Posts Tagged tolerate
Preparing to get ready for the Scissor Sisters concert was a sh*t show and a half. This was twice now CK and I fought before going to an event. I was beginning to wonder if we would ever be able to go to these kinds of events without it turning into a fight. I had finally grown more comfortable with the crowds at these events, but I was growing uncomfortable with the idea of going with CK to them. Living up to what I thought were CK’s expectations was a lot of pressure to deal with.
CK and Hip were ready, but the tickets were nowhere to be found. After quite some time, Hip managed to find the tickets behind the couch. It seemed like he happened to know where they were in a moment of clarity. At this point, we quickly made our way out of the apartment to see if we could salvage what was left of the concert. Like the flip of a switch, CK began apologizing to me and asked me to come along and be happy. His main concern was getting to the concert, not whether or not we were okay. It was incredibly selfish, and it hurt a lot. We quickly hustled the ten blocks to the venue, but I skulked behind a few paces every turn we made. I was really hurting deep inside. Things weren’t going very well between us the way it was, but this took things to a new level. I wasn’t saying anything. I was in shock about what had transpired. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what I was still doing there.
I’m not good at putting on a smile and bearing down. I may have been present physically, but mentally, I was in a whole other world.
When we got to the doors at Terminal 5, a large mass of people were walking out the door. CK cut through the crowds heading in the exit only to find the concert had ended. Everyone was leaving. I stood on the street with my arms crossed because I knew there was no hope. I also wasn’t about to chase CK through a mass of people. When CK finally realized all hope was lost, his anger returned. Hip continued to apologize over and over again, but CK wanted none of it. I wasn’t upset in the slightest because I was in no mood to go to a concert. The three of us managed to find each other, and we all agreed we were starving.
I was pretty wasted, and we stumbled back towards his apartment searching for somewhere to grab food. We didn’t pass anything along the way, and CK mentioned getting take-out delivered. When we got back to his place, I hopped into bed immediately. I was hungry, but more importantly, I was drunk and upset. I wanted to go to bed to escape what was going on around me. I fell asleep in CK’s bed still fully clothed.
I woke the next morning to the sound of Hip knocking on CK’s door. Originally, we planned to go to the cloisters in north Manhattan, but those plans would never come to fruition. For some ungodly reason, Hip was wide awake with lots of energy. I, on the other hand, was incredibly hung over. Everything was too bright, too loud and too real. I just wanted to go back to bed and sleep off my hangover. Hip sat on the foot of the bed talking about the night before and asking a lot of questions. Apparently, he had even more to drink than I did. He kept asking if we actually ever made it to the concert, and this was really the last thing CK wanted to hear. Every time he brought up the previous night, it made CK grow more and more frustrated.
At one point, Hip excused himself to use the restroom. CK and I took the opportunity to chat while he was absent. I was still quite upset, but I wasn’t going to make a scene. This was the perfect opportunity to talk. I brought up everything from the night before and explained how none of it was okay. I point blank asked him what Hip handed him the night before. He responded, “I have no clue what you’re even talking about.” When I pushed the issue, he denied any recollection of it emphatically. After my suspicions and insinuations, he detailed how the only substances he partook in the previous night was alcohol. Based on his reaction and emphatic response, I believed him. I was not okay with how he acted or how he treated my, but I did believe him. I put my worries aside and took his word for it. I had no reason not to believe him. After our previous conversations on the subject, I wondered if maybe I had finally gotten through to him.
I told him if he ever lays a hand on me like that again, we’re done. He didn’t hurt me physically, and I did loved him. But, this was not something I would tolerate. The next time, I was actually walking out the door, and I was never coming back. I made sure he understood how serious I was about this. I wasn’t afraid for my own safety. I was more afraid for both of us. I didn’t know what would happen if things escalated out of control because we both had short tempers. I stressed this point numerous times. Again, he apologized emphatically. I could see his apology was genuine, and I accepted it. He loved me, and I could see it pained him to know how much he hurt me. He apologized for everything and I forgave him for everything. “Forgiven, but not forgotten. We will not go through this again,” I added.
We literally kissed and made up, but things didn’t stop there. He was very sweet in his remorse. Apparently, he was feeling a bit frisky. Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. We started to make out, and when I pointed out Hip just on the other side of the bathroom door, he didn’t stop. As per usual, I woke in the morning raring to go, and CK took advantage of this. We were making out and my hands were exploring his entire body under the comforter. He was straddling me, and he reached down with his hand and sat on top of me. It was incredibly hot, but I was still a little self-conscious about the whole thing.
Just as I predicted, Hip emerged from the bathroom with CK still straddling me. I didn’t know what to do, but we didn’t immediately separate either. We both turned our gazes to meet his with a guilty look upon our faces. He knew exactly what was happening, but he went about his business accordingly. We all laughed at the situation as I slowly removed myself from CK. It was necessary to break the tension in the room.
We continued to lay around for a majority of the morning chatting and relaxing. Before Hip got back into the previous night, CK pleaded, “Can we talk about anything other than last night please?” After some time, we were finally able to motivate ourselves to get out of bed and face the day…
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.