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August 15, 2013

My fingers hover over my keyboard as I try to pinpoint what I need to write about. Writing is something that frees me, but it doesn’t always naturally come out. It takes some searching and thinking to get to a point where I know what thread to follow.

A few days ago, my partner and I broke up. Or rather, I broke up with him. The lie had gone too far, the extent of the illusion was too great for my love to peer through. If I hadn’t put a stop to it, it would have put a stop to my very heartbeat. But I am left with a huge hole inside, a gaping wound that hasn’t started bleeding yet.
It’s like when you burn yourself. You pull away before the pain arrives. But you know it’s coming, and that nothing will prevent that. You try to get ready for it, but you never are.

Back in October, I broke up with him the first time. What still feels to me as forcefully, he got me to talk to him again, and twisted himself back into place. By my side. Instead of accepting his wrongs and letting me go through whatever steps necessary, he took what he thought was his rightful spot. Instead of honestly respecting my stance on our relationship, he dug up whatever feelings remained and used them against me. Not for my own good, not to make me happy, but for his own gain. And after that, he had me right where he wanted me. Where he could lie to me again, make himself look good, flatter his shattered ego with my naive adoration.

Now, that is over. I can forgive, and I can move on, but trust is a very slow thing to recover. It’s a fragile thing that has a mind of its own. Likely that is an important lesson for me; I’m too gullible, I cave too easily and I sometimes want things so badly that I actually forgo what my rational mind tells me. My emotions overrule my knowledge, and I shouldn’t let that happen.

The anger has subsided now, and it feels really nice. It’s the first time I’ve been able to relax in weeks. Today, all I have done is watch movies, and sleep. Sleep, sleep, more sleep. I had never realized how tired I was, until I was away from him, from the whole situation, and could start distancing myself from the whole mess that was our relationship. What a mess it was. A disgusting mix of his lies, my anger, his mistakes, my spite and horrific misunderstanding. When the basis of truth falls away, the whole couple becomes a farce. All the energy that should go into loving each other better, goes into saving the crumbling ruins of a dream.
I’ll have to be at home to fully grasp what it is I have lost, and what I have gained. My freedom, carelessness and integrity are gained, but the loss is still unclear. It’s difficult to see what he gave me, when what he took was so vast and fresh. Right now I still mostly feel robbed of some innocent part of me. But maybe that part really did need to be gone.

We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

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Cuffed

July 30, 2013

Day 2.

I’m not good at this. This was supposed to be a few days to myself, but I’ve been worried out of my mind. Thoroughly defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? Still haven’t had news, I don’t know where he is. Sometimes I have confusing dreams that he died, but I can’t let myself go there.

Why am I doing this? Why am I being so ridiculous?

Maybe he just needed the time off to rehash his relapse, to trace back his steps and identify where it went wrong. Maybe he’s having an amazing time with those kids from AA, and decided to hang around for a bit. Maybe he’s at home, just trying to find some quiet. Maybe he’s with family, talking, healing.

Back in October it was a similar situation as this one that made me decide to take a break. He really thought it was over back then (so did I) and was absolutely crushed. I needed time and some space, but couldn’t get much. I did get some, but he did always try to take some of it, because he was probably losing his mind out of grief.
But this is different. I did ask for ‘a few days’ for myself, but I never thought of leaving him. I pondered whether or not it would be easier with someone else, I negotiated if someone else wouldn’t be more constant. But someone else would just be fucking boring, wouldn’t it? I don’t like constant, never have. I get bored and lose interest.

I’m starving.

Ok

July 29, 2013

My last few posts were spiteful, angry and hurt. It needed to happen.

But he’s hurting too. He’s suffering the same repercussions as I am; he doesn’t get to see me for another 9 days. I have to trust that this tears him apart as much as me, and that the illness is kicking him in the balls as much as me. It is so easy to forget, isn’t it? Because it feels like a choice, to an outsider. It feels like taking a drink is a choice, whereas a cancer spreading out isn’t an action you took.

But that’s wrong. It wasn’t a choice. It was a circumstance, it was alcoholism.

When I think back to my own use, and how for the last year or so, I attempted to quit, I can vaguely remember feeling sucked in. First of all, it was a habit. I’d go out, buy some stuff if I was out, possibly share it with one or two friends (it would feel like we had more when we put everything together), and get high. The only time I could successfully quit, was when I stopped going out. Which I could keep up for maybe 3 weeks. Having to quit drugs is one thing, having to quit your social life is another.

