Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Walking Wounded

There is no such thing as a good time for a break-up. I know this. But somehow right now seems like it might have been the worst possible time for me to have finally dropped the axe. Don't get me wrong - I'm way too far down this path to think about turning around to look for bread crumbs, but some days right now coming home to an empty house feels worse than coming home to the possibility of a fight.

Everything bad comes in threes, right? So maybe I should have expected all this. Okay, that sounds melodramatic and I do like to avoid melodrama when I can. But it's been a tough week or so and I'm beginning to feel worn down. The worst part is there isn't really anyone to talk to about it. That's one of the most glaring losses in the end of the relationship: the loss of PC as a constant and sympathetic ear. (The irony of this is that it actually drove me crazy that he always wanted to know everything about everything; it would feel like he was constantly grilling me and invading my privacy by asking what I did or what I talked about every minute of every day.) The problem with living across the freaking country from nearly everyone you love and hold dear is that it's impossible to keep them all up to date on daily happenings in your life.

This is the long way of saying that things have suddenly gotten harder. The job that I moved down here to take was a wonderful job when I got here. It was a good environment with entertaining coworkers and challenging professional demands. In the last 2 weeks this has all gone down the toilet. The two Fort Myers locations of my office have just merged and all the charm that existed in the other office has completely disappeared. Now, the coworker who decided to hire me and is my direct superior is actively and aggressively looking for a new job. This would leave me with the possibility of either being thrown to the administrative wolves without her here, or the possibility of having her job (and it's infinite responsibilities) shoved on me. Suddenly instead of relaxed and happy to go to work, I'm getting as close to a panic-attack as I've ever had every morning. I'm just waiting for the next explosion.

Worse, though, than any of the rest of this (worse than the break-up by far, really) is that my parents have come into town to visit. That, in and of itself, is a wonderful thing. The hard thing is that my dad's health has been getting steadily worse, no matter what he and my mom try to do about it. Almost every radical or experimental (and not covered by insurance, of course) treatment that anyone out there has ever done or heard about is being tried. They just spent 3 months with The Sister in LA trying something that was supposed to have an 80% success rate. Yet nothing has made a difference and the way things are going I'm not sure how much longer my dad is going to stay out of a wheelchair. This is what happens to me every time I haven't seem him in a little while and then I see him again - I have to realize how bad things are and re-learn how to cope with it over and over again. Every time a new treatment is started, we are all hopeful and positive, but it gets harder to do each time he continues to lose ground despite all that is tried. He weighs less than I do now and he's got more than six inches on me.

It feels like a lot. It feels like so much that I wish I had someone else to help me carry it all. PC was around for all of it. He was with me when we first figured out that my dad was really sick and my parents flew to Mayo Clinic to find out what was happening. He was there at Christmas to do things that my dad couldn't do. He was here when I started this job and here when I started having misgivings about how it was going to turn out after the two offices actually merged. He's been with me for all of it and now, he's not. Now it's me and my big, empty apartment and my silly cat.

Don't worry. Really. I'm not going to call him. I may have been pretty selfish for most of the end of the relationship, but I'm not selfish or cruel enough to think that my personal problems give me license to hurt him any more than I already have.

Lyrics of the Day

"Wide awake and he shakes in a panic, never woke up alone ever before. Had his woman long as he can remember, tries to forget but he can't, he can't." Pearl Jam Alone

Friday, March 27, 2009

Let Go

After the drama was over, and tempers were more even, I stood my ground. In my eyes, we had both moved past the point of turning back.

As someone commented on the previous post, I never really conveyed the conflicts in the relationship in this forum. That was not unintentional. As much as I have used this space as a place to vent and to work things out, there are consequences to sharing everything. And that doesn't just apply to writing about it - it applies to talking to friends and family as well. If you tell your mom or your sister every time you have a fight, they're going to be a lot less likely to forgive and forget and think that you're not crazy for staying with someone when the fight is over. So I was trying not to completely poison the well here with stories of the bad times, just in case things were to turn around. But there were a lot of bad times. Too many.

Last Wednesday evening I came home from work and set to the task of convincing PC that I had meant what I said the night before. I told him that it had gotten so far past the point of resembling a healthy relationship that we both needed to walk away. Yes, it was his actions that spurred this particular timing, but it would have happened either way. That's the part that you all know about: the fact that I was unhappy and didn't see that changing. I took maybe slightly more of the blame here than I was truly responsible for, but like I said, I didn't want to talk too much smack about him. After some disbelief and denial and some attempted bargaining, we came to the agreement that he would move out by Saturday and we would do our best to end it like grown-ups.

