Telling on Myself

Happy New Year's Eve.

Continuing to slowly climb out of the hole.  Gradually relying less on vices to cope with my grief.  Trying to bring in some meditation and writing.  Still drinking more than usual and watching a lot of television though.

My housemate came back from New York where his family lives, but he's been staying over at his  girlfriend's (or whatever she is right now) house.  I guess the idea is to spend a lot of time together and talk a lot over this weekend, then see where they're going to go.  They've been together a year or so I think and broken up twice in that time.  She's high energy and can turn in to a human tornado of emotion, especially around her stressful job managing a retreat center.  He (my housemate) is more introverted and gets overwhelmed with her agitation.

He also feels taken for granted, as well as devalued at times when she has had "friendships" pop up from the past with other guys.  She's been a very free spirit over the years, traveling a lot, lovers in every port, etc.  Anyway, they do have lots of chemistry and have been trying very hard, so actually I hope they can work it out.

To catch up on my own mess, when I got back from Christmas, there was an email from S (I'm going to call him S for Snake, instead of sh/cm, because it fits my feelings right now) saying his romantic feelings had faded the last few days - not because of any focus on another person - but on their own accord.  And he wanted to enter the New Year as friends.

Well, that hurt.  Even though I was uncertain what I wanted, there was at least some hope, and we had been processing relationship issues together over email.  This felt like yet another slap.  I do have to admit that I emailed him first, the day before, saying that I needed to step back emotionally.  I had asked him what he was doing for Christmas and there was a deafening silence on that front, which clearly indicated he spent it with his ex.  It made me realize how very uncomfortable I still was with the whole situation and that I couldn't really be processing anything with him while this was going on.  But I expected him to understand; for us to pull back but there be a desire on his part to continue talking later.

As I write this, I realize I probably shouldn't have been processing things with him in the first place at this time, all things considered.  But it is SO hard to break up with someone and just float out into the ether.  It's an emotional shock and leaves such a huge gaping hole in your heart, as well as your life (I imagine you all know what I'm talking about).  It sounds good to "be tough," but it feels horrible.

Anyway, I responded to his post-Christmas email with a fairly short response saying I had sadly come to doubt his capacity to be truthful, as well as his very character, and I didn't want to be friends.  That I may want to talk at some point in the future but, for now, goodbye.  That felt right and strong but then the recent lonely days wore on me. . . I know I should be getting out and distracting myself, but I'm low on money after Christmas and feeling low energy too.

So, I had a mini-slip yesterday and sent him an article from Psychology Today called, "Promise Keepers - The Committed Partners Who Stay Faithful to Each Other," about the 50% of relationships in which both partners manage to remain faithful.    I saw the flaws of our relationship in some of the qualities she described, and it evoked both an ache and an excited feeling of affirmation, like, "Yes, yes, that's what I wanted!"  For example, this section on "Inclusion":

Think inclusion rather than exclusion. Faithful partners know the differences between privacy and secrecy. Private thoughts or actions do not necessarily threaten a relationship, but may. Anyone can be more susceptible to slipping from something innocent to a potentially dangerous situation. Faithful partners put their relationship above those possibilities.

Intimacy is about trust, trust is about honesty, and honesty is about not hiding anything. When partners have nothing to hide, they don't end up fugitives from each other. They don't want to harbor concerns that what they are doing could potentially threaten the sanctity of their bond.

In the moment of reading the article, I felt deeply compelled to send it to S.  I thought I was coming from a somewhat detached place of wanting him to understand what might have helped us, but also an altruistic desire to help him learn for whatever possible future relationship he ended up in.  In retrospect, I wanted him to understand what he did "wrong" and what kind of relationship I wanted, but also it was a little piece of connection with him.  I'm definitely getting stronger and feeling more balanced, but clearly still struggling with the loneliness and separation.  

So, I guess I wanted to "tell" on myself here.  I don't know what he's got going on with his ex - they could be making like bunnies over there - but it's not my business and it's not really the point.  He behaved very badly.  I need MUCH more respect, transparency, and caring for my feelings from a partner I'm with long term.  I am deeply disappointed and sad about the choices he made and for the way things ended, but I take responsibility for having doubts and issues of my own that seriously affected our relationship.  

