Friday, January 28, 2011

My Therapist Said I Should Journal...

I meant to say something about this last night - thus the title and all - but I was exhausted and it was late.  Plus, hours of trying to mitigate the rage into a slow burning seethe tempered things a bit.  Another day at work was just the kind of thing I needed to couch that which brings me to the purpose of the excersize....

When I showed up at my therapists office yesterday, I'm pretty sure she was expecting another mundane hour of discussing my job.  Instead, she got a mundane hour of me discussing my relationship.    Sometiems, I don't go to therapy and feel particularly understood.  At first, I thought she was just totally off base, but then I began to recognize that she's not wrong, she's just usually a few steps behind me, so to speak.

Thursday, after I realized weeks ago that it was time to get serious about making friends, about trying new things, about becoming independent in my co-dependent relationship, she said "there is a part of this realtionship that is based on needs, and as long as it's based on needs, its based on fears - and when you have something based in fear, there is a desire to hold the other person back, to keep them afraid so they stay with you.  She's right and I agree.  There have been times when I've felt that Mike was endeavoring to keep me where I was - small and sheltered and outside of the light - so that I wouldn't try to drag him along, and there have been a lot of times when I was relieved by that.  It was like a get out of jail free card.  I would even venture to say there have been times when he's discussed making some giant leap and I've talked him down from it.  I would like to think that I did it out of the goodness of my heart, to save him from making a massive mistake because I've seen him try so many things and fail, but there is a part of me that knows there have been times when he's started to talk like that and I've gotten worried that his plans deviated too far from mine and taken advantage of his willingness to listen to 'reason,'

Then again, though, I think some of the miscommunications between her and I might be my fault.  I feel silly doing most of the things I do to grow.  Honestly, writing up a list of things that I know people (whose lives I envy) do and deciding to try them and see how it pans out, then journaling about it?  Corny as hell.  (Working, to a certain extent as well, I might add, but hella corny.)  So, I don't talk about it.  I may make vauge allusions to the notion that i'm trying to get outside of my understanding of normal a little bit - to do things once and see how they feel - but i'm never just forthright.  Some of it, to be fair, is probably stuff I need to hear.  It may be unhealthy, but change comes to me mostly on the business end of a litlte self-flaggelation.  It's easier to be abusive about ones less appealing characteristics when you have someone elses cutting words to repeat, but either way it ends up making me feel defensive.  Still, in a constant show of my continued efforts at being more open to everything here i sit, journaling like she told me to, so there must be something to it.  (Therapy, as it were, isn't about what you're given, it's about what you give to the process and it's not like a little self-reflection can really hurt at this juncture.)

So I'm supposed to ponder why I'm angry... I don't know how much pondering it requires.

I'm angry because i'm hurt.
Because how dare he tell me "thanks for letting me walk all over you for the last two that you're starting to get serious about this whole me being responsible thing, I think it's time I strike out on my own."
I'm angry because I let him back in -
because our relationship has been nothing but a series of his screw ups and everytime he's promised to do better and it's bullshit...I'm angry because I can't even say it's a lie, since I know he means it when he says it.
I'm angry because he's willing to end our relationship over a god damned macbook and a few cell phones every year
I'm angry because he always waits for the moment when i'm trying my hardest to love him, inspite of how angry I am to be a complete ass.
I'm angry because he can't just be forthright about things and make a decision on his own.  I don't mind the doubts - I have them all of the time - but I don''t understand why he has to drag me through it every time.
I'm angry because he keeps making a decision but then he takes it back after he tears my life apart
I'm angry because he wont just leave and set me free from it.  I know he's angry because I don't just throw him out.

I'm angry because I keep letting him in.
I'm angry because I've let him walk all over me for so long.
I'm angry because I haven't made myself more independent sooner - because I put myself in this position.
I'm angry because in these ten years I've made a major trespass exactly once, and I paid for it for years, but he has the drugs, the money (three times now), the apparently constant breakups under his belt and I'm supposed to just let it go and be sweet now since I've agreed to give it another shot.
I'm angry because I wrote him a list of things I loved about him, and 96 hours later, he walked all over my heart.
I'm angry because he made me think this was the thing - because he said things like "name the day and we'll get married if you decide thats what you want" and I let go of a lot of things - namely myself and my relationships wih other people - because this was the thing and now he's the guy who leaves.
I'm angry because the fear and panic I feel over the idea of him leaving me instead of me leaving him threatens my definition of self.
Im angry because I let myself get invested in him.
I'm angry because every day when I look back at my past, I see all of the boys - the wonderful, better for me boys - I walked by because he said we were going to be solid.
I'm angry because I believed him.
I'm angry because I have to keep spending my money supporting him until he can get his teeth fixed in exchange for the convenience of not ending this relationship until i'm able to take care of myself.
I'm angry because I'm looking at the very real possibility of saying goodbye to his family which seems strangly impossible, even though I can't stand half of them.
I'm angry because this feels like a failure to me.
I'm angry because his fucked up emotionally stunted friends have the audacity to disapprove of him deciding not to leave.  First of all, how dare the "my wife stayed with me long enough to spend my lfie savings on shoes and then divorced me" and "my last steady girlfriend is the second craziest girl any of us know...and that was seven years ago." dispense relationship advice.  Second of all, passing judgement when you don't have all of the details is obnoxious.  My friends said the following "Maybe it's for the best.  This isn't the first time he's done this and, even if he's wrong, at least you wont be waiting for the toher shoe to drop." 
I'm angry because I picture them thinking of me as the evil girl who made him stay when I was standing there telling him to leave.
I'm angry because I feel guilty for 'taking advantage' of him, even though he's spent years taking advantage of me.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

