Monday, November 26, 2007

Family Is Just Another F Word Vol. II

For the second time in about three years, my brother and his wife hosted Thanksgiving dinner. Less wine was drunk, and the ferrets were smellier, but the food was better. In the last few years, the closer I've gotten to becoming a lawyer, the more anxiety-ridden the thought of seeing my parents has become.

My parents put a lot of pressure on me. They always have. And they will never be happy with my life. There will always be another milestone to achieve, another thing to accomplish FOR THEM. So that they can be happy, feel like successful human beings, and brag to their friends. With my masters and now with my JD and my job, they have the career bragging down. Now, my dad WILL NOT LET UP on getting me married off. EVERY FUCKING THING is husband oriented. He said, yes, I wanted you to go to Taiwan and China to, more or less, check out the goods. When I told him a boy (gasp!) was picking me up and driving me back home, he immediately become uber-interested. I was texting / blackberry messaging with someone (the ex, natch) and he wanted to take him out to dinner. Even though he didn't even know it was a boy. And in recent weeks, having lost my appetite, I lost a few pounds. Fifteen more, he said. Even if I get married and lose 15 pounds (or in his mind, I need to lose the weight first in order to get married), there will be the grandkids to have, and the bigger house to buy, or this that or the other thing. IT JUST NEVER ENDS. So yeah, I often choose not to go home because, well, sometimes I just want to be appreciated, and I don't like constant reminders that there are things in my life I'd like to have.

In addition to putting pressure on me to "improve" my life, my parents, or at least my dad, put a lot of pressure on me to fix everyone else's life. I have a brother who is sort of floundering in life. He just can't seem to get any ambition together for enough time to make anything of his life. And my dad said to me this weekend that I need to look out for job postings for my brother. Umm, no. I am not going to help my brother find a job. The biggest problem is his lack of self-control when it comes to his temper. He's gotten fired from two jobs in less than two years. I mean, who gets fired? I'm not going to hook him up with a job just so he can fuck it up. And finding a job for him is not going to change the fact that my parents coddle him and put no pressure on him to get his life together.

If that weren't enough, whenever my dad and I are alone, which we are a lot because I play his personal chauffeur when I'm home b/c heavens to Betsy he's a bad driver, he just complains and complains and complains to me about how everyone is a disappointment. My mom, my brother, my other brother, the sister-in-law. Even my cousin who hasn't spoken to me in months, not really giving a shit that I've graduated law school and passed two bar exams. It's kind of depressing that my dad feels so despondent about his family and his life. It's even more depressing that he unloads it on me.

My mom, on the other hand, is just plain crazy. In her menopausal age, she's really taken to touting just how awesome she is. Oh, my palate is so great that I don't eat leftovers. Oh, I don't eat that much. Oh I don't this, I don't that. And it's all in this tone of how awesome she is. Then, on Thanksgiving, the tv was on as we were waiting for dinner. It was some stupid movie about some girl who falls for a prince, but doesn't know he's a prince. There's this library scene where they start making out, and she's taking off his shirt. Ok, yeah, a little awkward. But what does my mom do? She closes her eyes, has this completely stuck up look on her face, and says, who wants to watch this? Well, mom, if you weren't so sexually repressed, maybe you wouldn't have married dad and maybe we could have had a sex talk by now. OK, that's not fair. It's totally cultural. Now I'm just ranting.

The one other thing my parents have always been prone to do, my entire life, is involve me in their business. Yes, English is their second language. And since the age of 10 or maybe even younger, I've had to make phone calls for my parents - to credit card companies, to doctors, to business people. I've had to translate and write letters. Fill out my dad's jury duty forms. I've never been able to get away. Even when I was on the W. Coast for college, even when I was in New Zealand I feel like, these things I've had to do for my parents has haunted me. And law school has only increased my expected duties. I'm pretty sure the first thought that ran through my parents' minds when I told them I wanted to go to law school was, "Oooh, free legal services!" It's like as soon as I get home, piles of paperwork get put in front of me. Read this, fill out that, interpret this. On Saturday, I had to call my dad's eye doctor for an emergency appointment. They give me the phone and I dial the number, then they proceed to talk to me the ENTIRE time I'm trying to make the phone call to them. It's like there isn't enough fucking time in the world for them to tell me everything I need to do.

And let's not even talk about their racism. How the indication of a good neighborhood is the shortage of black and hispanic people. And how if someone fails to do something, it must be a sign of their inferior race, and not just their personal unreliability.

The thing I don't get is how much I want to do stuff for my friends. I've offered to do free legal research for friends, particularly the Ex who had problems with his last landlord and is in the midst of more problems with his current one. I'm almost ANNOYING how much I look up. (But yeah, I've been bored at work lately.) Why? I wish I could be less ungrateful to my parents. I wish I could just tell them to back off. I wish for so much with my parents.