At this point, I'm trying to find faith that there may be someone else out there for me with a stronger character and a stronger chemistry with me, who still has a lot of the wonderful shared values, interests, goals, and communication that S and I shared.  But sometimes I'm not so sure. . .



It's completely and totally over.  You'll get no more wishful posts.  Knowing me, likely some processing posts, but no wishful ones.  As my brother and sister-in-law would say, "What an a##hat."


The Blahs

Checking in from Oregon.  Like many other folks out there, I've had a mixed emotion Christmas, tinged with melancholy.  

It's been wonderful to spend time with my niece and nephew, of course, and I'll be heading over to my sister's again in a little while for a last dinner and visit.  Watching them open and play with presents yesterday and goofing around with them was priceless.

But today, my mood has been hovering in the crabby zone, likely in part because I drank (along with my brother, sister-in-law, and brother-in-law) quite a bit last night - for me, at least.  I haven't felt hungover, just kind of blah and sad.

Not surprisingly, I'm also feeling melancholy about my relationship situation.  I wish I weren't, but I am.

We were sending some emails back and forth, continuing to process stuff, but I decided I need to step back emotionally.  We started talking as if we may get back together, but I can't go there while his ex is still staying with him.

And even then. . . I know there are no guarantees, but I need to have more faith that he will value my feelings in his future decision-making.  The way this whole things went down was super lame, and I'm still angry and hurt about it.

On my side of the fence, I need to decide if I can accept him and his imperfections enough to fully step over the line into commitment, and I'm not there yet.  So I emailed him that I needed to emotionally step back for now, considering our current context, and I hope he understood my perspective.

Which was the right thing to do for me.  But I'm still sad.

Ending on an up note:  I got an iPhone for Christmas, yippee!!!  And some extra money to cover the additional data plan cost for a few months!  Yay!  The phone ships on January fourth, so I have a wait a couple weeks, but I'm excited.



I'm driving up to Oregon tomorrow for Christmas and have several things to accomplish today before that happens.  The hot fudge is completed at least and most other presents purchased.  I guess I'm looking forward to seeing my family (some of them anyway).

I'm still feeling sad but, after talking to sh/cm on Tuesday night, I'm not as darkly depressed.  Perhaps I'm in denial, because we are still broken up.  But it helped to talk through the situation with his ex, as well as other issues in our relationship.

Regarding his approach to the ex situation, talk about denial!  Despite the intense feelings I expressed multiple times on the subject, he still thought, "We'll get through it somehow, it will all be okay."  He described this as believing in the strength of our relationship; I call it being thick-headed and stubborn.

He did say he had shifted emotionally and understood my feelings, and admitted he would have had a problem if the situation were reversed (and I admitted most people would struggle with their partner living with someone of the opposite gender, which seemed to mean a lot to him).  I think it was something he believed he "had" to do, and clung to the belief that it would all work out somehow with the strategy of him staying at my place a lot, etc.

When the proverbial excrement actually hit the fan and she said she was coming for a month, we also had been having problems and he was hurt and angry, which played into the way he handled it.

Bottom line, I am deeply disappointed that he didn't communicate more openly with me as a partner, with consideration for both our needs and feelings.  I'm sad that he didn't initially empathize with my feelings and take them more seriously.  He shared that he believed both of our jealousy was "unsustainable" and would have to lessen.  And that I would get more emotionally stormy than him about things, and he saw his role as upholding medium and long-term goals.  Or something like that.

I see the point of not always "buying in" to my emotions, especially around certain times in my cycle, but this was an issue that goes back to the start of our relationship, had come up several times, and was much more deeply rooted.  I know my own reactions to it are partially fueled by my own issues and insecurities but that's part of what I want a partner to do, be sensitive and help reassure me in areas where I struggle.

Granted, we each need to take responsibility for our own issues/reactions versus making the other person wrong, which is easier said than done.  But, basically, I wanted him to care about my feelings and work together to find a way to deal with the situation that was tolerable for both of us.

