Why I Left Alex.

I deserved better.

I realized the relationship was unhappy, dysfunctional, manipulative, and sometimes quite toxic. All the seemingly happy moments wouldn’t be able to make up for those very damaging moments in the long term. In fact those damaging moments compounded over time and led in part to the gradual erosion of my sense of self-worth and self-respect.

I realized he (Alex) was with me mostly because he didn’t want to be alone. I realized we were both depending on each other for the wrong reasons – me depending on him for an escape in the last 6 months of our relationship, him depending on me to keep his loneliness at bay. Respect and trust – two things necessary for even the most platonic relationships much less intimate ones – were missing in ours.

After almost 3 years of constant betrayals, I knew for a fact that I couldn’t trust him and that he didn’t respect me.

I believe you cannot love a person you don’t respect. I believe Alex stopped loving me in 2014.

I’m 25 and my life is not great right now. The dreams and hopes I had for my life and career when I met Alex 5 years ago are nowhere to be found now. I know the gradual loss of my self-confidence and worth has caused many of the situations in my life right now. My family is also going through a trying period right now.  But I’ve decided to stop running away.

I’ve decided to no longer run away from the current shit show that is my life.

I’ve decided to leave Alex.

I’ve decided to learn to trust, respect, and love myself again.

Advertisements

June 28, 2017

3:16 PM.

I’m reading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. The book is filled with themes of infidelity and reckless passion. Thoughts I try to keep buried away come rushing to the surface.

I think about that text Alex sent Taylor in the middle of the day, telling her that he craved her. I think of how he texted and emailed her at every chance he could, several times a day, telling her in graphic detail why and how much he missed her. I think of him so mad with love and passion for her that he could not restrain himself, that he completely forgot himself when he was with her. I think of how completely she possessed him that, as he said of himself afterwards, he couldn’t recognize himself. I think of how I begged him to not meet her, but by the very next day after I’d boarded the plane, he made arrangements to meet her. I think of how completely and thoroughly he betrayed me over and over again.

I cry. I become overcome with self-loathing, self-pity, and I toy with the idea of ending my life. I’m joking. I only begin fantasizing about paralyzing myself so badly that I’m unable to do anything of consequence in this life but breathe and stare.

I don’t recognize myself. I’m trying to carry on. I’m back together with him – ‘working it out’, but when left alone the most loathsome thoughts come crashing into me. I’m so thoroughly humiliated, that even now, months after, I can’t remember who I was before I felt this crushing shame and torment. When I look into his face that I loved for years without question, without doubt, and still love, I feel so stupid and helpless – I don’t think I deserve to live.

When I’m with him I will myself to forgot these emotions, and I forget them so readily it’s as though my mind was begging for relief from them. I forget them and appear sober, almost happy. But now I’m alone again. He’s in Nunavut and I’m in Montreal, and I’m here again asking myself if I really deserved such cruelty when my only crime was stupidity and naivete. That I was stupid and naive enough to think the man I loved, loved me as I loved him, and loved me enough to not have an affair, or at the very least, not to have an affair again. I’m filled with so much self-pity I feel no desire to work or even show myself in society. I want to hide away and remain in anonymity forever. I despise myself and think it impossible for anyone to love me as I am.

It’s almost late afternoon and for the last half hour I’ve found myself waiting for a text from him – any text – wondering why it is that those flames of passion he felt for other women seem to be nowhere for me.

***

The time now is 12:10 AM. It’s cold. Summer nights shouldn’t be this cold.

I think about him with her. I listen to music I like, remembering how he thinks little of the music I like but listened to music she gave him. I remember when I asked him to whistle anything and he whistled her favorite song. I remember when we first met and how we got to know each other by sharing music we loved. Then I remember how he and Taylor deepened their relationship by sharing music they loved too. It’s the little things that one remembers. It’s the little things that stick with you.

I think of packing my things and leaving this house before he comes home from his trip tomorrow. I think of how he would dismiss this again as me being a “drama queen”. I’m breaking apart at the seams and don’t know what to do. What do I do? All his lovers are moving on with their lives while I, the one who was cheated on, is still with him writing these sob stories at 12:10 AM on a Wednesday night, unemployed, depressed, broke, lost.

