Thursday, May 27, 2010

Clarification on "Breaking Up..."

Based on the two comments I got on my last post ("Breaking up is hard to do"), I thought I had to clarify what I wrote. My girlfriend breaks up with me when she is at her lowest. She always means it when she does, it's not something she 'uses' to get her way or anything like that.

She grew up in one of those families where Social Services didn't got involved because she didn't go to school covered in bruises, didn't have her bones broken frequently or was completely mal-nourished. However, she did not grow up being a loved, wanted child. She was the oldest out of four siblings and the black sheep, she was always blamed for the adult's mistakes and they took their frustrations out on her. Because of how she grew up, she doesn't feel like she deserves love. In her mind, she didn't do anything special to deserve to be loved. She doesn't see how funny, loving, caring or smart she is, all she sees is what she has been told all her life by the people who were supposed to love her... That she is fat, lazy, stupid and worthless. Her mother sees that they have a horrible relationship and naturally, 1) blames her for it, and 2) thinks she has to fix it. My lovely future mother-in-law recently complained about the fact that my girlfriend never calls her just to talk and find out how she is doing. She completely ignored that fact that my GF had been trying to get in touch with her for 3 weeks and had been leaving messages which were completely ignored by her mother. She never calls to ask how her daughter is doing, so why should her daughter call her. My girlfriend has also left messages with her father a number of times by now (probably since shortly after Christmas) and has yet to hear from him - she didn't get a call at her birthday.

My girlfriend grew up in a broken family full of abuse and neglect and she is only now learning how to have healthy, loving relationships with anyone. While she has a decent relationship with one of her sister, few people in her life had ever cared about her. She doesn't break up with me because she thinks she is so much better than me or because she thinks she would be better off without me. She breaks up with me because she thinks *I* would be better off without her and that *I* deserve someone better. She has problems, which is not really surprising, and she hasn't had any time yet to deal with her issues. So far she has always been in the situation where she was dependent on people who were being abusive towards her. Even when she lived with her dad, who was nicer to her than her mom, she lived with a step-mom who treated her like a piece of sh*t and it was very obvious that her dad cared more about his new wife than he ever did about his daughter. For the first time in her life she is in the situation of living with someone who doesn't abuse or mistreat her. She is in a safe place and it brings out a lot of the issues she had to deal with on the inside for a very long time. If she had tried to deal with her issues when she was living with either of her parents, she would have gotten kicked out, because they didn't care about her well-being. They only cared about themselves and their spouses/boy-friends/current flings.

It is hard to understand or know all the things that are going on inside of her on any given day. I don't know or understand everything she is going through and I don't know of all the horrible things that happened to her as a child. Without knowing her history or her current issues, it is impossible to know her motives for her actions. She isn't trying to hurt me when she breaks up with me. She is at an extreme low point and doesn't know what to do, so she tries to remove herself from a situation that in that moment causes her further pain.

I write about her and us in this blog because I don't have anywhere else to talk about it. I don't want my friends to know because they wouldn't understand and I can't tell them what happened to her as a child because it is her story to tell and very private. Here, I can be more open, because nobody we know reads my blog. But I don't want to be judged by people who only know part of the story and I don't want her to be judged. Life is hard enough for her as it is and I don't need people telling me what I'm doing is wrong either. I am committed to my girlfriend because I know what an awesome person she is. I also know her at her low points, even though I can't and don't always know/understand what is going on inside of her. All I know is that I want her to heal and get better and she won't heal if she doesn't get the chance to now. If she doesn't have someone to rely on, someone who will love her and show her that she can break the cycle, that she can get better and have a happy life - unlike her mother - I don't think she will be able to heal enough to have that life.

