following year was the first year I was out when the weekend came around. It wasn’t pleasant as I witnessed my relationship crumble before my eyes like an out-of-body experience. I missed the parade that year, but I got a sampling of the other aspects of the festivities.

My fear was grounded mainly in the unknown. While I am a gay man, I do not participate in the typical gay culture. I’ve never been a big fan of gay clubs and what goes on there. I come from a background of a traditional relationship. In the gay world, that is like finding a diamond in the rough. The clubs seem to be the antithesis of this. They are a hot-bed of drugs, promiscuity and raunchy behavior. I know all gay men who go to bars don’t fit into this stereotype, but this stereotype is founded in truth. While I’ve been to a handful of gay clubs, and my comfort level was rising, I still had no idea what to expect. Never before had I been to a circuit party. I was venturing into the abyss, and this caused me incredible anxiety.

While I have learned to let go of the men in my past, I still carry the scars of my relationship with them. They’ve all hurt or used me in some way, shape or form. My biggest fear in life is being alone, and this fear is fed by thoughts of cheating, which is birthed from my baggage. The idea of CK with another man broke my heart. I had clear definitions of cheating, but there were worse things floating through my imagination — Like cheating in a form I feel is unfaithful, but the offender does not.

My relationship with CK was building a great foundation, however, the cement was still wet. We were only dating two months and ten days — Very young for any relationship. In the first month, I had strong suspicions I wasn’t the only man entering his bed. Things didn’t always line up and some of the clear indications were there, however, our relationship was still just forming. I knew there would be a transition period. While he told me he was only interested in me, and I was the only man entering his bed, I was aware how we met. I was also aware of his intentions before we even met through his first major slip-up on Grindr. I couldn’t expect monogamy from the first night — That wasn’t realistic.

While I was fairly understanding and looked the other way early on, I was not going to tolerate infidelity as our relationship progressed and strengthened. For starters, my heart wouldn’t be able to handle the pain, and lastly, it wasn’t safe for my health. I needed to trust him to be faithful. Outside the heartbreak, frankly, we were having unprotected sex. We’d been tested, but there are no guarantees. I trusted him with my life, literally, and if he was sleeping with other men, he was treating my life carelessly.

I sincerely had a feeling his intentions had evolved, but I couldn’t be sure how he would react when faced with temptation. I hoped I was the only man for him. As a result, I was petrified for the life of our relationship. I’d watched my relationship with N publicly combust the previous year, and I didn’t want a repeat.

I’m sure many of you reading think I am overreacting. It’s just a party… It’s just a parade… It’s just a weekend… Well, not to me. To me, it was a litmus test for the strength of my love for CK. I didn’t want that love to be tested, and I didn’t want to have to make a decision that could end my relationship with CK. He was my Superman. He was my world. If I lost him, my world would come crumbling down.

We had plans to go to a huge party at XL Friday night, Matinée circuit party Saturday, and the parade Sunday afternoon. I was venturing into this unknown abyss with faith and hope I could persevere. The thought of CK dropping X and losing control of his inhibitions with some other guy caused me great pain and panic attacks. The idea of another man’s hand groping his package caused me panic attacks. Picturing him dancing shirtless against another shirtless man caused me panic attacks. Every time these scenarios and many others entered my brain, my heart rate would increase drastically, I would start to sweat, and I would get light-headed.

All this added up to me being petrified and frustrated. When I asked CK what clothes I should pack to bring to his apartment for the weekend, and I didn’t get any cooperation or help. It all became overwhelming. To begin with, this wasn’t something I was looking forward to, and his lack of cooperation made me lose my sh*t. “Okay Babe. I’ll talk to you in the morning. Have fun tonight!” I said on the verge of tears as I hung up the phone on him.

I think that was the wake-up call CK needed. I don’t think he fully understood how much anxiety this all created for me. I voiced my frustrations for weeks leading up to Pride Weekend. I told him I was going out of my comfort zone, but I was willing to do it as long as I got some hand-holding. I needed help to get over this. It was just another fun weekend for him, but it was a big deal to me.

After a few minutes, he called me back. We discussed things a little more rationally, and CK’s tone changed. He finally realized I was struggling and tossed out the life-preserver. Now that I knew I had him in my corner, I was a little more relaxed, however, I still wasn’t completely comfortable. It was going to be a long, stressful and exhausting weekend both physically and emotionally. I bit down then and there, and braced for impact as I packed my bag and walked out the door.

