Sunday, March 23, 2014

"All of my change I spent on you"

What bugs me
Is that you believe what you're saying
What bothers me
Is that you don't know how you feel
What scares me
Is that while you're telling me stories
You actually
Believe that they are real - "As Is" Ani DiFranco

Sometimes i think this cycle never ends
We slide from top to bottom and we turn and climb again
And it seems by the time that i have figured what it's worth
The squeaking of our skin against the steel has gotten worse.

But if i move my place in line i'll lose.
And i have waited, the anticipation's got me glued.

I am waiting for something to go wrong.
I am waiting for familiar resolve.

Sometimes it seems that i don't have the skills to recollect
The twists and turns of plots that turned us from lovers to friends
I'm thinking i should take that volume back up off the shelf
And crack it's weary spine and read to help remind myself

But if i move my place in line i'll lose.
And I have waited, the anticipation's got me glued.

I am waiting for something to wrong
I am waiting for familiar resolve
I am waiting for another repeat
Another diet fed by crippling defeat
And i am waiting for that sense of relief
I am waiting for you to flee the scene
As if you held in your hand the smoking gun
And on the floor lay the one you said you loved.

And it's strange
They are basically the same
So i don't ask names anymore.

Sometimes i think this cycle never ends
We slide from top to bottom and we turn and climb again
And it seems by the time that i have figured what it's worth
The squeaking of our skin against the steel has gotten worse.

The squeaking of our skin against the steel has gotten worse - "Expo '86" Death Cab for Cutie

So I know that a lot of people are not going to get why I'm so mad. The Professor even gave voice to this earlier this week: "It's not like he cheated on you." Well, no it's not. You cheated on a (very very nice and amazing and lovely) woman you'd known for a year who you were already feeling like it was over with because you couldn't fall in love with her. But you broke a promise to and lied to your best friend, who's been in your life for 13 years and who's lived through you doing this multiple times, with you promising that you've changed after each time. The person who let you work your way back from all of those trust deficits only to have you do this same thing. Though at least you had the good sense not to involve me in the cheating part this time, even if that would have been pretty hard since I set up several safe guards against that. The other difference is that she, amazingly, seems to be willing to try to work through this with you and forgive you and help you change, whereas I'm not sure I am this time.

I hear the tiniest sparks in the tenderest sound. 
Diving music, drowning the sound. 
waltzing with the hairs upon my arms. 
And your final flight alarm, and you tremble, and you stumble, and you scrape up your palms. 
I can't stay here to hold your hand. 
I've been away for so long. 
I've lost my taste for home, and that's a dirty fallow feeling.
To be the dangling ceiling. 
From the roof came crashing down. 
Peeling in the heat.
Vanish in the rain.
The next time you say forever, I'll punch you in your face. 
Just because you don't believe it, doesn't mean I didn't mean it.
You never know when I'll show you the never.
You never know when I'll show you the never.-"The Next Time You Say Forever" Neko Case

Last time this happened, I felt like we worked through a bunch of shit, both with each other and that you were able to see things that you might not have liked but that you needed to see, that maybe you needed someone else to see with you so that you couldn't just ignore it anymore. Even though I wasn't sure that enough had been done, I thought that maybe at least you wouldn't repeat the same things in the same way as before. And I would have warned off this girlfriend if I had thought that you would do the same thing over again. But all that work seems to have been for nothing. Now you feel like you are really actually ready to make changes because this time the hurt in other people was enough to push you to really change, to really grow up and be a man. But it's the same old story I've heard again and again. Last time, I told you that if you just owned this as who you are, I could probably just accept that. I could put that label under your name along with all the other things I know about you, good and bad, and act and expect accordingly. But you didn't. You refused to believe that that was who you are. And now I'm not sure I'm willing to or will even be able to work back from the trust deficit this time or to accept that I just can't trust to tell the truth in matters such as these, ever. The Therapist pointed out that it appears that I had moved from criticism to contempt, criticism being "I don't hate this thing you do" and contempt being "I hate this thing you are." or "I hate you for being this thing that you are." Yep, that about sums it up.

