One Day At A Time


It is now nearly twenty-four hours since I sent my last text to RG  asking him if he wants to get together on Thursday night. He still hasn’t responded. He was never someone who replied to texts straight away, but he has always responded before this. I guess this silence of his just means “no” but he is not mature enough to call me to tell me so.

I’m about to take my dogs to the park, and I was sorely tempted to text him to ask if wants to come with me, but I have managed to restrain myself. He would probably just ignore that text as well, and then I would be in even more pain than before. I just have to face the fact that he very well might not ever contact me again, and that he doesn’t want me.

I’m trying to take it “one day at a time” as they say in AA. If I tell myself that RG will never contact me again and that I should not contact him to chase after him, I start to panic. But if I can just get through one day at a time I know the pain will start to subside. It’s already nearly twenty-four hours since I contacted him last. And if I can get through tomorrow, then it will be forty-eight hours, and the day after that it will be seventy-two hours…

I’ve been through this very same thing ten years ago – obsessed with a guy who was emotionally unavailable. There was this dance of him pulling away, and me pushing, chasing after him, which of course made him pull away all the more. When that relationship ended, I think I had a nervous breakdown. To this day, it was the absolute worst period of my life. The break-up with MM doesn’t even begin to compare although I was actually married to him.

I survived, though. I’m still alive. “Time heals” yadda yadda yadda. If I can just sit still, feel the pain, but not let it drive me to take extreme measures, I know I will be OK. The scary thing is that “OK” is not the same thing as “happy”. Ten years after that last obsessive relationship, I am still incredibly lonely and empty inside. Every so often that guy still pops up in my dreams. This makes me worry about the RG situation as well. I know I’ll get over it, but what’s the point, I wonder, if there’s not this new, happy existence on the other side?

Between the ages of around fifteen/sixteen I was bulimic. It was never serious enough for me to be hospitalized but it still fucked up my life (and if you’re wondering what the fuck this has got to do with RG, I will tell you in a second). I was obsessed with food, and thinking about it and how to lose weight took up so much of my brain space. When my bulimia reached an all time nadir, I finally realized that I couldn’t continue to devote so much of my energy to obsessing over food. As a feminist, I felt that my all-consuming focus on my body was a betrayal of all the strong women who had fought for women’s rights, and for me to fulfill my potential. So, instead of dieting, and then binge eating, I forced myself to sit down at the table three times a day, and eat a healthy, balanced meal. It was torture at first, but, quite quickly, I got better. My poor body, which had previously yo-yoed between starvation and a carbohydrate high, was balanced for the first time in years. I actually lost weight without trying.

I think I should try a similar tactic to get through this situation with RG. Even though my heart doesn’t really believe it yet, my rational mind knows that I am smart, funny, beautiful and creative. RG does not appreciate me, and he never will. What  a travesty, then, for me to waste all my energy on romantic intrigue! Why can I not channel this energy into something much more positive and creative, like my writing and singing?

The answer to this is that I can and I just fucking have to. It’s a matter of survival.

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44 thoughts on “One Day At A Time

  1. vicariousrising September 24, 2012 at 9:53 pm Reply

    Great advice. Maybe we should sponsor each other.

    • petrichoric September 24, 2012 at 10:19 pm Reply

      Ha, yeah, I think we should be each other’s sponsor.

      Right now, can you just tell me something nice so that I don’t feel bad about RG not contacting me? And can you explain why he hasn’t contacted me? I need to hear something like “…because he’s an emotionally and spiritually barren fucktard who is too stupid to appreciate you”. 🙂

      I mean, I know this intellectually, but I need to hear it from somebody else.

  2. LazyBuddhist September 24, 2012 at 10:39 pm Reply

    RG is a loser. Perhaps a loser with a fantastic cock, but still an ass clown who is incapable of seeing you for who you are, which is insanely smart and talented. He’s a mean-spirited SOB who is taking pleasure in torturing you. You deserve so, so much better.

    While I hate to see you suffering, I’m happy to see you’re pounding out the words to share with your followers. Tortured, yes, but compelling and beautifully written.

    One day at a time, my friend. If you have something to say, there are people here who are eager to hear you say it. Even though you feel all alone, you’re not. Hang in there.

    • petrichoric September 25, 2012 at 12:15 am Reply

      I wish that I was able to see (like every other single fucking person who has heard “the saga of RG”) that RG is just fucking with my head. I guess I’m just really naïve and don’t see these things because I can’t imagine ever trying to fuck with somebody to make them upset.

      Why is this so obvious to you, but not to me? How do you know this? Please explain so I know what to look for.

