I Am A Terrible Friend

Friends are supposed to be happy for each other, not jealous for what the other has.

I am always happy for my friends when good things happen to them. But I can’t lie. I’m jealous of them too.

My friends, who have wonderful spouses who stick by them, who make them part of their family (married or not), who keep their spirits high, who smile for them.

And I will never have that.

Once upon a time, we had “too much history”. Now, the reaction to anything is to break up. While I blame myself for being naive, I couldn’t have imagined every supposedly loving thing he ever said was a lie.

I made the mistake of mentioning I was invited to an NYE party and wanted to go. The party was never a certain thing, and it ultimately seems it’s not happening, so I’m not going. But the mere possibility had me banned from his home for an unspecified amount of time because – as he always says – he and they “aren’t taking any chances”.

Despite he took a chance when we to an airBNB in April, and he smoked with the hosts.

Despite I went to the beach twice and attended a neighborhood fireworks party for July 4th.

Despite I stayed four days a week ago.

Despite I’ve been exposed all year due to my job, though he believes my job requiring masks negates the numerous (over a thousand) employees kept in the building at any given time… and that multiple locations, mine included, have had multiple outbreaks. My job is also not clean and I touch countless filthy surfaces and items. And there was a four hundred employee outbreak I was never aware of.

But masks mean that outbreak, and me having no idea who or what I’ve been exposed to, doesn’t terrify him (despite it still happened?).

It’s extremely interesting to me I care only about myself in his eyes after I spent money to travel to be with him, and for food, and for a few gifts (one of which was expensive). I wouldn’t have done that if I could’ve foreseen this.

I vented to a friend, who agreed about the party, but disagreed the freaking out was justified.

I tested negative twice, I never intended to visit him if the party happened anyway (something I had to yell multiple times, and he still didn’t hear until I spelled it out for him), and I planned to get tested after the party if I went. Although, he’s made it clear a negative test means nothing to him. My being is still to be feared.

Unless I’m spending money on him, it seems.

His only response is “everyone is struggling”. This seems to be the equivalent of “crabs in a bucket”. He and everyone he knows is miserable, so no one is else is supposed to try to do anything to stave off depression?

Ironically, this is the person who tries to convince me I shouldn’t take my life and it’s worth living. Seems he finally shut up about that.

He also once complained I make him out to be “the bad guy” to my friends when I vent to them. Interestingly, my friends have never ostracized him like he had his family do to me for something that hasn’t happened. Oh, and one of his siblings stole money from me.

I thought he came to the hospital after the bus collision because I was wrong about him not caring. No, he came only because the hospital mandates masks.

I’m now, in his eyes, the same as his worst ex.

His worst ex assaulted him, and caused him a nervous breakdown that resulted in him staying in a mental ward.

I wonder if I was the same as his worst ex when I came for Thanksgiving after testing negative twice.

Note the date: December 23rd. A week ago. How quickly things change.

But maybe the following image is less surprising. Things can change in years.

Text messages I kept in an email draft to remember. The headline of one is “he loves me”.

I think this year took the love with it.

To my friends, though they don’t read my blog, I do apologize for my feelings of envy. I wish them nothing but long and happy lives with their spouses. They absolutely deserve their spouses, and their spouses, for being the amazing partners they are, deserve them.

Please never stop caring for each other. I am always happy for you.

As your friend, always.

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.

The End Of A Decade

The 2010s are almost over. I must admit it’s been an eventful decade for me, especially since its start was terrible! The same could be said for the first decade era I lived through (2000 – 2010), but I don’t remember much before 2006.

Occasionally, I wish I remained in my hometown and grew up with my childhood best friends, especially since there was ultimately no good reason for moving as much as I did, let alone to new cities (my mom didn’t get along with people). Reconnecting with my childhood best friend via Facebook only serves to strengthen that wish. It’s to the point I’ve made sims and stories based on what my life could be like if I never moved. It’d likely be the same, but it’d be in the place I called home and the events of 2010 (which I call the worst year of my life) would’ve never occurred.

