Tag Archives: breaking up

Oh, For God’s Sake!

Okay, to the anonymous who left the comment that has inspired this rant:

It’s okay, I’m not taking it personally, and I understand you were coming from a nice place and being genuine. Still. It ain’t you, it’s society, and I’ve been meaning to comment on this for awhile.

_____________________

I just broke up with someone, and I’m a bit touchy about it, even now, a whopping eight days later. I know, all these hours and days have passed us by, a whopping eight days and six hours, and I ought to certainly be all good and better and fine about it.

But I’m not. I know, I’m hoping to nip this in the bud before a stunning two weeks has passed, but I’m so emotionally stunted that I’m not sure I’ll quite manage that.

Okay, obnoxious mode is off.

Here’s the deal: I fucking hate the western culture of pretending we’re stoic and tough and good and fine just a few days after any kind of adversity befalls us.

It’s like old-school hockey. “Holy smokes! Didja see that hit?! That boy had his bell rung but good. The coach is looking him over, and he’s giving some shakes of his head. Holy hell, he’s joining the team again. This kid’s a trouper — bell ringing and keeps on singing!”

Back in the day, you took your hits like a man and played through, no matter what the cost. Naturally, it turned out the costs were high.

You have to understand, strong and stoic are things I strive to be. I understand life’s hard and comes with challenges, and it ain’t all fun and games. I’ve had some really hard times in the last decade particularly, and I think I’ve handled them all pretty well. Never perfect, but who among us is?

If I just up and dropped the thing with the ex, and all the struggles I’ve hit this week, you know what? You’d stop reading me. Because I would cease to be myself. It’s this overly analytical, detail-focused, mildly obsessive, often compulsive cynical satirist you’ve come to enjoy. That’s who I am. I’m a rebel without a cause, a thinker without a clue, and a poser with no apologies. That’s me. I get lost in the chaos that is my life because I am absolutely unapologetically self-obsessed.

I’m not at all the guru some people have taken me for. (WHY have you done this?) What I am, is a really, really, really good reality surfer.

See, whatever comes at me, I find a way to ride it until it breaks. I’m very good. I’ve had to be. I don’t have a smooth-sailing life in the least. Ahh, I’m so in it for the drama, man.

Anyhow, whatever. The point is, my relationship ended just a week ago. I’m not gonna just drop the topic and be magically healed like I’ve just had a Jerry Falwell moment or something. Anyone who does is just asking to get fucked mentally, because that’s not how to deal with troubles. Own it, experience it, make love to it, and let it go. Don’t just chuck it and hope the garbage guys come.

I’ll be moving on from this, you can bet your ass on that. Soon, too, probably, but it’ll happen after I’ve really come to learn something from the experience. See, my life is lived because I choose to examine it — and now, immediately, not some 50 years down the road as I write my memoirs.

Keep in mind: This week holds a party, a concert, a big social night out, and maybe a couple other things. It’s busy. I’m not sitting around on my ass as much as it might sound. When I am around, I need to learn a little about podcasting.

The podcast looms in the nearer future now. A matter of weeks, for sure, probably three of them. The trouble I now have is that I need to design a new blog. I will be keeping the Cunt alive, and feeding it periodically, but there’ll be a new blog, Smut & Steff, a companion blog to my podcast. You’ll see photos and notes and such about things inspiring me any given week, some postings of mine, and that sort of thing. I intend to have it be a very symbiotic relationship, sort of like blog+podcast=steffness, I hope.

So, a new blog, a new podcast… much looms. In the meantime, deal with my self-involved life — I can’t afford therapy, and you’re a sexy listener, so I’m thinking it’s working just fine for the short-term. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest and shit sometime this week and my writing will snap back on soonish, I suspect.

Thoughts On a Monday

I wonder sometimes if not being alone with our thoughts is why Becoming Single is often so hard for us. We finally feel like the scary silences are broken by this voice of this Other who has acclimatized themselves to becoming a part of our lives. And, one day, they go. For good, for bad, for now, for all time, they simply go.

Then, silence. And in that silence, questions of doubt, of your worth, of your import, they all start to whisper and wail in the walls of your mind, and then where are you? In a storm of your making. A thought storm whirling around your newly deserted cerebellum.

