Admittedly a Stalker

I opened a Bumble account with the sole intention of seeing when he opened one. You can remain hidden so they can’t see you, and I changed my location to his town.

Sure enough, by Monday morning he was there. I wasn’t entirely surprised and I didn’t feel the horrible sinking feeling I might have expected to feel. I felt dead, angry and disappointed. I am heart broken but this is a very different kind of heart break than I’ve experienced before. I’m not exactly sure what it is I feel.

My fitness account covers 4 family members so he was on my account since the kids don’t use it. I promptly asked all of my friends to unfollow him and I removed him from my account. Before the end of the evening he must have somehow checked his fitness account to realize he was no longer subscribed and then blocked everyone.

After that his dating profile also disappeared – so I sort of wonder if it was bait?

I booked a trip end of the month to see a friend in Atlanta. I wish it was sooner but that was the earliest we can arrange.

I’ve already had one session this week with my therapist. She had had one session with Scott and told me that she get it was the best thing for me to be out of that relationship, that he had very serious anger issues. She didn’t explain or dive in further, but only said she picked it up in their first and only conversation.

I’ve told the story to as many friends who will listen. I’ve reached out to them when I feel weak. I removed his number from my phone and wrote it on paper and put it away. The peloton account was the only place I could see his activity because he has no social media and I was checking when he was working out the last few days. So it’s better he’s blocked me.

I wonder why I never have the strength to do the same. To let the guillotine just come down. He has done that to me multiple times – more times and more ways than I can count now. I suppose to preserve his own side of the story, what he tells himself to be true.

I just checked Bumble again. His profile is gone. So either is was bait or he has also gone incognito.

What do you think?

Where Are My Armchair Psychiatrists?!

This one was in writing….give me feedback on both sides….I really want to break this down. My bff gave me insight I didn’t see to Scott’s replies.

……………………………………………..

The set up – we had been talking for two weeks post a fight where he left me in a hotel in his city to get home on my own and he had been dropping hints about wanting to see me and knowing where he lived. I was afraid to go there as no trip to Scott’s was successful, they all had resulted in his abandoning me in some form or another and ended in arguments. However, since January, he had come up to me for every trip and had spent 3 weeks straight in February at my home, so in all fairness, it was my turn.

I acknowledged that, and sent him a text with a couples thing we could do together over 2 weeks. Each day you share one thing you like about each other and the relationship and talk about it – basically reminding yourself why you are in the relationship. I asked if he would do it with me and I was looking for reassurance as well as him stating he would not, yet again, throw me out or abandon me should he get angry (and actually, he didn’t do that this time, which is unique with Scott and something I acknowledge about him that I saw as the potential I was just unable to tap into further – he wants to grow, and he listens when he realizes he is hurting me – I just don’t know how to help him do it without the terrible fights first). I absolutely was looking for and needed him to communicate two things to me: he would not abandon me and he would try the couples thing willingly. I swear, I don’t even know how it goes from trying to say “I need you to support me” to a full fledged fight.

This one was pretty ugly and ultimately resulted in him blocking my phone so we emailed. My email is italics.

Scott, I wish there was another way, I wish it hadn’t ended like this as it has so many times before.  This is our horrible loop.  
Somehow, I cannot seem to find the right words.  I cannot do the right thing.  I cannot find the right path to settle you. I am unable to make you happy, Scott.  Nothing I can say or do pleases you anymore.  I feel a constant anxiety and tension in an attempt to please you, I want to so desperately and I keep falling short.   
I want to write so many things, and I can’t even find the words to express my deep sadness that we were even unable to try when we both said we so desperately wanted to try.  
I strive so hard to understand what just happened today, where I went wrong, what I could have said or done differently and how we could have avoided confrontation yet again.  It’s been under the surface in every conversation, every text.  We can’t seem to get away from it.  
I was scared to come to you, but I realized I needed to set it aside and just come and be in your arms and I would be safe there, I just needed you to tell me that today, to tell me that I would be safe in your arms and we would work through these things.  I set aside my fears and placed my trust in you to show you how much I value our relationship by texting something we could try together so we could have open dialogue face to face.   I am unsure how our conversation took a turn when I was being vulnerable by offering to come to you when I was scared.  I needed reassurance.
I thought being in your arms tonight would remove this feeling, I wanted that so badly, but even then we could not find middle ground.  Somehow, I am always wrong and saying and doing the wrong thing and this is a constant in our relationship.  I feel like I cannot be good enough, that I am never right, and that you will never truly love me for who I am.  I know I have so much to work on and I will be working on these things for myself, in my life.
I wish you all the good things the world has to offer and may you find all the joy and peace you deserve.  You are the best among us.  I have loved you deeply and profoundly
(in hindsight I am sorry I wrote this, I do not feel this way)

Scotts reply: All I ever asked in these recent conversations to think about how I felt. To show some- any empathy for the emotional abuse you have so readily available. That was all. It’s not my role to be your emotional punching bag nor have to provide emotional stability as you continue to abuse everyone around you.

