Thursday, October 30, 2003

All roads... (Part II) 

Recent searches that have led readers to the Asylum:

Nine week old fetus (Yahoo)

Prozac sex drive kills (Google)

old men asylum (Yahoo)

depo provera spotting message board (Google)

pictures fourteen year old brothers fucking thirteen year old sisters (Google)

how to end a relationship without hurting someone's feelings (Yahoo)

Gotta love that next to last one. Just the fact that there are apparently quite a few people out there searching for things like that makes me glad that, if nothing else, my fiance is not a sick fuck.

Life goes on 

First of all, I want to thank everyone for the support I've gotten since the last post I wrote. I'm definitely prone to emotional fits -- I don't mope or linger over things for long when they go wrong... instead, I wind up compressing my emotions and letting them out in one extreme outburst.

Note I say "compress" rather than "repress" -- I don't hold things in, I just let them out all at once. It's messy, but at least I get over things fast and am ready to move on quickly.

Anyway, I'm feeling pretty good now.

Something occurred to me recently. I am not an easy person to live with. I mean, look at this -- I'm divorced, schizophrenic, incredibly emotional, clingy, needy, demanding, and I've got an amazing case of PTSD from my first marriage.

My darling ex-husband (Mikey) and I were together for six years. During that time, I was allowed to leave the apartment a grand total of about 30 or 40 times. Most of that was prenatal appointments... I was literally a prisoner. And I had nearly no human contact except for him (and for the latter half of the relationship, our daughter) for the majority of that time.

Mikey was abusive in some nasty ways, ranging from his (often sucessful) attempts to make me cry during sex, to choking me until I nearly lost consciousness, to not allowing me to have any friends and little contact with my family, to lying about *everything*...

The lost post had more detail on that, but suffice it to say, when that's what your very first relationship is like... from age 16-22... you just don't come away unscathed.

So, I'm the ultimate psycho girlfriend. Unlike Mikey, I do have a few redeeming qualities -- I'm a 36DDD nymphomaniac and a damn good cook. And uh, I pay my half of the bills. That's good for something, right?

Anyway. My point is, and I'm sure any of my ex's would be glad to verify this, it'd be a tremendous challenge for anyone to maintain a relationship with me.

Then we have Steve. He's been through more shit in the last six months than he had in the previous eighteen years. Check it out:

He moved 1800 miles to live with a woman he'd never met in person, severely pissing off his parents in the process. Then I somehow wound up pregnant, lost the baby along with a quart of blood or more, freaked out pretty bad about that. Lost my job, went psycho and tried to blow my brains out, spent a few days in the hospital, came home and had a couple more psychotic episodes. One of these involved me slicing myself up with a razorblade, badly enough to leave well over a hundred permanent scars.

And there's other things, that alone would add up to a damn high stress level. Steve's under a lot of work related stress, stress from our relationship, stress from his mom, stress from money problems, stress from my near-constant health problems...

Anyone would have a hard time dealing with all this, but he's eighteen years old, autistic, and has ZERO previous experience with women.

There is no question we have a high-maintenence relationship. Hell, we're both high-maintenence people (especially myself) and once you put the two of us together and add lots of traumatic events... it's amazing we haven't killed each other, let alone broken up.

Which is not to say it's all bad. In truth, most days are good, and I'm happy most of the time. It's always one way or the other, though... I can't recall any "okay" days, just great ones and horrible ones.

There was a little girl, who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good, she was very, very good,
But when she was bad, she was horrid.

Anyone remember that nursery rhyme? If you replace the little girl with our relationship, it's a very accurate description.

Yeah, one of those intense, dramatic, rollercoaster relationships. I've had a few of those before, but never quite like this, or for anywhere near this length of time. It's been my experience this sort of thing is short-lived and ends badly, or else the drama cools down, things stablize, and all is well.

In less than a month, Steve and I will have been together for a year.

I think the problem here is that we get lazy. It's a cycle -- something awful happens, we work our asses off to get things going well again, and everything is great... then we get lazy and stop trying so much, because after all, it's going well. Then everything slowly degrades, another something awful happens, and it's way harder to deal with because our relationship is already suffering.

I used to try really hard to be proactive about this relationship. Unfortunately, Steve got bored with it. I think this was for two reasons -- one, I wasn't going about it in a particularly good way (for him), and two, he hadn't yet realized how important it was to maintain the relationship.

I haven't been trying as hard as I should, these days. That's something that has to change. Hell, at this point, I'd say our efforts are roughly equal -- I'm doing less, he's doing more. Both of us need to do more, especially when it comes to following up on decisions we've made to do just that.

Steve is, however, trying. That's not something I could confidently state until recently. But he is, and it's great, and I'm trying to remember to shower him with positive feedback so he continues to do so.

We sat down together recently and made lists of everything we needed from each other, putting X's next to those items that weren't being met satisfactorily. Then we went through them and had a long talk about what we could each do to get those needs met, and make each other happier. I think it's a good start, the discussion went very well.

If we had unlimited money, I'd think both of us should probably see a therapist. We don't, however... nor do we have health insurance. Couples counseling is another possibility, although I'm reluctant just on the grounds I fear they may tell us we're just not suited for each other.

This book I bought a few days ago is based on seminars held nationwide that are supposedly well-researched and proven to greatly reduce the risk of divorce. I have to say the list of sources is very impressive. Anyway, there's a guy who does the seminars about 30 miles from where we live, and we're seriously considering going to one... assuming we can afford it.

That was Steve's idea. Maybe I hinted a little, but he's not very good at picking up hints anyway, and he did suggest it. Just the fact that he thought it would be a good idea for us to do something like that makes me very happy. After all, for a long time my chief complaint with him was that he doesn't seem to want to do the necessary work to keep this relationship running smoothly.