What am I doing here? I packed all my clothes, shoes, and money and put them into this house, living with him. I can’t shake the feeling that I’m just a place-holder until he’s settled in and meets people who are more like him. Is it okay to fear this? Is it normal? I wanted so badly to marry him. I fantasized of being little Nicholas’s mother. For so long I wanted nothing more. Now with this present state of affairs I wonder if it’s even possible for anyone, much less him, to love me. Who would want damaged goods? Who would want me when I don’t even want me.

Am I having a moment? Will I regret writing this? Probably. But this is me. Broken, bound, lost, anguished. On some days I’m like this, many nights too. Today I put my miserable thoughts to paper. Today I said to hell with it all.

Ah, I’m crying again. It’s raining outside. My nose is runny. I’m going to head out and wash my face in the rain. I like the rain.

 

Water

How do you describe the sound of rain? That mild muttering of sounds at the onset melding into a thundering rumble at its peak. How do you describe the peace which envelopes you when cocooned in a warm cozy blanket as it’s storming outside? Life-giving water fulfilling its role in a self-sufficient cycle, bringing with it the assurance that life goes on – that life is meant to go on.

Summer rain. Winter rain. Monsoons. Oceans and rivers. Waterfalls and pipe leaks.

Water

298357-sea-2

How do you describe the emotion you feel when you encounter a large body of water? Its surface smooth and unbroken like rippling blue-green silk. It’s a thing of wonder, of admiration, of… comfort.

Looking at the sea, one can’t help but wonder,

“If the water buries me, will I be transformed?”

“If the water insulates me, will the pain stop?”

“If the water fills me, will I become unbreakable, as fluid as water?”

“Will I die?”

I stared at a great lake today. It was blue and clear, magnificent and modest, alive and deadly. And for the first time in a while, I felt real, terrifying, peace.

Nomenclature

Names are peculiar things.

I’ve often wondered about the time and effort people invest when selecting a name, either for themselves or for someone else. I think of the heartbreak, the deadpan joke, the favorite childhood Saturday morning cartoon, the hours of painful labor, and all the experiences that may have in some way influenced the name selected for you. Then I imagine, in all the micro-moments that make up your life, how has a name, uttered by someone else, made an impact on you?

1-HlxjO8D-CAHO80g_uS6KsQ

To some people, names are an invariable part of their identity. They’re the anchor to which the bearers tether themselves in the turbulent sea that is life. These people consider their names to be the one feature that immortalizes them, and so they guard it as such.

To others, names are like accessories you put on and shed when convenient. They’re scantly important to the bearer and are used only for the benefit of the attendant audience. These people can go all their lives without caring what they call themselves and are content to simply just be.

I feel I fall in somewhere in the middle of the two kinds of people described above. Names are important to me, until they’re not. My given names are many and I love them all. They’re all very different names, from many very different languages, each seemingly qualitative of a particular personality, and yet, they’re all completely me. I cannot imagine a universe where I didn’t at some point or the other, bear the names I currently do. But, I bear no allegiance to any particular one. It’s easy for me to momentarily abandon a name and adopt another if not for any reason but my own amusement. It’s just… fun!

Names are nothing until they are given, uttered, and owned. I imagine a name has a certain ephemeral plasmic quality to it, until it is spoken and received, then it becomes a living breathing thing. Names are powerful in that they can make and break a person or a people. I believe this is because names are words that are constructed to hold a multitude of meaning. Names often come with a history, and even when they don’t, the life the bearer lives always ends up as a story built around the name. A name and the way it’s spoken, can convey so much, and at the same time, conceal.

Ah. The way a name is spoken…

Imagine, in desire:

To have your name whispered in a voice haggard with longing

To have your name wrapped in a groan at the height of ecstasy

To have your name mumbled in the dreamy aftermath of sex

Imagine, or remember, the effect on you.

Or, in conflict:

To have your name said plainly, with only a pinch of menace

To have your name screamed, staccato, in rage

To have your name said quietly, as though dipped in a bucket of remorse

Whatever the scenario, we’ve all experienced the satisfaction, the pain, or even the confusion, at not just our names being uttered at all, but by the way it is said, and by whom. Any meaning a name had in itself is only compounded when the name is uttered in a certain way.

