Saturday, May 28, 2011

Forgiveness and Stuff

Last night, Toby asked to borrow a tie of mine to wear to a friend's wedding.  Him collecting it was the first time I'd seen him outside of class or off campus since my gay fast.  Two weeks with no contact, no texting, nothing, because I've been mad as hell at him and mad as hell about him.  He was so incredibly rude and predatory last time we hung out that every time I thought about him, I got nervous and panicky and angry.  And yet, I'd still get caught fantasizing about our kisses, about cuddling with him, about him falling asleep in my arms, and then I'd get angry at myself for still wanting that 25% of him that I was attracted to.

He called, asking to borrow the tie. I answered his phone call brusquely, responded to his request impatiently, and said that he could come pick up the tie, but I was going to bed so it better be soon.  He knocked on my door, I handed it off, asked when he'd be done with it, and said good night.

The day after his rude remarks and picture messages, he sent me a few e-mails and texts, apologizing for his hormonal, horny advances to me.  I wrote several replies, but could never send any of them.  I was blinded by rage, but I also know enough to not send e-mails or text messages while angry.  I knew that even though I was angry, he also knew as well and throwing it in his face would do nothing but make me angrier, longer.  So, after a few days, I simply replied, "I was mad as hell at you yesterday, and I was mad as hell at you this morning, but I'm going to let it go."

I told myself that I needed to cut him out of my life.  All the pity I had for him and his struggle, and the abuse he'd been subjected to as a child, all that had been thrown out the window.  It became easy for me to hate him, even under the pretense of forgiveness.  I resolved to not bring up how mad I was, but he was the enemy, the man who objectified me and counted me for nothing.  He was the guy who led me on, let me get emotional, and then left me wanting. I hated him for that.

Then, this morning, I was thinking about him again.  I thought about the conversation we had a few weeks before our falling-out.  We talked about our friendship, about how sorry he was for abusing me and taking me for granted, and about how bad he felt for bringing me down.  I too admitted that I had been a bad friend.  I told him, "I just want you to know that I love you.  You are a strong person and I love you and I'm rooting for your happiness."  I told him I meant it in a general, humanistic sense; I had a lot of brotherly love for him.  He acknowledged that and said, "GMP, I have no doubt in my mind that you love me.  You're a good friend and you've never let me forget how much you care."

So this morning, I was thinking about Toby and getting angrier and angrier.  And then I realized, anger and that love I said I had for him were mutually exclusive emotions.  I had to choose one and let the other go, and I decided to choose love, because I believe that no matter what happens, you can't undo the feelings you've had for someone.  No matter how awful he is (at least in the machinations of my brain), I love him and care so much about his happiness.

My hatred won't help him (or me) succeed, so I'm done being mad at him, done reacting coldly and cruelly, done being upset every time he walks in a room.  By no means am I ready to spend time with him again, but I'm at least going to start rooting for him.  Because I do love him.  I empathize so much with his struggles, both with homosexuality and with the abuse he felt as a child.  I have faith in him to do the right thing and I want to see him succeed by whatever yardstick he measures against.  I know he'll rise to the occasion and do what he needs to do to be happy and I can't wait to watch it happen.  But, I can't be the one to pull him up.  I'm not strong enough right now to be that person that will encourage him to be the best Toby he can be.

So, for now, I'll just be rooting from the sidelines and maybe someday, after we've both grown, we'll be able to be closer friends again.  Or maybe I'll just always be his anonymous fan.  Either way, I'm choosing love.

1 comment:

  1. I think it's really tough that sometimes our first relationships are so rocky, but you seem to be handling it really well. Kudos to you!


Be nice, mmmmkay? I allow anonymous comments, but not anonymous (or even attributed) douchebaggery. The Gay Mormon Pioneer's tolerance for hate and venom are incredibly low, but his love of communication and debate are high, so have an opinion, but be kind and gentle when you share it.

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