And we did. And it almost made it harder. Did make it harder. It's so much easier to let go of something when you're angry. Then letting go and moving on feels like revenge and there's a power in that. But letting go of something that wasn't horrible all of the time, with someone who genuinely has so many great things about him: that was (is) hard. Much harder than I thought it would be.

He packed his things. He put them in storage for the time being and bought a plane ticket home to Iowa. He left me the most obvious and useful things: the couch, his TV (which is in the living room), the mattress. We rented a stupid movie and had one last dinner together on Friday night. We slept in the same bed one last time. Then, in the morning, I drove him to the airport.

We said goodbye. My heart broke more than I ever thought that it would, after all that we had been through. It was hard then, at that moment, to remember the bad times. Hard to remember why I was intentionally cutting out a piece of myself and sending it away. But I did it. Still am doing it.

Lyrics of the Day

"The last time that I saw her she was picking through which records were hers. Her clothes were packed in boxes, with some pots and pans and books and a toaster. Just then a mouse scurried across the floor… we started laughing ‘til it didn’t hurt. " The Good Life Album of the Year

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Things Fall Apart

So it turns out that it wasn't just me. And it wasn't just PC. It was both of us. Like baking soda and vinegar. And we homemade-volcano'd ourselves right into the end of our relationship last week.

We had a bad night. It was a bad (Tuesday) night coming on the tail of bad Friday and Saturday nights. So much fighting. A broken cell phone. Middle-of-the-night bike riding. Dwindling hopes of sleep. I may have even said that I wished he was dead, which I'm ashamed of and surprised at myself for.

Long-story-short (and I am going to make it short), things just went to hell and they went there for the last time. I stayed in a hotel room that night. The next day, I told him that it was over.

Lyrics of the Day

"So I thought hell if it's over, well I had better end it quick or I could lose all my nerve." Matchbox Twenty Rest Stop

Monday, March 23, 2009

And She Lived... Ever After

Prince Charming and his white steed have left the kingdom.

I am alone in the castle now.

Lyrics of the Day

"I love you so much, it's so bizarre, a mystery that goes on and on and on. This is the best thing and the very most hard, oh, we don't get along. After countless appeals we keep spinning our wheels on this mountain of new fallen snow. So I let go of the catch and we are over the edge. You have left me nowhere to go." Shawn Colvin Shotgun Down the Avalanche

Friday, March 13, 2009

Wandering Eyes

So part of the problem with my quandary over the future of my relationship with PC is becoming more and more apparent to me as I find myself settling in here in Florida. I can't help but wonder if there is someone else out there with whom things could be easier. Or at least someone with whom I could feel more compatible. Then that thought will yo-yo me back to the idea that it's really me and my intolerance for anything outside of my own comfort zone and there will never be anyone anywhere that could do everything Just-Right-Enough to make me happy. But I can't help but wonder...

I've always been a shameless check-out artist. I think it's nice to be checked out, so why shouldn't you stare brashly at the hot guy in the next car - it should flatter him. It flatters me when I'm stared at, so I figure I can return the favor. Of course, this is a habit that I've curbed somewhat since I've been with PC: out of respect and because he's way more of the jealous type than he'll admit to himself. He hates it when I talk about my actor crushes. But as The Mother always says, "Just because you're on a diet, doesn't mean you can't look at the menu". (I'm just realizing now what must be the myriad of grammatical mistakes in that sentence, but that's how she says it.)

It's not that there is a wealth of hot, single, young guys in Southern Florida. Especially not right now, when we're in what's called Season (or The Season) and all the snow-birds (translation: retired folks from northern states escaping winter) are down here clogging up the roads and filling up the Olive Garden parking lot. But my eyes do start to wander a little, mostly when I'm out alone, and sometimes the dissatisfied part of me feels just a little bit excited at the possibility of being single again one day.

Lyrics of the Day

"Untie me, I've said no vows. The train is getting way too loud. I gotta leave here my girl, get on with my lonely life, just leave the ring on the rail for the wheels to nullify." The Shins Gone For Good

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My New Look

I have been dragging my feet on joining Modern Times with my blog template - but today I have done it. So things are essentially the same, but the colors are more pleasing (seriously, I'm not sure how I picked something so pink in the first place). Also, you can now easily follow my blog if you're a blogger yourself.