She has shown me a lot of incredible things. She accepts me the way I am, she reminds me how important it is to love every day and she made me more in touch with my feelings. I don't feel empty inside anymore. Sure, some days she makes me cry, but most of the time she makes me incredibly happy and I can't imagine my life without her. And I won't let anyone say that we aren't supposed to be together just because it is hard sometimes. I complain sometimes, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth it. I know of a relationship which is "perfect" - no fighting, no disagreements - and this relationship is completely empty. Those two people are together simply because it would be too difficult to break up. I choose my relationship over that any day.

[Comments are turned off. I said what I had to say and I don't feel like having a conversation about this topic.]

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Breaking up is hard to do...

When the Girlfriend and I are having a bad day relationship-wise, I can sometimes see and experience the full fight-or-flight reaction in my girlfriend. She has broken up with me multiple times by now, too many to count (honestly, I really don't want to count). Here are some reasons why she broke up with me:
  • I deserve to be with someone who isn't "broken", or just generally better - smarter, prettier, funnier,... - (her words, not mine!)
  • She can't handle the stress of us fighting - she realizes that over the long-term, our relationship decreases her stress more than it increases it, but at that point in time she cannot see it
  • I haven't stopped making the same mistakes, which leads to her stress levels being increased (see above)
  • and other things I can't think of right now
Until two nights ago, I have always put in quite a fight to make her not break up with me and was always able to convince her that we are meant to be together - something we both believe in. However, two nights ago, we had a generally bad night - partially because of my behavior - and when she broke up with me I didn't stop her. I couldn't. I felt like if she really wanted to be with me, if I was worth the hard times, she wouldn't keep breaking up with me. Many things were said, I said things I regret saying, but in the end I told her it was up to her. I still loved her and wanted to be with her, but she needed to want to be with me too. She managed to get out of the pit she was in and tell me that she wanted to be with me and so we are not broken up. However, the whole thing showed me how much my behavior affects her behavior and how much I can influence whether she sinks really low or just low - in her emotions, not in the different sense.

I think it was good and important for me to see that she was willing to fight for me too, because I did somehow feel like I wasn't worth fighting for. I realize that she has special issues people with 'normal' childhoods don't face, but sometimes it is hard for me to act accordingly. I am only human and I make mistakes. My mistakes just have more of an impact on her because of the issues she deals with every day. I'm learning, but sometimes the learning experiences include really low points and lots of tears.

That's all I really have to say about that right now. We're not broken up and I think we are really meant to be together, if we can navigate our lives and the issues that are there, if we want them or not.

Oh! Em! Gee!!!!

Is this not the cutest thing you've ever seen:

I stumbled across this picture on the People site recently, I almost died of cuteness!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Finals week and HUGE update

The school year is almost over and we managed to survive it somehow - I still don't quite know how. I have one more final tomorrow, which I have to get a good grade on to get my A. I am not completely happy with how the last weeks went, as I might have ruined my chance at getting an A in two classes simply because I didn't have enough energy left to put enough effort in. Most of my time in the last weeks was trying to convince the girlfriend that 3 am the day an assignment is due is not the best time to still play video games and procrastinate. Her issues have really taken a toll on her self-motivation and even though she asked me to be stern and 'mean' with her, she got mad when I tried to. My approaches on how to deal with her self-motivation or lack there-of have so far all failed and I am quite frankly out of ideas.

In some ways, I can see how dealing with her issues is slowly healing some of the wounds. In others, it seems like she still has to get worse before she will get better. After a fight yesterday we had a talk about how she is doing and everything that is going on with her. She feels guilty because she thinks I deserve better and she is scared I will one day not be able to handle it anymore and will leave her. She wants me to leave if it gets too much, but at the same time she doesn't want me to leave because she needs me. In the last weeks, we have made good progress, at least in my opinion, with addressing and voicing some of her wounds. The question of why nobody except for me and one of her sisters loves her and wants her has been brought up multiple times and always leads to tears. It breaks my heart to hear her say these things, because I know that no matter what I say, her pain still will be there. Mostly, I tell her that her mother is incapable of truly loving someone because of all the things she went through and therefore the men she attracted in her life were emotionally equally scarred/incapable of love. I also tell her that if a child gets told that it is not worth of love, it will soon believe that and that that is not the child's fault, clearly. But it is hard to get through to her, because she has lived feeling not worthy of love for so long and I've only loved her for not even a year and a half.