It doesn’t matter that I don’t think it’s me that caused my recent break-up. It doesn’t matter that I believe myself to be a good person to know and a kindred heart. It doesn’t matter that I know what talents I have an all areas of my life. What matters is, I’ve suddenly found myself single again. Naturally, the next step is to wonder what’s wrong with myself and why it didn’t work.

I’ve done a little of that this past week, but not nearly as much as I would have expected. Probably one of the least likely questions for me to ask myself, actually, is “why me?”

I once wrote a rant about how much existentialists piss me off, and how much I hate that question, “Why me? Why me?” I think I said, “Why you? Because it’s your fucking turn!” Maybe that’s as simple as it really is. I don’t ask why I go through adversity. I know why, ‘cos shit happens, and this shit is my shit, and trying to figure it out beyond that is gonna give me an embollism.

Sitting around after a week like I’ve had and wondering “Why me?” isn’t exactly productive. I do it, though, but to a different end.

I don’t remember how much I’ve said, but the people who laid me off on day two of employment have offered to have me back to the job on August 1st, and I’ve agreed. To tell you the truth, when I first started that job, I was expecting to be hired for another on my very first morning with them. I wound up catching my prospective new employer at a bad time, tried calling later, and remain in the dark about that job to this day. The point is, I walked into my “new” job with a really bad attitude. I didn’t want to be there, and wanted to be hired for another job by noon.

In short, I was a fucking spoiled brat who was living anywhere but in the present. WHAT IF I lost that job to get reminded of how appreciative we ought to be about everything that comes our way? What if I lost it to be shown just how wrong negativity and cynicism can be? I thought I would hate the job, because my perception was that it was 80% bookkeeping. Know what? That’s the last dude’s incompetence. In my world, it’s 6-8 hours a week, and that’s after having been around for a week. In fact, now that I’ve been there a week, I know the job’s a good fit for me. What’s more, I’ll be awesome at it.

So, this week and next week, I’m working for my old employers. (Never burn bridges.) Then, I’ll return. It’s nice, it’s the first job I’ve had in a long time where I’ve been able to walk in, figure out what needs doing, and not have anyone on my back micromanaging me. Some of us folk have motivation and a sense of work ethic, you know, and we work better without being told what to do. That’s me! If there’s anything I felt at the end of my day Friday, I’d have to say empowerment would be the word.

In the end, I’m glad to be single this week. I’ve been through the ringer, and while it’s awesome to have someone around to be a support and all, there’s also something to be said for enduring adversity on your own. This has been the second worst summer of my life. Hands down. Only the summer when my mother died was worse than this. And I’m so proud, I guess, that I’ve kept it together to a degree. I’ve not let all of you in as much as I could have about all the things I’ve been feeling. Those who read The Ditch probably know more about that side of my life of late, but either way, I’ve been stifling some of the fear.

I had a boyfriend once who fancied himself a philosopher. We were talking about insanity and Catch-22. If you think you can go insane, does that mean you’re more sane, or already insane? I believed then, as I do now, that it means you’re probably less likely to go insane if you realize the potential you hold for becoming insane, if that makes any sense.

After this past month, I can tell you unequivocally that I think it’s possible I could one day lose my sanity. I don’t think I ever will, but I could. This past six weeks felt pretty fucking close to it, but it never did happen.

I’m finally in silence, though. Not only am I single again, but the constant bickering going on at the back of my mind has ceased – the insecurities, the worries, the wonders. For now, it’s ceased.

There’s the old saying, “Why do I keep hitting myself in the head with a hammer?” The answer? “Because it feels so good when I stop.” Welcome to my life. And this, this is “stopped,” and it feels so-o-o good.

Wait a Sec!: Thoughts about Depression

If you think the following post slams my ex in any way, you’re an idiot. Acknowledging someone’s shortcomings isn’t vindictive. And acknowledging that they have good reason to have their faults is also not vindictive.

For some reason, we live in a world where being passive and inaccurate is mistaken for “being nice.” C’mon, none of us is perfect. I burp, you know. I offer advice without being asked (hence this board, heh… gets it a little out of my system. Not entirely, but it helps). I’m opinionated. I’m blunt. I can be moody. I’m bitterly sarcastic. I’m narrow-minded. I’m judgmental.

It’s all true.

So to call me something that’s true is, well, not vindictive in the least. It’s merely right.

