What I Can’t Say

There are words and feelings I have constantly, constantly struggled to verbalize to my boyfriend. Mostly because I do not think he understands. So, I’m laying them out here. I don’t expect this to be read. I had a nightmare every night over the last three or four nights, presumably from stress. This is an attempt to lighten my mind.

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To Love A Stranger

Previous

I said so many times I was lucky. I was more wrong than I would ever know. If I could’ve foreseen this outcome, I would never have replied to your message.

I must admit it hurts. To know I will never have any closure. That I couldn’t foresee the last day we saw each other was really the last day forever.

You already told my sister you wouldn’t reply. That’s why this letter is on my blog and not in my email. Because I won’t needlessly use the email storage. Why wait for a reply I know will never come?

Unfortunately, I still have feelings that are sitting and tearing a hole in my heart. I suppose that’s what you meant when you told my sister you believe I’m guilt tripping. I can only guess because you didn’t say how.

I realized 2020 has nothing to do with these circumstances. I also realized the virus controlled the relationship. Despite I was visiting nearly every week, spent time around those at-risk relatives, and we slept in a total stranger’s home, you now believe I do not take the virus seriously, despite the precautions I do take. Those precautions are not enough for you. You believe any relationship between us will spread infection to your family and kill them.

Strangely, your siblings don’t agree. Your brother called it over-dramatic.

More strangely, I recall being very paranoid of the virus during March and April. So much so, my resolve was to commit suicide before the virus could claim my life because I saw no difference bewteen death from the virus and from my own hand. Your response to that was you didn’t want me to be a sacrifice for this virus. You didn’t want me to be so afraid. Perhaps you changed your mind and kept that secret too?

If such fear is not acknowledgement of the virus’s existence in your eyes, I can’t imagine what would be. Is it only acknowledgment when someone is terrified, fearing death around every corner? Does fear make someone a believer?

For me, it calls into question why you were in my home, around my things, touched my body when you believed all this time I was a virus on legs waiting to explode?

But I’m already struggling to make sense of the things you do, so that is likely a question best left unanswered.

Like your belief it’s reasonable to intentionally do damage to a relationship. You told my sister you knew cutting off the relationship suddenly would further damage it. I have never heard of anyone recognizing their actions would cause harm and still choosing to commit. Well, not unless they had a weapon.

Speaking of commit, I recall you saying you are committed to being my girlfriend, but not to having a future with me. Except you’re not committed to the former anymore. You cut me off again. And your response to the suggestion (via my sister) I could be hurt? “Whatever. That’s her problem.”

To all of my friends with more relationship experience than us, who are older and wiser, this makes zero sense. But to you, it is the height of being reasonable.

You consider yourself self-aware and accepting of your flaws, and consider me to “play victim” because I am utterly wrong, wrong, wrong to you – despite saying twice in conversation I am not flawless, and never having considered myself such in my life – and refuse to accept your perception of me. All while rejecting my perception of you.

You left me and came back with the most egotistical attitude I have only ever seen from Facebook and Tumblr bullies.

Like the ones who said it “needed to be said” I look homeless and look like nothing. Or those who said I deserve sexual harassment. Or the one who considered me a “gobshit” for not wanting my appearance to be brought up since it was irrelevant to the topic.

Yes, all of the people who do those things also considered me “playing victim”. And now, five years later, I learn you are no better.

You stalked my Reddit account. So much so, I had to delete it entirely. I had to change my Instagram name. And still, this is reasonable to you. It’s reasonable to you to stalk my accounts for posts you can then laugh behind my back about with my sister.

But to be dissatisfied with your behavior means I make everything about me.

Everything you accuse me fits you as well as it may fit me. But you only believe you are reasonable. You will never consider, or care, you may not be the only one who has a point. You reject everything I say, every way I feel, all while insisting I am the one who rejects your words.

I only want you to change how you speak to me. But you would never consider it could be a problem. Because I could see as a problem couldn’t possibly be if you don’t see it as one too.

