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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lessons Learned

This is going to be my last post on this blog. If you are reading this for the first time, I recommend that you start at the beginning to read things as they occurred.

I’m leaving Provo and beginning a new life in a new city, so I thought it fitting to begin a new blog, one where I don’t have to hide behind pseudonyms. My new blog is

So much has changed since I returned to Provo three years ago. I certainly could not have predicted all that has happened, and I would never have guessed I’d be where I am today. But I am grateful for how things have turned out.

I went to dinner with Alex last week. I think we both wanted another chance to sit and talk, and to say goodbye. When he walked in I looked up, and my immediate internal reaction was “Oh, there you are. Where have you been these past months?”

We sat down and ate, and our old dynamic fell into place effortlessly. We talked, laughed, and teared up a bit. It was so wonderful to sit with him and just be with him. I was reminded of how much he drove me crazy, and how much I loved being with him. I really did love that boy. I miss him. I miss having someone who knows my soul so intimately, and who is always there, even if just in the back of my mind. Most of all, I just felt grateful to have loved this boy, and to be at a point where I can love him again, albeit in a different way.

Outside the restaurant we embraced, and I held him tightly. All of him is so familiar. It’s difficult sometimes to tell myself that he doesn’t belong to me anymore. But I did let go, we said goodbye, and drove away.

I packed up my room on Saturday, and I found myself packing away all the memories that went along with it, the most potent being memories of Alex. I took pictures, then left, keeping every beautiful moment with him deep in my heart, then moving on.

Last night I went to my friend’s house and we split a bottle of red wine. We sat outside on her porch in the cool summer night and talked of the love and loss we’d experienced in the last year. She and I became true Breakup Buddies, and I marveled at how much we’d grown with each other. How many times had we wept in each other’s arms? How many times had we laughed together? How many times had we walked into the coffee pod to see the other sitting there, and rushed up to say, “so, there’s this boy I met…” We’ve shared stories of love and heartbreak, of crushes and being crushed. We’ve talked of inner strength and living deliberately. She was the one who pulled up to my house mere minutes after Alex walked out my door, and she has been there for me every step of the way. I love that girl with all my heart.

She talked about the boy who ended things with her recently. And several glasses of wine revealed that Vegas boy is still on my mind beneath the surface. I read her pieces from the last post, and she agreed with everything I wrote about him. She knows Vegas boy, and understands how he caught me so fast.

She didn’t have answers for me. She didn’t try to fix the longing. But that was never her intention. We sat there, recalling our experiences with these boys, feeling the bitter and the sweet of life enwrap us. Time for a moment slowed, and there in the summer darkness we found ourselves a bit closer than normal to the meaning of it all. In moments like this all the fickle and unimportant fall away, and I felt so incredibly grateful to have the chance to experience this life. Both the joy and the sorrow hold such beauty. How lucky we are to be able to feel them both, and to be a part of the miraculous journey of this life. 

And so I end the current chapter of my life. The events of the last few years have irrevocably changed me. I have been beaten down and built up. I have traversed a crisis of faith and emerged on the other side. I have felt love, true, honest to God love, and I will never be the same because of it.

As I drive off to my new home and new life, the words from Carrie Underwood’s “Lessons Learned” will be resonating within me:

And every tear that had to fall from my eyes,
Every day I wondered how I'd get through the night,
Every change life has thrown me,
I'm thankful for every break in my heart,
I'm grateful for every scar,
Some pages turned,
Some bridges burned,
But there were lessons learned.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Ignoring the Call

"Whenever I refused to follow my fate, something very hard to bear would happen in my life... Tragedy always brings about radical change in our lives, a change that is associated with the same principle: loss. When faced by any loss, there's no point in trying to recover what has been; it's best to take advantage of the large space that opens up before us and fill it with something new. In theory, every loss is for our own good; in practice, though, that is when we question the existence of God and ask ourselves: What did I do to deserve this?"

 - Paulo Coelho,

I am sitting at my desk in the same room where Alex broke the news to me. Between me and that day there are seven months, countless tears, dozens upon dozens of new friends, innumerable moments of laughter, and so many life-altering experiences that I can honestly say that I am no longer the same man I was that night. That Ty is gone. 

