Reality Bites, or something like that

Amber Run- I Found (Acoustic, London Contemporary Voices)

There’s a feeling that is welling up inside of me, or maybe it’s a multitude of different ones, but they refuse to be named and set free.  I can’t stop obsessing over the onslaught that I know will come soon, yet stubbornly sits festering deep inside of me.

The past 2 years began as exciting and full of a possible future that I hadn’t dared to let myself believe I might find.  It’s ended with me right back where I began and $10K in debt for my troubles.  I’ve been desperately searching for some kind of reasoning to explain why, as it was made clear that I wasn’t going to get the satisfaction from him, and I keep finding articles about- “10 signs that you’re in a relationship with a narcissist” or “How can you tell if your partner has no empathy” or “Are you dating a psychopath”.  These all have bits and pieces that I can relate to, but none of them have given me a smoking gun that helps me to understand how I could have avoided all of this.

In reality, all of the Zen web sites are probably right when they tell me that time heals all wound, you should love yourself, and don’t let a bad yesterday spoil today- I just don’t believe it right now.  It takes 2 people to make or break a relationship and in this instance I’ve been accused of being cold and boring (i.e.- not wanting to go out and do anything), and sure- I’ll own that.  I was with a man who made clear to me that if I wanted him to do something that I would have to constantly remind him (he had ADHD) and who spent the majority of the past 2 years unemployed- meaning that I was paying for his car insurance, cell phone, psychiatric visits, medications, food, clothing, and I’m rambling.

At the time, I thought that we were a team, that he was all in, and that the hard times would pass.  I kept telling myself that once he found a job, then things would be like they were in the beginning of the relationship, before he spent all day on the couch or walking around the neighborhood.  I kept hoping that maybe he would clean up his dishes one day so that I didn’t have to spend the first 30 minutes I was home cleaning in order to make dinner for us.  And somewhere in the middle, I stopped lying to myself and came to terms with the fact that I’d fallen for a very lazy man who didn’t understand how to follow through with anything that he said he’d do.  This is where I probably should have said something to him instead of just staying quiet and trying to get through the days.  I was still deluding myself that everything would get better once he found a job.

Then, he found a job.  He had insisted that waiting tables was the only job that he wanted to do and I respected that, but then he started to stay out all night.  I didn’t like it.  I didn’t like waking up with no text, no voice mail, no idea where he was.  It hurt.  I said something, but it was already too late.  He changed restaurants and started working somewhere farther away, and then he just didn’t come home for weeks.  He said that he just couldn’t deal with the “commute”.  I had no say in the matter and I guess I really just didn’t matter in the equation.

This went on for longer than I should have let it and finally, after he again told me he was coming home and never showed, I spent the entire morning calling his phone every 30 minutes until he finally responded.  He was annoyed at me because I was calling him while he was at work, though he’d never bothered to tell me a schedule or any information other than vague descriptions of the people and place he was staying.  He texted me that he felt, “this just isn’t working” and I didn’t even get the satisfaction of telling him to his face that our relationship was over as I’d been planning to do before he forgot to come home, yet again.

It was done. He was gone.  I felt like an asshole for being conned into supporting him for over a year when it had become very clear to me that had he not been unemployed, the relationship would have ended long before that point.

I’m not a saint, nor am I blameless.  I work long hours.  I have a very stressful job.  I am not great at talking about it when I’m truly hurting.  Hell, I’m the most open on a blog where anonymous strangers are the only people who will read this and even then it’ll reach no more than 20 people!  I really don’t see any risk to my heart by bearing my soul to the void.

And all of this does me no good in the present.  I have friends that love me, my family loves me, most of them just can’t spend any time with me.  I’m mourning the loss of something I could never have- a partner in life who accepts me as I am and cares enough to fight for me.  I didn’t think that I was looking for perfection, but apparently I’ve been hoping to find a fictitious being that doesn’t exist.

It’s just a stark reminder that I am not a person who other people choose to be around.  A reminder that I am meant to be alone and I should just get on with doing that.

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Have We Met Before?

A light breeze turned the pages of her notebook as she gazed into the distance, lost in the jumble of images floating through her head.  It had been months since she was able to make the trip to her favorite cafe with her notebook, pen, and imagination, but that most crucial imaginative element seemed to be eluding her at the moment.  The only things that she could think about were reports and emails and all of the many tasks that she could be doing to get ahead in the office and a silent, sickening feeling was settling in the pit of her stomach.

With a resigned sigh, she gently tossed the pen onto the notebook and leaned back in the chair to take a sip of her coffee.  The cafe wasn’t the most hip place to be; strictly corporate, truth be told.  The people watching was descent, however, and it didn’t require an incredible drive on her part.  That being said, it was not uncommon for her to be the only 30 something in the place.  Setting her coffee back onto the table, she picked the pen back up and continued her aimless gazing at the blank page on the table.

The door chimed and she looked up from her contemplation to see a man coming through the door, a warm smile on his face as he called out a greeting to the other young man behind the counter.  It was like watching a scene out of a John Hughes movie, with the super popular guy walking into the room in slow motion.  Before she even realized that she’d been staring, he had already caught her eyes.  The heat crept up her face very quickly and she’d never been more thankful that her foundation was extremely good at covering up the red of her embarrassment.  A sly smile lifted one corner of his mouth and with a wink, the man made his way toward the back of the cafe where a small group of people were waiting for him.  Once his back was turned, she let her head fall to her notebook and let out the breath that she hadn’t realized she’d been holding.

