Things That Fall Apart


I think I might be on the verge of a fucking nervous breakdown. I’m siting here sipping a rum with cranberry juice because I need something to reduce my anxiety.

I texted RG about an hour ago, saying that I would like to meet up with him on Thursday evening. He replied immediately, but the only thing that was in the text was ” : -) “. I asked if that was a yes, but got no reply. This has made me spiral into a deep depression.

My moods are all over the place. I think I have built up this little fantasy all around him. What sort of woman falls for an alcoholic loser? Because once I peel off the blinders that are obscuring my vision I can see that this is what he is.

Two weeks ago, he needed to pick up his uncle from the bus station. He asked if I wanted to come with him, and when we went outside, his car had a flat. I’d been inside his car before, and it was a fucking mess of cigarette butts and fast food wrappers. It turned me off that his car had a flat. It wasn’t a surprise at all.

When we got to the bus station, his uncle wasn’t even there. It turned out that RG had got the wrong day. Yet again, I had a horrible sinking feeling in my stomach that the guy was a loser, but I immediately pushed away that thought because I wasn’t ready to deal with it.

We went for something to eat, and RG said he needed to smoke a cigarette and that he’d be right in. He disappeared for 10 minutes, and a feeling of abandonment and panic set in. I knew that it would always be this way, that he’d always be skipping out on me, abandoning me. I eventually saw him come back, carrying a plastic bag in his skinny hands. I knew what was in that bag because I could see that he’d left an opened bottle of beer sitting on the hood of my car. He needed his fix so badly that he couldn’t wait until after we’d eaten. Again, I was flooded with the awareness that the guy was no good, but I refused to think about that because I so badly needed to believe in some sort of bullshit romantic fantasy.

He came into the restaurant holding three carnations that he’d bought from some flower seller in the street. I  was charmed, but somehow deep inside I knew that this sweetness and thoughtfulness was something that he put on for all the ladies. By this I don’t mean to suggest that he manipulated the ladies consciously, but he had at some point understood what he needed to say and do to get the ladies, and now it was second nature to him.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, I have created this little story that he likes me a lot but is just too scared to get involved with me because his feelings are just too intense. Hahahahah! What a fool I am! What a master storyteller! I could win the fucking Pulitzer Prize for fiction. He has also helped fuel this little fantasy of mine because he jokingly says that he “hates me” because I have upset all his plans. This is the only time he has ever given me any indication about what he feels for me, and I clung to it the way a drowning man clutches desperately at a life raft. I interpreted it to mean that he is falling for me despite his desire not to.

Last week, after his “friend” from out of town had left, I kept on hoping that he would send me a text saying that he was sorry about what happened, and that he missed me. He did eventually send me a text but all it said was that he needed to give me back the Netflix movie I had left at his house. Again, I chose to interpret this as a sign of his feelings for me. I told myself that he missed me, but that he was too proud to say it, so he used the movie as an excuse to see me. I asked my friends what the text could possibly mean and they were, like, “Um. He just wants to give you your movie back”. My desperate hope to see something that is not there is so ridiculous that I almost want to laugh out loud at the sheer comedy of it all.

Last night in the bar, when I was sitting with that other guy I had picked up, I saw him come in, and laugh and joke with some people he knew. It looked like he didn’t have  a care in the world. Of course I know better. I know that he comes to that bar because he can’t stand being alone by himself for a second. But it doesn’t matter whether he likes me or not. He is an alcoholic, and his disease means that I will never be in his mind for very long. I go out and socialize, too, but every time I do, I can’t stop thinking of him. I tell myself that I need a rebound guy to get over my rebound guy but I’d probably be thinking of him if I fucked anybody else. RG, however,  doesn’t give me a second thought when he’s in the bar.

I need to stay the fuck away from this guy. He is dangerous for me. Every time I see him, I am filled with such an intense longing for his affection that I spend the next fews days in a state of extreme emotional instability.

On Friday night, he finally called his father asking for help. This was a huge step for him, and he told me it was probably the hardest thing he has ever done in his life. I was cheered by this, and imagined myself being there for him as he finally kicked the booze. I felt hopeful that he admits he’s an alcoholic, and that he has asked for help. However, he seems to be in denial about what going in to rehab actually means. He doesn’t appear to understand that this is going to change his life forever, and that it’s going to be really fucking hard.  He thinks that he’ll spend a few nights there, getting through the DTs with some medical assistance, and that then he’ll leave, and that everything will be OK. He doesn’t get that entering rehab is very first teeny tiny step on a long, long journey. What is this man going to do who, even when drunk, has to head out to the bar to stave off loneliness? How is he going to be able to stand the emptiness and the pain when he is sober? How is he going to replace the bar which is at the very centre of his social life? I ask him all these question and he breezily answers that everything will be OK.