I also told her about her brain and how most likely, her brain right now is learning a lot of new things and that because her brain is so busy learning, it sometimes gets thrown back. I feel like in some ways, she is for the first time in her life learning how to have healthy, 'normal' relationships with someone other than friends. From the stories she has told me, her mother clearly did not and does not have healthy relationships with any of her children. She blamed and blames problems on her children that were caused by her behavior - a reaction to her and her inability to parent a child with more complex needs, especially emotionally - and doesn't take over any responsibility for anything. One thing my beloved monster-in-law likes to say is that she had it even harder at 22 and therefore my girlfriend should stop complaining and grow up and be completely independent - as in go to school full time, get good grades and work enough to pay for rent, food and all other expenses, all at the same time. Yeah, right, that's very likely going to happen. Anyways, my point is, my MIL always states how hard she had it and how hard her life was and that her children should just stop complaining, hold their heads high and do what she did, which is take care of their own business. In my opinion, she doesn't want her children to have it any easier than she had it and that's why she is so unwilling to help her children out. What she doesn't see is that as a mother, she should want her children to have a better life than her. She should want her children to heal and grow, so that they can have more fulfilling lives, relationships and so that they don't end up where she is right now. In a recent conversation, MIL complained that we didn't ask if she needed any help when she was forced to move out of her boyfriend's place. Um, excuse me, you are the 40-something-year-old MOTHER who doesn't give a sh*t about her daughter and you expect US, the 22-year-old college students who can't find a job because of the economy to offer help? Really? I mean, REALLY??? And what angers me the most is that she thinks it is her daughter's responsibility to call and ask her how she is doing,... so that their relationship can get better. My girlfriend didn't fuck up their relationship, yet she should work to make it better while her mother can pat herself on the back for being a great mother? Yeah, I don't think so. MIL complained that my girlfriend never calls and asks her how she is doing, yet she never calls her to ask how school is going. Plus, she is incredibly hard to reach and generally doesn't return phone calls, so how exactly is that supposed to work? Anywho, enough about that, but that should give you an idea of why my girlfriend doesn't feel loved by her parents. Not that her dad is any better, since he doesn't know how a phone works either, apparently.

So even though we still fight a lot, there are definite improvements in some areas. We had a rather lengthy talk last week about my alleged 'OCD-ness'. GF likes to complain about my desire to have a clean apartment and about my unreasonable request for her helping me clean. So when she once again complained about how my expectations were too high, I made her give me a list of how often she would clean (major cleaning only). Here is her list:

  • Clean the bathroom - tub, counter, toilet - once a week
  • Clean the kitchen floor once to twice a week, depending on how dirty it is
  • Clean the bedroom floor at least once a week
Now funnily enough, I only want the kitchen floor to be cleaned once a week, however I want it to be mopped. After she gave me her list, I asked her how often she had done any of these things in April - usually, the bathroom is her 'chore'. She tried to claim she cleaned the bathroom twice, whereas I believe she cleaned it once, because the second time I gave up hope after a week of waiting and cleaned it myself. Now, I was sick twice in April and therefore didn't clean nearly as often as I would usually, which drove me almost insane. However, I still did most of the work. Then I explained to her that our ideas of how often to clean are almost identical, yet the question to who should clean is quite different. See, the girlfriend thinks everything should be cleaned at least once a week, but would like magic fairies (as in me, the magic cleaning fairy) to do the work. She finally admitted that my OCD-ness is not the problem here, but rather her unwillingness to actually do any of the work. Now here's the thing: from about age 7, she was expected to clean after at rather large number of people (at least 8 or 9) every day. She had a lot of chores to do and never had much help from the adults. As someone who thinks children should have to help out around the house, her responsibilities seem insane to me. So every time I ask her to do something, she emotionally feels like she is doing EVERYTHING, that it is too much for her to handle and that she shouldn't have to do so much work, when in reality I handle most of the housework. I try to be patient, but am at a point now where I can't take over all of the work. So I try to get her to at least do the dishes when it is her turn and take care of the bathroom. I just have to figure out how to change her feelings/reaction from what she is was used to when she was little to what it should be now. Which is really difficult. I hope our talk made her realize and see what is going on, because I feel like she has this very warped view of who does how much work around the house right now.

