Paul and I haven’t gone on a proper date in a long while until this past weekend. We’ve spent a lot of weekends lounging around my apartment. The last time I remember us actually going somewhere was to dinner at Mr. Gyro’s, this amazing Greek place near my apartment, a few weeks ago, but a few weeks ago was a tumultuous time, so it was really probably only a calm evening/few hours before shit got rough again.
Night shift is a pain in the dick for both of us. It completely screws up his schedule, and with me on day shift, we have a few overlapping hours where we’re both awake and not working during the week to talk–assuming he actually does wake up. There was this brief period where he was sleeping until 8 or 9 at night, and my bedtime (if I can get my shit together) is 9:30. So there was a pissy time of barely talking to each other. Combine that with a brief stint where literally the only thing he ever had to say was how much work sucks–including not even a, “So how was your day?” directed to me–and you get the makings of a rough patch. That’s simple enough to deal with and get over with a conversation, which we did, but then his sleep schedule started turning into me getting stood up when we had plans.
I tried to be understanding. Night shift isn’t easy, and I’m not saying I could 100% handle it well, but I am saying Paul definitely does not have my ability to adjust my sleeping schedule relatively hassle-free within a few days. And for awhile, he wasn’t sticking to much of a schedule while insisting he really needed to stick to a schedule. He has this habit–and most people probably do, to an extent–of complaining a whole lot about things in his control he could at least attempt to fix. At first, he was too tired to keep with our plans. Then he started canceling or just not keeping up with what he said he was going to. Then, after about three or four consecutive weeks of waiting for him to wake up and, “Hey, are we still ____ tonight?” “No,” I was at my parents’ house for the weekend and we were supposed to go out for some frozen yogurt. I had tons of other shit I wanted to do that day, but since the plan was “I’ll text you when I wake up,” I really couldn’t go out and about, so I ended up waiting around for him all day only to have him wake up, say he was too tired and would catch a nap and then we’d go only to not wake up until about an hour before he had to leave for work, so at that point I said, “Fuck it” and it turned into a huge-ass mess in which I ripped him a new asshole for not having the decency to at least not make plans with me if he wasn’t willing or able to keep them. It’s just a dick move. I get that he was tired and on night shift, but you don’t tell you girlfriend a few weeks in a row that you’ll go somewhere and then bail, especially when in more than one instance, it happened more than once in one day. And at a certain point, “I’m sorry” gets old.
I declared I wasn’t initiating plans anymore–if he wanted to see me, he could make the effort–and that if the plan was, “We’ll do ____ when I wake up,” as far as I was concerned, we weren’t going because past experience had proven that to be the case. He even acknowledged how shitty he would feel if it were the other way around. I’m not saying I made him cry, but there were tears.
Now, this all by itself is a mess but probably could’ve gone down way smoother if not for one additional detail causing tension at the time–his mother is still evil. In fact, The Rough Patch of Summer 2013 kind of started with his mother when I finally got tired of her judgmental horseshit, calmly called her on some of it, and he made the unfortunate decision the next day to tell me she was pissed. Sorry, I’ve let your mother be a bitch to me for three years. I don’t really care if she was unhappy that I stood up for myself. Granted, it was more yelling to him than at him, but still.
And the catch is, as usual with her, that it wasn’t an isolated incident and it didn’t end there, and I don’t think it ever will. I decided–as I have in the past–that the best way for she and I to get along and for things to stay peaceful is to just avoid her and say very little when I am around her because one of us inevitably pisses the other off. She’s rude and disrespectful and thinks it’s okay because 1) she doesn’t think what she’s saying is rude and disrespectful and 2) even if it is, sounds like she thinks as long as she says it in her house, that’s okay. Because, you know, if she came to my apartment and I was a bitch to her, she’d be totally okay with that and say, “Oh, well, you’re the one paying the rent, say what you want!”
Now, when dealing with sane people, tension would pretty much stop at this point because if you’re not even in contact with someone, you should have no reason to go on bitching, but nope! And this is where we get into the realm of complaining about someone because they suck versus when complaining about someone because you suck. Yeah, I’ve done tons of bitching about people in the past, but you’ll notice it was almost strictly in the context of dealing with shit said/done to/about me, not me creeping around and looking for something wrong. There’s a difference between, “This happened to me, this was said to me, and here is how I feel about it,” and, “Look what this person I don’t like did!”
When someone hasn’t spoken to you in weeks and you’re still complaining about them once a week at random, the problem isn’t them–it’s you. And that’s what was going on–I hadn’t seen her since before the 4th of July and it was getting back to me that she was complaining about me weekly anyway at random when she was all wound up about other irrelevant things. Her most recent complaint? I made some off-hand comment about Paul’s height. Look, your kid is a foot taller than me. That presents inconveniences, but I’m not actually counting it against him or using it as a reason to not stay with him or something. Chill. He’s not thrilled with it, either. Ask him how much fun he has slowing down his walking pace considerably when we’re out together just so I can keep up.
But wait, there’s more! His sister Julie is totally on her side. We figure this side is Janelle Isn’t Good Enough for Paul. Apparently, they think I’m too competitive because…well, I don’t know. I’ve never actually been in some sort of competitive situation with either of them, unless Paul counts, in which case I’m actually winning because he basically said, “Fuck them.” They also think I always have to be right, which is really weird because I never argue with either of them. I just sit and let them go and nod and smile and then listen to them tell me how wrong I am. Hmm. Oh, yeah, then Julie got pissed that I had some complaints about her mother, which I understand, but let’s see how Julie feels when she’s got a significant other who feels hated. That’s right, kids. This ended in tears more than once on my end. As in I think three weeks ago I was about bawling my eyes out in bed to Paul going on and on about how no matter how hard I try, I can’t do anything right so I might as well stop trying because it’s a waste of time and oh also having my friends treat me like shit last year and his mom treat me like shit to varying degrees in varying intervals over the last three years has wrecked my self-esteem.
If enough people tell you or treat you like you suck for long enough, you start to believe them.
So then I went to therapy.