Hello my love,
You’re right. Honestly, meeting you was the best thing that’s happened to me in a few years. Truly. I literally have not been in so much pain and hurt, and it’s caused me to dig deep inside and look for answers, answers that I’ve had deep inside me for a long time. This whole experience has brought me back to a good place. A place where I have no more secrets. A place where I’ve embraced the pain, embraced the confusion and struggle, and it’s left me with a profound peace. The past month, as our relationship grew more and more turbulent, I was losing sleep, and not eating. Today was the best I’ve felt in a long time.
I love you. As a human being. I’m ashamed of the way I reacted to the news the past week. I think I had a lot of things I wasn’t addressing, and I think the guilt I allowed you to make me feel consumed me. Guilt and shame. I feel none of that now. Life is life. It’s not good or bad. Struggles and difficulties are a permanent feature. Joy comes from embracing them. I wish the person I am at this moment met you on our first date, but then again I’d never be in this place.
The last time I’ve felt this alive, and at peace, I was a homeless drug addict with no highschool diploma. I was living at a friends house, in a spare room, and his mother was acted as my mother. Her love was unconditional, unlike the home I grew up in. There was no fear of rejection with her. I remember hitting bottom. Thinking about my life. The love of my life at the time had called me a loser 9 months earlier, and told me she was now dating a great guy who’s studying to be a doctor. I felt crushed. But I knew, because I loved her, she deserved better than anything I could give her at that time, and so I let her go. But I told myself that someday I would meet a person, and I would have all the love to give her, and I would be worth something.
I recall sitting on the outside patio early in the morning around March or April 2006, sipping coffee, still groggy. I was reflecting on my life. The months prior I had gone on a drug binge after getting kicked out of my house for selling my sister drugs. I was at a low. I wanted to die, but I was too defiant to give up. I told myself I gave up being depressed a few years back in favor of doing drugs.
Why did I do drugs? I was angry with myself. I was angry with my parents. So angry with my father, so angry with my circumstances. It wasn’t my fault I had moved a dozen times. It wasn’t my fault I was emotionally fucked up cause my best friends had committed suicide. I was angry and bitter and life wasn’t fair. That my parents were assholes. Insensitive, and never wrong. First I coped with depression, and sick drawings. Then self mutiliation, until that got me in trouble. Then alcohol. Then I coped with drugs.
While I sat there, I remember thinking that I was going to become one of two things in life. Either a bum, in which case I would just kill myself. Or I would be miraculously successful. I made a decision to fuck my parents, to fuck my friends, to screw all the naysayers who said I was a high school drop out drug addict, and be successful. I made the decision that I was going to be wildly successful.
I remember searching for answers, and I remember grabbing a book my mother got me for Valentines day. I hadn’t spoken to my parents in a few months. I was bitter, and they kicked me out. But my mom sent me a valentines gift with a single book titled “As a man thinketh”. It was the single most influential book that turned my life around. It’s message was that, what we think about, we become. Or as a man thinketh, so is he. Essentially, our thoughts govern our world, they make it bad or good. Our thoughts arise from our influences.
What I began to embrace is that problems and difficulty and struggle are a permanent feature of life. Accepting them is what allows us to move beyond them and overcome. They allow us the peace to see beyond the problem, and open our mind up to find solutions. I decided that my life, my difficulties were no ones problem but my own. I was responsible for them. No one else was. It was my life. My life. No one else’s. No one would care about me more than myself. No one. Not my parents, not my friends, not anyone. If I was going to be successful, there was one person who was going to get me there: me. If I valued myself, I reasoned, I must value my time, because life is nothing but the time between birth and death. From that point forward I accepted the demands of my parents, cheerfully, being home on time and always keeping in touch with them. I remember cutting off my friends, and being alone for a long time. I gave my life structure by setting daily times to work out and read. I was disciplined. I made goals.
Long story short, I began looking for positive influences, and I began reading books voraciously. I read a book every day or two for months and months. I mended my relationship with my parents (kinda, obviously still struggling) I got a job. I saved money. And I put myself through night school to get my high school diploma. Shortly thereafter I began looking for colleges that would allow me to rebuilt my erratic high school academic performance, and give me a platform for going to college. I found a college, I enrolled, I graduated with a 4.0gpa, president of the honor society, president of the business society, senator of the student government, achieved all USA academic, and I had worked part time. I got a full ride to Vanderbilt university.
The single best feature of my success was my learned ability to embrace problems and pain and struggling and suffering. I learned that life never gets easier, you just get stronger. Delayed gratification, discipline, commitment to what is true and honorable, and balance were the key elements. The struggle was daily. The tendency to do what was easy, to give in to vices and addictions to cope with some pain were constantly at the periphery.