I'm at a payphone trying to call home
All of my change I spent on you
Where have the times gone? Baby, it's all wrong
Where are the plans we made for two?

If "Happy Ever After" did exist,
I would still be holding you like this
All those fairy tales are full of shit
One more fucking love song, I'll be sick.-"Payphone" Maroon 5

There's another thing that's been bugging me though and it might sound petty. One of the times that we overhauled our past romantic relationship and talked about why we didn't work, you said that you couldn't be with someone that you didn't trust to make, if not the same decision that you would make, to consistently make a decision that you would be ok with. Back in December, by which time you'd already cheated on her, I remember expressing my frustration to TyRoy about the fact that I felt like you might have actually found someone who was that kind of a person, someone who could make all the practical household things work, even if she wasn't as deep and philosophical as you might have hoped your long-term partner to me. When I told him about that whole "decision" thing, the divorced man scoffed, "No one is ever going to be able to do that. Everyone is going to make decisions you don't agree with or like." Ginger's response when I had told her about your statement was about how I feel, especially after having been in this relationship, "The best you can hope for is that they make decisions you can live with and, when really back, can come back from." But this belief of yours, that I can't be trusted to consistently make good decisions, has seeped into my beliefs about myself. Looking back, I can remember that each time I've met someone knew after you, I took pains to express how much this was true, how I wasn't actually a very good person or even a very moral person. That was because I knew you and you believed you to be this paragon of virtue. A 'virgin' who didn't drink and had never even wanted to try drugs, who'd been a 'good kid' and never stolen or cheated or lied. (Well, except when you did, which I always seemed to conveniently forget about.) Next to you, my wanton hedonism and habit of doing the exactly what I knew those I loved would disapprove of most demonstrated my complete immorality. And obviously that my decision-making was not to be trusted.

But you are the one who blew up your relationship, who hurt a good woman who you've been using these past 4 months or so to prop up you and your ego while you went through your seasonal depression, even though you felt like there was no future and you had promised her that you'd let her go if/when you felt like that. It is you who lies. It is you who can't be trusted to make the right decisions. I took pains to set up almost all of our interactions so that nothing inappropriate would happen, hanging out so much with your girlfriend present, that you stayed at my house with my people and not with us alone at my parents' house like we usually would, not laying with my head on your shoulder when being comforted because our faces are too close and I know what generally happens when that happens, setting up extreme punishments for myself from Professor if I did anything inappropriate with or to you. I feel like I took more careful considerations and pains with your relationship and monogamous fidelity than you could be bothered to. In my own relationship, with the exceptions of one thing I didn't remember us talking about and a minor freak out early on which pushed me to intentionally and flagrantly break the rules, I've not stepped outside of the boundaries of it. Those times that I have, I was quick to confess, be punished, and mercifully receive a clean slate. Though I tried to be as honest as possible about how shit of a person and a partner I could be, I have consistently been met with the same response in this relationship, "Though we appreciate your attempts to warn us, you really aren't as bad as you make yourself out to be." What makes me angry, what makes me furious, is that my relationship with you has led me to believe that I am way worse of a person than I probably am, especially because I have this false image of you and how good of a person you are. When you are not that good of a person.

I'm supposed to talk to you tonight and I want to say that I'm done. All of these things above lead me to say that I'm done.

But, after my significant others, you were the first person I wanted to tell about my interview on Monday. The person I want to share good news with first and the person I want to cry about bad news with first.


Yeah, I, I know it's hard to remember
The people we used to be...
It's even harder to picture,
That you're not here next to me.

You say it's too late to make it,
But is it too late to try?
And in our time that you wasted
All of our bridges burned down- "Payphone" Maroon 5

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Do You Even Want To Move? With Me?

Want to cry. Want to spend all afternoon crying until there are no more tears or until I fall asleep from sheer exhaustion.

But There are things to be done. It feels much like high school finals times. I guess not as bad or as pressing but the same sort of feeling. I want to cry. I want to just wallow in my sadness until I figure it out "I know how to nurse a bad heartache and i can make it worse when I wanna feel the pain." But I can't because there are thsse these things to be done. All the Decembers when I had to wrap up the semester, papers and finals, as well as wrap presents, and budget for and buy them. Not to mention cleaning the house for company or pack for trips out of town. Never enough time or energy or room to breath when I really just wanted to be sad because I felt so alone at the time of year when people are supposed to feel so connected.

