Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Worst it Ever Was

It was the end of a millenium, a fairly rare event, and all I could do was lie on the couch and flick the channels. I think I was up for about twenty-two hours that night. I was in my mid-twenties. It was New Year's Eve. I drink from time to time. I should have been out carousing with the rest of the world. Instead I watched 2000 overtake the world, one major city at a time, from the dubious comfort of my parents couch. I didn't even have a drink. I kept watching. Hong Kong. Tokyo. Berlin. Rome. London. New York. San Francisco. They all came off without a hitch. I think that secretly I was hoping the Y2K problem would assert itself, particularly where the towns had gone super hi-tech. I needed someone to join me in my funk, and what better way than in front of the entire world, right? I try to be an up person. I don't often wish bad things to happen to other people. What was wrong with me? Why was I in this funk?

The first reason is that I am never very good around New Years. Like my birthday and the last two weeks of May, New Years is a reminder of everything I have not managed to accomplish in my life. For me New Years is a reminder of all the bad decisions I have made in my life, a time to look back on the past 365 days and realize I am the same git I was a year ago.

There is a story behind the second reason, and, like with all stories, it is about a girl. In this case the girl and I had been involved in a long-distance relationship for three years. We talked almost every night and did the things we needed to do to make the relationship work until we were at a place where we could move in together. One day towards the end of December I came in to the office and found that I had a message from her. She told me that we needed to talk and I should call her after work. I called her right then. You can't go through the day with something like that hanging over your head, therefore I called her right then. She had called to break up with me. She eventually told me that she could have stayed with me and I would have been great to her and for her, but she wasn't going to be fulfilled by our relationship.

This hit me like a ton of bricks. We had been together for three years. We were talking about where we wanted to live when we had kids. I thought of her as my fiancee, and referred to her as such, even though I had not really proposed. Part of my future, the most important part to me, was set. I was in love with this girl and we were planning a life together. All of this came crashing down around me while I was sitting in my office. I was numb. I don't think I really left my office for the day but I know I didn't really get any work done.

She had started to be too busy or tired to talk to me at night. I wrote this off to being tired from working and going to school, but hindsight being 20/20, I can see that she had made the decision and just hadn't gotten up the courage to send me on my way. We had also been fighting a little recently, but I thought that was due to the fact that she had wanted to come visit for New Years and I was resisting. The week before New Years was one of my busiest times of the year. I was a supervisor in the Parts department at work, and we had to perform our end of year inventory and run reports on December 31st. This meant I usually spent New Years working until late, and then the week after New Years sick due to a combination of lack of sleep and stress. I didn't want her to come down and waste her time with me when I was going to be distracted and stressed out. Eventually she convinced me that it wouldn't bother her, and so she was planning on flying down here. She called the day before she was supposed to come down and broke up with me. It took less than 15 minutes to go from being on the verge of hot millennial nookie to once again being a member of the band of the hand.

I fell apart. I threw myself into work. I called her far to often trying to figure out what had gone wrong. I watched a personal record of twenty movies in the span of about four days. My mom was worried about me, so worried that she sent my dad down from Midlothian to pick me up and bring me home for a couple of days. Thus I ended up on their couch for New Years.

After New Years I was stuck fighting my usual depression along with the new depression of freedom that I had. I could do anything I wanted. I didn't have to worry about going home to call her. I could date. I could sleep around if I wanted. All I could do was sit around the house. I read some. I put on a lot of weight. I had no idea what to do. I had a future and then suddenly it was gone. Erased.

I can't remember if I thought about suicide, but if I did it would not have been seriously. Mainly because I am a big wimp and can't think of an acceptably painless way of offing myself. The fear of failure also plays into this. I am plagued by the fear of failure, sometimes it is so bad I can't get out of bed, and can you imagine how bad it would be if you were to fail at killing yourself?

This was, bar-none, the lowest point of my life. I did not have any good friends in College Station yet, and I felt somewhat abandoned by my friends in Houston. There was no one to help me through this thing that I had to do. More often than not I cried myself to sleep. My teddy bear the only witness to the lows I was reaching. Some nights I would drink myself to sleep.