It never occurred to me that I was hurting anyone. I wasn’t in a relationship, I wasn’t losing all my money. But maybe I did hurt my parents. They never told me. When I came home and thought they never knew a fucking thing, maybe they were just big about it. At one point I remember telling my mom in the car, “mom, I’m using amphetamines and cocaine, I’m not sure how to stop”. She never gave me a hard time for it. She never gave me a cross hearing. She never called anyone behind my back, trying to get me into some kind of rehab. She trusted me, but she must’ve been so hurt.

And I really was hurt too. I didn’t want to be that daughter anymore, the one who kept fucking up. But I was. I straightened it out later, by getting my degree and everything. That’s what they wanted for me, some form of security.

I quit suddenly. Cold turkey. And I always do that. Cutting, purging, everything. Suddenly I decide that no, I won’t do it anymore, and I just. I quit. For the purging, my lovely partner did have a huge hand in it. He was incredibly supportive for it.

Before getting at that point, I did need several attempts. The purging sometimes stopped for a whole year, but it would return. Something has changed now though. Now I know that I’ll never go back.
And it worries me that he’s not at that point. Not yet. He still seeks comfort in his booze, where I have now realized my addictions/dysfunctional habits are not comforting. I don’t understand why he doesn’t see it that way too, and we can’t really talk about it because he hates these conversations. They aren’t fun to have, I’ll admit.

I’m still waiting for him to make that ‘click’ I did. And maybe that’s wrong. Maybe he will never. He keeps trying, and that’s incredibly brave on his part. It must be so, so painful for him to go through that over and over. Being disgusted with yourself, because You Did It Again.

I will never give up on him. Never. I hope he won’t give up on me; I am trying baby.

Greyhound

July 29, 2013

Day 1 of keeping my distance. Last night I sent him a very gentle e-mail, explaining how it’s probably important that I take a step back and take care of myself now for a few days. Unfortunately, he probably took it like he was supposed to do the same. In fact, I have no idea where he is, or what he’s doing. Last I heard he was at the airport, met some kids at an AA meeting nearby and was going to watch a movie with them.

We’ve had the “please keep me posted”-conversation so many times, I’m giving up on it. This is something I need to get ready for, and learn how to handle. He won’t keep me posted. I won’t know where he is and I will have to go to sleep alone. That’s how he is, how he’s always been. Nobody was ever interested where he was before, this is not something he’s ever had to learn.

Or maybe that’s not entirely true. His sister has been messaging me continuously asking for news. His roommate did the same. His dad was probably kept posted through his sister mostly, but I know they’ve all been messaging my boyfriend directly as well. He barely replied, he barely acknowledged their worry (which is code for their love).
People have always wanted news from him. As a teenager, falling off the face of the earth was probably his comfort zone, because they wanted news. A way to escape the shame, the guilt, his responsibilities. As crappily as family can respond sometimes (“HOW COULD YOU DO THIS” etc), as an adult you still have to own up to what you did.

When he disappeared in the past, their worry would double. Where could he be, what was he up to? Coming home everyone would be so relieved he was okay, the repercussions of his childish behavior wouldn’t seem so big.
Today he probably takes their worry largely as an insult. He’s almost 30, he doesn’t need anyone to worry or look out for him. The more people worry and fire “where are you?” messages at him, the more he regresses in that strange disconnected zone, where he will take the space he’s got and kick everyone else out of it. This is the point where he turns off his cell phone, disappears and enjoys the anonymity of a new town. There’s another 10 days before I arrive there, and he will use those days to vanish.

He’s always done tiny roadtrips when he was younger, escaping. Nobody knew him there, he could just be an innocent visitor, nobody would judge him. The bottom line being that he likes to avoid his past.

Soon we are to be married. He could use this time to go back home and make some additional preparations. Prepare the house, look for nice places for us to go. But he won’t. I’m going to arrive and I don’t even know if anyone will be there to pick me up. Luckily I know there’s Greyhound buses from the airport to where he- “we” live, so I can always go that route.

I know I will be fine. And that’s all I need to be concerned with. If he’s not, that’s his problem. Not mine. Not anymore. I won’t lie for him, or cover for him. I will inform people of what he does, to my knowledge, and fuck ‘being in each others corner’. He’s not even in mine. For the first time in days, I feel like I can breathe.

Pool

July 28, 2013

I feel I have a lot to vomit now. This blog comes alive as I sink inside my own pool of confusion.

