This One Is For Me

Gosh, it's been so long since last I wrote here, what? 4-5 months? Probably. Anyway, I'm doing quite poorly right now, and this bloody quarantine isn't helping. There's only so much the 3 hour long story of SWTOR's Onslaught expansion can keep me interested. And 2 hours of kicking a football on a cement field with my much younger neighbor/friend can tire me out, but nothing a quick nap didn't fix. Oh, and the internet service is so terrible I'm literally writing this post as John Wick 2 pauses to load on Netflix. Send. Help.

This song just makes me cry right now...
I was never good at expressing emotions. I didn't use to cry, no matter the reason. When I was angry it was really hard to tell - my ex-gf of 7 years would tell you it was "something in his eyes" or "a subtle change in his tone" -. It was the same when I was happy, or sad, or excited, it didn't quite show. My dad had raised his wee man proper, regardless of how wrong it all was; it wasn't his fault, he didn't know better.

Then, shite happened. I barely remember anything that happened the day me mum came into me bedroom and said my cousin had died in a car accident. The cousin I was closest to, my hero, the guy I wanted to be. Yeah. I remember going to the bathroom, looking at the mirror, and then there was no mirror; there were just shards on the floor and blood on me hand, but I don't recall ever moving. That day something clicked, for better or worse. That day I knew something was wrong, and I had to fix it before it was too late. And it took years, but eventually I became able to express how I felt. And mate, is it hard when sometimes I feel like I'm in the wrong when I do so.

That day I started caring less, about everything. Things suddenly seemed unimportant, empty, void of purpose. Life was a balloon with a hole in it. I gave up. I had given up, I just didn't know. I didn't even try to stay in college; and whenever I came to be in a situation that got complicated, I just left. So ended my 7 years long relationship, so ended my period of living by myself in a foreign country, so ended friendships and projects aplenty. I wasn't gonna fight, I wasn't gonna get in the mud and struggle; cause I had gotten hurt, and I was afraid.

My worse nightmare. That I haven't even begun to talk about.

Last year I had enough of that. My nephew, the person closest to me, had just left the country searching for a better life - a situation annoyingly common here -. My partner of 2 years had left me without even stating a reason why. Another cousin had died in another car accident. I was starting to become unable to express myself again, I was becoming less. So I went to the one person that I felt truly safe with, my grandpa, and he told me - trough a whole bunch of anecdotes and stories - that if someone was able to fix something that was broken, that was me. That it was alright to fight for the things that really mattered; that I was a good person, that had to face terrible situations, but that I could still find my peace. And he knows how much I love fixing broken things.

He also told me that intentions matter. An apology without intent has no purpose; but someone whose intentions are right, someone truly sorry for the wrongs he's committed, someone acknowledging his faults; that someone is worth a chance. And I struggle with that lesson, but I live my life accordingly.

But this isn't the story of how one day I realised my fears were damaging my life and went and talked to my grand-papa and then everything got better, not at all. This is the story of how even if you don't give up, if your intentions are right, you might still not get it. What? I only write when I'm sad, or angry; I'm a little bit of both. Alright, fine, I'm a bloody hell lot of both.

Covid-19 - #StayHome
Just a reminder of the situation that's going on as I write

I've always been one to own my mistakes. I know I'm far from perfect - yeah, weird, huh? -, and I never shy away from some constructive criticism. If anything, people shy away from giving it to me. Hey, I mean constructive criticism, not advice. I'm usually way too stubborn to listen to any advice.

I'm my last relationship I was honestly shocked to find someone who would call me on my shite ever so blatantly. She taught me sometimes being funny at the expense of others isn't quite proper; that words can hurt, even if they're meant as jokes. - Funny thing, she wasn't particularly aware that words have consequences. - She also showed me that sometimes I could voice my opinions or thoughts in a way that might make others feel invalidated, or even shunned. The problem? She usually took too long to say those things, she tried to keep them for herself to avoid fights, and they eventually exploded; we often turned small arguments into bloody wars as easy as sugar melts into syrup, with just a wee fire. But I never gave up, even when she did; and I regret nothing, cause we lived the most amazing things after not giving up. And we hurt each other a lot, no denying that; but I grew up, and I think she did a bit better with me in her life.