I fuckin’ hate how you can’t say anything bad about anything and not be perceived as negative, hateful, or cynical. It’s so fucking stupid. It sucks. They suck. C’mon, grow a fucking spine. Have an opinion. Say what you think. Fuck that, just THINK.

And while I’m all rared up with no place to go, let’s get onto this topic of calling DEPRESSED a “SWIPE” at someone.

Hey, depression’s a fucking ILLNESS, man. Sometimes it can be almost untreatable. It’s a hard fucking road to travel. Calling the stating of a person as “depressed” a “swipe” means depression isn’t a real thing. It’s dismissive of the horrific struggles faced by all those people who can’t understand why they feel the black hell they feel. Don’t fucking disrespect them by suggesting that their clinical state is merely an insult or a swipe, and not the gaping black hell of existence they know it to be, ALL RIGHT?

This isn’t the “wah, I’m having a bad day” depression I speak of, that I know firsthand; this is the “I’m scared to go outside because something might trigger a descent again” kind of blackness that literally puts a fear of God into you.

When I call my ex-boyfriend depressed, I call him that with nothing but tenderness and sorrow. I feel for him. I wish I could help him. There is nothing, not anything, that I can do for him. How I wish I could. I can’t. That’s just the state of depression for you. Somehow you got to find your way out, but this isn’t some spelunking game. This is sinking. It’s a shipwreck of the heart, and shit, man, Lost is going on Season Three, you know what I’m saying here? If you don’t get found, man…

Depression is the bane of my life. I’ve travelled that road too often to feel anything but empathy for its sufferers.

My brother broke my heart last week when he told me he was crying every day these days, missing being a husband and a father, he said. Broke my heart. What do you say to a man who feels so emotionally crushed in the face of his not being able to be the man he wants to be? I believe depression’s harder for men simply because they’re told to not listen to their emotions most of their lives, and here’s this thing of darkness screaming at you every waking moment, or drowing out the noise in your life, and you can’t ignore it. It’s there, always. I think men feel more helpless with it, but women are kind of conditioned to know our body does this to us, and we’re brainwashed to believe we’re the weaker, more emotional sex, so we somehow cope better as a result of it. Men have to bottle it up for pride’s sake, and the price they pay’s just horrific sometimes.

I recommend this brilliant book by William Styron. Brilliant literary take on the journey of depression by one of the best writers in the world. His was chemically induced (though some of us would argue they all, in one context or another, are) and spiralled towards suicide. It’ll wake you up to a more intellectualized and concrete look at the psychosis of depression.

I believe I’ll always be somewhat prone to depression. Now, though, I realize that no matter how dark it gets, I find moments of joy. I need to always remember that.

Anyhow. I wasn’t sniping. This is one breakup where no one really is to blame.

And to the reader who expressed concern that a great relationship could die at the hands of something stupid like a broken leg, well…

…Welcome to the real world. I have been alive for 394 months. This relationship ate up maybe five months of it. And it feels like so much more. The connection went deep, fast, and there it is. Such is life. Broken hearts hurt, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. When it breaks, you can hear it cracking. In fact, they did a study last year that proves for once and for all that you really can die of a broken heart.

Yep, Broken Heart Syndrome occurs when there is a sudden tragedy that hits you. A death, a diagnosis, a theft, whatever. It mimics a heart attack and can require hospitalization, after which (2-3 days) the people can leave in decent health.

Every friend I’ve lost, every lover who left or drifted away, every relative, they’ve all taught me something. Some are dead and gone but remain with me now. Some hurt me in ways I’ll never forgive them for but to this day I remember things they’ve said, that we did, and it will always stay with me.

And that’s life.

There’s a valley in Eastern BC, outside a little town called Nelson. The natives there have a legend that it’s the valley of the lost souls. The belief is, when you’re broken in spirit or body, you go there, by the river, and in time, it will heal your soul. When you leave, you leave whole but for the little piece of your soul that remains, and then heals the next broken spirit who happens by.

And that’s what love and broken hearts are. You hurt, you heal, and a bit of that experience stays behind to make you better, stronger, than you had been before.

So, my heart’s a little worse for wear, as is my ex’s, and that’s how it goes. We are what we are, broken. And there’s no shame in it.

And then there was None

Well, I’m single now. We pulled the Band-aid off and decided things just weren’t working.