When my boyfriend relapsed this weekend, a week of very intensive contact preceded it. He was stuck at an airport, and I felt obliged to keep him company through Skype. After all, it was for me, for us, that he was sitting there, sacrificing time and sleep. My self esteem is actually low enough that that made me feel guilty. Looking back now, I’m disgusted by my own lack of character, my weakness. I really am so, so weak.
What I should have done, was to live on. Take my mind off things, relax and enjoy the Summer. Maybe he wouldn’t have relapsed at all then.

This relationship will absolutely destroy me if things stay the same. But there is no way out of it. Some days I think maybe there could be, maybe I could learn to mourn it and survive it being over. Maybe I could meet someone else, someone who wouldn’t endanger me. My essence. Someone who isn’t an alcoholic, who would just love me. Not because of a desperate cling to life, to salvation, not because he sees in me some kind of sign. Just because he likes me, and grows fond of me, and eventually wants to be with me and respect me.
But it is what it is. I did fall insanely in love with him. So now all that’s left for me to do, is work on myself so I don’t die from it.

Sometimes I don’t know if his love for me isn’t an incredibly selfish claim he lays upon me. If it isn’t his own needs who dictated this relationship to ever come to exist. A big part of that probably being my own fault.
I’m much, much too easy. Once I left him, early on, but I don’t think I could ever find that strength back.

My needs are… My needs are for him to be reliable. For him to be dependable and responsible, and constantly too. My needs are small, and often maybe materialistic, but they are necessary for all the rest. It feels like I’m the only one paying attention to reality. My needs are also the ones who are ignored, and I am left helpless to find out how to change that feeling. Because I’m the one who isn’t communicating, I’m the one who lets him determine the mood. I’m the one compromising my own wishes for his sake, because he has to be okay.
But how do I stop doing that? How do I put my foot down and grow independent from his mood? He will suck all the air out of my lungs if he needs it, and I will probably willingly exhale.

He’s an addict, he will always be that way. I have to be the force that resists. But I need a force like that myself, and he will never be that for me. He will randomly, and without notice fail me. He gets to do that.
So maybe I’m expecting too much. He shouldn’t be my rock, my thermometer. He’s just a man.

It’s time to grow up and resist him. Because he will always ask for more, he will always try to grab what he can get, and he will never be able to consider my capacity while doing so.

Tomorrow

April 20, 2013

Total abstinence seems to be working for me. I’m quiet, more composed, less emotional and more stable. The obvious insecurities still haunt me, but they can’t really get to me like they could, usually on hangover days. I also have more time to observe others, to pick up on states of mind of others. I really like that.

With that though also comes more awareness of what people tell me. For some reason, people tend to confide in me a lot, but I used to listen, remember the gist of it and forget all the rest. The process is more conscious now, and can also leave more scars.
One of my friends, whom I’ve known for a long time now, is together with a very good female friend. I’ve known him longer than her, and we’ve always been very good at having in depth conversations about things. He’s a thinker (also kind of a fretter), and it just always ends up as a really philosophical thought process on basically anything under the sun. Because this habit exists, we also talk very openly and easily about everything.
But last night, he touched a topic that I didn’t enjoy. He told me that I was strong, gentle and nurturing, and that my partner being an alcoholic just meant that I would have to exercise that role all the time. He didn’t feel like I was taken care of the way I deserve, and that me leaving my life behind to live abroad was a risk he didn’t like to see me take.

A surge of defensive arguments immediately surfaced in my brain. But I hate having to defend myself, anyone I care about or my choices. I didn’t say much, except that he couldn’t judge because he’d only met my partner once. I did appreciate his honesty and his genuine concern, and I told him that. There is no doubt in my mind that he voiced his worries only because he cares about me and wants to prevent me from getting hurt.
But it did hurt. It hurts me that my friend thinks of my partner as a leech, or as someone who doesn’t take care of me. It hurts me that my friend thinks he’s not strong, that he’s the one who needs me, more than the other way around. It hurts me that my friend said exactly what worried me, and what I was afraid of. No, no, don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid that my partner is a leech, I know he’s not. But I’ve been afraid of my environment seeing him as such. Why? Don’t ask me that. I don’t know why. I don’t know why I want to be thin, I don’t know why I care what people think about me.