What has emerged is someone I didn't even know was there. I found strength inside me that I didn't know I had. I found a God who was much closer than I ever believed him to be. And I found a mercy that has sustained me through every struggle and lifted me through every joy. 

It is a bitter-sweet thing to know that the Ty that was with Alex is gone. It is bitter, because it means that the most treasured period of my life to date is finished. It is done, and gone. But it is sweet, because from the ashes of that time I have emerged a new being, much more content with being who and where I am now, more willing to sit with the uncomfortable unknowns of life, more hopeful even when I cannot see the road beyond. 

I read the quote above by Paulo Coelho this morning. It struck me as I read it, because I could see how that truth has played out in my life since the breakup seven months ago. When I was with Alex, I was willing to change my whole life around for him. I had applied to several different grad school programs in his home state. I was preparing to build a life with him. Had I been presented with the choice of pursuing a superior program elsewhere, without him, or to go to a lesser program and have him in my life, I would have chosen the latter without any hesitation.

Now granted, relationships (especially long-term ones) require sacrifice and mutual effort. So to a degree I do not find error in where I stood before. However, I was so entirely focused on being with him that I gave no thought to the contribution I need to make to the world. In the language of Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist", I was choosing Alex and tossing my personal legend aside. 

I was ignoring my fate. I didn't care what my fate was, as long as Alex would be there. And so I needed a wake up call. And what a wake up call it was. 

I tried for a time to fill the hole Alex left by holding on to his memory and the relationship with a death grip. I tried filling the hole with someone else. I tried filling the hole by going dancing at the club every weekend. Nothing worked. 

Then came hell week, the week covered by the last couple of posts. That week was horrific, but I finally began letting Alex go. And then something miraculous happened. The very next weekend I met someone, we clicked, and I found myself able to feel all the deep and wonderful emotions again. I worried I'd never be able to touch them again. But there they were.

Once again, however, I began latching on to something, trying to fill the hole of loss, and began ignoring my fate. And so I lost it again. Well, it really never even developed. I recognized to some degree what was going on, so I let go of that boy. 

And once again I was capable of feeling those emotions. As soon as I let go, the very next weekend I met a boy at Pride in Salt Lake. We clicked, and it felt even better than the last boy. We went on a series of dates, and everything was incredible. He liked me, he told me that he liked me, and he acted like he liked me. It felt incredible. Imagine my thrill when he texted me and said "Ty, I want to take you to Vegas for your birthday, since you've never been." 

I remember lying in his bed, feeling him close to me, listening to soft and soothing music as the summer breeze blew into the darkened room. I took mental photos of those moments. I snapped them, and saved them, because I did not want to forget how incredible it felt to be next to this boy. I remember caressing his arm or bare back as we dozed in and out, marveling over the beautiful boy that lay next to me. I barely knew him, we'd hardly had the time to open up and see the depths of one another's souls. But I felt something real for him. Something young, to be sure. But nonetheless real. And the way he would squeeze me close to him in the night made me feel he felt it too.

But I was ignoring fate once again. We went to bed one evening, drinking wine and talking of Vegas, and when we woke up something had changed. I could see it in his eyes. I could feel it in his texts. For nearly a week I suffered with this distance, and the fear that it induced. Finally we had a chance to talk, and I asked him what was going on. He had panicked. We had moved so fast, things had gotten very real very quickly. And then there was my impending move. I was leaving at the end of August, and regardless of how much I might want to give and commit, I could not. 

So that was that. 

There have been very short flings since then. But the one loss I still feel is this Vegas boy. I see his picture on Facebook and I miss seeing it in real life. I miss the way my heart leaps when he laughs. I saw him last weekend at a party. I miss the vitality and the terrifying liveliness in his eyes. I'd forgotten the way that when he looks you in the eye, you panic, because there is so much energy there that you fear it'll consume you. Yet, you hunger for it, addicted to the life he brings when he smiles. 

Several times during the night I saw him glance across the room at me. I kept each and every one of those glances and hold them still today. 

But he's gone, and once again I sit with loss. Coelho's quote today woke me to the reality of what has been going on. To once again use the language of  "The Alchemist", God and the universe are pushing me toward Egypt, to my personal legend, that one thing that I and I alone can achieve in this life. I have a purpose, a mission, and I cannot shirk it. I cannot run and I cannot flee. 

