Sunday, May 06, 2007

¡Por Fin!

One of the longest nightmares in my life has finally ended. No, I am not talking about the Ugg boot craze. After over a year on the market, the Texas house that I co-owned with Liar Ex (Who Told Many Lies) finally sold on Friday. Thank Guadalupe!

Of course, I haven’t actually lived in the house for even longer than that. Liar Ex (Who Told Many Lies) announced that he had “evolved” beyond me some eighteen months ago (Yes, he actually said that). Just because he was leaving me, though, didn’t mean that he was bothering to, you know, leave. After all, why should he have been inconvenienced (being the newly evolved life form and all)?

Apparently he thought that I would enjoy a front-row seat as he continued to build a relationship with somebody else. Why not stick around so that I could come home and find little packages that his loser boyfriend had sent him waiting on the doorstep? Yeah, they were sweet like that – not even putting on a pretense of considering my heartbreak. After eight years together, I would have thought that I would be granted a bit more consideration. I was mistaken.

In retrospect, I wonder why I didn’t burn those packages . . . or douse Liar Ex with acid. Sigh – So many missed opportunities. Live and learn, I suppose.

Instead, I scrapped together what little dignity that I had left (which wasn’t much) and moved out. This plunged me into financial chaos as I struggled to pay rent and my portion of the mortgage. Yet, Liar Ex had the temerity to complain about taking care of the house (which he refused to move out of in the first place).

Making the terrible choice of having trusted Liar Ex (Who Told Many Lies) cost me a lot financially and emotionally. If love is a war, it was he who won. I hope it gives him a great deal of satisfaction.

It’s hard, of course, to recount these stories without sounding bitter -- probably because I am. Each bad memory is like some sort of macabre memento in a collection that I keep in an old cigar box under the sink. Periodically, I take them out for examination. Each time I expect to find some sort of larger meaning. In the end, I don’t think there really is any. He was an asshole. I was a gullible idiot. That’s about the sum of the story. It’s not a particularly original one either.

Even I have grown bored with recounting all the bad feelings and heartbreak from the past. Sure, we can add texture to the story and search for explanations. I was only 22 when we met and pretty naïve. The longest relationship that I had with anybody up to that point had been two months. When I first started dating Liar Ex (Who Told Many Lies), my best friend in grad school warned me with Cassandra-like clarity that he was a mediocre soul. All this I ignored because I looooooooooved him.

Now, though, Liar Ex (Who Told Many Lies) exists in my world mostly as a punch line for the blog. To me, the relationship was over so long ago that I hardly feel like the same person. At some point, I need to take responsibility for the future.

As a result, I am working on letting go of the bitterness. From what I can tell, the bitterness and anger are the last and hardest emotions to kill off. One of my fears is that I won’t have the strength to finally let it all go. It actually keeps me awake some nights. That's when I decide to get out of bed and go home.

Like we all do, I know several individuals, both gay and straight, who launch into the tragic tale of the bad end to their former long term relationship. At first, one gets the impression that they are talking about a recent break-up given the rawness of their anger. One finds out later, though, that their relationship had been over longer than the conflict in Vietnam. I definitely don’t want to morph into one of those people who carries around the bitterness for more time than the actual relationship existed (though I can easily understand how that happens).

"Um, GayProf," I hear, "that train has left the station." Shut up, voices in my head. That train has another seven years before that really happens...

On the other hand, I find the opposite to be just as baffling. I don’t mean the people who come to a mutual understanding that their relationship wasn’t working and they part ways honestly and amicably. Though not my experience, I can understand that as a possibility.

Instead, I mean the people who had a horrible relationship and then insist upon being friends. “Sure he lied to me and there was also that time that he stabbed me,” they say, “but I felt being an adult meant that we could still be buddies.”

You know what? I am willing to concede that I am childish and petty if it means that I don’t have to ever have Liar Ex (Who Told Many Lies) in my life. Hell, I’ll own up to being a lesser human if it means never seeing or hearing from him ever again.

The house finally selling feels like an insignificant coda to a pretty nasty composition. Of course, buying the house in the first place was all my idea. Next to getting into a relationship with Liar Ex, it stands out as the penultimate worst decision of my life.

