Fear and Loathing
Every single one of us has insecurities. We all know that even the bully on the playground is afraid of something. How we handle our insecurities, our short comings and what we lack in life is proportional to what we will get back in life. However, what happens when we allow self-doubt, fear and self-loathing of ourselves effect the outcome of a relationship? Well, this week is all about these lessons and I hope that what I endured is something that you can avoid of having to experience in your own lives.
Last Monday morning, I left my apartment with the guy I had been hanging out with for almost a month still in my bed. I left him a note to have a good day and not to forget the pizza in the fridge for his lunch. A couple of hours later, I got a message from him with just a bunch of kisses and telling me to have a good day. It left me feeling good about us, the situation and what the future was starting to hold. That evening, after the gym, I got home and there was a sweet note that he left on my pillow. No man has ever done that for me and I thanked him for the kind note. It was and always has been the little things that sweep me off my feet rather than the grand gestures.
On Tuesday, everything was pretty much status quo. Work was great but the weather in the city was amazing. We finally had reached a temperature past 50 degrees. The city was alive and the last thing I wanted to do was stay inside a gym. So, I called my friend, Feathers, to see what he was up to. He was willing to meet for dinner and drinks in Chelsea. I also knew that the guy was going to be in Chelsea at the same time that I was. I contacted him to tell him that I would be in the area and that if he wanted to meet before his business dinner that he can finally meet one of my friends. This would be the first time that he was meeting one of my friends and this is a rather important friend to meet. They instantly hit it off talking about their farming childhoods and Broadway. I was thrilled that everything was falling into place. After he left to his dinner, Feathers and I had dinner at, Dallas BBQ, where he told me that he really liked the guy and that he is definitely not like someone that I normally date.
However, Feathers, did manage to point out at dinner that he can tell that I am somewhat different around this guy. That my guard could come down a bit and I simply told him, “Do you blame me for having my guard up? This entire time of knowing this guy, I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop.” I had been in a constant state of fear, knowing that any minute the plug was going to get pulled, he was going to tell me that he was getting back together with an ex or tell me something that would change the dynamic of the relationship. I wasn’t living at all, in fact, I was self-loathing. I was hating on myself, giving myself the doubt that I didn’t even deserve this time to enjoy the moments for what they were. Instead, I was fearful of the future and not focused on the present. I went to bed that night really trying to focus on what I had instead of what was to come.
The week was flying by and that Thursday, I was going to be having dinner with my friend that I hadn’t seen in months. He is going through a break-up and like all endings, you need to talk about it. So, we were having dinner and I tend to put my phone away when out to dinner. When dinner was winding down, I grabbed my phone and noticed the guy had contacted me asking me how my day was. When I told him that I was just finishing up with dinner, he asked where I was. I told him that I was in my neighborhood and it turns out that he was also in my neighborhood at the bar, Posh. I tell my friend and he suggests that I go and see him and that he would join me so that he could meet him as well.
When I arrived at the bar, he was standing outside having a cigarette with a friend of his that I had met earlier in the month. We all made the proper exchanges and while they all stayed outside to finish their cigarettes, I went inside. I noticed that in the back of the bar, was all of his friends that I had met once before. They had been drinking for awhile and I hadn’t drank at all that night. I decided that I would never be able to catch up with them and instead I just got a beer.
The guy was affectionate toward me and his friends were all so kind to me. Asking me questions, asking my friend questions and everyone was in excellent spirits. It was the second friend of mine that he met and once again, it was a success. The guy and I began to talk about our weekend and agreed on having it be a cheap one. We would potentially rent bikes and just make a nice weekend out of the time that we were going to be hanging out. Which included him staying the night the next day on Friday.
As everyone was going home, I decided to walk him to the E train so that he could go home, since there was no talk of him staying the night and it was an impromptu evening. As we were walking to the train, he had to use the restroom and suggested we go into another bar, Vlada, for one more beer and so that he could go to the bathroom. As we sat at the bar, I could tell that he was tipsy. Not drunk but tipsy. We sat there, kissing, holding hands and being romantic toward one another. He kept smiling at me and there was an actual twinkle in his eyes (I’m sure the beer had something to do with that twinkle but I did see it). I asked him if there was something he wanted to say because he just kept looking at me. He finally said, “I just want you to know that I like you a lot.” As soon as he said the words, I smiled and it was something that I was wanting to hear but instead of telling him that I liked him back. My fear of what that actually meant held me back and instead, I gave him a kiss. The fear and self-loathing that I had, was because in my head I questioned “Did he mean what he said or was it the alcohol talking?”
Luckily, the mood didn’t shift at all and instead we continued to flirt and be happy. I kept smiling at him and he finally said, “If you smile at me one more time, I am going to be forced to stay the night with you.” I smiled and next thing I know we are walking up Ninth Avenue back to my apartment where right before we fell asleep, he kissed me on my neck and said, “Thank you for having me over and for the spontaneous evening.” I squeezed his around me tightly and enjoyed that moment not worrying about what tomorrow was going to bring.
I woke up the next morning, kissed him goodbye and went on about my day. It was Friday and also technically the first day we ever met. The previous Saturday, over brunch, he had told me that he knew our one month was coming up. So, in my head, I assumed that he was going to do something romantic or sweet. No grand gestures but at least some small acknowledgement of the day. We had messaged each other back and forth and even bringing up the little fact that it was one month in one of our messages to each other.