I have tried for most of my life to find someone or something to make my life complete, and thus rid me of the need to pursue my personal legend. But in the last few years all those things have been pulled away from me. And try as I might, I cannot fill the hole of loss. I must fill it with something new. I must go to Egypt. Or, for me, to Seattle. My future is there. My personal legend is there. My treasure is there. 

And so I must let go. Let go of Alex, and replace the loss with love for him and gratitude for the most beautiful two years of my life. Let go of the sorrow, pain, and mistakes of the last seven months, and replace it with the cleansing mercy of a God who understands. Let go of Vegas boy, and replace the loss with gratitude for being able to feel, even if just for a few short weeks, what it means to be with someone who wants you just as much as you want them. 

I graduate from BYU in less than a week. In less than a month I will be traveling the winding roads to Seattle. And when I see the city skyline, as foreign and intimidating as it may be, I know I will feel the soul of the world calling me there. And a new adventure will begin. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Goodbye To You

Alex started texting me today.

We talked for a bit. About our struggles, why we didn't work. Later, he asked if I would meet him so that we could talk. I was wary, because I didn't want to get sucked in to anything or be manipulated. But I agreed to meet him.

I pulled up next to him and got into his car. The rain was pouring down. He looks good. Better than he did a couple months ago. 

We talked. About his issues, about my struggles. About this guy. It was clear that this boy doesn't hold a candle to what I had in Alex's heart. And Alex doesn't see it going anywhere. As messed up as that is, it was a relief to me. 

He still misses me. He said that he could never fully give me what I needed. And he's right. I was so empty so much, just wishing he could give me what I needed. He said he tried. And he did. But he has his own issues that keep him from fully loving himself, and from loving others. He said that no one has been as close to him as me. 

I miss him. I talked about being so angry at him. About missing him. And I told him how this whole thing made me feel so unwanted, so worthless, like he would rather be with someone else besides me. This hit him hard, and really hurt him. Not in an offended way. But in how much it hurt him that he hurt me. I could see his pain. And all I wanted to do was wrap my arms around him and take his pain away. And I wanted him to take my pain away. 

He told me that for the first time he was actually feeling the emotions, that he actually was wishing that it could have been him that I ended up with. That he truly wished it could have been him. I could see it on his face.

We talked for a long time. We laughed, cried, and I felt the weight of it all. That no matter what, everything I felt was over. It was gone. And even if I could take this boy back right now, it would not give me back what I had. 

I felt so empty at that thought. 

The night got later, and our emotions more tender. He told me that I should go, because he was feeling weak. I wanted him to feel weak, because I felt weak. 

I reached over to hug him. His scent filled me. "You still smell the same," he said. "So do you," I said. I took another deep breath, then somehow pulled myself away from him. In a mere moment it all hit me. It filled me with all the feelings I had felt. I was shocked at the depth of it. Did I really love him this much? Did I really know him this deeply? Had he really been that mine? I sat back in the passenger seat and stared at the console in front of me. I'd forgotten how much. How deep. How real. It was so real...

I put my hand on the door handle, then turned to look at him. I could see it in his eyes. He was feeling exactly what I felt. He wanted me as much as I wanted him. He ached for me as much as I ached for him. 

Somehow I opened the door and got out. I stepped into the freezing rain, then into my car. I began convulsing, having an honest to god physical reaction to have just smelled him and touched him again. I was so addicted to him...

I shook for several minutes. Alex stayed parked right next to me. I shook, wondering if he would step out of the car, or somehow motion for me to get back in. I wanted him to. I wanted so badly for him to ask me to come back. He texted me, asking if I was alright. "I want you so badly." I wrote back. And with that, I sealed my fate. He was firm in his resolve then, when I was completely crumbling and weak. 

He pulled away, then called me. He talked me through the rush I was feeling. It was just like I was having true withdrawals! Like I was suffering a bout of a drug I had been off of for so long! He talked me back to sanity, clearly talking himself back as well. 

I can't help but wonder what would have happened if I had just lingered in our embrace, or if I had stepped back into his car. If I had just stayed. 