      • LazyBuddhist September 25, 2012 at 9:52 am Reply

        I can’t do an intensive literary analysis of your last few posts (including citations), but to me it’s clear that you’re not in a good space, that you’re desperate. A kind, decent person treats someone who is struggling in a kind, decent way. When you’re looking for clarity as to whether or not “:-)” means “yes” and he responds with silence, he knows what he is doing. He knows that you need some certainty, yet he withholds. Yes, he has problems of his own, but he’s using your weakness as a crutch to support his own ego.

        From my own experience and being around a few alcoholics in my day, some need to find – or to make – someone else more fucked up than you are yourself in an attempt to bring them down to your level. It sounds like this is what RG is trying to do with you with his mind fucking.

        • petrichoric September 25, 2012 at 10:53 am Reply

          Everything you have said, I have thought myself when I have moments of clarity. I am glad that you wrote what you did, but it is still really, really painful to read. And, yes, I do believe that he is trying to bring me down to his level. He’s not the first man who has done this to me. And I just don’t understand. I don’t understand how anybody could be so cruel. And I don’t understand myself, and I can’t trust myself, because I was so open and honest with this person even though I knew deep-down that he was fucking me over. And I told him far too much stuff about myself, like “Oh, not responding to texts is such an emotional trigger for me” and “oh, I’m in a really bad place right now”. I have no boundaries, and I was too honest, so he knew exactly what my Achilles heel was. How could I have been so stupid? How could I have been so weak?

          I hate myself. I am so pathetic.

          • LazyBuddhist September 25, 2012 at 11:47 am Reply

            You know that compassion that flows so easily out of you for animals in need? Please, direct some of that towards yourself. You’re already in enough pain, because of your own actions and the cruelty of RG. Stop digging the knife in deeper. You’re going to get through this, as painful as it may be.

            Take care of yourself. Please?

            • petrichoric September 25, 2012 at 12:03 pm Reply

              I will try, but I’m not really sure that I know how.

  3. vicariousrising September 24, 2012 at 11:01 pm Reply

    He’s so not worthy of you and all you have to offer him. And he’s clearly immature. He’s too cowardly to text a “no” to you? Whet kind of jerk strings a woman along?

    • petrichoric September 25, 2012 at 12:17 am Reply

      An insecure, alcoholic jerk who needs to make me feel like shit so he can feel better about himself.

      • vicariousrising September 25, 2012 at 12:34 am Reply

        Exactly. Plus, some of the things he said to you are strikingly cruel.

        Don’t let the alcohol fool you — I’m of the opinion that alcohol just enhances whatever you’ve got inside you, good or bad. Loads of alcoholics blame their behavior or “turning into someone else” on their inebriation. I think this is unmitigated bullshit. There is no jekyll/hyde.

        • petrichoric September 25, 2012 at 12:58 am Reply

          Can you tell me exactly what he said that was “strikingly cruel”? My self-protection instincts are so weak that I can’t remember what he said, or maybe I didn’t realize it was cruel.

          • vicariousrising September 25, 2012 at 1:14 am Reply

            Things like telling you that you’re a lot of work, how he hoped your date didn’t work out but offered nothing more, how he said you “upset his plans” (uh, this guy has plans?) without committing anything more to it. The whole text thing only revealing his friend was a girl, but never even trying to explain.

            I’m sure there’s more, but those were the big red flags in my mind.

            • petrichoric September 25, 2012 at 1:35 am Reply

              Yeah, you’re right. 😦

              The “lot of work” thing is very confusing for me because I guess I do think of myself as a little bit “crazy”. Men love to focus on that part of me, though, which maybe isn’t even crazy – just very passionate and intense. MM had so many issues himself, but we never got to talk about those because he was too busy talking about my issues. How convenient!

              When it comes to RG, I spend so much of my time “interpreting” his cruelty as a sign that he really likes me. When he said that he hoped my date didn’t work out, I was really hurt, but then I told myself that he was just too proud to admit he cared. Whether he genuinely doesn’t give a fuck or is too proud to say it, there are still huge warning signs.

  4. vicariousrising September 24, 2012 at 11:22 pm Reply

    Also, I wrote you an email back. 🙂

    • petrichoric September 25, 2012 at 12:17 am Reply

      I got it, and I will reply tomorrow!

  5. xul September 24, 2012 at 11:23 pm Reply

    You’re waaaaay too good for that loser. It seems like he enjoys pushing your buttons on some level. I used to know someone who did that. The bastard knew that ignoring me threw me into full psycho/obsessive mode and got off on it. Fuck that! Move on. No great loss there.