A blog post wouldn't be complete without an update on the Ex. The last week or so, we've been talking a lot. On IM and text, mostly. But at least we're communicating. He drove me home on Saturday, and that was really good. He helped set up my new fancy tv. (One of the benefits of parents who express love through money and gifts.) We've also been more open and honest with each other than we were when we were dating. Which is good in the interest of friendship. But sorta sad that we couldn't be when we were dating. But really, I think we're in a good place. There were times when we were dating where I felt that we were just friends, that I felt nothing more. Except we cuddled, which was an added benefit to our friendship. So the fact that we're friends and talking and hanging out ... it's almost like it was the way before, just without the cuddling. Which is ok, because it's not like we were really that super close in some ways. I guess. Not gonna lie - I stlll think about getting back together. I still think about things I wish I had done differently. But at least there's no huge gaping hole in my life.

This sort of makes me wonder, though, what love is. I thought I loved the Boy, but there was no giddiness in my stomach, no flutters in my stomach. Then again, is it supposed to feel like that? Sure, maybe when I was 15, but now? I don't know.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Navel Gazing

In my despair, I started googling things I would never google in the past - things like, breaking up with your boyfriend, getting back together with your ex. The silliness of these searches was underscored by the silliness of the results - I ended up at a lot of teen dating sites. haha.

But in my googling, it was nice to see that it's not just me and hormonally challenged teenagers that feel these things I've been feeling. It's totally normal after a breakup to want to get back together, and to rehash everything, and to fixate on things I could have done differently.

But these are the things I know:
- I am not getting back together with him, even though sometimes the feeling is so overwhelming that I can't breathe. To make sure of this, I am setting a deadline - no getting back together in the next two months. I hope by then, the feelings will pass and I will be in safe territory.
- Being friends is hard. It's still easy to hurt each other, it's still easy to want to be treated like a boyfriend or girlfriend. In
fact, the party last weekend was full of a bit of drama for these exact reason.
- He tried to push me away last week, and for some reason, I fought back and would not let him do that. He doesn't get to be the one that pretends to take the high road and puts our friendship above everything, then push me away. At the same time, I don't really know what he's feeling, b/c God forbid he tell me, and I need to be careful not to push too hard b/c he's hurting, too.

The ex also invited me to his grandparents' house for Turkey. He's been wanting to, and one of the things he said to me when we were breaking up was that I took it so seriously, this going to his family's. It's not that I took it seriously. It's that the thought made me nervous and it would have been nice if he appreciated it. But, after much soul-searching and hearing my parents be super excited about me coming home, I decided not to. "That's ok," he said. Well, of course it is. But before I made the decision, I asked him, why did you ask me? Does my being there make the holiday better in any way? I asked because you wanted to go. That was his response. I don't believe it. There are two options here: 1) he's so messed up that that's the truth; 2) he is so unable to express any emotions, that was the best he could do. I'm going with 2.


I passed two bar exams. Whoo!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fun Night, But I Wish It Was Easier

Tomorrow being a holiday and all, my friend had a party. It was such a good night. Really interesting, nice, sophisticated, fun people. Nothing debaucherous. Just people having a good time, getting to know each other.

Then why am I so sad?

I met people I totally hit it off with. Guys. And as I laughed and we talked about New Zealand and elder law, I felt myself pulling back. And by the end of the night, I just felt so sad and lonely inside. I miss him. Dammit.

I can't eat. I can't sleep.

Church today was so good. The sermon was about life - like, all of life, and how people experience life and God through their childhood, 20s, 30s, and on. The 20s is a struggle with the devil. The 30s is a struggle with God. The 20s is about keeping options open. The 30s is about dealing with the closing of options. Marriage, kids, career. It's also a struggle with God b/c there can be traumatic losses - God taking away a child or spouse or something like that. The sermon totally helped me put this breakup in perspective. Look at it in the big picture, and then I can fixate less on the little, the immediate, the sense of wanting to get back together, even though I know it would be a bad thing, just b/c it would be all about ease the pain now. But no, because the big picture is, why do I want to get back together? Do I have abandonment issues? Daddy issues? Who knows. I need to process it. Whatever it is, these are things I can't work out with him. Although we are friends, he has no obligation to me. He has no duty. He has no interest, frankly. I don't think he could muster it up even if we were still dating. Which is why, ultimately, this break up is good.

Last night was drama. There was fighting and yelling and hanging up and 19 phone calls. And tears, so many tears. And he was an ass. An insensitive ass. But it doesn't matter, b/c he's my insensitive ass friend, not my boyfriend. And the problem was I wanted him to treat me like a girlfriend. Actually, somewhere between how he actually treated and treating me as a girlfriend would have been fine. He's a sloppy drunk.

