When I attempted to reconcile a doomed relationship for the third time in five years, my heart was broken and my mind was fried.
I already knew the answer to the question “can this relationship be saved ?” No. It can’t.
As black gay men, we get inducted into a lifetime of disappointment at a very early age. From the time we fail to catch a football, share our love for big voiced divas or get picked last for a neighborhood sport, we get schooled and seduced into what we will learn later is a lifetime of expected and impotent way of dealing with disappointments.
Life is not all shit and kicks in the teeth.
We all learn the silent and sometimes vocal disapproval that is created because we are not quite enough in some areas and far too much in others. To make sure that we get the message, we are often handed a healthy dose of guilt about what our desires are.Socialization lets everyone know we have disappointed those that love us and the culture at large.
Growing up, my dad constantly questioned and belittled my inability to catch a football and my disdain and complete uninterest in anything sports related.
If I ever felt that it was no big deal that I was severely lacking in these gifts, my family and schoolmates made sure that it was clear: who you are is wrong and no substantial life can be be built with what you have to offer.
It seems comical that my ability to construct a powerful life of my own was tied to my ability to catch a football or take a kick in the crotch via some ridiculous karate class.
Many gay men never grow out of the miasma that is constant and unabashed disappointment.
Personally, I struggle with not expecting the worse out of people and am always shocked when a personal friend or paramour disappoints in word, action or deed.
So many of us fall into addictions of all kinds (sexual, food, debt, serial monogamy) in an effort to create predictable circumstances.
Addictions comfort and soothe us not because they are fun and productive but because they are dependable. They will not disappoint. When struggling with holding on to what was left of my mind, my addiction to anonymous sex ran amuck. Many times, I felt as if I was watching someone else do and say some of the most ridiculous shit imaginable. My mind was more interested in repeatedly creating the same result no matter the consequences or illogic. My body was just along for the ride: a conduit who knew its role.
Much like my earliest indoctrination into what to expect and be able to create in my life, I quickly developed a fascination with how far I could go to create predictable results that were anything but unreliable.
It is extremely dangerous when you find yourself doing things you no longer find joyful. When doing things you find despicable bring relief which is constant and otherworldly comforting, there is a serious problem.
This seductive world is not reality.
The lies fed to us by our parents framing our future lives in upset and disappointment because of our sexuality is not reality either.
We get healthy and fight for and win our emotional health by not denying the reality that sometimes shit gets fucked up.
We get healthy by demanding that we have the right to love our lives and develop them pathology free.
We get healthy by not feeling compelled to not disappoint mommy and daddy and whoever we assign that parental role.
We get healthy by not allowing anyone to determine if what we’ve done meets their approval and should be tinkered with or rehauled.
We get healthy by not disappointing ourselves and silently agreeing to nonsense that is not in our best interests.
What disappointments still run your life ? What upset are you waiting for someone else to correct ?