No one makes me bleed my own blood.

My little sister got engaged yesterday and as I was tasked with cooking our big family Sunday night dinner, I decided to cook up a big vegetarian meal for her and her new fiance.  I decided to make potato au gratin and for some reason decided to dig out the mandolin that I hadn’t used in years to cut the potatoes.  I was literally two minutes in to prep, and I sliced a chunk of my thumb off.  I felt the razor sharp metal bite into my flesh.  I immediately pressed under the wound to stop the inevitable pooling of blood.  I watched the cross section of the cut, white flesh with pinkish specks.  It hadn’t started bleeding yet because I was cutting off the supply of blood with my other hand.  I stared at this open wound, wondering in vain if there was a way I could avoid the bloodshed.  I knew there wasn’t.  As my mother helped bandage me up, I released my hold on the cut.  Blood rushed in and, as expected, pooled within the bandage.  I dabbed at the blood, soaking tissue paper in my shockingly red claret but knew I would have to leave it alone if I wanted it to congeal and scab over.  I held my arm in the air, continued prepping dinner, and waited.

 

Today was also the day I cut N out of my life.

And it’s going roughly the same way.

 

We had been messaging.  It started when he was travelling.  He was in Japan at the time and I DM’ed him and it went from there.  We continued to talk throughout the remainder of this travels.  I held onto some faint hope that he was going to end up in Sydney and it would be a reunion of sorts.  Part of me knew he wouldn’t come.  What could be achieved by visiting me?  Circumstances hadn’t changed.  I knew it’s looking more likely that I’ll be going back to London there is no guarantee and no concrete date.

And I was right, he didn’t come to Sydney.  The next thing I knew I was watching his Instagram story of his first day back in London.  I was disappointed but knew that it was illogical sadness.  I also figured our exchange of messages was also to end now that our time zones were back to being almost diametrically opposite but we ended up having one more round of conversation last weekend.

Throughout our conversations over the past few weeks we had referenced how things used to be, how we missed certain things, how nice things were back then…I’m not going to lie.  I was getting invested.  I liked knowing that he dreamt about me, as I did him.  I liked hearing him reminisce about our relationship’s heyday.  I gave me hope that not all was lost – that this inexplicable anchorage I felt with him was mutual.  Kindred spirits.  Twin flames.
Then yesterday I watched his Instagram story.  He’s in Amsterdam this weekend.
There’s only one person he knows in Amsterdam: this women who had deep-liked one my Instagram posts months earlier.  I watched her public Instagram story.  He was there with her.  He had gone to see her and undoubtedly sleep with her again.

I felt jealously burn in my belly.  As much as I reasoned with myself that he had every right to see and sleep with this woman because we weren’t together, the anger and sadness overwhelmed reason.
He had been messaging me only last weekend.  He made it all the way to South East Asia, and didn’t visit me but he flies to Amsterdam to visit this chick, with enthusiasm?  What a stunning rejection.  What a slap in the fucking ego.  I know we’re not together but that’s fucking cold.

 

So I did what any spiralling woman does – called my best friend.

And boy did she spell it out for me.

He doesn’t respect you.

 

It slapped me harder than his callousness had.
Because it was true.  It was something I had always feared and had tried to explain away with his mental health struggles but I couldn’t run away from it anymore.  He doesn’t respect me.  Maybe that’s what he meant when he said he didn’t think he could love me.  To love someone you need to respect them.  It’s a Captain Obvious situation and I feel pitiful for saying it like it’s something I’m just realising.
All throughout our relationship I feared that he was ashamed of me.  He didn’t care for me like I was a treasure to him.  He didn’t hesitate to hurt me.  He questioned our compatibility: even questioned my authenticity.  Our relationship was a public secret for 90% of the time we were together.  He never boasted about me.  I don’t think I can recall him ever praising me.  The only thing he enjoyed about me was the sex.