I drove home. We continued talking, him telling me it had to happen, and me wishing that it could work. 

"Ty," he said, "we tried so hard, but it didn't work." And for whatever reason, the fact that it is over makes that true. 

"We tried so hard, Alex. We tried so hard." "I know Ty. I know."

I can't fight it anymore. It doesn't matter why anymore. But it is over. It's done. I feel such a deep emptiness. For just a brief moment I felt how deeply I loved him. And I beg God in heaven that he will let me love like that again. That he will let me feel so deeply for another human being again. There is nothing like that feeling. If there is any reward for the trials and sorrows of life, it is loving someone else that way. 

Alex, if you ever read this, I love you. I have never loved like I loved you. You changed my life. And though it fell to pieces in the end, it was a glorious experience, and I will never be the same. 

I love you Alex. 


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Where Is Your Heart?

Today has been an overwhelming day.

I learned a couple days ago that my ex, Alex, is dating someone. Even now, to type that, I feel a twinge of a sick feeling in my stomach.

This morning while at work I broke down. I fled to a rarely used storage room, closed the door, and fell to the ground. I wept, and I shouted, and I hit the floor with my fists. I felt like the ache in my stomach was eating me from the inside out. What did this boy have that I didn't?! Why would he want to be with this other boy, and not me? It was making me insane.

By chance, he started texting me. He got defensive, and said that this boy knew he was a mess and that he was leaving in December, so nothing could happen anyway. They like each other, he said.

I like you, Alex, I texted.

Yes, but you want and deserve more, and I don't have to give that to this guy, he wrote.

Don't you want and deserve more? I asked.

His answer was that yes, he did, but he couldn't have it at this time in his life.

What it came down to, he said, was the original argument, that we weren't right for each other. I made it clear that this was his opinion, and that I have never shared that view of the breakup.

I was miserable, and I couldn't get it to abate. For the first time I have understood the relief people can find in hurting themselves. Although I was never suicidal while I dealt with being gay, this breakup has acquainted me with a desperation I haven't known.

I heard the door opening and stood up as if I had just walked in. This would have been a good move, except that the light was off. The girl that walked in jumped when she saw me, and I beelined it out of there. I recognized her. She is a grad student in the department I work for, and she knew about the breakup. She looked at me and said "Are you okay?" I shook my head and began to cry. "Let's go back in," she said, motioning to the storage room.

She held me, and I sobbed on her shoulder. I talked to her, reading some of the texts, and aching over everything of the last four months.

She validated my feelings, especially that I loved Alex so deeply. She asked me what I loved about him, and listened as I talked about the boy I fell so hard for.

Another friend, Birdy, had been on her way to see me, and showed up just then. The grad student left, and Birdy sat with me as I cried. Finally, we decided it was time for me to leave work. I grabbed my things, clocked out, and we left.

In a wise move, we went to the counseling center, and they found a counselor for me to talk to, since my therapist wasn't available. I talked to him, cried to him, and broke all over again. He helped me deconstruct me emotions, emphasizing how I have been placing my worth on what Alex thought of me. He said that I need to acknowledge the pain of losing him, but work on keeping the feeling of "therefore I am worthless" in check. "Don't run your grief through the 'shame machine'" he said.

At one point my therapist poked her head in. As soon as I saw her I burst into tears again, so relieved to see her, someone who so completely knew me and my pain, and who so completely cared about me. I didn't realize what a big deal she has been for me until that moment.

We came to some resolutions, and I left, finishing out my day.

I went home, tried to sleep, but nothing came. Birdy came over, and we talked. I cried, every part of my body aching. I wanted to cease to exist, to slip into the oblivion of nothingness, and for all the misery to finally stop.

"I just want him to want me," I told Birdy. "I want him to look at me with that look that says he loves me. It's been so frustrating to go on dates with boys once or twice and see in their eyes what I fought for two years to see in Alex's eyes." "I gave him everything. Why wasn't that enough for him?" I asked over and over.

Birdy knelt by my bed and she prayed with me. I wept, and felt so grateful for the angel God has placed in my life.

