Monday, March 17, 2008
Morning Edition - 3/17/08
The Agony of Clarity
While some folks require time to gather their thoughts before speaking on any subject, it’s both a blessing and a curse that I’ve always thought on my feet and will often speak and gather my thoughts while doing so. It’s as if clarity comes through hearing me talk about the subject at hand. My break-up with BD was no different. I told him exactly how I felt; my frustration building as I heard myself relay what I was going through. I cut him off at every turn and sealed any loopholes he could find to explain why events transpired as they had. On Friday night BD conversed with me via text and explained precisely how he felt. His well thought-out feelings resonated with me and I heard everything I always needed to hear from him. His explanations touched my core, since they made perfect sense. I felt BD’s love, but more important, I felt his pain. I wanted to comfort him, but I realized my attempts to take his pain away would only hurt him more in the long run. We agree that we love each other; we agree that we hold all the qualities we’ve always wanted in a partner; we agree that we bring out each other’s strengths. What we differ on is what this means for our future. It became clear that ours wasn’t an issue of infidelity, disrespect or lack of love and attention. Our Achilles heel is the enormous disparity in our development. I am a gay man that has been out for as long as I can remember. I’ve been on my own since the age of 15 and have learned the ins and outs of relationships. I’m out to my friends, family and coworkers. I’m respected by all because of the strength and confidence that comes from being gay for, what appears to be, a lifetime. BD hasn’t come out yet and needs the time to massage these relationships with this news. He requires patience to explain his life to his son and to put his baby’s momma in her proper place. The enormous chasm of our development would require one of us to be unhappy in compromise to make us work. When the reality of the situation hit me on Friday night, I was overcome with a sense of complete despair. I had everything I could want in a man – except I had to wait for him to develop and grow into the man that could make me completely happy. To continue the relationship BD would need to work out of his comfort zone at break-neck speeds and risk alienating his family and close friends to share with them who he is. He would need to provide an ultimatum to his baby’s mom to respect who he is; who I am to him and where we are or wait until their son is an adult to see him again. All of these would make us work – NOW – but would probably make BD a very unhappy and potentially an isolated man. It would change the love of my life into someone who would resent me for rushing him along. Conversely, waiting for BD to grow at his own pace would frustrate and unnerve me. It would destroy my self esteem and kill my spirit. The wait would transform me into someone other than the man BD has fallen in love with. So as the tears streamed down my face reading his text messages and the overwhelming desire to comfort him shook my soul, I did the only thing I knew how to do. I became the impenetrable strong man. I asked him to understand that I could not fight to make us work. I finished by saying that although I loved him, I’d appreciate if he respected my wish to end our relationship. The agony of clarity is my realization that love does not conquer all; that sometimes loving someone means being a realist and recognizing that even when you want to selfishly ask that someone conforms to your needs, it’s more important to respect their life and show true love by allowing them to keep all that is important to them intact. I love BD enough to let him go so that he can – at his own pace – have the same slow progression into the beauty that his life will be once he has tied up all his loose ends. I am human, however, and the thought that I may be giving up the best man that ever happened to me is one that has left me deeply saddened. My only comfort is that BD will be happy in the end and that he will have the opportunity to be in a better place once he’s ready to love again; even a lottery win couldn’t compare to the prize he will be.
Reminding myself that my decision is what’s best for both us is the only thing that keeps me sane. I feel that although he may never understand how I could seem so cut and dry, that he will one day appreciate the amount of pain my decision caused me and that I had his best interest at heart when I let us go.
Have you done something that has shown you your ability to be selfless and proven your true love for someone?
Keep passin’ the open windows…