As far as break-ups go, this was the best I’ve probably ever had.

It’ll be hard for me to be friends, I suspect, since I’m not really the one who quit the relationship. He was trying really hard to keep his shit together after he shattered his leg in March, but losing all your mobility and being introduced into a life where you have near-constant pain and chronic exhaustion tends to take a lot out of you emotionally.

Having been injured far too often last decade, I know this. I relate all too well. That, in many ways, made the past two months even harder. I wanted to be angry at him for pulling back, I wanted to resent him. I just couldn’t. I understand. It’s why I was so broken-hearted when I learned that morning that he’d broken his leg so severely. I knew the guy I was falling for was probably going to disappear for a long time. I’m just surprised it took a couple months to happen.

The relationship started wonderfully. It was so promising, full of future. Then, literally a bad break. Why fate intervenes as it does, I’ll never know. It just does. I can’t sit around in sadness and loss about this, because it is what it is: Dumb fuckin’ luck.

I don’t typically stay friends with exes. I’m making an exception. I also don’t tend to get back involved with exes, but in this case, I’m keeping a very open mind. On paper, we were obvious. Meant to be together. Even after we decided to break up, we were on the phone for an hour, just chatting.

Bad injuries can break a bit of your soul. Life becomes struggle. Too many people have never experienced the hardness brought on by a lack of freedom, lack of mobility, and constant pain. It really robs you of something, and it can really fuck with your psyche, too. This time, it did.

But, hey. He knows I care. I know he cares. We just can’t be what we want to be, and I can’t wait any longer. He doesn’t want to hurt me any more than this already has. It’s a respect thing.

Sometimes, moving on’s the best thing you can do. But I’m glad we’re keeping an open mind. Finding a real, passionate connection’s a rare thing in this shallow fucking world, and writing something like this off because fate played a hand, well, I’m too much of a romantic to just do that. Deciding to move on has been a long time coming.

Part of why I haven’t been writing as well as I’d like to have been doing is because I’ve been biting my tongue. So much of this has troubled me so deeply for so long that I’ve just felt unable to share it, because I knew he was having such a hard time already, and I didn’t want to bring any more negativity to the plate, or make it harder for him. In so doing, I took more bruising than I maybe should’ve done.

But now it’s done. Now the future’s decided, a path of action has been declared.

I was at a thingie last night and had a couple of those “moments” where you can tell the guy’s really digging you, you know? It was strange, because I felt like I was cheating on The Guy even though I’d sort of decided to end it today already. Maybe there’ll be a re-learning curve on this. He says he won’t be looking for relationships in the hiatus, but that I’m entitled to do anything I want, given that I wasn’t the one who pulled up anchor a couple months back. It’s nice to have that understanding expressed.

Having this resolved comes at a good time. There’s a potential that I’m going to spend some money I shouldn’t spend, and get the fuck out of dodge for a weekend. I’ve found out that there’s a scooter rally in Wine Country this coming weekend, and for a hundred or so bucks, I can have a great three days of fun with people who are positive, zany, intelligent, daring, and adventurous. Exactly the qualities I’m looking for in new people.

Am I going to sit around and be celibate as I hope that maybe I’ll get back together with this guy I really like? Absolutely not. I’m not going to sleep around, but I’ll see if some connection can be found somewhere. I have to presume things may never re-ignite, tragically, but I’m also hoping that being back on the market will remind me of what I might’ve had, and keep that desire awake a little.

Man, got to tell you, some days I really miss being six years old. It was all so simple, wasn’t it? Is it any wonder everyone gets felled with an early-20s depression as they realize everything’s just gotten infinitely more challenging?

Pity I have nothing to drink, but that’s probably a good thing. I do, however, have a roach I can smoke. I feel a little toying with dope coming on in my new future. A little bender can’t really hurt.

It’s Not You, It’s Me

That phrase is among select company in the statements none of us wants to hear in a relationship we value. It’s gone beyond being a standard line given when something inexplicable has gone awry in a relationship to being a pop-culture joke of reknown.

In Seinfeld, George Costanza freaks out after being dumping by a woman, saying, “You’re giving me the ‘It’s not you, It’s me’ routine? I invented ‘It’s not you, it’s me’. Nobody tells me it’s them not me. If it’s anybody, it’s me!”

But this time, it’s the Guy.

