I know I should really be writing stuff down. I’ve missed a lot of stuff these last few months. An awful job at this doggy boutique an okay job just started at a glasses place and… the big one. I’m engaged. he asked me on December 22nd 2014 at Moody Gardens. We were on the boat. It was the last thing we were doing that night. I knew something was going on but I was just so happy. So happy to get the ring, to finally get him. Finally. I actually tackled him. He couldn’t even get up long enough to get the ring on my finger until he pushed me away. We laugh about it now but I was just so happy. I am still so happy. And now we’re planning a wedding. We’re getting married on May 17, 2015.
I take a nap in my tiny office almost every day at lunch time. I roll out my blue yoga mat and use my backrest as a pillow.
Today was my last nap.
I couldn’t sleep. My boss came in this morning and gave me notice.
Oh, he was nice about it. The company is downsizing and something’s got to give.
I saw it coming, somewhat, but I’d hoped for more time. You always hope for more time.
He has offered to let me keep working for a while, long enough to find something else. He knows who I have to support.
I don’t know what I’m going to do.
I packed up my stuff, I’ll be working from home the rest of the time and I doubt I’ll see this office again.
I’m sad that G is on vacation. I would have liked to say goodbye, but I will see her again.
Its so strange.
I had a good weekend with Mom. I didn’t see T because of Father’s Day. I missed him a bunch but we talked on the phone every day so that helped.
On Friday Mom and I went to see How to Train Your Dragon 2. It was good and we had fun going to the movies together. Bro even went too but his friend came and they sat way in front away from us. Haha.
On Saturday we went to Town and Country, where T and I had our first date, and walked around and looked at all the shops. It was very different than going with T. With T we sit down and people watch or listen to music or just walk and talk. We go in stores from time to time but don’t spend much time perusing them.
With Mom we went in almost every store and looked at everything they had. We didn’t stop to listen to music or hang around. It was fun in a different way. We bought a new apron for her and some jelly at a cooking store and some new flip flops for me. Then we went to eat and had fun eating something different. We were tired when it was all over!
On the way home I decided to drop by Dad’s because I was in the area and did not want to drive back across town again on Sunday. I left Mom in the car and talked to Dad and his wife for about 30-45 minutes and gave him his card and gifts.
On Sunday we slept late because we were tired. We had planned on going to Old Town Spring to shop at the antique stores but it was too late to get started over there and too hot to walk around outside.
We decided to go to the new World Market that opened a couple months ago near our house. Mom had never been in one before. I had with T but we just breezed through. With Mom we went down every single aisle and saw everything. We got a lot of fun kitchen stuff too. We got Gram a bird tea cup and saucer and a matching cream and sugar bowl set. We got Bro a collapsible funnel and some ramekins for his sauces. We also got a wok and a small sauce pan. Mom got some bleu cheese stuffed green olives and I found the gnocchi I was looking for. I wanted to get her a cute owl measuring glass thing too, but it was getting pricy. We also got a big blue mixing bowl for cooking, yay.
Anyway, we had fun and then we came home and ate dinner and watched Christmas in Connecticut with Gram. I think Mom had a fun weekend and I had fun too.
It was another good weekend. Quiet. I went to T’s. We never left the house. We ate leftover chili and rice, made banana bread, played games and watched a VHS tape. We sat in the backyard and watched the birds and watered the plants and played games on our phones. We cuddled and talked and told stories. T asked to hear some of my stories, the few non-family ones I have. I almost stayed again, but I felt him growing thin so I didn’t.
No sense borrowing trouble.
He said he only slept well when I was around, that I made him feel relaxed. We slept a lot, took accidental naps.
I realized to get what I want I have to take care of myself. With a smile and that pushy way I hate that people use on me I would shove my needs to the forefront, pretending all along that it was a whim or something unplanned. It worked for the most part, better than sitting back and waiting and getting hurt. At least this hurt felt less like rejection and more like pushing back.
