Posts tagged with "Heather"

don't add me to the weight you carry

For Christmas vaca­tion, Heather and I decid­ed to head to her home­town for a few days with her fam­i­ly. Every hol­i­day is unique­ly dif­fi­cult in its own way; this year I could tell it was hit­ting her hard­er than usu­al. She’s been my foun­da­tion since I met her, but under the strain of trav­el and the pres­sures of the par­ents, she began to crum­ble. It did­n’t help that her broth­er — who suf­fers from schiz­o­phre­nia — went miss­ing in November1.

cute girl

One of the high­lights was see­ing old fam­i­ly pho­tos, espe­cial­ly Heather at var­i­ous stages of her life.

To be help­less in the face of such hard­ship made me feel like a bur­den, per­haps cause I’ve been strug­gling to regain my sense of self-worth. The most I could do was be present and extra atten­tive to her needs as she sat in her chair each night and chewed the inside of her cheeks for com­fort.

Continue read­ing “don’t add me to the weight you car­ry”…

  1. The fact that we now know he’s home­less and liv­ing on the streets of Toronto is cold com­fort. []

projector

A while back, my ther­a­pist asked, “Do you think Heather will love you, regard­less of whether you’re active­ly con­tribut­ing to the rela­tion­ship?”. I told him I was­n’t sure, cause I was still try­ing to under­stand the con­cept of uncon­di­tion­al love. As a child, my par­ents told me they would­n’t love me if I was­n’t a good boy, and a good boy would do exact­ly what they want­ed. The affec­tion they doled out was direct­ly relat­ed to how well I did in school, or how much I impressed oth­er par­ents. They used it as a tool to con­trol me, and this dynam­ic has influ­enced my under­stand­ing of rela­tion­ships to the point that it feels like I con­stant­ly need to be mak­ing efforts in them (or they’ll decay).

So my ther­a­pist instead posed the ques­tion, “Do you think Heather will love you, no mat­ter what?”. My first reac­tion was one of con­fu­sion; I heard the same ques­tion as before. When I real­ized it had com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent impli­ca­tions — would Heather still love me if I was an axe mur­der­er; if I was racist; if I burned the house down; if I did­n’t love her back — it dawned on me that I was pro­ject­ing this mon­u­men­tal require­ment on myself to be con­stant­ly mak­ing efforts towards the rela­tion­ship. It was­n’t an expec­ta­tion Heather was bring­ing, but my own; one I pro­ject­ed on her due to my child­hood trau­ma.

To real­ize that I was doing this in such a spe­cif­ic and sig­nif­i­cant man­ner was a shock. My mind inad­ver­tent­ly made bounds in log­ic, and every time Heather said, “I’ll always love you”, I would hear, “I’ll always love you, as long as…1

Continue read­ing “pro­jec­tor”…

  1. It blows my mind to know that Heather’s love for me isn’t con­di­tion­al, that she loves me deep­er that I’m even able to under­stand at the moment. []

wake me up when October ends

I was doing well in terms of stick­ing to my bi-week­ly writ­ing sched­ule. Putting my mind to some­thing and being respon­si­ble to myself became a nur­tur­ing rou­tine. Then October came and I lost the plot.

pretty girl with bangs

It can’t just be love, right? I can’t be the only one who thinks she’s beau­ti­ful. Her gen­tle smile has me con­vinced it’s an objec­tive fact.

It’s the appoint­ments: den­tists, gas­tros, perios, shrinks. They all hap­pen to fall with­in a few weeks, some of them up to three times. I know they’re all there to help me, but I’ve had a frus­trat­ing and dif­fi­cult his­to­ry with most med­ical pro­fes­sion­als. At this point, I sim­ply would­n’t have the patience to sit in a wait­ing room if it weren’t for Heather there to sup­port me every time. At least I found a com­pe­tent psy­chi­a­trist; the first one who’s ever tru­ly lis­tened to me before pre­scrib­ing any med­ica­tion1.

Continue read­ing “wake me up when October ends”…

  1. One of the most impor­tant ques­tions he asked was whether or not the hos­pi­tal fol­lowed up with me after my sui­cide attempt. The answer, of course, being a resound­ing NOPE. []

semi-poly

I hope I’m not belabour­ing the point when I say I’ve suf­fered a lone­ly exis­tence. For much of my life, I’ve kept those clos­est to me at arms-length, out of a sub­con­scious fear that they’d hurt me. I could nev­er turn to my par­ents for any kind of sup­port, cause they were more con­cerned about how I made them appear than how I felt; I had no sib­lings with which to form an alliance when they became my great­est ene­my. The best friend I car­ried into adult­hood was a per­son who nev­er tru­ly under­stood me, and my best friend after that aban­doned me at the first sign of dif­fi­cul­ty.

Managing my rela­tion­ship needs has been a life­long strug­gle. Much of the grow­ing I’ve done (or been forced to do) is inter­twined with the soli­tude I’ve faced; being able to change myself gives me a small sense of con­trol in what would oth­er­wise be a messy and chaot­ic exis­tence. An added dif­fi­cul­ty is that I keep evolv­ing, and my social needs evolve in turn. It takes years to devel­op the kinds of rela­tion­ships that nur­ture me. I’m in the mid­dle of a tran­si­tion, and my sup­port net­work is the small­est it’s ever been.

Living with a part­ner has helped, but at some point my attach­ment to Heather grew unhealthy. It’s not fair for me to put so much pres­sure on her to be my lover, friend, ther­a­pist, care­tak­er, gam­ing bud­dy…every­thing. When I start to resent her for my needs going unmet, I know I’m in a bad place and need to check myself.

Continue read­ing “semi-poly”…

not choosing fear

Stepping out of my com­fort zone late­ly means let­ting some­one hear my mate­r­i­al before it’s ready, say­ing I love you with­out the expec­ta­tion of hear­ing it back, post­ing pic­tures of myself I find unflat­ter­ing, being an atten­tive lis­ten­er dur­ing dif­fi­cult con­ver­sa­tions, wor­ry­ing that spous­es will know my secrets but telling friends any­way, lis­ten­ing to songs that remind me of her, hold­ing impor­tant peo­ple account­able for hurt­ing me, ask­ing for help before I need it, accept­ing the fact that no one can be every­thing I need all the time, lov­ing some­one from a dis­tance, let­ting boys hold me when I’m upset,

girl kissing boy

dar­ing to dream that things will be okay,

putting myself first in the destruc­tive rela­tion­ships I can’t escape, say­ing no instead of find­ing excus­es, mak­ing love with­out some kind of reas­sur­ance about my looks first, let­ting myself miss the peo­ple I no longer like, being first to call after exchang­ing num­bers, not know­ing when I’ll be home and going out any­way, hop­ing I’m not judged every time I ask her to do that thing I like, giv­ing myself space from peo­ple who adore me but don’t nur­ture me, not try­ing to please every­one all the time, play­ing even though I have a decent chance of los­ing, not cut­ting some­one out after they’ve wronged me, rec­on­cil­ing with old lovers, empathiz­ing with peo­ple I hate, going out when I’m not high, spend­ing time around peo­ple I find dif­fi­cult, say­ing sor­ry and mean­ing it, try­ing to hit chord tones in gen­res I nev­er lis­ten to, and pay­ing atten­tion to the friends who call me on my shit.