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It’s been awhile. I’ve failed at the PostAWeek thing. I’ve failed a lot this year. And others have failed me.

October 6 – lost my job. Brutally. They didn’t give me a good answer as to why. Just a lame “you don’t have the skills and experience we require”, a severance agreement to sign, and a failed attempt to transfer my work computer files over to my server. There was little to no sympathy from the person I needed it from the most. But that’s to be expected and will make sense in the next paragraph.

November 4/5 (late night/early morning) – Irish broke up with me. Another brutal blow. Spurred by AngryGinger, who had the best of intentions to see his friends happy. I get that, though it didn’t exactly help us be happy. And now I will always “remember, remember the 5th of November” as that day. The day I lost everything. Again. The day I had to find a way back into AngryGinger’s locked house to get my glasses so I could drive home at 7am after not sleeping at all, but just crying for 6 hours. The day I twisted my ankle horribly in those stupid 4 inch heel boots while trying to find the back porch to try the sliding door to get inside. The day I again got no sympathy from those closest to me.

I don’t know if it helped him be happy, but it sure didn’t work for me. I was suddenly very much alone. And fragile. And there were at least 2 weeks with daily breakdowns, crying, yelling, anger, more crying, emptiness, and general misery. The breakdowns slowed to a few times per week, and have now abated to about twice per week.

This whole situation, including the job loss, the heartbreak, and the lack of a proper support system, succeeded in setting off my latent depression and suicidal tendencies. I was struggling everyday to even function. I wouldn’t get out of bed until after noon, would cry uncontrollably for hours, and started staying up until 4am, doing nothing at all. I constantly considered the possibilities before me. The easy solution became very appealing. With the only thought against it being, who would take care of Thomas? I’ve never had something depend on me for life. And I couldn’t do that to him. Somehow I could deal with upsetting the very few people who would really feel pain by it, but I couldn’t let Thomas become homeless again, or die in a shelter, or be raised by someone who isn’t good enough. That amuses me in a very morbid way. But still, it’s funny to think that the cat saved my life. He kept me from doing the unmentionable. So I thank him for that. Especially because things have slightly improved.

December 6 – started a new job. Not perfect, but it’s a good atmosphere, good people, great commute, and easy work.

December 9 – realized I love my job, causing my first positive manic state in a long, long time. It didn’t last long though.

December 15 – tried to reach out and open myself up to someone, and was instead torn apart, heartbroken, and then resolved not to do it again. And found that I’m definitely not ready for anything at all. Even if it seems safe.

December 16 – went to a doctor. Now I’m back on the medication. Hopefully this will help with the depression. We’ll see in a few weeks or so.

I haven’t had the energy to do anything over the last few months. Especially in the last several weeks. Hence the lack of posting. Hopefully this will be the renewal of my blogging and I’ll get back into it. One can only hope.

I’ve been avoiding writing this post because I knew what it would mean. It’d be admitting that this has all happened. Admitting that I am alone, now more than ever. That no matter what I do, and how good my life is going, something is going to come along and fuck it all up. That I can’t stop the inevitable and to try is futile, painful, and just makes it worse for everyone in the end. That enjoying the moment is all well and good, but it comes with the knowledge that there will be bad to outweigh that good, eventually. Basically that life sucks and I need to get used to having my heart broken and being disappointed and alone. But also that I need to see what I have, when I have it, and before it’s gone – but not to hold onto it too tightly, because it’ll just shrink from my affections and run away, leaving me more alone and confused than I can imagine.

Things need to change. Hopefully the new year will bring that for me.

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After reading Holly’s post from yesterday, I find myself reflecting on my life and, more specifically, my relationships. In the post, she talks about Doug Hutchinson marrying a 16-year-old, but when I first read the title, “When love is more destructive than sex” I really thought it was about something else. The title by itself evoked a feeling from me that I don’t have nearly enough, a feeling that I deserve more than I think I do. And I thought that the post was going to discuss how hurtful it can be when there’s sex without love, but one of the partners is experiencing it as sex WITH love. I was surprised to find I was wrong, but at the same time realized it’d be a good topic for a blog post of my own, especially since I haven’t been serious in awhile.

I’ve had quite the menagerie of relationships in the past decade or so. Many of those relationships were like this:

… idealized, over-dramatic, volatile, impractical, and often destructive. When two teenagers fall in love, they may do stupid things, but they really didn’t know any better.