Of course, I wouldn’t have my current best friend, nor any of the friends I have now, and I possibly would have a more distant relationship with my boyfriend since it’s harder to get to where he lives from my hometown than from where I live now. There’s a reason I’d be content burning every year of my life that preceded 2011, and that particular year is only because it’s the one where I met my best friend. Otherwise, I’d burn every year before 2015, when I met my boyfriend. If I didn’t have him, I’d burn every piece until July 2019 when I got my current job.

Cheesy as it is, the power of love and the power of friendship are real. It may be a bit unhealthy, but I’m not kidding when I say my friends and my boyfriend are the only reason I care about my life. Yes, my family is excluded from that because, as much as I love them, I strive not to be like any of them. They’re terrible role models.

The one thing I can say is almost every year of this decade had a major event. Sadly, the one in 2010 is the biggest one, and it’s another reason I’d burn that year to utter ashes if I could. I’m going to skip that one and start with 2011 because I simply do not want to talk any more about 2010 right now.

  • 2011: I met my best friend of now eight years (and counting)
  • 2012: Nothing! I would say I turned 18, but that age really changes nothing.
  • 2013: No more high school! I’m free! Hallelujah!
  • 2014: I learned community college sucks and dropped out.
  • 2015: I met mi amor, and as of January 2020, we will have known each other for five years (and been a couple for 4 1/2)!
  • 2016: My first job, which I was foolishly excited about. If only I could’ve foreseen how much I’d grow to hate it.
  • 2017: I’d say being promoted to full-time, but that was an utter disaster and is the reason to refuse to ever try for a higher position again. So nothing for this year too.
  • 2018: Back to school, and it was a waste of time and money.
  • 2019: The year of the jobs! Counting a second job I’m about to start (that pays more than my current, but is seasonal), I will have had six jobs this year! Seven if I count the school’s internship and eight if I count my recent venture into DoorDash. I’m happy with my current job, though. Just wish they would stop sending people home early every day! Tax time is going to be fun. Six jobs will owe me a tax form (not seven; DoorDash sends a form only if a dasher makes $600, and I doubt I’ll hit $100).

I am looking forward to 2020 – mostly to celebrate five years with my boyfriend and hopefully going on the special trip I’m trying to save up for to be our five-year anniversary special – but I’m also scared of what the next decade will hold. I hate I’ve lived where I currently am for almost ten years. I certainly don’t want to live here for another ten.

One of my high school classmates has a master’s in psychology and recently got an internship she was aiming for. She graduated a year before I did, and she has definitely accomplished a lot in those seven years. My best friend, six years after graduation, is going to comic and anime conventions, and having the time of her life, often in NYC. I’m so happy for both of them, but I admit I wish my life was thrilling like theirs are. Unfortunately, I couldn’t care less for school or conventions, so those things wouldn’t make me happy. Aside from where I live, I genuinely am happy with my life, but I really don’t know if I have any exciting interests. Strangely, I did achieve something none of my friends have yet: my driver’s license and a car. But that probably still pales in comparison to being on the way to becoming a therapist or being a regular at conventions. Maybe I’ll find something someday. Maybe not. I guess that’s the pitfall of liking a quiet life where your favorite spot is beneath your bed covers. Too bad quiet can’t be exciting.

If nothing else, I want the 2020s to be the decade I finally accomplish my ultimate goal: moving into my own apartment!

And a passport. I want to get that just to have it.

Setting The Bar Low

I don’t like to bring up social issues on this blog. There’s probably something that makes this seem like a lie, but I genuinely don’t. However, this is one I couldn’t ignore.

I’d rather not get into the details, but two days ago, I got a huge reminder of how fortunate I am to have my boyfriend. I say that in spite of the arguments and near breakups we’ve had, and I mean it. I’ve read a lot how men are praised for doing the bare minimum, especially when it comes to caring for their children, and I agree it’s ridiculous if that’s the case. At the same time, when you’ve never gotten even that, the bare minimum can seem like the peak of the mountain.