This fear of mine has crippled my boyfriend in more than one way. He probably felt awkward and intimidated, since obviously their opinions made such a difference for me. He’s also reserved and, well, shy, so he had a hard time engaging conversation. People didn’t always speak English around him, so he couldn’t always participate in the talks. My friends have apologized to me countless times for that, saying that maybe their own attitudes contributed to his feeling of emptiness, when he relapsed. Said it was understandable that he would relapse, in a foreign country where people don’t speak his language, unable to work. They have all been so forgiving and supportive. I’m torn between loving them for it, and cursing them for having been harsh. As if my partner being shy means he’s spineless, as if him being rather quiet means he’s a pushover.
To this day I feel guilty for the burden I put on my partner. I put him in an impossibly difficult situation, having to prove himself worthy to my clan of friends. Nobody wants to feel that way, nobody wants his girlfriend’s devotion to depend on outsiders. And it doesn’t, not to that extreme.

I talked to my partner about all this earlier, and guess what. He did exactly what my friend was warning me about. As I was trying to explain how I felt a little destabilized, and struggled with feelings of hurt and confusion, he got angry. With me, for listening, and with my friend, for saying what he felt was right. Immediately, the situation got flipped around to me having to help my partner deal with his frustration.
That was infuriating. I shut down the conversation (which was going entirely nowhere) and assertively asked for peace. I just wanted to be comforted, I wanted him to be calm and to tell me that he loved me and that he would do everything in his power to make me happy (and thus to prove them wrong). I didn’t ask to be judged or chastised for caring about their opinions, as if that’s something I can readily change. They are my friends, I care for them and they obviously care about me. I hate that he got angry at my friend for saying something that he was in the process of fulfilling.

Relationships are hard work. It’s hard work whether you’re an alcoholic, an addict or anything else. It gets harder as people in the relationship are trying to be something different than their true self though. This disillusions me more than anything. My boyfriend says he’s not shy, but when I see him around others he doesn’t know, he gets nervous and awkward. I don’t mind that fact, never did. But beforehand he made it seem like he was none of those things, and that discrepancy, that bothers me.
He plays bass, I have never heard him play a single note. In fact, only once have I seen him with the instrument in his hands. Does he play well? Does he improvise? Does he have a certain style to his music? I don’t know, I don’t even know if I ever will.
A lot of things are either not talked about, denied or avoided altogether. If I had to say something that I find the least attractive about him, that would be it. He jokingly calls himself ‘clueless’, and that’s supposed to warn me for every flaw he has. Clueless has almost become a term of endearment now, except when he’s in trouble, and he can say he ‘told me he was clueless and I knew what I was in for’. Clueless doesn’t just mean he doesn’t know how to dress, it means he doesn’t know how to organize groceries, he would never come up with doing laundry unless he was out of things to wear, he doesn’t plan much ahead, what little plans he makes usually aren’t realistic and above all, I knew what I was in for.
He slept with tons and tons of girls, though he says he’s average and clueless. Yes, he never lied to them, I bet he never even tried to make himself look good. Why can’t he just be upfront about these things, it doesn’t make sense to me. It’s like I’m this ominous, out-of-his-league-person that he can’t make mistakes around, whereas he’s making more now trying to cover up the honest mistakes.

That makes me so angry. There’s also his vague and repetitive terms for an immense variation of things. Like I’m supposed to know, from context, what it stands for that time. ‘Broke’ can go from 0 dollars to 800 saved, but he’d rather not touch. ‘Funky’ can go from slightly in a grumpy mood, to completely annihilated. ‘Awkward’ can go from funnily and indifferently nonchalant, to extremely shut down and attempting to disappear in the walls. His vocabulary isn’t restricted though, he knows many more words. He chooses the comfortable vagueness of repeating the same words, and keeps the other side confused because he likes the luxury of not having to explain himself. It’s like I’m not worth putting the energy into, to make sure I understand exactly what he’s talking about.
The conversation isn’t as premeditated as it might sound from this paragraph. My partner doesn’t plot his sentences to make sure I’m not entirely up to speed, but he also doesn’t actively put in the effort to put emphasis on certain things when they really are worse. If yesterday he used ‘funky’ for a grumpy mood, he wouldn’t think of using ‘irate’ the next day if he’s proper furious. He’d just tell me he’s in a weird funk, and expect me to hear in his voice exactly where he’s at. Which I fucking don’t.

I’m angry, sad and nauseous. The internship I’m at is awful, they give risperidone to a 9 y/o child. But, this is normal and the doctor probably has an excellent reason for this, says my partner, who didn’t care to listen to my worries about the actual internship. Isn’t my support system wonderful? I have to give up my involved friends, and move to a foreign country where all I’ll have is a man who isn’t very stable, but in fundamental denial about that fact. I’m freaking out.

