I was so UTTERLY stressed last week. I knew I had the word of a second university official that my residence permit was being processed, but until I saw it on paper, I was ready to pass out. The mere thoughtof having a gap in my residence permit was fucking with my brain so much. I didn’t know whether that meant that I’d be illegally staying in the country, whether that meant I’d have an ICE situation -like in the news- on my hands, or what. Uncertainty had me basically in bed, conserving energy, like the scared prey I felt I was. I wasn’t even thinking with my mammal brain at that point. That was my reptilian brain, through and through.
And so, my decent ex had a health scare, and we were talking/texting daily. He is more or less fine, but I did notice something when he first told me that I found odd. He said: you have the dubious honor of being the person I trust with this distressful information. I said it’s fine. But a little voice inside me was thinking: “ah, now that you’re scared (of dying/having your life put upside down more than you’re comfortable with), you want people -me- around you. Interesting.“
When I do see him, for a while I wasn’t sharing the things that troubled me most because I felt like I wasn’t getting emotional support. So last time, I made sure I phrased it in a direct way, opened up about this insane issue -which he knew about, but I don’t know how he thought/cared about how I was handling it, and got the emotional support I wanted. So, good.
So that got solved (his health scare) between the week before last and last. My thing officially got VERY good news today, but last week, before I got ANY news, I saw him Monday and we talked Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday, I was feeling SO incredibly low. Ovulation can wreck you hormonally but it wasn’t just that. It was this. This topic of immigration/felt-like-impending-deportation had me fucking WRECKED. So, I saw him Monday, we talked on Tuesday, and I said: wanna meet next week? I know you have a socially packed week this week -for us hardcore introverts-. And he said no…I don’t know. I don’t know how I’ll feel next week, and I wanna put a pause on optional interactions for a while.
He has to do volunteering and he had to go to the doctor last week, so that’s what he meant, but still. Even if you are
denying the fact that you’re on the spectrum terribly tired of looking at people’s faces, you’re just thinking about yourself here, buddy. You needed me last week, and now that you don’t, you’d RaThEr NoT tO.
And even if that’s the case, you could express that in a WAY less hurtful way. WAY less hurtful. You could own up to your own limitations instead of telling the woman you once claimed to be so in love with that you consider her an “optional interaction”.
And, you know, it’s a big fat lie that this is him now. This is who he’s ALWAYS been. I just didn’t notice before. As a somewhat selfish person myself, when he was consoling me during trauma therapy, in my eyes, that meant he could do no wrong. When I felt better and I had gripes about the relationship, boom, he served me my walking papers.
When he said that, this time I didn’t even express sadness, or shock, or anything. I said ok and we kept talking. A short while after, I ended the call. Do you know that free fall feeling, where you don’t know where your mind is going, but you know it’s downwards? It’s not being suicidal per se, but it is about the removal of the will to live. That’s how I felt. Because I felt that those words meant oh ok, the person currently alive that I’ve felt closest to at one point considers me “an optional interaction”.
What’s the point in doing anything? Anything at all? I am connected to no other mammals around here. What’s the point in getting out of bed. What’s the point in cleaning up my house. What’s the point in studying. What is the point in having a life, indeed.
Once again, kudos to my trauma therapists, and kudos to me. That feeling is transient, and it will pass. The fact that I don’t have a family of my own is true now, not forever. I do not know what’s coming next. And I now have enough faith in the future to not discard it altogether :’)
Which brings us to my roommate. I took in a guy that I was fucking because I knew his lease was ending. It hasn’t been going well, because partly him, and partly me. I felt like there was no way out, and instead of an open-ended thing, I told him I could only host him for 8 months before he has renter rights AND responsibilities, which I do not want to share with anyone (both things are true). This is my apartment, and only my name will be in the contract until someone proves themselves a worthy co-renter. Until then, subtenant on the down low, and that’s it.
And so, before he came here, one time at the beginning, one rare morning that he slept over, he turns over and says Good morning beautiful. The afternoon before, I was hesitant about him knowing my name because I had to send him money -we were doing groceries- and he asked me to look for my number in his phone. The only-very-slightly tricky part of my name is in the middle, not at the beginning. But I did. And he does know my name (trust me, I know this :P). But the next morning, I’m like what’s my name, and he’s like ooef, I don’t like being put on the spot. And then after a few seconds, he got it. That did hurt my feelings, because for a second I did believe he didn’t know it.
But to cruel, never-got-enough-of-mommy-and-daddy men, the instinct doesn’t go towards appeasing the emotional bid for their validation. It goes to either finding it amusing that someone needs them in that regard, or to be annoyed/uncomfortable they’re being asked to do the bare fucking minimum.
Why is he living here, you’ll ask. I’ll tell you. My roommate, the one I semi-carefully vetted and was so excited to have at home, told me with one week notice that she was moving out. Being an anxious person, I didn’t want to vet someone under duress, and he’s lent a helping hand when I carry/move heavy shit around the house. He can switch the lightbulb without getting a step, lol.
He was convenient. But still, right? My standards need SERIOUS revisiting. Not necessarily in this case because I have no feelings for him, BUT STILL. I’m letting people be comfortable at my expense. That shit needs to stop.
Which brings us to my friend with benefits. I thought he was the bees’ knees. He was honest about not wanting too much physical interaction, but he was available to me via the phone, and way more emotionally generous before. Now, it feels like the second he can sense an insecurity or that I can go without him giving me that warmth as before, he’ll stop offering it. I think it’s pretty fair to say that he’d like to consider himself as someone that wants a friendship with benefits, but what he meant was he wants to be fucked as passionately as he assumes women fuck their romantic partners.