Everything is not going to be OK. Most addicts attempt to kick their habit seven times before they finally manage. Or they just don’t manage it. He needs to hit rock bottom but he is not even close.

But I’m only focusing on RG‘s issues because that’s easier than dealing with my own. I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m a love addict. Some people don’t think that it’s possible to be addicted to romance or relationships but, oh, let me tell you – you can. I can’t even begin to describe the pain and the feelings of desolation I have when relationships ends or when my little romantic fantasies are blown to smithereens. If you knew how dark my world was then you would believe in love addiction.

The irony is that RG is probably a step ahead of me in terms of curing himself. At least he admits that he’s an alcoholic. When I’m still feeling the pain of rejection, I believe wholeheartedly that I’ve got some kind of addiction problem but as soon as I get over that feeling and my life returns to normal I think that I’m OK. The trouble is that there are only certain men who trigger my “love addiction”. They’re broken men that I want to fix and who give me enough tidbits of affection that I just can’t let go. RG is just number three. Just three guys in 34-years. This is why he leaves me feeling like shit. Meeting somebody like him is a huge fucking deal.

The most annoying thing is that RG senses my desperation, my urge to cling. He is backing off, running away, but not because he can’t deal with his feelings for me. It’s because he can’t deal with my feelings for him. He doesn’t want to get sucked into my vortex of neediness. He tells me I’m “intense” and that I’m “a lot of work”. I would be too much for even a healthy man to handle, and it certainly doesn’t feel good to be given the heave-ho by an alcoholic fuck-up like RG.

I’m not stupid. I know that I need to fill my life up with healthy things-  friends, hobbies, creative things like writing in this blog and singing. I will do this. But I doubt that any of this will help. It is just too fucking hard to live thousands of miles away from my friends. It is too fucking hard not to have any family, not to have unconditional love. It is too.fucking.hard. No matter what I do, I think I’m going to always have this emptiness inside me and I am always going to be alone. There’s not a man alive who could deal with my shit.

I need somebody to help me. I wish I had a father I could call for help. I wish I could go into some kind of rehab. I wish I could be strapped down to a table until all the withdrawal symptoms had disappeared and I could go out into the world, trying to re-build my life from scratch. But there is nobody there, and I don’t think I can do this all by myself.

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12 thoughts on “Things That Fall Apart

  1. vicariousrising September 23, 2012 at 11:45 pm Reply

    Damn, I don’t know how to address this because I’m in my own vortex. A somewhat different one, but neediness is definitely a commonality.

    My crush hasn’t told me I’m too much work — he’s told me I’m not a problem when I’ve vomited my nonsense on him, which includes prying into his personal life and generally acting unhinged. Which bothers me because what I need, what I’m begging for, is him to say “Go away crazy chick.”

    And actually, I’ve said that in so many words. It makes me want to kick him, that he refuses to help me keep my dignity.

    And then, to top it all off, my kid had his own romantic crisis involving his sorta-ex posting jealousy inducing crap on Facebook, and I heard myself saying he needed to take a break from checking on her via friends, text, Facebook, whatever.

    Awesome advice. I’m trying to chain myself to the wall to take it. :p

    • vicariousrising September 24, 2012 at 12:04 am Reply

      that should be “crap” not “crisp”

      I need to stop commenting on my iPhone.

    • petrichoric September 24, 2012 at 12:39 am Reply

      I edited “crisp” so that it reads “crap”. 🙂

      Well, once again I can offer you absolutely no advice about your guitar teacher. It would be like the blind leading the blind. But you seem to be in a better situation than I am if you want him to tell you to go away. This is the last thing I want Rebound Guy to do, and if he did, I would turn into psycho bunny boiler lady. I want him to reply to that text and tell me that he wants to see me on Thursday night. It kills me that he hasn’t. It’s his birthday on November 20th, so I’ve been telling myself that I can avoid contacting him until then, when I will send him a card wishing him happy birthday. In my fantasy, he will then break down, realize how much he misses me, and contact me again. It’s a ridiculous fantasy but if holding onto this fragile hope is what gets me through the day, and stops me contacting me, then I guess it’s not so bad. Any maybe by the time November 20th rolls around I will have forgotten all about him.

