Against All

Okay. It’s been a year since I last wrote here. Lots of things have happened, believe me, and most of them were pretty hard to deal with. I’m not one to look for conflict and I avoid it as much as possible, either by ignoring or letting go of things that bother me and trying to find inner peace that way. This past year I found that this caused me more of a problem compared to if I had faced them head on. I’ve told you a few times how I can be such a coward and this is possibly my worst failing. My inability to deal with conflict can really affect the relationships around me and sadly, this affected the one relationship I thought would hold through any hardships, to the end of time: the relationship between me and my best friend.

This will sound cliche, but it got worse when I started dating this guy in a more serious tone. The little jabs and stirring up stuff that had happened before I started dating my now boyfriend was something I had attributed to maybe she wasn’t doing it on purpose, but the one thought that nagged at me–and still does–is this: the things she did was not something I would ever dream of doing to her because I would know it was hurtful. And I would never do anything to hurt the one person that I have complete loyalty to. In order to stop myself from stressing over it or having flashbacks, I accepted that fact that it had happened (for my peace of mind) and reminded myself that I that I love her always, being my best friend and all. The tension kind of ebbed and flowed just under the radar for a bit. It eventually disappeared and was unseen for the most part of these past few years.

After a few months of dating, my best friend let me know that she didn’t trust him and even if that hurt a bit, I could understand that. She attributed her distrust to how so eagerly he had wanted his friends and family to get to know me and how moody he got after 1 meeting. I happened to discuss with her the fact that he started mentioning this after the third week of dating. When I told him to cool it down, he did and stopped asking me to come hang out with his pals. When I brought him home for the first time after about 6 months of dating, on my birthday, my sister was not very personable. Prior to this he already had an idea of how he popular he was with my best friend and sister aka not a lot. He had seen me cry because of it. I was struggling between spending time between them (boyfriend vs. bestie & sis) coz I only had so much days off since I was working full time. It took a toll on me knowing they didn’t like him and they always end up being quiet when I start talking about him. It got to a point where I got uncomfortable mentioning his name because I knew they wouldn’t comment anything good or otherwise. So this is where it started getting horrible. Somehow my not mentioning him made me “secretive” and my best friend even said–towards the last months of this tense environment–she didn’t trust me anymore. And what I couldn’t tell her was, I couldn’t trust her anymore either, because of what happened somewhere in those 7-8 months of me dating my boyfriend. She had a lot of passive aggressive things that she did and when we had our “talks” 2-3 times, she was always justifying her actions with very illogical reasoning. One time I mentioned why she couldn’t respond to my texts after 3-4 days of constant texting and she told me “you don’t know if I was out of the country, how do you that I could reply to you those days”. That was even with me explaining that I texted her mom to make sure she was ok and not dying somewhere (coz she gave me heat for a similar thing happening and she said she was sick). And she always insisted that I was forcing him on her whenever I would mention “we” (mike and I) in my texts; which was very confusing altogether. There was a lot of those and weird distant one word replies when I had some good news to share: “ok good for you” or “no thanks I’m busy” if I invite her to do something, when normally we were both the emoji-filled texters towards each other and normally she talks a lot. She stopped texting me unless I was texting her. So I also got tired of this begging for her attention thing that I was doing and I also stopped texting her unless I had something important to say.  This became very obvious in my family as she had almost stopped going to my house when we would normally be there every time I was on a day off. This took quite a bit of toll on me and I was crying almost every week thinking about it from day to day.. I started getting sickly around those times and this is from someone who rarely got sick; not even a cold would stick to me. My boyfriend of course was stressing out too coz I was getting so stressed out and he kept telling me that my best friend wasn’t acting like a best friend and I would silently agree with him but I always defended her to him, giving her excuses like “oh she’s not used to me having not enough time for her” or “she’s been my best friend for over 10 years”.. It was a terrible terrible time. There’s more to tell, but you get the idea..

Then there’s my family. To them, me and my boyfriend were not a good match. Let’s call him “Jon Snow” (lol yes, Game of Thrones ftw) and he was still in university… meanwhile I’ve had my career for over 6 years now. Understandably, my family worried about his stability in life. I talked to my mom, told her to relax, we were just dating, but she never did. Even though she talked to him whenever he was in our house and treated him like a guest, whenever he wasn’t, she had a totally different view of him. She’d say things like, “who’s paying for this?” and “how does he have money to always go out?” or “isn’t he working today?” All these things started coming out of her when I started going out more. Jon Snow and I went out a lot at the first 6 months or so then afterwards we got lazy and just started watching TV series or movies at his place. And I understood too that, being a student, he didn’t have much to his name and that was completely fine with me. The amount of cuddling actually got me addicted to his armpit smell lol.

To me, I never factored in his financial situation to decide if I liked him, and maybe that’s wrong but I truly didn’t even think of it as an issue. Of course, my family thought otherwise. When I talk to my mom, she would say stuff like, “how will he support you?” I felt like telling her, I don’t need to depend on a man to support me; I can support myself just fine. And he was trying to finish his schooling, that was the entire point for me. I loved that he listened well, communicated very well and was very patient with me and my family/friend. The entire thing was frustrating for him too, coz he’s always treated like a ghost in my house. My sister won’t ever talk to him, my mom is not happy I’m dating him and says things to me behind his back and my brother thinks I’m letting myself be used financially. only my dad seems to be more on the neutral side of things.

Well… that was a long post. I’ll rant more on this later. For now, my heart and my mind are tired.