Good luck to you. Any else you’ve got to say to me will need to come after you show some empathy for all the gaslighting. You know where I live. Enjoy Portland. I here it’s nice

Why would I ever come to you when you are cruel?
This is why I am scared
I need safety and security and this isn’t it Scott. This is cruelty when I am being vulnerable. Twice today. 
I said I would come. I put aside my fear and asked for support by sending the couples text.  
Then I sent a kind message and you come back with cruelty.  You are unkind and unsympathetic.  
I have never said a cruel word to you. I have never kicked you to the curb the way you have done to me so many times. You treat me worse than a dog Scott. 
You can’t see your own gaslighting and abuse. I am willing to work On mine. You have never once, not once in this relationship, accepted your part in any of our falling out. 
You can’t help yourself, I understand. Your wounds are deep so you need to be cruel to me instead. I’m an easy target for your cruelty. You shouldn’t have to behave like that because you are a better man than sending childish barbs.  
I will speak to you when you stop insulting me and being cruel. I will come to you when you are ready to be kind to be and love me.  But this behavior has to stop. You have been an asshole to me all week and you are purposely distorting anything you can.  
Stop flinging childish insults.  
I have no desire to go tit for tat – none. I was ready to come to you. But if you act like a jerk and treat me like crap you can remain alone. 

I will say this very clearly again. 
I love you. I want to be with you. At no time have I ever intentionally emotionally abused you or gaslighted you.  I do not know your demons that you continue to raise these two things and because we have not done any work together on our past demons, this is the shit that’s going to keep coming up because it’s buried so fucking deep you can’t even see it anymore.  I am not your enemy. I am in love with you and I am your partner.  I don’t know who hurt you and how in the past but I refuse to let you keep taking it out on me and will not accept outright childish cruelty or abandonment.  
There is nothing I wouldn’t try to do with you together.   But there were two pieces in this puzzle.
 

Scotts reply: Wow. All I ask was for you to understand how I felt and feel. That’s not “cruel”. That’s all I asked. That’s all I ever asked from you. For understanding in how I feel when I’m disrespected, belittled, devalued. That’s not cruel. That’s dialogue and communication. No need for you to lash out with another outburst. I’m excited for you and the new path you wish to pursue for your future. I’m sure you will find all the success you desire

How about when I’m disrespected, belittled and devalued?  You don’t believe you have done this to me?  You have no part in that right?
Here’s the thing – I was willing to put myself out of my comfort zone and come to you.  I was willing to do whatever it took and you pushed me away yet again. You don’t want this to work. 
I was willing to put aside therapy in understanding and acceptance. 
Sounds to me (and it’s in writing) that you lashed out. You had the outburst. But only you can twist actual facts.  You have a knack for it. 
If you want to ever repair this, stop with the low blows. 
I have left the door open. I made myself clear.  
Don’t contact me again unless you want to repair this relationship.    
I do not want to hear from you again Scott unless You want to repair this relationship. Please respect my wishes.  
When people love one another, they don’t attack, they find ways to repair.  I am willing to do what it takes  but you have to back down too.  And you just aren’t even taking a half step.  You are not showing love anymore.  
So, if you don’t feel love, don’t act out of ill will

I regretted that last email, because I did want to just work it our face to face and the whole string was childish. This is when I found out he blocked me and I had to use a burner number to contact him. I ended up calling and telling him I would come, I knew it was the only way. And that’s the groundwork for the 13 days from the previous posts.

Here you can see how he refers to “another outburst” which pretty much means any time I had any type of emotion – sadness, anger, frustration – he considered it an outburst. And then, ultimately, a “roadshow”

Ok, give me feedback

The 5 Things That Led to the End

Here is the set up

The last argument started because I approached him at a quiet time to ask when would be a good time to have our talk. I had been there 12 days and we still had to work things out

He agreed we had a lot to talk about and said whenever I wanted and he followed up with “this is your thing” indicating that “couples therapy” or fixing the relationship was really my bag of tricks. He threw an insult in as well saying “I don’t read vogue” and I replied with “please don’t insult my intelligence, you’ve said that multiple times now, do I look stupid and like I read cosmo/vogue for my communication skills?” I knew this wasn’t going well already but I also felt I wasn’t going to crumble as much as I had for him in the past.

In hindsight I should have just picked a time and moved forward but instead I tried to negotiate the right time with him and that’s when the conversation deteriorated beyond my control.

The major issue originated around the fact that he smoked while I was there and smoking is a full deal breaker/boundary for me. I can manage a cigar once in a while but it’s really hard for me as I am allergic to smoke. I gag, my eyes water, my throat closes and I literally want to vomit. Then the psychological piece of repulsion kicks in because I thinks it’s just gross. We already managed a couple of instances where I had, in fact, managed him smoking a cigar (and he tried really hard to clean it up for me, but it was still pretty bad and he knew it – he really doubted my reaction to it). I wasn’t happy, but I dealt with it and didn’t want to make it the end of the world. However, nothing was as blatant at this example.

