Would you catch me if I fall out of what I fell in, don't be surprised if I collapse down at your feet again...
Tuesday, 17 March 2015
Wednesday, 4 March 2015
It's a post I wrote about 3 years ago, shortly after my ex had gone back home. We'd had a bigger than usual argument. We'd both reacted badly. We never really resolved it before he went home. In fact, we never resolved this argument ever. I asked him about it a month or so after, he wasn't in a good state, so it got pushed to the side again. It never got raised again (as evidenced here). This was also the time when a lot of my most recent bout of mental issues had just started occurring. This incident didn't help.
This was written as an email that I was never sure if I'd send him again. But it's a part of me at the time, and I wrote things down, so now, I felt like sharing it. The fact its about him is fairly inconsequential; but this blog serves a double purpose as a log of who I am at any one time, and how I've changed as a person, so to me, this post means something. I thought about changing the names for some anonymity, but again, it's a reflection of who I was, what was going on, how I felt, and who I am now. So I've kept them.
This is likely one of my less interesting posts for the rest of you, it's extremely personal, and a lot of the context will be missing for you (although it's fairly easily inferred). But it's here nonetheless
I miss you.
We were spoiled, I saw you in August, December and February, that's 3 times in 6 months. And now I have to go back to not seeing you for 5 months or so. I was trying to explain it to Hannah. I know you're at the end of a facebook, or twitter, or skype, or even a phone call if I'm desperate, but when I'm with you, and especially when you're here where most people know what's going on and accept it, the massive part of my life that you are, I get to fully acknowledge that in my own head. I get to fall asleep next to you, even when we're mad at each other, I get to tell you I love you or see you make cute faces at me for no reason other than we both have the opportunity to where we normally don't. And then one of us has to go home, and while we're there for each other as much as we can be, all those little things, I have to forcibly shut out of my mind again, for a long time. Every time I have a bad day, I have to come home, and still make my own dinner, and fall asleep in an empty bed, when having you there, for 5 minutes, just to hold, just to feel my arms around yours, wouldn't solve my problems, but it'd calm me down, it'd make me remember there's more important things, and that one of the things that matters most, is right there with me. I know it's just as bad for you, I don't mean I have it harder or worse than you, I know you have to go through all this shit just as much. I just know how much I hate it, and how much I struggle with it. I can only really tell you what I know is in my head.
I knew you wouldn't want an argument in the middle of Oxford Street. You looked angry. I misread you. But you looked angry to me and I didn't want 30-45 minutes of you getting angrier. Which is why I tried to talk to you. Because I wanted to explain myself and I hadn't had the chance at the sauna despite trying to get some time alone with you before leaving. I didn't mean to blame you, and I'm really sorry it came across like that. I know I'm crap at explaining myself when I'm in that kind of state. I just wanted to try and explain some of where my reaction was coming from. And in doing so I DID start to get you angry so you walked away. I'm pretty good at unintentionally backing you into a corner where you'll do exactly the worst thing i could want at that moment. Maybe one day I'll learn how to stop. Or learn how to express myself better in those situations. I know why you walked away, you told me, and I was coming across as doing something different to what I was trying to, next time just forcibly tell me to stop cause you dont want an argument here? I know you're a private person, I was trying to avoid anything like an argument. I just failed. Badly.
I *would* like to come spend time with you and your friends this summer. I realise what I said might have come across that I didn't. I've very envious of the friendship you have with Pete. And very glad me and him seem to be developing our own friendship via facebook. My time with you is very limited, I only get a few weeks out of any year and that's if we both try really hard and sacrifice the majority our free time and money to be with each other. And when one or both of us is drunk, we tend to turn into horrible people and yell at each other. I can take that when it's just the odd day out of each visit. But while I only get a limited time with you I don't want to risk that we spend most of it pissing each other off. I don't know what your plans for the summer are going to shape up to be, and maybe they wont involve going somewhere and getting drunk a lot, in which case I'll probably come. And one day when I get to go home to you on a regular basis, I'll be more willing to risk a week where we might yell at each other a lot of it, but for now I'm going to be selfish, because right now, even though it's not ideal, and in some ways not even nice, for either of us, I'd rather you used the holiday and went away with your friends, and I came and saw you when you have to go to work, and we stayed in in the evenings, and played halo, and cooked for each other. So let me know what you're thinking, and when, and what the plans are, because I would very much like to come spend some time with you and pete and chris and jonny and whoever on a boat, or in a cabin in vermont, or at your parents house while they're away, or whatever and if I think I can I will. But I might elect to just play it quiet and safe this summer, because I dont want the little bit of time I have with you to be us yelling at each other because we're still not good at dealing with each other and because drinking turns us into people who aren't that nice to each other. I haven't expressed this in the way I want to, it's still not coming out right.