And then when I hit 16, they changed to more like this:

When I was a teenager, I thought True Love conquered all. I thought if it was really True maybe it would last forever and we’d get married and have babies and a house of our own. I wanted to be by my True Love’s side all the time, damn the damage to the rest of my life–in fact, I even thought the damage was sort of romantic, because it meant I was sacrificing for Love. I thought that True Love means thinking that your Lover is perfect and worshipping them. And if he asked me to do things I didn’t want to (rarely sexual, more often in terms of disrupting my studies and friendships), saying “no” wouldn’t be very Loving, would it?

But around 19 or so, I started dating older men and it was like this:

… being idealized by someone, having them treat you like you’re Edward Cullen and you’re made of unicorn kisses and it’s so cool that you have a car

Currently, my ideas on love are a mash-up of all three. I like men my age, because we can be irresponsible and have fun together and just go nuts, and we can blame it on alcohol and/or being young. I like throwing myself 100 percent into relationships because I know that if I hold something back, and it fails, I’ll think it was my fault for not opening and giving myself to him completely (emotionally, people, jeez). I like older men because they’re more mature, accomplished, stable, and (sometimes) romantic. They usually have steady jobs that will be lifetime careers, a house or apartment of their own, and their ducks are in a row.

The problem with dating guys my age is that they are immature and financially unstable and totally volatile emotionally. But the problem I’ve discovered with dating older men is that they are usually broken. The reason they’re still single is because something fucked up their heart at some point and they just never recovered. Something huge had to have happened to cause it, yet the man usually won’t tell what it was, so it leaves me in constant fear that I’ll do the same thing to him again and that’d be just terrible.

However, no matter what the age difference between me and a partner, I’ve always had a hard time separating sex, love, and infatuation from each other.

Many times, I’ve mistaken infatuation for love and it usually ends a little painfully, but overall it’s okay. We really liked each other and we burnt it out too quickly. Or I really liked him and he tried but just couldn’t so we got really close but then ended it. Or the reverse, he got really close and I couldn’t so I ended it.

The problem scenario for me is, and has been for years, mistaking sex for love. I tend to jump into relationships entirely too quickly, put my whole heart into it, get completely absorbed by him, and just let him completely permeate my existence. Then I allow it to go too far, too fast, and it results in sex before it really should. The problem here is that I then get so emotionally attached because of the sex, I can no longer figure out if the guy likes ME or only certain parts of me. Nor can I establish if I actually like him and am falling in love with him, or if that’s happening just because we had sex. And the worst part: it can’t be undone. Once you tip the scales to involve sex before there’s love, it’s nigh impossible to make love the influential weight, or even to level them out again.

The hurt I’ve felt because someone didn’t love me the way I loved them, or even LIKED them, has been nothing compared to the pain I’ve felt when I realize there’s no love behind the sex. There may be some sort of affection and caring, but it’s not actually love. Though he may say that he loves me, that doesn’t make it true. (Of course, the reverse is also true: If he doesn’t say he loves me, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t feel that way, though why a guy wouldn’t just say it… boggles the mind.) And though I’ve continually told myself that if I just hang in there, eventually he’ll really love me, I know that it’s a fallacy and that I’m putting myself through more pain than necessary. Yet, I also know from my past experiences that I will do just that. I will always keep going. I will not give up until it’s simply too much to bear.

I will continue to put myself out there 100 percent. I will continue getting pushed around, and hurt, and taken advantage of, and disrespected. I will continue to not get what I want or deserve. But I also will continue having the good times while they last, and enjoying the feeling of being around someone I care about.

If I don’t try, I’ll never know. So yes I’ve “slept on the floor” just to be near someone, and taken off of work to help them with something trivial, and driven an hour to spend 30 minutes with them, just because he wanted me to. I know it’s destructive. I know it’s ridiculous. And I know it’s a volatile way of life, but I also know this:

If I don’t put my whole self into it, and risk putting my heart in his hands, why should I expect him to do the same?

I’ve been talking to Spitfire a lot online in the mornings at work and today got pretty deep into the nitty gritty of relationships and our respective troubles with them. In respect to something we talked about today, I found this excerpt from Holly’s blog particularly insightful and applicable:

I guess what most of these guys are saying is “I’m not getting laid and I see that other people are, so those other people must have some super magical unfair advantage.” Well, sort of, but that advantage is a lot more common than you think, and has a lot less to do with “being a millionaire lawyer with perfect abs” and a lot more to do with “acting like women are people.” As long as women are The Challenge, The Enemy, The Gatekeeper, The Quarry, or any other fucked-up-all-to-hell metaphor, you’re going to keep having trouble with us.

If we’re people, well… no more and no less trouble than any other kind of people, is all I can promise you.