All of this while claiming you still love me, and being wholly offended I don’t believe your love is real.

You told my sister you opened your heart to me and I crushed it. I really, really cannot fathom you believe only you ever gave any heart to the relationship. That I gave or had none. All while still claiming I am “playing victim”.

You constantly complained we had no communication, only to continually cut it off or try to have me talk through a third party (your sister). When I told you I don’t open up because you react badly, you insisted you don’t.

But you did. And you keep proving it.

I opened up when I said I feel unloved. You responded by getting angry at my feelings.

You told my sister you still view me as family. Minutes later, you said you would only cut off family if they did something unforgivable, and stated I hadn’t done such. But you cut me off anyway. You utilize my sister as a vessel and want me to use yours in the same manner.

I don’t think I’m family to you.

You told my sister you don’t want to see me, you don’t want to speak to me. You believe I don’t care and so, why should you? I will put aside that’s false – hence the pain – but it sounds like revenge. Maybe it is.

Or maybe you stopped caring as long ago as you stopped being committed.

You told my sister you can’t see a future with me as a girlfriend. As a friend, you said yes. But friendship could not work out.

Because my friends don’t cut me off!

It was my friends who reached out to me, not you. It was your sister who asked if I was okay, not you. It is my friends who are helping me handle this pain.

Not. You.

A friend of mine I’ve known since high school – though only reconnected with last year – invited me to hang out. He went through this pain with his ex-girlfriend. He hurt for a year. He invited me to talk, to say what I feel, to relax for the night.

He has no romantic interest in me. In his words, I’m too young for him. He wants nothing to do with me romantically. He doesn’t want a relationship with anyone at all because he is a workaholic. He has very limited free time.

But he made time. And he listened. He made me feel I had a voice, and one that mattered. He hugged me tight. And the only “cutting off” he did was disallowing me to drink any more alcohol when it was clear I was drunk.

Yet, your excuse for not talking to me for nearly two weeks is you weren’t paying attention. I’ve come to believe you don’t necessarily think that sounds better. You just don’t care it sounds bad.

And still, you believe you’re reasonable.

You claim you think about me every day while admitting you gave no thought to me at all.

The resulting headache from many attempts to solve that puzzle of logic tempts me to overdose on aspirin.

All of the above said, neither a relationship nor love can be forced. If you want nothing to do with me, I have no choice beyond accepting that. But I still can’t help but wonder.

When did five years stopped being “too much history”?

It’s very painful – more than I have words to adequately express – to know all of the times over the past years ultimately amounted to nothing. That they no longer have meaning. That they now serve only as pointless, painful memories. That they can ultimately vanish like they never happened.

Maybe that’s what hurts the most. That the end means everything that proceeded never mattered.

You told my sister you’re tired of the fighting. I am too. I despise fighting. But you are angry when I believe you don’t listen, when I believe you don’t understand. When I struggle to believe I make the list of things – not necessarily people, but things – that have some significance to you. It’s impossible not to fight.

But there is something I am exhausted of more than fighting. And that is the nostalgia.

My sister told you I said I miss when we couldn’t get enough of each other. You claim you miss those times and never took them for granted. I like to think I didn’t either. I have a long post on this blog about how I felt time stopped when I was with you.

And I’m very tired. Tired of missing the past.

I will never comprehend the connection your job loss and the relationship we had. While tragic – and I lost two jobs in two weeks, so I’m very familiar with it – it’s not an event I caused. Yet had it not happened, none of this would be happening. I would’ve visited you as we planned that weekend and all would be proceeding as normal.

But it happened and it somehow triggered the avalanche that has now claimed our former relationship.

I never saw reason the happy times had to stay in the past. I never saw why I couldn’t still long to see you, why we couldn’t laugh together again, why we couldn’t hug each other, why we couldn’t still be happy the other was there. I still see no reason those times couldn’t be brought to the present. Yes, even the hellish present of 2020.

When did just us stop being enough?

Was it when I could navigate the city alone? When we no longer had to worry about outside circumstances preventing us from seeing each other? When we thought we were secure?

