Despair, depths of

Just home from shopping and started crying again. Quite often, I want to write on here about how I’m feeling, but wonder if dwelling on it (even more) by writing about it would make it worse (and prolong the agony), and I don’t want to give him the satisfaction of knowing that he is still having such a profound effect on me. What the hell, maybe he’s not reading it, anyway – why would he be? He refused to reply to any of my communications (password is my date of birth as DDMMYYYY) for several months, and when he did, it was terse, monosyllabic and devoid of emotion – same as usual, really; obtuse, probably, ie lacking perception, not observant or sensitive (where emotions are concerned, anyway).

The lack of communication, and the nature of the messages I have received from him, are all that’s needed to prove that we should remain apart. He doesn’t ‘do’ emotion, and wanted me to exist in an emotional vacuum, too. It was impossible for me to do that. On the rare occasions I had the courage to tell him I love him, it was met with a deathly silence – no response whatsoever, words or actions, which really worried me – how can he be so cold and callous?

Bearing in mind these obvious signs that we are incompatible, why am I so frequently overwhelmed by deep and intense emotion for him. I try to carry on with life as normal and it’s fine for a while; he’s often in my thoughts and I can handle that. Then, all of a sudden, one day (like today) I’ll be overcome by strong feelings for him and end up crying because I love him and miss him so much. Right now, I just want him back. I need him here, I want us to sort things out.

It is extremely frustrating to be denied the opportunity to discuss things with him – regardless of whether or not it would lead to reconcilliation. We need to talk about the problems we had. How else can we learn from this and move on? Oh, the FRUSTRATION! I have been going round in circles analysing everything over and over for six months and never coming to any conclusions because I cannot second guess his opinion – he made sure that I never understood him. He resolutely refused to express himself, all conversation with him was based on facts – or, quite often, his opinion presented as fact. We never had any meaningful discussion about our relationship, and I was expected to repress my emotions as he did his. Inevitably, this led to emotional outbursts from me, which he really couldn’t handle.

On top of this, the inequalities and injustices in our relationship (eg, his needs and wants would almost always ride roughshod over mine) made me really angry. I was constantly having to defend myself and fight my corner, having to justify my rights (to be respected, for my home to be respected, etc). It’s bad enough having to fight for your rights, but to have to fight for them in a relationship with someone who professes to care for you, and to have to use loads of energy trying to justify yourself to this person when you’re ill with CFS/ME (and have been for several years) is shocking, deeply unjust and very aggravating indeed. (It is hard to find appropriate words to describe this, it’s just so obviously WRONG.)

He often accused me of being violent and aggressive. I was not and am not violent or aggressive. However, I was angry and frustrated because my pleas for equality, fairness and respect in our relationship were easily forgotten in favour of his self-obsessed, single-minded focus on what he wanted, to the exclusion of everything else. He seemed to think that treating me well occasionally (a smattering of affection, a small gift here and there, dinner cooked for me – all of which I very much appreciated, demonstrably so) gave him the right to disregard and disrespect me the rest of the time.

We had a lot of fun together, and many happy times. I loved to join him on trips to Rochdale looking at archaeology, and help him with maps for the project to discover and record the archaeology and heritage in the area, helping him set up Salford Hundred Heritage Society. We enjoyed lots of the same things, and we had things we did independently, too (for me it was family history, for him it was robotics and his invention). I supported him in everything he did, because it was important to him; unfortunately, some of the things I most enjoyed were met with derision and ridicule from him. Obviously, this upset me very much, undermined my confidence a lot, and led me to (mistakenly) allow some dreams to fade in the distance. One day, I hope I’ll have the energy to recapture them.

Some of the problems we had could have been much diluted if we had not been together twenty-four hours a day in the same tiny house. He needs his own space (and a lot of it) for all his stuff, which (if he had that space) could be as messy as he liked. However, when two people are sharing a very small space, things have to be kept tidy, for the sanity of all concerned.