(Saturday) While I was napping he went to the porch to smoke a cigar. I can’t even imagine how he thought this was ok or acceptable. When I woke and saw this I immediately burst into tears and walked back inside. I tried to wait but couldn’t and I knew walking back out there while he was on the phone and enjoying his cigar was wrong. I knew it and couldn’t stop myself. As tears were running down my face I opened the door and he pulled out his earbud and said “why are you crying” and I replied with “why are you smoking when you know that’s my dealbreaker?” And went back inside. He said some shitty machismo things to his sister which I could hear through the window and I waited for him to come inside.

When he came inside he asked again, not very nicely, why I was crying, and I asked him to come sit and face me on the couch. I acknowledged I should not have come outside the second time and interrupted when I was upset (I was calm but I was crying and his sister could hear what we both said which embarrassed him, but there was no drama). However, when I saw him smoking I couldn’t control my reaction and I felt diminished and unimportant and devalued. Almost immediately he launched into a thousand reasons why he should be able to smoke if he’s stressed including “you take a bucket of pills for your anxiety.” At that point I said he was insulting me and if he couldn’t stay on topic, which was his smoking, then I was going to go upstairs and shower. He kept going after me at that point and I said I wasn’t going to be spoken to that way and walked upstairs to shower. I called down to him when I was done.

While he was in the shower he said “no rush to get ready I cancelled dinner and you can figure out what we are going to do now”.

He didn’t bother to try and get rid of the tobacco smell from his face/breath/hands which he normally does a pretty good job of so I wouldn’t touch him or kiss him the entire evening. I know this bothered him but he didn’t say a word about it. Friends met us out and he drank heavily. I was not sulking and we had a good time until my son had a terrible car accident and we became distracted with that. Scott was so drunk and I was so distracted that we just passed out upon arriving home.

(Sunday) The next day we didn’t speak very much but had a lovely day walking, hitting golf balls and making dinner together.

That’s the gist of the backstory. I was there a week when the smoking incident happened. It seemed to lie down a bit that Sunday. And by Wednesday we seemed to be in a better place which is why I approached the conversation again. It was the entire point of my trip: repair the relationship. I was supposed to leave in a day or two and was wanting to have the conversation.

……………

Instead of agreeing on a time to talk, the conversation somehow disintegrated quickly into a debate. I believe I may have said I wanted feedback and that’s where it went sideways.

I had been working hard to incorporate his requests into my behavior while I was there. I was conscious of telling him my schedule of when I was working, eating, working out etc. I was more aware of being clear of what I wanted and when as he seemed to prefer me being directive. When I said this he looked at me with disgust and said “you really think you’re doing better?! What about that roadshow on my porch?” When I genuinely had no idea what he meant (about “roadshow”) and asked twice he then said “I’m going to go back to scrolling on my phone if you are going to play dumb because we’ve had this conversation about your behavior already.” Then it kicked in that my “roadshow” were the tears when he was smoking. The final nail in the coffin (or the point of no return) was when I put my foot down and said “so, you have no accountability in this equation? You were out there smoking when you promised not to smoke around me and I am not able to feel some sort of way about that and you are calling it a roadshow like it was a dramatic outburst.” He said it was. Everything was going to revolve around this one incident of mine, I knew there was going to be no accountability on his part. I have lived this episode for months, I knew my part and his part. I wasn’t willing to play that assigned role any longer. I had to stand up for myself. Smoking is a deal breaker.

At this point he stood up (we were facing one another in the couch) and walked behind me (because he was angry – but if you recall his letter he doesn’t like to be told he is angry) where I could not see him and he kept talking – here is what came next – a series of sideways barbs that I knew nothing about until this very moment because Scott has no idea how to have an adult conversation:

1. When we were out drinking with his daughter and her bf (day 4)I suggested to the bf to buy Scott a bottle of scotch because Scott is so extraordinarily generous. The bf lives there at least 4 nights a week and the kitchen snd main living room are in Scotts main home. So while the daughter pays rent, the boy still encroaches on Scott’s area and when Scott spends weeks with me, he lives there full time (rent free). The boy was super insulted I suggested it and I’m sure I got a look on my face but all I said was “he’s very good and very generous to you”. The next day I told Scott the entire story. I said I understood why his daughter was dating the boy because his reaction was much like I expect Scott’s would be at that age, too much bravado – like I’m not doing shit for some old man. Scott said the kid was like him and thought he was a little shit and we moved on. We may have referenced it up once or twice more in the week.

The day of the argument (a week after the event) he said (behind me where I could not see him) “and Shane won’t come here anymore because you yelled at him”. When I said I didn’t yell at anyone (which is very true, it was a conversation only), Scott said “it’s his perception! It’s not your place to get involved. Stay out of my kids life”.