I had to rebuild my life, and rather than be smart about it, I clung to the tatters of our relationship. I wouldn't let this girl go. I scrabbled and grasped for whatever scraps she would throw me. I told her and myself that I just wanted to maintain a friendship, but this wasn't true. My love for her had transmuted into some pathetic neediness. I needed to matter to her. I needed to make her hurt they way she had made me hurt. I needed some sort of power in the relationship, or what was left of it.

There were periods where we talked and then we wouldn't talk and then we would talk again. I started to move on, to get away from that sick, Gollum-like creature I had become. Eventually she stopped returning my calls and disappeared from my life completely. No emails. Nothing. It hurt a little bit, but in the end it is what I needed. I needed to know she didn't care anymore. At all. I was finally thrown away like the piece of garbage I had become in her eyes. I got over it. I went through a stage where love had been replaced by hate. You know after you have such an intense feeling for someone and you can't let go of the power of emotion? It transforms from love to hate. It is cliche, but that is what happened.

I got beyond my hatred and everything else that I felt. She became one more regret in the string of regrets that is my love life. I only recently got to the point where I talked to people about this, and I know there are a couple of you who are reading this that had no idea how bad it was for me.

Now why I am talking about this now, all of the sudden? What has got me thinking about this? I could try a little obfuscation on you, and myself, however it deals directly with the existence of this blog. She read an entry and posted a comment. She was sly and used a name that I never really called her, but something I could guess was her. The comment was a little provocative, kind of teasing but couched in the past tense to absolve her of any guilt should I react poorly to it. It even had a damned winking smiley emoticon in it. It was cute and harmless and it has had me messed up about this stuff for the majority of the weekend.

I loved her, but I also have a very strong physical reaction to her. After I read the comment I was shaking. I know writing this is playing into her hands, letting her know that she still has power over me. I am hoping that by sharing some of the worst times I have lived through that I might shed some light on them. Maybe I am hoping that confession will be the beginning of understanding for me.


I wrote this post several months ago and just stumbled across it this weekend as I was cleaning up my computer at the casa. I reread it and thought I would go ahead and share. I promise more funny this week.


Anonymous said...

...believe it or not, I'm actually surprised you didn't get a reply to this. I was waiting to comment till I saw whether she did or not.


~TamiJean SQ (bettah? less frightening?)

James said...

She hasn't read it yet. She is an infrequent visitor to the Opiate.

And TamiJean SQ is definately less frightening, although I first read it as SQL and thought, "Tami's not a database, really, although in some weird cyber-existential way I guess you could consider people just front-end interfaces for databases. Hmmm, something to think about.

Anonymous said...

Dude, I'd be an AWESOME database. I'd be all normalized and shit. With indexes. TONS of indexes.

I would pwn the database world with my mad sql skills.


Okay, so I'm not a very good programming thug. But it was fun, by god.


Anonymous said...

Here's your comment.

I stopped visiting your blog because of something you said after my last comment, I tried to shrug it off as not being about me but in case it was I thought it was best to leave you alone rather than upset you, obviously you don't or won't believe that I wouldn't want to hurt you all over again, that's your choice I'm not here to change your mind. It wasn't until today that I was reading through your blog and spotted it.

I've apologized before for how I handled things, I was what, all of 21?, and I ended things the wrong way, fate kicked me in the ass afterwards be happy! I let you fade out of my life because I cared about you not because you were "trash". Everytime we talked it would start heading down that same road and we would hang up the phone and I was cry and kick myself and feel like shit so when the phone would ring I stopped answering it.

I still refer to you as the last "good" relationship I had. The guy who would have done anything for me, treated me like a goddess and loved me no matter how impossible I was...and yes I know I was impossible (I still am). You wouldn't have been happy with me forever, I'm not happy enough with myself for anyone to be able to give me forever. I don't think I could have explained to you what I wanted then because I didn't understand it the way I do now. It's ok if you hate me, I don't always like myself very much either, but you know/knew me well enough to know that I always wanted someone who could hurt me, I always needed a collar, I just didn't know what to ask for.

So, I'm sorry.

Kat, Katie, Kate, Kitty, Wildkitty, Wildkat

P.S. I did my best to refrain from using any cute winks or smilies.