Tag Archives: relationships

I Can’t Avoid This Any Longer

I’m sorry blog, you’ve been so neglected. I have been rather quiet actually, and not wanting to share what’s in my little bubble as I mull it over. I went back and read everything I’ve written so far this year, and I seem to keep circling around the same themes.

The big thing I’m battling is how my entire world view changed after things with J ended. I spent nearly 35 years of my life obsessively working (on establishing an academic career, if you’re new to this blog), and not really feeling that happy about it, but driven to find happiness through it somehow eventually. I grew up feeling like people were unreliable, and happiness had to come solely from the things one did independently to make one’s own life better and even impressive (to others). I kept people at a distance, even J because I never did trust him after a really rocky start to our relationship. We never established a core foundation of trust. I trusted him more than anyone else in the world, and I still couldn’t tell him some of my fundamental truths.

When I was with J, I never thought about “family”, and now it’s all I can think about. It is the motif of 2014 for me. Is it wrong to devote myself to the pursuit and establishment of family with the same intensity as I do my academic work? The same determination and drive? Semi-relatedly, I’ve been asking a lot of questions of women I know about this whole “biological clock” notion- it’s really interesting to me. It seems to be contingent on being around a person that the body senses is right. Plenty of women I’ve spoken to have said that around one partner they never felt the desire to have kids, and then when they met someone new it went into overdrive. Someone told me just last night, that her body said to her: “I don’t care one bit about logic or planning. You need to make this happen with this guy [now her husband] however you can.”

I wonder if this is something women often feel, but don’t talk about because they’re afraid of being judged (mostly by other women!) and because we all want to be seen as rational actors.

I’ve been having so much trouble working because work makes me actively sad at the moment, and I haven’t gotten to the bottom of why yet. Is it that I’ve sacrificed so much to get here? Is it that for too long I repressed my feelings through work and I now need to deal with my feelings before I -can- work?

I’ve been quiet on here about my boyfriend, M, too, because it’s only been 6 weeks and I don’t really want to jinx it, or publicize it too soon. I mean, I was wrong in the past, and it’s a certain amount embarrassing. But this one feels 180 degrees different from those experiences. In the past, I experienced a lot of doubts, and needed to do a lot of mental juggling to make things feel like they fit. I thought that my incapacity to relax or really speak about my feelings and experiences to those guys honestly was due to something about my compromised mental health. As it turns out, meeting the right person is a game changer. This new relationship is different from my marriage, from any of the dating experiences I’ve had. In this case, all of instincts tell me without reservation that this is right. (I just stared out the window for about ten minutes after writing that.) Yeah. I don’t know why I don’t have any doubts about him. But I don’t. Not a one- apart from the complication that me applying for jobs around the world and him needing to stay here introduces. But that’s not about him, that’s about circumstances.

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Would it Be Easier Not to… ?

Hey there internet, how are you doing?

I haven’t posted in a while… the sign of a high quality blog, indeed. I haven’t had the emotional energy, truth be told. And my life and emotions have been on a rollercoaster.

I got broken up with on Monday, which has never happened to me before- that’s how little dating experience I really have. E had seemed off on Sunday evening, and then when he arrived Monday, late, he was distant and exhausted/withdrawn looking. He said words that will echo in my head for a long time “You are remarkable. But … over the past few weeks my romantic interest has waned.” He went on to explain that he thought we wanted different things in life– or he must have said that later because immediately after he said the first part I felt a cold/hot sensation move from the top of my head to my feet. And I went into a kind of shock. Then I started hyperventilating.

He tried to explain that this is what happens with dating, and I sobbed inconsolably.

And somehow, with tears in my voice, I began to talk about what I really want out of life, which is to say that after the tumultuous last few years, I don’t know.
I told him that I don’t know how to date, that the process of getting through that fraught early stage seemed to me to be impossible to bear. I just wanted to transition immediately to the part where we live happily ever after (ha) in the same house. I saw no particular reason not to let every bit of my ugly anxiety and neediness show, as the man had just broken up with me.

And then he started crying. He said “I’m so sorry,” over and over again. I was suddenly consoling him.
Something strange happened as I spoke quietly, and with tears running down my face, about how… after so many years of wanting to be a professor, I suddenly didn’t know any more. I am tired of waking up regretting that I didn’t choose to write fiction as I’d planned until age 22. But.. I also don’t know if I don’t want to be a professor. I’m having too many life crises at the moment to risk making important decisions. I told him that I didn’t think either of us knew our life plans are incompatible yet, and that I wished we could try to figure out whether we might compromise as we keep getting to know each other.

He looked at me with the saddest brown eyes and said:

“Can we forget I ever said anything?”

I didn’t know what that meant but I just cried more.

It meant he was un-breaking up with me.

The next day he wrote to me: “The emotions you shared with me last night were extremely touching and I’m sure that whatever issues/hangups/etc we have they can be overcome. I’m so sure of it.”

I have been having an incredibly anxious week- my abandonment issues got triggered hardcore, I have my period, and a UTI on top of that (sorry, readers). I’m horribly shaky and yesterday I was so scared that I got trapped in a coffee shop for a while because I was too anxious to simply stand up and walk across the room. I was unable to stay long when meeting friends for drinks because my nervous system was such a mess that I couldn’t bear the din of the bar.

