~Monday, March 08, 2010

Make or Break

Christopher was not angry to see me on his doorstep, which surprised me because he just told me the previous night that he wanted a break. Showing up on his doorstep is not a break thing to do.

He opened the door. "Who said anything about forever?" I chirped.

We cross his apartment and take our seats on his couch. He pats for me to slide next to him. I do and he puts his arm around me. Showing affection is also not a break thing to do.

"So what you were going to write you off for not responding to your texts within 20 minutes?" I ask. "You've gone days and days without calling me back."

Christopher mumbles. His thumb is rubbing up and down my shoulder.

I try to talk to him, but all of his answers are "I don't knows" and shrugs:

"Do you want to take a break?" I don't know.

"Do you know why I got upset?" Shrug.

"Are you going to tell me what's bothering you?" Shrug.

I change my approach:

"Do I smell bad?" Shrug and a hint of a smile.

"Do you find me more attractive than unattractive?" Nod.

"Do you have fun with me?" Nod.

"Do you think you have been fun lately?" Shrug.

"Do you want to work on things with us?" Nod.

He eventually admits that he thinks we haven't been clicking lately. And he's right. It's hard to click with someone when you are not interacting.

He said he got angry with me for always trying to make him do stuff. "ALWAYS?! I squeak. "YOU LEFT THE APARTMENT ONE TIME IN THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY!"

Shrug. "It's the expectation," he explains.

So he's mad that I make the plans and then get angry when he doesn't follow through with them. I kind of understand that on some level, but I also think my intentions were good.

We leave it as the break is off and we're together, but I'm going to give him the space he needs to pull his act together. And I'm going to continue the path I'm on, because I've been feeling pretty good about myself these days.

29 comments:

Dawn said...

:)

Curvy Jones said...

Love it. You're letting him fix his own problems and not wrapping yourself up in them, too. Only one of you can be down at a time.

You're also not writing him off, rather separating how he's acting from who he is.

I hope he finds a way to break through and that he knows and appreciates what he has in you. And that you feel good about going forward.

Em Static said...

I hate to admit this, because I only read your blog once, but I was kind of wondering what happened next.

I hope things clear up for him soon and he realizes what an angel you're being.

J said...

Sarah you are completely amazing. I love that you are sticking with him without completely losing yourself in his problems. Good stuff!

Anonymous said...

OMG! You are insane. You need counseling and/or psychiatric help. Seriously! You reek of desperation and of low self-esteem. What is wrong with you? Can't you see that you deserve better? You are sniffing at this boy like a puppy desperate for a pat on the head. Girl, your blog is aptly named, I will give you that! Sorry I am not going to blow smoke up your butt like every one else, but you are making a HUGE mistake. You never stay away from this guy long enough to make him miss you and need you and WANT to change. He's a user and a non-communicative neanderthal. You'll always be a doormat for dudes like this. I won't be posting anymore. Good luck. You reap what you sew. When you're 40 and alone, you will get it. All the best!

Breeza said...

Wow, some people are crazy!
I think you're smart for working on yourself. Keep on that path! And glad to hear he's doing a bit better.

Lpeg said...

Oh his Sarah, I'm so sorry you are going through this with Christopher. I am glad to hear that things are starting to get better. I hope he can get the help he needs, because depression is a very tricky problem. Hugs xx.

Sarah said...

At least I'm honest, Anonymous. I'm honest with myself and the way I live my life and I'm honest on my blog. And yes, I was pretty honest when I came up with my blog title in 2005. To me, living honestly and not keeping secrets is pretty damn healthy last time I checked. And brave.

What are you being honest about, Anonymous? Your name? Are you being honest in your snap judgment of me? Do you honestly think I am insane and should be committed? Are you being honest when you wish me ill will?

And my relationship is affecting you how to make you so upset?

Delicieux said...

You're a good woman, Sarah. As long as you can stay true to yourself in the process, things will work out just fine.