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Sick to My Stomach

Monday morning, I woke to the sound of my alarm clock. The night before, N entertained the idea of taking the day off or working from home, however, this morning, his tone changed. He rushed to get ready for work since he was late, as usual. While he got dressed, everything from the night before slowly bubbled up in my brain. My disposition changed as I realized the hell my relationship was in. He gave me a kiss goodbye, and I gave him a forced smile as he walked out the door. I could tell by the expression on his face he knew how I was feeling.

Besides feeling like someone ripped my heart from my chest, I was feeling even sicker than the day before. My stomach was turning. I had so much work to do that day, but I couldn’t fathom going into the office. All morning, I was back n forth to the bathroom. I also realized sitting at home all day by myself with just my thoughts for company would be THE WORST thing possible for me at the time. The distraction of work would be a good for me, but I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t know if I could make the walk to the PATH, let alone make it through the whole day, so I called in sick.

All morning, I curled up in a ball on the couch watching TV. I tried to eat a bowl of cereal, but after four bites, I felt nauseous. I really did a number on myself that weekend. I drank very heavily both Friday and Saturday well into the morning, as well as a few cocktails on Sunday, which was because I thought a little hair of the dog might help. NOPE!

After a while, I tried to fall asleep, but sadly all I could do was think about N. I started to tear up again, but refused to let myself cry. Finally, out of exhaustion, I fell asleep.

After some time, my roommate’s girlfriend came by. She was packing their things for their move to a new apartment. I needed someone to talk to, so I told her what happened. She gave me her take on the situation and offered advice. I didn’t fully agree with her on some things, but I knew she was right about most of it. It just wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I knew in my brain I needed to break up with him — the guy in which I had zero trust to be faithful to me. But, my heart was not in sync. It still wanted him — this great guy I met and integrated into my life so easily. I was torn. I knew if I just had hard proof, it would be the closure I needed to get over it and end things with him.

Nevertheless, I didn’t think our conversation was over. I didn’t have all the answers I needed, and if I was going to be treated like a second string booty call, this relationship was over. I asked him if he would be around that night since he couldn’t spend the day at home with me. He responded by telling me he completely forgot, until his roommate reminded him, he was going to her brother’s graduation party and would be spending the night. I would not see him for at least another 36 hours.

A big red flag went up in my head. Since I had no trust in him whatsoever, I began stalking him on Grindr. Was he meeting up with a man? Grindr would tell me how far away he was. I knew his job was 6 miles from my apartment. At one point that evening, he was 10 miles away, and then it jumped to 33 miles away. Of course, my brain racked over what the pit stop was. Did he stop at a Grindr friend’s apartment on the way to the party for a quickie? Who knew? This is was I was reduced to.

I was driving myself insane, so I took my frustrations out on someone who was bothering me for some time, Gatsbie69. The week before I met N on Grindr, I met what seemed to be the perfect guy for me also on Grindr. He was 28, and his name was Tim, or so he said. We talked for hours between Grindr and AIM. He emailed me numerous pictures of him and his hot body, but something never quite added up. Long story short, we discussed our lives and interests and matched up quite well. I was excited to meet him, except he always had an excuse why he couldn’t. Over two months, I did some research and came to find how much of a fake he was. I couldn’t figure out what he was getting out of this arrangement, and in my agitated state, I ripped into him that night on AIM. He denied the accusations, but with little fervor. When I finished telling him what an awful person he is, I made sure to make a full report to Grindr for impersonating someone else.

I needed to get out of my apartment. I was driving myself crazy. I texted my friends to see what everyone were up to. I didn’t care what it was. I just needed a distraction. K finally answered. I told her how much of a wreck I was. I explained my lack of appetite during the day (K knows how much I love to eat, so she knew how out of sorts I was), so she invited me over for dinner. I jumped at the invitation. I was at her apartment in five minutes. She made lobster ravioli, and I was able to stomach four of them. So if you’re keeping track, I had four spoonfuls of cereal and four raviolis. But, I couldn’t help it. The thought of food made me nauseous. At this point, I knew it was more than just a hangover. I was causing myself so much emotional distress; it was beginning to affect my digestive system.

I was stronger than this. I didn’t do this. This is not who I am. Why was I letting one boy’s folly tear me down? It was ridiculous! But, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shake it.

