Alone Again… Naturally

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Two years and two days have passed since I met WFB (Whole Foods Boy). A little over one week ago I asked him to move out. Alcoholism and depression are motherfuckers and I can handle one, but not both. He basically moved in with me last summer, though he was still under a lease with his roommate for six more months. It was June of last year when he “moved in.” I asked him to stop living in my house if he wasn’t at least helping with dishes and mowing the lawn. Three months later, he was in a car accident and had to reveal to me that he had been driving on a restricted license due to not complying with state laws and getting an Interlock Breathalyzer system installed in his car TWO YEARS PRIOR when he got his second DUI. I forgave him the major omission, but still asked him to move back in with his roommate. He never left. In January of this year, he began paying rent and moved all of his things in to my house.

On the subject of alcohol, I’m the kind of person who will buy a six pack of beer that will last me six months. He drinks two or three beers a day for no reason and binge drinks on the weekends, often to the point of belligerence. He doesn’t drink Coors or Budweiser with low alcohol content – he purposefully buys beers in the big bottles that are anywhere from 10-15% alcohol content. I was embarrassed to take him anywhere that alcohol would be involved. In August of last year, we were invited to a party at a local bar. My friend’s friend was paying for all the drinks that night, and I informed WFB of this fact. He still ordered $20, $25, $30 bottles of beer, justifying the expense because “we were all sharing them.” He drank so much that he didn’t remember leaving or the cab ride home. He woke up the next day and asked if we had walked home.

In May, he went to a birthday party without me. I was house-sitting and didn’t feel well enough to attend. He drank so much that at 5:00 am, when he was supposed to be headed to work, he could not blow clean to start his car. His phone was dead and once he left his friend’s house, the door was locked behind him, everyone asleep inside. He walked almost 30 blocks to the house where I was staying, reeking of alcohol and his eyes bloodshot. “Can you take me to work?” he asked when I opened the front door in shock. I dropped him off and barely spoke to him. He was fired the next day. He swears it had nothing to do with his physical state that day.

He sat at home for almost three months, living off of the three months of PTO he had accrued that were paid out to him. He never filed for unemployment. He applied for only 2-3 jobs a week, stating that he had to completely re-write his cover letter every time and “that took a lot of time.” One week into his unemployment, my friend offered him a part time gig in a warehouse that would allow him to make money while looking for a career in something he had more interest. He assured me he was going to continue to apply for jobs while working at this temporary job. It was early August when he finally applied and started working in the warehouse. He is still there. They offered him full time and he is no longer looking for a career that interests him. He says he’s not going to be there forever, but that’s what he said about Whole Foods. He was there for over four years, and his mother was the one who talked him into applying there. He would still be there if he hadn’t been fired. I pushed him into the warehouse job because it was guaranteed income and he could continue the job search while earning some money.

About a month ago, I wanted to try to work things out. I went to his parents (who had just returned from seeing WFB’s brother in rehab) about his problem with drinking and his lack of motivation. There is a long line of alcoholism in their family. His parents promised to help him however they could and supported my decision if I chose to end the relationship. I recently started nursing school and I am not equipped to handle the stress of his depression and alcoholism along with the stress of school. I came home and relayed what I had told his parents. He spoke with them the next day, coming home to tell me that he was going to start AA classes and make an appointment with a therapist. He has been saying for the past six months that he is going to contact his previous therapist and get help. There has been no such contact. He has attended no AA classes. He is not very good at following through.

Four weeks ago, we broke up. Three weeks ago, we tried to work it out. A little over one week ago, we broke up and I asked him to move out. He has yet to look for another place to live. He doesn’t know how to take care of himself, and I cannot mother another man. I saw a six pack in his closet when I moved my printer out of his room two days ago. Some things never change.

He came home crying today, asking me if I’m happy. I simply left the house. I’ve grieved the loss of our romantic relationship for so long that I cannot cry any more about it. I’m sad some days but I am happy others. Some days I want to crawl into his arms and say, “let’s work it out,” but I know I’ll just turn around and change my mind the next day. Love is a bitch.

Dread

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Butterflies are the best. When you hear that knock on the door and your heart skips a beat. Every cell phone vibration might be them and your pulse races. Butterflies are fleeting, but should they be gone after six months? Should my heart drop when I come home for lunch and see that his car is still in the garage? I wanted that 45 minutes to myself. I need space. Lots of it. After being in a marriage with infinite space, I wanted a man to be at my side at all times. Now that I have a man who wants to be by my side at all times, I’m suffocating.