Hopefully he’ll read this. In fact, Spitfire, you really should read more of Holly’s blog. It’s quite awesome and full of sexy times and insight into the minds of the types of women who are actually worth your time. Aka not bitches, but cool geeky chicks. Who like sex. Wait, that’s redundant. Har.

I did, however, find the painful irony and unfortunate bits of me giving advice on relationships to Spitfire: I can’t seem to take my own advice. I can tell him all I want that he can do this or this and that it could help him with women, but I feel like it means almost nothing coming from someone who isn’t in the perfect relationship as it is. Sigh. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with Irish, happier than with any other boyfriends I’ve had, but I’m well aware that the situation could be improved.

Actually, I was working on dealing with some problems and trying to improve our relationship through good, old-fashioned communication, but right at the climax of our chat, AngryGinger arrived for video game playing. So there’s currently a big pause button on the conversation. Hoping it’ll resume when AG leaves tonight.

And it’s nothing against him, but he has the worst timing for these kinds of things. But it’s a bit my own fault, since I knew he was coming over tonight and just couldn’t get up the nerve to talk about things with Irish until the last minute. As per usual.

Well, they’re still playing Marvel vs Capcom 3, so I’m gonna sit here and read my smut.

I’ve recently been assured that some men think it’s annoying when women talk about themselves. Well, duh. That makes sense. Most people can’t tolerate listening about someone talk about themselves constantly. But hearing about ourselves is just weird sometimes. Which brings me to the next Pro Tip:

We all want to be complimented, but hearing compliments too much can be annoying, unnerving, and can even feel faked or forced. I like being told nice things, as it feels reassuring and makes me feel better about myself. But when someone constantly calls me pretty, or hot, or gorgeous, it loses its value and I feel like they’re just saying it because they feel like they should, not because they mean it. It can get to the point that I feel the opposite is true, and they’re trying to appease me by saying these things, but in fact making things worse.

That being said, this applies more to suitors and guy friends than it does to a current partner. For instance, hearing a compliment from Irish is almost always met with joy and sometimes surprise. Granted, he doesn’t overdo it. In fact, I’d love for him to compliment me more often, but I think his opinion is that it’d get old and tired quickly. Not sure if I agree there.

But anyway, my point was that when my guys compliment me too much, it becomes counterproductive and actually makes me shrink away from them a bit, cuz they seem too eager to please and like they’re trying too hard to make me feel good around them. Here’s a hint: if I feel good around you, it’s because of the way you treat me and act around me, not necessarily the things you say. In this case, actions indeed speak louder than words.

While I appreciate compliments as much as the next girl, don’t overdo it. You’re hurting yourself and making me feel like I am, in actuality, not hot or cute or whatever. If I stop smiling and/or giggling when you do it, that’s because it’s no longer working, so lay off it for awhile. Just saying. Err… just writing.

Sometimes a hug or a random cuddle means more to me and does more for my ego and self-esteem than a compliment, whether it’s warranted or not. I’m not sure if this applies to just me or to the bulk of females, but hopefully it lands somewhere in between and someone finds it helpful.

We were eating lunch and I found where I left off on Holly’s Blog. The post contained this paragraph:

And yet I can’t help but feel unfulfilled being unfilled. Partly this is because of baggage: if a guy can’t get it up for intercourse that means I’m not sexy and if he refuses intercourse that means he doesn’t really like me. (Especially as popular wisdom holds that guys never refuse intercourse, therefore if it happens to me it must be really bad news.) Some of that’s probably true, too. Not “augh I’m a warthog,” but “I don’t have a close enough relationship with anyone for them to be fully sexually open to me” really is true, I think.

This is how I feel way too often. I mean, I know I’m not the prettiest princess and that I really need to lose a few pounds… or 20… but that doesn’t mean I’m not attractive. Plenty of guys let me know that I’m attractive. I get hit on or at least checked out, which actually feels nice, all things considered. But what feels the best is when close friends make it clear that I deserve so much, because they think I’m special and fantastic and attractive. Granted, most of them might just say those things because they want to steal me away from Irish or something. Who knows? I can only TRY to understand what others think.

I guess what I just don’t understand then is how my current situation happens. Holly’s post was talking about having a lot of everything-but sex which was leaving her feeling unfulfilled. I would love that to be my situation. At least it’s something. I just hate feeling like I’m not attractive because I’m not getting attention from the only one who actually matters.

And it’s not like we haven’t talked about it, either. Because we have. Ad nauseam. But I guess it just goes to show that what they say is true, you can’t change a man. But I keep trying regardless.

Maybe I’m being too needy or something again.