I did not wait for him to take care of me. I ate when I was hungry and slept when I was tired and pushed to do when I needed to do. I said no to suggestions and when nothing sounded good I pretended I knew what I wanted anyway. At least pretending is an occupation.
It seems all of life is waiting and making the best of it. I’m always waiting for that next step, to move forward, but I can no longer see the road ahead of me. So I plod on, always surprised to see that the road rises up to meet my next step. The same road, over and over again until I wonder if I am walking in circles in the fog.
No sense stopping. The fog never moves. No sense going back, no way to know back from forward. No sense choosing a new direction when everything is covered in the same mist and the same dull dirt. So I keep going, hoping that the mist will pass, or that grass will suddenly appear beneath my feet. Something that I can measure and say ‘yes, I am making progress’.
So I keep going, fooling with my pack trying to make it feel less heavy, tying my shoes up again and again to get them to fit just right, doing little things to make myself feel better about the waiting. Things I feel I have some control over in a world that could quickly become both terrifying and boring.
When people ask how I am I say ‘fine’ or ‘tired’ with a small smile. No sense telling them that I am lost; they don’t know the way.
I’m not particularly coherent today. Everything is floaty feeling. I can’t spell. I even got confused as to where I was on my walk around the block before lunch because I let my mind wander. Not good.
Anyway, this weekend was good with T. Oh, I wanted to remember the flower I picked Memorial Day weekend out of his yard. Pretty.
Anyway, I chewed him out Wednesday night for not talking to me all day Tuesday and told him that if he didn’t make the effort to talk to me every day I was going to break up with him. Pretty clear, right?
So, he has been doing better, at least Thursday and Friday, about calling me. Then Friday he actually called me and apologized for running late (like always) which was nice. He asked if I wanted to go see a movie with him and had actually looked up times! Usually it’s “Wanna see a movie? I don’t know what’s out or when…” But this time he had one in mind that was doable.
We saw Maleficent and it was pretty good. Then we ate ice cream and drove around for a while.
Saturday we woke up late, well he did and I let him sleep a while longer. I watched Spider-Man cartoons on my phone. Anyway, then he was really hungry so we drove to Golden Corral and ate a ton and then we went to Half Priced Books and I found a couple of movies for Gram and us and a book Mom wanted to give her friend. T found some Star Wars playing cards with models you could assemble and bought a couple packs. He liked making them. It was a cute idea.
Then we stopped at the game store for a minute and got gas and then went to the grocery store. I decided to skip my Monday trip and just do it with T so we could spend time together without Mom yipping at me for not getting stuff done.
He was getting really tired so when we got home I put away the groceries and started dinner while he took a nap. He got up and helped me make the vegetable stir fry to go along with dinner so that was good.
On Sunday we got up for church and went with Mom. They had baptisms and they called people to baptize right away and over 100 people got baptized. It took a long time but it was really great.
After church we went home and ate leftovers. Then we went to look at a furniture store we had spotted after the movies because T needs bookshelves. They didn’t have anything but I asked T if we could go to the mall across the street and he could help me find a new dress. I wanted something new and pretty to wear.
We went to Forever XXI because they are cheap and have cute dresses sometimes that are not too short. Not that they last long but I don’t wear dresses too often anyway. The music was annoying and our feet hurt because we were still in Sunday clothes and shoes and we had already stood for a long time at church. We got out of there fast after I tried on 6 dresses and found one cute coral colored one I liked.
Then T wanted to look at the furniture in Macy’s next door so we looked but nada. Then he wanted me to try on more ‘adult’ clothes so we walked to Dillard’s. All they had was young stuff like XXI and old lady stuff T said his grandmother would have worn. But I did try on some leggings (no) and a cute emerald green bathing suit that didn’t hang quite right.
By that time we were both ready to sit down so we walked back to the car and headed home. T napped for a while and I sat with Mom for a few minutes before making hamburgers for dinner. Then T and I watched TV and cuddled. It was nice.
