Well, crap. John Finley, you just ruined my day.
Because you know what I hate? What I despise? What I loathe?
Holy cow, do I detest uncertainty. I want to know exactly what is going to happen, when it’s going to happen, how it’s going to happen, and how everyone is going to feel when it happens. This ‘not knowing’ crap is for the birds.
So, with that being the case – I’m sure you can guess that I don’t handle change very well. Especially unexpected change. (Well, that seems kind of redundant. I guess most all change is unexpected really, isn’t it?) So, Mr. Finley, with your fancy schmancy quote – I guess I’m immature.
So, here we go. I’m going to throw caution to the wind and blog about something kind of personal here. I think it’s important to do that sometimes so that you, my reader, can know that I’m just as crazy as you are. Yes, I just called you crazy. I know you’re crazy. Know how I know? Two reasons. 1) You’re reading this blog. And 2) EVERYONE is crazy. And you’re one of everyone. So there.
So, fellow crazy person, I’m gonna spill my guts to you.
My relationship is going through another rocky patch. Hey, it happens. And I’m going to go ahead and own up to the blame in this one. Hands down, I admit it. It’s all me. But, for the life of me, I just don’t know what to do about it.
My boyfriend just took a second job as a bartender. I’m going to list the obvious reasons why this worries me first.
- Timing. He’s going to work nights/I’m going to work days (ok, he’s doing both actually). I’m going to work weekdays/He’s going to work weekends (Again: both for him). *Sigh*
- His life is going to change. He’s going to be surrounded by tons of new people. Tons of people that will be there with him when I won’t. *Sigh*
- My life is going to change. A lot of the time that I had worked into my schedule to spend with him will now be time spent alone. *Sigh*
- He’s a bartender. A bartender. I know life is not always like the stereotypes, but Hello? Being a bartender is sexy. We all know that. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a little jealous. Well, jealous isn’t really the right word here. I think insecure is more like it. That life is not my life. But it’s now going to be his. And it’s going to be the life of the people he’s going to be spending his time with. We may not have anything in common anymore. (Have I sighed yet? If not….*sigh*)
- There won’t be time for me anymore.
I could stop here. That’s a pretty good list and probably doesn’t need anything added to it. That’s enough to prove my point, right? You get it? Understand my worries? Yep, I could stop here. Enough said. I should stop here.
But stopping here would be a lie. And I don’t do the lying thing very well.
The #1 reason I’m worried isn’t even on that list.
Most people know how to keep their mouths shut and just let things silently hurt them. But I’m not most people. Until I have faced and dealt with a problem head on, it won’t go away. I have to say it out loud. I have to address it. When someone has hurt me, I have to approach them and deal with it. I can’t run from it, it’s just not in my DNA. I go to them, we talk it out, and then we go our separate ways. Sometimes healed, sometimes not. But either way, it’s addressed and I can have peace.
But this time is different.
This time I don’t know who hurt me. I just know that someone did.
Someone who is involved in my boyfriend’s close-knit group of friends blatantly excluded me a while back. I won’t get into the specifics of how it happened (they know, and I know – that’s all that matters), but it happened. And it hasn’t been forgotten. This close-knit group of friends are always together, and are always at the place my boyfriend is working. He adores them, and I don’t blame him. They’re great people. They’re fun-loving, they live life to the fullest, they’re great conversationalists. But one of them (maybe more?) doesn’t like me. And until I know who the one person was, it’s hard to fully let my guard down with any of them. Does that make sense? Until I know who not to trust, I can’t trust anyone. This is a tough situation for our relationship. Very tough. For both of us. And now a big fat spotlight is being shone on it.
So, what it all boils down to is this – I feel excluded. I have always felt excluded, but with Richard by my side, I was able to temporarily forget it at times. I knew I belonged with him, and that’s all that matters. But now? Now, he’s surrounded by that life that someone doesn’t want me in, and I’m not there. I’m standing outside of an invisible wall that I can’t seem to break down.
And his taking this job? Well, in my mind, the wall just got bigger.
I feel the pressure building. I feel the tension piling up and I’m not sure how to escape it. In the back of my mind, I keep hearing the faint ‘tick tick tick…’ of an impending explosion. And frankly, that sound is getting pretty darn annoying.
I’m getting pretty annoying.
“Every day I fight a war against the mirror
I can’t take the person starin’ back at me
I’m a hazard to myself
Don’t let me get me
I’m my own worst enemy
It’s bad when you annoy yourself…”
*sigh* Pink gets it.
Maybe that’s why I feel the need to write this blog. Maybe I’m looking for suggestions? Maybe I’m looking for help? Maybe I just don’t want to watch something fade away if there was something I could do about it and just didn’t know what it was. Maybe I just want to know I’m not alone in how I feel? That people understand? Sympathize? That there are more people like me and Pink out here in this world?
Or maybe I just need to hear that I’m selfish and insecure and need to get over myself. Yeah, that’s a possibility too, I suppose.
Maybe I just needed to vent.
All I know is that I have watched a friend of mine go through a very similar situation over the past ten months in her relationship (daytime job versus nighttime job – different lives, different friends, etc.), and I’m now watching as she adjusts to her new life as a single woman because it didn’t work out.
I don’t want that to be me. But what do I do?
“The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear – fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety.”
