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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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.

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”.

Children’s Consent

My boyfriend and I had an interesting argument. Not the good meaning of “interesting”.

The topic of pierced ears and children came up. I’m well aware ear piercing is essentially harmless and it’s very common, but I’ve personally never liked the idea of piercing an infant’s ears because it’s purely cosmetic and the only reason for is tradition.

Unfortunately, my boyfriend likes tradition. His reasons for it amount to tradition, superstition (it’s supposed to bring good luck), and a baby won’t remember it anyway.

First and foremost, I believe if “they won’t remember it” is an argument for anything, it’s probably not a good thing.

More importantly than that, my biggest reason, aside from it being a needless cosmetic procedure, is that I’d prefer waiting until my (non-existent) child is old enough to understand what ear piercing is and consent to do it because it’s her (or his) ears that will have a needle or gun shot through them. But my boyfriend threw all of that down in the name of “tradition”, saying he didn’t understand why waiting until a child is old enough to consent would be necessary.

That’s where I officially had a problem.

“Just because it’s what’s done doesn’t mean it’s what should be done!” – Cinderella, 2015

My boyfriend deemed my value of a child’s ability to consent and understand what will happen to their body to be irrational. I deemed his reasons of tradition and superstition to be sentimental, and a child’s supposed lack of memory (fun fact: studies have proven children as young as three months old can form memories) to be an archaic idea.

Should I ever change my mind about parenthood, it will spell the end of our relationship, even if he also changes his mind, because someone who values tradition and sentiments above a child’s well-being, even for a matter that’s supposedly harmless, is not someone I want to raise children with. The perhaps ironic thing here is he says it’s not a big deal. If that’s the case, why the rush to pierce a child’s ears before they have the ability to consent to the procedure? If it’s not a big deal, why is “they won’t remember it” a reason for it? If it’s really not a big deal, remembering the pain shouldn’t be an issue.

He stated the pain will go away, which is true. But he stated this in the same vein as “they won’t remember”. Never mind the pain will also go away for an older child, a teenager, or an adult.

And yes, I had my ears pierced as an infant, at seven months old. Considering I very rarely wear earrings, I really wish I hadn’t. On a different note, can someone please explain the borderline obsession with cosmetic procedures, especially about an infant?

Let’s be honest: it’s to make the adults feel good. It is not for the baby because the baby cannot grasp what’s going on, why, or give consent. It’s for the adults to fawn over and feel special. In the end, he said he would get a (female; of course, not male) child’s ears pierced as an infant because every woman in his family has done it. With that type of thinking, I’m surprised he isn’t a parent. After all, if he does something because everyone else does, why hasn’t he had a child thus far? That’s definitely something everyone (or almost everyone) in his family has done.

My frustration is I find this argument to be a sign of a bigger problem: my boyfriend doesn’t think. I don’t hate tradition itself, but this isn’t a tradition like putting up a Christmas tree for December 25th. This is a tradition that affects someone else (yes, babies and children are people). And no matter what reasons I presented, even pointing out factually that babies do have memories (whereas he had none they didn’t), they were drowned out in the name of tradition. That scares me. If he deems tradition and superstition to be of greater important than logic, consent, and autonomy, and believes someone’s potential lack of memory justifies bypassing their willingness, what else does he believe? What does he believe about me?

I said if we did have a child and he pierced our child’s ears without my knowledge or mutual agreement, I’d divorce him. His response to this was: “Jeez… So much for death do us part.”

I agreed two years ago to marry him. I may need to rethink if I can spend the rest of my life with someone whose primary concerns are tradition and sentiments.