Sunday, Sept. 09, 2018 - 11:37 am.
I usually write a post once a week, but I need to get off my chest what happened last night. I already did, actually, in my handwritten journal, but I'm still emotional about it and I could do with more dwelling. I'll try to make it quick.
Andrew and I went to my friend I.'z birthday last night. It is our habit to show up for a while, have a bit of fun, and then come back home. That was the plan. That's always the plan and I was completely OK with it.
We met up with some friends in the city centre and walked down to the bar where the celebration would start. The music at the bar was too loud for my and, I figured correctly, for Andrew's taste, but the food and drinks were great (albeit expensive), I. was happy, and we were among friends. I was looking hot, too! I've been exercising daily for six weeks now, and I've been taking better care of my curly hair.
We'd been there for a couple of hours. Frankly, time flew by for me. Then Andrew said he was getting a headache from the loud music and asked if we should get going. Previously I'd asked him if he wanted to order something else for us to share, and he didn't because it was too expensive; rightfully so. Then I'd asked him if we could walk a bit on our way home, and he didn't. He's not a fan of walking uphill. I mean, neither am I, but I'll get to that. Anyway, his refusals didn't bother me and I sort of expected them.
The Uber came, he and I said goodbye to our friends and left. A few blocks away from the bar, something happened at the back of my head: "Wait...why am I here? I didn't want to leave the party. I wasn't ready for this to end so early". Andrew looks at me and says he now feels guilty because he didn't ask me if I wanted to stay. A long silence fell between us, as I am digesting what an idiot I am for not paying attention to myself. Andrew offered to ask the Uber to take me back, but by then we were closer to our house than to the bar, and I'd be too embarrassed to return.
We walked into the house and it was only 8 pm. There was still light outside and I had a horrible feeling that something had been taken away from me. Andrew kept feeling guilty for taking me out of the party without asking me if that was what I wanted, and I said "don't", because I was also on automatic, too dependent on him to think for myself. But it would have been great to blame him. I do, a little.
Long story short, I spent the rest of the night crying on and off, until I went to bed past midnight. It was not just that night. That has been my whole life: there's always a reason to leave early while the people you're having a great time with look at you disappointed because you're going already. And I've always been OK with that reason, whatever it is, because it seems like the easiest choice, the safest choice.
Jesus, I can barely articulate the root of my anger.
I never had the freedom to go out and have fun. I never went out with friends when I was a kid or a teenager, except to go see the first X-Men movie when I was in 8th grade (I think), and to a friend's 15-years old party where I just sat there the whole night, ever the repressed creature that I am.
I couldn't freely socialize. I know I say I didn't have a lot of friends but it's partly because I was implicitly not allowed to cultivate relationships outside school or house. Maybe "allowed" was not the word, frowned upon might be the better term. I was scared even to ask my parents if I could do this or that and, anyway, I figured they'd say no. They were too terrified of the world to let me out and hang out, specially with boys.
There was always my dad with disapproving looks. I'm tempted to say my parents, but it was my dad, and now my heart breaks for the life my mom didn't have. I didn't really celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary; just this year I recalled that I used to wish they got divorced, and I felt ashamed about that then, but I was right. My dad, while an overall decent person, has pathological traits, I see that now. He's very much suppressed my mom and made life dull and miserable for the two of them.
I know an underlying problem which drove Joseph to break up with me was my asphyxiating submission to my dad. Disapproving looks, and as I grew up, disapproving comments with a voice that'd made me tremble. When Joseph dumped me and I just couldn't bear being holed up in my bedroom, the comments my dad made about me going out included blaming me for making him and my mom worry to the point of not being able to sleep, and suggesting that if something happened to me while I was out, it'd be my fault. And, oh, something *would* happen to me, because the world is dangerous.
Andrew is not my dad; on the contrary, I've found a lot of freedom in my relationship with him, I've said it before. My marriage is not the problem here. Still, I don't think of this often, but I do resent never being able to live on my own for a while. It's no exaggeration that only a week after leaving my parent's house and moving to another country, I was already living with a man.
Granted, the man was Andrew, and he was at first my roommate/landlord, but that only lasted a couple of weeks before we were in a relationship. Which, fine, I agree with the reasons of my past self to engage with him so quickly. But still, out my window went all my chances to have a space for myself and no one but myself to look after and respond to for my actions.
Last night I realized, this is partly why I'm a nobody. I don't have stories, I don't have experiences, I have half-assed friendships that I rarely cultivate outside work-related contexts. I mean, I got better at this last bit, but I remain excluded. You can only politely refuse an invitation so many times before people get tired of inviting you. I have good memories of spending my life, literally my whole life, locked up in my bedroom, but now I'm wondering what part of that enjoyment is owed to my personality and what part to me rationalizing my dad's exhausting overprotection.
I know that maybe back in my home country this all made sense: it is indeed a very violent, dangerous place, and in particular ways for a woman. But the environment that made me lock myself up does not exist anymore, the man who was relieved that I locked myself up is an ocean away, and yet I continue responding like I still lived there. I'm out having fun but hey, let's rush back home for a number of excuses.
And so I feel like I've wasted a very important part of my life. Like with my sexuality, I feel that time and opportunities were robbed from me; I could have come closer to becoming the person I think I should have been (still the me I am today, but cool) if I had had the chance to exercise the muscle of my very own agency. Time is something you cannot take back. People say "making up for lost time", and I understand the sentiment, but you can't really do that. Last night is gone. Last night was shaping up to be a perfect night out with friends and I walked out of that. I always have.
I didn't sleep very well. I had one nightmare and one very uncomfortable dream, although neither seemed to relate to my current conflict. Regardless, I woke up twice crying, and I'm crying again. Andrew notices I'm sad and I think he still feels bad, but I don't think he understands how deep the reasons for my anger/sadness run. Here I'm free to go out...just the freedom to walk without (much) danger of harassment and assault astonishes me! But Andrew doesn't enjoy walking a lot and so I roll with it.
I'm traumatized. In a very silent, idiotic way. It is my only explanation for having been so stupid last night as to not realize what I truly wanted, and that I could have had it, and then having a meltdown about it. I don't want to compare myself to others who have been through real loss and trauma. If I compare myself to them, I only deserve to be slapped in the face for being dumb and a crybaby.