 

I can’t allow myself to be valued in such a base and one-dimensional way.  I mean I could, in the same way as I could totally do heroin, but I really shouldn’t.  If he doesn’t respect me, at least I can.

So he’s been blocked/unfriended/otherwise excised from my life.

It hurts.

Like the cut to my thumb, I had been applying pressure to the wound all this time.  Don’t let it bleed.  If it doesn’t bleed it’s almost as if the cut’s not there.
But it needs to bleed.  It needs to bleed so that it can coagulate and a scab can form.  Then that scab needs to flake away to reveal tender, pink flesh and a newly healed thumb.
I’m bleeding right now.  A delayed and overdue letting to purge the toxins that had accumulated and allow for the painful process of healing.

 

I thought he was worth it.  I thought he was worth fighting and waiting for but maybe he’s not.  Maybe I was overly optimistic.  Sometimes people don’t develop into the people you hoped they would.  Maybe the person you thought they were was a mirage, a projection of your own messed up shit.  Maybe he really never loved me.

 

I’m still bleeding.

 

K

It’s visceral.

I haven’t written in a while and even though I kept telling myself that it was because I was too tired from work or that I was doing well enough to not document it, I think, truthfully, I was scared.

I’ve had about 4 sessions with my therapist and whilst I do think that it’s helping, I don’t think it’s helped me get closure on N.
I think I’ve gone into these sessions trying to be too rational.  Because being rational is such a rational approach to solving problems…
…but my problem isn’t rational, it’s emotional.

It’s almost been a year since I last saw him.  Almost a year since I have allowed myself to my physically or emotionally intimate with a man.  Almost a year since I seemingly pressed paused on my good life and pressed go on my purgatory life.  Except that I didn’t press pause.  Life in London continued on without me.  My friends have changed jobs, fallen out, moved cross-country, had babies, started new relationships, ended relationships, travelled to different cities.  They didn’t wait.  He didn’t wait.  He’s on his own journey now.  Literally right now you is on a literal journey.  He’s travelling through China.  How long for?  I don’t know.  Where else is he going?   I don’t know.  Am I happy for him?  Undeniably.  Do I hope his feet and heart lead him to my doorstep?  Ashamedly, yes.

And I am ashamed.  Who in their right mind, breaks their own heart, actually gets broken up with, stays celibate for a year (maybe more), pines after their ex and still has hope things turn out in their favour?  A fucking delusional person.  A person with serious emotional issues.  If this happened to a friend of mine, you bet that I would be judging her for not getting the fuck on with her life.
But I have gotten the fuck on with my life, haven’t I?  Bar the giant emotional hole.

I’ve learned so much about myself in the past year.  I learned that I can make life-altering, long-term, adult decisions that break my heart.  I learned that I can rebuild my life again and again.  I learned that I have passion for and can actually excel in my career.  I learned that I can still function relatively well without the fulfilment of an emotional connection or the pursuit of one.  I learned that I can take my life into my own hands and work towards a singular goal.
Oh, my manager told my that the company would “of course” send me to London.  A 6-9 month timeline has been suggested.  So things are in motion on that front.  It’s a huge relief.

I should be over the moon, right?  I should be so happy, right?
But right now it’s 2:36 AM and I’m writing in this stupid blog that no one reads because I’m not happy.  I’m restless.  I miss him.

Those words feel so insufficient.  What I’m feeling feels deeper.  It’s visceral.  It’s a yearning.  It’s knowing that I want him lying beside me.  It’s a want that borders on need.  It’s the warmth that only an entanglement of his arms and legs can lend.  It’s the undefinable, inexplicable, inability to say why my love for him hasn’t waned.  It’s the dawning realisation that this may be bigger than me.  It’s the fear that I’ve not grown as much as I think I have.

