Last weekend, I saw my childhood sweetheart for the first time in 10 years, at his father’s wake. While I have no issues with him (or so I thought), I knew that he had issues with me. After all, he blocked me in all social media sites after he came out, notwithstanding having maintained our friendship 13 years after we broke up. It was my first time to see him in person after he came out, not merely as a gay person, but as a trans male who flaunts his promiscuity online.
As expected, there were a few awkward moments. After thanking me and a friend for coming, he only talked to our friend and acted as if I wasn’t there. Everytime I started to feel awkward, I reminded myself to focus on the objective: to extend my condolences and offer any support I could give to his family. It was not an effortless task, but by God’s grace, I accomplished my mission.
Twas a bit surreal too. It was my first time to see him in person as a girl. He was wearing a black spaghetti-strapped dress. He had breasts and his voice was more female-sounding. I easily came to terms with it, knowing that he underwent a journey, as I have as well. I wanted him to know and feel that, although he was a different person now, there is no judgment on my part; only friendship and phileo love that I wanted to extend, especially in their family’s time of grief.
The awkward conversation seemed like eternity, but thank God that he gave some excuse to cut it short. I told him that I needed to leave because my husband was waiting for me. He thanked me for coming and I told him that I just wanted to reciprocate his being there for me when my father died.
In contrast with how I felt before I decided to attend the wake, I did not take offense with seeming rejection in the form of his difficulty to involve me in coversation. I felt myself having more compassion for the person. He clearly had issues. It was another test on dying to self.
Having conducted myself with dignity despite what came my way, I felt good after leaving the wake. Little did I know, however, that playing the earlier awkward scene in my mind managed to bring back my extremely insecure and timid 12 year-old self. My husband’s words on our way home worsened how I felt, as he made comments on how awkward I looked and that he couldn’t understand why I got myself involved with that ex in the first place.
With my teenage insecurity and timidity brought to the fore, and my heart still aching the following morning, I immersed myself in prayer, asking God to search my heart. As I paused, memories flashed back.
Having recalled all of those, I realized that there was some bitterness in my heart. I confessed my hurts to God. As I released forgiveness to the memories and to my ex, as well, I felt some of the scars from that emotionally abusive childhood romance disappear. The wounds were deep though, and there was more to heal.
I then prayed to break any and all soul ties and repeatedly declared that “God has not given me a spirit of fear and timidity, but a spirit of power, love and a sound mind”. I chose to love on my 12 year-old self, and forgave her for making stupid choices borne out of her horridly poor self esteem. I forgave her for settling for the only guy she thought would like her, and allowing that person to treat her like shit (imagine: being called Pangit (Ugly) as an endearment, being told I was boring because I was a homebody, being stonewalled repeatedly, and emotionally blackmailed repeatedly).
Forgiving my younger self and my ex was liberating. I was then given the understanding that he, too, was hurting. He was also a confused teen-ager, who struggled with his identity.
As I pondered further, I was taken back to an 8hr phone conversation (no kidding! We surely could talk, back then) when we were 14. Then, he told me that he was going to tell me something in due time…he gave a clue: it was about a three-letter word. I pretended to be unable to guess the word…but deep within, I knew all along. That three-letter word probably spell g-a-y. Perhaps that was why in his letter on my 14th birthday, he said that he loved me so much…how he wished that we’d end up together, and that I’m already his bestfriend and sister…sister?! (“Sister!” With the tone. Lol)
Could it be that his actions confused me because he, himself, was confused? One minute, we seemed to understand each other fully well; the next minute, he would act like I was a stranger, especially in public. He seemed to want me to pursue him, which made my self-esteem plummet to new lows. When I broke up with him when we were 16, he did tell me this cliche, “I’m sorry…I love you, but it’s not you, it’s me.”
Could he have held a candle for me, because I told him, at 17 when he attempted to court me again, that I didn’t need a boyfriend at that time, but needed a friend? Come to think of it, we always had that funky vibe in the years of friendship that followed. I was living my life, one that I loved at that, but everytime we caught up, I needed to jolt myself out of the confusion that I’d feel all over again. Maybe it was the same for him, as I was the only girlfriend that he had. Could it have been the reason why he only came out after I got married?
Could all this be the reason why he couldn’t bear to see a glimpse of me, not even through my online presence, even after I thought I was able to turn him into a friend in the decade that followed after our break-up? Could his blocking me online be his way of manipulating me to be more curious about how he turned out to be? I have lived my life apart from him for more than 2 decades now…I am married, now happily and I am bouncing back in my career. I have had three romances, experienced highs and lows, challenges and victories, experienced new places – all apart from him. Why would he want to still keep me in his lair, albeit subconsciously? I guess my struggles with rejection caused me to still be affected, and to dream about him every once in a while. I want none of that anymore. Not even a trace.
Could it be that this matter is actually more spiritual than I’ve thought it to be? After all, he has seeds of Christ and the Judeo-Christian faith planted in his heart. He used to be part of a Catholic charismatic group and I shared about Jesus and having a personal relationship with Him. His mother is devoutly Catholic and his dad was a mainline denomination Protestant. In that light, could it be that it wasn’t really me that he had a tough time letting go of; but I, to him, represented his rightful identity in God’s eyes? That in his heart of hearts, he knew that God created him male. No biological alteration could change that in its entirety. Could it be that seeing me reminds him of the seeds of his foundation, one that he wants to deny, given the lifestyle that he’s been leading for almost a decade now?
Looking even further back, before our childhood romance, we were really good friends even before we confused our friendship with romantic notions. I was perhaps the only person with whom he had a rather deep friendship when we were young, and maybe that’s why we confused it for something else. As for me, I probably read too much of my mom’s Mills & Boons novels and Sweet Dreams at a young age. It did not do me good, obviously. It made me romanticize whatever closeness we had back then.
Having realized all of that, I forgave him and myself all over again for building on each other’s confusion. I forgave myself for being so gullible and easily influenced by him. I let go of all the what-could-have-been-if-I-wasn’t-so-enamoured-with-him-then’s down at the feet of Jesus. My teenage mistakes and heartaches happened for a reason. God has a redemptive purpose even for those.
The fresh round of forgiveness brought deeper closure. I definitely felt lighter afterwards. All this, it appeared, was the final step in the preparations for a deliverance session that I was to undergo two days later with the WoW ladies. This, I believe, is preparation for our upcoming retreat. God is preparing our hearts to minister, just as He is similarly preparing to heal the hearts of the dear ladies who will be attending. 😇
In the coming days, I look forward to no longer dreaming about him, for all soul ties with him to be broken (if any are still left), and to being delivered from any related bondages.
To freedom! To deeper closure! To deliverance!
Now that I’ve been delivered, I couldn’t help but pray for him to have such healing and closure too. Based on his actuations, he has yet to achieve it. But I pray that somehow my gesture last Saturday helped pave the way for deeper closure for him, as it has for me.
Post script 3 weeks hence:
I saw and added him on LinkedIn earlier today. He apparently viewed my profile (someone from his office, even vicinity has) after the add, then blocked me. Oh well, he’s still at it, good grief, even after my magnanimous gesture…and on a professional site. Finally, I forgive myself for regressing by adding him on LinkedIn and fussing about it for a bit. (I think I was upset with myself for playing with the scabs). This is really the last of it. So, anyway, moving on to the next topic…SW, SW, SW, SW (some will, some won’t, so what, someone’s waiting…and eager to be my LinkedIn contact. Haha!)