I’m gonna go catch up on some more Pervocracy, since Irish is playing Fallout. So much for hitting the gym together. Sigh.

When a girl mentions in passing that she’s not into all that cliche Valentine’s Day stuff… ignoring it is usually a safe bet.

Case in point:
While talking to Irish a few weeks ago, I had mentioned my Valentine’s Day experience from last year, including how Jay had gotten me everything – teddy bear, balloon, flowers, card, chocolates, etc. – because I had never gotten any of that stuff before. But in that case, it was too little, too late. Damage had been done to the relationship that just couldn’t be undone with cute or tasty gifts.

Well even after hearing that, I received an edible arrangement, teddy bear, and balloon at work yesterday. It was awesome and I was squeeing like a fool. Unfortunately it was after 5 so most people had gone home, but I still texted some friends and ran to my girl upstairs to have a girly squealing fit together. And to share a chocolate covered piece of fruit.

I had already received a box of chocolates from Irish that he had AngryGinger grab for him, and I figured that was all I’d be getting. I was wrong. And I’m glad I was.

Also, when he was making the steaks for dinner (so very delicious), I checked my email and saw he had sent me a gift certificate for Squishable.com so that I can get myself a fox when it comes back in stock. I started squeeing again and ran over and hugged him for ages. It was awesome.

So the safest bet when it comes to Valentine’s, or really any holiday, is to get your girl something small at least, just to show you care. Even if it’s just a card. But if you think she’s more receptive, then go bigger, because it will be appreciated, and you will get hella brownie points.

Even is she says she doesn’t want to exchange gifts, you should still get her something. Saying that you’re not going to get each other gifts on a holiday for financial reasons or something is a TRAP. Better safe than sorry, and in this case it’s better to err on the side of giving too much, to an extent of course. Keep it sweet and simple.

Time for a new segment that I hope continues: Pro Tips. Here’s the first of many:

When I’m venting and bitching, just let it happen. Don’t tell me I’m wrong or try to solve my problem, unless I ask for it. Cuz really, I know why I have to do these things I bitch about having to do, but I still just need to get the frustration out of me.

Men tend to want to solve problems instead of listening. Not that I’m complaining that they want to help, but sometimes we just don’t want it.

Something women don’t tell men… Don’t help unless we ask for it. Just listen while we bitch.

Of course, the flip side of that is men like to fix stuff, so maybe we should open a bitchfest with, “just venting here” or something that triggers the “solving” area of their brains to shut down.

Grapple asked me a question that I’ve often wondered about myself as well:
Why do I sacrifice so much of myself for others?

I’ve never been able to fully answer this question for myself, let alone for someone else, but here’s my best amalgamation of an answer:

I’m always trying to help people solve the problems in their lives, while putting my own needs on hold. Maybe I feel that helping them could help me. Or if I help them, they’ll appreciate it and feel closer to me, letting me into their heart as I’ve let them into mine. If there is anything at all that I can do for them, I must do it.

I seek approval and reaffirmation of my life. I feel like I have a purpose in life if I help someone. If I don’t do everything possible for them, I’m not fulfilling my purpose and therefore am useless. If what I do is rejected, I’m a failure. I have failed not only myself, but that person as well, and anyone else it could’ve affected.

I want to be loved. I give all of myself to someone, hoping to receive the same in return. But that never happens. No matter how much I give, I’m going to get the same amount back – whatever amount they want to give. I can’t change that, but since I feel it is my purpose to get them to open up, and I continuously fail, I’m a failure and become depressed, causing more feelings of inadequacy and emptiness.

It is an endless cycle of hurt, heartbreak, and frustration.

And I do it constantly. Even now.

Without someone to dote on and cherish and give up everything for, I feel empty, useless, homeless, without purpose. I feel like there is no point to living if I’m not living for someone else. Being their rock, their shepherd, their partner. The one they need.

I want to be needed. Not just loved, but necessary. However, I want to be needed because I’m loved, not loved because I’m needed. I want my partner to realize they can’t live without me because they love me and are in love with me; they need me there just to survive the day-to-day trials, tribulations, and tortures of life; they need be with them to be happy; they need me just to sleep peacefully at night; they love me too much to put into words and express; they just need me. That’s what I want, and it’s something I’ll never have. And although I know that, I’ll continue to want, strive, and hope for it.

I want someone to make me feel like I’m the only one in the world for them, and mean it. I want to be able to take on the world with them, and win. I want to know that I hold their heart, and they hold mine. I want to be able to trust they will never throw me away, and have that trust be proven.