I don't know what prompted it, but I reached over into my nightstand and grabbed a little black notebook that I used to write poetry in during class over a year ago. If you click the tag "black notebook" on this blog, you can read some entries from it that I've already posted here. I opened it, and began to read.

"Finality is false. Tomorrow is a promise. Today is possibility. And self-awareness is power.
Deep within, infinite potential waits. The light that breaks the seal is the light that shines within us. And that light shines when we finally accept that we have always been enough."

I wept at this. I need to focus on this more.

I continued.

"I shouldn't look.
I should lower my eyes and avoid you.
You are not like me.
You do not share my passion.
And you are spoken for.
     So a simple look does no harm, right?
I'll just look for a moment.
     My god, you're beautiful.

But of course you are.
Because while your visage emanates pleasure,
Your soul is to me a blank slate.
And I can paint whatever I want in you.
     So I make you perfect.
And you become perfect sensuality.

I'll never touch you.
Never speak.
For the moment I do you'll shatter.
What I've made of you will be in shambles.
For perfection is best left to dreams and fantasies.
And you're best seen from a distance."

This was written about a boy in my Russian class over a year ago. I was so drawn to him, so attracted to him. And I knew he was beautiful because I was projecting all my needs and desires onto him.

I continued.

"Like a moth to light, I am drawn to you.
I have a need, a thirst! to look and be near you.
You seem to shine, all of you,
and I wonder how it would be to be yours,
 Each in turn.

I imagine waking up in your arms,
Looking into your eyes as morning breaks,
Kissing your cheek.
I look from one to the next,
living a lifetime in a glance.

Why do I look?
Why do I wonder?
I have arms and eyes and cheeks all my own.
And I love those eyes, arms, and cheeks.
So why do I look,
and watch,
and wonder?
Why do fiery passions of "what if"
flood my veins?
Why do I feel this desire clawing at my skin,
trying to tear from within its fleshy prison?

What is the master emotion?
Is it fury?
Perhaps sorrow.
Or joy.
Does anger's power make all exempt?
what a foolish question.
Humanity echoes from ages past and present
that love is the master emotion.
For love contains all the rest.

But what kind of love is king?
Does lucid infatuation rule?
Or does pleasure?
Perhaps passion owns all the rest.
Or romance.
Or is it yet contentment?

I have comfort.
It sleeps next to me,
wraps itself around me,
pulls me close.
Kisses me when only crickets see.

I wake up next to comfort,
I rest on its chest as sleep starts to fade.
Comfort is mine,
and I am comfort's.
I do not fear its loss.

Then why does the beast within me
yearn to break free?

What love pulls me?
What do I truly want?"

This was about three boys in my Russian class, all of whom were beautiful in their own ways. They would sit in just such a way that I could see all three of them in one glance. They were beautiful. And I imagined being with them. I once again made them into my deepest needs and desires. But I had someone. I had Alex. In this poem, he is the comfort. And comfort has certainly been what I have missed these four months. But as I read this today, I was reminded of the times when comfort seemed to be falling short and leaving me empty handed.

I continued on, reading poetry about my struggles over sexuality. I read prose about the numbness I felt. I continued, and then I came to this entry, where I think out loud:

"What is necessary for a happy relationship?

What more would I want?
I want to be wanted. I want to be looked at. I want to see him look at me "that way." 
I want him to do nice things for me. I want him to be a man and be proactive sometimes. 
He seems directionless, doubtful, and insecure. 

Are the things that hold me there strong enough to support a lasting happiness?"

This hit me hard as I read it, slamming the sick feeling in my stomach right out. These were the exact things I was saying to Birdy earlier. And here I was, more than a year earlier, saying the exact same thing. Wondering whether or not I wanted to stay in the relationship, wondering whether what I felt was strong enough. 

I remember this time. I remember looking up articles online while at work, trying to figure out if our relationship was healthy enough to last, trying to figure out if I was truly satisfied. I remember looking at these boys in my Russian class, and imagining the way it would be if they were mine, and if they were the person I wanted and needed. I remember the neglect I felt from Alex. The unmet need of having someone engaged in the relationship with me. Wanting him to want me.

The one argument we had from the beginning of the relationship to the end was simply "Alex, just love me!" "I do love you, Ty!" "Then show me!"