I had some romantic ideas about that house. All of them, though, were against the basic rules of real estate. People will tell you to buy the smallest house in the best neighborhood. Instead, I went for the largest house in one of the least desirable neighborhoods in that forsaken Texas town.

It wasn’t the size of the house that appealed to me. In an area where everything historical is torn down, that house had survived seventy years. Clearly it needed some work, but I thought it would be labor of love to restore it. Really, I had simply watched too much HGTV. You know the shows that I mean. They depict some happy, smiling gay couple who tell us that rescuing a collapsing heap of house is just as easy as ripping out the formica and shag carpet. GayProf, it turns out, has no skills in the industrial arts.

I also had some pretty serious delusions of grandeur. As Carly Simon might say, “I had some dreams. They were clouds in my coffee.” With so many rooms open for entertaining, I could fancy myself as the modern-day gay incarnation of Mabel Dodge Luhan. The house could become a salon for people from a variety of backgrounds to gather. There we would discuss matters like race, gender, and sexuality. Or, if not those topics, at least we could assess the strengths and weaknesses of different Charlie’s Angels episodes. As the new Luhan, I would also get some kickin’ new outfits. Though I probably wouldn’t wear chunky turquoise jewelry like ol’ Mabel – probably.

It turns out, I had totally the wrong colleagues, neighbors, and spouse to support such a salon environment. While there were some exceptions, my colleagues weren’t interested in talking with me in general. Their vision of history consisted of moving around little flags on maps. My neighbors who weren’t associated with the university often scared me silly (small-town Texas is not a safe place for those who aren’t white, straight, married, Christian, and have children). Finally, Liar Ex (Who Told Many Lies) might have learned some key phrases to parrot from cultural studies, but he had no talent for critical thinking. None of those elements would make my self-aggrandizing salon possible.

As a result, the selling of the house is one of the last steps to finally ending my connections to Texas. There is not much more to say about that time in my life that I haven’t said. Well, except, of course, “Fuck you, Shaun.”


StinkyLulu said...



And wow.

(I love the tags on this post.)
Good for you, kitten.

adjunct whore said...

i love your dreams. i love that you have enough access to your dreams to write about them for others. congratulations on selling the house. in my experience (parents divorce, my own divorce) such things do actually create closure. you sound already almost past bitterness. i epecially love your last line. it is the healthiest reponse.

vuboq said...

congratulations on selling the house. next round of martinis is on me :-)

this post has given me a lot to think about. thanks.

Andrey said...

I hope the selling of the house can help bring a respiste to the bitterness you feel for your ex and the time you spent together.

Andrey said...

I really need to preview these things, before I post. No one would know I'm an editor...

Jaclyn said...

Congrats on the sale.

May this help you close the door on that evil bastard. Remember that as long as you harbor the bitterness, he still has some control over you. And it really doesn't sound like he deserves to have that.

Roger Green said...

I could be wrong, but I think the sale of the house will be more significant than you think:
1) You won't have to deal w/ Liar Ex , financially or otherwise
2) You won't have the burden of the mortgage
And given the fact that you're now in Boston and are going to the Midwest, I expect that healing will begin, whether you want to or not.

Exes are strange. I'm actually on very good terms with a couple of them, and decent relationship with a couple others, though my last ex and I haven't spoken in a decade.

marlan said...

Ah yes, the joy of being bitter towards the ex. I share it as well. And yes, she got the house, too and eventually the mortgage, but during that time it was a struggle. Ah well, only 3 more alimony payments are left, each will be written with a cold scribble.

Earl Cootie said...

Hurray! Congratulations! The final material tie has been severed. Now, on to the intangible. Time to look forward.

I suppose I'm one of those baffling people, when it comes to my first ex. We had a very stormy relationship and it ended with physical violence, but we remained friends. Not in any attempt to be "adult", but only because we were friends. And once we had that nasty Relationship out of the way, we found that we could just enjoy each other for who we are.

Conversely, I don't speak to my second ex at all, and our relationship ended peaceably. In the years since our split I've come to realize that our Relationship was our only connection. He's just not the kind of person I'd ever be friends with.

So go figure.

Frank said...