He needs some time, he says. Life’s hard. Between the rehabbing, working incessantly, being completely out of sick time for the next ten months, the frustrations of life being different from what it was, the fatigue, the lack of freedom and fun, the residual depression that comes with… It’s proving to be a hell of a reality cocktail for him.

Apparently, the future of the relationship is in jeopardy. As a result of all the things going on for him, he’s been left feeling flat and emotionless, and it’s eating him up.

I’m worried that it’s over. My worries are valid. A decision won’t be made yet, there is no timeline. Space will be had. Things will be revisited. We’ll see what’s next on the horizon then.

The strange thing is, we both care for each other a great deal. I know it. He knows it. We’re a great match. On paper, we have so damned much going for us, so how it’s here, how it’s this way, neither of us can figure out beyond just really dumb fucking luck.

I’ve had reservations since the get-go with his badly broken leg that he suffered only a couple weeks into our relationship. I should have played things differently. I should have pulled back more, made myself scarce, but I didn’t. I wanted to pretend things were fine, too. Delusion is a great plaything.

Unfortunately, I know exactly what he’s going through. I should have known better. I’ve been down that road – coming home from work so fucking tired all you want to do is die a while, cry a while, whatever it takes to reset. The last thing you want is having to deal with people of any kind, because you haven’t even got the energy to deal with yourself anymore.

Am I feeling negative about it? Yeah. Because although I’ve come through those injuries and know that he’s at his lowest point right now – there’s a false optimism when you get that first update on the prognosis from the doc: “Progressing nicely” – because it’s never as easy as you hope it will be. In fact, it’s harder. You throw excess overtime and challenges into the mix, and then you’re sent spiraling into a hole you think’ll take you all the way to China.

And one day, things change. One day, things get better, and you come back to yourself, and things carry on as you wish they would’ve a long time before.

The only question is whether I’ll be around to see it. Whether I want to be. And right now, I don’t even know the answer to that. I know he doesn’t want to hurt me, but I’ve been pushing little hurts and neglects aside for a couple weeks now, with a realization of what he’s been enduring and cutting a little slack as a result. I’m not sure what my breaking point is. I had a vision for this relationship, and that break broke more than his bones.

I have no cards to play. I get to back off, and that’s all I can do.

That’s adversity for you. It’s why hard times are so consistently responsible for trouncing relationships. In the end, we all close our eyes and become prisoners in our own minds. Lovers seldom can truly break through the walls we raise between us and the world. We try to let them in, but there’s a place inside they often just can’t reach (and sometimes we can’t, either), and when things like these happen, those places grow cavernous and dark and dank.

The thing that makes this really hard is, I want the Guy in my life, but if this was to end tomorrow, I’m not sure he would be. I’ve never stayed friends with an ex-lover. I don’t have it in me. Just like I can’t do random, casual sex; my emotional capacity doesn’t work that way. My reservoirs run far too deep to just turn the valve off and change pressure modes for comfort’s sake. I can’t ignore matters of the heart, and I can’t pretend they’re less than they are. “Friends” are nice, but when you’re wanting a lover, there’s not much sense in pretending you’re not the person you know you are, or that you don’t have the needs and desires you do.

I sometimes hate how life can change in an instant. (Ironically, mine seems to be changing two ways in an instant. I’m so fucking torn.) There’s so little power any of us has over our circumstances, and when the going gets tough, we have to hold on to the things we have and struggle to keep ourselves in the game.

Only this time it just isn’t that easy. Nothing is.

It’s a waiting game now, and my suspicions last week about overtime possibly being a dire contributor to this relationship have proved true; I saw it posing a bad shift in balance between the me time I have far too much of, and the time he’s had virtually none of. I don’t blame him for the overtime, he’s had no choice. We all know what responsibilities to the workplace entail, and we’ve all sacrificed our private lives to an extent for it.

I just wonder if either of us really knew what was on the table.

Now we do.

Am I optimistic? As I write this, not particularly. And I fucking hate that. I have no question that he wants it to work with me. He’d be a fool not to want that. I just don’t think he has it in him right now. And if he doesn’t, then I probably won’t have it in me to be anything outside of what I’ve been thus far for him. I wish I wasn’t, but it’s how I’m built. I foresee things being hard to overcome if it goes that way.

For now, we wait. We hope. We wonder. Then we see.