I'm sorry I scared you when I freaked out that Friday night. I don't like that I reminded you of bad memories to do with your exes. I know I can't be blamed for them, nor can I be hugely accountable for associations in your mind I know nothing about. But they represent something I very much don't like, and never want to be, and I'm so anti it because I can see myself being them and I'm determined to never let that happen. You have different personalities in you. And in fact, since you said that, it's made it a lot easier to understand certain ways you've spoken to me at times or acted around me. I'm not that extreme on that level, I just have different sides of me, and some are not ones I'm proud of, some I'm downright ashamed of and hate to even admit exist. And the parts of me that cause me to flip out at people and explode because I don't know how to express what I'm feeling in any sensible way are definitely included in that. I don't like the way I left the sauna, i know how I was coming across, but I dont know how to stop myself and find a calm method to say what I need to. I tried to get you alone before leaving, I tried to explain some of it after leaving, and neither attempt went well. And I'm not proud of any of that in the slightest.
I know you're a very private person in terms of your emotions and what you're going through. I don't have some NEED to help you through things, I just want to know what's going on with you. From what I've learnt in the last week I'm guessing you prefer to work through a fair amount of it yourself before you start telling others, and I kinda get that, it's just, sometimes I really have no clue whether you're stressed cause you had a bad day at work, because there's something bigger going on at work, because there's something going on with your family, because of something else, because you just happened to get up on the wrong side of bed that morning, all of the above, etc. And even when you tell me something's up, I never really know if it gets resolved, or moves on, whether it's still bugging you 3 months later or you worked through it in 2 weeks. Some of that's me, I'm scared to ask you in case it upsets you cause I hate making you upset. And I'm not expecting or asking for some kind of weekly list of 'all things affecting your life right now'. It's just an important thing for me with regards to the people I'm in love with. I have to know what's going on with them, on some level that's more than other people might be priviliged to. You can go away and deal with your problems yourself, that's fine, just so long as I know there is a problem. You're so secretive about stuff that I pretty much completely forgot how bad your sleeping is until Friday night when I was screwing at you and you had to point out you're damn well medicated for it. Which yes was a lot my fault, and I know one of the reasons people say we get on so well is because we do remember a lot of really random stuff about each other, but I can't be expected to remember every fact about you I got told about once at some point in the last 3 years and don't actually have to deal with. This sounds like I'm blaming you doesn't it.
I'm rarely blaming you, people tend to know when I'm blaming them, I'm just frustrated, and trying to explain my side of things, and why I get so wound up, and it all comes out wrong, or I suppress it and it comes out worse.
WHy do I suddenly feel like such a failure? Like the things I don't like about myself or can't change make me less attractive? Like the fact that I'm not the strong person people think I am, that I need a lot of hand holding, and a lot of support and that I rely on you so much, makes me less in your eyes, makes you realise I'm not the boy you fell in love with 3 years ago. I'd like to change some of these behaviours, and I'd even consider professional help, but I couldn't do it until you were here by my side. That's not me trying to put it off, that's me knowing how hard it is for me to step into those rooms, how violently sick my body makes me at the prospect. And I feel like if I had you to sit there and smile at me I might be able to do it. Does that make me weaker because I can't even try to help myself?
I can't even post this because it's specific and personal to you. And I can't make it general to all my friends because it'd lose its meaning. And I don't intend to email all this to you, or maybe I do one day, as a stream of consciousness, maybe that's the best thing, to see the evolution of my thoughts, to see how I tried to process it and express it. But you might never see this, and what I just wrote is probably really important. I just don't know how to tell you it.