What doesn't kill you will make you stronger, yes? ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm also Anonymous and I'm agreeing with the first anonymous comment. What happened to you saying that you needed a break from dating? That lasted like what 2 days? Seriously, Sarah, you need to let this guy go and work on yourself. He is not going to change just because you didn't text him back right away like you always do. He is still clinically depressed. He may have been a little less depressed when you showed up but he is still depressed. That stuff does not magically go away. I also think that your other readers who leave you these "nice" comments are doing you a disservice. It's fine to be supportive but someone also needs to shake you.

rebecca said...

what i dont understand is why everytime someone leaves a comment berating sarah or being rude, they are 'anonymous'.
well if you are so strong in your opinion and believe you are right why do u have to hide by leaving no name or website? seems to me like you are just typical internet trawlers, going from blog to blog so that you can tell people off.
seriously - she isnt asking for advice just telling her story. leave her alone, she can make whatever decisions she likes. if they are wrong, she will work it out on her own. she didnt ask for your opinion.
and LEAVE YOUR NAME so annoying

Sydney said...

Here's the thing (and I'll leave my name, as I did on the last comment I left) - I think Sarah is doing herself no favors in this situation. He's not in a position right now to be in this relationship, and I think Sarah will overextend herself, again, for her boyfriend. Now, we only know what she posts on here, so we don't have the whole story - but in many of the stories about the men she's dated, it sounds like she's investing more into the relationships than they are. In response to the comments on an early blog, I think you (Sarah) thought some of us said you shouldn't date at all, or not be in public, or something asinine like that. Not so (at least in my case). I just think you don't need the drama of this relationship like this one so quickly after your ex. You seem like someone who wants to nurture - and that's not bad, but I feel like you've ended up with guys who need that, and won't necessarily be able to provide it when you need it. I just think you need to be in a relationship that is more reciprocal, and until then, just date around and have fun. You're what, 28? Hardly a spinster.

Curvy Jones said...

The thing is though? It's her life. Her relationship. Her decision.

It's very easy to sit on the outside and jump on the 'dump him girl' bandwagon. It's much more difficult to be the one in the situation, with the ENTIRE story sitting in your lap (not just the one we read here on the blog, because it is Sarah's right to vent and point out things that make her upset and she's not obligated to spew her entire relationship here) and trying to decide which is the best way to go.

Maybe Sarah doesn't think Christopher is a loser and damaged and hopeless? To be honest, I don't either. I have high hopes for Christopher and for Sarah and for them as a couple. There comes a time in a relationship when you've invested too much to walk away when it stops resembling what you thought was perfection, what you thought was a fairy tale.

Maybe, since Sarah has been though depression before, joblessness before, periods of "low" before, she knows what he's feeling. She doesn't understand his reaction to it, but what about depression is easy to understand?

I'm just saying that this is not cut and dried. Maybe it's not as easy as 'just walk away, you're better than him', and frankly if I were a man I'd be scared shitless of women that get going when the going gets tough.

They will make it, or they won't, but it won't be because Sarah didn't give it every last effort.

And to be fair, Sarah said she would take a break from dating if things did not work out with Christopher. Reading for clarity, not for your own personal arsenal of insults and negative opinions, is fundamental.

HomeImprovementNinja said...

In jiu jitsu, we are always reminded of a zen principle that "wherever you are right now, is where you need to be". Your previous relationships sucked and got progressively worse, but at the time, that's where you needed to be in order to break yourself from that pattern forever. You have to go through some stuff and struggle and when you come out on the other side, you are a different person.

Your current BF obviously has some issues that he needs to work through, and that's why he is where he is...because he needs to work on it. If he ignored it and pretended it was okay, it wouldn't just go away, it would be there until he dealt with it.

Don't listen to the people who say you should (or shouldn't) break up with him because they honestly have no idea what YOU should do. You are where you need to be now and whatever conclusion you come to will be the right answer...for you.

Bathwater said...