After dinner, I laid on her couch watching TV with her. We didn’t talk, but it was just nice to be with someone and watching mindless TV. She doesn’t realize it, but she really helped me that day. I haven’t felt that depressed in a long time, and I really needed a friend to be there. Thanks K!

When N posted pictures of the party to Facebook, I knew he actually went to the party. When it started to get late, I walked home. I didn’t want to keep K up, and I knew it would probably do me good to get more sleep.

When I got back to my room, I hopped into bed. My California King never felt so empty as it did that night. I know I didn’t want N in my bed that night, but I also know I didn’t want to be alone either. The nightmarish thoughts that were my love life ran though my head until I was finally able to doze off to sleep.

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Your Cheating Heart

Saturday, I woke up fairly later in the morning. N was still sleeping in my bed, and Boston was still sleeping on the couch when I started to make breakfast. I fried up some frozen homemade sausage patties and eggs. In the meantime, my two favorite men woke up and joined me in the kitchen. I brewed a pot of coffee, and we sat and ate. Boston and I planned to go into the city for the day. He hadn’t been to the city in ten years. He is in music school and asked to check out the original Steinway store to play on some of their finest pianos. We invited N to join, but his plans included shaving his back and getting a haircut.

When breakfast ended, N and I went into my room and fooled around. I was horny since we didn’t do anything the night before and hungry for real sex. But, N wasn’t 100% cooperative. “I feel bad that Boston is out there alone right now. Ya know, we could let him watch,” he said with a wink and a smile. I just laughed it off and continued with my heavy petting. (I did feel bad for Boston because he got out of the shower and all his clean clothes were in my bedroom.) When I finally realized it wasn’t going to happen, we stopped. N went home to get ready for his day of primping, and I showered to get ready for the city. (I would later come to find N accusing me of hooking up with Boston at this point)

When Boston and I arrived in the city, we came upon a street fair. We walked around and got lunch. Following, I showed him some of the major attractions. It was really nice just relaxing with Boston and walking around the city. He started to feel like a little brother. Finally we arrived at the Steinway and Son’s a half hour before they were about to close for a recital. Boston sat at a few of the pianos and blew me away with his talent. I told him if he ever wanted to impress a guy, he should take him to a piano store and it would be in the bag.

We also stopped into to Saks to visit one of Boston’s old friends. We said hi, and he invited us to a house party and a drag show at a bar on the lower east side, Drom.

On the walk back to Port Authority, we passed a few of the pianos sprinkled around the city. I made Boston sit and play after The Naked Cowboy finished tinkering in Times Square. He ended up being filmed by the man in charge of documenting the project. Overall, I’d say it was a good day for Boston.

When we got back to Hoboken, we got dressed to go out and went to my friend K’s for a bbq. We were skipping the house party, but were going to meet them at Drom.

Likewise, N had plans for the night. Originally, he told me he was going out to dinner with friends and they didn’t know if they were staying in the city or coming back to Hoboken. To me, this meant straight friends. I figured i received no details because he wasn’t out to his- fellow diners. I was wrong. As the day went on, I received more details. He was going to dinner with eight gay men, and then it evolved into them going to Industry, a gay bar.

I asked him if it was an issue if we met up at Industry until Boston’s friends went to the lower east side. He told me to come. When Industry had a long line, they decided to go to Ritz, not my favorite bar. Boston and I finished at the bbq and headed to Ritz. On the walk there from Port Authority, I expressed my concerns about N and the night. I told him how shady it felt since he was being somewhat secretive. When we arrived, N’s phone was dying. I tried calling and texting to no avail. We went into the first floor and couldn’t find him anywhere. We tried upstairs to no avail as well. Finally, he texted me back. He was outside to smoking and trying to find us.

When he finally came back in, he was a drunk sweaty mess. I was way too sober to be there. I get very uncomfortable in gay bars for some reason. So, I ordered four straight vodka shots, two of which were for myself. He began to grind his ass in my crotch, and I liked it! This was the first time we could dance together and not create a total scene. A good portion of the night from then on is a blur for me. I got very drunk so I could tolerate the heat and the club and have blacked out a few bits.