That evening, he had to work a little later than normal but I suggested we either meet at my place or at the bar, XES, for a drink and see where the evening takes us. He agreed on the bar, we met at 7 p.m. and everything was fine during our two drinks there. No recognition on his part of the one month but I had to let it go. In my head, I had to tell myself, “We aren’t exclusive, enjoy the moment and to chill the fuck out.” We had our two drinks and after they were done, he offered to either go back to my place or to go out. I wasn’t sure if I was entirely ready to go home that early or if I was just excited to see him. So, I suggested that we go to, The John Dory, where my friend was managing that night and he would hook us up. The guy agreed and said that it sounded like fun. Our walk from the bar to the restaurant was silly. We were laughing, kissing and acting like a couple the entire way there.
Once we arrived at the restaurant, introductions were made and I ordered champagne. It was marking my first time trying oysters (yuck) but the guy enjoyed them and we were still in good spirits with one another. I was starting to get drunk. Not really eating and going from vodka to champagne followed by a shot at the end of the meal. Even my friend pointed out to the guy, “Good luck with this one tonight. He is already becoming chatty.” As the bill was being settled, he again, asked what we should do. Either go home or continue the evening. Well, this is where I should have listened to my instincts and gone home but instead I suggested we go the bar, Phoenix, for my friend was spinning that night. I also told him that he should invite his friends and I would do the same. That way he could meet even more of my friends and vice versa. He, once again, agreed to the idea. After the messages were sent out to our friends, he did tell me that we could go out but that I should know that his ex will be there. He has reassured me several times that he is over the ex, the ex has moved on and he has as well. So, that wasn’t even an issue for me. What was an issue, was that there was still no acknowledgement of the one month. The projection in my head of what I was expecting was now coming out in my actions. My mood had shifted once we began walk to the bar.
On the walk, I became silent and moody. He obviously knew things had shifted because he continued to ask what was wrong and I went the cowardly route and said, “Nothing is wrong.” I feared that if I said what was really bothering me that I would either scare him off or that I would piss him off for coming up short in his actions. By the time we get to the bar, I noticed my friends hadn’t shown up yet but his friends were already there. Unfortunately, this is the part in the story where I can’t offer any more information. I blacked out and in a very bad way. Before I knew it, he was asking to talk to me outside.
All I remember is him telling me, “I’m sick of hearing you say that you are too old for this shit. I don’t like how you talked to my friends and I’m not staying the night tonight.” I was so confused, I could barely stand up straight and I simply couldn’t comprehend what he was saying to me. I hadn’t been this drunk in a very long time and I was paying for it. I asked him, “Are we ending things right now?” He reassured me that we weren’t but he did ask that I walk away from him and be with my friends while he stayed with his. That is all I remember.
My friends found me leaning on a pole, crying uncontrollably and did everything they could to try and bring me back to reality. They tried water on the face, slapping me and nothing was working. I was too far gone and all I needed to do was go home and pass out. Which I believe is what I did.
I woke up on Saturday morning, fully clothed (even my coat was still on) and I looked at my phone. Nothing. I, of course, tried to call and text the night before and no response. My first plan of action was not to contact him but to find his friend that I may have offended. Anyone that knows me, knows that I am the person that would never say or do anything to offend someone and so I sent a message to that friend apologizing for my actions and for my behavior. As of today, I haven’t heard from that friend.
My second plan of action was to finally contact the guy. I sent a text message explaining that the night before wasn’t my finest moment and that I apologize and that when he is done with work that if he could contact me so that we could talk it out. Hours and hours go by, and I don’t get a message till 1 p.m. with him telling me simply, “Hi.” Wasn’t what I was expecting but maybe he was still pissed off with me. I had to accept it as part of my punishment but when I asked how he was doing, all I got was, “I said hi to you to not keep you from wondering.” I asked him if we were seeing each other once he was done with his work and I got silence for several hours. The next message I got was around 5 p.m. and it told me that he didn’t want to hang out with me and that he was sorting through his thoughts.
It was official, I was not going to get out of this one without feeling guilt for my actions. However, I just wish I knew what I said or did in order to properly apologize and take responsibility for my actions. I sent a message apologizing since he wasn’t going to take a call or see me. Silence.
My friends quickly swooped in and asked if I was going to stay home and wallow or if they could lure me out to take my mind off things. I agreed to see them and I couldn’t drink to get drunk. I didn’t want to, I was fearful of even doing so. I was worried that if I drank, I would contact him again and look desperate or being painted as a crazy person. However, just being with these amazing people by my side, making sure I smiled and reassuring me that while I was a mess that he should at least give me some benefit of the doubt. I was home at a descent hour that night and did my best to sleep.
Yesterday was one of those Sunday’s where it seemed like it lasted forever. Time was standing still and not in the good way. Hour after hour went by and not a word from him. I barely had the energy to take a shower and I just went right back into my pajamas. My mood had gone from sad to mad. The silent treatment went from punishment to simply avoiding the situation.
Some of my friends pointed out that the drinking between our activities seemed to be rather aggressive and they were right. Friday just happened to have hit an all-time high for me. Add to the fact that I was deflated, my fear of our situation ruined whatever we were building and unfortunately the only person to blame for Friday night was myself. I had every chance to go home with him, I had every chance to explain myself as to why I might have been upset and I had every chance to even let him in a little more. Instead, we are still in the silent treatment.
In life, there will always come a point in time when you have to accept a person’s mistakes, apologize for our behavior and take responsibility for our actions. I tried to do that this weekend and wasn’t successful. However, what I do know and my biggest lesson learned here is that we all deserve genuine happiness. Whatever form that happiness comes in. I also learned that our own personal fears, self-doubts and self-loathing of who we are can cause blockage in our future. Fear and loathing will be no more. Instead, take a chance, seize the opportunity and maybe just maybe…happiness will be ours.
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