Category: Relationships

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.

Stress or worse

I’ve been under a lot of stress, and there is more looming on the future.

In the past two months, I have gotten engaged, sold my house, move in with my future husband, work has dramatically increased my workload, and I took a “vacation” that included a grand total of 30 hours driving and very little downtime. This in addition to having a falling out with my mother and my brother getting married.

My brother getting married is a mess all around. From his not seeming to want to or being excited about it at all; my father said he sounded less excited about getting married than he did when he got a new truck. Along with the jerk around of 2 months notice to get plans together to be there to support him (Vegas, on a holiday weekend) to being told a month later it was canceled, to being told two weeks after the event originally was going to happen that the cancelation wasn’t a cancelation but being uninvited as they went ahead and did it anyway.

Never mind that I question my relationship. My accepting the proposal was contingent on his working on some very big issues we had. In the first two weeks, there was progress. But then it all he had increased family and work stress, in addition to my moving in that added to his stress… Oh and he is trying to plan and renovate our home… Things got worse.

Between my being away, then his being away, we were apart for roughly ten days. The evening he got back he needed to decompress – very understandable. The next night he had made plans – to spend with someone else. It hurt, that we had been apart and in the first 48 hours we spent maybe an hour together. It was nice that he invited me out the next evening because after the event he enjoys (and knows I do not) was something he knows I do enjoy. Only the first event ran long, so the second was canceled. Following that he took several hours that I wanted to do other things to get my opinion, and thus have minor disagreements related to the reno.

Part of things getting worse is that communication has devolved. We can’t talk about anything deep or emotional without things getting ugly. I don’t feel understood, or loved. I don’t feel that my needs are met. And bringing up my needs just ends the same – with loud and hurt words where things get shut down and can’t continue. My feelings, values, and needs don’t seem to matter.

To be fair, I’ve been binge watching Handmaiden’s Tale. The subject matter is not surprising since I read the book last year. But it is very triggery for many reasons. Especially the second season, which diverges from and expands upon the source material. My consumption of media always colors my view and experiences.

So I have to wonder. How much is stress, is normal adjustments considering the situation I have made for myself, or if I’m just depressed. I’m tired of crying or being on the verge of for what seems like months. I’m tired of feeling unappreciated, undervalued, and just a shell of a person. I feel like I can only give or do what is expected and the rest of me needs to be buried as it isn’t wanted.

I question if I am so miserable, why do I stay? Why did I sell my house, that I owned? The answer to the latter was that, while I was not ready to do so it was needed to meet other goals and to meet the deadline he requested/expects. The former? Because there are many positives. Because it is better than being alone or being single. Because we do work together in many ways that benefit us both, that we both enjoy.

A part of me realizes how life finds a way. I’ve been unhappy and found happiness a few times before. That I’m not that unique or special and have found similar good matches numerous times, it isn’t that hard although it may take time.

Things circle in my head. Should I talk to someone? Should I ask the doctor to increase my antidepressant dosage? I can’t talk to my friends because they just tell me to get out. But I have a sense of pride, of duty, of guilt that there are needs being met and that some of the goals are things I want and it is easier to achieve them together with this partner.

I know my partner doesn’t like things being “out there.” He is exceedingly private, even from his family. But this is a tiny spot that I don’t think anyone but spambot visit. It isn’t hidden with passwords or via directory, so it could get out. But he knows I write about him, vaguely, elsewhere; he knows I have friends that read it which makes him uncomfortable. So this isn’t a one-off. I try to be conscious of what I put into the universe, into the public sphere. But this, this has grown beyond what I can carry internally. Yet I don’t want to hear it from friends. I don’t want them asking, “but are you happy?” “Why don’t you break up?”

I choose this. For many reasons. And I hate myself for that because of many other reasons.

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.

What is community

Two plus years ago I took a very scary step. I gave religion a second chance after giving up on it many years ago.

I didn’t feel any fulfillment from organized religion. I had been burned in niche communities with the drama or being used in someones agenda. I had a hard time reconciling faith with science. Despite all that, I stood by the quote from Contact (the movie, never read the book,) “[…] we belong to something that is greater then ourselves […]” This book and movie was before the popularization of the Higgs-Boson, though I suspect Carl Sagan was aware of it when he wrote. Read more

Favorite Person

There has been a lot going on. Being the High Holy Days I’ve been very introspective and thinking about who I am, how I do things, how to be a good person. I’ve always been harder on myself than I am on others.

One of the things that made my day was twice I had separate people tell me how I am their favorite person.

The second who told me that was a 17 year old, but we get along as if we are a similar age (between his and my age.) I think it is because we do have so much in common, as well as I treat him like an adult. I think that this may change over the years as he grows up and gets more experience in general and starts to develop his own life away from his parents.