I gotta go to bed.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I Hope This Is Therapeutic

I survived dinner. it was actually really good. We had a good time, interacted well as friends. But every once in a while, I would look at him and this pang of missing him, of just wanting to touch him, to have him touch me, overtook me. So yeah, we talked a bit about "us". And I was honest and said I'd been thinking about getting back together, that we'd made a mistake. And he said, yeah, sometimes when I was with you, I wanted to be single. And sometimes since we broke up, I want to get back together. But that just makes me think I'm not ready to be in a real serious relationship.

And I can't be in a relationship that's not serious or going somewhere. No matter how hard this is. Because I need the companionship, the commitment, the love, the compassion, the shared goals. And even if he did want to be in a serious relationship, he probably wouldn't be right for me. Who knows.

And I wanted to ask him, is it me you can't be in a serious relationship with, or is it you? But I didn't ask. Because I was looking for something, an affirmation, a rejection. But I thought to myself, I don't need that, b/c God loves me through the mistakes, despite the mistakes, even when I don't think about God. Which I haven't very much in the last few months / years. I hate that I only think about God when I'm suffering or hurting or facing obstacles such as the Bar Exam, but I am so thankful that God forgives me for that, and loves me despite.

After dinner, I hung out with some friends, the friends through whom I met the boy, and who are hosting this party tonight that we are both going to. And it was good. It was so good to talk about it, especially coming off this feeling that breaking up was right. This optimism that we can be friends. And for them to affirm me and say, you were too good for him. It's not the superiority that is affirming; it's the idea that someone out there can appreciate me and my accomplishments, and my heart, and my mind, and not just me as a warm body to cuddle with.

But then I woke up this morning, first at 4am, then again at 7am, after trying my damndest to sleep past 6. And I was again overwhelmed with sadness, and I couldn't stop thinking of him again. And just this feeling of loneliness. This core-shattering loneliness that makes me break down and sob. I am so broken.

It's true. I want this to be easy. I want the pain to disappear. I think about dating someone else as a rebound to ease these feelings. I think about seeing the boy, hanging out when the pain is at an apex. I just have to embrace these emotions, right? I was savvier ten years ago when I would embrace these ups and downs - they make me human, they make me me, and I think in a way, they are a gift. Because when I do find the right person, I will have so much love to give, and it will be appreciated. And it will be right.

I can't wait.

Friday, November 09, 2007

One Week

Is this what happens to me after a week? The missing and longing turn into wanting it back?

The boy and I are having dinner tonight. I guess in this blogging, I have left out some stories. Sunday, the pain overtook me, and I contacted the boy, and we talked, and I said, ok, yeah, we can try and be friends. But mostly just electronic communication b/c seeing each other is too much. He said, ok. The ball's in your court. Then Wednesday we talked on the phone b/c I was hurting at work and we needed to discuss this party on Saturday that we're both going to, that I need to go to, and that he wants to go to. So we talked, and he asked me to have dinner on Friday. Mostly just so Saturday is not awkward, I think. And here we are.

I've spent the last three days or so just obsessing about getting back together. I could lay out all the good and the bad, all the reasons why I think we could try and work it out, or at least get to know each other better. But I've also been reading over some posts from last summer, and I'm starting to think I go in cycles. But ... maybe there's a reason for it. And ... I don't know. I haven't been able to sleep past 6 am all week. Hell, I haven't even been able to sleep TO 6 am all week; I usually wake up around 5:50.

OK, here are some condensed thoughts.

First, I'm selfish, too.

Second, sometimes, even in platonic relationships, when friends hurt me or disappoint me, I have this quitter mentality. For an hour or a day, I say to myself, I never want to talk to this person again. But I get over it. I think with the Boy, I acted hastily in that period.

Third, he was projecting onto me - he said, I'm afraid you're getting too attached to this relationship. Umm, don't tell me what I feel. And I see attachment in your eyes, too.

Fourth, I don't want to force anything on him, but I get the distinct feeling that he's running away. That he's hitting a wall of intimacy and he's afraid or he won't go past it.

Fifth, maybe I'm totally and completely fucking delusional.

Gotta get through what promises to be yet another excruciatingly boring day at work.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Is This the Right Way?

Without even discussing it, I cut the boy out of my life. I said, it's too hard for me, I need time, and while I hope, too, that we can be friends one day, I'm not good at that. And he's giving me the time, and giving me the space, and leaving the ball in my court to contact him. Unlike my boyfriend in college, who tried to force friendship on me, which just ended up with us in an unhealthy, spiraly, pseudo-relationship for almost two years.

But this isn't college. I'm not surrounded by countless things to keep me busy and countless people to keep me company and countless things to help me grow. This is my adult life. It's not that I don't have growing to do anymore, but I live alone, and I work at a somewhat dreary job, and I'm allergic to cats.