Opinion?

2. We are walking around the street and see a home for sale. He takes the paper and gets excited when he sees the price. When he gets home he immediately starts telling his daughter how much the house is going for and they start discussing how much they could sell their home for. He is super excited. He also has no intention of selling his home. When his daughter leaves the house to start asking questions to understand where he is coming from. The other home is much larger and more updated and on a bigger lot. I am ALWAYS asking questions, it’s my personality. He knows this about me. I was trying to understand why he was saying he would get the same price for his home. I am also going to sell my own home soon and I am trying to understand how the market works and what he might understand/know differently than what I do.

During the argument (4 days after the house conversation) he threw at me “and you told me right in front of my daughter that our house was a piece of crap”.

Opinion?

3. During the argument he said “and the next time you text your therapist about me you might want to cover your phone because now I’ve lost all trust in you”.

He refused to clarify this comment, when it happened or what he read. I asked multiple times and he stated he refused to tell. I stated that I do not text my therapist except to confirm an appt, so he must have a read a text to a friend while in the car, and it was pretty interesting he was saying he lost trust in me when he was the one who read my text, wouldn’t tell me when or what it said, and lost trust in me. He still refused to state what he saw but said “these things happen when you leave your phone on your lap.” I suggested he tell me what he saw or show him my phone as I have nothing to hide from him but he refused to even speak at this point.

This comment also came from behind me and not face to face.

Opinion?

4. At this point he came around to face me, but on the opposite side of the couch and standing, so not at eye level as I was sitting. He called my walking out on the back porch a roadshow again. I told him to stop insulting me. There was no tantrum, I was not a child, and all I did was walk out on the porch and make a statement calmly at an inappropriate time – but it was hardly worthy of being called a roadshow when he was the one who crossed the line in the first place.

5. He then started spouting words I had used out of context and said I was “repulsed by him” (I said I was repulsed by his smoking – I asked him to go lick his ashtray and see if he felt repulsed and get back to me) . That he was an “alcoholic” There were more but for the life of me, they didn’t stick.

He stopped moving at that moment and said “I’m not the guy. I’m not the guy to change for anyone. It’s my house. If I want to smoke a cigar and drink on my porch on a Saturday I’m going to do it and no one is going to tell me not to”. His face was blank and his eyes were dead. There was no emotion there at all. I had seen this look before and it has confused me. I don’t think he knows how to feel love, he looks at me like he hates that he loves me.

Thoughts?

………

The ending –

At that – I replied “well there’s our answer”

I got up and went upstairs and cried. I felt sick. This man just chose smoking as being more important than our relationship and while I realize its not quite that black and white, that is how it feels. And what’s worse, when he said it to me I looked at him with pause and thought to myself “can I accept him for who he is and accept the smoking?” I actually thought about compromising my own standards for a man who is not worthy of me. I knew he was right about one thing, he had every right to smoke and drink in his own home. I also knew I didn’t have to be there for it, that was my choice.

Later that night when he came up he went into the guest room and actually locked the door. I went over and knocked to ask why he would lock the door (we sleep with an open door in his home) and he made up some weird thing about not being surprised in the middle of the night. At that point I said I pitied him for not understanding what love really was because I would have slept with him in the same bed on our last night together and we could have said goodbye peacefully.

I am certain the entire 13 days I spent with Scott neither of us said I love you to the other.

The next day he never said a word to me but I went and sat next to him on the couch and let the tears roll. He asked why I was sitting there and I replied I was sad for all the things we wouldn’t have. I asked him if he wanted one last walk together which we did. He took my hand and held it as we walked the neighborhood though we didn’t speak.

He hugged me goodbye while I sobbed and told me not to cry. He said we just don’t work together. I said we were breaking up over smoking because he’s so stubborn. I saw that look on his face again as he stepped away. No goodbye. Just stepped away.

I sat in the car and cried a good 10 minutes before I could compose myself for the long drive home.

Scott has insulted me in so many ways. As I write them, even if there are places I am at fault, his abuse is pretty heavy. The list has really become too long. For him to lock a door against me as if I could harm him somehow is psychologically painful to me. The stonewalling about the text. His inability to even reach across and touch my hand when I cry is almost inhuman. The look in his face when I’m emotional will haunt me – its empty.

Somewhere in there he kept telling me I was playing games. It makes me think that only someone who plays games actually says something like that. If anything I was working really, really hard to make sure I didn’t pull any triggers of his. But in order not to pull his, I can’t give up myself. He is telling me I need to accept him as he is but he does not want to accept me as I am.