The first who said it today was a guy I’ve been in classes with. He has been to my house for events. He really is a good guy. I had to nod my head as he described things such as my having a big heart, not bullshitting, putting my all into everything I do.

The fact I heard it twice really helped me to be less hard on myself. It was nice for the universe to find a way to tell me to chill. I’ll still keep tabs, but it’s nice to know that I’m not as bad as I often think.

The secret

Last night I had an somewhat fancy event to go to with my boyfriend. It wasn’t just a fancy event, but also an opportunity to meet most of his immediate family. Between the unclear dress code and wanting to impress, I found the perfect outfit and put a lot of effort into looking and being my best.

I was proud of how it all came together, so of course I posted selfies on social media. One of the responses was from my brother, stating that his girlfriend approved (um, what?) and wanted to know my secret. My response at the time was that it was lots of things, but I’m happy to share. So this is sharing.

Many of the things circle back on each other.

The first thing to looking fabulous is being happy. I’ve worked long and hard over many years to resolve all sorts of issues and learn to be my “best self.” Lots of introspection, conversations with family, counseling, etc. I’ve also worked very hard to reach a point in my career where I’m happy with where I am, what I do, and how much I bring in. I’ve gotten to a comfortable place with my investments and cashflow. I’m happy with the people in my life, focusing on those who (for whatever reason) bring me joy and/or support while drifting away (ok, not the best thing) from those who brought out bad things in me or took more than they gave. I love my communities that I actively engage with.

The second thing is feeling good. I’ve spent the last several years slowly working towards being physically healthy. I’ve made HUGE strides in the past year. It seems to have finally found a good balance where I feel phenomenal. I sleep great, I eat great, I’ve found the mix of food, meds, and supplements that I need to be my best. I’m not going to say the specific food plan, exercises, meds, or supplements because I don’t want to give the impression of knowing anything, being a medical professional, or saying something that while it works for me doesn’t for others. No two people have the same needs. Though one thing that makes a big difference is hydration – drinking lots of water, moisturizing, etc.

The third thing is knowing what works for you. I’ve experimented a lot over the years. I’ve gotten to a point I know what colors, cuts, etc. of clothes/styles that work for me. I know how to pull off different looks (hair/makeup) that achieve different ends depending on the situation. I have found specific products that work best for me – both in the moment as well as long term. (Because if it looks great one night but makes you break out the next day is not good!) I’ve learned how to style my outfits that accentuate me best, as well as the outfit too. I’ve found tricks (spanx!) that help to make things look better on me.

It may not be clear, but as one goal is reached, it opened doors for the next goal. It was all interconnected – having the income helped to focus on finding the right accessory or supplement. Feeling happier mentally and emotionally helped me to do more and eat better. Feeling physically better helped me do better in my work and in working through my emotions.

Looking good for an event, an evening, is not about one secret. It isn’t about a fad diet or exercise program or vitamin or article of clothing/accessory. It is a culmination of being your truest and best self, of being happy and healthy.

Car Crash III

It’s been over a week since the last update. Lots has happened.

I’ve gotten my car back. I negotiated with his insurance agency to get more money to cover the battery replacement. Had a cow when I got the car that the power steering seemed dead – after driving in traffic an hour the next day was back to normal; something about power cycling? It had me making panicked calls to my parents, wanting to chat it over with my boyfriend (but he was unavailable), and researching replacement vehicles while making contingency plans for my various funds. Because it sorted itself out I am trying to give it the benefit of the doubt, though I am still a bit anxious about if I can trust this car any more or not.

My pain is way better. Tuesday of last week I tried to work but was on heavy pain meds, as in I took close to 4000mg of naproxen that day. No, that is not a typo or any extra zeros. I was super spacey, couldn’t concentrate or focus, and had a massive headache. While I did work that day, it was torture. I ended up sleeping the next two days mostly. Doing laundry, getting groceries, and putting out the trash were dramatic events that even drugged up were nightmares. But I took things slow and persevered. I know others would help, but I couldn’t swallow my pride enough to ask someone to do these “simple” tasks for me or to come keep me company or cook dinner.

Over the course of the week I slowly pushed myself to wean the drugs. It got to taking 500mg of naproxen a day. Then on Monday I had my first physical therapy appointment, where she told me to keep taking them on a schedule to help reduce inflammation and thus help things heal.