What the hell was wrong with her?!  He wasn’t exactly smoking-hot-male-model material, but she hadn’t been able to look away.  There’d been a moment of recognition and she couldn’t place his face.  Try as she might to get back to her writing, the woman found herself glancing toward the group and the man who was conveniently facing her.  Did she recognize him from the cafe?  He obviously seemed to know the staff well, but was he a regular?

She looked back over toward the group once more and again, he caught her eyes and the two of them just stared.  He knew that she was watching him and she knew that she was busted.  Frozen for what felt like an hour, she looked back down to her notebook and began to write.  Still no story ideas flowing so her composition was a grocery list.  After that the woman didn’t dare look over at him again.  She didn’t particularly feel like having them ask her to leave for making the customers uncomfortable.  Once the grocery list was completed, a fresh cup of coffee was in order.  She got up from her table and made her way to the counter.  As the guy behind the counter handed her the full mug, she steeled her nerves and blurted out her question.

“So, who is the guy that came in earlier- a friend of yours or just a regular?”  Her delivery was sufficiently neutral, but the man still gave her that knowing look that all people have when you mine them for information about anyone of the opposite sex.

“He’s a regular.  That whole groupp, they come in every weekend for a few hours, why do you ask?”

“No reason, he just looked familiar.” she replied and returned to her table.

When she settled back in to the seat disappointment hit square in the chest as she realized that the boisterous group of people had all left along with her chance of working up the nerve to go and talk to him.  The little angry voice in her head began it’s chastising for being a scardie cat and letting yet another moment get away.  This was the point at which she reminded her inner voice that there was a reason that she was in her thirties and single to which the voice responded that she shouldn’t forget that she also had three cats and would be getting a rocking chair and shot gun for her birthday.

There were no stories flowing from her mind, pen, or any other useful instrument at all, so she sat there with her cooling coffee, doodling eyes in the margins of the notebook.  She’d been so absorbed in her own inner monologue that the approaching figure made her jump when he got to the table.  He hadn’t left after all.

“Hi.” She said and immediately began choking on her coffee.

“Hi.” he replied, “you ok?”  She still couldn’t speak so she gave him a weak thumbs up. “Sorry to bother you, but I kind of noticed you staring at us back there and this may sound stupid, but, have we met before?”

“I’m not sure, but you look really familiar.  I’m sorry to have stared, it’s not a habit, promise.” she said.

“You can stare all you’d like,” he replied with the same half smile he’d given her earlier, “May I sit?”

Her heart was now beating faster and she was sure that her inability to respond was clearly plastered all over her face, “Sure.” she managed to croak out.

“Don’t worry, it’s just a cup of coffee.”  he said, sitting across from her and somehow those words untied the nervous knot in the pit of her stomach and she finally smiled back at him.

Contemplations for Tuesday

Metro Accident– really a horrible thing and on one of the busiest lines in DC. Would I deem this a catastrophe though- probably not. I would classify a catastrophe as the Gulf Coast during Katrina.
Death– Just found out yesterday that a friend of mine will have to pull the plug on her dearest Uncle on Thursday after he was hit by a truck doing 20 mph and suffered a severe head injury. I’m not sure why, but I’m still shocked by the shear frailty of human life.
Job Stress– So, the day is less stressful and the next time I’m asked to spearhead the re-location of 200 people, I will know exactly what to do without getting overwhelmed.
Family Stress– nothing I can do about that one.
Money– still an issue and I’ve definitely got a job that doesn’t pay overtime and doesn’t leave time for any extra endeavours. I need to get a boyfriend to move in with- it’s very economical (don’t think at me like that- it’s not totally wrong).

Contemplations for a Rainy Tuesday

Good Morning and Happy Tuesday!  For my two loyal readers- yes, hell is freezing over (cold front over Texas ;-D) because I am posting twice in two days!!!!

It dawned on me yesterday as I drove home from Reston that I’m really truly not going to get married and have children.  Not because I don’t want to, but because for me to feel comfortable enough for that to happen will take a miracle.  And this is the side effect of being me.  I was trying to list the criteria that would be the man I would want to marry and everything I was coming up with would be sooooooo extreme that not even I would feel right about imposing it upon anyone.

Maybe I’m just being cynical- you tell me.

The Perfect Man for Me =

1.  Must be 100% loyal to me.  As much as I would hate to admit it, if I ever found out that my man cheated, it would be over right then and there.  Not that I wouldn’t want to try and work it out, but knowing me, I would have checked out of the relationship emotionally at that instant.

2. This is sort of a sub-category of number 1- He must be in it for the long haul.  Not that it’s a religious or moral thing, but if I ever get married, there will not be divorce in my future.  Maybe that’s why I can’t imagine this ever happening.

So, without even going any further with my list, can you imagine how unfair those 2 items are to expect of someone?  Maybe I’m just being toooooo contemplative.  I’ve been accused of overthinking thinks by more than one person.