We have other issues than space and, though our communication is stellar, I’m unhappy. Sometimes I wonder if it’s my small living space that causes my anxiety about our relationship, but I know it’s not the size of my apartment. It’s the empty beer bottles and salsa dishes and skillets that I clean up almost every time he leaves. It’s my melted spatula and my ruined loaf pan with no replacement offer. It’s the Tupperware he’s had for 4 months and can’t manage to bring back despite constant reminders. It’s the Kleenex and the toothpaste and the toilet paper and the soap and the electric bill and the food and the beer that have exponentially increased in usage and therefore cost over the past 5 months. It’s coming home, thinking I have a night to myself and he’s in my shower after his workout or on my couch watching sports because he doesn’t have cable and I gave him a key. It’s being told that my nieces aren’t my family because they’re my ex-brother-in-law’s kids and not my blood relation, even though they’ve been a part of my life for the past 10 years. Communication improves things for a week or two, but not long-term. I often chalk it up to his relationship inexperience, but that only accounts for so much. I left a relationship in which I was a care-giver rather than a partner and I now find myself in the same type of relationship. Patterns don’t break themselves and I have to find a way. He says he loves me but words are words and, as the adage states, actions are louder. I feel used: not loved for me, but for what I can provide.

I’ve been thinking about the mechanic a lot lately. Though we never had a cemented relationship, we connected in a way that I’ve never connected with another person. I know we may never enter into a committed relationship, but he understands me and I understand him. At this point in my life, that’s all I want. I don’t want a ring or a wedding or even a joint checking account. I want someone to miss me and to love me, but I want freedom. I don’t know if I can have it all, but I need to be bold and try.

I need to be alone.

Explosion

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Things have been going well in my love life. Surprisingly well. WFB is heading to my brother’s house with me to watch football and meet my family tomorrow. Afterward, he’s going to meet one of  my closest friends when we go on a walk at a local park. I’m a little nervous about it, just because I know my parents will embarrass me. I’m a 31 year old woman, yet my parents always find a way to tell some stupid, old story that makes my cheeks burn and flush.

My pheromones have turned radioactive again. There must have been something in the water this past month that made several of my exes re-establish contact with me.

I hadn’t spoken to B in over a year. He messaged me a couple of weeks ago to ask if I would come to his upcoming art gallery opening. I told him that of course, I would definitely be there. He then messaged me on Halloween just to chat. We live 35 miles apart, but I was going to a show the following Wednesday night near where he lives with WFB and we made plans to get a drink prior to the start of the main act. I was shocked at how much he has matured since we last saw each other. B took out his lip ring and grew some attractive facial hair. He has been living in the same apartment for the past year and a half. He also has a job and is working toward purchasing a motorcycle as means of transportation. He even has a smart phone, not a disposable flip phone like the last time we spoke! At one point in the conversation I said, “Who are you?” B laughed and said he knew he’d changed a lot since our last conversation. He brought a small piece of art for me because he knows what a fan I am. He was going to bring a larger piece to me, but he knew I was going to the show and feared it would have met its demise in a crowd. He does beautiful watercolor on cardboard, so it probably would not have survived.

Adam texted me two weeks ago. He wanted to get together for lunch. I told him I was very busy but maybe the following week. So I guess the ball is in my court to contact him. I’m going to have to make it very clear that he is completely friend-zoned because I have a boyfriend and he missed his chance.

I don’t think I’ve talked about D. D first knew me as a married lady. We met in boxing class three years ago and became fast friends. At the time, he was trying to lose weight and was in the process of removing a visible tattoo in hopes of becoming a Marine. When I started going through the process of divorce, he wanted to hang out with me more and more. I began seeing B shortly after splitting from Jeff, so I was as clear as possible to D that I was not interested. He still pursued me mercilessly, even calling me and messaging me while I was on my solo cross-country, soul-searching trip. All I wanted was to be alone and think for 10 days and he was blowing up my phone. I ignored a lot of his calls and didn’t respond to most of his text messages. When I was back in town he propositioned me and I began completely ignoring him. I had told him I was still seeing B, but my mistake was telling him we weren’t exclusive. After a few months, I cooled off and we tried to be friends but I couldn’t get past the lewd comments and I told him I couldn’t be friends. We remained Facebook friends but no actual contact was made between us. We hadn’t spoken or texted in at least 18 months. I heard from him yesterday. He’s going through a hard time and reached out. I was busy, but I responded. Maybe we can be friends now. I’ve been much better at forgiving these days.

It’s 10:00 pm and WFB is off in half an hour. He’ll be here at 11:00 to fall asleep with me so that we can spend the day together tomorrow. This hour is going to be so long…