I am certain, and I really mean certain, my behavior has been the same. I am nothing if not consistent. He fell in love with an idea of me and presented the best version of who he WANTED to be, but not who he really was. I can be critical but I am not cold or cruel. I am not unkind. I no longer yell. Yet somehow all of these words were used by Scott and they tapped right into every one of insecurities because that’s who I USED to be. And I’m afraid of her. I don’t. Want to be her anymore. You haven’t even met her she’s been gone so long. She grew up when she was raising kids and losing a momma and building a team at work. My worst traits haven’t disappeared entirely but the way Scott describes me is someone who existed in my 20s or early 30s and behavior I had with my x and it frightened me and I responded to it by believing it to be true because it USED to be true. That modicum of truth has distorted my vision for months now.

What I believe has happened is that I acknowledged where I need to change and grow and I am more than willing to work on those things, and Scott exploited those insecurities. I can be critical, but there is a huge difference between being direct and being critical and somehow his filter began interpreting my directness as criticism post Thanksgiving. As I mentioned, I do not think that has eve been any different with me, I am very direct and inquisitive, and he acknowledges this in his letter that I ask questions and push him to a place to be a better man….but that must be lip service.

I want to tear all of this relationship apart. I want to hear all your thoughts over and over. Where I went wrong. Where I didn’t. Why I feel like such crap and went back time and time again after such obvious abuse.

Contemplation

His letter came Saturday.

We spoke a bit on Sunday and I also spoke to my therapist Sunday.

He agreed to therapy and to read 2 books she recommended.

Since then, we have had basic communication. He sent a lot of flowers to me Monday morning in an effort to acknowledge small gifts are important to me and he had stopped doing anything like that for me since last October. He also sends sweet little messages during the day to let me know he’s thinking of me.

But I’m feeling removed and deflated. I’m still confused about what I want.

I turned on Bumble for a minute last week because I was angry and I matched with a guy quickly. we started speaking and he asked me out this week. While I thought “fuck it” I realized two things: 1/ I don’t want someone else; 2/ I won’t be a jerk and cheat for no good reason. So I sent the nice guy a text, being honest, saying I wasn’t in the right headspace to be dating. I had already pulled my profile down within 24 hours of putting it up. It was a childish and immature act of rebellion.

Here is what’s bugging me:

He hasn’t mentioned if he bought the books, so I’m pretty sure he hasn’t.

He hasn’t mentioned therapy and I haven’t given him her number so he hasn’t contacted her.

He hasn’t asked to see me.

He hasn’t asked any questions about me (friends, family, life) his standard question is: how was your day, what did you do?

I realize in dating him it isn’t enough to expect your partner to tell you everything organically. You must ask questions and show curiosity. You must pull out information. It’s unfair to think “if you want to tell me you will tell me”. We haven’t spoken about one thing you couldn’t speak to a bartender about. I feel myself turning further inward and creating an even bigger chasm. His standard response to this challenge would be one of two things: I tried and you stopped me or “you women don’t like to talk about those things” which is the biggest load of bullshit I don’t even know what it means. Either of those two things are bullshit, he doesn’t know how to ask questions because he has no emotional depth.

I don’t believe it’s because he doesn’t care, it’s because he doesn’t believe it matters.

He has mentioned being physically close to me several times, but not asked to see me even once.

In hindsight, I can’t actually recall if he did this early in relationship. I feel like he pursued and I wasn’t always making the suggestions. Now I feel like he’s dropping hints I’m supposed to pick up on. In the book I’m reading it talks about dropping “coded” messages from your language. Say what you mean, don’t say words that are meant to be interpreted and decoded.

I speak to my therapist on Friday. I don’t know how much longer I can handle an in between with him, or if at all. It’s not like we were married and committed.

But there is a large part of me that wants to experience therapy with him and through his eyes. I want to understand myself through a partnership eyes. What have I been missing al these years that I’ve been unable to correct – because there IS something. Doesn’t seem to after what I think it is or isn’t, the same issues keep rising to the top and I don’t seem to be cognizant of them happening. Maybe there is a real opportunity for me here. Maybe there isn’t.

My two cents is that he will poo-poo therapy quickly. He’s “doing this for me” and “doesn’t believe in it”. I heard all that before with my x. He’s been in therapy for 2 years now and dating a psychologist and said it’s the best thing he’s done for himself. You can only lead a horse to water. I have a very strong suspicion Scott doesn’t want to shine the light in the corner.

Well Fuck, He Wrote Me A Letter

I opened my email to a letter from Scott. This shredded me a little and my stomach turned as I read each line. I didn’t know what to expect.

At the end, I don’t know if he is saying goodbye or resolved. I don’t know what to do. I don’t even know how to feel.

Here is his letter:

I am truly sorry for what has transpired and where we are now. I’m sorry for how we got here, the things that were said. I was so hurt. So very hurt with how I felt in every moment we disagreed. So very hurt when I would try so hard to do things for you, for your expectations, things that felt as though it was never enough to. I always wanted to make you happy. To be your partner forever. You are so special to me. I am in love with you. Always have been. Always will be. Since I first saw you. It sounds as though I haven’t said it enough or clearly enough.
Yet, it felt as though I wasn’t enough. It felt as though I couldn’t do the correct things to satisfy your needs, to meet your expectations. It felt as though you couldn’t find the enjoyment you desired with me as your partner. Those feelings have persisted in me for some time now. I tried to adapt and overcome the challenges that seemed to be the root cause of the tension between us. I just couldn’t seem to quell the storm while the tension just seemed to keep compounding.