Oh, thank GOD! Congratulations finally unloading your own personal albatross! Now you can move to the University of the Midwest with a clean slate and let your fabulosity SHINE like it should, honey!

dykewife said...

i'm glad the anchor has finally sold and you can set your sails to a new horizon with exotic vistas and new (and lovely) people embrace.

i wish i could let go of the bitterness of the "grace period" in my life. alas, since bran is still friends with her i'm left with the feeling that i should be putting up stone walls and digging a moat, but not being able to act on that because i'm not willing to tell bran that "mine enemy is thine enemy".

*sigh* it's no wonder that i'm a mess right now.

hello, my name is danny. said...

congrats on the sale and the new opportunities that may result. you just might have to find yourself a new center of gravitas.

jeremy said...

Its like you were waiting to exhale or some shit.
No, really, congrats on selling that bitch of an albatross!!
On to bigger and better things!

Chad said...

Damn, kudos for not making a bonfire out of those presents. I swear if I was in your shoes my inner Southern lunatic would have come out in full force. (E-mail me and I'll tell you the story of my grandmother's and uncle's completely deranged adventure).

I'm glad you got rid of that house. It must feel great to be relieved of a burden that was both financial and emotional in nature.

tornwordo said...

I hope you feel better now having got that out. Now, and you're going to hate me for this, it's time to work on forgiving. That's the only cure for bitterness.

The house is sold!!!!! Wheeeee! You're free!!!! Congrats.

Maria said...

congrats on finally selling the house! he doesn't get any money from that, right?

Cooper said...

Yay, the witch is dead!

That last line made me spit my coffee.


GayProf said...

StinkyLuLu: Probably the post could have just been reduced to the tags.

Adjunct Whore: Yeah, I can see the closure bit. Every monthly transfer for the mortgage was a bad reminder of the past.

VUBOQ: None of us deserve to live with a liar ex (who tells many lies). We are simply worth more than that. Keep that in mind.

Andrey: My spelling and proofreading skills are notoriously bad. I am hoping for respite as well.

Jaclyn: Yeah, I feel what you are putting down. The best option is to simply not think about him at all.

ROG: I think that there was a point where the relationship could have ended and it wouldn't have been so acrimonious. Liar Ex (Who Told Many Lies) did not opt for that strategy.

Marlan: Three payments left sounds like a remarkable gift. Ugh -- I couldn't even imagine having this type of thing drawn out for more years.

Earl: I hope that my next ex and I have a better relationship after we break up...

Frank: Though a bit late in other ways, you are right that the timing is great for moving to the University of the Midwest. It's just a huge relief.

DykeWife: Yeah, the "my enemy is your enemy" thing is really hard to resist. I tried not to push mutual friends in one direction or another. That's really difficult, though, when your feelings have been hurt so deeply.

Hello, My Name is Danny: Fortunately, my gravitas is collapsible so I take it everywhere that I go.

Jeremy: I thought about alternatively naming this post "Tale of the Ancient GayProf."

Chad: Is this the story that involved a corpse?

TornWordo: Yeah, I also feel what you are putting down. Forgiving, though, won't require me to talk to him in any form, right?

Maria: Money? There was basically no money from the sell of the house. Let me say again what a bad, bad, bad choice I made in that purchase.

Cooper: Well, not dead. The witch is just out of my life.

Send me your cleaning bill for the coffee stains.

Steven said...

I hope that the selling of the house is the closing chapter with your ex and that the bitterness only gets sweeter as time goes on. You deserve it. Thank you for sharing. It definitely has put some things into perspective as to what I went through with the "ex."

pacalaga said...

Congratulations, dude, that has to be the best feeling. A toast to you: May you always be movin' on up, and may Shaun suffer cock roaches and crotch rot wherever he may be.

And also, I think we should invent a drink and name it a Respiste. It should have tequila. That is maybe my favorite typo ever.

Atari_Age said...

Yipee! Happy Dance!!!

You know I understand how long these feelings will linger.

The more horrible the treatment, the longer is rankles inside.

But, yeah, breaking all the bonds to that person is probably going to benefit you greatly over the next few months. So, YAY!!! And yeah, fuck Shaun. And John, for that matter. Fuck all Shauns and Johns, I say!

Chad said...

Oh, did I already tell you that one? Sorry, I guess I just love sharing it.

gayborhood gringo said...

what a relief i'm sure that is. i still remember the moment i was able to sever all ties w/ my ex. the feelings of ill will still linger, but not as much. those will eventually subside.