The other day he was feeling low (big surprise, only time he feels socially engaged is when he’s inside me, which since he lives a bit far away, it’s once a month or so), and I was telling him I don’t really know what to say in situations where someone declares to feel terrible to the point of considering suicide, but that his presence and interactions make him valuable. Which is something that trauma therapists don’t understand, I think: yes, self-esteem comes from within, but when you’re below zero, you need to know/feel like you’ve connected with someone. Ideally someone from your own life, otherwise to them. But we know that relationship is transient. So to put together that collage of “You’ve connected with another human before” is HAAAAAAAAAAARD.
Hard AF. And I disagree that the approach should be that therapists say: but we’re connecting now. We don’t feel it. Our lives need to have meaning beforehand otherwise, we were right, no point in the shit because you can’t befriend/marry/procreate with your therapist(s). That’s a service. A heavenly, healing, nourishing and extremely giving service that, if done well, prepares us for life but we’re not considering it as the definition of life. We don’t exist to go to therapy. We exist to connect, and when that’s faulty, then we exist to go to therapy. To get better. To be later thrown back into gen pop xD
So I told this guy about my times in therapy, and he said you’re right, I’m (valued by) thinking of my parents, something something, my friend -thinking about the woman he’s told me is her friend. He didn’t mention me, that I’ve been talking to him and hearing him say heavy ass shit for the past hour.
It’s true -by definition- that trauma victims are selfish. Practically narcissistic. It’s hard for us to consider others. Their POV. Their feelings. To gauge their interest in other people/situations/anything. But there’s traumatized and there’s naturally self-centered. Ego-skewed. The opposite of generous.
And THAT’s who I’ve been choosing to surround myself with. Emotional starvation.
Why, right? I deserve SO much better. Mf, have you met me? First of all, I look adorable. The curls, the big eyes, the glasses.
When I get the pretty treatment, I’m always startled. I invariably dislike it. In the nanoseconds where I look startled instead of pleased or pUt UpOn By It, I’m perceived differently. Some
men people think that justifies treating me differently. With less kindness or warmth. Attractive people who act like they know it do indeed receive better treatment by others. Adjust for race, gender, age and what not, and yeah, the effect compounds or decreases.
I have a gripe about the italics. Symmetrical is symmetrical. So, people’s concept of hotness should be invariable, whatever the attractive person’s attitude is, but that’s not true. For me, it is -or at least I try to be objective in that regard-. Whatever someone’s attitude, it’s bone symmetry what makes them attractive. Smooth, uniform skin. Shit like that. The not-to-hot makeovers in cinema or TV have always seemed so funny to me. People don’t really see. Anyways.
Second of all, that in reality is the only relevant point: I’m a human being, and I deserve to be treated with respect and consideration. Ideally, with warmth.
Just like I treat others. And if that’s too much because I am affectionate AF, then here are the privileged tiers:
50%+ of my warmth: Dear, bestest of friends. 75%+ of my love is given back: that’s my partner or a BFF I’d die for.
25%+ of my affection IRA: Close acquantainces/”faraway” friends? Glad to have them, but I’ll know I should not invest so much of my heart/time in them. This concept, I really worked on it this year. DIscovering it, grieving its existence, understanding why it’s a-ok. Acknowledging that it was hard to find out this was a normal thing because I’m looking for more.
0%-24% of my friendliness IRA: Strangers or mere acquaintances.
Anything less than that, you get checked. Checked out. Of my life, my body, my time. Even my apartment. It doesn’t matter if the other person didn’t order the friendly/warm roomie package. They are getting it. if it bothers them to have sunshine in their life, then they can go live in the shadows somewhere else 😀
I guess the big surprise for me, when I started writing this post, was the fact that I thought my decent-enough ex merited my Gratitude. Capital G. I so much honored and revered the love we had had. Cherished it deeply. Was determined to keep him in my life at a regular pace even if I had to do most of the work. I didn’t care. I thought that what we had had was platinum shit.
It can’t be when that very same person can drive you to -partially- losing the will to live, you know? Romantic love could be gone, but the warm soul I thought I’d fallen in love with should still be there. It is not. I’ve been cared for. Supported. But not loved by others during my adult life. Cause that’s when my grandma passed. Which is ok, although sad. But it doesn’t have to define my entire mood, nor my personality. I’m not gonna tone down my warmth and optimism just because others live bitter af. I’m not gonna restrict the affection I give just because I’ve met some fuckers unworthy of the top 2 tiers to my heart.
But I did think the remaining friendship I had with my decent-enough? ex warranted more respect and warmth from him to me. Those that have a really hard time owning up to having intense feelings, should also have the same kind of obsessive foresight in making sure they don’t hurt others while expressing hOw lItTlE dO tHeY cArE aBoUt ThEm. Otherwise, you’re not just an avoidant, you’re a narcissist. And that’s different.
P.S.: About my current roommate: There’s more to that. Remember my creepy neighbor? I don’t feel like I can offer a room in my home anymore, not in good conscience at least, to a woman 😥 Even if I inform her completely. But that’s me taking away the decision-making power and agency of other women, and I am NOT responsible for THAT man’s transgressions. I can do like I did with the roomie before him, the inconsiderate shithead: to open up about having a lot of anxiety, and to disclose that there’s a troublemaking neighbor -every few months or so. Never assault. Never direct words. But definitely a bully. And see if someone takes the leap with me. In any case, I already told my cold, sardonic, very intractable current roommate January is the last month I can rent out that room to him.
I deserve better 🙂