it’s been a while since I’ve been truly bothered

but here I am!

MH and I have been weird this semester — shifting friend groups and different schedules, maybe. But also silence that is more deliberate omission than secret. 

Experiences matter to me, and otherwise there must be words. We have neither, really, although we do have the odd gesture of care —

But omission, I think, is the worst of it. I hate the quiet of a disagreement, the silent judging. I want a riotous discussion; I want the chance to make my intentions clear. I want questions, not assuming acceptance and resentment.

Is this wrong of me? I used to think it was a flaw of hers. 

AM mentioned to me a comment about me by a friend of his. Over some casual, frivolous party disagreement. A nothing conversation.

“She really can’t see other people’s views.”

I remembered that conversation. And he was incorrect: I saw his view perfectly clear. I understood it. But I had disagreed. Is it wrong to communicate disagreement? Why does that translate to a narrowmindedness? Is it my tone?

Or are they right?

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Mr. Ramsey

But Cam could see nothing. She was thinking how all those paths and
the lawn, thick and knotted with the lives they had lived there, were
gone: were rubbed out; were past; were unreal, and now this was real;
the boat and the sail with its patch; Macalister with his earrings; the
noise of the waves--all this was real. Thinking this, she was
murmuring to herself, "We perished, each alone," for her father's words
broke and broke again in her mind, when her father, seeing her gazing
so vaguely, began to tease her. Didn't she know the points of the
compass? he asked. Didn't she know the North from the South? Did she
really think they lived right out there? And he pointed again, and
showed her where their house was, there, by those trees. He wished she
would try to be more accurate, he said: "Tell me--which is East, which
is West?" he said, half laughing at her, half scolding her, for he
could not understand the state of mind of any one, not absolutely
imbecile, who did not know the points of the compass. Yet she did not
know. And seeing her gazing, with her vague, now rather frightened,
eyes fixed where no house was Mr. Ramsay forgot his dream; how he walked
up and down between the urns on the terrace; how the arms were
stretched out to him. He thought, women are always like that; the
vagueness of their minds is hopeless; it was a thing he had never been
able to understand; but so it was. It had been so with her--his wife.
They could not keep anything clearly fixed in their minds. But he had
been wrong to be angry with her; moreover, did he not rather like this
vagueness in women? It was part of their extraordinary charm. I will
make her smile at me, he thought. She looks frightened. She was so
silent. He clutched his fingers, and determined that his voice and his
face and all the quick expressive gestures which had been at his
command making people pity him and praise him all these years should
subdue themselves. He would make her smile at him. He would find some
simple easy thing to say to her. But what? For, wrapped up in his
work as he was, he forgot the sort of thing one said. There was a
puppy. They had a puppy. Who was looking after the puppy today? he
asked. Yes, thought James pitilessly, seeing his sister's head against
the sail, now she will give way. I shall be left to fight the tyrant
alone. The compact would be left to him to carry out. Cam would never
resist tyranny to the death, he thought grimly, watching her face, sad,
sulky, yielding. And as sometimes happens when a cloud falls on a
green hillside and gravity descends and there among all the surrounding
hills is gloom and sorrow, and it seems as if the hills themselves
must ponder the fate of the clouded, the darkened, either in pity,
or maliciously rejoicing in her dismay: so Cam now felt herself
overcast, as she sat there among calm, resolute people and wondered
how to answer her father about the puppy; how to resist his
entreaty--forgive me, care for me; while James the lawgiver, with the
tablets of eternal wisdom laid open on his knee (his hand on the tiller
had become symbolical to her), said, Resist him. Fight him. He said
so rightly; justly. For they must fight tyranny to the death, she
thought. Of all human qualities she reverenced justice most. Her
brother was most god-like, her father most suppliant. And to which did
she yield, she thought, sitting between them, gazing at the shore whose
points were all unknown to her, and thinking how the lawn and the
terrace and the house were smoothed away now and peace dwelt there.

"Jasper," she said sullenly. He'd look after the puppy.

