36 year old man from Michigan. Last spring I started talking to a friend of my Exwife, a gay college professor who is nearly a decade older than me, and right out of the gate he let me know that despite finding me attractive he wasn’t going to hit on me or “be that creepy old guy”. I took him at his word because I had no reason not to and he seemed like a really nice guy. I had just gone through a really bad breakup and I felt like I needed a male friend to hang out with so that there would be clear boundaries, since I’m straight, that way I wouldn’t rebound with someone.
He had an African American studies class he was teaching in the summer and he asked me if I wanted to come to it, contribute in hopes of helping the students feel more comfortable talking, and he’d get me dinner and we’d hang out after. I jumped at the idea because the subject interested me and I felt this would be a nice, much needed, stable routine for me. This way I could be prosocial, I wouldn’t isolate, I could help him, and we could have fun.
We’d watch movies in the university’s classes with large screens, we’d go to Qdoba or Noodles and Co for dinner, and we’d hang out and chain smoke and talk about any and everything. It was really nice and eventually we even started engaging in more creative pursuits like critiquing each other’s poetry (not really a thing I’m that into but from time to time I feel compelled to). It felt so good to have someone who valued me for me and it wasn’t transactional or a desire based relationship; I hadn’t had a platonic relationship that was stable in a long time.
I told him that he could have an extremely small amount of an opiate medication I had, just enough to keep him from being violently ill, only because he’s overweight, has Lyme disease, said his kidneys were dying, wouldn’t go to the hospital, and also claimed his heart was significantly enlarged. He would get help and I was worried the stress might kill him. But instead of taking what I gave him, and pumping the brakes, he opted to drink full pint glasses of tequila throughout the afternoon.
Toward the evening he asked me to watch some movies with him. He said he knew it was difficult for me to watch him going through this and said he was going to get beer and I had to drink some with him so he felt less awkward. After watching the movies he was drunk enough that he started crying about his childhood. I went over to hug him and support him…
…and he started kissing my neck. But not just kissing my neck, he had his entire mouth open like a sucker fish. Eventually I moved across the room, still awkwardly talking out of confusion, and I assumed this would embarrass him enough to make him stop. I mean I was visibly embarrassed and started talking about how I needed to leave. He resumed acting normal and starting talking about my trauma as well which, so flustered, made me start crying.
He came over to hug me, sat me down next to him… and did the EXACT SAME THING! But this time when I pulled away he put his hand on my crotch. I can’t actually tell you what he said, or what he asked, but I think we all know what kind of weird it was. I told him I had to leave and was just acting exasperated instead of angry. He said something like “are we going to talk about how you’re responsible for what happened?” and I left.
I tried over and over to block this out of my head. To say it was merely someone who was too messed up. To tell myself “it wasn’t him”. I kept helping him with things here and there, which he’d pay me for, as I was too poor to turn him down. But it turned out I wouldn’t even need to end the friendship because he called me this summer rambling and threatening to call the police on me.
I felt so badly for him I didn’t want to cause more problems because he was struggling so much… but it turns out his kidneys were fine. His heart too. I honestly wonder how much of what he’s said was true. I think he’s just an unmedicated bipolar guy with delusions but that doesn’t explain away his predatory behavior.
I’m with a wonderful girl now who I’m in a serious relationship with and that goes a long way toward removing the shiftiness from my life. I’d spent years sorting out my head so that I could be with someone and not rely on them for my happiness, so it’s stable and fun and wonderful. But what he did keeps creeping into my head and bothering me at the worst moments. There isn’t really anything I can do in terms of him I don’t think… confronting him isn’t probably going to do me any favors… but it’s really been messing with my head of late. I just felt like I needed to put it out into the world in hopes of getting it out of my head.
This kind of thing has happened a number of times with girls and that’s why I was hanging out with a guy. I was SO sure that he would respect my boundaries because he knew I wasn’t any level of interested but obviously he didn’t. It hurts so much to get abused by someone when you’re trying to help them and be their friend. I dunno. Thanks for reading.