Who said black gay relationships can’t work? I’ve had the privilege of enjoying a love that was generous, consistent, and stable when my life was in turmoil. It was the only thing constant in my life at that time. He came into my life at a time that I was just trying to survive emotionally, mentally, professionally and financially. He was so interested in my dreams, my thoughts and my needs, but I couldn’t open up to him the way I wanted or needed to because I was depressed, and my heart was numb because of it. I also knew a little about his past relationships and ways he had been hurt and taken advantage of. I knew a little about his past because we shared a mutual friend, though, we never knew each other.
When we made the decision to be together I went into the relationship thinking, “this is the one that’s going to work.” As with all relationships, we confronted challenges that we had to hurdle, together. At some point, we both thought we could do it alone, so we were bound to stumble and fall & we did.
I found it increasingly difficult to share with him the things that were going on in my life for fear he’d think I had too much baggage, that I expected him to take care of things for me, or that I was another slacker. So, in many instances I concealed the facts of my life: my rent was past due, thus, the eviction process had started; my bank account was -$660.00; and then my car was totaled. Subsequently, I closed him out. Naturally, he began to believe he was the problem. He was never the problem, but that was difficult to prove because shutting him out became my routine for dealing with the pressure. Small things became big things, for me. I just wasn’t happy with the way my life was going and no one seemed to understand what I was feeling.
Consequently, I became irritable, terse, and short with him because he was the closest person to me. I could no longer manage my mood swings after a while of doing so. Even when I was aware of what I was doing, I couldn’t help it. Life was getting the best of me. To combat my many personalities he attempted to find my lost soul, the love he found and lost so quickly. He did everything in his power to make me happy, to make me smile, from trips to dinners to plays to concerts. Nothing seemed to work. The harder he tried, the more I pulled away because I didn’t know when I would begin to see the light. I just didn’t think it was fair that he so graciously gave his heart, and I couldn’t. So, I developed a coping method that worked for me, but hurt him. I walked in and out of that relationship without notice, without reason, and without justification. Breaking it off whenever I felt like it.
When my life took a turn for the better, his heart was too far gone for me to reach. My tears weren’t enough to convince him that this time would be different. I couldn’t help thinking if I had damaged him so badly that he would never be able to trust love again.
Love and life are two of the most difficult chapters to read in the book called life, for there are no instructions to follow, guidelines to adjust to, or handbooks to reference. It’s hard to imagine how the one who fell so hard for me found it difficult to try again…I never got a chance to show him the best of me, and I may never find that kind of love again because quantity is great, but quality is scarce.