The way I responded to you last week hurts me. I am sorry for my reaction and my behavior. Missing you in my life, as my girl, as my best friend, as my confidant, will forever hurt my soul. I dreamed of being the one who could calm your soul. I dreamed of being the one who would get to hold your hand at the end of our life’s journey. I wanted it so badly. 

I wanted so badly to be there for you. To support you in whatever was troubling you. I wanted to be your guy. To heal your wounds. To walk into old age at your side, proud of who you are. Proud of who you’ll become. Proud that my girl was so intelligent, driven, classy, elegant, pretty. Proud that I was the person that got to hold your hand. I am in awe of you and what you have accomplished.

There has been no one that has brought such an impact to me or has had on my life. You have brought the absolute best out in me. I wanted to change to do the things that would bring gratitude and joy to your life. You made me want to be the best version of myself while being the best partner to you. 

I remember staying up late and playing twenty questions just so you could watch me squirm and try not to tell the whole story. You challenged me always to talk about things I generally find uncomfortable. You have always asked me for more than I am capable of giving. You have pushed me to the limit with me as a willing participant. That’s how I knew you were my girl. You were special to me. You were the most important person in my life.

But it doesn’t seem to be like that anymore. The answers I give you now have to be more carefully considered so that you aren’t hurt emotionally. They have to be washed over so do not circle back to create a contentious point. We don’t seem to see each other as special anymore. We don’t seem to have the same reverence for the gift we received by meeting each other. I miss our fun times. I miss you.

There are also many things that I am unable to process or understand. Many times I do not understand why or how you became upset with me. I felt so attacked and as though you were very condescending to my feelings or opinions. Even trying to understand how those situations developed and escalated to a point that we could no longer have any dialogue is baffling to me. I do not understand my role in those moments, how I am supposed to resolve the things that you are upset about. Most of all, I never wanted to be the person that made you cry. 

Unfortunately, I have not exhibited the best reactions in those times. Times when you needed me to be supportive and understanding. Those are the times when I could see it all slipping away from me. In times that I knew I wasn’t equipped to make you happy and save our relationship. In times that I felt my love for you wasn’t going to be enough to sustain us. Times that scared me as I felt I was facing an end to our time together. Something I wanted desperately to prevent.

Still, at some point though, it seems that things compounded and slipped out of our hands. It felt as though tensions grew so quickly between us that we could never seem to gain control of what the underlying issues were. I do not understand why we went from enjoying our time together as much as we did to this new uncomfortable, contentious dynamic that seemed challenging for both of us to wrap our arms around. I will never understand how or why things changed.

I feel that this is now why we are where we are. That we lost the ability to enjoy each other’s company as we once did. That we failed to enjoy the benefits we brought into each other’s lives. That we no longer were supportive of the others viewpoint. That we just wanted to be right and win the battle. It seemed as though we no longer shared mutual respect for each other’s needs.

I know that we address things that trouble ourselves very differently and those things quickly developed into battle lines. None of the battles we fought were necessary. There was no issue that was so huge that we couldn’t have overcome nor should these things have meant the end of us. Yet, with each moment of trouble, we seemed to grow more entrenched allowing the moments to contribute significantly to the tension as we never resolved our growing conflicts.

Most of all, I’m not mad. I’m not angry. I do not like you deciding my mood either. What I am is I’m bewildered. I’m frustrated. That is all. I do not understand how we got here. Why we got here. There’s no joy in bickering about nonsensical things every moment. I wish we knew how to fix it. I wish we could fix it.  

You stated that you were trying so hard to make me happy. You. You make me happy. You brought me joy. This will always be a time that I look on as beautiful memories in my heart. I so enjoy our memories that we made together. I will forever cherish them. I will forever cherish you.

I want you to succeed and achieve the absolute best the world can offer you. You deserve it. I wanted so badly to be at your side, holding your hand, as you accomplished all you desire. You will always be my girl.

First Therapy Session In Ages

First Therapy session since some time in the summer of 2019. I recall the last one being some kind of Tony triggering a phone call to the therapist on a sunny day in some kind of anxiety ridden panic.

Funny how I don’t feel that way anymore.

Today I feel some sort of anxiety, but I can ride this wave, its not the same, its so much ore moderated and full of disappointment.

It felt good to get started but I hate how slow it goes, I want to word vomit it all and have her brain spill all its knowledge and understanding back at me so we can solve my emotional dilemmas and move on.