And what was she going to call him? her father persisted. He had had
a dog when he was a little boy, called Frisk. She'll give way, James
thought, as he watched a look come upon her face, a look he remembered.
They look down he thought, at their knitting or something. Then
suddenly they look up. There was a flash of blue, he remembered, and
then somebody sitting with him laughed, surrendered, and he was very
angry. It must have been his mother, he thought, sitting on a low
chair, with his father standing over her. He began to search among the
infinite series of impressions which time had laid down, leaf upon
leaf, fold upon fold softly, incessantly upon his brain; among scents,
sounds; voices, harsh, hollow, sweet; and lights passing, and brooms
tapping; and the wash and hush of the sea, how a man had marched up and
down and stopped dead, upright, over them. Meanwhile, he noticed, Cam
dabbled her fingers in the water, and stared at the shore and said
nothing. No, she won't give way, he thought; she's different, he
thought. Well, if Cam would not answer him, he would not bother her Mr.
Ramsay decided, feeling in his pocket for a book. But she would answer
him; she wished, passionately, to move some obstacle that lay upon her
tongue and to say, Oh, yes, Frisk. I'll call him Frisk. She wanted
even to say, Was that the dog that found its way over the moor alone?
But try as she might, she could think of nothing to say like that,
fierce and loyal to the compact, yet passing on to her father,
unsuspected by James, a private token of the love she felt for him.
For she thought, dabbling her hand (and now Macalister's boy had caught
a mackerel, and it lay kicking on the floor, with blood on its gills)
for she thought, looking at James who kept his eyes dispassionately on
the sail, or glanced now and then for a second at the horizon, you're
not exposed to it, to this pressure and division of feeling, this
extraordinary temptation. Her father was feeling in his pockets; in
another second, he would have found his book. For no one attracted her
more; his hands were beautiful, and his feet, and his voice, and his
words, and his haste, and his temper, and his oddity, and his passion,
and his saying straight out before every one, we perish, each alone,
and his remoteness. (He had opened his book.) But what remained
intolerable, she thought, sitting upright, and watching Macalister's
boy tug the hook out of the gills of another fish, was that crass
blindness and tyranny of his which had poisoned her childhood and
raised bitter storms, so that even now she woke in the night trembling
with rage and remembered some command of his; some insolence: "Do
this," "Do that," his dominance: his "Submit to me."

So she said nothing, but looked doggedly and sadly at the shore,
wrapped in its mantle of peace; as if the people there had fallen
asleep, she thought; were free like smoke, were free to come and go
like ghosts. They have no suffering there, she thought.

- To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf

This was powerful – so aptly describing my relationship with my father. Growing up, seeing him always as the villain. Growing up a bit more, and learning empathy, I was able to extend it to him to a certain extent, but it was always so difficult to extend it to action, to words. Because how does one rebuild a relationship that was never there? How does one even start a conversation, when one has spent one’s entire life shutting it down? And what about when he continues to terrify me, and anger me?

On Being Miserable with JKm

I suppose I’m really seriously beginning to question why I’m still in this relationship. Alone on that kayak in the middle of the lake, I came to the conclusion that I must break up with JKm – I just don’t know when or how. I know in my heart that it should be soon. It should be now. But I am terrified.

I write this as JKm sits across from me, reading. I have come to stay with him for three days. Today was our first. Last night was a whirl of our fulfilling our sexual needs after weeks apart. Today…well.

Small snubs. He doesn’t like my music. He ignores me. He gets wrapped up into sports and doesn’t hear me. He checks Facebook while I talk to him. When I turn inward he grows angry, antagonizing. What’s wrong? he asks, but it is not caring. It is blaming. It is frustrated. He hasn’t laughed in too long. He sighs all day. Nothing is fun that I attempt to make fun. The only thing that is fun is making out or having sex or foreplay. He is tired. He doesn’t want to swim. He doesn’t want to make a dinner. My attempt at a romantic homemade dinner devolves into him cooking and implicitly having me wash dishes while we don’t talk.

I realize we have nothing to talk about anyway.