So, that was this weekend. Got some stuff done, didn’t sit around bored, and T was nice. Pretty good, though I am tired. I had a hard time sleeping for some reason.
This weekend was one of those perfect weekends that keep me hanging on. T was a really good boyfriend this weekend. I mean, as always there were weird things that happened to him and uncontrollable circumstances… but for most of the weekend he was sweet to me, paid attention, really seemed to want to be around me… all those things that a boyfriend should do, in my mind.
I actually ended up breaching the subject of my unhappiness a bit. Not to any great extent, but a little bit of relief. I, of course, took it all too far and clung desperately to the scraps he threw me. I tried not to, I really did, but it is a lot easier to turn down moldy bread than cake when you’re starving.
There is a line I love from the end of the movie, Sabrina: "It was a lie, and then it was a dream."
He’s talking about their romance, which he started out as simply a way to keep her from interfering with his business and then ended up falling for her for real.
But for me it is more like: “It was a dream, and then it was a lie.”
You know how my eyes were opened before Christmas, really opened. But I couldn’t help giving in, in some small way, to the dream this weekend. The dream that we have a future together. That maybe, somehow, he is the man I thought he was. That maybe he’s grown and changed in secret and I just missed it somehow.
I said it this weekend. “We’re never getting married, are we?”
He, as usual, insisted that I was wrong. That he had plans. That ‘soon’. But then I said something I had never said before.
“I don’t know if I want to get married.”
It was implied, in my mind, ‘to you’ but I never said those words.
“Why?” he asked, sounding hurt and afraid.
“I’ll get too attached,” I said, “I’m already too attached to you; that’s why it hurts so much. If we got married I’d be even more attached and it would hurt even worse, so why do that to myself?”
“You can’t avoid relationships because you get hurt,” he said.
I wanted to laugh. That’s exactly what I had been doing my entire life. Yes, I could do that. I’d proven that one.
“Yeah,” I said shortly, “It’s my problem. I’ll deal with it.”
“No, it’s our problem. I want to help you. I want us.”
Later he said I “thought too much” and “worrying doesn’t change tomorrow, it only robs today of its joy.”
“Thank you, Mr. Fortune Cookie,” I snarked.
Like I said, I gave in to the dream a little. But like a dream the feelings are fading fast and leaving me once again with that sick heaviness in my stomach.
Am I just tired? Am I not thinking right? Am I sick: emotionally, mentally? I float around in this strange disconnectedness, playacting at being normal, making it through every day with rote and routine and a peculiar numbness. In times of great emotion I feel like I am watching myself from outside of my body or from some dark closet within, blinking with astonishment and confusion as I watch myself say and do things. Words are jumbled and it is always a surprise to hear myself speak actual sentences. I think that part is rote too.
Strangely sadness was one thing I could cling to, one thing that felt real. But even that seems distant now, too much effort. I blink stupidly at life, preforming my duties and then, like a robot, stand there waiting for the next order.
“Tell me what to do”, I think, my mind incapable of forming plans and paths. New things are terrors, boredom and idleness nightmares, sleeplessness torture. I must keep moving, keep responding to demands and work and the pattern because every time I stop I feel my mind dissipating and I fear I will not be able to retrieve it.
Well, that’s interesting. I guess I must be sick. I never looked at it before, just adjusting and moving forward.
And that’s why I’m hanging on to T a little longer. This holding pattern is fine for me right now. Safe.
What if one day you made a meal for me? You wanted it to be really special and you told me to dress up nice and you worked hard to clean up the whole house. You set the table with fine china, made a three course meal, put on your suit, lit the candles and had everything perfect for when I got there.
I arrived a little late, but you excused that to traffic even though you’d asked that I work hard to be on time because it was a special night. When I walked in I was dressed ok. Jeans and a nice shirt, but not as dressy as you had wanted. Okay, maybe you hadn’t made it clear. No big deal, right?
