I can be a petulant child sometimes. I freely admit this. I'm the little boy sitting in the corner of the classroom with his arms folded and his bottom lip poked out as I fume over the injustice of my punishment. The fact that all I have to do is to tell little Johnny Smith that I'm sorry for pushing him off the swing is irrelevant because Johnny called me ugly and pushed me first so my pushing him was justified and I'm just going to sit in this corner until I am vindicated.
Meanwhile, little Johnny Smith apologized to me and is off finger painting with the rest of the class which is my favorite activity, but my teacher told me that I was wrong and that's just unacceptable. I won't apologize, because I was sticking up for myself and that wasn't wrong. So I sit in my corner, pouting, steaming, upset because nope, no way, no how am I going to apologize.
Yes, I know that scenario seems childish. Like I said, I freely admit that I can be a petulant child sometimes and I don't make excuses, it's something that I'm working on, but what do I do when I've folded my arms and told someone, or some people, that no, I won't speak to them until they apologize to me, until they stop taking me for granted, until they stop taking advantage of me? How do I move a relationship forward when I realize that my self-inflicted exile from their lives has actually brought me more peace and happiness...more stability, than I had before and I really don't miss them?
Because that just makes me sound like a bastard and a asshole and those are two things that I really don't want to be, but gods, it's exhausting to feel like I have to always be on for people. To have to take all the darkness, pain, heartbreak, the difficulty, the strain, the daily struggle and box it all up so that I can make sure that when I talk to them, when I email them or call them or IM them or tweet them, that I'm "Happy Vic" and our conversations can be all about them and their day and their family and their job/school/love life/parents/writing. I mean, who wouldn't be happy to take some time to actually be able to focus on themselves for once? To be able to wake up in the morning and not feel obligated to comment, email, tweet, fb, talk, IM or call the required persons and enter into the same dialogue, the same routine as always.
"How are you?" "How are you and __insert name of SO here__ doing?" "How's the writing coming along?" "How's your job?" "How's the family?" "I read your blog/email/tweet/fb status..." "Sure, I'll go leave a comment..."
And I wish that I could blame my new attitude on the T-shots: "Oh, you know what? I've become more "I-don't-give-a-flying-fuck" because of the T-shots" but it wouldn't be the truth. If nothing else I try to be as honest as possible with everyone (because some people can't take the special brand of Vic brutal honesty-few can...trust me), so I won't lie to them. It's more or less a "I've come to the realization that I don't have to beg for affection and love. I deserve to be loved, I deserve to be in a committed relationship with whoever I want to be with. I deserve to have a real family who loves me unconditionally and who has my back at all times because they know that I'll have their back at all times. So because of that I don't feel like I should have to bow and scrape for you to deign to speak to me or ask me how I'm doing or email me/comment on my blog/tweet me/fb me/message me/IM me, etc."
And I've taken time away from a lot of people and a lot of places. I stepped back and questioned myself seriously. I asked myself "Is this going to help you grow as a person?" "Is this going to help you grow as a writer?" "Is this going to help you grow as a business owner?" "Is this going to help you grow as a man?" "Is this going to help you grow as a member of a family?" "Is this going to help you achieve your lifetime goals?" "Is this going to help your career/life/family/mental or emotional well-being?" "Is this going to help you physically?"
"Is this going to help you achieve and/or maintain happiness or is this going to make you unhappy?"
I've asked these questions about activities, relationships, entertainment, books, hell, I even asked it about my pack of cigarettes that I take with me everywhere (it may not be helping me physically, but for right now it is helping my mental/emotional well-being as I smoke when I'm stressed). The ones that haven't made the cut, I wrote down on a list and I look at that list and I wonder how to tell the people on that list that I don't miss them and that I'm wondering if it would be best for us to continue our relationship, because while I love my family and friends and I love my readers, I have this whole new life ahead of me and I can't afford to keep people around who are going to make me feel bad about myself, my future or even my decision to live my truth and pursue my happiness. Life's too short for that. I can't afford to keep people around that aren't going to appreciate me or are going to take advantage of me.
I won't keep people around who are only in my life to ride my coattails on the off chance that something might happen in my life that will thrust me into the spotlight and they want to be in the spotlight as well.
One of the greatest things that I did for myself down in Florida before GRL was getting rid of people who were only around me because they knew I had connections or because they knew that I was a writer, singer, actor, dancer, had a head for business, an ear for language/accents, because they knew I had friends who were attractive. I think that when I lost my bio family and all of my former friends (except like...two) from down in Florida when I came out, I accepted and embraced whoever would take me and now I have the amalgamation of people who actually care about me, actually love me, are actually in my corner, actually want to see good things happen for me, actually want the best for me, actually want to see my life improve and improve my life if they can, people who want to care about me and love me...and those who only want me in their life to improve them, their lives, love them and care for them, be there for them, give to them, people who only want me around to use me or when it suits them.
I had a boyfriend who only brought me around when he wanted to show me off, until that time I was his dirty little secret. I had a father and an entire family that did that to me too. I won't let anyone do it to me again.
So no, I really don't miss them at all and you know...I can't seem to bring myself to care one bit.
And doesn't that just make me the bad guy?
-Vicktor Aleksandr B