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tinea:any of a number of infectious diseases
“what is Man? a miserable little pile of secrets.” - andré malraux
"i desire to live in peace and to continue the life i have begun under the motto, to live well you must live unseen." - rene descartes
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2018-10-19 @ 12:38 a.m.
i hate to keep going on about boy and stuff related to him, but whatever man, this is my show, dammit.
so i was watching a video the other night and host was saying that the trap many of us in bad relationships fall into is fear - whether the relationship is abusive or just an unhappy one. fear of change, fear of having to live outside of your comfort zone for a while, fear of having to actually figure out what you want to do with yourself and your life, and the biggest one of all - fear of being alone. so many of us imagine the most dramatic future possible for ourselves, one in which we spend the entire rest of our lives depressed and lonely, without love, until we die old and decrepit and alone.
but come on. you know it's really not going to be like that. and even if it does turn out like that - wouldn't you rather live the rest of your life in integrity? wouldn't you rather be alone than regularly mistreated and abused?
let me tell you another story about boy. a few months before he moved out from my house, on this date, actually, because i will never forget it, i woke up to an email from an unfamiliar sender named mandy. the subject was simply "[Boy's Name]." inside, it said, "i will be sending you something shortly." my heart was racing as i opened up the email she sent next, and read the attached fb chats. in them, she had apparently opened the conversation by recognizing him from one of his really old jobs (she only sent the important parts of the conversation so i don't know the very beginning). he immediately and smoothly began hitting on her, telling her he was mad at himself for not remembering her beautiful face. i remember reading it and feeling absolutely sick. my hands just started shaking violently, then my whole body. i was shaking and numb and frozen all at once. i just ... i can't explain how it felt.
i continued on to read and he's talking about how he loves animals so much, he loves his cat (MY CAT!!) as much as he loves his son, and he's just this cool single dad raising his son on his own. then, once again smooth as fuck, he's like, "so what are we doing this weekend?" and she's telling him about how she has some college classes and stuff she has to schedule around, because you know, she's more than 10 years younger than us. and he's like okay, let me know where we can meet!
once again, i can't even communicate how much reading this hurt me. even now, just writing about it, i can feel my heart beginning to race. the memory is clearer than yesterday. the screenshots were from a few days before up to a half hour or so before she emailed me. she said she had asked a friend of a friend about him, and that person was like wtf, that guy has a girlfriend and lives with her. i told her the situation and that i had been with him for 6 years, he lived with me, told me we were getting married, and i had been raising his child as my own for the past 3 years. and you know what this fucking little girl, 10 years my junior, said to me? "i'm sorry. you deserve better."
after spending a few minutes hyperventilating, shaking while tears silently streamed down my face, i called boy at work to see if there was any chance he could get home early. he said he would try, but probably not. i remember i was literally breathless trying to get the words out, i was so upset. he wanted to know what was going on, and i just said it was important and i needed to talk to him in person, when he got home. it was not a conversation for the phone. i printed out the chats and sat for the next few hours just reading them over and over and over again. i waited for him to drive my car home from work. my car, that i let him drive*, so he wouldn't have to rent a car while his engine was being replaced. instead, i paid to rent a car for myself to drive to work.
he got home, annoyed, and asked me what was going on. we went up to the bedroom and i handed him the printouts of the chats. he fucking looked at them, read them, then looked back at me, and fucking shrugged. in-fucking-credulous, my eyes widened, and i just kind of made a sound at him, and he's like, "... so?" and i say something like, what the fuck is this? what were you doing? and he says, "i didn't know i couldn't do this."
i was fucking dumbfounded. dumbfounded! i started crying and shrieking, are you fucking serious? since when are you allowed to do this? you're telling her you don't have a fucking girlfriend? you're telling her you love your cat? you don't even fucking do one single thing to take care of him! what the fuck, were you going to lie to me and tell me you had to work on the weekend while you went out and picked up another girl IN MY CAR and left me here to babysit your kid? like, are you really fucking serious?
and he just fucking scoffed at me, threw the papers down on the bed, and so dismissively told me with this disgusting tone to his voice, to calm down, again that he didn't know that he couldn't do that, obviously he loves me or he wouldn't be here having this conversation right now, and "don't you ever bother me at work with stupid shit like this again." then he just walked out of the room and took a shower for almost the whole rest of the evening. he never said he was sorry.
this transaction was the beginning of my nervous breakdown. it was the precipitating event.
this fight came up a few more times throughout the remainder of the relationship, and he never ever did apologize, even when i told him i was still upset that he never apologized.
