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. []

homeostasis

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. []

Pacts

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.