Thank you for being here. Thank you for being part of my world. I love and appreciate you.
Today I want to share with you some of my personal life and some of my current struggles. As with pretty much all of my posts please consider this as the voice that works out struggles while typing.
My Beau and I have been dating for about a year and half. He is a wonderful man who is kind and caring. This is the first (and only) man who has ever treated me as well as I believe I deserve (which is most accurately described as a fuck ton). That being said, he and I are quite opposite in many ways. This came through in a fight* the other day.
*Fight isn’t quite the right word as we’ve only ever had one actual argument that could even come close to being called that. This was much closer to, well, my irrational/emotional self having a fleeting panic attack that manifested as a bitchy emotional outburst that made no sense. This is what it feels like to be a woman sometimes (don’t worry all humans get this too sometimes, I just resonate more with the woman side myself). Bleh. Why do I always feel the need to explain that I’m not an asshole when I put a gender on something? Oh Portland…anyway…
Oh yes, we were at the emotionally unstable part. It was sort of funny because (some might want to skip this part- move ahead to the next paragraph to avoid intimacy details please) we were discussing our evening and deciding on what to do which typically is the “are we going to have sex?” part. We decide that we can make time/energy for this, but me being me, I say only after a shower. So we go take a shower and while we are in there the emotional brain begins its reign.
I begin to realize that I’m made at him. At first I don’t have any clue why I feel this way. It’s very frustrating to be all emotional and not know why. Anybody else get this way? Rawr!!! We go lay down. He knows I’m mad. I know I’m mad. *Deep breath…”So…I’m mad at you” I say. “I know” he says. Then we sit there while I try to figure it out.
What it ended up being was a bottled up emotion (which I don’t handle well and try to avoid if at all possible) about our lifestyles. What I mean by that is that I am a classic overachiever. Every moment of every day is busy/full/generally overwhelming. When that doesn’t happen I get overwhelmed. Doesn’t make any sense you say? Sure it does. Just be me. haha.
My Beau on the other hand is much more in the minimalist lifestyle. He prefers to have very few possessions, responsibilities, chores, etc.. I am also very extroverted, he is very introverted (in my opinion). I am an optimist, he often lies with the realm of realist.
In this particular moment it was becoming clear to me that our difference in lifestyles/personalities also means that I do more. This is sometimes a challenge for me. Not wanting to be a scorekeeper is one thing, being taken advantage of is another, and in this moment the imbalance between what I give and what I had been receiving felt far from balanced.
It’s such a struggle because we have different and opposing life goals. The wants and needs of each of us is quite far apart. He is simple and easy to care for but will also settle comfortably into wearing socks with extra holes, pants with extra holes, shirts that no longer fit, burritos for dinner 5 nights a week, and playing 8 gazillion hours of the same 3 online games (in case you’re wondering which ones: Dota, Pub-G, and Rocket League). On the other hand I get rid of socks when the wear out, buy new pants when they get extra holes, have more shirts than I could possibly wear in a month that fit well, want a different meal always, and my hobbies and interests are always changing (currently my free time shifts from playing app games on my tablet while having something on the tv in the background to Pokemon Go to Silent Disco to chatting to friends or baking or cleaning or meditating or endlessly listing in my head all the things I forgot to do, haven’t gotten to, or come up with to do and won’t get to before the 8 thousand other things I just forgot about when the next thing came to mind… again).
This evening I was feeling rather unappreciated because I am a proactive caretaker and an overachiever. Simply put, that means I do most of the grocery shopping, I do more than my share of laundry, I cook more of the meals, and I end up replacing his worn out, ill-fitting clothing before he does. I. I. I. Me. Me. Me. Do you hear how I speak here? What a self-centered d-bag. Here’s the thing, yes, I do more. That doesn’t mean I am a better person, partner, or human. It means that I am following my natural patterns and doing what feels right to me. In no way does that mean he is being a bad person, partner, or human. It is always my responsibility to ask for what I want. It is always my responsibility to ensure I am being cared for in the ways that matter to me. And it is always my responsibility to communicate openly when I realize there is a problem.
Please do not misunderstand me here. My Beau really is a wonderful man, partner, and person. He works very hard to be present, available, and communicate openly with me. If I ask for something he will make it happen. The difference is that he is never going to be the proactive guy. He’s not going to think about a bunch of tiny ways to make my day better constantly. He will think of plenty still, and he will put in the effort anytime something comes to mind or when I ask for things. He will listen to me go through emotional breakdowns, let me cry on his shoulder, miss sleep to be there for me, and always love me unconditionally.
On the other hand, I have moments where my emotional side wins and I don’t give unconditional love. Sometimes I am mean and bitter and just not nice. In the last 10 years or so I have become much better at recognizing these irrational thoughts/feelings quicker and coping in healthier ways. In this instance I had to first say “I am mad at you…blah blah blah…I do more than you. I do all these things for you without you having to think about them…blame…judgement…guilt…shittiness.”
Through this he listens and holds out his hand for me to hold. He is patient and kind and caring all while I’m being an unreasonable jerk. Eventually I get out all the emotional outburst. He calmly and quietly explains how it feels for him to feel like he never has an opportunity to do all these things for me because I do so much that by the time it comes to mind for him to do, it’s often already done and then he has to feel bad that yet again he wasn’t good enough in my eyes (this is how he is feeling, not me in my logical mind btw). It’s not that he doesn’t want to do the things, he just doesn’t know what’s expected or how to fit it all in because he works differently than me.
And the truth of it is his way is better than my way. My life of overachieving leaves me stressed out, constantly anxious about something, always behind, and in over my head every day. This discussion helped me understand that the feelings I was having about imbalance was, in reality, feelings about not understanding myself or him very clearly.
When this happens my language is often rude, misguided, and ignorant. It sucks. I’m such a dick sometimes. It’s part of me that I work on regularly. More often I am winning before it gets very far. Sometimes long blog posts about how I got to where I’m at happen instead where I have to admit to the world my shortcomings and own up to my humanness. (is that a word? sure, let’s pretend it is). (also my parenthesis is outside of the period so the period I put after it makes no sense and I didn’t capitalize this sentence either that also has improper grammar…this is the stuff I was talking about earlier with the stuff I haven’t gotten to or think of after the fact).
What ended up happening is that my Beau stayed up an hour and a half past his bedtime to work through all this with me, and we came to the conclusion that if I need him to do more he’s happy to do so -as long as I can be proactive (my specialty) about communicating the details of what I’ll need from him at least a day before and remind him close to the time I need him to do a thing. Look at how reasonable this man is. He left room for me to realize that I need to do all the things. Something which had magically escaped my reality until this evening, and he also left space for me to have a custom tailored solution to fit my neurosis. This feels better.
Sometimes I do need him to do things for me, but I don’t want him to feel like he’s not enough just because he lives a different life than I do. His way is pretty awesome. He gets to come home, eat food, and chill out pretty much everyday. I manage to convince myself to have unstructured relax time maybe a few hours a week. Even when I do basic things like play a game on my tablet it’s often done with the active intention of decompressing from my crazy stressful life. I rarely do a thing absentmindedly. This is something I want to work on more. Allowing space for unintentional time is something that challenges me more than just about anything. What a funny thing to be vulnerable about. But that’s me. Silly, goofy me. The girl who can’t get herself to slow down. Looks like I’ve got some work to do. haha. Crap. There I go again. Anybody got any suggestions on this? I’m all ears!
Peace, Love, and Cuddles,