Helen the Felon said...

I think you meant, "Fuck you, Shitdigit." Yes?

I'm proud of you, pumpkin. Fuck Shaun, fuck Texas, fuck that stupid house, and fuck being friends with exes who stabbed you, literally and/or figuratively.

Mostly Shaun, though.

sammuel said...

thank la virgen indeed. i have a tat of her on my forearm.

also what small tx town was your casita in? or should i say casona?

Marius said...

Shaun sounds like a real asshole. As they say, time heals all wounds. I guess people handle this sort of thing differently, and I understand why you don't ever want to see him again. I hate when bad things happen to good people. I wish you the best!

Elizabeth McClung said...

Wow, liar ex really was a jerk, your vivid description makes them the person I hate so much in a reality show I walk out when the come on. "Evolve this!" I would fantasize (only I can never think of a good dramatic action to go with it except mooning, which sort of negates the witty retort).

Seems to me your only since was being a romantic, trying to make a difference in a neighborhood, being attracted to a survivor house and thinking you would be something that you fantasized about. Not the worse thing to be really, a dreamer who commits themselves to their dreams. Didn't work out that time - you are free now - huzzah! House sold! Ex must continue as lying loser without ever genuinely, maybe still in Texas (now THERE is a punishment). Time for new dreams?

MaggieMay said...

Congratulations, truly, on selling the house. It is the dawning of the Age of the Gayprof!

Junk Thief said...

Egads. I lived almost the same scenario from 1999 - 2001. Only instead of saying "I've evolved" he said "I think it's time we had an honest relationship."

Fortunately we didn't co-own. I was the single name on the mortgage. The parasite moved on to a new host. I've learned that there's no sweeter lover than Bay Area equity.

Doug said...

Please please please don't let this horrific experience with LE(WTML) weigh down your dreams. You're free, the anchor is cut loose, so it's time to celebrate, to cry for catharsis instead of pain, to take a few days off and do something you've always wanted to do but never did, to wander around downtown Boston giving random people dollar bills, something just plain wacky. Maybe spend an entire weekend in the library doing research on something you always wanted to learn. I don't know.

Or, go to the store, buy a large bag of M&M's, and imagine me feeding them to you. Which I will do if we ever get a chance to meet.

Many Heartfelt Congratulations on selling the house. I am tearfully happy for you.

Marve said...

Congrats! And many cups o' mead in commiseration over loser exes. It is not petty at all to want to never speak to Liar Ex again. As you said, he was an asshole. Probability favors him continuing to be an asshole of some stripe for several years yet, perhaps indefinitely. Why deal with that at all?

smith said...

Is it possible, GayProf, that there is more than bitterness deep down?
8 years is a long time to hold on to such negative feelings. There is an old oriental story in which 2 monks are walking down a path and come upon a young bride who must cross a stream. The older monk picks her up and takes her across, puts her down and they continue on their travels. When they reach their destination the younger monk exclaims to the older that they are not to have contact with women and that he had picked up the young bride.
The older one said, "Yes, I also put her down on the other side of the stream; you seem to still be carrying her."

Rebekah said...

Big congrats on the house sale! I'm glad that isn't hanging over you any more.

And the bitterness? It has a place. I mean, not in every decision you make or conversation you have, but bitterness is sometimes all we have left.

I'm not saying this right.

Forgiveness is all well and good, but I'm not sure it's necessary. Letting go of things eventually doesn't mean someone is forgiven.

You'll work it through. Besides, eight years, pretty much your whole adult life up to the break-up? I think it would take more than a few months to get over that.

Red7Eric said...

If you really want to forgive but don't know where to begin, try starting with condescending thoughts about what a stupid loser he is and from there, try to work up a little sympathy. Be glad you're not a stupid pathetic loser like stupid pathetic Shaun. Once you pity him, the forgiveness thing can start to take hold.

Psychiatric Help, 5¢; the psychiatrist is "in"

GayProf said...

Steven: I hope that you are one of the people who has a good (or at least not negative) vision of your ex.

Pacalaga: I am all about new drinks -- especially ones involving tequila!

Atari Age: Fuck John and all derivations of that name.

Chad, II: It's a good story.

