“An Unusual Love Story”
As told to Roi Asok
Location: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
I fell in love with a guy and it changed my life.
It made me more sensitive, aggressive, narrow-minded and unfortunately, weak. The strong personality I had as a young adult slowly diminished. I became worse.
How in the world did I get myself into trouble? What went wrong? Let me tell you the story.
When I arrived in Saudi last 2010, I carried a vision full of good promises. I was having the assurance of a new beginning – a transformation from wasted time and opportunities to sharper goals and a better self. Humans as we are, I believe it is normal to feel highly motivated and focused when starting new steps. I was exactly that person.
Being a socially driven person, I started gaining new friends. Quite a team player myself, it was a finger’s snap when it comes to approval. People find me cute, funny and easy to get along with. Within a month, I was able to form close ties with selected people. That was when I began going out with them – parties, outdoor activities – to name a few. Instead of controlling the independence which I overly dream of having, I counted on other’s company. My first mission failed.
Then I met a guy. This changed everything. At first I was stone faced in dealing with his actions. I am never the committed type, the one who falls in love right away. His persistence took months to earn my trust. It was not a big deal then. My intention was just to get along with his ways.
It started when his showmanship became more intense. He got jealous and overprotective. His treatment is the same as that of courting a woman. Then I shifted perspectives. I began to treasure our private moments. And worse, I realized that my emotional dependence with him started building up. My world turned upside down. Gone are the goals I carefully guarded. Gone are the strong character traits which would feed my independence. I started to fall in love.
It changed me. What he was before became a mirror of what I am now. I shielded him from the world, and I made him my own. He is the very core of my existence. His world became mine.
Little did I know that it would turn out dreadful. Every single day I always made it a point of meeting him, sleeping with him, texting him, satisfying him – all wrapped to just make him happy. I tried everything just to keep the relationship strong and going. I forgot my own priorities and put him on top of my list. It was an emotional circus. One day we were very sweet and intimate, the next we turned vicious and argumentative. It was never easy. I cried a lot. I cursed a lot. And I suffered a lot. My finances are in ruin because I always made it a point of sharing good things with him.
I could have accepted easily all of these life’s shortcomings. What angered me was the feeling of neglect and the hard bite of reality that his love is shallow. Something was always missing, and gays have a very commendable instinct to sense truth from pretension. I can’t blame myself for thinking likewise. I know deep inside that I will never be his priority. I am just another piece of trophy, an ego builder to showcase that he is a man who can make gays and girls swoon at his feet.
How did I know? Of course I knew. Actions speak louder than words. And words are sometimes “by products” of unconscious thoughts that are deeply ingrained in the human system. The way he gawks at women and vocally expresses his intent is an insult to my presence. Men are men. They are weak when it comes to temptations. I realized I could never be enough with this guy. All he is after are material things which will add points to his self-image.
But my stupidity continued. I clung to him as if he was the sole reason of my existence. And I am aware of how wrong it is. Yet I am still trapped. Even up to this writing.
Now my new job assignment might perhaps help me build simple steps to self-discovery. I am still clinging to the hope that there is an end for everything, and failures are supposed to teach us crucial lessons in life. My first goal is to shift and change my mindset. I believe that I can do it. I have been through great obstacles before, fought the hard battle and won. I should also win this time.
My exaggeration to my emotions deceived me to the full extent. Getting rid of him will only make me desperate and unhappy. It is not the solution to the problem. The real problem is myself. I have to change. I have to prioritize. I have to focus. My guy will always be there. As long as he needs me and I can complement in return, he cannot dismiss me easily. I need to eat more wisdom and inject reality in my mind. Living in a “la-la-la” dream world where love stories are counted sweetest isn’t going to help me.
The purpose of this essay is to remind me where should I stand now. It is time. Too early to count success, but I will surely take the steps necessary to move on.
Wish me luck.
Note: Filipino gays have high statistics in Saudi Arabia. They either ended up being totally sufficient from intimate relationships, or having extra affairs with Filipino single/married men, or even locals (Saudis)/ Expats (other nationalities). This is the hard reality, which struck me when I stepped onto the Arabian soil.
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