We're searching for places to move to, a place that is all of ours and not just theirs, and I can feel myself start to unravel. I am super worried about money, contemplating desperate measures to ensure that I can contribute as much as I need to, as much as I'd like to. I am searching for a new job, with no luck and alot of worry that it will make me less happy than this one does but I will be stuck because I need the money so badly. We aren't have very much luck even finding places we'd like to look at, since it's hard to find a 3 or 4 bedroom place with a dishwasher and washer & dryer hookup that is within our limited budget. I found zero that the Professor didn't say were in bad neighborhoods. Except for the one that was a scam.

And I'm not the only one stressed about it. Though he had hid it well enough from me, Ginger noticed that the Professor was stressed, biting his nails and chewing on his lip. He moved often as a child and moving stresses him out, though rationally he knows we need a bigger space and that after the move itself things feel fresh and new and full of possibilities. 

We went and looked at the only possibly acceptable place that Ginger had found (the others had been struck down.) They thought it was ok but wanted to look at more places. I felt like the Professor was too dismissive, especially when he had not tried to make any appointments with or add to our viewings places he said only today he wanted to look at. I know that unlike their previous moves, as a couple and individually, we do not need to find a place right fucking now because we aren't moving right now. Since we want to give 30 days notice, we wouldn't even be leaving until the end of April, though we can go for quite awhile month to month with just a little extra fee. But I want a space that is mine,  where all my stuff lives, not just this little bit, with 80% still at my parents' house.

But with all this stress there's a quiet tension oozing through our lives, threatening to bubble up and catch on fire at any moment. (Or maybe that's just me. Gods know it's usually me holding the fire.) I feel like every time I get excited about something or think we should have something, it feels like they are dismissive. Every time we actually attempt to do something concrete,  like lookong online at apartments together or looking at the place today, it feels tense and uncomfortable and I end up with my feelings hurt. (Oh hey, well, there are those tears. I had been planning on writing that I wasn't sure that they would even come out right now, but there they are.) Moving into a place that is ours, the three of uses, with all our names on the lease, is this big symbol of the relationship.  Several weeks ago, Ginger told me that to her, as well as in reality, it is just saying that we'll be together a year, this year that we have signed the lease for. Of course to me, it's much bigger. Right now, I can leave or they can kick me out at any time.  We are committed to each other but there are no tangible, legal or contractual ties holding me to them or them to me. This will be the first thing like that. But our difficulty in working on this together, especially without one or all of us wanting to kill one or both of the other people, doesn't exact bode well for us creating a family together. Well, then again, it kinda seems like most large scale things my family did, so maybe it's not so un-family-like. But it doesn't make me feel very secure about continuing,  about our ability to make this work, about if we should be working to make this family at all. Sometimes I just want to say "fuck it, you two got along fine without me, just stay where you are and I'll go..." well, ok so other than back to my parents' basement, I'm not sure where I'll go and I do love them and want what we've talked about but I just don't know how or when to know if that is enough when the things we have to do as a unit to move forward make us all crazy or homicidal.

I feel like I should ask my mom if this is how she felt every move with my dad. I was on the outside of the decision-making. They would ask me what I thought, what I liked or didn't, but I know that the real decision making was dobe between the two of them, behind closed doors. I was just tagging along. But I know the bickering and squabbles got worse the closer we got to the actual moving day. The day itself was always hell. Nothing we ever did was done right for my dad. Most of the time I hoped they'd just leave me and my stuff wherever we were. (If I can't make it through the hours after feeling slighted about looking at the apartment without crying, I'm pretty sure I won't be able to make it through moving day without having a nervous breakdown. Maybe I should schedule a "mental health vacation" in the nearest psych ward the couple days after moving day.) If we can't even get an apartment,  if I can't even make it through the apartment hunting process with them, does that mean I'm not supposed to be with them?