A friend of mine is in a very rough spot right now. She’s staying with friends and relatives, alternating between houses. She had to argue with her boyfriend just to get his attention and check in with him if he’s home or not, despite he knew she had to go out. From her frustration and arguing, it was obvious this happened a lot. He apparently has a habit of ignoring her just to rile her up (if she’s not exaggerating). Even when she finally got a hold of him, they continued arguing. All because she wanted to know if he was home or not so he could possibly let her in.

My boyfriend came with me when I needed a root canal for no other reason than I asked and was anxious. He asked the dentist if he could hold my hand. He couldn’t (dentist said certain things splatter), but he was allowed to stay in the room, so he did. Note my boyfriend lives thirty miles away, so this is going out of his way. He still did it, and arranged his work schedule to allow him the time for it.

That specific example may not be the bare minimum, but caring for your partner’s well-being is. January 2020 will mark five years since we met (June 2020 will be five years of being a couple), so any honeymoon phase ended long ago.

I hear of relationship struggles like my friend’s all the time. In general, it’s a running joke a woman’s first child is her husband and it’s so odd to me because that doesn’t describe my boyfriend at all. Contrarily, as an example, we argue (playfully) about who does domestic chores better and he insists on doing certain ones because “I don’t do it right”. Yet for some women, their boyfriend or husband washing a single dish would be a small victory.

I know being over the moon for doing what anyone who shares a household or a relationship should do is setting the bar low (note: I’m talking heaps of praise, not simple appreciation and a thank you), and my boyfriend agrees, but it’s hard not to feel I lucked out when I grew up with and continue to be surrounded by relationships where it’s an endless battle solely to get a helping hand. When my friend was arguing with her boyfriend on the phone to know if he’s home, my mind couldn’t stop drifting to my boyfriend, who’d wait at home all day until I came back if he knew I couldn’t get in without him (or give me the key, which is more sensible).

I feel writing this post is mocking people who have these struggles in their relationships, and that is not my intent. Rather, it’s bewildering to me this is so common, getting the bare minimum feels like winning a battle. I’m describing an observation, not trying to belittle others, and a very confusing one at that.

Who Comes First?

Something recently told to me: “Your spouse should always be your #1 priority, and you should be theirs.”

I really hope there’s context included in that because if not, I have a big problem.

First of all, if I find out my boyfriend is “ranking” who he loves more, the wedding is off. Yes, I know everyone has people they love more than others. That’s human nature. However, I didn’t agree to be his girlfriend to enter a love competition.

Yes, I love my boyfriend and I know he loves me. But his family was there first. His friends were there first. It’s one thing if we agreed to certain plans and he suddenly cancelled them, but if that’s not the case, I have zero problem if he wants to go hang out with his best friend/sister/niece/whoever else instead of me. And if this is one of those “that’ll change when you marry him” things, I think we need to push the wedding date further down a few years.

Even cancelling plans has exceptions. There was an occasion some time ago where we finally managed to make some (admittedly last-minute) plans to be together, only for him to have to cancel because his niece had to be picked up from school and no one else was available. He was actually more furious than I was about that (mostly because it was suddenly sprung on him, and he wasn’t even asked if he would be okay with that; he could’ve easily been stuck at work), but as much as I wanted to us to get together that day, I would’ve rammed my foot up his behind if he didn’t pick up his niece. I was bitter about it, I admit, but I was not about to let a child be endangered, and thankfully, neither was he. We did get together the following week without trouble, though that didn’t go as planned because of our own pettiness. Such is life.

All of the above said, we do have our own troubles with our families, which is why that quote desperately needs context to it. No one should always be someone’s top priority. Priorities must change periodically. Even without urgent matters like the situation with his niece, I certainly wouldn’t feel neglected because he wants to spend a night, or a week, with a relative or a friend. As long as he does nothing he shouldn’t – and yes, he knows what falls under that – I couldn’t care less. Heck, after the “honeymoon” phase wears off, I’ll probably appreciate having the house to myself for a while. Except for when I feel scared in the dark. Then, I’ll miss him.