The concept of tidiness seemed to elude him where my house was concerned, yet when he could have been coming home from college for Easter holiday, he prevaricated because he was cleaning and tidying, doing his washing, sorting out his clothes!! That was really insulting – he wouldn’t clean and tidy here, but seemed to delight in delaying his return home so that he could clean and tidy his student room. The last straw was a week later, when he basically said that he couldn’t be bothered with the relationship because he will never be able to meet my standards of tidiness! That is SO not the point – the problem for me was the injustice and unfairness – he didn’t bother with keeping his stuff tidy in my house, but would go to great pains to do so in his room at college, at the expense of our time together (which was precious because it was severely limited once he went to university in Sunderland).

Oh, how it broke my heart to leave him in that godforsaken place. It was such a dump, the city centre was so grey and dull, extremely uninspiring. In September this year, there was a big leap, from being apart five months, to feeling like we’d been apart for a year because in September last year I had to leave him in Sunderland, where he was going to do a PGCE. On Friday 11th September 2009, we went to Rochdale, then on to Sunderland on Saturday 12th. Sunday 13th was awful. I’d told him when I planned to leave – I needed to be in Scunthorpe (ha ha, what a thrilling weekend it was) before dark because my eyes aren’t so good for night driving. However, he had other plans. Rather than say ‘please stay a bit longer’, or have a discussion about it, he dismissed my needs and made the executive decision for us to trail around university campuses, on a Sunday before the start of term, and he was surprised to find nobody around.

Then he wanted to find somewhere nice to eat – in Sunderland? Don’t make me laugh – the place is a ducking fump. Sunderland doesn’t do nice places to eat: it has a Gregg’s on every corner, and McDonald’s in between. Besides, my appetite really wasn’t up to much – I was about to leave him behind and not see him for weeks. All I wanted was to spend the time we had relaxing together. He didn’t bother to ask what I wanted, he decided what he wanted and was going to do that regardless. So, after a couple of hours of fruitless and very stressful driving around a strange city, we went to the corner shop to get stuff we could eat back at the flat (without anything to cook with or on, or eat off, because none of this was provided in the student accommodation). After eating, we both set off in the car, I dropped him off near town, we said our goodbyes and I continued on towards Scunthorpe.

It was another ten weeks or so before we saw each other again. In between, I tried to give him all the help and encouragement I could. It was really hard to stay positive because sometimes the only contact I had from him for several days was a cold and bleak ‘goodnight’ each evening. How is that supposed to maintain a relationship? Things were very difficult and stressful for him, I know that. He absolutely hated his first term there. I did everything I could to help, and it seemed reasonable to want to hear more from him than one word a day. I remember November being a really bad time, various misunderstandings, compounded by repeated communication failures. Christmas wasn’t great either, until the last two days of his time here. He was back here for a weekend in January and February, when things were great for both of us. I was really pleased he had decided to come home more often, and things were really looking (and feeling) brilliant. Then he came back for Easter, or that was the plan, but because he decided to behave like a petulant child, he didn’t turn up until Sunday (Easter Day) afternoon. Sadly, we only managed to spend half the holiday together before he packed all his stuff and left. We had one good day together, the rest of the time he was totally focussed on his wants, completely disregarded my needs (unless they happened to coincide with his own), and refused to acknowledge that this was a problem or that he should apologise for his mistake. He seemed to think that shoving pie in my face would suffice as recompense, and was surprised when that didn’t work! All I needed was him to say… SORRY, and mean it, and to learn from the situation.

In all my analysis and re-analysis of events, I have thought of all the different times I could have changed the course of events, instead of stubbornly waiting for him to realise what was needed. I wish I could turn the clock back and do things differently. The end of our relationship is not the outcome I wanted, and I would do anything to understand what I need to do to put things right. Still, after all that has gone on, I want him to come back. I love him. Although he doesn’t appear to deserve or want my love, so I don’t understand why my heart is still ruling my head. I have tried to move on, but it is impossible to completely shut away all my feelings – emotions being repressed rather than expressed is part of the problem, it cannot also be the solution.

As far as I can see, the main problem was lack of communication, so the solution is clearly to communicate openly and honestly so that we can better understand each other, and ourselves, then we can move on.

So, my diatribe comes to an end, at last! What is the point, I ask myself. Who am I saying this to? Contrary to my introductory paragraph, I want Stuart to read and understand this. However, I fear it will sink into the ether and probably never be read, much less understood, by anyone, let alone my heart’s desire. Or will it…?

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