The other topic I want to mention relates to his emotional wound or trauma (he describes it as a dark void), which he had recently gotten in touch with when we first got together.  He talked about wanting to actively work with it but never really started on that process, which is what he says he wants to do now.  We'll see.  But it takes hold of him at times and causes him to see me as a bad person or purposefully unloving or hurtful.  It's the worst feeling to be on the receiving end of this, and, looking back on our emails over the past several months, has sabotaged the strength and joy in our relationship many times.  I know that my issues around perfectionism, as well as the aforementioned jealousy/insecurity, have also caused problems and pain, so I'm certainly not without blame.

Anyway, sorry for the ongoing analysis!  I'm deep in it right now.  I did go on a date Monday night.  We looked at Christmas lights and all the festivities going on down in Union Square in San Fran.cisco.  It was enjoyable and he's an intelligent, good guy, but the attraction wasn't particularly strong.  I might go out with him again, just for equilibrium purposes, when I get back from Oregon.

As a side note, sh/cm gave me a romantic, loving card and bought me a huge book of Romantic/Post-Romantic poetry, which felt loving and like an effort of sorts.  He also insisted on giving me some money to deal with car stuff, which I initially resisted but ended up taking because I would not have had to spend this money if we had gone to Oregon together, as planned.  And we drank wine and spent some time kissing, which may not be a "good" thing but felt very good.


Time of Darkness

Yes, it's my life, but I kinda wish it weren't right now.  I apologize in advance for what may be a darkish post.

Since last Spring, I felt like I was building the life I envision for myself: a partner in life with whom a share values and meaningful goals, a family, a community of interconnected, like-minded people, work that sustains me on multiple levels.  As this relationship seems to be crumbling around me, I have a sense that most of these building blocks are crumbling along with it.  I literally (hat off to Rob Lowe) feel like dying when I imagine returning to my single life, at least as it was before.

I finally spoke in person with sh/cm last night, but it was an unsatisfying exchange.  Though we did connect for a short time and he admitted he was a complete mess the day after I broke up with him, for the most part he wasn't really present.  When I asked him questions, he gave rational, measured answers, laced with sympathy.  Yuck.  Apparently, when he officially broke it off with his ex way back when in I think May (well, broke off their plans to give it another try; the marriage had ended a couple years prior), they talked about her still coming out around this time to wrap things up with work stuff, and he said he figured at that time that she would stay with him.  What?!  The relief I felt when he broke it off was huge, as it had been something hanging over us for those first few weeks when we were both technically uncommitted and dating others (but in reality were exclusive).  To hear that the trip, albeit shorter, was always planned, and that he assumed she would stay with him was hard to hear.

As an aside, I should say that during our conversation, I felt compelled to ask about whether he had any hope that we could work on his/my/our issues together, in some of the ways we had talked about before.  He basically said he's scared of his own negative patterns and how they affect him and affected us, and he needs to work on these on his own, outside of a relationship.

But stepping back, we had been having trouble for quite a while.  Remember all the jealousy?  I think that stemmed from a lack of trust and security on both of our parts.  I read something recently that said women's libido stems from a sense that the guy is hot for her and also trust.  As we went along, my trust in him diminished instead of grew, partly because he was not consistently sexually forward, as he had been, and partly because he told me he had spoken to his ex without telling me and that she was coming out for two weeks in January (the first I'd heard of it).  I don't remember when that was exactly - two or three months ago?  On my part, I questioned whether we had enough chemistry and expressed my doubts at times in ways that lessened his security, as well.

But ironically, he was the one who I would say had the most jealousy in our relationship, primarily around my platonic housemate.  I did come to understand and empathize with his insecurity around that situation, since the housemate and I are friends and we were, after all, living under the same roof.  But he would communicate these feelings in irrational ways that made me feel like I was actually cheating on him or doing something horribly out of line - like when I answered his phone call when driving in the car to theatre group with the housemate and wasn't as present as he felt I should be or when I didn't text him back that day not long ago.  Feelings, yes, I could certainly understand him having feelings about these things but it came out in terse, analytical, "grilling me"-type exchanges, which left me feeling defensive and sad.

