Thursday, March 13, 2008

Owning Up

I have never been very good at expressing my feelings. I have always jokingly referred to myself as a man or a guy, because there are ways in which I am not the typical girl. But I didn't realize how much that would affect a relationship, or what it would do to the dynamics of a relationship that I would choose.

I may not be the most traditional of girls, but I never meant to find myself completely out of my traditional gender role. I hoped for a relationship on equal footing - for shared feelings and chores and responsibilities. But somehow, I have found myself in a relationship in which I have come to feel like I shoulder all of it.

Somewhere along the way, things that I thought to be temporary snowballed out of control and became a weight that I can no longer lift. I became responsible for being responsible in every situation that PC and I have been in and are in and I wasn't built to live like this.

PC and I got stuck in Montana, where we went for the supposed few weeks that I was taking off from work. A job that I thought was secured fell through and we ended up unemployed and trapped in my parents' basement for nearly two full months. During that time, we had only my savings to live on - the savings that I had accrued with the assumption that I would be unemployed for no longer than 4 weeks. Things devolved. I got depressed (I'm not one to have much self-worth when I'm not being useful) and PC got frustrated and rebellious and apathetic. We fought so much - I'm almost embarrassed to look my parents in the eye again. Night after night, the day's pretenses would fail and everything would break down.

Now, after securing a job (actually, the same job that I was supposed to have taken the first time, but that's a long story and not an important one), I thought that things would have gotten better. We have been in Columbus, Ohio for nearly 4 weeks now. And things only seem to be getting worse for me.

PC has apologized for actions of his that were hurtful and immature. (To assuage any fears: he did not hit me and he did not cheat on me. Both are deal-breakers of the permanent variety.) He has sworn up and down that things are different and that there's nowhere to go but up. But somehow, my mood goes nowhere but down. I can't look at him the same way anymore. Instead of seeing him as this attractive man with whom I have a definite future, I see him as a constant source of stress and uncertainty and I can't see past tomorrow, much less predict if we can make it work in the long run.

It's killing me. I don't think that there is any advice to be given, any words of wisdom that could possibly help. He has asked for two months to try to dig out of the financial mess that I have ended up in and to see what things could be like without my supporting him or the accrued debt hanging between us. I can't really see myself shutting the door completely at this point, so it seems that a little waiting-it-out is really my only option. But many days (like today) things seem worse for me than better, and his constant attempts at optimism just make me want to slam the bathroom door in his face, lock it and never come out.

Lyrics of the Day

"There's no talk of future plans, there's no romance, there's no good reason we should be in love - so I've been making shit up." The Good Life Playing Dumb


Anonymous said...

Wow, that's definitely a change from what we had been hearing about you and PC. I hope things work out for the best, whatever the best may be.


Suz said...

No advice from me, darlin'....just a vigorous nodding of the head in complete agreement and understanding.

Been there, done that, still being there, doing that....and I'm beating my head against the wall everyday, wondering why I keep doing the unproductive things I do. But my circumstances are different than yours, so don't make any comparisons. Just know that I'm over here, nodding....

Anonymous said...

i know that i don't know the whole story just from your blog, but to be honest it does sound like your feelings of resentment towards him are somewhat justified. i think that (not trying to sound like the 1950s or anything, sorry) in a way, women are built to view men as the supporter, as the "fixer" of situations. i don't want to sound like i'm blaming him, i don't know the whole story, but is there a reason that he couldn't go out and get a job? why did the responsibility fall solely on you? where was his savings account? i don't remember if he was in school or anything or what he does for a living, but it seems a bit unfair to you. that doesn't seem like the way it should work in any relationship, and i'm not saying that because he's the man and men are supposed to do that and so on. i'm saying that because i can see why you'd be upset and angry with him. i think that i would be too. a relationship should build two people up, they should be there to better the other, and it sounds like you guys aren't doing that for each other right now.

sorry if i've overstepped my bounds, i'm just a random lurker (i don't remember where i first found your link) and in a very very small way i can relate to this entry. i can't sleep either and i was excited that at least one person on my blogroll had a new entry up.

Anonymous said...

Hey there.
I have to admit it. My point of view differs slighty.

I live in a sort of similar situation. My boyfriend has lost his job and needs time to find another in his field which is not too easy. I have supported both of us an it has eaten up all my savings as well.

I always tried to see things as they are. That means, if I were in similar circumstances and my boyfriend would try to support me - bankrupting himself in the process - society would think that totally normal because the male has to do that.
The female population still seems to think that we sould have our piece of cake and eat it. We are not meant to support the male, our money should stay all ours and he should additionally pay for all household costs and help too...

This mindset was still at the back of my head stressing me out... until I realized that was the case.
Now I just accept that I am the one carrying our load this time. The next time it might well be his turn. He is my man and I want him in my life thus I take responsibility. I have to say that my man is working hard on finding another job and is not giving me any lazy shit.

My thoughts are with you - but really make sure, that you are not ditching a good thing just due to old beliefs.


Anonymous said...

I agree that it is hard not to get resentful when you are the one watching you hard earned savings being eaten away. I understand being depressed and resentful about that. I let my boyfriend move in for 3 months to save some money and I felt myself getting resentful even though *I* was the one that invited him. He was working, but trying to pay off some debts. Meanwhile, I was paying rent, all utilies, and food.

I was not really spending that much more than I normally would have been spending. I guess I was a little mad thinking he would at least help out with groceries and then he didn't. In fact, I had to nag him to do dishes and clean up his own messes. And he was very very neat at his own place before he moved in with me.

I felt really resentful and taken advantage of until one night I decided to stop simmering and sit down and talk to him. He had been used to being treated as a "guest" at my place for so long, he claimed he didn't know I wanted him to help out. I mean YES, DUH. It should have been obvious, but men can be so clueless. After I talked to him, things got better.

Another thing is I can understand being depressed, but are you sure you aren't letting your own worries and stress about the future ruin a good thing? In other words, would you feel BETTER in your current situation, without him there with you, or would getting rid of him be a temporary sigh of relief before you felt the same worries about finances? Remember that noone can predict the future and you'll go nuts if you try and drive him nuts too. The fact that he is trying to be optimistic and nice shows that he is TRYING to put on a brave face and cheer you up. I'm sure inside he is also worried and unsure given the things that have happened.

Ultimately, you really need to decide, and soon, to give it you all and smile back at him or give him a hug when he is trying to be nice, OR you both need to cut your losses and move on. Staying in a state of uncertainty too long can do a number on ya.

Take care and good luck.