Friday, 11.17.2017 - 6:20 pm.
I'm tempted to say that this was an emotionally charged week, but that was the case only for Monday and Tuesday. By now, I'm not interested in dwelling too much on what happened, as I, thankfully, was able to resolve what was troubling me. It's Friday now, and I'm doing pretty good.
Number one: My trip to see my family. FINALLY, a decision: It's postponed! I'm traveling in January, and I get to spend the holidays with Andrew! I had to pay to reschedule my plane ticket, of course, but I had the money to do it, and thus I can say the price was nothing compared to the peace of mind that I have now.
I know my parents will be sad that we won't spend the holidays together. I spent a full night sleepless about that, I had so much anguish as to what to do, going back and forth. "Suck it up, you already have the ticket". "But Andrew, man, I'm leaving him on what were the worst two weeks of his life three years ago, when his brother passed away and he couldn't get his body into town for the funeral". This. This right here. I already left Andrew behind last year. He was supportive, encouraging me to go see my family and have a good time, but I say, I'm not leaving him alone during the holidays again.
(Also, him being moody last week: it was his brother's birthday around that time)
That sleepless night, I cried, I bawled for half an hour straight, as Andrew slept. He woke up and panicked over not finding me in bed, and heard my sobbing from the bathroom. I just couldn't stop nor keep it down, I was so stressed about hurting people no matter what I chose to do. I told Andrew what was happening and he didn't say anything.
In the morning, Andrew hugged me and I had to ask this question out loud because I was not finding the answer within myself: "What should I do?!" I'll make it easy for you, he replied. And I thought I knew what was coming, his usual response, but I was wrong. He said: "Stay. Stay with me. I'll cook a nice Christmas dinner for the two of us".
That settled it. I appreciate he's always supported me when it comes to being with my family, but I suspected he wasn't as cool with that as he pretended to be. It sounded to me like, for once, he was being honest in his need for help: "I really don't want to be alone, please stay with me".
I'd told him a few days ago that I was thinking of rescheduling my trip. He said that I didn't have to do it for him. I said I was doing it for us. And so I have. I have yet to tell my parents, and I know they'll be sad, but traveling in January will turn out to be better: I'll stay a few days in Houston with Brother #1 and his family; he and I will travel together to our home country to see our parents; and Brother #2 will also be in my home country then, so all five siblings (Brother #3 and Sister live there) will be with our parents at the same time. And it's my birthday in mid-January, so we'll celebrate together. Sounds like a great plan to me!
Number two: I had a creepy participant come to my study on Tuesday. Andrew was away that day at a concert in London, so I felt particularly unsafe going home. Nothing happened, really, he was just weird and brought me flowers as an apology for being 10 minutes late to my study(!!!!!!). I thought he was drunk, but I'm not sure. He interrupted me when I was giving him instructions, and didn't follow them through.
Thankfully, a fellow PhD was with me when he came in and she noticed I was uncomfortable, so she checked on me when he was in the testing room and when he was gone. I'm so grateful for her looking after me. I also talked to my second supervisor, who is a woman (and an AMAZING social psychology researcher), and she was very supportive.
Number three: After I'd had the encounter with that participant, my friend Eric came over to my desk and asked if we could talk. It didn't sound good, and he broke down in the office kitchen. I learned that his partner had passed away over a year ago, and they'd been together for four years, but Eric was denied leave at his university because they were a same-sex couple.
I started to cry myself when he said this, but I recomposed myself. I focused on listening to him, and reassuring him that it was OK not to display his grief to make a political statement, as people from his LGBT community back home asked him to; as in, make his situation public in print and stuff. He hadn't told anyone about his partner here, but he'd just told his supervisor (my second supervisor, mentioned above), and he said he considered me his sister -and there I went, almost crying again- so he had to tell me too. I realized him doing this was making his partner's death real.
Eric's been in England for about two months, and we've become very close. Personally and academically, we have similar interests. He said it was OK that I told Andrew about his partner, as they both get along well too and Eric trusts him. It was not my story to tell, but I thought Andrew would empathize with Eric over losing a loved one suddenly, when you thought you had your whole life with them ahead of you. Andrew made a comment about that when I told him about Eric's partner, so I hope at some point they both can talk about this and support each other. I can only imagine how lonely it must be to face such pain, even if you're surrounded by people.
Anyway. Those were the most relevant events this week for me. Solving the trip thing and getting over the creepy participant (I had other participants after him, delightful older people) were huge obstacles that I overcame, with a little help from my friends and taking in nicer experiences.
Now, silly stuff: the Colombian PhD student I have a crush on greeted me today. The female one. There's the male Colombian PhD student I have a crush on, but he is currently away at a conference. Anyway, she was at the office today, and stopped to say hi and called me a rather beautiful endearing term, and said casually that "we should have coffee one of these days!". She said it in a non-commital way, I was already seeing her back as she walked away, but that was enough to melt me, and in my head I went YES TO EVERYTHING. I'm not sure I can talk about this on social media, as I don't want to scare Andrew (Christ, I'm not going to act upon these silly feelings!), so I'll have to make it a Simeon comic strip. That strip has written itself already.
Speaking of Andrew, again: It was our 3rd-year wedding anniversary on Wednesday! I'm so happy with him, I love him so much. I'm so grateful for having such a loving, supportive, fulfilling relationship. I know I crush a lot and hard on other people, but he's my one and only partner, who's made me grow up so much, he's given me a home and the freedom to be myself. I adore looking at Bowie and Iman's relationship and I go "you know, I think I do have something like that!", minus the both of us being intolerably sexy and talented and rich. But that's sort of like the point: The wonderful relationship once you hold the add-ons.