What I don't understand is why anonymous people post comments. Do what you think is right but keep in mind what I said.

Sarah said...

What I find interesting about these anonymous comments is that these people are convinced that they are right and I should drop everything and drink their KoolAid. I should even "be shaken" according to one person.

And yet, what these people are conveying, not so nicely may I add, is not what my therapist advises. You know, the person who went to school for years and years just to handle these kinds of problems. The doctor that I pay and whose advice I seek.

Rebecca is right, I didn't ask for any advice, although I appreciate it when it's given thoughtfully and sincerely. When it's acknowledged that I am my own person with my own mind to make. What I can't help but wonder though, is what is wrong with these people for them to get so very involved and upset over what I write. A few similarities maybe? You hate in others what you hate about yourself.

2 Drink Girl said...

To all the anonymous people: Since when is trying to help other people that you care about a BAD thing? It doesn't matter where anyone is as a person, if they see someone in trouble, they should try to help. That's what Sarah is doing. Helping.

How she chooses to continue her PERSONAL relationship with him is up to her.

It's wrong to just leave someone without trying to help them. That is what would make her a bad person, which she is not.

Ally (griffinally5@gmail.com) said...

I am the first "anonymous" poster.

As far as posting anonymously, some of us have jobs and function in the public eye (politics/law/teaching) where we like to remain anonymous online. It doesn't mean we are trolls or have nothing constructive to say.

apologize if my original comments came off as sounding angry or judgmental. That was not my intention. I suppose it was more an expression of frustration. It was late and I was tired.

I have been reading Sarah's blog for a while and cannot understand why there are no lessons being learned, why there is no change happening? Maybe there is and it's just not a part of the narrative, by choice. She is only putting out the story as she wishes us to see it. In which case, everyone that reads is going to have a different experience.

As for blogging in general, and I know this is not a popular opinion and I am putting my life at risk here communicating this on a blog (*kidding*), of all places, but I feel a lot of these blogs, by women especially, are so much navel-gazing and not really constructive to overall growth and improvement as human beings. I have been reading as part of a research project, this blog and few others, having never ventured into the blog-o-sphere before. I am sure I am going to get all types of criticism for my comments and that is ok. I welcome it.

What I would really like to know is why do you blog if you are not actively seeking advice, approval, affirmation etc.? What is the catharsis in it? You always seem so unhappy. How is blogging different from keeping a personal journal that is private? Why take your blog public but then eschew criticism and input? These are the questions that motivate why anyone would place their personal angst out in such a personal way. What purpose does it serve to you as a person other than the warm fuzzies you get from the people that tell you what you want to hear?

I would love to hear from other bloggers as well on this point.

I really do wish the best for Sarah and Christopher but I stand by my original assertions, "as characterized here on this blog and for what we are a party to and as much as she has told us", he needs help and she needs to work on her self-esteem and I just don't think it's going to be found on a blog with a bunch of other women telling you all is ok, "you go girl!" ...because to a real professional, it is not.

Also, as long as you keep paying that doctor, you are going to be told what you want to hear. It's a business. Do you even have a treatment plan that includes therapy cessation or are you planning on staying in therapy for life? I realize that some people need legitimate help, but sometimes I feel like so much navel gazing at such young age is indulgent. Ask the people sleeping on the sidewalk in Haiti last night is they need a "therapy" session to talk through their Christopher issues?

Sarah, you are blessed with intelligence and grace. I only wish you could see that and learn that being loved by someone else will truly fill you up and never happen until you are ok on your own and truly love your own self first.

Sarah said...

I appreciate you clarifying, but I still believe your message is muddled:

Why do I write publicly as opposed to a paper diary? Many, many reasons: I enjoy writing creatively. The comments that I receive when someone appreciates the writing? I print those out and tape those in my journal. I can receive catharsis without approval on my lifestyle.

I love the friends that I have made and the lives I am privileged to share by the reading of blogs. I have gained virtual friends that transpired into real-life friendships. MJoy is my best friend. I met her when she commented on my blog one day.

