Posts tagged with "Pat"

no man an island

Loneliness, or the fear of aban­don­ment when­ev­er I was dat­ing some­one, have been reoc­cur­ring themes since my child­hood.

I’ve nev­er regret­ted the deci­sion to cut out my par­ents for the sake of my men­tal health, but that still means I lost the only peo­ple who had a respon­si­bil­i­ty to help and accept me (as ter­ri­ble as they were at liv­ing up to that). It was a nec­es­sary but trau­mat­ic choice. Then I had a falling out with my ex-bestie, which came about after I real­ized he was­n’t the type of per­son I need­ed or want­ed in my life, and fur­ther robbed me of sta­bil­i­ty. ____ became my best friend after that (even though I was extreme­ly reluc­tant to label her as such after my expe­ri­ences), until I final­ly stood up for myself and she decid­ed she did­n’t want to be held account­able for her actions. Heather and I com­pared notes after­wards to dis­cov­er she was avoid­ing me every time I was in a cri­sis1. I’ve had a life­time of sig­nif­i­cant rela­tion­ships with emo­tion­al­ly igno­rant peo­ple who would nev­er apol­o­gize or admit that they’ve ever hurt me.

Then there’s Pat, who acknowl­edged he was a being a poor friend for not stay­ing in con­tact the last time I spoke with him. Maybe it was the fact that I was cry­ing that pres­sured him into promis­ing to call me more often. That was about sev­en years ago, and I haven’t heard from him since. I’m still mourn­ing my rela­tion­ship with Shawn for the same rea­son; a per­son who lit­er­al­ly saved my life who no longer has time for me in his. Relationships with pos­i­tive peo­ple whom I loved and looked up to, that with­ered when I stopped ini­ti­at­ing con­tact, leav­ing me with more ques­tions than answers. Relationships where I’ve done noth­ing wrong and still suf­fer a loss. Part of me can’t help but feel con­fused, and scared that any­one in my life may dis­ap­pear sim­ply cause they’ve lost inter­est.

Surviving the fall­out of each expe­ri­ence meant I came out with real­ly messed up expec­ta­tions when­ev­er it comes to oth­er peo­ple. Even now, it’s hard for me to feel safe, no mat­ter how close I am to some­one.

My first tru­ly secure rela­tion­ship — one where I could express dif­fi­cult thoughts and feel­ings with­out being blamed or aban­doned or inval­i­dat­ed — start­ed in my mid-30s with Heather2. When my depres­sion and col­i­tis kept me iso­lat­ed the last few years, I was par­tic­u­lar­ly wor­ried about being over­ly depen­dent on her. At the slight­est hint of trou­ble, it felt like my world was com­ing down because she was my world3. When I turned to oth­er peo­ple for help dur­ing my lost week­end, I soon real­ized I have a won­der­ful net­work of friends and fam­i­ly.

Continue read­ing “no man an island”…

  1. During a par­tic­u­lar­ly bad day a few years back, Heather asked her to send me a text in sup­port. She replied, “Jeff and I don’t text”. Not only was that com­plete­ly untrue, it was a real­ly shit­ty excuse for her to do noth­ing. []
  2. I’ve since learned a great deal about the qual­i­ties that make a rela­tion­ship healthy and suc­cess­ful. Consequently, my stan­dards have risen. []
  3. Part of my ven­ture into polyamor­ism is because I want to expand my sup­port net­work. I’m inter­est­ed in hav­ing more peo­ple care about me, per­haps cause I’m eter­nal­ly try­ing to fill the hole left by my par­ents. []


Everything is bal­anc­ing itself out. I’ve stopped try­ing to pre­dict or con­trol my cycles of intro­ver­sion and extro­ver­sion, pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and pro­cras­ti­na­tion. As Oscar Wilde once said: “The only way to get rid of temp­ta­tion is to yield to it”. By doing what I want when I feel like it, every need is met in turn.

Life does­n’t get more com­fort­able than this. It’s been a great sum­mer.

baby eating on high chair

Now on mashed solids. Ruby at 11 months.

I’m glad I got here by myself, with­out the help of a friend, or lover, or wind­fall. It was some­thing I had to do on my own, so I’ll always know I’m strong enough to pick myself up and con­tin­ue grow­ing.

The only thing that’s real­ly miss­ing now is anoth­er cat (or two), but I already blew my kit­ty bud­get on Leonard’s vet bills. I’m not at the right place for a new adop­tion any­way, and I’ve decid­ed to wait until my major projects are fin­ished (hope­ful­ly some time around the end of the year) before I take on anoth­er life.

father and baby

It’s offi­cial; Kyden has the soft­est, pinchi­est cheeks ever at eight months.

I’ve been back from my trip for about a month and a half, but it feels more like a year. I’m so dif­fer­ent now from the per­son I was before I left. I was dying then, but I’m liv­ing now.

The only way I can tell how quick­ly time is tru­ly pass­ing is in the faces of my friends’ babies. Each time I see them they’re mak­ing new sounds, say­ing new words, more con­scious and coher­ent. I used to envy the care­free inno­cence they have when run­ning about naked, the sin­gle-mind­ed­ness they pos­sess when engrossed with a new toy, but now I feel like one of them.