    And BTW, I think it’s cute the way you threatened me with an ass kicking! 🙂

    • petrichoric September 25, 2012 at 12:21 am Reply

      LazyBuddhist just left a comment saying exactly the same thing as you – that RG is trying to push my buttons.

      And I am going to reply to your comment by asking the same question that I asked LazyBuddhist: what is it that tells you he’s trying to fuck with my head. Why don’t I see this?

      • xul September 25, 2012 at 9:59 am Reply

        “what is it that tells you he’s trying to fuck with my head?” It seems obvious to me. He enjoys having an easy lay and some guys really get off on the fact that they can fuck a girl and she’s so pathetic that she’ll come running even after he ignores her and treats her like shit.

        “Why don’t I see this?” To use a cliche, you can’t see the forest for the trees. Your judgement is clouded by emotions.

        And to second what Vicarious said, this guy is a real piece of shit. The alcohol is just an excuse.

        • petrichoric September 25, 2012 at 10:59 am Reply

          It’s horrible to read that I’m an “easy lay”. But you are right, and it makes me sick to the core to believe this about myself, and to think that I have put myself in this position. I have no self-respect, and he sees this, so why should he respect me?

          Why am I so weak?

          • xul September 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm Reply

            I must confess that what I read on your previous posts horrified me. I wanted to say NO, NO, NO, DON’T DO THIS! This is NOT healthy! If I may don the analyst’s cap for a moment, I think you use sex as validation? That and the high you get from sex? All those opioids and what-not? I hate to see you do that, especially with some shithead.

            • petrichoric September 25, 2012 at 2:27 pm Reply

              Sex as validation? You mean I don’t feel attractive or worthy unless some guy is fucking me? Nah, I don’t think so. I know I’m attractive (even if, like most women, I have insecurities about it) and I don’t need a man to validate that through sex.

              In the beginning, the sex with RG happened out of sheer horniness. It had been such a long time since I’d had a libido. But then, you’re right, it did get all fucked up. Like I said, I wasn’t trying to prove to myself through sex that I’m attractive or a worthwhile person, but I think I was trying to get his attention. Sex was the only time I could get him really focused on me (and, even then, he seemed quite distant).

              So, yeah, you’re right that I am using sex to fulfill some kind of desperate need, but it’s the need for attention (or maybe that’s what you meant all along?).

              • xul September 25, 2012 at 4:54 pm Reply

                “You mean I don’t feel attractive or worthy unless some guy is fucking me?” No, I didn’t mean it that way. You’re cute(don’t ask me how I know) and you know it. 🙂 I meant it as a way to fill an emotional need.

                • petrichoric September 25, 2012 at 9:10 pm Reply

                  I don’t know if it’s the sex that fulfills the emotional need. I think it’s being in a “relationship” that does that, but when the man is emotionally unavailable, I can sense that, and so I want to have sex with them because, like I said, that’s the only time I’ll have their undivided attention.

  6. darwinsblade September 25, 2012 at 1:23 pm Reply

    Wow, lots of introspection in these posts. Seems like a healthy thing. I hope you’re as talkative to your therapist as you are on your blog.

    I think RG is in love with Lady Alcoholica and not with you. Maybe he is actually fucking with your mind but you’re long past the point when that’s relevant. You’re obviously not getting out of this “relationship” what you really want or you wouldn’t be feeling this bad.

    And feeling bad is not part of a healthy relationship, dammit.

    -arekino

    • petrichoric September 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm Reply

      Yeah, the one good thing about getting older is that I do understand now that love/relationships are not supposed to feel this hard. It should be easy. Of course, knowing how things should feel/be is not at all the same thing as getting rid of men who make me feel like shit. Whenever I notice I’m feeling bad, I tell myself some little story to justify the way I’m being treated, so it’s pretty hard for me to trust myself to do the right thing at the moment.

      • darwinsblade September 25, 2012 at 4:31 pm Reply

        Maybe it’s safest to assume that whenever you feel that bad, that means your mind is being fucked with (either intentionally or unintentionally – still a bad thing)?

        Also, it seems like the fantasy world you create in those situations is the only good thing you get out of them. Do you prefer fantasy over reality?

        • petrichoric September 25, 2012 at 6:05 pm Reply

          Ha, I think I definitely prefer fantasy over reality. Fantasy is so much more fun, unfortunately – or for me, at least.