I sit down at the table and you serve me the food you had worked so hard on. I tell you I’m not really hungry because I grabbed a burger on the way in because I couldn’t wait. You feel hurt but you try to be happy that at least I take a few bites of everything and tell you it is good.
As we eat you try to talk to me romantically. You tell me how pretty I am and try to talk of our life together and how much you love me. I respond a little but mostly I am looking at my phone or I interrupt to tell you something funny I heard. You’re frustrated but I’m not really doing anything wrong, just not responding the way you wanted me to.
Now it is time for dessert. You get out the cream brulee and have it all ready. Then I tell you I have to go to the bathroom and I spend a long time in there; long enough for the dessert to start melting as you anxiously await my return. When I come back I tell you I had to deal with Mom and you sigh.
You smile as I enthusiastically eat the cream brulee, telling you how good it is between bites. Before you know it the dessert is almost gone, only a few watery bites left in the bottom.
“Oh, did you want some too?” I ask.
You nod, looking hurt.
“You didn’t ask for any!” I say, holding out the remnants.
You’re hurt that I didn’t think about sharing, but you are glad you will be able to taste a little bit of it at least. You worked really hard to make it. And you’re happy I enjoyed it.
As soon as you’re finished I get up and say, “Food was good. Thanks! Now I need a nap.”
I go lay down and leave you alone at the table full of plates and dishes.
You’re frustrated, annoyed, hurt and confused. I didn’t really do anything wrong… Just not what you had hoped or expected.
You decide to try again. The next week you do the same thing, thinking surely I’d have picked up on what was supposed to happen. But I do the same thing I did last time.
Okay, so maybe you’re not communicating well enough. You sit me down and explain exactly what you were trying to do and what you wanted me to do. I cry and tell you how bad I feel that I disappointed you.
You talk to me again, but I don’t understand. I’m doing better, right?
You adapt. You make the meal a little less fancy. You don’t put as much work into it, thinking maybe you’re making too big of a deal out of this thing.
It still hurts.
You cut it down more, just making it a regular meal. But now you notice all the little hurts along the way.
You talk to me about maybe not making any more meals. You try to explain why you’re frustrated and hurt. I insist I love the meals! That nothing is wrong and you’re just being too sensitive. That I’m doing better, dressing better, showing up on time. You give in, agreeing that I am doing better and think that maybe you are just being too sensitive.
You go along with it for a long while, but that same hurt is still there. You adapt and talk about funny things. You play on your phone. You learn to ask for what you want early on.
Then, one day, you’re too tired to make the meal.
“You look really relaxed,” I say, changing into shorts myself with a smile. I grab a loaf of bread and some peanut butter and jelly and bring it over to the table where you’re sitting. I make a sandwich and offer you half. You take a single bite and then hand the rest back to me. I talk as if nothing has changed. In fact, I tell you how much I enjoy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and wish I could eat them more often.
You’re confused. You expected me to notice the meal was not ready and ask you why. You expected me to be upset about it or at least miss it. Instead I seem even happier than I was when you were trying to make me happy. For some reason this makes you angry. Don’t I care that you stopped trying? Did I even notice?
You open your mouth to say something, but nothing comes out. What can you say? You’ve asked for what you needed and I didn’t understand. You tried as hard as you could to show me what you wanted and I didn’t change. Or didn’t change enough. Now, when you’ve run out of everything, what’s the point?
You smile tightly at me as the single bite of sandwich sinks into your gut like a stone. You realize that you’re going to either have to be happy with a peanut butter and jelly meal every day or…
We went to church and had communion. The preacher talked about the Ten Commandments and how we break all of them. Very convicting, had I not already felt like the lowest of the low.
If I feel bad everyone wants to make me happy. If I am happy everyone wants to make me feel bad.