One measures a circle, beginning anywhere

Been liv­ing on too much sin and not enough sleep, though most­ly it’s in the form of calo­ries and sug­ar. Thank god I have an Asian metab­o­lism.

Things are hap­pen­ing so quick­ly around me. Chris is get­ting seri­ous with his girl. Pat and Jen had their first baby, a boy named Kyden. ____’s get­ting mar­ried in April. (What? Yeah. What? Yeah.) Funny how I’m start­ing to feel like the one who’s all set­tled.

It makes me fan­tas­ti­cal­ly proud to say that I’ll be assum­ing best-man respon­si­bil­i­ties, though I still asked ____ who he was going appoint cause I nev­er feel like I can take any­thing in our friend­ship for grant­ed. His anger at my hav­ing asked was prob­a­bly the warmest ges­ture I’ve had in a while. That means with the bach­e­lor par­ty, the wed­ding, and anoth­er wed­ding I’ve to film, I’ll be dri­ving to Toronto three times between now and spring.

I’ve already lost ____ to an extent, as he’s only had about two months to plan his wed­ding, and he’s been busy with such. But even though our phone calls were my main form of con­tact with the out­side world, I haven’t noticed their absence, or as much as I thought I would at least. I think I’m get­ting used to being so out-of-touch with peo­ple. There’s so much ful­fill­ment one can find in a book or a movie or an instru­ment, let alone the vast­ness of the inter­net.

One of my ven­tures was mak­ing a tri­al World of Warcraft account1, just so I could try being social at a dis­tance, but I still could­n’t both­er inter­act­ing with oth­er peo­ple. And since the whole point of pay­ing a month­ly fee for an MMORPG is to have that kind of inter­ac­tion, I stopped when I maxed out at lev­el 202 on the third day. Good thing too, because it was the only thing I did for those three days.

I used to feel so guilty about being alone, think­ing I should be tak­ing advan­tage of some oppor­tu­ni­ty to be social. Then I real­ized that if I ever got too uncom­fort­able and lone­ly, I’d get up and do some­thing about it. I’m too hap­py and too com­fort­able here right now. I think that’s why I can’t tell if this is where I’m going, or where I already am.

  1. Which I’d pre­vi­ous­ly vowed nev­er to play, know­ing my addic­tive nature to any char­ac­ter-build­ing games, and WoWs nev­er-end­ing game­play. []
  2. The max lev­el for tri­al accounts. []


Bronwen and I agreed to a mar­riage pact, where we would mar­ry each oth­er if we weren’t in a rela­tion­ship by a cer­tain age. The thing is, she’s six years younger than me, so we decid­ed that her expi­ra­tion date is 35, and mine 41, because it’s eas­i­er for men to date/marry than women, at an old­er age.

Note how I did­n’t say “easy”. Heaven knows I had a hard enough time with dat­ing in my teens. And twen­ties. And prob­a­bly 30s.

According to her, we also have a sui­cide pact, even though I have no rec­ol­lec­tion of this. The only rea­son I can think of agree­ing to that is if large parts of the world were destroyed by mete­ors, lead­ing to the col­lapse of the eco­nom­ic sys­tem, cre­at­ing anar­chy, and reduc­ing every­one to hunter-gath­er­ers.

Bronwen and I are most cer­tain­ly not hunter-gath­er­ers, and we’d prob­a­bly suf­fer unbear­ably just try­ing to sur­vive, or be killed soon after because we’re too naive or com­pas­sion­ate for a dog-eat-dog world. The thing is, if that hap­pened I’d try to join forces with Pat and Jen, because they always have every­thing togeth­er1. So maybe if they were also killed by this cos­mic hail­storm, then it would still be an option.

  1. Pat’s the one who believes that at least one per­son should be in con­trol in every group at all times, and that he is this per­son. The only time he was ever ine­bri­at­ed was for his bach­e­lor par­ty. []

The Appreciation Paradox

Often, when some­one thanks me, I find myself say­ing “Don’t men­tion it” or “No need to thank me”. Yet when some­one does­n’t thank me for a favour, I feel like I’m being tak­en advan­tage of.

It’s a fun­ny thing that I feel like a thank-you is unnec­es­sary only after some­one has said it. Maybe it’s because as long as the per­son appre­ci­ates the favour, that’s all that mat­ters.

It’s sim­i­lar to the way Pat once offered to let me stay with him and Jen if I ever find myself with­out a job and a house. I’d prob­a­bly nev­er take him up on the offer because I nev­er want to be a bur­den any­one. At the same time, he knows this and does­n’t expect me to take him up on it, but he offered any­way because he knows I would­n’t take it for grant­ed, and would still be hap­py to take me in if the sit­u­a­tion war­rant­ed it.

Perhaps such acts become more of an acknowl­edg­ment than a prac­ti­cal ges­ture. As long as I know that some­one is appre­cia­tive and rec­og­nizes a favour, that’s all that mat­ters. But real­ly, isn’t that what a thank you is — an acknowl­edg­ment through thanks? At the same time, with­out a thank you, how would we know that some­one is appre­cia­tive?

It’s like the act itself is simul­ta­ne­ous­ly nec­es­sary and unnec­es­sary.