in my mind, i can still feel myself there. i can feel him practically spitting that line at me, the contempt dripping from his voice. he was standing, and shouted it down at me as i sat on the bed. "don't you ever bother me at work with stupid shit like this again." like i was a child, fighting with my sibling, calling dad to mediate one too many times. i felt humiliated, violated, taken advantage of, ashamed, betrayed ... you name it. i just ... i couldn't believe it. later that night, after he finally came out of the shower, he pretended like nothing had happened and was uncharacteristically chipper and pleasant to little A, who could feel the peculiar energy in the air but didn't know what was happening. even later that night, we went to bed, and i thought maybe he would apologize, or say something, or at least hug me. i always told him the only thing i wanted from an argument was a resolution and a genuine hug. on this night, just like countless others, he refused me both of those things and instead tried to get me to have sex with him.
all i could think, over and over again, all night, was "you deserve better."
but i still would never leave him because i was afraid of all of that stuff i said above. i thought, being alone, being poor, having to move, not having my best friend beside me, all of these things are worse than just forgetting about this and moving on. as long as he comes home to me, i thought, anything is better than any of those fears coming true.
so i just swallowed it down. i sold my self-respect so i wouldn't have to feel discomfort. over the following months, this seed would germinate into a deep and terrifying self-loathing that eventually brought me to the crisis center that new year's eve.
now i know better.
that's the first time i've ever told anyone about that, i was so embarrassed and ashamed. both that it happened and that i stayed with him. now i know better.
i would rather spend the rest of my life alone than be made to feel that way ever again.
a couple of weeks ago, i had a dream he came to take the cat. this is only the 3rd time i have dreamed about him since the last time i saw him, i think. early on i had a really upsetting dream about him rejecting me and mocking me, and several months ago i had a similar one. i think i was trying to ask him something, trying to get him to answer some question, and he wouldn't acknowledge me. i don't really remember, but i just let it go because these things are to be expected.
but this one about the cat, i was ready to fight and kill. i didn't care what happened to me, but i wasn't going to let him do that. i remember that in the dream, i still lived in my old house, and he pulled up at the street outside, and i ran out and started screaming at him to get out of there. in that dream, for the first time, i didn't feel like a victim. i was ready to defend myself, my baby boy, and what was right. and i have to tell you, i felt REALLY good.
today i was chillin with boss in the office after a really hectic day. we were sitting in there, chatting together, i was sipping my tea and getting ready to eat a big piece of banana bread i had baked on sunday. three or four times i was about to take a bite, but boss kept interrupting me with things to do.
the last time, i finally thought i was getting my opportunity, and boss is like, "[tinea], come over here." i snapped, boss! stop interrupting me from my banana bread! and he says all sexy, "i think you're going to like this." i smiled and chuckled, intrigued by his tone, and i'm like, okay, but it better be good.
he hands me a big stack of bills and says this is thank you for helping complete this major thing i've been working on since the summer. since june, now that i think of it! it was really arduous and i spent a fair amount of time outside of work dealing with this project, even when i went on that trip last month i was replying to texts and emails related to it.
so i was like omg! and he said, you know i appreciate you, and will always show you that i do. you always go above and beyond for me, and i promised you when you started working on this i would thank you for it. and i was like boss, i honestly don't even remember that conversation but i really appreciate that you did.
the amount of money he handed me was almost as much as i make in a week.
it's not about the money, really. there are some things that i want to buy, but most of it is going to pay some bills early and into savings. it's about a person seeing me and appreciating me, saying thank you for something that yes, i had to do already, but seeing that i gave it my all. that i cared enough to try to do it well.
i said at this time that i wasn't planning on working this weekend, and he said he knows i need my alone time to decompress, and if i don't get it, i get grumpy and bitchy. i said, you know me too well, and then he said he never wanted me to be as mad at him as i was when we had our one huge fight. he said he didn't really remember what it was about, and i said it was because i was offended that what he said to me that day implied that he didn't think i was there for him, that i wasn't behind him, and that couldn't be further from the truth. he said that he knew that i above all people, had his back, and he had mine. i told him that's all i needed to be happy, and then he said really softly, "i want you to be happy."
there is such a stark difference between the way i am treated by this person and how i was treated by my supposed life partner and soul mate. that the person who has "power" over me chooses to wield it democratically, with kindness. not cruelty and tyranny.
it has taken me hours to write this but it feels amazing to have let it spill out. as more time passes, so many memories keep coming back. i know i'm safe now, and everything is okay, and there is so much more space in my head for things than there used to be.
everything is okay.
* that fucker blew my speakers and ripped a hole in my exhaust system while he was using my car, then when his vehicle was done being repaired, never mentioned to me that he had fucked my car up so badly. we got in it one day to go somewhere, and i was like whoa, what happened? my car didn't sound like this before you started driving it? and he said he had no idea what i was talking about. then, every time we got into my car to go somewhere, he made fun of me for having such a shitty car, and made fun of how bad and embarrassing it sounded, and constantly made me feel terrified that i was going to get a ticket for it, because it really was that bad. a few months later, i ended up having to get a new car because he had done thousands of dollars worth of damage to it even though he had no idea what i was talking about and he had been the only one driving it. it was so old it wasn't worth repairing. but i had owned that car, so getting the new one involved me having a car payment once again. thanks.