T told me to smile the other Sunday. I just about killed him. I HATE that. Sure, I’ll fake a smile. What good does it do? Does it make you feel better? It just makes me feel like more of a liar, more hidden. But if it makes you feel better than by all means…
If they knew how many smiles were faked already they wouldn’t ask. It wasn’t always that way. Constant disappointment, constant drain, constant need, it eats away at you from the inside out.
Like a tree already dead inside the leaves are still green for a while. My leaves are turning brown. They try to pretend it is fall or winter and the leaves will return. They try to dump fertilizer on me and make my leaves green again. They don’t understand why it doesn’t work. Why my leaves are falling off one by one.
Anyway, after church and lunch we went to look at houses with the realtor I don’t like. I only wanted to see one, one we’d found, but we saw three. The first was pet infested and run down in a junky town I told T I would NOT look at anymore. The second was nice, nice enough to make me dread the thought of actually moving. This is all a charade now, remember? Since I can’t be with T why move there? And they don’t want to move anyway, so every move I make is a charade. Play acting. Practice, at best. I’m wasting everyone’s time, but it is better than facing the truth.
T even asked me what I was thinking as we drove between houses.
“About the house we saw,” I said.
“Ok, but what about it?” he asked, “I want to be included in what you’re thinking. I want to be a part of your life.”
After three days of near silence on my part it seemed ironic. I humored him and repeated what he’d said earlier essentially. It wasn’t any use getting into anything deeper. He cut me off halfway anyway and carried on his own conversation the rest of the time.
The third house was in a bad neighborhood and we didn’t even go in.
We went home to nap and I slept until my alarm went off at 6pm. No, I lie. I woke about ten minutes before that and put my head on T’s shoulder and tried not to cry.
I try not to wish that my dreams had been reality. That what I thought he was, what he could be if only, was true. That he was my forever love. That he would be what I wanted, needed. Simply, that he would be better than being alone.
It kills me that he’s not.
It almost does, literally. I know my health plays a part in this but some nights I come so close to calling a help line just because I can’t help but think it would be such a relief not to exist anymore.
But I know I would just apologize to them for wasting their time. For not having bad enough problems to even call. Because I shouldn’t feel bad. I have a boyfriend who loves me, right? And a family that loves me? And an extended family that loves me? And a good job I like. And a car and enough money to live and a home to live in and food to eat and enough energy to keep going every day and the Lord, of course, who should be enough because it says He should be enough and I’m broken and wrong and weak because I am unhappy when I shouldn’t be.
And sometimes that hurts worst of all because I am so weak and stupid and I SHOULD be more, should do more, should get my head out of my butt and help everyone else and stop feeling sorry for myself and wasting my life and I’m just so empty that I can’t and I’m worthless so why am I even here?
But I can’t tell them that. I can’t hurt them. I can’t leave them because that would hurt them. Being the good one, the helpful one, the reliable one, is all I have left.
I just have to keep going. I have to keep working. Maybe if I work hard enough, if I think right and do right and read my Bible and pray and be obedient and be good maybe, maybe, something will get better… maybe.
Maybe I’m really all to blame. Maybe it is all because I’m not doing what I should be. Maybe if I was the person I was supposed to be it wouldn’t be like this.
So I keep going. I can’t take their pain. I can’t. But I can keep going and maybe that will be enough. Maybe getting up every day will be enough. Maybe someday it will get better, maybe it won’t, but every day is one day closer to being done at last. At least there’s that.
I’m not tired.
Went to the doctor this morning. Had more blood tests run. Wants me to come back in a week and do another blood test on Thursday after I take some meds to test some system? I don’t know.
I’m really sad. I don’t understand. I’m trying to be good. Trying to make T just my friend so it doesn’t hurt so bad. And it doesn’t. But it still hurts. And now it feels like I’m giving up.
I keep thinking, every time I start to romanticize him or miss him or think about how much he loves me, I think about how tired I am.
Tired of sickness.
Tired of complaining.
Tired of weakness and insecurity.