there has to be a witty quote about therapy somewhere

Internet, Mike broke up with me again.  Or, I should say, he tried to.

He started out by saying "I'm not the guy you want me to be.  I'm never going to be the guy you want me to be.  I don't want to be the guy you want me to be.  It's not fair for me to be the guy I am and try to hold you here."

I followed up by saying, "Don't give me that bullshit - you have no idea what kind of guy you are or what kind of guy you want to be.  You're the guy who got stoned and played video games...and then when you couldn't do that anymore, you just stopped doing anything."

He countered with "Well, yeah, but I like it that way."

And I was all "Dude, whatever - just make a choice and call the play."

I think we're both right.

There are a lot of things I don't know about the guy I want.  I don't know what he likes to do on the weekends or if he likes to cook or where he wants to live or what he does for a living.  The things I do know I want are hit and miss with Mike.  I want someone who is generous.  Hit.  I want someone who likes to try new things, but doesn't need it like a lifeline (or at least doesn't need me to do it with them.)  Miss.  I want someone who gets me - my jokes, my references, my wit, my outlook, my interests.  Hit. Most importantly - I want someone who is going to be financially stable and I want someone who doesn't try to bolt for the door every time I take a step forward.  Those...well those are two big targets sailing right by him at the moment.

I suggested a couple of options as he was running down his melt down - talking about tearing himself down and starting over from scratch, building some independence of his own.  I suggested that he leave - that he go ahead and do what he wanted, the relationship dissolved.  I suggested that he stay and take a minute to think things through.  I suggested that he leave - strike out on his own and that we behave like any other couple - like a couple who hadn't been together for ten years...that he move out and get himself a place and that we date, like regular people our...well, okay my age do.  Eventually, when I got sick of not being answered, of watching him get all wishey-washey, playing with my life in the future, I made a move for the door to tell my leasing officer I needed a few more weeks to decide if I was going to extend the lease or not because things were...tenuous and all of a sudden things became incredibly clear to him and he no longer wanted to leave anymore, he no longer wanted me to go anywhere and he just wanted to go back.

He wants to go to NA, to learn to cope with his addictive behavior.  He wants his own financial independence - to work and to manage his own money and savings, to exist separately from me where money is concerned.  He wants to break up with Nate - the other half of his dysfunctional friendship.  He wants to try to figure out who he is and what he wants to be.  He wants to find a new therapist - someone who will hold him accountable.

Internet, I feel like a bad person for saying this - but i'm not really interested in that.  It might be the anger talking - I never put it past myself to say things out of frustration, even if they're only spoken into the ether - but i'm annoyed.  Ten years of doing this have made me bitter.  If there were someone willing to take the bet, I would put down a gaurentee that he won't make it through the steps, if he goes at all.  I would bet that his idea of figuring out who he is will involve a good deal of reading and planning in the beginning and a whole lot of nothing when it comes time to actually do things and that his 'financial independence' will not only rapidly become financial ruin, but that his new therapist is going to be one of the first cuts.

What I'm going to say next makes me an even worse person, because not only do I believe all of that with no hesitation, but I also don't believe we're going to make it another six months, and - for today - i'm not terribly interested in trying.  Right now, I need him.  There are so many things in my life I rely on him for and I am far too dependent on his many roles in my life to risk being without him, but his last foree into experimenting with the single life made me keenly aware that if I'm ever going to be happy - with or without him - I need to take a few giant steps in the other direction and define myself outside of him, cut those tethers and then see where we are.  And, internet, I think that's going to look a lot like "Honey, this whole living together thing isn't doing it for me.  For both of our sakes, one of us needs to move out.  We can still have sleepovers and stuff, but I need my own space and you need yours."

Don't get me wrong, there is a part of me that hopes he'll take his big step out into the world and he'll be a huge success - that somehow all of these years of frugality and spendthrifiness will have paid off and he'll be able to plan for the big things.  But there are so many experiences and so many years behind us that make me think this adventure will amount to disaster, and that I'm not really willing to put humpty dumpty back together again.