Gayborhood Gringo: I heard a theory that it takes half the time of the relationship to mend from its destruction. That seems like a depressing statistic (4 years!).

Helen the Felon: I did mean Shitdigit -- but that required a great deal of exposition. Perhaps a future entry...

Sammuel Guadalupe has never let me down.

If I revealed my location, where would the mystery be?

Marius: It's all about the handling of it for me. Ending a relationship is one thing. He decided, though, to treat me as badly as he could. It seemed like he got some sort of sick ego boost out of seeing me twist in the wind.

Elizabeth: Not all evolution results in a better organism. Some evolution is a dead end -- kinda like homo neanderthalensis. Or homo assholenis.

MaggieMay: If it is the Age of GayProf, peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars. Or I will rule with a crushing iron-fist. Whichever...

Junk Theif: Let me say that I will never buy property jointly again...

Doug: I have the gladiator outfit ready for you anytime you are ready to start serving.

Marve: Oh, yeah, I think the assholeness will continue for a long, long time. There is a weird way in which I am soooooo glad that relationship is over.

Smith: I don't doubt that there are complicated residual emotions. However, I really believe if I met him today as a new person, he would not interest me at all. I doubt he would even register in my long term memory.

Rebekah: Forgiving and moving on are complicated. I assume what people mean when they say "forgive" is to reach the point of not wishing him harm. Given my ideas of karma, I actually don't wish him harm. That type of negative energy always will come back to you.

On the other hand, I am not really at the point where I can wish him well, either....

Red7: I feel where you are going with that. The problem being, though, that when I think of his patheticness, it just makes me angry that I spent so much time with such a loser.

Maria said...

damn, that sucks. i'm debating buying a house/condo while in grad school (because clearly i will be alone FOREVER and need to start owning property so that i can have better furneral arrangements then just my cats' digestive tracts), and am really wary of it. it seems like a really easy to get screwed over by the market.

witchtrivets said...

Congratulations on selling the house. I know how miserable it is to have a house on the market, but can only imagine how much worse it is to have a Liar Ex living in that house. I am feel relieved for you. And the bitterness level seems lower already.

Tenured Radical said...

Dearest GayProf: Your biggest mistake in all of this was not taking your cue from Mildred Pierce. You could have skipped over the part about building a Pie Empire.

Selling the house is a huge step, I agree, but my guess is that theswe feelings will continue to keep roaring back. Would I be wrong that Liar Ex (Who Told Many Lies) was not the first person in your life to betray you?

I highly recommend a book by Janis Spring called After the Affair which really helped me a lot in a similar situation. The only problem is that, like all pop-psych books that aren't about "adjusting" to being queer in a cruel, cruel world, it is aimed at straight folk. But you can extrapolate pretty well.

Good luck with the healing -- and your upcoming move.


PG said...

You'll get the intrusive reminders for longer than you'd like, but they'll eventually go away like a long ago memory of food poisoning.

What goes around will come around for him in direct/indirect ways. You'll know you've let go when you realize you stopped caring about that.

Les said...

congratulations on selling the house!

Upon my own unhappy breakup, I found out that the occupier of the house can be made solely responcible for the morgage, at least in California. Alas, I was the sole occupier as my evil ex moved overseas and busily drained our joint bank account in deep overdraft . . . the one we both agreed not to touch while it paid the morgage and we worked out our division of assets.

I worked really hard at trying to lose the anger, but obviously, it's still there. The thing is that I think I can do better in the future. I will pick better people and I will protect my assets, etc. Live and learn.

The thing about anger, bitterness, regrets and the like is that it's what makes us human. If we didn't have it, we'd be aufully boring.

GayProf said...

Maria: My only recommendation is to buy in an area that is desirable.

Witchtrivets: I feel less bitter.

Tenured Radical: Thanks for the suggestion. Don't get me wrong, I don't think selling the house is some type of magic bullet. Still, I have been working through most of the negative feelings for the past year.

PG: A Texas friend has a saying: The Karmic wheel grinds slow, but it grinds fine.

Les: One would have expected that the person living in the house would be the only one to pay the mortgage. That would be fair and logical, but he was neither. I could have (and thought about) taking legal action in that regard, but didn't want the hassle. It's just another example of just what a self-centered, entitled, shithead he was.

Okay, so maybe I am still a bit bitter.