Originally Posted by YouAreHere
When he's not, I can shift myself into "I can do ANYTHING BY MYSELF" mode (even if I fail horribly) and distance myself from him by doing so... which sucks when he calls when I'm in one of those moods and it's all munged together at that point.
I totally get that. Switching gears from coping by being distanced, to being "on" is almost impossible for me. When I considered him "partner" I had trained him (for lack of a better term) to message me regularly when we were apart - good morning before work, break and lunch at work as he already had been doing, and at minimum a goodnight message - so I could feel connected to him and know I was not alone even at those times he chose not to be with me.
Now that I cope full time by forcing myself to feel distanced so the perceived rejection dos not sting so much, he feels it too. I made it two days this week without crying. I felt crappy and fairly weepy both days, but I made it without wet eyes and it felt like I was making progress. I no longer permit myself to get excited about plans we make, because I know they will rarely occur as anticipated. I'm resigned to going with the flow, no expectations should lead to no disappointments.
Friday P had asked me to go with him to the graduation of one of his friends. Even with my resolve not to get excited, I was really looking forward to sharing in the celebration of a Masters degree completion but also of the extremely rare occasion of being invited to attend something with one of his friends (That only happened once during the two years we were partners - and even that was someone I had known from our childhood years but had not kept up the connection.). But when P started to actually feel me being distant when I wasn't able to immediately shift gears, he almost canceled that.
When he got home from work he messaged asking how I was. I was honest and shared, "Dunno. Ok I guess. Focusing on [work] to stay busy." to which he said he was feeling crappy and didn't feel like driving up. So I reaffirmed that it was ok, no expectations. And then he hit me with "I think that's why I'm feeling this way. I feel let down. I guess I thought you felt differently about me/us. We can talk, should talk about it tomorrow.."
Heavy sigh. So I told him I had been looking forward to the event, reminded him that I had made a custom graduation Christmas ornament for a gift. And he messaged he would be dressed and over shortly.
The ceremony was nice, and I'm glad P did opt to go. The dozen grads getting their masters as counselors all got to have a personal statement read, and it renewed P's resolve to find a way into grad school himself.
Our planned sleepover was postponed a night due to mandatory overtime for P, so he dropped me at my door after the ceremony with plans to head up some time Saturday.
Frick I hate "sometime"
Make a commitment, make it a time you believe you arrive. Being on time is a choice. Plan ahead for crappy roads and construction. Don't say noon for lunch and arrive at 1, lunch will be cold. Don't say after work ends at 11am I'm going to take a short nap after work and head up when you mean a longer sleep followed by leisurely coffee and then Christmas shopping - or at least let me know plans have changed.
When he finally did arrive early sat evening, he had not brought any groceries. I believed we were pretty clear that he was to bring or pick up on his way supplies for half of our planned meals. Apparently not. So off to grocery shopping instead of giving him the nice massage he had requested. Thank you for insisting on purchasing all the groceries for our shared meals, but it still wasn't necessary or what we had agreed upon. I didn't say that last part out loud, just the "Thank you" part. Go with the flow.. repeat. Go with the flow.
It is late Sunday now. We never did get to the heavy "us" talking. Though I did enjoy working through a few "what ifs" for ground-rules or expectations for if I am able to convince P to join me for a clothing optional weekend getaway. I know P regrets that our time was abruptly cut short by his wife's edict that he must drop what he was doing to give her a ride, and that he regrets ranting and nearly breaking down in tears, and for letting it spill over to me when he had finally promised not to do that.
I feel cold and distant not comforting him or defending her or commiserating with him, but choices are choices, and I must simply accept what time he chooses to share with me. He trained her to never expect the negative consequences of choosing not to drive, she trained him to jump. I don't want to attempt to change that dynamic, not my place, not my business except in so far as it affects me. And though tonight it once again affected me, and the volunteer work P and I do together, I defer back to my ever present mantra. Go with the flow.. repeat. Go with the flow.
I am alone. I do not need to feel lonely.
Go with the flow.
Accept what he has to offer/do not dwell on feeling like leftovers.
Go with the flow.
Turn on the electric blankie to pre-heat, take a soaky bubble bath, and snuggle into bed with a good book (this time it is Monday Morning Leadership: 8 Mentoring Sessions You Can't Afford to Miss
which includes an awesome lesson on being on time) and my teddy bear.