  2. vicariousrising September 24, 2012 at 1:03 am Reply

    I dunno about it being a better situation. I’m pretty good at pushing people away. The weird thing about this situation (and I don’t know if you remember any of my saga with my best friend from my previous blog, the guy I hankered after and dubbed ass-clown? But it turned out, well, complicated story… he was playing safe too)

    … so the weird thing about this whole thing is possibly how I behave? Like I do things that are confusing too? And, ok, I have no idea of what I am talking about, but I’m wondering if maybe in an opposite way, your behavior does the same?

    Or the shorthand statement of all that garble is: men don’t get women.

    How fucking profound is that?

    • petrichoric September 24, 2012 at 1:16 am Reply

      I know I’m pushing Rebound Guy away, so I guess you’re right that the way I act is the same as you but I just go about things differently. He just pushes so many buttons. I freak out when he doesn’t reply to my texts, and then I send a snippy text, and he gets annoyed. He says he hates it when I do that, and then I feel bad, and think I’m a needy mess. But, then again, if he was the right man for me, he would communicate with me, and would understand that being ignored is one of my triggers.

      • vicariousrising September 24, 2012 at 1:24 am Reply

        I think, maybe (or I hope) that men are really different about communicating. Although I also have to say my son sort of belies that idea. But I’ve also seen how he holds back to save face.

        But I’ve been feeling overly tied to responses to guitar teacher too.

        I wonder… do guys even understand that being ignored is a trigger? Even if it is their trigger and he hates to be ignored?

        • petrichoric September 24, 2012 at 1:37 am Reply

          Is being ignored a trigger for all women, though? I think there are plenty women out there who, after not receiving a reply from Rebound Guy, would realize they could do much better and would move on. I’m still liking this “November 20th” thing. I’m tricking myself into getting Rebound GUy out of my life, and out of my mind. Of course, it would be much better if I could just accept that he and I are not meant to be, but I’m not ready to accept this at all. So…for the time being telling myself that I’ll contact him on November 20th is a little like methadone; it’s a fragile hope that I can use as my maintenance drug until I can kick the real drug.

          • vicariousrising September 24, 2012 at 1:57 am Reply

            I think being ignored is a huge trigger for most women. I think we’re conditioned to be noticed.

            Although being noticed, for me, is not so appealing. But I’ve watched lots of exchanges — I think the whole beauty thing has females needing to be seen and appreciated.

            I’m feeling myself put up walls again as far as guitar guy is concerned. I don’t know how great an idea this is because, well, it’s not like I’m never going to have to deal with him again. But the steel is running up my spine right now. And I feel better with the cold than I do with the heat.

            So, one thing I’m wondering: why do you seek these guys who enjoy seeing you squirm? Because this asshole? I can’t help but wonder if he’s using you to fulfill some other vendetta. You are so more worthy than his disdain — I think he really does know this, but maybe can’t help himself for reasons way outside your relationship.

            • petrichoric September 24, 2012 at 2:16 am Reply

              Again, I’m jealous about your “putting up walls” thing. This is not something I am capable of. Instead I turn to childish manoeuvres, like going out on dates with other men, and telling him about it in an attempt to make him jealous.

              Do you really think that Rebound Guy likes seeing me squirm? I don’t know if this is the case, but it’s kinda helpful to think that it is because then I start to get angry at him, and have much less desire to contact him. I am more inclined to think that Rebound Guy just ignores me because that’s just the way he is. Even before this whole thing “started”, he would take hours (sometimes almost a full day) to reply to texts. But maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better by having this opinion. Maybe I’m incredibly fucking naïve. As regards feeling disdain for me, I’m not sure if he’s even capable of having such a strong feeling. I think he’s just so caught up in his alcoholism, and the aftermath of his divorce that he doesn’t feel or think much – or when he does, he just drowns the emotion with booze.

  3. vicariousrising September 24, 2012 at 1:07 am Reply

    Oh, and what do you think of doing a fictionalized memoir?

    • petrichoric September 24, 2012 at 1:20 am Reply

      Yes, that was exactly what I was thinking. The thing about that, though, is that I worry about what I would do after the fictionalized memoir was written. I only have one life, and after I’ve written about that what else would I have to say? I’d be a one-hit wonder. Ha, I’m so funny. I haven’t written a single sentence, and already I’m worried about the sequel. 🙂

      • vicariousrising September 24, 2012 at 1:28 am Reply

        You’re too funny. I’m not worried — you’ve got a wealth of stories in you. And “yay” (to sound like a freaking teenager). Plus, I can be a pain about asking a million questions about people I find fascinating. You can just ask the author I’m getting ready to sign. 😉

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