I give because I cannot receive.  In some cases, will not. When someone tries to be open and loving to me, in a way that is greater than what I feel, I shut them out, lock down, and push them away. If I start receiving emotion I haven’t worked for and earned, surely it is too good to be true. Clearly they are lying to me, trying to lure me into something, making me believe them so they can turn sides and trap me against my will. They don’t love me, they only think they do. Because I’m so open and loving and easy to love. If I let myself fall into their open arms, eventually they will drop me. So I run. I run away from the love they try to give that is unwarranted. Undeserved.

I search out those who are cold and closed off to love, so that I may be the one to pry their heart open and let them love again, to have them love me. I want to fix them, for they are broken. I want to change them, to help them better their lives, to teach them how to live. But are they really broken? Or is it me that is actually broken? A puzzle missing a piece – taking every piece I find and trying to shape it properly to fill the void, forcing pieces where they don’t belong – hurting myself in the process of finding my missing element. I continue to work though – pushing harder, shaving off bits of myself to try to make the other fit, twisting every way imaginable to accommodate them.

But it never works. And it never will. My sacrifice is always in vain.

I emerge from the wreckage – broken, beaten, and scarred – and immediately search again.

I realize that the perfect piece to fill the void won’t have to be altered, shaped, and accommodated for. I won’t have to twist and turn and alter myself in order to fit them into my life and my heart. It will just work.

But here’s the kicker: If I sit around and wait for that perfect one, I’ll feel useless and empty, putting myself into a depression in which I cannot open myself to anyone, even that perfect one.

So why do I sacrifice so much of myself for others? It’s all I know how to do, and without it I have nothing. No matter how much I give, I will continue to give more, until I either break down their wall or break down myself. I think it’s obvious which happens more.

After that whole fandango went down, we were talking about our previous Valentine experiences. I told him how until last year, I hadn’t had the stereotypical gifts on V-Day (candy, card, balloon, bear, etc.), but Jay changed that. And it was stupid and terrible. Also, it was made worse by the fact that I didn’t love him anymore, but that’s beside the point.

I mentioned that other than the gifts, I couldn’t remember V-Day being all that good with Jay. Then he said, “I think WE were together on Valentine’s Day.” This was a huge memory shock. I had almost forgotten about that. We went to Don Pablos for dinner and had the Fajitas for Two Valentine’s Special (which I found amusing, and now ironic) and then we saw Percy Jackson: Lightning Thief. I remember using AngryGinger as my cover story since Jay hated the mere idea of Irish, let alone me being alone with him. And for good reason I guess.

So here we are, and we’ve come full circle. I’m a college grad now, I’m no longer on psych meds, I’m employed at a good company that is actually 9-5, we’re living together, and he’s finally learning to be a boyfriend, kinda.

Life isn’t perfect. It’s an adventure.

I already had my big plan for Valentine’s Day all worked out. I was going to drive Irish to the Verizon Store, and he could pick out his new phone, in all likelyhood the Droid X, and I would buy it for him. And an Otterbox case for it if he wanted one. This weekend ruined that.

I paid the $200 electric bill this month. I paid $400 toward the rent. So he had some extra money and decided it was a perfect time to buy his new phone. I told him he should wait, say, a month, just to be sure it’s what he wanted. And since I had to drive him there, I said I was okay with shopping for it, but not buying just yet. I didn’t want to tell him why he should wait, ruining the surprise, but figured he’d wait anyway.

I was wrong. Shocking.

Within 5 minutes of talking to an employee he said “alright, I’ll take it” and my jaw dropped. I was speechless, confused, and frustrated. I barely said a word after that until we got into the car and he asked if I was upset about it. Well, duh.

I explained to him that I was gonna buy him one for Valentine’s Day, if he would’ve just waited. And that yes, of course I’m upset about it. He didn’t listen to me. He didn’t trust my opinion on it. And he didn’t get the hint to just wait when I said it over and over and I’ve done this kind of thing before with him (I told him not to buy something because Santa might be getting for him, he understood then). He just thought I was trying to tell him how to spend his money, which I wasn’t. Admittedly, there’s part of me that is bitching inside about how he wanted me to help with rent and BGE and then he goes and spends that money on other stuff, but whatever.

He also apparently wasn’t expecting me to get him anything for Valentine’s, cuz no girl’s ever given him something before. So we decided that we were just going to call it his Valentine’s present anyway. And I told him I might still give him a card and a blowjob as a placeholder. Maybe 2. To this, he had the perfect response: “What am I gonna do with 2 cards?” Brilliant! I haven’t decided how I meant it yet. I just hope to get laid that day/weekend. Maybe twice if I’m lucky.

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