I graduated Vanderbilt after taking 18 hours every semester, working 20-30 hours part time, joining a fraternity (questionable decision, but it was an experience), doing the policy debate team and publishing independent research on social capital in developing nations.
You see, the past several years I began the struggle. I began to struggle because I wanted life to get easier. This is the fatal lie we tell ourselves. The moment I wanted life to get easier, instead of me to get stronger, is when I began to struggle with my vices and addictions again. I will always be aware of my drug vices, as a past addict, but its harder to spot when I have other vices. After college I wanted to cruise. I had worked hard. I had a great job. I was living for the moment. I was very bookish in college, and shunned most partiers and that whole scene of debauchery. After college I was mostly alone, and I wanted to enjoy my money, and enjoy life, without really working as hard as I could. I had stopped embracing the pain and struggle and suffering, and began looking for shortcuts. I rationalized that I was being efficient. This was a lie. This spilled over into other areas of my life and relationships.
I had always worked out, but I had never dabbled in steroids. I began taking steroids as a short cut. This was a symptom of my larger issue with getting things the easy way. My increased libido is what increased my interest in dating and sex. I’m not bad looking, so it wasn’t difficult to have a lot of sex. I remember getting to a point and thinking that taking all these girls out was getting expensive, and sometimes they just weren’t interested in sex. I looked into prostitution. It was something I had so badly rationalized, that looking back, it blows my mind. I remember thinking that, $100 meal for maybe sex, or $200 for guaranteed sex. I tried it out for awhile. Unfortunately, my conscience began to weigh on me. I noticed the women were drug users or just had serious problems, and I began to look into sex trafficking and all the negative affects. I was ashamed of myself, so I quit.
Soon after I met a woman who introduced me to the idea of swinging. She told me I was an attractive young fit and intelligent man, and there were many people and couples that would love to have sex with me. She told me about swinging, and soon after I did some research on some sites and made a profile and found people to contact me. It soon bloomed into a full time hobby.
Shortly thereafter I met my ex. I told myself I would quit for her, and I did. However, she never knew about my past, and she seemed too good for me. This is why I sabotaged most of my relationships. I felt like they were too good for me, or I was too good for them. It’s something I’ll be addressing in therapy.
I rationalized reasons why I didn’t want to be with her. She was 35. two kids. Can’t move. etc etc etc. When I look back, I realize I just wasn’t meant for her. Yes, I love her. She’s a kind person. She always accepted me. But she didn’t know about my past, and I was too ashamed to share it with anyone I cared about. She actually enabled me in many ways. This guilt caused me to cheat. I tried to break up all the time. My mood swings were symptoms of my underlying guilt. It tore me apart. We talked about marriage and all this stuff, and I wanted it. I wanted to love her, and I wanted to be loved. But the guilt killed me. And every time I tried to break up, I’d break up for a few days, cheat with swingers or women, and then she’d still be there. And I’d get back with her. She was always waiting. Eventually the guilt was too much, and in march I broke up with her. I swore that I would never go back, but we still maintained a relationship. However, I told her that I was cheating. I had to once I got Chlamydia. It was almost a relief. She even accepted me for that.
After this I went wild. I just induced in more sex and more women.
This is when I met you.
I did not know it at the time, but you and I share a similar story. There have been many people that have offered to pay me, and they even offered to introduce me to people, but I had too much going for myself as a career to seriously consider it. Sex was a hobby. It was my personal addiction. It felt good. And it allowed me a break. And it gave me the power to have people fall in love with me, if only for a night or two or three. It validated me in some way too. If I hadn’t been in college, and went to vanderbilt university, and had a great job making insane money, I could easily have sex for money. Its very easy for me to judge others when I hear it, but I remember the times people offered to introduce me to some people, and the idea seemed harmless. Why not get paid for sex. I’m having it anyway.
When I met you I had decided that I wanted to stop the lifestyle. That I wanted to try to be with someone exclusively. I made a commitment that I would try. I spoke to my friends about this. They laughed at me. I happened to choose you.I made the decision to be serious about you, more serious that I had been about anyone. Why? Well. You’re a captivating person, full of interesting opinions and your passions are varied and you’re up for anything. I honestly wasn’t attracted to you the first date or two. You were very common. But I liked you. I liked the cards. I liked your thoughts on the world. I liked the way we could easily talk about anything. You were a very familiar person. You were comforting. I trusted you. The third date you seduced me basically, and showed me a side of your sexuality that was too much for my appetite. I stopped thinking clearly and just wanted sex. If I wasn’t on hormones, things maybe would have played out differently.