You know what really scares me at the moment. Cuan. He's a psychologist and I live with him. I have no reason to be afraid of him. He's probably not paying the least bit of attention to my behaviours nor does he know me well enough to assume they might be different from normal. But that's even more terrifying. I don't recognize the people in my house, I have no memories of them, but I know I'm familiar with them. Him I don't know at all. All I know is he's a psychologist and he's in my living room and I'm scared of talking to him because he might decide I'm crazy. And he might say something about it, or try to get me to do something about it, and I might be physically backed into a corner and he won't know how irrationally scared I am of him. I wont hit him or anything, I'm far more likely to yell, or try to control it so I freak out later, or paralyze myself with another panic attack or do something that'll hurt myself because I try to bolt or whatever, just because he was interested and tried to have a conversation with me.
I don't know how to get to be able to tell you stuff. The things that were in my head at the sauna, I get that I didn't tell you them in the right way, but you walking away means I'm terrified of starting to broach the subject ever again in case you do the same. I switched off everything in me at the moment and it's making me really ill, I'm still convulsing, I keep getting panic attacks and I'm just lucky none of them happened in the middle of doing something at work, I don't rest cause my mind body keeps spasming and waking in the middle of the night, I get confused by most things around me because people expect me to recognise them or understand what they're saying and I can't remember it before they've even finished the sentence. And I chose to do this to try and give you some space. But I can't do it every time, or even a bit of the time, it's an extreme measure and you've seen how bad it makes me. I've almost walked straight to the hospital after work and sectioned myself 3 times in the last week. But I can't. Not because I'm scared. Because I just started a new job. Because my boss is going on holiday for 2.5 months and I'm responsible for her role too. Because my dad is in hospital with god knows what and my mum is barely holding it together on her own. I just don't have the luxury of admitting how bad I am right now. And the longer it goes on the more scared I am that when it comes time to switching it all back on again, it'll come out really badly. I'll freak out at you even worse than I've already done or I will go completely crazy at everything in a way I can't control and I can't hide and I can't ignore. If I let go of the poorly controlled state I'm in right now, I might make everything worse all over again, especially with you, and then I don't know what I'll be able to do because I'll have already tried the extreme option. This makes it sound like it's your problem to deal with and get okay with. It's not. I just need to tell you that I'm scared of my own reactions to you, and of yours to me, because experience means I'm terrified things will get repeated or be worse, and then I'll never be able to deal with any of my problems, or talk to you about anything that bothers me, because we wont be able to handle each other when I do.
You said you learnt a lot from this week. Could you tell me some of it? It's not a test or anything, just sometimes I'm not aware of how I am myself, or sometimes I am aware I just don't know how to articulate it myself; if someone else tells me, I can understand what I'm doing, and how it's coming across more. Or I can help clarify where there might be exceptions or other things to bear in mind. Like I say I don't mean it as a test, and you don't have to tell me everything, but sometimes it helps me a hell of a lot to have someone tell me how I react to things or how it appears to others or how others try to deal with me in various states. Then for instance I might learn to know when you're actually getting angry, and when you're just worried/concerned, cause currently the expression on your face looks pretty much the same to me
It feels somewhat as if we left still half in an argument at each other. You certainly didn't leave with either of us in a good state. Normally we'll lose it at each other at some point mid week and then the moment will pass and by the end of our time together we'll be back to what everyone recognises as 'us'. I'm not saying we're still mad at each other necessarily, just cause things didn't get fully resolved, or even really a little bit resolved in my head, not even really the start of it, it feels somewhat like we had an argument, and then you had to go home. And I think that means it's never gonna feel like it's over until I'm sleeping next to you in a bed again, until I get to put my arms around you, or have you hold me. No matter how or when we might get round to talking about it, I dont know that I'm gonna be able to get out of the spiral of thoughts I have around everything that happened with you for months, because I don't have the luxury of being able to look you in the eye, say "I'm sorry, we were both a little stupid, it doesn't matter|" and hug you and know that we forgive each other and love each other. We can say it over skype, and that'll help, but it's not the same.