My day is enhanced by partaking in the exchange of blog reading. I am meeting a need I am not getting with my real-life friendships. The girls I've known since college, we don't share as much as is shared here.

And sometimes I do seek advice; having a ready-made forum is invaluable.

I feel your message is muddled when you tell me I need professional help, but then tell me doctors are business transactions. So what then, I am to blindly follow you? You tell me I have problems to work on, but then bring up the old starving children in Haiti, implying that I don't have problems? Which is it? Do I have problems or not? I think I do; I have never implied otherwise. And I believe my problems are equally important to me as your problems are to you as the poor starving children in whatever country is hip to mention at the moment. It was Darfur not too long ago, BTW.

And you are wrong if you think a "You go girl" doesn't help a person with low self-esteem, which I also have previously openly admitted. You don't think that words of encouragement are powerful in the aid of helping someone believe in herself? I am in therapy for learning to trust myself and do you think having people expressing ugly damnings is helping me or hurting me in the path to trust myself?

As far as naval gazings go? Yeah, I do a whole lot of it. I got 5 years worth of it right here. So what?

2 Drink Girl said...

Ally: "I won't be posting again" wow, so that lasted what, 3 hours?

And I will answer your question about why we blog instead of write in a personal journal: Technology has changed us as a society. What I put in my journal at 16 helped me to "get it out there" but now we are getting it out there in a new way. For a long time I didn't have comments on my personal blog because of...well, people like you. I just wanted to get it out there. Mostly because if something I was going through could help someone else by reading it, then I would feel like I helped someone.

I believe that Sarah's experience has helped more people than any other blog I've read. It might seem like the same old thing to you, but this is her experience and her life, as it's lived.

If you want a concrete beginning, middle, and end, then you need to pick up a book instead of read a blog.

Ally said...

Sarah and 2Drink,

Thanks for your feedback. Good luck on your journey. ~A

Ally

Anonymous said...

Wow, this discussion turned heated pretty quickly. I am anonymous, but sort of not, because I feel sure that Sarah has Google analytics on her side, or something else that shows where I'm logging in from (good ole GA girl)! I just don't post my name online as a general rule.

My thoughts are that Sarah is, of course, an adult with her own set of life experiences and perceptions to draw from. As such, she is free to make her own decisions about her personal relationships. However, in that she chooses to share portions of her personal journey in such a public place, she will at times generate comments/complaints/criticism. It's just the nature of the beast. I'm sure she accepts that as a necessary evil to her blogging journey.

I posted a couple of days ago of my sister who is bipolar and clinically depressed, and her "sainted" husband who has stuck with her for 15 years despite it all. I encouraged Sarah (and still do) to run as fast as she can from Christopher, mainly because I have seen up close and personal the effects of depression on a life, a marriage, and relationships. The first time my sister tried to commit suicide, we were terrified. The second time, we were just angry. As a woman who's been through so much heartache in her relatioships, yet who seems to deserve so much more, I'd just hate to see Sarah confine her life to dealing with the effects of depression over the long haul.

As one poster said, Christopher isn't going to change overnight, and he won't change for her. He has to change for himself, and until he finds the strength within himself to both acknowledge his problem and seek professional help for it, as well as do whatever it takes to work through it, he will continue to be a drag on whomever he's involved with, be it Sarah or anyone else.

That said, as a former single woman treading the dating wheel in the not so distant past - I wish her luck, woman to woman, in whatever her endeavors are, with or without Christopher.

Cebene
GA

Anonymous said...

You were MAD she tried to commit suicide???! Then next time, why don't you just let her succeed? Since you are so dead-set on being annoyed by her torment instead of supportive.

Sarah said...

Right, right, and right, Cebene. The difference is your opinion is expressed with thoughtful consideration.