If you're REALLY bored, you can go visit my other upstart of a blog. I'm using it to ruminate on random happenings in the world, with a bit of a focus on TV and football. If I can use my spare time to build a little sample of how great I am at ranting incoherently, it could just become something I could parlay into a legit sports or entertainment blogging project. The web is somewhat lacking in women who speak semi-intelligently about football and I would love to fill that gap. So I'm going to be working on updating it more regularly, but it probably won't become an every-day thing as I just don't really have time every day. But, like I said, if you're bored you can check it out. There's a lot less whining and sniveling about feelings on that page.

You're Not Listening

Lyrics of the Day

"Smeared black ink, your palms are sweaty, and I'm barely listening." The Postal Service The District Sleeps Alone Tonight

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wandering Mind

I think that I wrote last time that I've been semi-silent because there really isn't a lot going on now that things have settled down post-move. That is mostly true. But there is another reason that I haven't been writing much and I'm going to suck it up and not be a coward about it.

I started this blog as a whim - nearly three years ago now. I thought it would just be a fun writing exercise and something to help me reflect on my dating experiences. I never really thought that anyone would read it. And I realized that the more people were reading it, the more I wanted people to read it. But then the knowledge of the people reading began to affect the writing. I went through phases of extreme self-consciousness, some misguided attempts at being "edgier", and long periods of silence. Now I am realizing that I am holding back from being completely honest because I know exactly what some people are going to think and to say about what I'm feeling and what I'm doing. But it's a little bit chickenshit of me to let that stop me from doing what I need to do here: vent a little and ruminate out-loud, as it were.

One of my girlfriends (well, not just one - many. It's starting to feel like all of them lately), LAJ, is getting married. She's running off to Scotland with her fiance next month and they'll tie the knot. She's been through her share of bad relationships and has been with guys before that she thought she might marry. So I asked her recently how she knew that this guy was one that she wanted to commit to. I don't know if I really thought there was any other answer, but the one I got was the one I expected: she just knows. She feels happy and secure and loved and accepted by him. She feels they balance each other and the relationship feels right. I mean it's the most basic stuff in the world, but stuff like that seems like such a mystery to anyone outside of it.

Here's the thing: It was easier before. It was easier back in the Ohio Days, when PC was the one causing trouble in the relationship. It was easier then for me to think that things could change and that the relationship might right itself eventually. But PC has really made a huge effort and is really beginning to have his stuff together. And he makes sincere and progressive efforts to respect my requests as far as living together (with our own belongings) goes. Occasionally there is stuff that happens and arguments that are his fault, but it's really just the normal crap.

The one thing that can't seem to change is me. Maybe I've been the problem all along. Maybe I just focused on all the other stuff that was going on to deflect the inner knowledge that I didn't fully have the desire to be in the relationship in the first place. Maybe I'm broken. Or maybe it's just not the right relationship for me. How can I know?

This is where I expect to get jumped on. I know that it seems like I'm leading PC on, or that I'm being unfair to him. The problem is that we've had that very conversation. More than once. More than 3 or 4 times. I tell him exactly all these feelings and doubts and that I can't see this lasting for the long haul and that he's going to hate me so much more if we continue to be together for another 6 or 9 months and then I still break his heart. But nothing that I say seems to change his mind. That can't be healthy, in and of itself. He truly believes that we are going to work out and that now we're here in FL things are just going to improve. He would rather give it what he says (though we've both said this before) is one last chance while we're sharing a lease and settling in. He would rather keep trying than to protect himself. But then again, I'm not sure he has really tried to envision the true end of the relationship anyway - so the idea of us breaking up (completely and finally) doesn't hit home to him.

I don't know. I don't know what to do. I do still love him. But I'm not sure I'm in love with him. That is stupidly cliche and I can't help but hate myself a little bit for typing it. I'm sure I sound like a vapid, self-absorbed, entitled bitch right now too. It's my instinct to care what people think, even if those people only know me as a figment of internet imagination. So I can have the desire to sugar-coat it for all of you, but I'm not going to lie.

Lyrics of the Day

"I don’t believe we need love to succeed, but the least you could do is pretend. Either you love me or you leave me don’t you leave me on this picket fence." The Good Life On the Picket Fence