I haven't told anyone I'm having memory issues when I get bad. I've told them I don't really remember who they are, but I haven't really gone into how bad it is. I keep forgetting all sorts of things. Mostly minor things. But even at work, I'll forget a cue, or to move a piece of set, or to switch a mic on. Nothing severe, and I'm aware that I've forgotten something but I have no idea what it is. I keep forgetting where I am a lot of the time, and I have to take a good 30 seconds to examine my surroundings and realise I'm in my bedroom, or kitchen, or on the road to the station - and from the direction I'm facing is the only way I remember whether I was going to or from work. I keep forgetting what station I need, or which street I need to turn down. And it's happening very frequently. Not in that way where you just occasionally have moments of absent mindedness and forget what you walked into a room for or something, this feels very different to that, and I'm aware I'm forgetting something, I'm just not aware what exactly. I'm having to assume I know people and acknowledge the people I'm at work with, or living with and have conversations with them without actually even knowing what their name is or who they are or how I know them or why they're talking to me until minutes afterwards when I've had the time to sit there by myself and think "who the hell was that." I need to make a list of all the things that are going on mentally speaking because I simply can't remember all of them at the same time. My mind keeps blocking various bits out, probably in an attempt to stop me from completely breaking down, but it means I can't explain what's so wrong to people.
I feel very alone. There's so much going on and with my family I'm having to be the strong one. My mum just told me my parents are flat broke. The rest of my family is interfering in my dad's care so much my mum and I just had to restrict access to his medical notes and bedside. I know they're fussing because they mean well, but that's how bad they've got. You're on the other side of the world. And you have a lot of your own problems going on that you need time and space to deal with. And there's stuff going on between us that's not sorted and I kind of wonder if we'll ever actually get round to dealing with it or just quietly ignore it as time passes, so even though you're the one I want most in this, and talking to you calms me down, I can't ask you to be the one that's there for me. I get the feeling I'm not supposed to be so reliant on you, period. Which is a problem for me because I'm generally very reliant on the person that I'm, for lack of a better way of putting it, 'involved with'. But either way right now I'm not really allowed to use you unless its a dire emergency. The fact I want to cry every day isn't an emergency because I want to do it every day right now. I know I have friends, I know I have skippy and chris and paul and adam, but I don't really know who they are. I get scared when I have to interact with them, especially for long periods of time. And because of my hours, and adam's hours, and adam's own problems, I never see him around at home for longer than 15 minutes while we're cooking something or the like. I don't mean that as a criticism, but its not like I can find him in the living room and just sit there, him on his laptop, me playing halo and at least be there with someone and not feel so alone. The other people in my house I really have no idea who they are. Having them around is like sitting next to a stranger on the bus. You do it, it's not a problem, but if you're feeling alone they're gonna do jack shit about helping you feel connected to people in any way. Sal... just isn't around. I can't do any other night in the week because I'm working. I text him this afternoon, that's a Monday, asking if he was around at all. I haven't heard back from him even to say no, or sorry i just woke up. Because he's elsewhere, or trashed still, or passed out from being trashed all weekend. He's complaining that he can't be there for people if we don't tell him what's going on and when I just want to have him come over, and watch a stupid movie, and just sit with me, not necessarily talk, just sit because I love him and he loves me, he's not there and he's not even around enough to say that he can't. I'm in charge at work. I'm surrounded by people there, some of whom I get on with great. But I'm in charge of them. I have to keep that professional distance. They're not my friends. They're not people I can break down in front of, or snap at without cause and expect forgiveness. I'm their boss. So that's it. Family, work, you, sal, skippy, adam, chris, paul, I know you're all sort of there. But I feel really distant from everything and everyone. If I ended up in hospital suddenly or something, sure you'd all come to my bed and tell me you loved me and take it easy and not to worry about my responsibilities and such, and I'm not saying I don't want any responsibilities. There's just nothing for the constant every day things that are going on right now. That's all me. On my own. Stumbling through it. Hoping I can last just long enough that you might be able to talk to me, hoping that adam might be up when I get home and then getting scared when he walks in the room and I don't know who he is. Praying for the audience to go home from work early because then I can leave earlier and not have to cover up spasmic movements as cold shivers.
