Category: Health

Settling

I’ve come to the realization that I can’t be 100% myself nor that I will have even an X% (variable since it does change on a regular basis) of my needs met within my relationship. I’ve looked pretty clearly at what I am getting (or not) and my motivations.

I’ve come to an uncomfortable place that this is just life and that the pros outweigh the cons.

Maybe I’m just buying into all the cliches: I’m just being realistic, nothing is perfect, relationships are work (from both partners in said relationship), etc. But there is a grain of truth to all of that. Let’s face it, reality is harsh and if you search for something ‘perfect’ (in quotes because it just doesn’t exist) you’ll be chasing forever.

I’m done chasing. I just want comfort and stability. I like the majority of the picture that I see in a realistic future, it matches with some of my personal goals… so I settle.

As I told several folk over the past few months, I’m miserable. I am happiest doing my own thing and not thinking about, let alone waiting on, my partner. There was a long time when their charm and charisma made it enjoyable to be with them, but that has worn off. I don’t enjoy spending time with them.

Let’s unpack that a moment. A part of not enjoying time with them is that I’ve grown weary of their schtick. They just aren’t that funny to me anymore. I don’t really care about some things they clearly are, and just smile (if I can force myself to) and nod, offering comments like, “Oh,” “Ok,” “that’s nice,” etc to make them feel like I am listening even if the attempts are so half-hearted they know I don’t give any fucks. Then there is the fact they seemed to stop caring about me – always on their phone, talking with others (either separately or on said phone) that I wonder if I even exist in their presence. The big things are how when I’m with them, I’m reminded every few seconds how angry, hurt, etc that I am.

Side trip, they have remarked several times how they wish I would wear the engagement ring more. I’ve got so many snide remarks churning through my head… “If you had asked what I liked and provided that maybe I would wear it…” “I’ll make a deal with you, you do more things that I want, then maybe I’ll want to wear it more.” But, similar to things previously said, just seeing it reminds me of all they promised and I’ve said I need that just… aren’t happening. Wearing the ring proverbially burns me and just brings pain.

The other day I was busying myself doing my own thing and they decided to stop what they were doing to just lean against me. Between all the anger and hurt, there was the added layer of, “Oh, so you are trying now? And this is the only effort you have? Really?” While I didn’t share those thoughts, I did state how it was nice to FEEL they care in a way that I feel love. (Harkening to the 5 love languages.) Similarly, for the first time EVER (in the 20ish months of being together) that one morning as they woke up they rolled over to cuddle, sorta, with me. At least this time I held back the tears of hurt, frustration, and anger until after they stopped and got up. Yes, there are often tears on a regular basis.

During that sorta cuddling I started to have maternal feelings. That was a warning sign right there. (Ok, not like there haven’t been a metric shit tonne of them, this just flashed brighter.) It harkens back to thoughts I’ve had about how, since there isn’t much romantic, physically, between us, that while we aren’t just roommates, it’s more like we are siblings or some other familial relationship.

I still wonder if this is the right thing to do. I’ve been down this road of anger, hurt, frustration, and any romantic love devolving into a sibling type care. I’m right back where I was feeling stuck. At least this time, so far, it isn’t suicidal. Part of that is compared to last time I have a better work team and load and doing something that fits me better. That and we aren’t married yet, so, there is still time to break free. (Yes, insert Free Bird here.)

Life is all about balance, right? How much feeling lonely, unwanted, unloved can one take? How much is having a dual income to accomplish goals of housing, travel, etc cost in this currency? (Not to mention the digs about kids, which is a similar cycle of hurt, frustration, and anger that is all it’s own.)

For now, I settle. I’ve uprooted my life before when I needed to after giving it everything I can think of. I can do it again. I will survive. I’ll be me no matter what. This works for now. I am hoping it’ll work for a good long while. I’m hoping that I can put up with it for a few years to get back to the financial independence that is important to me and that I was working toward (and so close to!) before them and moving to have a place I am happier with and can see myself in.

Cheers

Things are crazy and lots of opportunity for negativity in my life currently. I decided I needed to do something to take life by the balls and turn it around a bit.

Words have power. Even small words. Small words, when used frequently, can have even more power.

I email a lot for work. For decades I’ve chosen to sign off with “Thanks” or “Thank you.” Last week I decided randomly to change it to “Cheers.” I am cognizant of when I used it, as sometimes “Cheers” isn’t appropriate, such as when giving bad news. But I am now using it about 80% of the time.