We fight again – issues that I believe are not worth fighting over because they are given; issues that he believes are not worth fighting over because I should obviously compromise. He pushes, blaming me until I begin to cry, and he backtracks. He is willing to let this one slide. This is the first relationship in which he cares. He says this to mollify me. I cry harder. I will break up with him. There is nothing to ‘let slide’. This is the inherent problem in the relationship itself. He “likes me too much to let this get in the way”. I package away the small fact that he used like and not love and use it to shoot a string attaching my heart to his. For the first time, I push back with tenacity and anger and a sharpness that cuts the bandaid.

I FEEL THAT I AM CHANGING AND YOU ARE RESISTANT. I FEEL THAT I WILL CHANGE MORE AND YOU WILL RESIST EVERY STEP, AS YOU HAVE RESISTED EVERY STEP THUS FAR.

I FEEL THAT WE HAVE DIFFERENT GOALS.

Does it matter?”

The conversation is cut abruptly. Does it matter? Does it not matter? How permanent is this to him?

 

MS

On a oft-unmentioned note:

MS is becoming a stressful nonpart of my life.

When summer started, I was so sure that our friendship was solid. I was the last person he said goodbye to before he left; we hugged insanely tight and his dad went

Wow, I’ve never seen Max light up around someone like this

and we stayed strong through struggles like being pitted against each other for a job we thought we would do together and we were so solid.

And then summer began and I visited him and we hung out and made plans to do drugs and visit so often

And then summer wore on and he stopped responding to my messages and Snapchats so I started messaging him less and less and less

And then he very conspicuously forgot that we’d planned to hang out that involved my extensive planning

And then he kept not responding to my do-over plan suggestions

And then I started getting annoyed and passive aggressive

And that’s where we are.

Confronting JKm 2.0

My relationship has been on my mind lately, especially as, with the time apart, I’ve had time to reflect on how we truly are and where we’re going. I’ve realized that I enjoy being with him while I’m with him, but when we part, I realize how wholly unsatisfied I am with our often superficial interactions.

After we finished a movie yesterday, I decided to push him. Sitting on my bed, side by side, I asked deep questions; I prodded; I push far past his comfort zone and questioned his beliefs. He quickly grew frustrated and changed the subject. But instead of acquiescing, I let him know that I was upset. I let him know how much being challenged, and having deep conversations, and pushing each other meant to me; I told him that I needed it. I lay my head on his lap, looking up at him, eyebrows scrunched. I did not sugarcoat. I did not back down. I was an open wound. And he took me seriously.

I lay on the bed and he lay on top of me, his body even placed on mine. I stroked his head and hair and face as we talked, kissing his shoulders as he responded to my catharsis. We discussed our differences. He acknowledged his. That was just how he was, he said. He would try to improve, he said. He didn’t know if he could actually change.

I look deep into his eyes, gather up my breath, and say:

I just wonder where we’re going in the future, if we differ so much in this foundational way.

He was silent for a moment. He gazed at me. His eyes were aware of the implications of my statement. My eyes were sad.

I’ll get better, he said. I promise.

Now I was silent.

Thank you.

Looking back at my actions, I wonder how I was so brash. But I realized that in that moment, it was all or nothing. If that conversation hadn’t gone the way it did, I was ready to walk away from the relationship. The truth of that statement scares me even now. It scares me because of the hurt I know I would go through, and it scares me because of the hurt I know he would go through. But I love him. And it’ll get better. It’ll be ok.

JKm is Probably Temporary

I’ve basically been see-sawing between being practical and reasonable (JKm is an amazing boyfriend, he cares about you, you’d be an idiot to break up with up), and being idealistic and pursuing what I ‘feel’ is right. Because no matter what I tell myself, JKm is vastly different from me in vital ways – he doesn’t challenge me, not because we share the same positions, but because he is opposed to challenging itself. Can I truly grow as an individual that way? Can we truly grow as a couple that way? Is staying together just staying in comfort? Would it be stupid to break up? Can I do that to him? Can I do that to myself? Am I making it worse by staying together? Could I push through it? Can we push through it? Where is our relationship going anyway? I’m studying abroad and he’s graduating a year earlier, and our current life projections differ greatly. I don’t know. I don’t know.