And I learned a lot. I learned to identify the root cause of those fights. I learned that it hardly ever is the thing you start fighting about, but all the little things that are being carried what actually makes things complicated to fix. And it's hard to identify them, and much harder to deal with them. But - and no, it didn't happen for me, but I hope it does for you - if you manage to identify the small things, like I did - the words that didn't come out as intended, the poor reactions -, you will sort things out. Sadly, it takes both of you to make compromises, and that's where we failed.

Handling emotions properly takes time.

You can't really control the way you emotionally react to some situations, not out of the blue, not just because you know it's wrong. You have to adapt. You can't rationalise emotions. You have to learn to identify them and react accordingly, but it's a process. And a process that takes two, and patience. Lots of patience.

I also learned the importance of space. The hard way. If you're fighting, learn to walk away. Bloody hell, this is the most important step if there's any. If you don't walk away, things are likelier to get worse, I guarantee it. I know, I'm someone who likes to talk to sort things out, always been, always will be; and the first reaction, instinctively, might be to reach out soon, as soon as possible, and fix things. It doesn't work like that. A cold head is worth the time to get there. Walk away in time, get some space. How much? Until you don't want to bring up anything that wasn't the thing you fought about and only that, that's when you can move on to the next phase.

Walking away in time might be the difference between walking away forever or not. I wish I'd known.

Walk away (in time).

Now, after space, comes reunion. Be wary that you're both hurting, take it slow, remain calm and have patience. Talk, talk your heart out, but also listen. If you don't listen, there's nothing to be done. If you can't do it proper, then you didn't get enough time and space, simple as that. The big important thing here is not to go for a round 2, if you go for a rematch, you'll be done in no time. Compromise, understand each other, validate each others' feelings. I did this one wrong so much, even at the end, I was all about listening but I didn't give myself a chance to talk, and by the time I did I didn't find a lot of listening. Maybe it needed more time, but sometimes we were just unable to separate for too long.

Listen to understand each other, not to respond to what the other is saying; don't argue, try to put yourself in the place of the other, have some empathy. Lower your shields, this isn't an attack, it's peace negotiations. Keep your emotions in check, and, once again, you have every right to walk away if you're actually not ready just yet. Doing so is paramount.

The few times we actually got this far, it was great. This is the part where you are free again to tell the person you love the most in the world that you do so. Do something small, watch a movie together, go out for dinner, write a letter, anything will do; just skip on the big gestures, it's not time for that. Remember what brought you together, and go back there. This is about reminding each other what your true feelings are; that those things you said in anger were something you'll regret, but nothing more. And kudos, you're almost there.

Letting go will break your chains.

And, last but not least. Forgive and forget. And learn from it. We failed big time at this. It's important to leave things behind in order to move forward, I can't understand how some people just don't get this. It's important cause otherwise every next fight is going to be the past one plus a little extra. Don't say you've forgiven if you haven't, this takes time, as well. Remember if you find yourself receiving heat from something that the other person had supposedly let go of, it's bound to make you angrier. Honesty goes a long way.

I learned all that, and maybe it was too late, but I did learn it. I came here cause I didn't feel listened to the last time I tried to speak. I felt shunned, something I was so often accused of. And I felt that was immature, which is, yet again, a word I am quite used to be on the receiving end of. And that pissed me off. And I needed to cool down, a lot. And writing this, in hopes it might help someone one day, it calms me down.

I'm not here to win her back. I love her and miss her in every way, but it's not really up to me anymore, and I respect that. It is by no means easy, but I do. I'm just tired of pretending like I don't care.

But I came here to say I'm done not being listened to, I'm done pretending to be the only one that does things wrong. I'm done playing the bad guy. I need space and time too, I'm angry. And I'd love some cookies.

Favor the road traveled by few.

Thanks for listening - reading -. I know some of you were wondering what had happened to the blog, I'm sorry, I keep saying I'll make more time to write, and I'm starting to believe maybe if I had come here more often, I wouldn't be in this bloody hell I am right now. I had forgotten how much perspective it gives to write things down, how much anger leaves your body through your fingers, and how happy you are when you get some feedback on the things you put your heart into.

Love,
David

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