Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Talking About: Surviving the EVIL Frat House

aka "Out of the frying pan and into the fire", only with correct Title Capitalization, which I leave as an exercise for the reader.

For seven months in 2012, I lived with a very hostile environment. The weirdest part was that I lived in TWO SEPARATE very hostile environments, so moving out of one fixed the problem temporarily, and then it got much, much worse. So in a way I sort of...moved backwards? I'm still not sure. I would certainly rate the entire experience 0 stars on Amazon, if that was possible, but we all know it's not so I suppose I'll have to rate it 1 star, which is perhaps appropriate in spite of itself because I certainly did learn something, so perhaps there was some value after all.

Note: when someone uses the word "perhaps" twice in the same sentence, they are not ready to...

You know what? Fuck that. I'm not really ready to talk about that yet. (And I didn't even realize it until I wrote "perhaps" twice.) Everything is fine now, and that's...well, maybe not the important part, although it certainly is A, or maybe AN, important part. That's not the ending. There's a lot of mini-endings, or arc endings, that are wrapped up in that story--how E and I met, and how we merged our lives in a crucible, forged them together because we had nowhere else to go, how we therefore ended a lot of other people's stories, or at least killed the bonds connecting THEIR stories to OURS.

It's hard for me, in my lesser moments, not to hold that against him. To not imagine how awful those months were and then, if I'm angry at him for some small reason (see "microwave door", below) to try to push all my decisions off on him. To avoid taking responsibility for the choices I made. To decide, as I think many people do, that my life sucks, and it's my PARTNER'S fault for taking that job/moving us here/buying this house that I hate.

(E and I have started referring to this unfortunate avoidance shortcut in the human mind as the "microwave door" shortcut, after my own desire to have him close the microwave door when he's done with it, and deciding that his tendency to do so, after I've specifically asked him not to, is OBVIOUSLY proof that HE DOESN'T CARE ABOUT MY NEEDS AND HAS PROBABLY NEVER LOVED ME AT ALL. Many couples have "the toothpaste cap" shortcut, or possibly the "left out the cheese again" shortcut.)

Because the long and short of it is that E and I have decided to be partners, both now and (we plan) forever, and so I HAVE to accept my partner just as he is with all their faults or else drive myself crazy, because he probably won't change and doing anything else is completely illogical. Yes, that DOES sound rather sanctimonious, doesn't it? I'm sorry. It seems accurate, although maybe not phrased very well. The point is, I'm learning that the human mind has all these shortcuts that try to FORCE you to be unhappy, and part of being an evolved human is to spot those and avoid sliding down them like Life has suddenly become some sadistic version of Chutes and Ladders, where the Chutes are lined with razor blades and the rungs of the Ladders melt into gooey drips as you attempt to climb them.

Did I mention I have vivid nightmares? I drink to avoid them. Sometimes it works.


I fell in love with E on the night we met, and there has never been another option for me, realistically speaking, but that in itself is a kind of weight that he gave me to carry around. And another thing that I can hold against him, if I choose to. Sometimes it's hard not to. I didn't want to be in love and I hadn't planned on it, and now I AM and maybe the whole thing would be easier if I just ran away, moved out, got my own apartment, suddenly pulled the trigger on a whole different life and exploded my current one to shreds so small that they couldn't be pieced back together with an electron scanning microscope (ESM) and several hours of an extremely sharp-sighted grad student and a pair of minute tweezers.

No end to this one.

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