SWORDFERN
Rooted, I used to think.

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Thursday, Mar. 03, 2016 @ 5:00 pm
Torn



His email is polite, giving nothing away. Other than calling it a perfect morning, and thanking me for the great conversation. I read it over and over, trying to extract something of meaning. But it's polite. It's positive, yes, and it's the correct tone, given that I'm in a committed relationship. I just can't help think that there's more underneath. How much time he spent thinking of the words.

Am I making this all up?

I reply in similar tones. What kind of person would I be, to have a wandering eye. But I have to admit to myself that I am that person. And it breaks me up inside.

Daniel and I are rough. In reality, we are more roommates than lovers. He says it's my fault. There are aspects of this that are true.

We have changed and grown apart over the last decade. Our interests have changed, our careers changed, our friends changed. I no longer feel as though he really cares or is interested in me. I know that he says that he does, but the actions, the words are missing. It's forced, and in turn I pull away from his lack of love. I physically push him away when he tries to touch me. I hate myself for it, but I can't stand his touch. You can't just grab me without the mental part. My guts twist, and I have a visceral reaction, and all I can think of is pushing him off of me. I can see how that makes him feel, and it's mean, and it's not right, but it's where we are right now.

He comes into the shower on Sunday morning, and I tell him that I have anxiety with the shower now, due to previous encounters in which he tries to relax me and I do no respond. Which leads to hurtful You always... you never... statements, and about how impossible it is for me to get in the mood. And he proceeds to get out of the shower and stomp around and go make himself breakfast. Leaving me sad and shivering in the bathroom. The same thing happening time after time. And I tell him that I have anxiety about the shower, and he tells me to get over it.

He drinks too much. He snores all night, and I lay awake so angry at how much the bed shakes. How he gets sleep, and I get this. I shove my industrial strength earplugs deep into my ear canals, but it's useless becuase the sound is going straight through the side of my skull. I wake up frustrated and exhausted in the morning, and instead of empathizing with me he becomes defensive, saying It's not my fault. There's nothing that I can do. Which I know, but that's not what I need. What I need is empathy, rather than him trying to make me feel bad for expressing my frustration.

I don't look forward to seeing him. I relish my nights at home alone, when he's either at school or out drinking with friends.

I do math and try to figure out if I could afford to keep the condo without his financial contribution. I can't. It's too much. I'd need a roommate. I'm missing around $1000 per month. So either I'd need a roommate, or I'd have to move somewhere cheaper and rent this place out. I guess my sister could move in. Her place is crap, and the amount that she pays for rent would make up approximately what I'm missing. Maybe I'd rather be in my own studio, however crappy. Maybe my parents would help me. Not sure that's fair. It's not a long term solution.

The fact that I've even thought about this is dangerous.

I'm so torn.

I risk being alone.

Right now, I think I'd rather be alone. Chris or no Chris.

The constant feeling of dissapointing someone. Of living with someone that I'm not sure that I really like anymore, much less love.

I've realized that I do want children. But not with him.

I want to get married. But I can't imagine marrying him.

Ten years. I've been waiting for him to love me like I want to be loved. For him to accept me, for him to be happy with what I have to give. For him to stop asking me to change, to grow. For him to accept my shortcomings.

I should go talk with my therapist about this. But her 'client' is the relationship, and I'm not sure that she can ethically advise me on anything other than working on our issues. We've been trying. Has it been 2 years of therapy now? I'm exhausted by it all. I am grateful for what I've learned, and how therapy has helped me grow. But the irony is that I believe that it's made me see more of Daniel's faults, and that it's really shown me what I'm missing from him. Caring, empathy. The things that we went into therapy to try to cultivate in me. Which brings me to this: you criticize in others what you are most concerned about yourself.

I try to distance myself from the situation. To try to determine if it's my inner destroyer telling me this. Or whether enough is enough.

Would this be giving up?

I do have to risk being alone.

Skiing. My mind goes back there. The best day of recent weeks. We were leaving to find my dad in the parking lot. We are talking and shuffling along in our skis along the flat, the sun out from behind the low cloud. Shannon! It's my coworker, another engineer. He's snowboarding with his girlfriend. I beam at him, say Hi, etc. And he turns to Chris and says, You must be Daniel.

And it's that awkard moment of... uhh... No, this is my friend Chris. And it seems to pass, but I wonder how this affected him. Our obvious comfort with each other, did our body language indicate familiarity, coupledom? Does he look like the person that I'd have as my partner in life?

It made my heart soar. Because I wished at that moment so desparately for him to be that person for me.

I stare at the email from Chris. I think about my life with Daniel. I think about a life alone.

I think.

And in the meantime, hours and days pass. I'm here. I'm grateful for my life. I only want to do the right thing.

I only want to do the right thing.


Roots | Shoots