Kelly Clarkson sang it best in "Where is Your Heart": 
"I don't expect the world to move underneath me, 
But for God's sake, would you try?

Where is your heart, 
Cause I don't really feel you.
Where is your heart,
What I really want is to believe you.
Is it so hard
To give me what I need?
I want your heart to bleed, 
That's all I'm asking for.
Where is your heart?"

As I read this and remembered all this, I realized that Alex isn't doing any less for me now than he was then. He is not emotionally present now, and he wasn't then. He is neglectful now, as he was then. I receive no affections of his love, no expression of his desire to give his heart to me. I see no look in his eye that tells me he loves me above all else, not now, and rarely then. The only difference is that now he is not physically present, and he can date boys who are okay with his lack of giving. 

But it also means that I can look for those Russian boys, so to speak. That yearning for a fulfilled and satisfying relationship can now become an action, a search. 

What this really did for me today was show me that he did not take anything away from me that I already didn't have, save for the illusion that I had it. 

I will still struggle. I will still fight the pain and the sick feeling in my stomach. I am not healed. I am not ready to fall in love. I am by no means ready to go out to dinner with Alex and this poor boy who he doesn't have to emotionally invest for. But I can take one more step away from him, and from the pain of the last four months. And I can take away a little more of the power he had over me, that he used so carelessly. I can take one more step toward freedom.

So Alex, where is your heart?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I love this song. (Please ignore the blatant use of Twilight images. If they offend, I apologize.)

The converse of my last post is this one. I am learning to let the relationship slip from my hands. And I am feeling a hope, or maybe just a dream, that something beautiful will come into my life.

When I listen to this song I can almost see it.

I'm in California. I've moved there to work. I've been there for a while, long enough to get settled in and meet people. And to meet him.

I'm sitting in a coffee shop on a Saturday morning. Tea in my cup and kindle in hand. A boy walks in. I glance up at him and almost gasp. There's something about him. He's striking. And there's a life in his eyes. A passion.

We're driving to the beach. I look over at him as we drive, sitting in his cute little swimming suit, sunglasses on his head, locks of hair falling over the lenses. He looks back at me with those eyes and grins. He leans over from the passenger seat and kisses my neck softly. I laugh, not because it tickles, but because it feels so good.

We park and walk hand in hand to the shore. The sun is warm and the ocean breeze cool. It's a perfect day. We lay out our towels and relax. We lie there for a while, letting the sun warm us. I feel his hand grab mine. I lock my fingers between his and give it a soft squeeze.

I sit up on my elbows and look at the ocean. He sits up, leans over, and kisses me softly. Then he rests his head on my shoulder.

We run into the water, diving into the coming waves. The cool water feels incredible on my warm skin. I surface and see him there. I walk up to him and wrap my arms around him. He rests his forehead on mine and looks at me with that look. That look that tells me without a doubt that he is hopelessly mine. That he sees no one else but me. I press my lips to his. This kiss is salty and wet, and the cushion of his lips presses gently against mine. We stand there for a moment, just being. Together.

We sit on the beach, arms wrapped around one another, as waves roll in and fiery sunset splashes against the sky. We stay until it's dark.

We finally fall into bed. Without even a word he reaches over and pulls me in, wrapping himself around me. I put my arms around him and listen to the hush of his breath on my neck. Everything is so warm, so perfect, so safe. I've almost slipped away when I hear him whisper. "I love you."

I can feel the tension in my stomach. My heart is beating in my ears. My hands are clammy and I can't stand still. I look over at him. He cleans up so well. I smile. He grins, those eyes making me melt all over. He takes me by the hand and we walk into the backyard. An aisle divides the sea of white chairs. They're full of all the people who have come into our lives in the last few years. Every eye is on us as we walk up to the front, then face one another.

I can't hear the words being said. All I can see is this boy. This boy, how did this happen? How did I end up here? It doesn't even seem real. But it is real. And he's looking at me with that look, as striking as that day in the coffee shop, as deep as that day on the beach. I hear nothing, but through wet eyes I see it all. I see, and I understand.

The song starts playing. We walk hand in hand onto the portable dance floor placed in the yard. He puts his arms around me, and I around him. And as she sings I feel every single word.