Why did I put up with this?  Because from the beginning, he and I have had so many wonderful, connected times too.  We are on the same page in so. many. ways.  It's HIGHLY unusual in my experience to have so much in common with another person.  And we did have a strong attraction at the beginning and off and on throughout the relationship - though more off at the end.  Anyway, we could have great discussions about projects, issues, and feelings, and it was awesome being part of the same community and focused on similar environmental/social change issues.  And just having a companion for the more mundane things in life is so wonderful - everything from making dinner; to Farmer's Markets, community potlucks/meetings, and trips (well the trip to Oregon sucked, but other trips); and just hanging out all felt so good when we were "in it together."

Thinking of life without this companionship feels empty and cold, almost unbearable.  Yet, I must bear it.  I'm getting through one day at a time, the non-12-step way: drinking more than I should, even smoking cigarettes yesterday.  I'm sleeping okay, still exercising, and eating not too horribly, so I guess it's not a complete mess.

But I'm sad.  And I'm hurt.  And I know I had a part in the relationship breaking up, but right now it feels like he lit the final fuse and that sucks.

I have a date from Mat.ch.co.m on Saturday night: an effort to soothe my heart and ego, but I doubt it will amount to anything because of where I'm at emotionally plus I don't think the guy has enough emotional depth.  Honestly, at some level, I'm probably doing it to balance the situation with his ex, which is ridiculous because what does it matter now?

Thank you for listening to this disjointed outpouring.  Birthday and Christmas here I come, but my bells are broken.


We interrupt this relationship. . .

This has been a week from hell.  Starting with a horrible teaching day Tuesday in which everything that could go wrong technically did with regard to a medical video I was showing, and progressing to my boyfriend telling me his ex-wife was coming two weeks earlier and would be living with him for the month she's here.

He explained she would be sleeping upstairs in the loft space.  He swore that it was business only, that even if I ran off with some other man, he wouldn't be with her.  He said he could spend a lot more nights at my house and that we would still go up to Oregon for Christmas at the end of this month, in the middle of her stay.

But I couldn't take it.  The shock, hurt, and fear were too much.

To begin with, I told him there is no way I could deal with that, no way that she could stay with him, and at first he seemed like he was considering other options like her staying with one of his co-workers.

But the next day in emails, I could tell he was trying to placate me.  He wasn't answering direct questions about the situation and her staying with him, him spending time with her, etc.  So I called and asked him directly, and he told me that she was going to stay with him.

I said, "Even knowing all that I've told you about how it makes me feel and knowing what I said about not being able to handle it, you are still making that choice?"

And he mumbled a bit and then said, "Yes."

So I broke up with him.

It's been a few days now.  He picked her up at the airport yesterday and God knows what they are doing right now, but I'm trying not to torture myself with those kind of thoughts.

I've been feeling so confused and hurt about how he could so definitively choose to "honor his commitment" (about finishing things up with her work-wise) and "fulfill his obligation" (to talk things through with her and have closure on their marriage and post-marriage relationship) through her living with him for a month, when he knew that potentially could end our relationship, his current commitment?

And how could he think that it's okay to live with this woman who I've never met and who, the last time he saw her, he was sexual with and talked about "giving it another try" (around this time even), before he changed his mind and decided to be with me?

And finally, how could he present it to me as a done deal instead of talking it through with me and working harder to help me understand and get on the same page with him, which to me shows respect and love?

Trying to understand his perspective, which I hope to more directly hear about tomorrow night when he comes over to talk, I've considered a few things:

  1. I have been extremely jealous and emotionally volatile around the subject and he has reason to doubt I could have talked it over with him rationally.
  2. He feels a lot of guilt about breaking up with her back in the Spring.  He was married to her for four years I think and has a lot of history with her and agreements I don't know that much about with regard to business/work.
  3. He feels deeply (not that I agree) that he owes her this and would be a bad person if he didn't do right by her in this way.  So in this light, he's not choosing her over me but feels he has no other choice in order to keep his self-respect and integrity.
  4. I don't know why she had to come out two weeks earlier.  I was too angry to inquire clearly about this but plan to do so tomorrow night.  But if there was a good reason for this, putting her up in a hotel for a month would be thousands of dollars that he can't really afford (nor can she I'm fairly sure) and it's unlikely his co-worker could have boarded her for a month.  
  5. Because he feels so clear in his own mind that he is not interested in being with her, he expects me to trust this.  I also wonder if he feels at some level that this is a fair exchange because I live with a man, and my living situation has brought up a lot of insecurity and jealousy in him over time. Even though I'm beyond clear that I have no attraction and have stressed this with him.  I've posted about this before. . .