– H. L. Mencken
I feel you and understand why you feel the way that you do. It is hard to be uncertain and to feel excluded. What I hear in all of this is insecurity. And that has to do with you personally, not with Richard. Being clingy and needy is one of the fastest ways to get someone out of your life. I know – I ran a few away back in the day. With me, insecurity in relationships isn’t an issue anymore because I am ok with who I am. Used to, when someone didn’t like me I would think something was wrong with me and I needed to fix it. Now if someone doesn’t like me, I wonder what’s wrong with them. That can only impede your relationship if you let it. So what if they don’t like you? What’s so wonderful about them anyway, that makes you want their approval. Richard clearly likes you…a-lot. That’s all that matters. It can be uncomfortable to be in a group where you feel someone doesn’t like you. Its important to remember that that person is only one person and it seems to me you are giving them a lot of power if you let them get to you. Everyone else likes ypu right? And you like them? Focus on those relationships for they are the ones that matter. As far as the job goes, I would sit him down and talk about it calmly. I would just say that I am feeling insecure as a result of this decision you have made to take this job and I am worried that we will never see each other. Use I statements. Dont say “you” this and “you” that because that will only put him on the defensive. He obviously wants you in his life. Make a plan for time together that you can count on. It is real ok that you both have lives of your own! You’re supposed to! As long as you are willing to blend into his world when it comes up and he is willing to do the same for you, it can work out. I hear a-lot of fear behind what you are saying. I think its important to explore where exactly that it comes from. Maybe a past relationship or self esteem issues or both or something else altogether. Whatever it is, its important that you look at it and work on dealing with it. That has to do with you, not with him. If he didn’t want you in his life, you wouldn’t be there. I suggest talking openly and calmly, not nagging or clinging because he will run from that, and working on your own core issues. You guys seem to really like each other and have a lot of fun together. Dont let baseless insecurities ruin a good thing. I’ve done it. The regrets are no fun to live with. Good luck!
I wouldn’t have posted this if we hadn’t already talked. I didn’t write anything he didn’t already know. And until I know who the “one” person is that doesn’t like me – I have to assume it’s everyone I see. Dealing with one person = piece of cake. Assuming it’s all of them? Not so much. If my insecurity pushes him away, so be it. I’m not going to lie about who I am. He has to take the bad along with the good. I’ve had to do the same for him.
That sucks. I wish I could be there so that you would KNOW one person has your back in this. I know some of the crowd of which you speak and it’s really hard to become accepted by them. It’s weird and I totally understand that feeling of being excluded. I wish I knew what to tell you but I can say that sometimes it really isn’t about being insecure. With this group of people, it’s hard to be welcomed into the fold and it has nothing to do with you personally.
Thank you for that, Katrina. Insecurity definitely plays a role, but it’s not the whole thing. I appreciate you understanding that. Some don’t.
Hi Melissa, ET AL: I love you and i love Richard; why does someone have to hate you to remove you from a previous established group of peers that was established way prior to you, or me for that example. Your blog expresses a central concern of your boyfriend getting a job as “bartender” and you feel the reality of “distance due to scheduling”, resulting in this.
“So, what it all boils down to is this – I feel excluded. I have always felt excluded, but with Richard by my side, I was able to temporarily forget it at times. I knew I belonged with him, and that’s all that matters. But now? Now, he’s surrounded by that life that someone doesn’t want me in, and I’m not there. I’m standing outside of an invisible wall that I can’t seem to break down.”
Here it is: I love you and Richard (first and foremost), and the reality is others will love you as long as it presents Richard loves you. I know you, I have run with you, I will always love you because I know you; others love Richard and will love you as long as Richard loves you. If they get to know you as I do, they too may always love you; if not they will love you as part of Richard’s life. This is not cruel or personal, but part of reality.
You were included or excluded not by personal status, but relationship status. If you want more seek more. I have known Richard all his life, been closely associated with him many years; you I knew because of him; now I know you and you will forever be part of my life; but the fact remains; others close to Richard will only be involved with you as long as Richard is part of your life…. I am blessed to have a personal relationship with both you and Richard; others only know you because of Richard the same as some of your friends only know Richard because of your relationship with him, and it will always be so. Inclusion and exclusion is as much apart of situational reality as all relationships that exist; no more, no less.
Oh crap Melissa. Haven’t you just tortured yourself into a spot?
I’m going to roll on in here and meter out some advice – you did ask….
At the centre of this issue is TRUST. Yours of him. Do you trust him? Because regardless of the friends and which one it was and which one of them you don’t trust, it all seems trivial compared to the trust you have of Richard himself. Sounds like you need to have a *calm* discussion about this trust issue and he needs to be completely 100% on board with your need to feel; and reiterate, your trust in him. He needs to help you feel it and believe it. Because if you don’t and if he doesn’t, you’re in a pickle. Because you’ll be second guessing him every time he goes to his bar job. And frankly, it’ll eat you alive.
Presumably he’s taking extra work for you and the kids and your future together? If this is the case you’re off to a good start. He sounds like an amazing man, I’m sure you can work it out. He loves you.
Good luck from the other side of the planet.
PS As a professional someone in the hospitality industry with close friends who own bars, may I put in my vote for unsexiness. It is long hours, physical, thankless work with drunken fools and it’s smelly. There, that’s my two cents. It is never a long term gig, if that’s any consolation… X
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I’m so sorry I never replied to this post, Zoe. It was wonderful advice, and you were spot on. Especially about the ‘eating me alive’ part. It has done just that.
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