"I have died every day waiting for you.
Darling, don't be afraid, I have loved you
For a thousand years.
I'll love you for a thousand more..."


I'm supposed to be studying for a final right now. But I want to get my thoughts down.

It's been almost two months since the last entry. I don't really want to read through it today. There are a lot of potent emotions in that post.

I started chatting with a friend from another blog on facebook today. I've been concerned lately as I've dated and expanded my circle of gay friends that there are so many guys with so many issues in the gay community that finding a guy with a level head and some direction would be nigh unto impossible. He affirmed some of my observations, but assured me that despite what it may seem like, there are others out there like me.

I think one of the things that has made the breakup so difficult for me is that from my point of view the relationship was not about me "trying it out" with Alex, to see if I wanted to hang around. For me, I was already where I wanted to be. I had found someone so beautiful, so goodhearted, that I had no doubt that I wanted to be with him. Because of this, our relationship wasn't so much two fabrics that had been sewn together, needing nothing but unstitching to separate us. It was like two sheets of metal, heated and pounded and welded into one piece. At least it was for me. So a breakup was breaking a part of what I had already considered to be an extension of myself.

There are moments now and again when I get a vivid memory of what it was like to be with him. A stark glimpse of his sleeping face. The feel of my lips on his cheek. Walking into his bedroom and wrapping my arms around him from behind as he sat at the computer. My, I loved that boy...

In those moments, for just a split second, I think "Wait, where is he? Why haven't I seen him in so long?"

The trouble, then, is that even though it's been nearly four months, part of me still thinks he's mine.

I worry sometimes about the future. But I don't worry about whether or not someone will fall in love with me again. For some reason that doesn't cross my mind. The fear I harbor deep down is that I will never love like that again. That I will never take the risk again to let someone in that deep. That I will never fall for someone again. That no one will feel like my companion again.

I was talking to a friend online last night about the relationship. I wrote about my fear that the relationship was never as real as I had thought.

"Did it feel real?" he asked.

"So real I never thought the end was a possibility."

"Then don't doubt it."

A moment later he wrote: "You were beautiful in that relationship. The way you loved him was. Your friends would talk about it. You lit up when you talked about him."

I remember that feeling.

Part of me is still waiting for him to come back. For him to come to his senses. To knock on my door, tear-stained cheeks, and longing in his eyes.

That part of me is finally beginning to realize how hopeless that thought is. How much it wouldn't fix everything that's happened. How the pain, the breaking of trust, the locking myself away emotionally has already happened. And it can't be undone. Only worked through.

It's time to let go.

Alex, if you ever read this, I love you. I miss you everyday. You will always bring mixed emotions when I think of you. Such sacred beauty in the love we shared. Such piercing agony in the shattering. I have to finish what you started back in January, though. I can't take it anymore. So I'm letting you go.

Goodbye Alex.

Monday, February 27, 2012


I cannot adequately describe what I feel as I look through past posts on this blog. I feel almost as if I am reaching some unknown world, some specter of a place that is no longer real. But it once was real. It once was me. It once was my world. And tasting even just the vague memory that these posts elicit brings the full alien nature of my present life to my attention with breathtaking force. I get up each morning, I go about my day, and I lay down each night, all in the same place, but it is truly foreign. I am simply forgetting.

I have avoided this post for some time now. I simply wasn't ready to write it. But I need to now. I can't keep this bottled in any more.

I think there were only a few days left of Christmas break when I found out something was wrong. My boyfriend confessed that he had hit a huge bout of depression while home with his family, and that he was having major doubts about us. He said that we needed to talk when he got home. Home. Back to Utah, I mean.

I knew something was wrong, and I asked him to please not make any rash decisions before he got back and talked with me. He said he wouldn't.

He hugged me when I picked him up at the airport, but he didn't hold my hand in the car. He talked for most of the drive to Provo. I could sense how intently he was driving the conversation to the mundane. Deep down I was in turmoil.

We got to my house and sat down on my bed, and he handed me a letter he'd written in hopes that he could express himself more adequately. A letter I've buried in a drawer and haven't touched in nearly two months. A letter that confirmed my worst fears, that shattered every hope I'd held for us, and that broke me.

He was leaving me.

