Finding out your boyfriend is gay
Why is my boyfriend of sixteen years stuttering? He fixed this malady in elementary school twenty-five years ago. Worried about the return of this problem, I suggest some possible causes: Is something happening at work?
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As the days progress, his stuttering becomes more pronounced. Our friends start to notice and whisper to me. I consider calling a doctor for a professional opinion. I talk to his mom, my parents, and my closest friends, hoping that someone can give me some insight.
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His frustration is increasing each time he opens his mouth, and my annoyance, previously well hidden, is coming out. There are no other ailments, and he keeps insisting that nothing is wrong. During a break in the action our friend pulls me aside and tells me he thinks something is going on between my newly stuttering boyfriend and the female half of the couple with whom we have been spending most of our free time. I am horrified but calmly confront my boyfriend later.
He lies several times before I discover the truth. To me she was beautiful, angelic. She was always hiding herself, her fatness, the body she loathed. I have a picture of her in a long red coat, one of the few photos in which she is not standing behind someone. She was a size Her friends were stick-thin Depression-era women who wore dresses with belts, pleated skirts, and tight cotton blouses.
Most days my mother wore a faded pink chenille housecoat, threadbare in places, that smelled like an unmade bed: In happier moments she stuffed her torso into a tight girdle, as if punching down bread dough. No one could convince her she was beautiful, though we all tried. My dad would buy her a new dress, but she would toss it on the floor and tell him she would get dressed up after she lost some goddamned weight. Then she would slam the door so hard the frame would jump. She died by her own hand. She was always so happy, so cheerful, so willing to help.
They knew only her radiance, her strength, her clean house. My boyfriend, R. He lived in another city but would arrive for weekend visits bearing groceries, wine, and flowers. The strangest thoughts would go through my mind.
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For example, the first time I saw him with his shirt off, I thought, He got that body in prison. Then I shook my head and wondered where that had come from. What was my problem? As the relationship became more serious, my anxiety intensified. When I was working at my computer, I felt as if R. During one of R. It made no sense.
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My strange, nagging fear was that he would find my Social Security card. Finally I decided to end the relationship. Before telling R. I told her I planned to end it when I saw R. Two hours later he pounded on my door. I let him in and immediately regretted it.
His eyes were wild, and his voice shook. I tried to stay calm while mentally calculating whether I could grab my keys and make it to the car without him catching me. I had no idea what he was capable of doing. My house was in the country with no neighbors for a half mile on either side, so it would have been pointless to scream. I thought about using the cast-iron skillet to defend myself. I stood frozen as R. He also told him that I was a liar and a whore. As the truth emerged in the weeks that followed, I felt strangely validated.
A police detective told me how my boyfriend had stolen the identities of roommates, co-workers, and girlfriends. He was surprised R. I worked hard all day and took classes at night. Feeling the strain, I would drink a few beers in the car on the way home to help me unwind. My wife would get angry if she saw me drink more than a six-pack, so I tried to get as much as I could in me before I got there. The first few beers went down smoothly, and I tossed the empties on the floor.
The alcohol got my blood flowing and my spirits high. I had been anticipating this moment all day. The radio volume went up, and the windows went down.
I never worried about getting caught — until the night I almost ran over a cop. I saw a car pulled over to the side of the road with a couple of police cars behind it. I swerved around him at the last second. Holy shit. So I did what any responsible driver would have done: I floored it.
About two miles down the road, figuring I was out of danger, I popped open another beer. The adrenaline rush subsided, and a smile spread across my face. That was close! Then lights flashed red and blue behind me.
Panicking, I spilled my beer while trying to stash it under my backpack. I pulled over, resigned to the fact that I would be going to jail. Instead I thought I was charmed and could get away with anything. Two weeks later I awoke on a hard concrete bench in a cell with five other farting, coughing men. I was led before a judge, who read the charges against me: I remember instances on the playing fields in school when my eyes would shudder and my visual field would become a series of frames for a few seconds, like a slide show.
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Then there was the way I constantly caught my left toe on shag carpets or grassy surfaces, and my occasional difficulty swallowing. In my late twenties, for about a month, I could produce the sensation of hot liquid running down the back of my leg if I dropped my chin to my chest.
It went away but returned over and over throughout my thirties and forties. But every time I became worried enough to see a doctor, my symptoms would disappear. Then one cold, snowy night I was awakened by a knife blade of pain just behind my left ear. I writhed in agony and could hear myself screaming in the dark. What followed is a blur in my memory: When I awoke the next morning, my left hand was rigidly curled into my wrist, my wrist into my elbow, and my arm contracted across my chest.
My chest, arm, and face were totally numb. When I walked, I veered off to the left no matter how hard I tried to stay straight.