That last one is the one that hangs in my head.

You want space. You told my sister to give you a week or two. You can have all the weeks you want. This letter is not meant to convince you of anything.

But in truth, I believe you have given up. I don’t believe you want to put in further effort. I believe you don’t consider any relationship between us worthwhile. Or me worthwhile. I feel positive this letter would only make you angrier, only further assure you that you are the only reasonable one between us, only further your belief I am wrongful.

You told my sister you never once implied that I am an abuser. But that is what it sounds like.

Because the tactics you accuse me of such as “playing victim” and insulting you (while, again, believing you never insulted me or talked down to me in any way) are indeed those of an emotional abuser.

But there is also a word for making someone question their own sanity and well-being: gaslighting.

This is not all about me or all about you, and yes, I know you will insist you never make it all about you, despite your absolute confidence nothing I say about you is correct and everything you say about me is correct.

Contrary to your beliefs, it is not a normal reaction to become angry when your partner states they feel unloved. No. A normal reaction is want to know why, to want to see what they see that is causing that feeling, to want to know when it started.

It is not normal to complain about communication while doing everything in your power to eliminate it.

Were this letter to reach your digital possession, I don’t believe you’d read so much as half of it before discarding it as another way of me “guilt tripping” and “playing victim”. Which is why I chose to put it here instead of directly send it. Because I know in the end, absolutely nothing I say and nothing I feel will have even the smallest amount of value to you.

Which utterly sucks because as much as it kills me inside to confess at this point, I very much still love you and want the relationship between us to revive.

But I also know it’s fruitless. You made it clear. You don’t want any communication. You don’t want me. And that’s fine. I’m not entitled to anything beyond my own death.

But despite what media and fears of the virus claim, I’m not a sentient disease vector whose only use is spreading infection (if I even have the infection…). I am human and being human comes with emotions. Emotions I needed to get out and chose to do so through this letter.

I still believe if we had a chance to talk face-to-face, this conclusion wouldn’t have been reached. But again, I realize it’s too late. I know this letter is the most closure I will get.

Perhaps my sister is more your type?

I don’t know how to end this letter. The memories can never leave, so my only choice is to hold them as tragic keepsakes. That’s fine. I want to keep them. The five years we unknowingly misspent can never be recovered. But the memories are there and I won’t make a prison of them.

Because… they still make me happy.

And as foolish, naive, and childish as it is, my dumb heart will never stop holding the tiniest bit of hope. It’s very faulty.

I wish you would reply, but it’s probably better I never receive an answer. Because I already know it will cause more pain.

And I’m already dying.

Such is the pain of loving a stranger.

Or rather, watching someone you thought you’d never imagine turn into one. Then again, who imagines that?

So, this is why love hurts.

Hope

I sincerely believe this lockdown will last for the remainder of 2020 and well into 2021.April 2020

Unfortunately, it seems I was correct. What I was wrong about was the rare possibility of reopening my blog in 2021. I’m going to do that now.

My shutdown post wasn’t for the sake of attention. Every word in that post is what I felt at the time. Suicidal feelings are strong, and I’m beginning to think I may struggle with them for the rest of my life, despite a decade passing before I felt that terribly again (although the first time, the mental struggle didn’t end for three years). That actually makes me wish that much more my life had not come into being. Struggling with the concept of your mere existence isn’t fun, to put it mildly.

As I said in that post, the only reason I am still here is I’ve yet to be able to intentionally bring harm upon my body, and I truly resent that incapability. However, a huge part of what drove the feelings that led me to write that post and shut down my blog was fear.

…if going outside absolutely dooms people to the virus and death, if it’s terrifying enough for suicide to be a better option

This post was in April. It’s now July. Yes, I was that scared of getting sick. That’s what hearing “stay home or people will die” will do to a person.

Months later, it’s now occurred to me… people really like to preach and pat themselves on the back.