The physical therapy both worries me (due to $ and how that will work out with the insurance company – especially since I have to prepay and be reimbursed) and reassured me. The reassurance was that I had “good range of motion” and wasn’t being a diva. 😛 That I really wasn’t that bad off and therapy would be short and simple. Especially since I had already gotten into a routine of exercise before the accident. The therapist was impressed with the level and diversity of my exercise routine and told me to do what I could but keep moving. She couldn’t/wouldn’t settle the ice vs heat debate which has been raging among the folk in my life. 😛

Other than PT, a work moderately heated discussion over PTO, and slowly building back up my exercise routine – things are back to normal. I think that for now I will stay the course with the car as well as my plans for finances, which includes being able to pay that sucker off next month – 3 years ahead of schedule! While it is VERY tempting to either put that money elsewhere (hellooooo credit card debt) or to just keep it liquid, I’ve got a plan and need to trust in it.

Disappointment

For many years now I have avoided facebook. Between their privacy violations, intrusiveness, and how damaging it can be to one’s career, let alone relationships with all the drama inherent in its design… I felt it was just easier to not. Then came Daniel. He expressed frustration at how difficult it was to share things with me, especially silly things his family have done.

As Daniel, right now, seems to be pretty awesome and might be a long term thing, I bit the bullet and signed up. I made sure to make things as generic or locked down as possible. Because of how he wanted to keep us being a couple quiet from his family, I initially signed up under my Hebrew name. I managed to screw up doing that, and eagerly waited out the 60 days to fix it. By the time that happened, I had a few connections, posted a wee bit, and decided to fuck it, we can do it under my real name.

Today is a friend’s bday. I’m seeing a TON of well wishes and facebook created videos and such. Recently, a family member of Daniel’s posted about how this was their first bday alone and how their friends stepped up making them not feel alone or lonely. Facebook, for whatever reason, did nothing to recognize my birthday. If it automatically creates things for others, why not mine? Why did my friends not do anything? (Daniel did something awesome, just not on facebook.)

All this then jumped into another thought. I’ve spent many birthdays – and holidays, and time in general – alone. It isn’t something that bothers me much when it is general, but it does for special days. I can’t imagine never having had spent holidays or birthdays alone. It really makes me wonder how much of that is culture, since I came to the Jewish thing late. Goodness knows that if I really wanted to, I wouldn’t have a moment alone again. But it is really hard for me to reach out, to ask.

There isn’t a neat conclusion to all this speculation. Just random thoughts that spin through my head.

Car Crash II

Woke today in LOTS of pain. Called my boss to tell her that after my test I needed to go to the doc. She said just take the whole day off. Because I was seeing the doc, I did not take any pain meds, wanting them to see me without any filters.

Next started a slew of calls accident related. Called body shop to give claim number. Body shop called back saying it was denied as claim was disputed – how did I want to pay? *facepalm* Turns out it wasn’t even reviewed yet by the claim adjuster – who was my next call. After she reviewed the case (she hadn’t even gotten to it yet) she called me back.

The test was hard – between the pain and trouble concentrating, as well as dizzy spells… I’m frankly surprised I passed it, and that I didn’t pass out when walking to/from my car. :disappointed: I had to reread questions a few times because I would space out half way through. (So not me.)

After the test many more calls and such. End result is that the insurance of the guy who hit me is covering everything. Car repair, my medical for 30 days up to $X, and a (very) small something for my pain and suffering. I’ll be calling a lawyer to check that this is legit and enough before I sign anything. Got the rental moved to the insurance, and canceled the rental company insurance coverage of the rental.

The nurse at my doc is so smart and better bedside, sometimes I wish I could just see her. :stuck_out_tongue: End result mild concussion (hence the extra fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and concentration issues), mild sprain of both wrists, common seat belt trauma (across abdomen and hips), and something with my back. We are waiting for the xrays to see if I need to go to an ortho AND PT or can just go to PT. The rad techs took a LOT of images of my lower back. I got fresh prescription for 500mg naproxen (as opposed to the 5 years past expiration date I was taking), muscle relaxers, and anti-nausea meds. I also have referrals for said ortho, physical therapists if I don’t need the ortho, and if the concussion symptoms don’t go away in a few days for a neurologist.
Since standing for more than a few minutes and walking more than a few feet has me tired and/or dizzy and tripping over my own feet, I felt cooking was not a good idea. I had to run a related errand anyway, so stopped on my way home at my local hole in the wall Mexican. \o/ Chimi-steak-fajita, amazing guac, fire roasted salsa, and of course a margarita on the rocks, no salt.

Tomorrow I hope to hear what looking at my slides result in and how long I will have the rental.

<<>>> I am liking this rental. Feeling very spoiled. Part of that feeling spoiled is due to how awesome D has been with all this. In sharing the update with my mom she even said, “He might be a keeper.” High praise from her. 😉