Friday, May 14, 2010

Something Special

It’s been a long time since I wrote on this blog. I hadn’t planned on taking such a long break, but it just sort of happened that way. The last few months have been… well, I’m not sure how to describe them. School was pretty difficult this time around. I had some hard classes and a lot to have to do. I had to complete and then revise a TPA, which determined whether I’d be allowed to become a student teacher this fall. That was a very tiresome and stressful project. There was a lot riding on it. The revisions alone were two weeks worth of nearly killing myself in order to complete, on top of everything else I needed to do for my regular classes.

School has taken up a great deal of my time the last few months. It wasn’t all that took up my time though. I wrote something very foolish a few months ago. And to be honest, I feel like it was a different me that wrote it. I said something to the effect that a woman wanting to be with me was not a blessing. I was wrong to ever think that. From mid February until just a couple of weeks ago I had a girlfriend. Remember that girl I talked about liking me from school, who had become a great friend, but one that I knew liked me more romantically? We continued spending time together outside of school. We went on a date. We didn’t call it that, but that’s what it was. We went somewhere to eat in the next county, and then saw a movie together. I’ll admit, I remember feeling very nervous about being with her, but at the same time feeling so drawn to her. My mind is filled with that memory right now. I can see every moment, her reactions, expressions, and remember half of what we talked about and the sound of her voice. I’d nearly forgotten though just how long it took us to say goodnight to each other. When we got back in the county, we just sat in the car and talked, neither of us really wanting the evening to end. We emailed each other back and forth several times that same night. From then on we were a couple.

For the purposes of this blog, I’ll name her Eve. We hadn’t dated long when I told her how I feel about other men. She handled that news rather incredibly. She said that it didn’t matter. And I’m sure it never did. I never expected to find someone who’d feel that way. It was a great relief that she felt that way, that she still wanted me.

Eve and I did everything together. We took a trip to Nashville, which was one of the best experiences of my life. We saw the Hermitage, the Parthenon, went to Opry Mills, bought books. At the gift shop at the Hermitage, we both headed straight for the children’s books. When we were checking out, the cashier asked if we were both teachers. She said she could usually tell whenever a person goes straight for the kids books like that. Both of us left there feeling a little proud—we were recognized as teachers!

Eve introduced me to her family. They were really nice and I enjoyed meeting them. And when her stepmom cooked spaghetti, something Eve knew I wasn’t fond of, she covered for me. I don’t know anyone else in my life that would have done that. Anyone else I know would have put me on the spot and made a big to do about it. Instead, she looked out for me.

We went bowling together with her daughter. I had so much fun that night. We had fun. It was really the first time I’d gotten to be around… oh, I’ll call her Gracie, and it was great. For a fleeting moment, I remember thinking that night, so this must be what it’s like to have a family.

We watched movies at her place. The first time we did this, she snuggled up against me. My heart was beating so fast. We held hands and kissed. I looked into her eyes and watched as they turned from a bluish gray to the most amazing shade of blue I’ve ever seen, so bright and glimmering. I remember being so amazed by that. I was sort of dumbstruck by it, actually, and I commented on it. “Your eyes are so blue,” I told her. And then it dawned on me, “Like a mood ring.” I knew she loved me. There’s something about that that I know has changed me forever. She loved me.

She took me to two of her most favorite spots. We walked across an old wooden bridge, held each other. We sat by a lake, and watched as the sun went down and the stars filled the sky—we had trouble finding the little dipper and the north star. She was cold and I held her to keep her warm, and gave her my jacket.

We helped each other with our homework and with finishing our TPAs. We ate lunch together every day after classes. I waited for her to finish her last class; she waited for me. We helped each other study for tests. Every time we were together it was like we were magnets being pulled toward each other.

Eve and I made a lot of plans. We were going to go camping this summer together, go on a few more Nashville-like trips, maybe go fishing, spend more time together just in general. She’d wanted to celebrate graduation together this next Christmas by going on a cruise to Mexico. I was really looking forward to all of these things. We’d even discussed our feelings about marriage, kids, what sort of future we could have together.

I played Candy Land with Gracie. I hit a baseball for her to practice catching for Little League. I danced with her in the living room. I watched some of her favorite television shows with her. I read books to her. I won’t lie and say that I always enjoyed being around her. I didn’t most of the time. I liked Gracie. She was a good, sweet little girl. But I never knew how to respond to or act around her. I always felt like I was going to break her or be too rough to play with her like I do with my nephews. And she cried at the least little thing. She’s a very emotional child. But Eve was really good with her. I saw how good a mother she was. And that meant a lot.