The term I’ve found for it is “virtue signaling”, and if nothing else, I’ve realized life on the internet is really unhealthy. That’s nothing new, but with the economy on death’s door, the viciousness seems more blatant. If you ask social media, going outside is a crime akin to manslaughter and worthy of the death penalty. Offline? Nobody cares.

…people being arrested for being outside, celebrations being broken up…

Including the police. At least, in my town. My neighborhood had an unofficial little block party for the fireworks. The cops came by… and didn’t give two cents. They asked for a car that was double-parked to be moved, and told a couple to stop shooting fireworks off their lawn, not to ruin our fun, but because it posed a hazard. This was at night, after the city’s curfew (9pm). No arrests, no citations. Just wanting to stop safety hazards. The officer moved on – never got out of his cruiser! – leaving us to enjoy the unofficial fireworks show we were getting from the distance.

Watching those fireworks with neighbors as meringue music played. Somehow, I was so incredibly happy. The happiest I’ve been this year.

Today, I went to the beach. I haven’t been to the beach since 2013 or 2014. I prefer the pool, but the one I usually go to is under construction until late 2021, and the other open pools require summer memberships. Thus, the beach was my only viable option. It was nearly a one hour drive (oh, yeah; I got a new car in May), but a one hour drive that was worth it. Though I wished I had someone with me, I still had a great time and spent seven hours – from their opening to their closing – at the beach. The weather was perfect. Somehow, when I was enjoying myself in the water, all of these thoughts came to mind. Everyone was here to have fun. This is not what the internet would want to see, but this wasn’t the internet. It was real.

And somehow, I began to think if I really have to be here – if I can’t find the strength to take my life away – I’ll have to make the best of it. The more I pull away from the internet, especially social media, the more I see not only isn’t it a substitute for life offline, but it never came close.

That also means I am done feeling guilty for taking care of myself. I take care of a household. The internet expects everyone to be responsible for everyone. No. People say “think of someone besides yourself” until the people you think of are personal to you. You’re supposed to care about utter strangers, but not your family and friends. That is, unless said family and friends agree with the internet. Then, it’s okay to care about them.

While I was enjoying the fireworks last night and the beach day, I also thought about my relationship. My boyfriend and I are still a couple, but I do think the relationship may have run its course. In those moments, I wished he was with me, but I still enjoyed myself without him. Regarding the beach, I know I would’ve been waiting on him to get up and get ready because he almost never wakes up in the morning. It was very nice to be able to just go.

Simply put, we will not be partners in life. I want someone to actually share the responsibility of a household we build together, not someone whose idea of living together is me solely being responsible for a home while he lives in a parked RV nearby and still visits occasionally. The tension in our relationship has gotten so noticeable, even his sister believes I may call it quits, and I’m unsure she’s wrong (side note: his sister and niece have the same frustrations with him that I do). I said at least once I could imagine my life without him, but I don’t want to. Seems it’s called the “honeymoon phase” for a reason. I want him in my life, but I’m not so opposed to the idea of him not being there anymore, especially when I’m seeing I don’t miss him when I am having fun so much as I miss company. Had I watched the fireworks, danced to the music, or visited the beach with a friend, that longing to have someone with me wouldn’t have existed.

I want companionship, not specifically romance. I really wonder if coming to these realizations may spell the end of our relationship. I haven’t checked out yet – it’s not foregone – but it may be getting there. As for his sleeping late specifically, I now don’t care to bother. If he doesn’t get up, I go alone.

This post is titled “Hope”, but it’s not because I have hope for 2020, 2021, humanity, or my life. There’s definitely a chance down the road I will regret this post and the feelings that led me to shut down my blog will resurface. I really hate I’m not someone who’s glad to be alive and instead just making the best of being forced into existence since I’ve not found the strength to terminate. This post’s title is for the mere fact I want that to not be the case. I do hope I don’t regret this post and re-opening my blog. Only time will determine that.

In the meantime, I won’t feel guilty or ashamed for not being a hikikomori like Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter deem I should. Am I a murderer? The internet would say yes.

But I’m not sorry I don’t live online.

What’s It Like…?