I think that he rationalized it in his mind and somehow made it fit together as an okay choice.  But the close confidants I've told clearly think this situation is outside the norm and seem to understand and resonate with my outrage.  An ex from not all that long ago?  Living with him for a month?  Really? 

I met with my Non-Violent Communication group leader yesterday, and she gave me a lot of empathic support.  It felt good to release emotion and receive compassion.  I was also able, through this process, to come to some of the above understanding of his perspective, which is also valuable.  I'm not saying I think he made the "right" choice, but I can see more of the feelings and needs driving his actions.

Do I wish that my feelings and our commitment somehow trumped everything else?  Absolutely, but I guess that's not the case here.

One aspect that I need to own is that I have had my own doubts about our long-term compatibility, and I know this has affected our relationship and how I treat him at times.  He was very hurt the other day when I did not respond to a text, even though I did receive it, until several hours later that evening.  Does that show some lack of respect and caring?  Probably so.  And there are other things I've done and said that show uncertainty and less than 100 percent commitment to him in my heart.  So I need to own those things too and recognize they likely play a role here, as well.

So, yeah, a depressing week.

To end on a slightly positive note, I did go buy and decorate a small Christmas tree yesterday - the first time I've done this on my own.  And I went to dance this morning, even though I was feeling very anxious and sad, followed by going out to the awesomely-named "Karma Kitchen" and eating with dance friends afterwards.  When I got home, I colored my hair a lovely red-auburn color.  Now, I'm drinking wine and am going to watch a movie.

I hope tomorrow night brings relief and understanding.

p.s. I would appreciate hearing any feedback or experiences you might have to share related to this.


TWW and Test Results (not the test you're thinking)

I am nearing the end of this two-week-wait.  I wanted to share signs, which are likely all in my head or about my period coming (ah, the cynicism of so many months of BFNs) and also talk about the fertility test results I just received from Kai.ser.

With regard to signs, I had little to report until yesterday.  I dropped and broke a couple of things a few days ago, which seemed odd but probably unrelated.  I had a slight wave of nausea while out on a walk Sunday with sh/cm.  Usually - sorry for TMI - when I think I have nausea, I burp shortly thereafter, which explains it.  But nope, no burp this time.

Also, remember the implantation-type temperature dip I've had a couple of times now?  Well, I had that again on 10 dpo, but seeing as it's the third time and the first two times led to zilch, I wasn't so excited.

Then, yesterday, I had lower abdominal pulling/slight cramping feelings in the afternoon.  I told sh/cm that I feel like my period is coming and this cycle is likely coming to an end.  But this morning my temperature is still up, and I haven't had any spotting yet.  My cycle is due today or tomorrow.

On to the tests.  So I am now on sh/cm's insurance with Kai.ser, so I am starting up the process again with their reproductive endocrinology folks.  The first step is always a battery of tests, and I'm working my way through those.

The first round of prolactin/progesterone/thyroid came back yesterday.  Not what I expected.  My thyroid is too high (5.8 - indicating hypothyroid) and my progesterone is too low (5).  My progesterone has tended on the low side before but not this low.  There is a chance that it was really day 24 vs. 23 - you're supposed to test on days 21-23 - but it still shouldn't be that low, right?

Anyway, just in case, I started supplementing with progesterone cream until I can see the doctor who will likely recommend suppositories or shots.  I also took matters into my own hands with my thyroid medicine and started taking an extra quarter pill.

I'm so frustrated because earlier this year, I had thyroid testing done, and after first raising the dose when it came back a bit high, the doctor retested and lowered it again after deciding it was then a little low.  The problem is, I felt great on the first dosage adjustment, after she had raised it:  I lost a little weight (probably also due to running), my energy felt right, and I just intuitively felt in a good place with it.  So I think I probably should have stayed on that dose.

