I feel so alone. I'm twenty-five, and I've never been in a relationship. The abuse happened for two years, by a teacher, beginning when I was eight. Right now, I feel so hopeless with love, and I've never wanted anything more than I've wanted love.
I have a habit of building someone up, obsessing. I know that I'm doing it, but can't help it. I feel so empty, and these fantasies fulfill a need. I've gotten much better. I don't have nightmares every night. I can talk, carry on a conversation. But my experiences with love have been consistently humiliating.
In college, I was a freshman and one of my classmates reached out to me. A friend from high school knew him. She said, when she learned that we were going to the same school, that I reminded her a lot of him. We were both very intelligent and very, very shy. But he was different when I met him. He was at ease with people. He seemed sane, and I was not. I wondered what he knew that I didn't, about how to function, to speak.
Towards the end of the year, he invited me to sit with him during lunch. I was nervous and awkward, literally shaking. I thought he had a crush on me, and I had ruined it. But he asked me to sit with him again. It was just the two of us and, like a tutor, he encouraged me to speak, to make small talk. I think it was because I reminded him of the way he once was. Afterwards, I was embarrassed around him. I was changing quickly, learning to speak. He transferred after sophomore year.
During that summer, before I knew he was gone, I realized that I had been abused. I hate saying it like that. It makes me sound as if I'm lying, as if I saw too many Lifetime TV movies about repressed memories. But the truth was, I always knew. I just wasn't lucid. I just hadn't put it together, the fragments I have of it, of my gym teacher keeping me aside while my classmates swam in our school's pool.
I returned to college, and he was gone. And, I became convinced that he had been abused as well. He was alone most of the time. I talked to another friend who had known him. This friend had known him in grade school. My friend said he had made him get undressed when they were in kindergarten on a playdate. He remembered being terrified. I did the same thing, with a girl I knew, during the abuse. And, he was pale, and thin, and had a haunted look, as I do. And, he was almost always alone.
He was another like me. He was as empty as I was. Everyday I thought of him, for years. It was less love than faith, or devotion. He saved me. He tried to help when no one else had, my parents, my teachers. I wrote poem after poem about him. My memories of him became sacred to me.
But I did not know him. I ran into him two years ago. He mentioned his girlfriend. He acts as if he could gay, or straight. He's about as effeminate as I am. Maybe he is only confused. I don't mean that in a derisive way. I mean only that sexuality is confusing for us, if he was abused.
Anyway, I got over it pretty quickly. I didn't cry. I was fine. I think of it now because the same thing happened with a girl. She hit on me awhile ago at a gay bar, and I was smitten. It was strange and exciting, the first girl I've ever liked. I wrote about her, daydreamed about her. Then I saw her yesterday and I said, "Hello," and she got offended and walked away.
I asked how she was, and also if she was mad at me. She said she thought I was someone else. I got the impression she was lying, though I could be wrong. She ignored me for the rest of the night. She had flirted with me a few times, but I think she was taken aback when I was serious.
I realize that I hardly know her. But I'm angry at myself for falling into that pattern again. I feel pathetic. I'm intelligent. I'm attractive. I'm funny. It's like I want to hurt myself.
My mistake is obvious. I can't expect to find love with a woman I meet at a gay bar.-Duh! Maybe I shouldn't even be at a gay bar. The thought of sleeping with a man makes my skin crawl. I don't mean to be offensive. I am gay. My friends are gay. I've slept with men before. I would have been gay if I hadn't been abused. But at this point, I think I can be just as happy with a woman.
I need a friend, someone I can trust, because I trust no one.
"Hello," was one of the things that boy in college tried to teach me. It's caused a lot of heartache, but it's a start. I mean that I can't give up. I believe that love is possible one day.