Just remembering the agony that rent me when he walked out the door is painful. I crumbled to the ground and wept like I've never wept. I cried harder than I thought possible. I broke. Part of me was dying, being torn from my very soul. I felt as if the earth itself was crushing me.

My friend pulled up to my house in mere minutes. I sat in her passenger seat and continued to break, bleeding salty tears. She held me, and wept with me. In time, I got out of her car, went back inside, and crawled into bed to succumb to the nothingness of sleep. I have found refuge in the oblivion of sleep. It is a blessing not to feel sometimes.

That was nearly two months ago. I have had many experiences since then. I have grown in so many ways since then. I have come to know grief as I never knew it before. I have come to know God as I never knew him before. I have become stronger than I thought I could be. Yet I still feel so weak sometimes. So broken.

The first few weeks of February were much needed escapes from the pain. I was able to find some joy with new friends that gave me hope again.

The grief has returned, though. It has reminded me that it is not gone, that it has not left. It has graced my cheeks with tears again, and sent me pleading for deliverance once again.

It has changed, to be sure. It does not feel as soul-crippling as it once did. But it still stabs with relentless endeavor when I see my ex, when I hear him laugh, or when I remember how it felt to be with him and how he chose to leave me. I am still bombarded with feelings of abandonment, of rejection, and of worthlessness.  I still am struck with painful jabs of wondering why he chose to leave, why he does not want to be mine again.

In moments of peace and clarity I gain a sense of where things weren't working, but most of the time I cannot break through the belief that had he truly cared as much as I did he would have found a way to work through the issues, that had he wanted me as much as I wanted him, he would have moved heaven and earth to be my companion.

I feel fragmented much of the time, off balance, and somewhat lost. I am doing better than I was, but I still struggle. I still cycle between denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and even acceptance, more than I would like. The switch from one stage to the next can be instantaneous, throwing me through a chaotic hurricane of emotions that drain me and bring me to my knees.

I'm so tired of hurting. I am so weary from the feelings of longing. I am tired of the sting of being unwanted. I am drained, and I ache. I beg for mercy, but deliverance comes not out of grief, but through it. I cannot rush it, nor pray it away. I must sit with it, but I am tired of it. I do not want it anymore.

I have a journal that I began about a month ago. It is nearly full, because I pour my yearnings and my grief into it. I cannot even bear to read through the previous pages. They are too painful, and I am so weary of the pain.

Some days are better than others. This morning was heavy. I wrote these verses this morning, when I could not keep the pain inside anymore:

Fragmented memories
seem brighter than life
without you.
Even the shards seem flawless.
How could you leave that?
How could you walk away?
We made the world turn,
and in trembling holies
we made time stop.
I found heaven in you.
Didn't you see it in me?

The sun feels false since you left,
a bland fluorescence,
trying vainly to be what you and I were,
to shine like we did.

I try to find you in every boy I see.
Every thought of "what if?"
is just you wearing their mask.

Cascading piano keys
seem to be the only thing
that finds me.
I keep hoping that I'll find myself
whole and new.
I lie sometimes, to make it so.
But pounding chords
and weeping runs
in minor keys
find me in a shadowed room
holding onto shattered dreams
and broken security,
pieces of what once was home.

The brittle edges have chipped
in jagged blades.
Every grasp reopens wounds
I thought had healed,
whispers pain I thought was gone.
But I can't let go.
I grip harder,
sending crimson tears
along the glass.
I can't let go.
If I let this life fall from my hands,
I don't know if I will remember
how to feel.
I fear callouses,
and I fear being without them.

In that moment,
between sleep and wake,
I almost think you're here,
almost think I can feel
your breathing.
God, I miss your breathing.
For a brief moment, we shine.
And then the lights burn out,
flickering candles in a storm.

The worst is when I forget that I hurt.
I'm left with a dissonance,
an uncomfortable incongruency.
And when I finally listen,
everything falls again,
and I break all over.
I'm tired of breaking,
tired of the shriek of
falling glass,
tired of feeling the hole
where you used to be.

I live neither then, nor now,
lost somewhere in the fragile wasteland
of what was,
and what might have been.

Finally, I want to post a video, because it is beautiful.

And I will sleep in peace until you come to me.