I remember thinking to myself that I should tell you my past. But you seemed so principled, and so self respecting. I thought you would run away if I told you I was a sex addict (something I just realized last week). It was the same guilt that I wrestled with in the past. However, you also seemed to have a past, and I believe I didn’t ask more questions in fear of what I would find and have to reveal about myself. I would joke with conrad about you being an escort, or you sleeping with people for money. Things never added up. You never worked. You spent like you did. You had lots of older men that were friends. Etc etc. And we would joke about how funny that would be considering my past.
Long story short, I still struggled with my past, but I told myself that I would never cheat on you. I got very close a few times, but I told myself that I could not cross the line, that I could not bring that guilt into our relationship, because I knew I couldn’t live with it, and I wanted you. I knew it would destroy our bond. And I wanted to spend all my time with you. For as long as possible.
I believe your guilt because of your actions (cheating) caused you to react so crazily during the end of our relationship. That’s my opinion. Or one theory.
Anyway. I don’t blame you for anything. I really don’t. If I was right, I probably would have never met you. If I had my life in order, I wouldn’t have been texting other women. I would have waited longer to not have sex. I would have done a lot of things different. I probably wouldn’t have met you on okCupid. And this would never have happened. But it did.
I thank you for the experience. I don’t judge you. I am hurt, and devastated to hear that you were cheating on me throughout our relationship, and you maintained a relationship with your ex the whole time. But I’m not without blame. While I saw my ex once, and I never really talked to her, she wasn’t cut from my life. I never fully disengaged from my past and moved forward. What I do know is that I did love you. I loved you more than anyone I had in a long time. Possibly ever. I gave my heart to you in a way I haven’t to anyone in years. That’s why the past few weeks have been so hard on me. It was devastating news. Sleeping for people for money makes it worse, I’ll be honest. But I probably would have reacted the same way if you cheated regardless. It smashed my heart. My soul.
Anyway. I’ve embraced my problems. I’m in a good place. Every day I’ll move forward. Therapy will be good. I need to address some issues about my childhood. I also fear abandonment. I sabotage relationships when I fear the other person will leave me. This is probably due to my parents threatening to leave me or give me away or telling me that I can live somewhere else but not in their house every time I did something wrong. I suffer trust problems just like anyone. I trusted my parents, and they ruined that trust when they would give and take, when they would read my journals. When they would follow me around when I was with my friends, spying on me, ruining my privacy, listening to my phone conversations. When they would embarrass me in front of people, poking fun at my most sensitive insecurities at my expense. My father was particularly good at this. This all killed my self esteem as a child, and it’s never fully recovered. I seek validation through others. I’m a people pleaser. I need therapy because of this.
When I broke your trust, and talked to your family, or jon and whoever, it was this childlike instinct to hurt you before you could hurt me again. IT was a way to distance myself from the hurt.
None of what I do is excusable. I’m utterly ashamed that I handled this whole thing the same way. Like I said, if I was in a better place, like I am in currently, this would have worked out differently.
I don’t necessarily think that we could be together after what happened, but at least I could have gave myself a good look, and been patient. I wish my life was in order when I found out all this stuff, but then again we wouldn’t have met.
There are more details about my life, but that’s a small summary.
I thank you for the pain. It has been excruciating. But I love you for it. No joy without suffering. If our relationship hadn’t had been so enjoyable, I wouldn’t have been in such pain. If i had cheated on you (and when I mean cheated, I mean physically slept with someone else, or was emotionally involved with someone, which in my mind was cheating), I wouldn’t have suffered as greatly. And then I wouldn’t have arrived at such a profound understanding of my life.
I’m still learning from the experience. It is mind blowing. But I accept it.
I can’t apologize enough for the way I handled myself this week. It is what it is.
Regarding Brandon, we’re having a good time. He works like 16 hour days, so he’s been groggy and sleepy all the time, so I’ve been reading and writing and just reflecting. We’re catching up and doing things.
I really love you. I really want the best for you. I hold nothing against you. At all. At this point I will be reestablishing me. Doing what’s difficult. Embracing the pain. Embracing what’s uncomfortable. This means not only confronting my daily life with a new resolve, but also addressing the history with my family. They’re good people, they’re just wounded. I mentioned they were both raised by parents that were sexually abused. It’s a terrible cycle. They were raised by parents that never fully addressed their problems, and in turn I was raised by them. Generational problems that were never fully resolved. My hope is that it stops with me forever.
Take care of yourself,