I’ve noticed that it does make a difference. Life is not changed much, but this subtle shift has helped improve my attitude and perception of what is going on around me. Just seeing the word “Cheers” makes me smile.

It’s funny how small things can have such a large impact. It seems to help lift some of the burdens.

20 years later – growth

Yesterday a friend and I commiserated over life in general. We both still have similar thoughts about belief in a higher something, fate, acceptance of what life throws at you, and that as we age, we just become more ourselves.

This friend and I drifted apart after a key point in my life where I made a decision that she supported but didn’t agree with. We recently reconnected via Facebook. I gladly accepted her request but was still trepidatious. We have had minor, passive interactions in the months since that reconnection.

Maybe this says bad things about me, but I had moved on in my life. She was the one to request the connection. If she wanted to rekindle she would do so in her own way and time. I have a very full life and she is 1000 miles away. We can’t exactly meet up for coffee. I gave her my phone number. She didn’t give me hers. I figured it was up to her to take it from superficial back to something deeper.

Then… then she was in a terrible accident last week. To the point, she was “fighting for her life” according to her sister. That she had a “brain bleed” for several days after the accident. I was saddened. It reminded me of how I had reconnected with another friend and lost her shortly thereafter.

I have been told by others that I have a generous spirit. I let her sister (who seems to be the spokesperson for the family to the public) know that if there is anything I can do, I would. I’m a universal donor – so there is a good chance if an organ was needed I could at least test to see if other factors matched and would gladly give. When a Go Fund Me came up, I gladly and quickly gave what I could.

I was surprised and excited when I received a phone request from my friend. We chatted for a long while. One thing that struck me is how some things had not changed and how lucky I was to have such a good friend returned to me. The other was how… things had not changed. She was on the same path in life that we saw 20 years ago. Her life is still limited the way I feared mine would be had I stayed. (I don’t mean any shade by the limited comment.)

The conversation was like a mirror into another dimension as to what I would have been had I not made some changes to my life. It was a blessing, helping me to appreciate better where I am and that I am glad I made those changes. I am happier and healthier (emotionally, mentally, maybe even physically) than had I not made those decisions.

I am very sad my friend had her accident and the challenges it is putting her through. But I am grateful that it was a “wake up” moment on so many of these levels.

20 years later

Ok, not exactly 20 years, but close enough.

Today I sent an interesting email to my boyfriend. He loves the HBO show West World and is eager for me to catch up before the second season airs so we can watch it together. I got through three episodes before I asked him, “Where is the point to know if it is for me or not?” I was asking because there was just too much dysfunction and power play. There hasn’t been actual rape yet, but enough veiled rape and scenes where it has come very close.

It’s HBO. Of course there is a lot of sex and violence. It’s a given at this point.

As I succinctly told my boyfriend, in West World, despite it being an obvious simulation and fake world. It’s an obvious fiction – all of it, not just the simulation. Yet, it is too close to reality. Shows like Game of Thrones or Dexter or even True Blood  are so over the top fiction that there is a distance.

When I see Delores in the hay, staring up at a man who is towering menacing over her… I don’t see the actor. I stop seeing Delores. Instead I go inside and in my minds eye I feel pinned down, in the dark, begging for it to not happen and it still does.

I know I’ve worked through it many times in many ways. My therapist got me to bring it up at one point and was satisfied with how I responded and where I was with it.

But being triggered – not just squicked but actual PTSD triggering – I have to draw a line in the sand and say no.

I had this debate with myself a few years ago when I watched Jessica Jones. Yeah, having the same first name also made it viscerally real. I think that she fought through and back helped a lot.

Spoiler, in episode three Delores shot a man. I’m not sure if he was real or one of the simulacra. But, it wasn’t enough. I think the breaking point for me was how when one man was standing above her, she flashed back and saw another. It’s way too real in how I experience when triggered.

There are no right answers. Luckily, my boyfriend is so awesome that I’m sure while he will be disappointed that he will understand and stop pushing it on me.

It’s funny how, even when you accept the past, understand that you weren’t at fault, have supposedly healed, that it doesn’t take much to go right back to that mental spot. That span of hours, especially the last 4 of them, are burned into my memory and probably always will be.