And the pathetic thing is that I keep telling myself that he feels the same, that he pines for me too.  We’re stuck in this emotional purgatory whilst we both do some adulting.  Me, on my career and grounding, and him, on his emotional healing and spiritual self-alignment; both of us wanting to be with the other but knowing that this shit needs to be done first.  But I don’t actually know if that’s the case – I just have this feeling.

I need to be prepared for the high chance that this isn’t the case.  That’s what multiple people, as well as my therapist, have said to me.  I need to be prepared for the let down, for the rejection.  Can you ever really be prepared for that though?  I’ve said before, I generally like to let the cards fall where they may and play what I’m given.  I literally have no control over the outcome so I may as well pursue what I want until it blows up in my face.  You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Maybe I have grown a little bit.

 

xx K

Getting help.

I’m not really okay.

And that’s okay.  Great, even, that I can recognise that I’m not okay because it means I can ask for help.  Which I have.  I went to the doctor today to ask for a referral to a psychologist.  I have requested the same doctor I saw before I moved to London.  He was great.

 

I just need some help, making sense, and sorting through the matrix of thoughts and feelings I have.  I had hoped that things would get better with time but they haven’t…or maybe I haven’t.  I feel like a slowly decomposing zombie.  Work, sleep, repeat.  I’m getting by; I can still laugh and enjoy some things but it feels like how food tastes after you’ve burnt your tongue – the experience is reduced to the sensation of the food in your mouth and the memory of what it should taste like.  The texture and weight of the food, abrasive against your raw, course palette.
I don’t want it.  I don’t want this life.

I feel like a zoo animal that got to roam free, in the wild for two years and was then forced back into captivity.  Sure they feed me well here but I’d rather have to hunt for my food and have my freedom than be imprisoned.  And the other animals in the zoo don’t get it, they’re happy here.  A mixture of not missing what they don’t know, and preferring to have steady shelter and food.

 

“I don’t want you to go back to London for N.”.
And I completely understand that.  It would be unhealthy to pin such grand expectations onto a guy or onto love.  I truly believe I’m not doing that.  Sure I still love him.  Sure I hold some hope that we can sort shit out when I go back.  The strength of that want freaks me out sometimes too.  But when I look at a photo of a London street or of a village backdrop in country England, I experience a yearning that is like my soul is reacting to a beacon, lit thousands of miles away.  It pulls at me.  It tugs at something almost primal inside me that I realise I am barely containing in my daily life.
Home.
Happiness.

 

I’ve never experienced this kind of devastation before.  Functional devastation.
I am not debilitated.  I am not confined to my bed or to my bedroom or to crying myself to sleep.  I think the strength I developed since my last bout of depression is the reason why I’m not in that non-functional state.  I’m keeping my head above water.  I am working hard.  I am not letting myself succumb to the devastation.  But my world is rocked and I need help to stabilise it again.

 

xx K

Blame the gin.

I never thought I was the type of person who put a lot of stock in their career.  I learned, from my last depressive episode, that it was okay that I didn’t derive a sense of identity from what I did for a living.  It was okay that my job was a means to an end to pursue happiness from other facets of my life.
I think that’s changed somewhat.  Whilst it’s still not a primary informant of my sense of self, my work has been a major driving force of personal growth for me over the past 6 months.  I’m still learning in love but I think I’ve reached that point where the lessons I’m learning from forging a career are the lessons that are having more impact on my life.  Stress management, communication, networking, time management, etc.  These are adult soft skills and although I’ve been managing to avoid any real development of these skills thus far in my life it’s probably beneficial for me to have them as I near my 30s.

Oh that reminds me; I turned 29 two days ago.

N wished me a happy birthday.

I’ve spent the last 2 days being a bit pathetic and lamentable.  I’m blaming the gin.

I just want to be together.  Is that so bad?  I just want there to be no distance between us.  I just want him to get to a point where he can love without masochism.
I want him to burn with the unease of realisation; the realisation that I left an imprint on his soul – a level of contentedness he fears he can achieve will no one else.  I want him to ache with daily dullness at the thought that I might not feel the same way.
I want the bright sunshine to sting like icy shards because it doesn’t feel right for there to be light and laughter for a soul so dark with melancholy.