Did I know Christopher would go through this when we first started dating? I did not. But am I going to immediately ditch him because of it? That's not my nature either. He deserves a little more time from me; it's the least I can do for him. Thank you. :)

Anonymous said...

"You were MAD she tried to commit suicide???! Then next time, why don't you just let her succeed? Since you are so dead-set on being annoyed by her torment instead of supportive."

Obviously, Anonymous has never suffered alongside a close family member who's living with severe depression. Yes. We were mad. We were allowed to be mad, because we'd all been through so much trying to be supportive. It was heartbreaking to watch her do something so selfish when we were all trying our dead level best to help her move forward with her life, and she refused to do the things that her doctors and therapists insisted she needed to do in order to recover, or, at the very least, have more good days than bad ones. We were angry, terrified, disgusted, and heartbroken, and guess what: We still love and support her to this day.

And that, Sarah, is why I hope so much that you never have to live through the hell of severe depression, either personally or with someone you love. It is pure hell, most especially for them.

Cebene
GA

M-Joy said...

[ No Subject ]
Tue, March 9, 2010 4:30:42 PMFrom: Monica View Contact
To: My Stuff


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

First, all y'all that don't like depressing don't even think of going to my blog. All I do is bitch and moan and rant about something or someone I dislike. Second, I am the friend that told Sarah to choose another perspective on Christopher's lack of enthusiasm. I am the one who told Sarah anger is an easy emotion, find another. Anger is the cop-out emotion. Try harder. Third I am the friend that told (tells) Sarah to quit comparing S to Christopher. They aren't the same person even if you fear the same traits. Fourth I have met Sarah, and Christopher, and S. I am not a virtual friend rather an actual friend. I DO know all the sides to the story.

What I know is when Sarah looked at me at that bar after shopping and asked me why I finally told her I was OK with her anger, my answer was simple. In every situation in my world I want to be confident that when I look back 10, 20, 30, or more years later that I did all that was in my power. That I will never have hindsight and say I half-assed anything. I expect this from my friends as well as myself. DO your best.


Sarah DID her best. She did more than her best. She got a unsettling txt from her depressed almost ex and rather than passively txt back she physically went to see him.

Hey anyone out there ever blown someone off and had them turn up dead? Ya want that on your memory for the rest of your days?

Finally, I am also the one that has been the FRIEND checking in with Sarah to ensure that she doesn't repeat the days of S. That she's aware of the excuses or assumptions she made. That she IS taking care of her.

I always tell her she's never positive enough on here. Like for instance her little commitment she made recently to become atheletic (seriously funniest shit ever!) Or the fact that she out-of-the-blue tct'd me she'd just purchased a Vera Bradley garment bag and msg'd to rub it in (bitch). OR that she's some of the most fun and well adjusted healthy honest happy secure women I have ever known.


Blogs are used to get out what we can't always share in person. Get the hell off your high horses ladies. Those who live in glass houses....

Miss Devylish said...

Darling, first? You can moderate comments or simply delete people who are fucking crazy. Crappy comments aren't something you have to keep for integrity of the blog.. That's right Ally - I delete all the nasty shit I've ever been sent and I've had 2 stalkers on my blog over the years. If you don't understand blogging or why people do it, please don't comment because you don't get it and we can tell.

Second? I read all the comments before adding mine here. I'm proud of you (as proud as a new virtual friend can be - but hey, that's pretty proud) - I'm just nervous. Obviously you have people looking out for you and you're doing your own work on yourself.. All good. Glad you have MJoy - she sounds kickass. And you know you are too.. Crossing fingers whatever happens is the best thing for you. Hearts! xo

Curvy Jones said...

I'm loving the hell out of MJoy's comment. To the MAX.

Paige Jennifer said...

Listen, we all have different breaking points. Dare I even admit the number of times, over the course of three years, I took Alaska back? Right. That being said, what would happen if you did take a break? As my first love, after confessing he'd cheated on me, once said as I sobbed in his passenger seat - it all works out for the best. Wise words for a douchebag, no?

 

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