Just A Schoolboy Crush (Can Scar For Life)

It’s been nearly 3 weeks on the Prozac and I’m feeling pretty disappointed. Perhaps I have been expecting too much, but nothing has really changed. When I saw the doctor last Thursday, he was a little surprised that I wasn’t feeling ‘much better’ – he seemed to think that 2 weeks was enough to start feeling the beneficial effects and was mildly concerned that I wasn’t. I know that many people say that it takes longer – 4-6 weeks even, but surely I’ll be feeling something by now?

Although my mood is not black, I still have no interest in anything, I am constantly fighting lethargy, work bores me, I have no desire to socialise, I am still unable to find anything to look forward to, I am still in a creative void and life is generally flat and dull. Nothing interests me, I have no energy, I constantly feel like I want to sleep.

I have to wait a month before the therapy starts, so in the mean time I have to somehow try to find or create some positivity. So I’m going to talk about something that I believe could be the source of my problems… what I think could well be at the root of my depression.

I’m pretty certain now, that a large part of the problem are my issues with my homosexuality, the fact that I’m only sexually attracted to older guys, the fact that I feel that a relationship is impossible because of the incompatibility of the age difference with those that I am attracted to, the fact that I am not attracted to people my own age or younger (or women), the fact that the older guys I am attracted to are nearly always straight / married / unattainable. I seem to only be attracted to ripened forbidden fruit.

So what the fuck is all that about then? Why?? Well delving back into my past, there is one event which would seem most relevant: When I was about 16 years old – an impressionable age – I developed a crush on a teacher. Nothing unusual about that right? Well the problem was, it went way beyond a crush. I fell in love. Absolutely, completely, hopelessly, desperately in love. My heart would leap out of my mouth every time I saw him, I would obsessively think about him, do anything I possibly could to be in his presence without drawing attention to myself. I was in the sixth form, he was one of my teachers for one of my subjects and he was the head of sixth form – I couldn’t avoid him (not that I wanted to), and unfortunately for me, forced circumstances just worked to feed my obsession.  Also unfortunately for me, he was very heterosexual and very happily in a relationship – but that fact didn’t alter the way I felt about him. I was under his spell and I was helpless to resist it.

It went on (and grew) for 2 difficult, heartbreaking years until I left school. During that time I had managed to manoeuvre myself into a position of trust and friendship with him, I had been on a school ski-trip that he also went on, there had been a couple of staff/6th form weekends away… I’d managed to get a lift home from him a couple of times (by conveniently being in the right place at the right time)… I look back on it now and the depths I sunk to make me cringe with mortification and embarrassment. It was bad. Really bad. But amazing as it may seem, I managed to keep my feelings and my pain hidden and secret.

Unsurprisingly I suffered my first major depression during this time. The pressure of keeping my secret, and the strength of my feelings quickly became unbearable. I couldn’t talk to anyone about it – I was so ashamed of my feelings. I learned during those 2 years how to walk out with a smile on my face whilst being torn to pieces inside. I think the depression I had (which lasted about 2-3 months) was almost more like a cry for help. I wanted him to notice that I was upset… I wanted him to be concerned about me, to comfort me… I even started to question whether I was actually really depressed or whether it was just another shameless tactic to get his attention – I still don’t know the truth to that question. All I do know is that it was all-consuming and terrible. Unrequited love, forbidden love, impossible love. It slowly, agonisingly ripped my heart in two.

Even when I left school after my A-Levels it didn’t stop. I stayed in touch, went on another ski-holiday, then when I went to University I wrote to him. When I left Uni and joined the band, I even managed to get him to come & watch a gig. In fact that gig was the last time I saw him – I suppose it was probably 1994 /1995. I think after that I realised that I had to try and move on – to let time try and heal the deep wound and gaping hole in my heart, so that I could move on with my life. It’s now 2011 and I am beginning to realise that I never really got over it. Time did manage to stop the bleeding, but the wound was too deep – the damage too extensive. To look back on my life at the age of 41, and know that the only person I have ever been ‘truly’ in love with was my teacher at school, is grim knowledge.

If I hadn’t been so bloody terrified of death back then, I would have probably committed suicide to be honest – it was such a hopeless situation, and it was all so out of my control. I was trapped in a horrible confusing nightmare and I couldn’t wake up from it.

There was one time during my big depression, that he called me into his office and indeed expressed his concern that I seemed to be very depressed and he asked me if I wanted to talk about it… and as desperately as I wanted to, and as perfect as this opportunity was, I just couldn’t do it. So I didn’t, and my heart tore just a little bit more. I do wonder what would have happened if I had told him. Would it have enabled me to get through it, get over him? I suppose a lot would have depended on how he handled it. All I knew was that I would never have been able to look at him again if I had told him the truth. The shame and humiliation would have been utterly intolerable… too much for me to have been able to bear. It quite possibly would have done me a lot more harm than good. Who knows.

So there you have it… the story of my broken heart.

