Almost immediately after I moved in with my straight friend, Justin, things started to go bad between us.
He was not at home as much as I had expected since he was starting to spend more time with other friends. I found myself jealously wishing these other friends would go away. I spent many hours sitting alone in my room waiting for him to come home and dreaming of how we would spend time together when he arrived. As soon as I heard his car driving up, I would go straight to the door to greet him.
Sometimes Justin was happy to see me and would spend several minutes telling me about his adventures and making me feel like I was an important part of his life. Other times, I could tell that he was irritated with me or that he just had no time for me and would brush me off.
I spent more and more of my alone time thinking about how Justin was affecting my emotions. When I felt his love and acceptance, I was very happy.
But whenever I felt like he was neutral or negative toward me, I would feel deep emotional pain — to the point of tears.
I instinctively knew that I shouldn’t show him my stronger feelings, especially those tears, so I held them inside as much as I could.
One day, Justin came home and found me in deep emotional turmoil that I just couldn’t hide. He directly asked me what was wrong, so I tried to explain what I was feeling about him. I couldn’t avoid the topic, and at that point, I told him for the first time that I was dealing with same-sex attraction.
I heard surprise, fear, and even anger in his voice as he responded, “Why didn’t you tell me this before?”
“I wasn’t sure you could handle it,” I said.
He shouted, “I probably wouldn’t have moved in here with you if I had known about this before!”
That devastated me. Somehow, I kept myself from bursting into tears as I contemplated a future without Justin and only hurtful memories remaining of him. I desperately struggled to find the right words to salvage what was left of the friendship.
“Well, let’s move on from here and try to work this out,” I cautiously suggested.
After my reassurances, Justin calmed down and agreed to remain friends while he learned more about my SSA and how it affected the way I related to him.
To be continued . . .
Have you ever experienced unhealthy emotional dependence on a male friend? What happened to that friendship? Did you work through the struggle, or did the friendship fall away?
* Photo courtesy giusibarbiani, Creative Commons.