Sometimes I worry that I am too damaged for a relationship. I come with a lot of baggage. Outwardly I try to seem confident. Most of the time I can pull it off. I’m always the person to go first. I am the natural leader of any group. In most situations, I can muster action when most people hesitate. I’m outspoken, and I have been told in the past that I have a devil-may-care attitude. However, most people who know me have no idea how insecure I am ninety-percent of the time.
I was bullied terribly as a kid. Physically, emotionally, and mentally broken over and over and over. The first time I was called a faggot was in the third grade, and it never stopped. It’s hard to feel like you have worth as a human when you’re told most of your young adult life that you don’t because you’re different. I never felt different, other than knowing at a young age that I had an attraction to other boys even before I understood what it meant to be gay.
People don’t understand the way being bullied rewires your brain. It doesn’t matter what kind of support system you have as an adult, it’s incredibly difficult to forget childhood trauma. I have beautiful friends. My friends are the family that I have never had but always wanted, always needed. But still, my friends will never be my mother and father – neither of which has anything to do with me as an adult because I live my life as my authentic self. And while my friends can tell me that I have a lot to offer someone in a relationship, I’m still a scared boy inside that hears people tell him he is living his life the wrong way. If my own parents can chose not to love me, why should anyone else? Especially romantically.
When it comes to relationships, I am still a scared thirteen year-old who is too afraid to use the bathroom at school for fear of having the shit kicked out of him where adult eyes choose to go blind. I’m still the kid who developed a facial tick because of the stress of merely existing in social situations I felt I couldn’t control. I think to myself what could I possibly have to offer anyone? I live in a small apartment, I drive a fourteen year-old car with a broken gearshift, and I work at a job making a modest salary that barely affords me enough money to make ends meet. I’m balding, I’m fat, and I’m prone to bouts of suffocating melancholy. No one deserves that. No one deserves me. I’m better staying starved for love. I’m used to it.
The last date I went on, which was just a few days ago, the only thing I could focus on the entire time was that the guy I was seeing didn’t deserve to be saddled with me. I looked at his house, his Jeep, his career, and I literally thought it’s just a matter of time before he realizes he’s too good for me. And then I felt like everything I said to him was the dumbest thing that had ever came out of my mouth. No amount of psychotherapy has ever helped me to overcome these negative feelings. I think it is easier to be lonely than to face the rejection I know is inevitable.