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    Shocked by the power

    One of these days, I’m going to come up with a rule. Well, I’ve already sort of come up with it, I just haven’t gotten it into perfected, catchy form yet. The basic idea is:

    job as vaguely-defined counselor/consultant/therapist + list of multiple degrees prominently showcased after one’s name = RUN AWAY!

    For the latest proof, look at 365Gay’s Ask Angelo. (I don’t know whether his columns are archived; I’m pretty sure this one just appeared today.)

    Yes, before you say it, I’m in a pissy frame of mind and huffing and puffing over something trivial. My boyfriend has been making me feel his faraway wonderfulness all the more piercingly this week by going out of his way to e-mail me get-well messages over lunch, even though he has to make some excuse to absent himself from his colleagues and knows that he’ll be talking to me between 11 and midnight as always, anyway. I’m ill and feeling crappy. The tribulations of guys who can’t keep it in their pants even with their boyfriends in the same city are not high on my list of things to sympathize with at the moment.

    More on that later. First, here’s letter 1:

    Dear Angelo,

    After three years of a most fulfilling relationship with my bf, I was unceremoniously dumped. How do you accept someone you love telling you that they’re out of love with you?

    Signed, Shocked 

    Dear Shocked,

    I do not know if you’ll ever really accept that he is not in love with you anymore per se. I mean you may not believe it or be OK with it for a long while. It was not something you expected, chose or wanted. Loving someone romantically involves our deepest experience of oneness. When we are in love we are as close as we can be physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually to anyone. Surprising insensitive rejection from a love is a terribly painful feeling. A gut wrenching unbearable pain. If we are lonely, emotionally wounded or need more love in our life, this pain can be excruciating.

    You may ask, “how can this be?” You may think: I feel the love between us. I still see the look in his eyes. [You may say to yourself: this is not my beautiful stapler! *Ahem* Sorry.–SRK] Maybe he’s afraid. Maybe he’s in a funk. Maybe he’s on drugs. Maybe he’s gone crazy. And the list goes on.

    Yeah, I bet it does. I wonder whether the list includes, “Maybe I’ve spent the last three years being a selfish little bitch. Maybe he’s been sending me big, flashing warning signs that things were going awry. Maybe I ignored them because I was getting what I wanted. Maybe he finally decided the only thing that would get it through my thick skull was to ditch my ass.”

    I mean, sorry. Of all the long-term relationships I’ve seen go sour (including my own pre-Atsushi versions), invariably, when the dumpee has said, “This is so sudden!” his entire complement of friends and acquaintances has risen with one voice to say, “WHAT?! How could you NOT SEE THAT COMING?” Are there people who genuinely and innocently get stuck with jerks who don’t reveal themselves as such until late in the game? Probably. I’m afraid probability isn’t on the side of that one, though.

    Grieving is an active process that you have to move towards. Blocking it makes it worse. It is by allowing yourself to be sad, to scream, to cry, to “fall apart” that you heal. Lean into the pain and let it all out. Inviting in this kind of deep agonizing pain will take some effort on your part. Feeling your feelings is the key to getting better. The only way out is through. This intense pain will not last forever even though it seems like it will. The pain will lessen. Get support including counseling….

    Yeah, there’s nothing in life more difficult than convincing a fag who’s just been dumped to get self-indulgently mopey about it. Like killing the freaking Hydra, is what it is.

    My degree isn’t in psychology, but I venture to say that the problem most guys I’ve seen have isn’t that they’re incapable of owning their grief. It’s that they can’t put a lid on it and fake being even-keeled until their heart catches up with their façade, not even after a decent amount of down time.

    And nowhere in Angelo’s reply do I see anything at all about the possible need for self-criticism on the part of the letter-writer–either to figure out what he himself might have done to contribute to the undoing of the relationship or to learn what to look for so he doesn’t get taken again.

    Letter 2 is even, uh, better:

    Dear Angelo, 

    I am happily partnered in a monogamous relationship for 4

    4 Responses to “Shocked by the power”

    1. Mrs. du Toit says:

      You should write when you’re sick and pissy more often.

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      Well, I’m going to have to fix the writing in some places, but I guess this didn’t turn out quite as bad as I thought while I was figuring what-the-hell? and pushing “Publish” last night.
      Seriously, who talks like that anymore? Did they tin this guy in powdered sugar and brandy in 1985 and then take him out of storage this past Christmas? I almost prefer Dr. Phil.

    3. Mrs. du Toit says:

      I’m too frightened to actually click through on the link.
      Does he say things like, “yes, but how does it make you feel when your partner says…”
      I’d have to read it with a vomit bag close by.
      Don’t like your partner? Can’t live up to your commitments? Your partner doesn’t say the right things or do their “Fair” share of the chores? LEAVE or get over it.
      Geesh. Buncha whiny asses.

    4. Sean Kinsell says:

      I can understand how someone who’s inexperienced might not be sure when to give up on someone or might not know how to talk about his misgivings (though the time for sympathy ends when you start making the considered decision to deceive your partner). What I can’t believe is that the person playing the voice of sense would look for ways to make things into bigger psychodramas than they may in fact be. Yeah, right, that‘s helpful.