Tired of being on the alert all the time for hurting his feelings or making him feel bad.
He said this weekend that I seemed more relaxed. Ironic because in a way I was. I didn’t care anymore. I wasn’t trying to make him love me more. I wasn’t trying to get his attention. I wasn’t trying to make him happy or make him feel good. I just was there, like I would be for a friend who asked for help. I did what I could and then went on with my own life. I didn’t try to fix him or make up for his inadequateness. I barely spoke when usually I am trying to draw him out, trying to connect.
I did try to connect once and immediately failed, reminding myself once again not to get hurt because he was my friend, not my love.
Everyone blows me off, why not him too? Why expect, want, more from him?
Friday I got there and the house was exactly the same as two weeks ago when I had been there last. No, before I had been there. Plates on the couch, messes everywhere, nothing touched. I could only think “what does he do all week?”
We ate out and went to the store. The last time he’d been to the store was over a month ago, for the last game party.
We got home and I cleaned up. I didn’t do as much as I usually would have. I wasn’t trying to make him happy. I was just a friend, trying to help out. He told me to sit for a while because I had been working all week so I read for about five minutes before he asked for my help again.
We cleaned up and when I got tired I stopped and went to bed, leaving the rest for him. He cleaned off a table with his game on it and vacuumed. I finished the rest in the morning.
That night when he was ready to go to bed, hours after me, he woke me up and wanted to make out. He kissed me and I was glad it was dark because I just prayed and was quiet.
He said he wanted to show me how much he loved me. How he missed me so much all week.
I said that nothing seemed different. I mean, he didn’t call more or text more. In fact it was probably less because I didn’t instigate anything.
He said he felt like he was bothering me. I said nothing. What could I say? I was tired of trying to make him feel better. He was my friend, if he felt that way then it was sad, but I could do nothing more for him.
He went to sleep.
The next day around 1pm lot of people came to his party. I didn’t try to entertain them. I didn’t even talk to them much. I was a guest too, a friend, and it wasn’t my job. If T wanted to ignore them than it wasn’t my problem. They were fine.
A couple left around 8pm and I wanted the rest to go too. I was tired and I knew I had to clean up and go to bed for church in the morning.
Around 9:45pm I stopped playing with them and started cleaning up. Mom was calling for TV problems and I was tired and frustrated. One of the boys made a mess with grape jelly in the kitchen and tracked it across the living room carpet. I cleaned up everywhere they couldn’t see me cleaning but I was upset. It was just rude.
I condensed what food was left and picked up the trash. I put away the plates and left out only napkins. If they wanted more food they could eat cookies or chips off those. I turned out most of the lights except one in the kitchen over the drinks and snacks and where they were playing. I thought maybe they would get a clue even if T didn’t.
I sat with them off and on during that time but going on 10:45 I was about to tell T I was going to bed and excuse myself. Maybe feign a headache. Next time I will, far earlier. Just because he can play games for days on end doesn’t mean I have to. I just can’t handle being around people that long or playing games that long.
They finally left and I told T about the jelly and finished scrubbing it up before I went to bed. T stayed in the living room to ‘chill’ for a while before bed.
I was thinking about something one of them said just before they left so I got up about thirty minutes later and told T what I thought about it. I just wanted a hug and to tell him. Then I went back to bed. A few minutes later he came wanting to make out again. Again I didn’t react, thankful that the dark hid my near-tears state. He kept telling me how beautiful I was and how much he loved me. He said he’d brush my hair after my shower in the morning.
I woke sad, having nightmares the rest of the night. It was time to get up. I went to wake T and then got in the shower mostly to avoid having to watch him fight to wake up or complain about how tired he was. He said he didn’t sleep well. Restless.
He got in the shower after I dressed and I went to make breakfast and ate before he came out. I usually would have waited but I was tired of waiting for him. We were already late for church because he couldn’t get up. I brushed my own hair.
It’s little things like that that eat me. It shouldn’t hurt so much.