I guess there's no use crying over spilt milk, as they say.  I'm just worried that my hypothyroidism has affected my fertility these past few months.  Also, I wonder if my fertility supplements could have affected my thyroid levels.  Has anyone heard of that?  Perhaps a google search is in order.

At least these two issues can be theoretically "fixed."  The next round of testing in a few days (assuming I'm not pregnant) will include FSH, fasting glucose, and estradiol.  Here's hoping. . .


Cussing. Love. Christmas.

To follow up on a couple of things:

The field trip last Wednesday went great!  For me, at least. . . apparently one of the groups (the kids were divided into several groups that rotated through the different campus sessions such as Dental Assisting, and Health and Human Resources, etc.) had a few kids who were terrors.  They treated the Biotech professor so poorly that apparently she may not work with our program again.  And on one of the buses - not mine thank God - on the way back to the middle school, one of the girls told a very kind and helpful chaperone (a kid on the trip's parent no less) to "F$@k off!"  So, yeah, a few kids were suspended post-trip.  But my group was generally well-behaved, and I had a good day, so that's what matters, no?

I referred to a dark and confusing email from sh/cm in my last post.  Basically, he was upset because I didn't respond to a text he sent late Tuesday afternoon.  I was laid out on the couch at that point, nearly comatose, after teaching, but also I have to admit I was angry at him.  I had expressed some deep sadness in a phone call with him on Monday, the energy of which likely came from my past as well as the present situation, and he had not shown much if any compassion for me (granted, he was driving, but I still expected some mutterings of concern).

So, I didn't write him back right away and frankly forgot about it until we talked after my Interplay Theatre group later that night.  This triggered some old stuff in him, in turn - aren't relationships fun? - and he said in his email that he needed to "decouple."  Decouple?  Does anyone else think that sounds like "break up"?  He said in the next sentence that he wants to remain in a relationship but be less demanding of one another in communication.

In retrospect, I look at this email as a strategy he was using to get reassurance that I value him and love him.  But it was horrible for me to read.  So, long story short, there was some talking and crying on the phone yesterday, then he came over and we watched the Oregon Duck football game (Go Ducks!), ate pizza, spent some needed lovey/cuddly time, and talked through some stuff in-person, in a casual-type way (sometimes we get too intense!).  It was good, and I'm feeling a lot of love for him right now.

Going forward, he is going to try and tune in more when I express sadness and show his care and love.  And I am going to try and respond to his communication, even if it's not a "nice" response.  He stressed he would much prefer any response than none at all.  I also told him, though, that if I don't respond, I want "a pathway out" of the doghouse, or a way to be forgiven.  Sometimes, he gets stuck in making me wrong - or from his perspective get understanding and therefore achieve safety - and it feels horrible to be stuck there with him, being raked over the coals.  I'm feeling hopeful, now, that we've reached more clarity about our patterns and ways we can improve.

Side note:  In other relationships, I've experienced the pain and fighting but not the working through, understanding, becoming more intimate part.  So even though this may sound really hard, to me it's a good thing!

Christmasy!  Weekend!  First of a few, hopefully.  I'm heading out to a couple of holiday craft fairs and to pick up cookie ingredients and plan to spend the rest of the day getting my festive on at home.  I'll be digging out and sorting through the tree decorations for the tree we're getting tomorrow, then just puttering around making cookies.  A walk must be had somewhere in there, as well, because this day is too damn gorgeous to waste!

Hope you are enjoying your weekend, too.  Anyone else jumping into Christmas stuff yet?

p.s. No pregnancy signs to speak of yet at 9 days post-ovulation.  I've dropped and broken two things which seems odd.  Is clumsiness a sign?  And have been eating a lot, but, well, 'tis the season!


Mixed Bag

The hardest week down!  Yay, me!  And the girls in the my after school program are the sweetest thing ever (and not just because they love my theatre games).

On the other hand, a dark and confusing email from sh/cm.  More tomorrow. . .