Tuesday, 3 March 2015
Those of you familiar with my twitter will likely be aware of the person I refer to as #superaggressivefb.
This is a guy I met about 6 months ago, at a group play event at another fuckbuddy’s house. At one point, #superaggressivefb hit me a little too hard for how you’d playfully hit someone you’d met at a group play event not 30 minutes earlier. It hurt. Not a lot, but enough to be definite pain. Naturally, I grinned. Probably a little too much. And suddenly he gave me the kind of fiendish smirk that only ever happens when 2 kindred spirits discover each other, the look that says “Oh, we’ll be trouble together”
And we do have a lot of fun sexually. But even better, is that we both have a similar outlook - that fuckbuddies can also make really good friends. He’s one of my favourite people of late, and not just because he beats me up, we have a hell of a lot in common and enjoy a lot of the same things, and can match each other intellectually, but neither of us ever seem to pressure or stress the other.
I’m staying with #superaggressivefb this week while the floors in my place are being re-done. We’re both slightly scared about this, for my own sake. It’s entirely possible I’ll end up going home very, very broken.
But completely unexpectedly (not because I didn’t think it could, I just truly didn’t consider the fact it might), staying with him might be the best singular thing that’s happened to my well being in the last 6 months.
#superaggressivefb has a husband. And being around them gives me the kind of hope for the future I find difficult to come by at the moment.
They are in their 40s, they are successful, They live in a flat. It’s a nice big flat, but it’s a flat, not a house. They have tenants who rent the other bedrooms because owning a flat in London is so expensive. They don’t own a car.
They’ve been together forever, their ‘story’ is one of those heartwarming doesn’t it just makes you sick ones. They got married less than a year ago. That’s a big thing to me. I’m old enough that when I was coming to terms with my sexuality, whatever ‘gay’ was, it meant every assumed aspect of straight life was suddenly closed off to you.
They have shared and different interests. They’ve managed to avoid that thing that seems to happen when ‘long term relationship’ meets ‘40s’ and haven’t just amalgamated into one set of people. They have friends that overlap and friends that don’t. They go out and do things apart from each other.
They have tiled fireplaces and art I don’t understand on the walls. They have daffodils in vases on tables. They have board games. Not scrabble and monopoly. Ticket to Ride, and Catan, and Dixit. They have scores and scores of big thick politics and history books on their shelves. Their bathroom has a note taped to the toilet asking guests/’visitors’ not to flush condoms down it. They throw dinner parties with soup tureens . There’s a teapot in the shape of Margaret Thatcher on their shelf.
They play. Together and apart. They lead totally respectable lives with impressive but sensible jobs. They do drugs. Together and apart. They trust each other.
I don’t think the husband is completely keen on me. He’s always courteous. It’s not a problem that I’m around. It’s not a problem I play with #superaggressivefb.
They love each other. Very obviously. They are both still besotted with the idea that they are finally married.
They are content. Not complacent. They both desire and desire strongly. They both have ambitions and things they still want to achieve. They have disappointments. But they are content. There are parts of their flat that look old and worn, not in a ‘they’ve always been old and worn and we like them that way’ fashion, in a ‘we just haven’t managed to find the money to fix them yet’ way.
They seem to have achieved a near perfect blend of aging gracefully and together, with never losing that joie de vivre of the twenty something gay male.
The benchmark for people I admire is very high, (and occasionally rather unusual). It is a list of less than 10. #superaggressivefb and his husband are the perfect counterpoint to another set of gay married friends of mine. Both silently helping to assure me, just through their every day lives, with all their struggles and achievements, that what I want can be mine right now, and it can still be mine in the future.
I’m still angry. I’m still upset. I’m still sick of feeling like this. I’m still sick of feeling anything at all. I’m tired, and I still haven’t found the energy to pick myself up, and start with everything I wanted, and was planning, all over again. If you asked me why I get out of bed in the morning I couldn’t tell you. The only way I get out of bed in the morning is by not asking myself why. I go through the motions, simply because I do not bother to ask myself why I’m even doing that. I don’t let myself think about the future, because there still isn’t any kind of one to imagine in my head.
But one like this wouldn’t be too bad.