Maybe that's changed. If so, I think we stand a good chance at making it. Yeah, we've got problems, and lots of them, but perhaps not anything insurmountable.

...and hopefully he won't cringe so much when he reads *this* post, as opposed to yesterday's.


Blogger just lost my post, again. This is getting pretty annoying -- I was going to copy it into the buffer before I submitted this time, just to be safe, and I accidently hit submit before I did it.


I'll make another shot at it shortly, but for now, I'll just say things are looking up.

Dear God... 

I spent two hours writing a post about everything that's happened in the last few days. Blogger went down, and I lost that detailed accounting. No, I don't have the patience to write it all out again. Instead, I'll write the abstract version. Not much in the way of juicy details, but hell, it's something.

I ended my first marriage with grounds of "irreconcilable differences". I suppose that was true enough, if you call "he's an abusive asshole, I'm just using him for money" irreconcilable differences. I think, though, that it'd be a lot more true of my current relationship.

I don't think you can have a relationship for more than a few months before someone gets hurt. At least not if it's serious. That's life. But there's a big difference between the normal ups and downs of relationships, and what Steve and I are facing.

This is something else, something I've never experienced before. We fight on a near daily basis, and every month or month and a half, things go to total shit when he does something that leaves me feeling like I've been backstabbed by my best friend. This man, whom I love more than I've ever loved anyone, has inflicted more pain on me in the last five months than I've experienced (in total) in twenty-five years.

It's caused by carelessness, a total lack of consideration, laziness, panic, and God only knows what else. Never malice, though. Steve is like a bull in a china closet, and slowly but surely, he's breaking me... one plate at a time. Sometimes a whole stack of plates, like on Monday.

In five months:
He violated my one and only dealbreaker, twice.
He lied to me, about something highly sensitive and emotional in nature.
He left me to rot in a hospital bed without bothering to visit, while planning on dumping me as soon as I was released.
He told me he wanted to cheat on me, because he thought he'd get an ego boost from it.
He told me he was no longer attracted to me, and merely loved me like a sister... then changed his mind.
He tried, repeatedly, to pressure me into doing something that he's aware makes me feel humiliated and degraded... because it makes him feel "powerful and dominant".
He was physically violent (borderline) with me, once or perhaps twice, depending on your definition. Only bruising, but that's bad enough.
He has constantly avoided situations in which I needed support -- sometimes by ignoring me when I was upset and playing on the computer, very frequently by falling asleep when I needed him.

...and all this without malice. There's not a mean bone in his body -- Steve's perhaps the nicest man I've ever known, if you consider nice to mean that he never intends to hurt me.

But it seems altogether too often that he just doesn't give a fuck about me. Oh, he swears he loves me, and that my happiness is more important than anything -- and then he does things he knows are indescribably hurtful to me. And apparently it's because he forgets I exist, or something. Or forgets that I've practically begged him not to do those things. I don't know. I'm just baffled by all of this.

...and I don't know what to do. I love him, it's nearly impossible to imagine life without him. He can be a truly incredible person, and most of the time, is. Every night at work, I spend the whole time looking forward to coming home just so I can see him for that precious half hour we have before he goes to work. There is no better feeling in the world than being held in his arms.

And yet, everything goes horribly wrong. He drops one bomb or another, and I'm left devastated, feeling as raw as if someone had peeled away my skin. I feel like I'm living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, except Steve doesn't mean to do these things to me. Where should I draw the line? "Oops, I fucked your sister... I just forgot you existed!" "Sorry I broke your arms and legs, I didn't realize it was going to make you unhappy."

This time I truly hit the end of my rope -- I was ready to move out and call it quits for good, despite the fact I'd promised I would never do that. I guess I justified it, because he'd broken the most important (to me) promise he'd ever made. But he cried, and he begged, and he swore he'd do anything if I just wouldn't leave him. So I couldn't, as much as I know I should have... if nothing else, for my own sake.

I'd give anything in the world for this shit to stop happening. I can handle the constant drama, the fighting, the misunderstandings and hurts and whatever else, but I can't handle being betrayed again. Maybe I'll numb myself to it eventually, I don't know... maybe once this has happened so much that I just don't care anymore, we'll have a nice, peaceful co-existence. Yeah, kinda like the last few years of my ex-marriage. Fuck that. Fuck it with a goddamned telephone pole.

I think much of the reason that I fell in love with Steve is that he seemed to be the total opposite of my ex-husband. And yet, as time goes by, he resembles that sonofabitch more and more. The two things that Mikey did that turned my affection for him into pure hate, are the two things that Steve did this time.

I went to the bookstore yesterday. I looked long and hard at a book that was supposed to help you decide whether to dump your SO or not. I resisted the urge to buy it, and instead picked up yet another relationship manual. This one promises a "divorce prevention system". I haven't even cracked it open yet. I don't have the energy, and I'm caring less and less.

I think there's something wrong with me. Well, we all know there is, for Christ's sake -- I'm certified psychotic. But I can't even begin to understand how I can love this man, and want him to be happy, when he's done this much to me. Yes, he's got good traits, lots and lots of them, but we all know how much good can be undone by a single betrayal of trust. And there's been plenty of them.

Yet another of those fucking self-help authors, this time a Dr. Hayley, talks about the "love bank". He says that when you do something good for someone, you're putting a deposit in there. Do something shitty, and you're making a withdrawl. If the balance gets high enough, you develop loving feelings towards a person. If it gets low enough, you no longer love that person and in fact begin to dislike them.

By all rights, that account should be sitting at -$40,000 or so. Well into the negative numbers, anyhow. Apparently I've got a magic fucking love bank, because God help me, I still care about Steve.

I haven't stopped caring about him. I've just stopped caring about my own happiness.

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