          Yes, any kind of intense emotion (whether it be intense sexual attraction, intense and too quick emotional intimacy or intense pain) is always a sign that something is up when it comes to mem. Rationally, I know this, but it’s hard to remember when I’m in the throws of it. Such emotions are fine when you’ve been with somebody for a while, and it’s a real committed relationship, but if it’s right at the very beginning, it’s a huge red flag.

  7. williamx September 25, 2012 at 6:12 pm Reply

    I don’t have much too add that hasn’t been said already but I wanted you to know I think you are pretty special and will eventually be o.k.

    • petrichoric September 25, 2012 at 7:34 pm Reply

      Aw, you are such a sweetie-pie. But I would like a compliment, though! Why do you think I am special? Hint hint! 🙂 (Go on, I’ve had a shit week. I deserve a compliment).

      • williamx September 26, 2012 at 10:33 am Reply

        You’re beautiful, smart, witty, weird, fit, intelligent, introspective, empathic, skilled at writing, skilled at l’amour . . . but I’ve only just started on my my morning coffee so a couple other obvious traits might be escaping me. Wish me luck I had a couple sick days this week and today looks to be . . . heavy.

        • petrichoric September 26, 2012 at 12:34 pm Reply

          Sorry to hear that you are unwell. 😦 I also took three days off work this week. I did have allergies and asthma symptoms but I was also feeling very distraught about the RG situation – which is yet another reason I need to stay away from him. Not good that I’m taking time off work because he makes me so upset. Feeling better today, though.

          • vicariousrising September 26, 2012 at 2:33 pm Reply

            That sounds sort of like my week last week. I did do work, since I work from home, but I cancelled all my other commitments because I was too distraught to deal with other people.

            Better this week, but only because I’m restoring my armor.

            • petrichoric September 26, 2012 at 2:58 pm Reply

              Yeah, I’m back at work (actually there now…blogging from my cube in one of 15-min breaks. Sheesh) on my own laptop. Can’t do it on my work computer because the managers sometimes screenshare. Feeling much better myself. I still feel sad that I haven’t heard from RG, but it’s helpful to remember that only a cowardly asshole wouldn’t text me back to say he’s not interested…so no loss there.

              • williamx September 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm Reply

                His loss, in fact, and none other. And thanks for the well wish, I am 95% recovered . . . and workday isn’t sucking at all. I have this new cool job which I totally love. And it loves me. yay! Now to meet a girl not quite, but almost entirely opposite, all the girls I’ve ever dated before. Ha good luck to me.

                • petrichoric September 26, 2012 at 8:03 pm Reply

                  That is great news about your new job! I know that, at one point, you were very unhappy at work. I’m just bored at work, and wish I was doing more creative things. You will meet a girl soon! Just stay away from all the crazy ones!

              • vicariousrising September 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm Reply

                Good on you, girl!

                Sitting on my own texting hands myself. Got the new iPhone today, so I’ll busy myself with setting it up and not texting.

                • petrichoric September 26, 2012 at 8:05 pm Reply

                  It is so hard not to text him. I deleted his number from my phone yesterday but, today, I logged into my AT&T account, and looked at all the number I’d dialed over the last month, and it was easy to pick his out since he has a Colorado area code. So it’s back in my phone. 😦 I wish he would text. I’m so sad. 😦 Congrats on the new iPhone 5! I can’t wait to buy one myself!

  8. vicariousrising September 25, 2012 at 8:05 pm Reply

    I think respect is a huge foundation for any relationship, not just the romantic sort. I’ve found this with raising my kid, and I feel that is much of what has eroded my relationship with my husband (and hence made me susceptible to a guy who does seem to respect me).

    I’m not sure how much self-respect plays in so much as respecting each other. But don’t quote me on that. I know I respect myself in certain ways, but not at all in others. I think a relationship with mutual respect can withstand self-doubt in the other.

    It seems to me you’ve had a hard time finding that balance in your love life. You don’t respect him, he doesn’t respect you or both don’t respect each other. I’m not sure you have much respect for RG. That could be why you don’t want him in your house.

    Have you ever had a guy who was enthralled with you, and not just sexually? I think MM maybe was a little at first? Were you unable to love him back because he held you in esteem?

    And lastly, are you afraid that finding someone who respects you and you respect in return will end in complete devastation of yourself if he abandons you (or, if I were to say it for myself, if he were to realize I was not, after all, worthy of his respect)?

    Just some questions I’m throwing out there.

    BTW, I think you’re very brave to be putting this all out. Did I already tell you that?