To have someone who can be there for you in crisis?

To not have an unbreakable barrier between the two of you?

To not be lonely?

To be a priority to someone?

To reside in the same state as your partner?

To be one of the friends who can see their partner when they want instead of the one friend who can only envy?

To have someone you really can tell anything?

To have someone you can talk to?

To have someone who takes crisis seriously?

To have someone who doesn’t downplay your problems?

To have a relationship that moves only forward and never backward?

To have someone who doesn’t think of life as a Disney fairytale?

To have someone who isn’t sheltered?

To have someone who recognizes others’ struggling?

To have someone who with a realistic view of the world?

To have someone who can show up?

To have someone who… cares?

I thought I knew. Like many things, it seems I don’t. Perhaps it’s a luxury I never will.

The countless weeks – inevitably, countless months – weren’t supposed to last forever, and I thought they were finally gone. But I was very wrong. They are here to stay and it will always be this way. There’s nothing I can do but accept that.

A sincere message for those of you with your partners physically nearby: You are luckier than you will ever know and more fortunate than many can dream of. May you remain close until death separates you… and hopefully, that’s temporary.

If I give up altogether, will I stop being disappointed?

The Year of No Love?

Seems the only thing I can make last is my job. Which is good.

I came to realize something about my (ex?)boyfriend: he likes sleeping. A lot.

I invited him to sleep at my house since I moved and the others in the household were okay with it. I know he likes to sleep late. However, I assumed it was common manners to not sleep until 3pm in someone else’s home.

Apparently not. In fact, he claims expecting him not to sleep late in my home was an unspoken expectation.

I never realized before that day I had to tell him how to behave. I suppose that’s a lesson about assuming everyone has the same idea of manners as you.

By the time he finally got up, I had to go out for some errands. He didn’t want to come and I didn’t want to argue, so I left him be to play games and YouTube on my TV. And brought back food.

Somehow, he can’t figure out why I’m upset. I feel like this is the line between “lacking foresight” and “being clueless”.

I am by no means super productive on my days off. However, if he only came to sleep all day and play games the rest of the afternoon, why did he want to come at all? By the time I came back, he had to leave within an hour for the bus. I should mention the night before was fine. Only the morning was the problem.

I dared to finally open my mouth about being upset yesterday. Only to be dismissed with an accusation of placing silent expectations on him (again, I’m supposed to tell a grown man how to behave?), and worsening his depression because of my “mood swing” (I was upset since the morning; hardly a mood swing).

I don’t want any more sleepovers at my place or his.

I’m also starting to wonder if I really want this to be my life.

To celebrate our fifth anniversary, we were planning a trip. But I think that planning has now been left to me, and I think I’m going to cancel. I don’t want to spend money on a hotel and park, only for him to sleep every morning away and spend the afternoon and night in the arcade. Yes, I love video games too, but not like that. If I’m going to spend my time alone in the park while he does his thing, why not go alone to begin with?

Come to think of it, I liked cats a lot more too before he got his. I digress.

I said I want to marry him. But I really don’t anymore. It goes without saying I’m not adventurous, but there’d hardly be any difference between him and a platonic roommate. No, I don’t want to spend of my life at war with his sleeping differences.

Before the new year, I was teasing a bit I want to do things like skating and biking with him. He vehemently opposed due to never having done those things, but I want to do them for that reason. But after this, I just invited a friend to go skating when we both find the free time together. She readily agreed.

It’s nice to have someone to do things with, but I think I better re-adjust to doing them alone. He’s not committing a crime. He’s doing what he likes best and I can’t hold it against him. But it’s obvious we don’t match up in that. I suppose there’s a reason for the expression that if you want something done, you have to do it yourself.

I begged him at least once every year of our relationship (minus this one) to take me strawberry-picking. Turns out there are farms for that in my state. I guess I can add that to my list.

As for the trip I mentioned, I guess I’ll go alone, take family, or simply keep the money in my savings.

Maybe “no love” is over-exaggerating. But there is definitely “nothing in common”.