Wait

February 12, 2013

That was a weird night. My boyfriend is apparently pretty much losing himself in the fear of me not being happy once we’re living together. Which has the precise effect he’s afraid of, of course, ’cause it makes him angry, grumpy and confusing, and thus makes me sad. Stupid, but not so easily countered. He sees it happening, but there’s nothing he can do, much like me and my impulsive blabbers.

He usually sleeps restlessly, and has dreams about memories he’d rather not have. When I try to imagine what that must be like, I’m at a loss. Every night, he lives through a terrible event, and wakes up convinced he’s right there all over again. That sounds paralyzing, not to mention demoralizing. How do you cope with the past, when it feels like the present for a good ten minutes every day when you wake up?
Guilt is well known to be one of the worst emotions a human can bear. He used to drink so much he was hallucinating in some kind of alcohol-related psychosis. It’s not an excuse, or anything, but I’m sure his personality had thoroughly changed by the time he was in his early twenties. According to his own (drunk) plan (that wasn’t really a plan) at the time, he was probably going to die and none of it would matter anyway. He was an asshole, because he had nothing more to lose, and certainly didn’t believe anything could be gained.

He got sober accidentally. He walked out with the idea that he would die. One morning, having the usual shakes, instead of drinking, he walked and never stopped walking. He was certain that at some point he would get so sick due to lack of alcohol in his system he would collapse in an alley and life would slowly seep out of him. More accurately, he was counting on that fact. It was a waiting game for his heart to give up pumping blood, for his brain to have detoxification epilepsy.
None of it happened. He lived. He had been ready to leave this dreadful place for a good while, but he survived. I’m happy he’s here, but I can see how those first days of sobriety and consequent realizations of everything he had done, were probably absolute torture. It must be confusing beyond all comprehension to be the biggest of sinners, and to be chosen to face yourself despite your absolutely rotten interior. Maybe that’s actually an even worse punishment than to come to pass. But god deemed him capable of doing it, so there.

Trying to avoid doing more harm, he lived tucked away in a boring routine for a few years after that. Working at night, disappearing into his room during the day. That, or he was somewhere, protected from his own whip, on some AA activity helping out.
Then one day, he met me. This disturbed his understanding of the world thoroughly. He had come to peace with the shithole he was living in, he had accepted that his life would be empty, long and a drag. It felt right, like he was repaying some kind of universal karma system. Suddenly he experienced excitement, love and he was loved back. It didn’t fit into his plan of repent and contrite. His guilt caught up to him, he must’ve been incredibly imprisoned. I never realized I was doing it, but by being all “oh you’re so awesome” he probably didn’t feel any better.

What he sees, because of what he’s done, and what I see, are very different things. I met him after all these facts, in fact it’s only recently that I’ve really come to hear the scope of his past. He wouldn’t easily talk about his mishaps, which is understandable, and so I never really realized what I was dealing with. Well, that’s not the right way of putting it, I know exactly what I’m dealing with. But I mean I never realized what he used to be.
I’m a strong believer of leaving the past for what it is. Judging people based on something you heard, but never witnessed or endured, is unfair and just low. So I don’t; it’s easy for me to keep to what I know and form an opinion on someone based on that, because it’s how I’ve always done it and it’s how I want to be treated myself. Anything he tells me, slowly but surely, doesn’t come close to shaping my image of him. That was before, it holds no water.
It’s different for him, forgiving oneself is a really hard thing to do when hearts have been broken ruthlessly, friends have been betrayed and lives have been lost.

I suppose even if he went at it again, I’d still not doubt who I know he is. He is friendly, inherently good. He has dreams, and he is afraid of seeing them shattered. He can be a complete ass, but he apologizes after. He’s very angry, his rage is always just slightly beneath the surface, despite his placid, serene exterior (I told him to get a punching bag). He’s proud, he sticks to his own ideas and gets grey hair from my own, unpredictable back flips.
I love him. I always will love him. I never knew what unconditional love meant until he showed me. I didn’t even know what forgiveness without reservations was, until he showed me that too. The resentment that’s always been a part of me, is melting. My life has changed for the better since he’s been in it, but I don’t know how to show him that. I want him to be happy, but that’s not for me to want. I want him to find peace, to forgive himself so we can be together unimpeded, but that’s not my right to claim. I’ll just have to wait for it to get a little better. Waiting isn’t a thing I do well.