    • petrichoric September 25, 2012 at 9:07 pm Reply

      I don’t think that writing about all of this stuff has got anything to do with bravery. Honestly, I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t write about it in here. Before I returned to this blog, I found myself bombarding inappropriate people (people I couldn’t trust) with all the intimate, messy details of my life. Some people just didn’t know what to do or say, and others were just plain mean. Clearly, I have boundary issues, and I can’t continue to tell the wrong people all about my life. It leaves me open to being manipulated. Also, it gives some people (with very clear issues of their own) the opportunity to look down on me to make themselves feel better. So, I would much rather write in here, where I feel people at least understand and won’t judge me.

      Yes, respect is a huge deal for any relationship. I haven’t really given the topic of respect much thought when it comes to RG, but I can tell you right now that I absolutely did not respect MM. I thought he was a really weak man, and I think that this is why I didn’t want to have sex with him. I’ll get into that in a later blog post. As for RG, I think years of patriarchal/Catholic school tradition have taught him not to respect women like me who are open about sex. Also, I think he’s scared of strong, smart, sassy, sexy women so it’s easier just to dismiss them as “slutty”. I suppose I don’t respect him. I don’t respect running off to the pub every night just because you’re too scared to stare your own loneliness in the face. I don’t respect his apparent desire to fuck as many women as possible (it just seems so unevolved to have casual sex all the time) and I don’t respect the fact that he seems to think that rehab is going to be a walk in the park.

      As for not wanting RG in my house, that’s more an “intimacy issues” thing. As weird as it may be that I have no trouble fucking him and vomiting my emotions out all over him, I am kinda weird about letting people into my house. I do have to let erotic massage clients in to my house, but it’s not like they’re hanging out, or have the time to get a sense of the “real me” when they’re there. Actually, I think I’ve come up with a better reason than “intimacy issues” for not wanting him in my house. I don’t trust him. That’s what it is. I don’t trust him enough to let him see how I live my life when he’s not there.

      Yes, I do think that MM was enthralled with me (other than just sexually) when we first met. It makes me sad to think about this because, yeah, there have not been all that many men who were enthralled with me. Or correction: they maybe were enthralled with me but then they tried to make me feel shit about myself so they could feel better. I think that I have a lot of “power” in a way but these men can practically smell that I’m insecure and they know just how to fuck me up. I give up my power all too easily.

      I don’t know why I couldn’t love MM. A lot of it was to do with him being really weak, and with him blaming/resenting me all the time. He never took responsibility for his own actions, and I was also sick of him never making any money and never having a real job. There are a lot of reasons, I guess.

      Honestly, I have never given much thought to how I would feel if I met somebody who appreciated/respected everything about me and who then left the relationship. What I have realized about myself, though, is that I often choose creatively unfulfilled losers (RG is also a frustrated artist) because I would feel “less than” if I was with a creative person who was very successful.

      • vicariousrising September 25, 2012 at 9:40 pm Reply

        Man, will RG ever be shocked to discover rehab is not a trip to the country club. Even if you do it half-assed (and I didn’t), it is intense and difficult. Lots of people leave early because they can’t take it. My roommate didn’t finish — a lovely mother & teacher who one week later fell down the stairs of her townhouse, stone drunk, broke her arm, lost a couple teeth and bled all over the floor in front of her 9 year old. Lost custody & her job.

        Rehab is hard and not for the weak.

        • petrichoric September 25, 2012 at 10:22 pm Reply

          Oh, that poor woman! Did you ever find out what happened to her? Hopefully that moment was her rockbottom, and she is much better now.

          Honestly, I don’t think that RG is going to succeed right now. I can’t believe that he hasn’t thought about how the hell he’s going to avoid going to the bar round the corner where he apparently has most of his social interactions. When I was there with him on Saturday night, it was like he knew the whole goddamn fucking bar. Despite everything, I wish him the best. I hope he makes it eventually because he can’t continue going on the way he is. He’s not conventionally good-looking, but there’s something attractive about him, but he’s going to look like shit soon if he doesn’t get his act together.

          I hate to admit this, but I do sometimes take a little bit of pleasure in thinking about how RG is going to be really far down in the gutter soon. Sometimes I imagine myself standing over him, and laughing.

          • vicariousrising September 25, 2012 at 11:05 pm Reply

            Remind me to never piss you off, lol.

            The last I heard about my rehab roomie was that she was institutionalized by her parents. At 40-something. Not a fate I’d want.

            • petrichoric September 25, 2012 at 11:36 pm Reply

              Oh, don’t worry. If you were in the gutter, I’d totally give you a hand, and I’ll pull you out. 🙂

              Wow, can’t believe your ex-roommate was institutionalized. I really hope she’s doing better now, wherever she is.

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