Anywho, that was a really, really long update on what is going on. Unfortunately, this is only a small part of our daily lives, as the struggle with her depression, anxiety and PTSD continues. But, there is hope at the end of the tunnel!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Stability update

So, my dear two readers, you might wonder what happened to that chart and all? Well, someone (me *sadface*) got sick and slept for about 15 hours between Thursday afternoon and Friday noon, which threw off our plans slightly a lot. Then there was the karaoke with future monster in law (FMIL) Saturday, which took up even more of our none-existing free time. So now it's Sunday night, 2 am, and I'm still up, taking a break from doing homework. *YAY*

Anyways, I will probably write about the *wonderful* /sarcasm evening we spent with FMIL and her best, bestest, super-awesomest-bestest friend and how I told him that she was a liar. Which, in case you were wondering, I was entitled to do, because I told him repeatedly that I didn't want to talk to him and that it was none of his business. But I figured since she had asked her bestest, awesomest, greatest friend to get involved in her business and then told him a half-truth and some lies, I could tell him what a liar she was. She brought that on herself. But enough about that, I'm going back to the history take-home finale. *YAY* /sarcasm

Oh. My. God!!!! She is soooo dyke-y!!

Here is something I stumbled across a week or two ago. Don't ask me why I waited that long to post it on my blog. I sincerely apologize! That picture is just prizeless! I think, having seen that picture, my love for Rachel has only increased. She is human too, like the rest of us! Well, she's a million times smarter than most of us - no offence, but she's a Rhodes Scholar!! - but she, too, has had bad haircuts.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

How 'bout some stability round here?

The girlfriend and I have been struggling a lot lately. Lots of fights, meltdowns, ups and downs... You get the pictures. Sooo, I figured the one thing we could really use more of is stability and structure. So, I made a very, very, very (seriously, very) basic plan of what the next four days will look like and put it on a piece of paper. Don't judge my artistry here, I made that plan in less than 5 minutes.

I've been wanting to bring more structure into our daily lives for a while, but right now I'm at the point where I will actually implement this. I haven't discussed my plan with the girlfriend yet, but this is important to me. I think it will eliminate a lot of our fights/struggles. At least I hope it will. For all the times I put down Study/Practice, if she doesn't want to study/practice then, that's fine. However, she will not be "allowed" (I technically can't tell her what to do) to do anything fun either, so if she wants to sit and stare at the wall that's fine too. I think that because she has issues that make it hard for her to study when it is time to study, maybe quiet time in which she will not have any other activities might actually help her. So while she's not studying, she will have time to be calm and think about what is going on in our lives. Anywho, we'll see if she will accept the plan, but based on the fact that we have been fighting almost daily - actually, we have been fighting daily - about the most basic things, I think trying something new would really help. Besides, I will have to follow the plan just the same as she will, so she can tell me to go study now too :-).

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Day at the Beach

Since I moved to California, I haven't really spent much time at the beach or the ocean at all, even though I love the ocean. Things are just always too stressful to go, or the weather sucks, or other things happen. Anywho, yesterday we finally took a day off to go to the beach and have a bonfire. It was a little too windy, but we managed to get the fire started and some of the food actually turned out pretty good.

We had invited a few people from college, but only one showed up. In the end it worked out pretty well that way, as we were able to spend some quality-time together, just enjoying each other's company. I really hope it helped us regain some energy for the upcoming finals week!

We even saw dolphins!!