I am weak.  I am not strong.  I am trying but a large part of me doesn’t want to succeed.  Because what will my life be if I don’t have the safety net of this hypothetical love?  Aimless.  Work-filled.  Some zombie person.  Sydney turns me into this Zombie person.  Work, partner, kids, property.  Rinse and repeat.  I would rather kill myself.  Sydney is a parasite.

I feel like I’m in the matrix, forced to live in this dream-state of sunshine and good pay whilst the life is being drained from me.

Maybe I need to reconsider therapy.

 

K

I’m sorry for not choosing you.
But you didn’t give me a reason to.

Our entire relationship, even at the very end, you have figuratively and literally pushed me away.  There’s only so much rejection I can swallow with pride.  There’s only so many times I can tell myself that you really do love me but you hold me at arm’s length because you’re scared before I’m just that naive idiot-woman who people call delusional behind their back.

I doomed our relationship when I chose to come back here.  I realise that.  As much as I had dreamed that a year-long long distance relationship could have worked out, it really wouldn’t have.  I know myself enough to know that it wouldn’t have.  I can admit that now.  You made the right decision.  But even if you turned around tomorrow and wanted to get back together, I don’t have faith in it, in us, in you.
I can’t trust you not to do the same shit you’ve done in the past.  To love me and deny me in the same breath.  I tried.  I did my best – I did a lot but you need to be the one to heal you, otherwise you’ll never trust yourself.

And you don’t.  You didn’t trust that you could give me what I wanted or what I needed.  You said that when you broke up with me.  You don’t trust that you can love any one because you think you don’t know how.  And maybe you don’t know.  All I know is that as long as you think you can’t, you won’t.
“Don’t love me.  I’m wrong.  Don’t love me.  I’m a bad person.  Don’t love me.  I don’t know what to do with it.”

I didn’t choose you because you told me not to.
I don’t regret not choosing you because no matter what happens in the future, we both needed this.  If there was ever a chance for us, me and you, this was necessary.

 

K

The road is getting trecherous

I don’t know if I’m going to last the next year without falling into another depression.

 

The potholes are getting bigger, deeper, and more frequent.  The year’s not even started yet.  I’m finding it harder and harder to find solid ground on which to tread.  This isn’t healthy.  I know it’s not healthy.  I know I am not being the best I can be – leading the best life I could lead.

I don’t know how long and I can do this for.  But I need to do this.  If the end goal is London, I need to do this.  I need to stick it out.
But I feel like I’m drowning.  Taking in some water with my gasps for air.
Starting to panic.

Sitting in the sadness

‘Twas the night before the night before Christmas.
That is to say, it was the 23rd of December.

Work has wound down and I whilst I am grateful for the break, I kinda dread the new year, and the onslaught of complicated, and new work hurdles I’ll face.
It’s all part of the process and it needs to be done so I should just shut up and get on with it, shouldn’t I?  Probably.

 

I almost slept with someone the other night.  Well, at least I had the opportunity to sleep with someone.  The guy from the NY office whom I went to drinks with a few weeks back.  Honestly I went back and forth, mentally weighing up the pros and cons throughout the night.  He’s too young.  I would like the release though.  Am I really that attracted to him?  Enough.  Will everyone from the office find out?  Probably.  I miss the rush; the intentionally wayward touch, the banter laced with innuendo, the promise of urgent and hungry kisses and skin to skin contact.  Bodies in the dark.
I don’t know what stopped me.  Maybe he got too drunk.  Maybe he was too American.  Maybe I knew it would be stupid to do anything with a co-worker (even one who lived on the other side of the world).  Maybe he just wasn’t whom I wanted to share my body with.  He wasn’t whom I imagined towering over me, arms framing my head, body between my legs.  Not the back I wanted to run my hands over, not the arms I wanted to grip, not the ears I wanted to hear my breath hitch.  He wasn’t the one I wanted to make love to.