I suppose it isn’t surprising that whenever I hear anyone utter the words “oh it’s just a schoolboy/schoolgirl crush” I want slap their face and explain to them just how serious, and how utterly devastating and destructive ‘just a schoolboy crush’ can be.

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About RescueMyLife

I am a single man, 45 years old living in London and working in the media. My life is complex and I have decided to try and make some sense of it. I am writing this blog anonymously as I believe that only by remaining anonymous can I be honest and speak freely about my thoughts and feelings. I have no idea where this blog will take me...
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8 Responses to Just A Schoolboy Crush (Can Scar For Life)

  1. Early love and first love can definitely have a big impact on your life. In this case, it was unrequited. You were able to fantasize that this man would be the ‘perfect person’ for you. I don’t know if you would take any comfort in the opinion that if you had actually had a mature relationship with this teacher, he probably would not have been perfect. You would have found an actual relationship with him disappointing.
    It sounds like he cared about you however, and I guess you can take some comfort in that.

    • RescueMyLife says:

      I always knew this was a big deal in my life, but I assumed that as time passed (and a lot of time has passed now), that it would just be naturally laid to rest. I’ve only just really acknowledged to myself that this is not the case. I’m sure you are right about fantasy becoming reality probably being a disappointment – often the case. He was a good, kind man and I suppose he did care about me to a point. But his kindness was like a heroin addiction – I was always looking for the next fix.
      Thanks for your comment
      RML

  2. petlamb2 says:

    Unrequited, unseen and silent love that cannot be shared or talked about with anyone. It is a very dangerous magic indeed. I wish I had words to ease your burden. If I had perhaps I could listen to them too. The only thing I can suggest that might just offer some solace is to write a letter to him. This is not a letter you will ever send, indeed in time you may wish to burn it, but you could then tell this man all you wish you had ever said, maybe even try and forgive him for not seeing your emotion and then, if you can, wish him well and say good-bye. Don’t type it – write it by hand and feel ever word. It makes my heart ache suggesting this because I am not brave enough to do this yet, but it is my hope that I can one day and lay a ghost to rest because until I do, I suspect he might just poison my future happiness forever.
    Wishing you well.

    • RescueMyLife says:

      To be honest, the time for writing the unsent letter is long gone – I might have even done it 20 years ago I honestly can’t remember. I also never really blamed him for my pain – I knew it was all in my head, and I did absolutely everything in my power to hide it. I suppose I also said goodbye to him a long time ago as well – I don’t feel the same when I think about him any more, time has passed and although he enters my head quite regularly, it isn’t with anything like that same burning heart-ache that I used to feel.
      I think for me, time has done its healing, but the wound was too deep to heal it fully. I’ve moved on in life, but I do still carry some of the pain… perhaps more than I have ever cared to admit to myself.

      It sounds like you have had a similar experience – I don’t know how long ago it was for you, but perhaps you should write that letter and ceremoniously burn it. You have to find a way to let go. If it’s any consolation to you, my pain did stop fairly quickly once I wasn’t seeing him every day. Time does the rest, and I suppose it is a little like grieving in that the pain never completely goes, but you learn to live with it and move on. I hope you’re able to do this.
      RML

      • petlamb2 says:

        Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately mine is current. I see him each week and we talk. He is in the process of buying a house with his partner. I believe he thinks I am fond of him but not the extent of it. For various reasons, our regular involvement will continue for a while yet. Then I shall have to say good bye and the thought of doing that makes my heart ache more than I can possibly say. He is the reason I have not taken another overdose. In reality of course, as you have said above, the difference between fantasy and reality is probably a yawning crevasse but the fantasy sustains me. Sad, sad, sad.

      • RescueMyLife says:

        I totally understand the feeling when you are being sustained by a fantasy – it is not a good place to be. You say he is the reason you have not taken another overdose – that may be true but what you need to try and find is something else to focus on… it can’t and won’t replace, but it will help you in the long run to get over the broken fantasy. It might be time to find a new hobby & meet some new people. So easy to say – I wish I would take my own advice sometimes. Good luck and do try and build yourself a safety net as you know the fall is coming….
        RML

  3. Blake says:

    I’m of a similar age to you. This may or may not be relevant, but given the level of homophobia back in those days I was wondering if perhaps there is a residual issue surrounding shame and growing up gay. Being gay and having to conceal one’s identity was really tough back then and having to deal with the negative messages and lack of positive images and role models in society caused me a lot of angst. Maybe this adds a further complexity to the experience of being in love with your teacher. I guess what I’m trying to say is that when we feel that we have to hide our true nature we feel conflicted and this wreaks havoc on our self-esteem, which can then have lasting impacts on our psyche. I am my own worst critic too, but from an outsider’s perspective there is nothing to be mortified or embarrased about. I feel for what you went through, it sounds like this was a very difficult time in your life.

    • RescueMyLife says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful, insightful and supportive comment, I really do appreciate it. Everything you say has the distinct ring of truth to it. It is very uplifting to get a comment from somebody who displays such clarity in their understanding of this particular aspect of my life… and what I have silently had to live through.
      Many thanks again
      RML

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