And while I never called the boy my Best Friend, because my BFF lives in LA and would probably be offended, he was my best friend. I spent so much time with him, and now he's gone. He's not dead. He's just off living his life, probably hurting too, but living it in a way that, right now, doesn't include me. I turned to him to tell him everything, and even when I didn't tell him, I thought about telling him. He was the first person that popped into my head whenever there was something I wanted to do. I thought about him as my boyfriend, and in my life, for months down the road. And that's all gone. So now, whenever something that last week would have made me consider him pops into my head, I'm just sad. So freaking sad. And I cry. Cry so freaking hard.

I don't begin to think that my pain is unique or novel or worse than anyone else who's gone through something similar. But to me, it's kinda new. This is the first relationship I've had in a long time, and I really opened myself up to the idea, and now, whereas I thought I was going to his grandparents for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I'm not. And that's sad and lonely.

I think about trying to be friends with him while we're working through this; no hanging out, but just communicating. To lessen the void a little. But then I wonder if I'm just trying to trick myself. Because I also think about getting back together with him, even though that is more or less out of the question.

My apartment, I've never lived in it without dating him. So the first night I spent in this place, I spent it with him. That makes this place feel even lonelier.

Ok, this might be verging into pathetic territory. I need to take advantage of this extra hour (forgot it was daylight savings!) and pick up my life. Mostly by picking up around my apartment. It's disgusting.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

My Eyes Are All Puffy

The thing about breakups for me is, I'm not so good at remaining friends afterwards. Either there's just too much betrayal that there's no respect left for friendship. Or the friendship is too hard; the prospect of being friends with him and being privy to his future romantic entanglements is too hurtful. Because the guys I become involved with usually become pretty deeply engrained in ... me. So to me, a breakup usually entails a complete severing of any friendship or interaction with the other guy. And that's really hard here. I love the Boy. Not in love, although, like I've said, I may have been at times, but I love him. As a person, as a friend. And even harder than losing the intimacy of being his girlfriend, I'm mourning the loss of his friendship. Because I don't see how we can be friends without the passage of a lot of time. But it's the immediate that's going to hurt, in which I'm really going to miss him.

And there are moments when I think this is a big mistake. And there are moments when I think this is completely right.

And the truth is, I really don't know, because both seem like appealing options.

And I'm off to have lunch with him and collect the one thing of mine he has, and I think he's going to try his best to salvage this friendship, because he's like that. And I'm going to do my best not to burst into tears in the middle of the restaurant.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Well, At Least I'll Probably Have More Time for Blogging

Things are not that good today.

I mean, ok, sure, I found out that I passed the MA bar. And even better, all my co-workers did, so that's awesome.

But after a two day fight, the Boy and I broke up. BROKE UP. It's official; I'm single. Just as I was getting used to saying that I had a boyfriend. Oh well.

The sad skinny: I miss him. Already. No, especially. We were spending a lot of time together, and spending the weekend together was something I started to look forward to. The weekends were so relaxing with him. He made me laugh. We laughed a lot. He was a good cuddler. I could trust him; he didn't cheat. He was a hard worker. He was respectable and, what's the word, he was, well, the best I can come up with is good moral fibre. Without the moral. Good fibre??

The happy skinny: He was, is, so messed up. When we got into a fight, or some sort of disagreement, instead of discussing what started the fight in the first place, he would say, I don't love you; I feel trapped in this relationship. Like, WTF. I mean, it had been only 5 months. I wasn't in love with him either, although I flirted with the idea. But whenever I thought I was in love with him, he would push me away. Even though he said I was the one who threw up walls. He never knew how to take initiative in celebrating big things - me taking the bar exam, me finding out I passed the bar exam, me coming back from europe, from asia, him taking his first class, him finishing his first class. Oh wait, that was my failure to celebrate his milestones. Ugh. No, no, no. I will not fall into the trap of what I could have done better or right. He was selfish. He's short, and has bad hair and an oddly shaped head. No, I will not fall into the trap of dehumanizing him, even though it's fun. He's lazy. He's got baggage. So much baggage, and he wasn't ready to fix them with me, even though I tried the damndest to fix my problems with him. He also was a poor communicator, and did things to retribute, and did things only after I did them.

I don't really want to say anymore.

I'm drained. I think this will be right in the end. There was so much good. But so much wrong. So while I think I can learn from this experience and move on, it's going to hurt and I'm going to miss him.

I was talking to a friend tonight, during one of my darkest moments. And he said I was a catch, and that I have a lot of affection and love for those people around me. And those words made me cry more than breaking up with the boy did. I needed to hear that. Not that I'm not loved. Sigh.