They are asleep now. The Professor adjusted his sleep schedule so he could be up when we went to look at the townhome, staying up all last night, so he and Ginger went to bed about 2:30. I have a list longer than my arm of stuff I should do and I can sit here on the couch with the laptop, watch hulu, and do them. Should do them. Should have done some of them last night. Or I could finish this romance novel I borrowed from Ginger and then move on to other books I want  to read. After a long spell of not really reading that much, I finished two books in the last seven days with the kindle app on my phone. It feels good to read books again. But I really want to sleep until I stop feeling shitty or until this process magically becomes easier. Or at the very least, until I start to feel like it sucks now but it is just temporary suck, not a sign that this isn't to be, not a sign that I can't handle doing the things grownups do together in a relationship. 

Oh, by the way, I liked the townhome we looked at quite well, though it isn't exactly the one we would get if we got one. The one we looked at has a main level, 3 bedrooms and 1 & 3/4 bathrooms upstairs with a completely unfinished basement. The one we'd want is all the same except half of the basement is finished, with a bathroom,  and we'd use that as another bedroom. The Professor keeps saying that he doesn't want a bedroom but an office with a bed in it. That seems like a distinction without a difference to me, except that it would have a ton more computer stuff in it than one might think of a bedroom as having.  But everyone could have their own room, whatever they called it, and no one would be forced to sleep with anyone else if they didn't want to, and everyone could escape when and if they needed it. You can walk around it and there are a ton of bus stops, so the Professor could get around without us. And there are some places that aren't too too far of a walk, though no grocery stores or convenience stores that I saw. It might not be a big step up in neighborhood,  it isn't bad. I could definitely live there. Though we may have a fight over who gets the master bedroom.

Monday, March 03, 2014

"All the things I wish I'd asked"

Well I finally read through them. It only took me 3 years to the day after your death, several months of them in my possession,  sitting accusingly on my dresser or in the bottom of a bag.

I read them laying in my bed in my new home, still naked with dripping hair after a late afternoon bath, since I was too depressed this morning to get up with enough time for a shower. I laughed and cried to myself, alone as I always seem to end up on these difficult days. I know its not planned but he always seems to be asleep or not feeling well or both on these days that are so super hard for me amd I end up crying alone. 

I am not sure what I was expecting when I read them. Maybe I thought they'd be full of the minutiae of every day life, and there is a little of that. Maybe I thought there'd be poetry, and there is quite a bit of that too. I think I was selfishly hoping for more about myself,  though what there is touched my heart and made me laugh. Well, one thing made me say "fuck you" but you were probably right. I think what I didn't expect was to read about the darkness. I wish now more than ever that I had talked more to you about my own struggles with depression.  I guess in my alternate history you would have confided in ne about your own and we both would have recognized that maybe it was as much a problem in our head as with our brains, another little fluke of genetic inheritance.  I knew you'd had some issues, seen therapists and been on a med here or there, but nothing serious. And I guess when you view our medical (psychiatric) and employment histories side by side, yeah, whatever issues you might have faced seem much less severe than mine. But when I read your words, the darkness & depression,  occasional mentions of suicide, and your up & down moods, energy levels, and spending habits... wow, brother.

But our journals are where we are free to say anything, our worst and deepest and darkest. Hell, for those who think I overshare here, you'd really be shocked at what's in my journals. Realistic me suspects that you never would have told me a quarter of how similar our struggles were, even if I'd told you everything.

But I'm thankful to have these and I will honestly fight tooth and nail to keep them, not give them to any other family members,  if that's what I have to do, even if those people are mentioned more often. Fuck them. These are mine.  They both confirm things I already knew and have opened up to me parts of you I never would have seen before. I really enjoyed getting to see you come out, even as I wept with how painful it was. It gave me a new appreciation for your two longterm partners and the relationships you shared with each of them. It makes me feel kess alone in how scared I am about doing this whole grown up thing, feel solidarity in our struggles over housework with our partners, and shows me that some battles with ourselves, with drinking & smoking & weight, over purpose & identity & belonging, we will fight our whole lives.

I wish there was more.  Both that you had written more then and that you were still writing now. I miss you so much.