When Boston got a text from his friends, we decided to leave. N told me he was coming with us. I was very pleasantly surprised. Boston and I went outside while N said goodbye to his fiends. When ten minutes passed, and he didn’t come out, I went back into the bar. As I was walking up the stairs, I noticed him talking to someone. Men were passing between us going up and down the stairs, but just then I saw him lean in and kiss this man. My heart shattered into a million pieces. In that millisecond, I felt my world crumbling around me. I know it was just one little kiss, but the fact that he was talking to another man, exchanging numbers and kissing broke my heart. I was crushed.

I didn’t know what to do other than run. I turned and sped down the stairs. He must have seen me at that instant because he chased after me. He tried to spin me around by grabbing my shoulder, but I flung my arms into the air and shouted, “Don’t touch me!” All that went through my head at that point was how many other guys were you grinding on and kissing before I arrived at the bar? We never had the exclusive conversation, but at that point, he was sleeping in my bed almost every night. We were in a relationship, even if it wasn’t defined.

He tried to calm me down on the street, but I was making a scene. I didn’t know what to do. When I get heated I get loud. He asked me to have a conversation and stop shouting, but I couldn’t be calm. I couldn’t be rational. I was enraged. Somehow, he managed to calm me down and convince me it was just a peck on the cheek in passing. Out of my inebriation, I let it go, and we went to the next bar. I felt awful. Boston was standing across the street witnessing this whole scene uncomfortably waiting for us to meet up with his friends at Drom.

In the cab ride, I decided I would pretend it didn’t happen for the night. Boston was only in town until the morning. I would deal with the situation later. I needed to entertain my good friend.

Boston lost his ID the night before, so when we attempted to enter the bar, the bouncer was not cooperative. Finally, when I shoved $40 into his hand, he let us in. After we each paid the $12 cover (on to of the $40), we came to realize Boston’s friends already left. The scene was dead. When I realized there was no chance in hell I was going to have fun the rest of the night, we grabbed a few drinks, and I volunteered to go on the hunt to find Boston a man to have fun with. We asked him what his type was. He explained. Then, N asked him if he was a top or a bottom. (This really had no relevance to the situation, and I think N took advantage to satiate his own curiosity.) When Boston was reluctant to elaborate, N said, “I’m a total top, but I love it when he puts his dick in my ass.” This was news to me. Especially since it never really fully made it there. It was just confirmation he was pumping Boston for information because he had a crush on him.

At one point, N and Boston walked to the bar to get drinks while I went to the restroom. Days later, Boston recounted for me the following exchange: N firmly gripped Boston’s ass and said, “How do you get an ass like that? So tight and firm. I’d really like to put my dick in there.” Had I known this happened that night, I would have left the bar with Boston and that would have been the end of it.

When we were all thoroughly exhausted and bored, we hopped in a cab back to Hoboken. No sooner we were in the door, and N was passed out face down on my bed in his underwear. This raised a whole new red flag in my brain. He was donning the sexiest underwear I’d ever seen him wear. His back was freshly shaved, his chest was cleanly shaved and he had a new haircut. All those are fine, but who was he expecting to see his underwear at a gay club. He spent the entire day getting ready for this night out. He never spent that much time primping to see me. Everything was starting to add up. From the business trip I took on, N was quickly distancing himself and seeking relationship freedom.

I went back out to the kitchen to chat with Boston. He immediately said, “OK! What happened!? What did you see!?” I explained to him the kiss, and in typical fashion, he dealt me the truth. He explained how N manipulated me that night as he watched from across the street. He told me to trust what I saw and trust my own instincts. We talked for at least another hour after that.

N’s phone was sitting there the whole time as well. I picked it up and was about to look through his Grindr messages because I wanted to find the closure I needed to tell him it was over. I couldn’t trust him anymore, but if I had proof, I would be able to get over it myself. Boston convinced me how bad that idea was. I put the phone down without pushing a button. To this day, I still regret not looking. It’s completely out of character for me to not trust someone and read their phone, but it would have delivered me the closure I needed.

At that point, I was exhausted. Physically and emotionally. That night I was delivered a heavy blow to the gut and needed to sleep to forget about it even for one instant. Boston went to the couch, and I begrudgingly went to share my bed with the man I had seen kissing another man. I laid down with my back to him and tears streaming down my face. I was crushed by what happened. I had no idea what to do. I still had very strong feelings for him, but couldn’t turn a blind eye. It isn’t who i am. I’m no one’s fallback or second best. However, I did know it was certainly not going to be a fun morning for him either…

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