And it’s still that which I crave.  Making love.  Not fucking.  Not raw, animal sex.
Don’t get me wrong.  I have needs and I’m feeling the urgency of those needs.  I just have emotional needs that are still dictating the expression of my urges, at least for now.

And that’s what I need to do.  That’s about all I can bloody do so I’d best be getting around to actually doing it.  I need to be okay with feeling this – let my feelings play out.  I need to sit in the sadness.

Twas the night before Christmas.

 

K.

Am I the asshole?

I’m exhausted.

I am mentally and emotionally drained.

The past week at work has been a battle, both in terms of my capacity to get through all that has been asked of me, and the literal battle between me/my team and another department.  The week has seemingly gone on for an age and even though I’ve reached the weekend I am still checking into work to keep an eye on a campaign.

 

I miss him.  There’s a dullness inside me.  That’s what I was trying to articulate in my last post.  I feel like a shell of a person.  I function.  I go to work.  I eat.  I can even laugh but it’s that empty, tinny laugh; echos bouncing off thin aluminium walls.  I am the tin man – where is my heart?  I remember where I left it.  It’s in my tiny bedroom back in London, where everything within it spelled my independence.  It’s in the bone-chilling wind and warmth found indoors.  It’s in N’s sleeping tangle of limbs.  It’s in the pints, pubs, banter and friendships I left behind.  I don’t know how I’m supposed to do this.  How do you live without your heart?

I went out to after-work drinks with a guy who’s visiting from the NY office.  Nothing romantic at all.  We got to talking about relationships.  He told me about his first-love and a couple of his recent flings.  I told him about N.  Once I mentioned that N was still in London and that we had tried to do long distance, his obvious comprehension of the reasonable-ness of the break-up irked me somewhat.  Why was it that all the guys I had told the story to, always been so matter of fact about just how reasonable it was for N to break things off?
“What did you want him to do?”
“I wanted him to fight for me.  I wanted him to think I was worth it.”
“But you didn’t think he was worth it.  You left.”
“Yeah I chose my love for myself over my love for him.”
“Then it wasn’t true love.  If it’s true love you’re supposed to choose them.”
“You’re telling me you would choose being with a woman even if it meant you were broke?”
“I don’t know, I’ve never experienced that kind of love before.”

Was I the asshole?  Was I supposed to choose him?  I could have stayed.  Sponsorship was on the table.  I would have been broke and my long term career prospects would not be as promising but I could have chosen him, chosen London.  I think to some degree I was/am the asshole.  That’s not to say it wasn’t the right thing to do.  I still think coming back to Sydney was the right move, no matter how much I am hurting right now and how much I will hurt over the next year or so.  I needed to be an asshole.  Guys have no problem being the asshole.  They choose themselves, almost every time.  Save yourself – serve yourself.  And at the end of the day, he told me he didn’t love me.  That was a big asshole thing to say.  So I guess we were both assholes.

I miss that asshole.  When am I going to stop missing him?  Will I ever stop?

 

K

Living half a life

It’s the final month of 2017 and for the first time in a long time I cannot wait for the new year.  Why isn’t it 2018 yet?  I feel like I’ve been ready for it to be 2018 since August.

Which makes sense because the reason why I want the new year so badly is because it means I’m that much closer to my goal of getting back to London.

 

It’s been hard.  I feel trapped.  Like I’m barely keeping my head above water.  I think people are getting frustrated with me.  Like they think I’m not giving Sydney a chance.  I’m not being blind about this.  How would you feel, finding something that made you feel fulfilled, comfortable, and happy, after years of never truly feeling that way about your life, then having to give that up.  Cities aren’t interchangeable.  People seem to think that because I found happiness in London, I should have been able to take that happiness with me, back to Sydney.  Like it was carry-on luggage.  My happiness is interlinked with London in a way that was complicated, organic, and tied to the city itself.  Why is that such a hard concept for people to grasp?