I know I’m facing a few big ones: selling the house, moving, failure, leaving the kids, being alone, ending a relationship etc. Today we focused on the most accessible: ending the relationship with Scott. She wants me to reread Attached as well as another book called The emotionally Unavailable Man by Patti Henry. I’m always open for new thoughts to grow with and learn from.

This all just sucks

I know the only way through is through.

When I Read Back

Geez, when I read back, I already knew the outcome, didn’t I?

I took all of this from one post dated 10/2/20:

He treats me as if I am a prize that he never thought he would win and often seems to be in awe of me. (This stopped)

He has already told me he would move heaven and earth for me if I would just let him. (He feels as if he was still doing this for me, I don’t disagree)

If I like it, he wants to like it right away too. While this is great, I want someone who maintains their own identity. I decided to run a half marathon and he immediately chose to run it with me. I like a certain type of music and he wants to listen to it all the time with me. I like wine and he will drink it with me. I like shellfish and he will eat it with me. None of this is bad, I just don’t want him morphing into what he thinks is the perfect man for me simply to attract me. (But this is what happened, he played pretend to attract me, and then rebelled with a cry of “let me be me”)

Scott is a good man. He tells me he has a mean streak that he doesn’t like about himself and I see that coming out as arrogance right now, but I believe him when he tells me, I just haven’t seen it (yup, see it now pretty clearly)

He compliments me constantly. Nothing is ever wrong with me (except he thinks I’m snobby too, who wouldn’t). Again, not sure what I think about this. Of course I want to be all the things to him but it falls flat when every word out of his mouth is how beautiful and special and amazing I am. (Lots of the compliments stopped. Actually until I read back I had forgotten how complimentary he was in the beginning because I was so strongly feeling the lack of affirmation towards the end)

I do worry that I’m not always so nice and I can be a bitter pill to take. He seems good at deflecting this quality in me and it tends to have me loosen my reigns – which is very unusual for me. He doesn’t dig in in opposition to me but instead tries to offer alternative viewpoints without pressing me. My need to be right all the time is much less aggressive with Scott and this is unique (he definitely did not handle me well for much longer)

The last piece: I notice he doesn’t really ask me a lot of open ended questions. He is very in tune to me and pays attention, but he doesn’t seem to try and get to know the way my mind works. Rather, he goes for the outward things like my favorite food, wine, exercise (he joined Peloton because of me) or music. These things he nails because he watches me closely. Tony dug around. He asked about my family, my past, my education, why I liked some things and not others, what I dreamed of, what my sorrows were. Scott seems to be focused on how to please me. He often notes that I ask him a lot of questions and some of them make him uncomfortable to be so vulnerable but he likes opening up to me. But he doesn’t really come up with his own questions. (and this never changed)

This was depressing.

Mostly because I feel that there is just as much good in here as negative. What could I have done differently to have a different outcome. Maybe even just a less abrupt ending?

Why Do I Have Control?

Do I have control of myself because I really don’t care? Because maybe I don’t really love him? Maybe I knew all along it wasn’t going to work?

This behavior is so unlike me (yea yea, everyone is happy I’m not batshit crazy like usual, but come on, this is just strange). Where did Trixie go?

Did Tony kill her? Mexico? Is she suffocated? Dead for good?

There isn’t even a crazy THOUGHT in my head. Not one.

The first few times we fought I went through some sort of emotional upheaval and afterwards I thought to myself…did I just feel that way to resolve the situation? Did I just not want to fight?

It might be. I may have fixed it or smoothed things out more because I didn’t want the disruption than I wanted the relationship? It occurred to me then and it occurs to me now.

I may have also grown up a little. I like to think its more about that but I’m actually unsure. Maybe I just found a bit of my own self worth and stubbornness. I didn’t deserve to be treated the way he’s treated me.

Guilt Buried Deep

Why am I so guilty that this relationship failed?

Or even, not call it a failure, we tried and it just didn’t work out.

Yet, I sit here feeling horribly guilty that I failed. I failed again.

They are all in relationship, the big ones I failed at before: my x, Tony, or Bobby.

Why does this somehow upend me that I can’t find my person? Or that those men have relationship? Is that some kind of weird jealousy?

I’m crying because I feel like a big fat failure. I lost the perfect man (in my dreams that would have meant Tony). An ideal job. My home of 40+ years. I couldn’t lose weight without a surgery that almost killed me. I can never seem to stave off depression. I feel like I am failing my kids because I am leaving them before they even exit college.

I just wanted it all to stop.

For a few minutes there, Scott gave me that. The world stopped crushing me and I started to feel strong and confident again. Someone was holding my hand again. I know its wrong to depend on anyone else to validate me, but there it is. I haven’t really learned how to do that. I’m so tired of trying, just so tired.

I want things to be easier. This was something I admired about Scott – how he viewed his world/life/situation with such simplicity. He wanted things to be simple. As much as this is what I would like, I struggle with this type of simplicity as it also means complacency which somehow correlates to failure for me.

