Monday, 11.28.2011 - 1:52 pm.
Andrew's life doesn't revolve around gaming so I do have a very satisfactory and happy relationship with him. But he used to be in RPG, online and in the real world, and met most of his dearest friends through such activity.
They have a history so when they get together, they talk a lot about the good times (say, WoW) or talk about the current times (LoL). I don't really participate but I happen to enjoy those conversations. I'm not interested in getting involved in RPG but I would like to see one of their sessions unfold.
One of these friends, F., came from Santiago to spend the weekend in our house. Arrived saturday morning, he and Andrew spent the morning playing. Another friend dropped by for lunch. The afternoon was just Andrew and I alone but each catching up our own academic activities. In the evening, another friend, M, dropped by (this friend comes over often, he's such a nice guy) and the four of us had supper before they went to a party at night. I wasn't feeling very well and was on the verge of getting a headache.
Actually, I woke up in a strange mood on saturday. I could only suspect it had to do with my period, though I rarely have mood swings, for that or for any other reason. Also I thought a lot about Joseph, about what happened between us, in a way that's very, very, very hurtful for me. I got over that throughout, but I was still moody.
During supper, they had finally stopped talking about gaming and started talking about M's recent break-up. F was telling him some things but then stopped and said, "I can't say it, there are women here". By women he meant me. And I felt discriminated. In the end he said it, and of course it wasn't anything I'd never heard before. I wasn't mad at F, just this whole "there are women here" attitude. My ears weren't going to bleed by the word "fuck" or anything. That's a discrimination people don't think of as such.
M and F slept over. They played with Andrew on sunday morning. And on sunday afternoon. And that's when I started to get pissed off and hurt. I felt overwhelmed, asphyxiated. I had to move to the bedroom to work on the bed, because the three guys had taken over the living room/dining room with their laptops, and were talking and yelling and listening to music while they played.
I started to feel trapped. And excluded and neglected. I felt out of place, with them talking about the same thing over and over, a subject I know nothing about so I just sit in silence and listen. I started to cry, hurt and frustrated, and put on my shoes furiously because I just didn't want to be in this apartment anymore.
Andrew walked in our bedroom as I was putting on my shoes with tears in my eyes and a huge frown. He asked what was wrong and I said I was overwhelmed and didn't want to be there. I think then he realized how he had monopolized everything and said that when I returned, they wouldn't be there anymore. I told him I didn't want them thrown out, they are his friends. I cried a little in the bathroom, being so upset at him, and once I calmed down, I walked out the door saying goodbye nicely to the three guys.
I walked for about one hour and a half. I had nowhere to go, no one to turn to. That didn't bother me, though. I wanted to be alone and breathe fresh air, clear my thoughts. I cried as I walked, but also I took pictures and visited a small farmer's market. I walked around, around, around, until I got to a home improvement store and soothed myself checking out the christmas decoration.
All that time helped me put things in perspective. I was very mad at Andrew, because it was very inconsiderate how he took over the apartment and the conversations; I was suffocated by the same topic over and over and I was excluded over it. That was settled. But then, I wouldn't want him not ask him to either give up his games, let alone not have his friends over. I like his friends, I enjoy hanging out with them. As for the game, it's a hobby, not a parallel life.
When I returned to the apartment, M and F were gone. M had to go, F had also relationship troubles to sort through with a girl (which is why he had come). Andrew apologized as soon as I entered the apartment. I noticed how tidy the kitchen and the living room/dining room were.
He asked what was wrong, and I asked him why he had apologized in the first place. He said that when I left, he noticed how things were out of his control and they had indeed taken over the apartment and were being loud. I took it from there to tell him that I was pretty much pushed to be in the bedroom, and I wondered if there was really room in his life for me, because all I did that weekend was listen to him and other people talk about things I didn't understand, or share stories I was never part of.
That room-in-his-life comment was a twist. As I was walking, I'd thought about telling him I didn't want to be part of his lifestyle, but that sounded as if I wanted to break up with him. I was sore then. To be honest, for a while I even thought of looking for places to move in and leave the apartment, but I realized I was blowing things out of proportion. I was feeling very hurt and upset but it had been just this one day in particular what was causing those feelings.
We talked it out, I told him the situation and how I was feeling. He said he honestly didn't understand the magnitude of my feelings about it, and while that frustrated me, I appreciated his honesty so I could know where we were standing. He had never been in my position of feeling excluded like that so I don't think he quite understood. He asked me what could change but really, there was nothing to change: it was his hobby and his friends. He said he'd try to respect my spaces, and try to include me more in the conversations by talking about other subjects.
Even if he didn't fully empathize with my feelings (which I think in the end he did), he was very sorry, he realized what had happened and he apologized a couple of times, asking what he could do to make me feel better. I cried while we were talking and then we fell asleep. I was exhausted and he put his arm around me. I woke up still hurt and with swollen eyes, but he asked if we were ok. His openness to discuss things is very therapeutic to me, so yeah, we were.
Minutes later his friend F arrived and told Andrew that he had broken up with this girl. He talked about it over coffee and I was taken more into consideration, not because I was a "woman" and I could be offended by something, but because by now F felt more comfortable with my presence. Andrew encouraged him to talk about it while I was around, I was as much of a friend as he was.
So the evening was very nice. F spent the night with a newly found feeling of a weight off his back (he dodged a bullet, you know) and listening to The Beatles, music we both, and Andrew a bit, like. Andrew read some stuff and I hung out next to him. F took the midnight bus back to Santiago.
Today, not an emotional trace of what happened yesterday for either of us. I don't like these conflicts and luckily we don't have them often, but they really make me grow up a bit everytime and assure me that I am with a good man.
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