The night before all of this, E had cancelled plans with me (claiming he was stressed). Tonight he did the same thing because his best friend needs some home network help, and after a nap I wrote to him:

“So I told you I’d be totally honest with you from now on, even when my pride says to stfu. I had a fear response to hearing I wouldn’t see you tonight because of my temporary need for reassurance and wanting to reinforce our bond/feel safe again. I hope you can understand where I’m coming from. (And that this isn’t a request to change your plans at all!)”

He replied: “I totally understand and thank you for being honest!” and then some other stuff I won’t bore y’all with.

I am praying that someday I’ll get to a point with E, or (unfathomable right now), some other boy where I can show them this blog. Where I can expose all of the parts of my life that I keep from people until they have found their way 100% in. Having lost the closest person to me in the last year I no longer have someone that sees every part of me.

So I guess that’s why I keep trying, even though it would be easier not to right now. I didn’t mean to meet E when I did.

My shrink had me read a book on Love Addiction, which confused me because I do the Love Addict stuff when I feel vulnerable and the Love Avoidant once I feel secure. (Also, I hate the phrase “love addict”.) Never do I relate to a partner in a healthy way, but realizing it is half the battle, right? I’m willing to admit that I’m codependent, and working on it.

3 Strange Encounters with Guys

It’s hard trying to be an adult for the first time at age 34. I’m slowly teaching myself to cook, learning how to live alone… basically doing for the first time many things that most people learn in their 20s, and that make them secure, stable people in their 30s. As you all know, one of those things is dating. My interactions with guys are therefore in flux. So, here are three recent situations:

1. T.
T has been clingy since we first started seeing each other. He described himself as 焼きもち, a jealous type. Unused to my weird sleeping habits (I don’t sleep well, so I tend to be in bed for many, many hours trying to feel rested), he told me my claims of having “just woken up” or “having gone to bed at 11 last night” were 怪しい (suspicious), when I finally got around to texting him in the mornings. If I’d been more secure, and more experienced with guys I’d have told him this was unacceptable and broken it off. But I didn’t.

One night I wrote him that I was exhausted and needed to turn in early, to sleep in my own bed where it was quiet. (Longer term readers of my blog will recall T’s epic snoring.) Well, he showed up at my place to see if I was really alone, fell asleep on my single bed, began snoring like a chain saw, and left me to curl up on the floor, sleepless. I vowed to break it off with him. But I didn’t.

He would freak out when I hung out with male friends and there was any kind of lapse in my texting, and just this Friday when I was out late and then conked out when I got home without texting, he became cranky, suspicious, and jealous.

None of this is good. If he and I were in the same country, we’d be having a talk and perhaps breaking up. But as it stands, in my current state o’ mental-health, I’m just ignoring the bad behavior and putting off dealing with it.

2. OkCupidWith my short hair and nerdy, vaguely dykey appearance, I imagine I’m not prone to receiving the same kinds of messages as most women. I tried using OkCupid for a bit in Tokyo, but it was almost all men who were in town on business and wanted to cheat on their wives. I still remember one OkCupid “date” that I didn’t realize was a date, wherein I said goodnight and began to walk home, while the guy stood behind me slack-jawed, clearly shocked. I only realized later after reevaluating our conversation that he assumed we were going to have a hookup that night. And he’d made it obvious. But I am that clueless about these things.

So, I’ve gotten some fun messages lately on OKC:

“Is it weird that I want a girl to pretend I’m Superman and weaken me with kryptonite and play a sexy seductive villain and lead me into a trap like use green glowsticks as the kryptonite rocks?”

Yes… yes that is weird. At least as an opener. And I’ve re-read some of my openers. I’m pretty weird too so, y’know, weird on.

And from a man who listed his age as 95:

Hi,
“Like you, I am looking for chemistry and companionship as well, very insightful and have a high emotional intelligence; good at conversation and yes, I am older. Someone who, she and I will complementary each other. I have MONEY!!!!! One will lift the other and be a joy to be around. Looking more than just the out side. my cell phone is xxxxxxx. Text me give the best time to call back. I would like to meet for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine ASAP.”

I won’t write– because I think it might be horrible– what popped into my head when I read that “ASAP” bit. His profile claimed that he is looking for a Hugh Hefner type of situation. I… yeah. My boobs are NOT fake enough for that.

3. The co-worker

So a girl goes to a bar, with her entire department. Everyone sits around and drinks merrily. The girl (oh whatever, switching back to first-person)… I am trying the delicious but $9 house cocktails, while most everyone else is pounding $2 can of PBRs. (Because even though we’re all broke graduate students, I’m a yuppie. I’m also still living on J’s income so, there’s that.)

Around 12, most everyone decides that they’re tired, including me, and we rise en masse to head out. But one of the guys, a fellow whose bipolar disorder* has trended to the manic lately, and who is clearly completely wired at the moment, begs a few of us to stay. I acquiesced even though I tend to hate staying out late. “One more weak drink and I can still be home early.” I thought. And really, I was lonely. And I didn’t want to go home to my empty house.