I don’t think I’m choosing to be unhappy in Sydney.  The circumstances of my life are so different here.  Some of those circumstances I could change but most of them I can’t.  I can’t be bothered to go into all of them now.  I feel like I’ve had to repeat them so many times to people to justify why I don’t feel happy here and why I want to go back to London.  I’m tired of justifying how I feel to people who somehow don’t credit me with the ability to identify what makes me happy and what doesn’t.

 

I’m tired.  I’m frustrated.  I’m angry at the situation and at myself.

Sometimes the weight of promise is too heavy to shoulder.

The prospect of slogging through twelve months of a half-life is almost paralysing.

 

It feels like I’m a shell of a person.  I can recognise that this was how I was before I went to London.  This unfulfilled, half-person leading a life of mediocrity.  It’s both a blessing and a curse to have experienced being whole.  It’s torture, knowing that you could be this  happier, whole person, if circumstances were different, but also helpful to know what you need to do and aim for to get back to that state.

And that’s what I need to focus on – that I have a plan.  That I know that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and that I am going to get there.  But it’s not always easy.

 

For the first time since starting my job I’ve started to have doubt as to whether I can do it/if I enjoy it.  Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy the people I work with and the company is treating me really well but certain aspects of the job are tough insofar as I don’t enjoy them and I find them difficult to care about.  This role is so much more focused on technical knowledge than my role in London.  I’m having to deep-dive into really dry and complicated subjects that hold zero interest to me because that’s the remit of the job.  I know it’s a valuable skill set to have but I find myself getting disheartened sometimes with just how much of my day is spent languishing in tech-jargon.  It may be exacerbated by the fact that there’s so much to learn and I feel like I’m not making much headway.

 

Forgive me for the writing in this blog post, guys.  There are so many thoughts running around in my head and they’re not neatly tieing up with how I’m feeling.  As a result I feel like I am rambling.

I’m just down.  I’m losing enthusiasm.  I’m so fucking despondent.

 

K

Stupid in love

I knew from the start that not too many people approved of my relationship with N.

One of my closest male friends, who is also very good friends with N, told me to steer clear of him.
My girlfriends told me that I could do better and that he was an asshole.

I chose not to heed their warnings because, I told myself at the time, I wasn’t in this for love.  N was initially a way to get physical satisfaction without getting burdened with a relationship.

But it turned into something so much more.

I cannot fathom getting into a relationship now, no matter how confined to the physical realm, with anyone.  I just don’t want anyone.  I miss him.  That’s part of it but I’m also super wary of getting romantically involved with someone because I want to go back to London and I just do not want the complication of a man to get in the way of that.  Men are selfish and I know that when I love, I compromise, and I do not want to get myself into a situation where I have to decide whether I want to pursue a future with a man or pursue my happiness and move back to London.  Because no man would choose me over their happiness.  Given a choice between what they want for themselves and what they want for their relationship, they will always chose themselves.  Women have to know this.  This shit isn’t taught in school but it bloody well should.  Do not ever think love will cause a man to compromise his own dreams or desires.  Love may very well coincide with their dreams and desires but this is the only circumstance in which a man will pursue love AND YOU CANNOT DO ANYTHING TO MAKE THAT COINCIDENCE HAPPEN.  That is what I want you to take away from this.  No matter how well you love them, if they aren’t ready to make love their priority, YOU WILL NEVER CONVINCE THEM TO.  The really sadistic thing is, I think it takes at least one woman who tries to convince them to take love seriously to make them think they thought of it all by themselves and make the commitment.  Call me jaded.  Call me bitter.  Men are giant babies.  Selfish until the point when they realise mummy won’t continuously provide everything without needing something in return – appreciation and reciprocation.

 

Fuck you.