If Scott have me nothing else, he gave me the ability to see things through a different lens. One that was focused on experience over things. He lived a life unattached to many things and while I wouldn’t want a life quite that unencumbered, it does show me I can be lighter than I am. I weigh myself down being such an over-achiever that is guilty for not over-achieving anymore. I could almost see beginning to live differently if I just let go of my grip.

And maybe, a strong maybe, I crushed him in my death grip of over achieving perfectionism. It just be to hard to compete with an ideal that no longer exists. He has no idea what I’ve had and given up because he can only see what I have now.

When speaking to my closest friend yesterday she said she wished she could explain to him how far I’ve come before he judged me. If he could somehow see that year over year I progress in my endeavor to be a better human. Would it matter? Or would he still need me to be as complacent and unencumbered as he?

Feeling Crushed

I’ve truly been doing the best I can.

Something is so off for me. I can’t put my finger on what it is exactly. I can name plenty of things, but there is something deeply, deeply rooted that I can not unearth.

I can’t have the conversation about a job search with anyone anymore. I’m tired of hearing the stock answers that “you’re so smart and talented someone you will always land on your feet!” Or “why can’t you do something else? I’m sure you have transferable skills!” Then their brainstorming starts “have you tried this!” “I know someone who does that, why can’t you?” “I know admin assistants that make over $100k – surely you can find a job!” Do people truly not understand how hard it is to pivot a career at 53 years old? A career built in very, very specific and technical experience? I sound cranky because I am.

I am not unhappy with the job I have exactly. I doesn’t pay enough (I took 1/3 of my normal salary, so that puts me back to what I made when I was 30 years old) but I remind myself every single day that I am very grateful to have any job in my industry. It’s on the other side of the country and I just don’t want to live in Portland, Oregon. While some friends try and encourage me and make it sound like a great new adventure, I feel that the ones who are the most honest with me will say “its not your place and hopefully this is only temporary.” It is not my place. I am an urbanite at heart. Going to a crunchy granola, outdoor loving extremely liberal place yet totally not diverse city is just not for me. I am praying I can convince my new team that I can remain remote for good. If I can do that, I can come up with a plan that feels comfortable to me, despite the loss of salary. I am trying every day to remain positive and grateful.

In the meantime I am so overwhelmed with the timing and making a plan – and that’s a kiss of death for a planner like me.

I have decided to sell my home. While the pain of this decision resonates with me every day, I know this is the right decision. My brain is in overdrive to think of ways to stay, to keep my old dream of living here forever so my grandchildren could be close (imaginary grandchildren I don’t even have yet). I fight with myself daily to stick to my decision to sell. The market is ideal for a home like in in my proximity to the city. My brain is working so hard to keep me here that I often wake in a cold sweat fighting with this decision.

Besides the emotional and mental challenge to sell, I struggle with logistical challenges. Ideally, I want to pack up and move once. I don’t foresee that happening unless I can go totally remote. I want to be in my home until my youngest is off to college in early September – this really isn’t ideal for a new family to move in, so I know I have to be out in the summer. The plans look as follows depending on my circumstances:

  1. Sell the house as close to my move date as possible, pack everything and put into storage. If I had to live with my sister 2.5 hours away until my youngest is off to college, I suppose I could do that. Then, move to Portland and rent a furnished apartment for about 6 months while looking for a place to live.
  2. If remote, sell the house in the summer, buy (or rent) a townhome further south in the same state where it would be more affordable but keeping me within about an hour drive to all my family and friends

I need to avoid moving more than twice – once out of this house and then once our of storage. That’s already super costly AND I have to consider how to get my car and stuff I need to wherever I land in the interim of having a full time home.

Right now, my job expects me to move around September. I do believe I can convince them to let me stay home longer, but even if they did, that wouldn’t be sensible as far as selling my home because I would have no where to live. I am so stressed about how I will see my kids if I leave this state. I don’t make enough money to maintain any type of residence in two states. And I know my kids well enough, they may come visit once, but they won’t want to be put out. That really sucks.

Add this break up on top of everything and I feel really shitty.

I have my first therapy appointment Friday. I’m praying most of the service is covered because she’s expensive. If I have to pay 20% it will already be $50 which isn’t a terrible fee every week. But if the insurance does that “usual and customary fee” thing and they say they only pay 80% of (not $250 which is her rate) then I might be paying much more – and I can’t even afford the $50 frankly.

I don’t want to go on more meds. I can barely have an orgasm as it is, and any stronger meds will kill my libido. At least my sex life was healthy.

I feel so crushed by the weight of everything lately. At least before I had Scott to hold my hand through so much of this change. Now I’m just alone.

I don’t even have friends or family to help me through this exactly. I lost my best friend post Mexico, and I sort of don’t blame her. My other closest friend is not the type to come running to help in a crisis, she would be there on the phone, but that’s about it.

I’m just feeling like I’ve really fucked up my life since 2018 and I don’t know how to get any part of it back.