No one told me I was in an abusive relationship
I have been asking myself for many years. How did I not know I was in an abusive relationship? What was going through my mind? Was it love? Was it self-hatred? That’s not how a relationship supposed to be?
Being young and gay in the eighties and nineties is like being a puppy in a world of dingoes. You have no idea what’s going on. You have no good gay role models. You don’t know what’s supposed to happen. Not only that, what kind of relationship are you supposed to have? There’s no one to ask or to compare your relationship with.
Now add being Mexican to that mix and you have a world of pain. Whoever heard of a Mexican gay? What is that? Mexicans are supposed to be Macho and Manly. Mexican men don’t kiss other men. Mexican men tell their women what to do, and the women obey.
If that’s not bad enough, let’s add religion to the pot of slush. I am Catholic, which means I can do whatever I want, blame someone else, and go to hell for it. As a Catholic, I am supposed to be subservient to any man stronger than me. I am supposed to pray every night because Jesus will help me. I don’t have to do anything for myself, God will do it for me. If they hit me, give the other cheek; let them do to me what they wish.
What a mix of emotions and misinformation. I consider myself a gay man, a fem one at that. I thought I was supposed to be the woman in the relationship and let the man tell me what to do. Isn’t that how it is? This belief was so engraved in me that I sought men who were strong-willed, straight as arrows, and very macho. I thought I was supposed to be subservient, do what he said, be his slave, let him do to me what he wished. If he beats me, I was to keep quiet and not let anyone know. Until now.
I did what I thought was what I was supposed to do. I found a man who had his religion so ingrained in him. As a Mormon, his restrictions were a little stronger than mine. So the abuse began. His way of dealing with his homosexuality was to take it out on me. My way of dealing with my homosexuality was letting him beat me as my penance.
I had no idea I was being abused physically, mentally, verbally, and emotionally. I thought it was normal. This is what a gay relationship is supposed to be and I had to live with it. No one told me otherwise.
This is what I learned growing up. I was taught to be this way. This was normal for me. I accepted it because I had to give penance for my sins. Somehow my body did not accept it. I would faint easily over a hand being raised at me. I would black out and go somewhere unknown in my mind as I was being beaten black and blue. Of that relationship, I only remember bits and pieces.
I have forgotten everything about the abuse. I guess my body protected me from the horrors and pain. I have scars that I can’t tell you how I got them. I have glimpses of waking up in different places far from home. I have nightmares of being chased by him, holding a butcher knife and him laughing. I still see his face in every cowboy and Mormon I see.
I guess I should let it go after 20 years. But, I can’t. I have 2 friends that confirm that he did beat me. They just won’t give me any details or description of the extent of the abuse. They keep their little secret as if it would kill me. I know they know the truth behind the veil of protection, and yet that is what’s killing me. Not sure if I hate them or love them. Not sure if I hate myself or love myself. I’m not sure of anything.
I wish I would have known that I was being abused. I hope today young man can see abuse for what it is and get help. There is so much more information out there today that it is easier to get help. I am the generation that had to go through a war of acceptance and prejudice for today’s young men to be in an abusive relationship. Today we do not have an excuse for being in it. Ignorance is no longer an acceptable excuse of abuse.
If you think you are in an abusive relationship. The chances are you are. Talk to someone you trust. Seek the help you need and stay ALIVE.