A name is the first piece of the bridge we build between the people we meet and ourselves. And whether we realize it or not, a name isn’t just something we’re called, it’s something we live, even if just for a moment

The names we’re given and take as our own, whether for our whole lives or even for a fleeting moment, have made not just an impact on ourselves, but also on the people we live these names to. Sometimes, this impact is nothing more than a tiny dent, sometimes it’s something more.

So, I guess what I’m saying is, names are peculiar things.

#P&IC

***

For those who aren’t aware, I have a Medium blog I update once in a blue moon. ‘Nomenclature’ was written in June and posted on that blog, and I intend to put more posts like it on the Medium blog. If you love it, do follow me there as well.

As always, I wish you the two best things the world has to offer: peace and ice cream.

Is Christmas Here Yet?

It’s getting colder. The windows are starting to frost and Amazon wishlists are growing longer. It’s around that time of the year when a shot or two of whiskey (or tabasco, if that’s your thing), is added to mugs of coffee and hot chocolate. Christmas is coming, but for this girl, Christmas can’t come soon enough. Here’s a list of my favorite Christmas carols to keep you in good cheer until Christmas Day.

10. Ave Maria

9. Little Drummer Boy

8. What Child Is This

7. Ding Dong Merrily On High

6. See Amid The Winter’s Snow

5. O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)

4. The First Noel

3. O Holy Night

2. Carol of The Bells

  1. We Three Kings of Orient Are

 

#P&IC

What Do You Do With Pain

What do you do with pain?

Do you put it in a box and hide it away?

Do you embrace it like a long lost friend?

Do you fight it with all your might?

Do you look at it furtively from across the room?

Do you introduce yourself to it with a firm handshake?

Do you carry it around with you so it feeds you like some alien life force?

What exactly do you do with pain?

I’d like to know because I’ve got a lot of it and I don’t know what to do with it.

Toluene-scented Nostalgia

Sometimes you’re walking down the street, minding your own business, when it hits you. Bam! Nostalgia, heavy and full, hits you square in the gut, knocking the air out of your lungs, and you’re left in the middle of the street practically reeling in savage wistfulness. That ever happen to you? Well, tonight, it happened to me. I was walking down the street with my friend Tina, chatting about a new ice cream shoppe and other assorted national treasures, when we happened to walk by an old library. The library was conspicuous enough, with its marble Leos adorning the entrance, but it was the smell wafting through its doors, that sweet musty smell that so many have come to associate with well-loved books, that got me. Just like that, I thought back to my favorite books growing up. The first that came to mind was A Little Princess, the 1996 edition. princess      pr I think my impeccable acting skills, stem, in part, from reading this book. I doubt I was much older than 5 years old when I read it, and to say it made a lasting impression would be an understatement. In many ways, it remains my favorite. This is a story about a girl who finds pleasure in playing pretend. Being fully aware of all that’s going on in her life, whether good or bad, she finds a way to see the bright side of things, and pretends to be in a world where only the best version of herself is acceptable.

Of course, as I was reminiscing, my mind ran the film reel of all the Enid Blyton books I’d read, the Archie, Dennis the Menace comic books, the Aesop Stories, the Narnia books, the English classics and so on. (I never was a Harry Potter fan though). A few surprising recollections included Sugar Girl by Kola Onadipe. I loved this book! Picture Jael with a wrapper tied around her chest, walking all around the house, badgering her folks to get her another pet goat. (I’d had a pet goat when I was much younger but it ate most of my mum’s Ugu, so we eventually ate the damn goat). That literally was me at like 8 years old, and I’m proud to say I felt no shame then, and I feel no shame now. Sugar girl was a sweet girl, literally. She was kind and good and honest and everything I wanted to be – everything I am still trying to be.

The third (and last, for the sake of this post) really memorable book, was In His Steps. It’s a graphic novel about a priest in America in the 1920s and the scandalous lives of all the people in his parish. At least that’s most of what I remember. The main storyline (I think) revolved around the little and big ways some characters chose to be Christ-like, even finally giving up a life for another. ihs So yeah. Those are some of the books that crossed my mind tonight. I did a quick check on amazon to see if I could get them and was (pleasantly) surprised to find out these books fetch quite a pretty penny. Whether or not I eventually splurge on my childhood favorites, the moral of the story, kids, is that you should keep those books you love near and dear to your heart. Never forget them. Those stories you read and love at that young age, might have a lot to do with the kind of person you end up being. #P&IC