A Gay Couple Made in Heaven (part 1) by Matt Carlson
The end of our ten year year relation started just before Christmas last year on the 21st of December. My compagnon (I will name him Garp) spat out suddenly while sitting under a cypress tree at our home,
“There’s nothing left between us.” I asked him to repeat what he had said, he did and I said that “I didn’t see things that way.” Though the intimacy was no longer manifesting itself, to me we were still best friends. We were family.
But we were at an impasse with little or no discussion going on. No communication. Like 2 stale pieces of bread left out just sitting there waiting for someone to either make bread crumbs of us or throw us out in the trash….
Or maybe like two cows saying “_ooo”, and “_ooo” as they’d lost their “M”.
It’s not that I hadn’t tried to create communication with Garp, but sometimes there comes a moment when all of the efforts have been made – that finally you know you don’t have any control over it. Too, I was very tired. My answer was to suggest that we take six months to figure out the next step. As usual there was no response from my “ex” who when emotions ran high was unable to say anything. It was next to impossible to read his mask. Years of molding a wax-like face which wouldn’t allow any emotions to show – no one must see the bubbeling underneath. Of course Garp paid the price of this constant effort of detachment from his own emotions (as did I – I was in front of the mask not wearing it)…But it never worked. Emotions cannot be turned off. They have to be expressed somehow. If we don’t express ourselves in a healthy manner, those emotions will come out in other ways: through pain to yourself and pain to others.
Every night it was the same thing, Garp would drink himself into a state of drunkenness, usually starting out in the kitchen (where he would hide his constant refills) stumble into the living area when everything was ready, then sit there saying nothing, sharing nothing. A zombie to himself, un undead to me. I would try to sometimes get him to talk, but that was a waste of time. Either he would start saying things that were absolutely crazy or having hit some automatic button inside his head start to repeat something that had happened to him in the past for the hundred thousand time…something he had not made peace with. Sometimes, it would be okay. Or of course, there were times when we would argue and no one would eat finally. Or maybe just me.
I had pills to suck down in order to stay healthy.
And how many times did I pick him up and put him to bed? Too many to count…. To be fair, when the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) was determined over 5 years ago, I took a deep breath of….”phew!” and then “what?” and then while reading about BPD on Wikipedia, I felt tremendous relief. Relief because it was as if someone had written about Garp personally on those pages! So I wasn’t crazy after all (sometimes after hours of intensive heavy discussions or discussions which became “therapy” with Garp I thought I was losing my mind…) My past experiences in psychology (7 years in the field before meeting Garp) helped me enormously in keeping distance from what was happening and also helped me to use tools in dealing with him. However, you cannot have a relationship with someone and be his or her therapist. And I didn’t want to be his therapist. I only wanted to be in love and to build a beautiful life together. But that takes two to do that. Unknowingly (or should I say unconsciously?) I had chosen this guy who I thought needed me, who didn’t seem to have any idea what love was about.
In the very beginning I saw signs that bothered me. I remember him sitting in his apartment and sitting there with his mask on. It was so strange; I didn’t know how to react to it. I didn’t know what it was that sat there before me. I saw someone locked inside himself, who ambushed ideas of success, yet seemed to want to break the mold of his own prison, whatever it was. This was new to me, this way of being. Knowing that there was something amiss, I decided to stay and see things through. I wasn’t looking at things though the lens of a therapist. This was my boyfriend. I guess you could say that I was stupid, or ignorant or maybe a million other things. But I just cared, wanted to make things better, wanted to show him what love was. Share that with him. Be together. I knew love…so if he didn’t, he would learn it soon enough, right?…
But even that in the beginning was strange. In the mornings, afternoons and in the evenings there was a recoiling to being touched. Didn’t get that. His body said “I want it!” Yet his words oftentimes in opposition. You never knew when it was okay and when it wasn’t. Where were the signs? I had learned a long time ago that when you start having that ongoing conversation, trying to figure out all those confusing, conflicting signs, well it’s better to move on…(I failed to listen to my own advice)…Nothing was spontaneous for him. Little did I know, he was in turmoil. His BPD didn’t allow a normal relationship. It didn’t fit into things somehow… For me, spontaneity was natural. That was and is how I am. I didn’t and don’t need to have a talk in my head about physical stuff or about pleasure. Making love and being in that one hundred percent was easy.
(*To be continued…Feel free to leave a comment. Would love to hear your feedback;))