Well, one more weak drink turned into a couple, but I wasn’t really drunk or even buzzed. Still fit to drive, in other words. The cocktails were tiny, in addition to expensive. But of the three of us that were hanging around, two were clearly feeling their booze. As I sat on the porch in the sultry Houston night air, watching the lightning flicker behind the trees, I talked to one of these guys about the loss of my marriage and how hard I am struggling these days to just exist.

I remember confiding how difficult a time I am having with the idea of dating, letting down my guard, etc.

All of a sudden he was on me, kissing me in a big wet slobbery way. I was shocked. I felt violated. I was shocked.

Clearly he regretted it the moment he was done; he retreated into his hooded sweatshirt and began apologizing. I didn’t know what to say, so I said it was okay. I sat back. I blinked.

Do you sense a trend here?

Is this what happens to single girls?

As an academic, he should know better. We talk about power and privilege and gender dynamics for a living. He should know better, but we’re all a bit mentally deranged in academia, so he still could ambush me like that.

There is another apology from him in my Facebook inbox that I haven’t replied to yet. I don’t know what to say. The next day I was actively traumatized, because I was already traumatized before that happened and I NEED to feel safe these days.

Thank god my mom is coming to visit tomorrow.

*Not making light of. Completely serious and trying to be accurate.

Two sides of the… boy?

I was thinking today (now that I am a bit more stable and not at the same risk of balcony-jumping I was a few weeks back).. how can I give up T? We have conversations like this, which I’ve wanted to have with a boy since I was about 9

(He had sent me a link to a shoe shore that had opened near his own store):

Me: その店の靴、全部を買いたいよ!それから世界の一番かわいい女性になる。

T: でも、世界で一番リズは今でも可愛いよ♡

Translation: I want to buy all of that store’s shoes. Then I’ll be the cutest girl in the world.

T: But you’re already the cutest girl in the world ♡

I mean.. c’mon. I led the witness. But because I’ve never had a boy say something like that to me in my entire life, I wasn’t prompting (really!) and I was genuinely all “oh shucks, me?” when I read that.

Also, I think I have a separate personality in Japanese…. I don’t say shit like that in English. English-Liz is far more jaded, sarcastic, and wary. Maybe it’s a facet of the language? Interesting…

So just when I was thinking “He’s such a sweetheart”, he f*ked me off royally. We met up at Shinjuku San-chome station, and neither of us could decide what to do about dinner, as it was nearly 10pm and we were both exhausted/hungry. “Indian food?” he suggested. I agreed instantly because, dude, Indian food.

He ordered the most expensive set on the menu. We went to pay and it came to around 3000 yen.

T: I only have 1000 yen on me, so here.

Me: ?! (Thinking “We could have gone somewhere cheaper/you could have ordered less etc.”)

I was pissed because this was after Pizza Saturday. I should just paste in screen caps of the Japanese Line conversation the way C did in this entry, but I’ll paraphrase instead.

T: What do you want to do about dinner?

Me: I was going to check and see if there’s a good pizza coupon tonight.

T: Okay.

Me: There is! 1100 yen off! Plus I have a 210 yen credit. So a large comes to….. only 2500 yen! What do you think? Should we order it?

T: Yes, we should order it then!

Me: What toppings do you want on your half?

T: You can pick!

Me: Let me know if you wanna fork it over for that chicken appetizer with fries thing you like (the Wafu Chicken Combo… bastard wafu chicken combo)

T: I love that combo

Me: I know. So should I order this? Let me know. I’m really really hungry as I skipped lunch. Is this okay?

T: Sure.

So I ordered and then the next exchange was:

Me: Pizza’s here. When do you think you’ll get to the apartment?

T: Soon, but I don’t know what to eat.

Me: ….. ???? You could eat…. pizza? Or… the chicken combo?

T: Really? Oh thank you so much!

Me: ….. ?????

(We’d ordered pizza 1000x before, and had the same conversation before, and always split the bill…. so I was thinking “okay, this is weird, but of course if he eats more than half he’ll give me half of the money…”)

Nope. Not a dime.

****

So tonight at the Indian restaurant I was -pissed-

We then went to a kombini (convenience store). I bought a banana and some bran-biscuit crap/non-food item for breakfast tomorrow. Just as I was paying, he said to the cashier: “Oh and Marlboro Menthol Lights.”

I whipped around like he’d grabbed my ass. My look must have been one of fire and brimstone as he said quickly “I’ll pay you back tomorrow.”

First he has me pay for his meat, and then his cigarettes? Two things that in conversation I’ve told him I am unwilling to use my money for? To contextualize, he knows that my financial situation is really dire right now. Yeah, I’m ordering food and not cooking…  I’ve been doing
research in the evenings and not getting back until late so it’s just wound up that way. Ok, ok, I still hate cooking too. That’s a part of it.

Bastard had better pay me back….  I can’t be the cutest girl on the planet if he keeps sponging my shoe money off of me (kidding! too broke for shoes). And I don’t forget money issues  between me and other people, which is why borrowing money genuinely upsets me.