I have so many great memories now. I experienced so many great things. I felt loved. I felt for the first time in a really long time that I could actually end up having a family of my own. That’s something quite indescribable to experience. I fell in love with someone for the first time in my life…

For a couple of weeks I knew something was different. Something happened that shook our relationship. We talked and agreed to stand by each other, but within just a few days time, after everything had ran its course, I knew there was a problem. And then she broke up with me. For a few days after that I felt like someone had ripped something physically and emotionally away from me, as if an entire part of me and future outcome of my life had been destroyed forever. And I still feel that way some. I cried and hurt until I was exhausted. I don’t know if I’ve ever truly felt so great a sense of loss at any other time before.

I’m honestly not sure why she decided to break up with me. But I will concede it may have honestly been for the best. Maybe she saw that before I could. I know myself enough to know that committing to marry her would have been really hard. It would have been really difficult for me to give up some of my own plans and dreams in life to have stayed with her. But still, I could see myself having done that for her, for us. I think I’ll always wonder what we could have had together though—the life we could have shared. We’re still going to be friends. We both agreed we wanted that. We agreed from the beginning that whatever happened between us, we wanted to remain friends. But that’s not quite the same thing, is it.

God blessed me. For a time in my life I got to experience something so wonderful, so unexpected, something I have absolutely no regrets about. I know what it’s like to really be loved. I know what it’s like to really be in love with someone else. I know what it’s like to be a part of something so special that no words I know can even begin to describe how I feel about it.

I don’t feel like I’m the same person anymore. I feel like God showed me something that’s changed my life forever. It’s such a beautiful thing how God can mess with you like that sometimes. And I’m glad I let him. He showed me something I’d have never seen otherwise.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

wow Brandon, thanks for being so vulnerable and sharing about your experience. My heart broke for you as I read your story but at the same time I resonated with how exciting it was to have those feelings for someone of the opposite sex and the possibility of having your own family. I love how even though your heart is broken you feel that this experience has forever changed you. Thanks for your inspiring & honest sharing about this experience.

jennypo said...

What beauty there is in people. No wonder God "so loved the world"!

naturgesetz said...

Every once in a while I come across a wonderful account like this. It's not wonderful that she broke up with you, but it's wonderful that you experienced this attraction to her.

I wonder about a couple of things, or maybe they are just two versions of the same question. Was the attraction you felt toward her similar to the attraction you have felt toward guys? In the light of this experience as well as your becoming comfortable with guys through your experience at work, do you think that it was possible that you weren't really gay but mistaken, or alternatively that all of this represents the healing of you homosexuality?

Brandon said...

Naturgesetz,

The attraction I felt toward Eve was different from the attraction I've felt toward guys. I gradually began finding her attractive when we were just friends. Just little things I began picking up on--a look she'd give me, the flow of her hair, what she was wearing; just things like that. But the attraction I had for her was probably more of an emotional one overall than a physical one. I've heard other SSA men who dated women or got married say that they had similar experiences. They became emotionally attracted somewhat prior to becoming physically attracted. When I've liked men, it's been the other way around.

To answer your second question though, no, I do not think I was mistaken about being gay. At least 95% of the time I have only ever found men sexually desirable or attractive. I still find men more attractive than women.

As far as healing, I'm not sure. I don't want to give the impression that dating women is a cure for male homosexuality. I don't profess that. But I will say it changed some of my thinking. I really don't know that what I had with Eve I could ever really experience with another guy. I sort of feel right now as though a relationship with another guy is pointless. I don't think the emotional aspect could probably ever be achieved in that. I'm not saying it couldn't, but I just don't think it'd be the same or as great. What I experienced with Eve was just something I really can't imagine ever really being able to have with another guy. I used to think I could have that, but right now I don't think so. Being with a woman like the one I was with, wasn't anything like I thought it would be. Everything about it felt right and good.

To be honest, I really don't want to talk about being gay or straight out of any of this though. What I had wasn't anything about that. Something about this one person made none of those labels matter in the least bit. I was just Brandon. And I loved someone and she loved me back. That's all that mattered.

Jeff S. said...

I really appreciate this post of yours. You have a wonderful way of telling about this very important period of your life. Thank you for sharing so much about it. Jeff

Pomoprophet said...

Hey, how is Kentucky? Its one of the places my BF is looking at for grad school. Not so sure how they'd treat us down there... ;)

AJ said...

Wow what an amazing experience that sounds like it was!! The way you wrote this I could really feel all the happiness, love, and heartbreak you felt during this time. Thank you for being so honest! So happy for you that God let you have that time.

Thanks so much for sharing that!

Brandon said...

Pomo,

It just depends on what part you're considering. Cities aren't that bad as far as people's attitudes, but nowhere that I'm aware of in the state would I recommend holding hands in public. People can be sort of "okay" about gay couples so long as what goes on behind closed doors isn't brought out in the public. You'd likely experience mixed reactions--same as most places, I guess. It is a very conservative part of the country though, and the general lifestyle of most people tend to reflect that--even among those who'd consider themselves liberal. It's certainly a beautiful state to live in though, and most of the schools are fairly good overall.

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