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Guts and Gutlessness

Ok that’s a bit too much for a title, but hear me out. I am the most cowardly person when it comes to dealing with my own mother. She and I hasn’t been seeing eye to eyes these past year and it is driving me insane! It all started with a legitimate reason for my sudden change on how I viewed her. Before that happened, I knew her to be a strong, caring (in her own tough way), and wanted the best for everyone. And now all I see is someone who had manipulated my thoughts, actions and emotions into what she wanted. I’m not trying to be hateful, and I do want our relationship to get better because I do love her, I just don’t appreciate it when she tries to get everyone to do what she wants either through guilt trips or using other people against us.

For the longest time, she would always tell me “You’ll take care of me when I’m old, right? You’ll let me live with you?” After years and years of this, I felt so much pressure. I felt so much pressure to do well in life, which, in hindsight, is not such a bad thing but the motivation behind it is all wrong, don’t you agree? She never once hounded my oldest brother about it and when I found the courage one day to ask her this question, she answered, “I can’t rely on him, you know that.” I was disappointed, to say the least. Instead of feeling like she was seeing me in such a good light, I just saw how she wanted to be comfortable. My brother is the type to just go with the flow, and not push himself any more than necessary. I could never rely on him financially, let’s say if I needed $5000 for a debt. They would hassle, scold and nag me to figure out a way to get that repaid or reduced. If it was my brother who needed the same thing, I would be a bit hesitant at first but I’d shell it out. Why? Because my mother drilled into me the important of sticking together as a family. And that’s how I treat all of them, very important but I try not to show it because I find they abuse that.

For example, my mom knows that guilt trips work on me like magic. I cannot, in good conscience, let other people suffer when I know I have something to give. This is after she’s told me all the sad history that this particular person (usually a distant relative) and then I can’t undo that knowledge and my conscience kicks in and I start feeling guilty that I’m doing well and I can’t even spare a few hundred dollars to help this person out. It’s not that I abhor the giving part, I don’t mind it actually. It’s how she haggles ONLY me for this that pisses me off. She knows my other siblings won’t do the same because they can tolerate talking back to her, and I couldn’t seem to do that. She knew me enough to do things like that, but not enough to know how I truly felt when she did do those things.

Somehow I managed to live with her like that, and I’ve even learned to accept that she will always be that way. For years, I lived my life putting her first when I make major decisions. When I bought my car, it was primarily so I could drive her to work if my dad didn’t want to (if you’ve read my older post, there’s a much bigger reason but eventually comes down to this). See what I mean? Even now, as I’m getting ready to buy my own place, I still worry about their bills coz I pay them currently and help with the groceries as well. So I have to figure out how the’ll be able to manage without my income to help them out.

What changed my view of my mom was both what she said and what she didn’t say. We had talked to her about divorcing my dad for various reasons (mostly his fault) and then talked to my dad separately about it. It was a very turbulent time for all of us, and for me, I just wanted it to be over so we could all move on. Keep in mind, I was with my mom on this 120%, I was ready to back her up even with what I know, because I  knew she made the right choice, even with how she was prior to this. (This threat to break the family has been ongoing. Imagine the stress of that when you’re around the people that are screaming and hurting each other all the time and in the process, hurting you by not thinking about how this affects you as it drags on and on and on.)

Anyways, it was during our talk that I finally realized she was never really intent on leaving my dad if she didn’t get to live the same way as she is. I was all for it and I told her she’d have to start going by bus to work again, we’d have to live in a small apartment when they sell the house, and we might have to start our life over again. Now to get a view of her life is right now: She gets dropped off and picked up from work coz she doesn’t know how to drive, we travel every year together as family (with me and my brother) handling most everything aside from her flight tickets (they have air miles), we live in a brand new house. You can see the difference it’ll make, right? But I didn’t even worry about those things because the emotional toll it was taking was so hard on me and I could barely think of anything else in my daily living. When we finally asked her if she was going to separate, she said “I can’t leave him; I don’t know what he’ll do to himself.” She was using my dad as an excuse to hide the fact that she won’t be content if she’s not living the same lifestyle if they went ahead with the divorce.

That was the turning point for me. I thought, if you’d rather be living a lie and stay miserable, I can’t support such a decision and I won’t stay in this kind of environment anymore. I’d never said those things aloud and I think that part is my mistake. She has no idea what the reason is for my cold demeanour when I’m around her. Because ever since then, every time she talked to me, all I can think of is “How could you lead us on like that the entire time?” And I can’t seem to stop the numbness, the lack of love and the seething anger that I get when I see her or hear her voice. It’s continually progressing even now. I’ve tried forgiving her and accept her as she is (for my own sanity’s sake) but it screwed with my mind that I started feeling guilty for my current decision of wanting to leave.

It’s hard to admit that I don’t have a good relationship with my mom, because she’s the one that I had trusted most when I was a kid. And now that that’s broken, it saddens me even though I want to get away as fast as I can. I lack that good communication with her, but history taught me that she’d get mad at me and end the conversation with a guilt trip every time I tried to talk to her about these things. To me, I feel like if she changed herself for the better, I would consciously try my best to see past our rough patches and make it work again. I mean I miss hugging her, having family gossips with her, or her crazy funny side.  But since that is not happening yet, I think I have to distance myself if I don’t want to hate her for the rest of my life.

My gutlessness is in that I can’t tell her I’m leaving unless everything is all set and I’m ready to go. But it’s because I know her enough that she would try to do something to stop it had I told her of that decision early. I’m giving her a month’s notice but no more. I know she’ll be hurt, but she had already made her choice so I’m making mine. For my own well being, I want to have a peaceful home environment and a quiet that would be good for meditation. None of this, swearing at each other in front of us, the yelling and constant pretence of being a happy family. I’m exhausted and I need the change.