Thursday, 4 February 2010

Worse and Worse

Probably, if you'd asked him, Jeff had completely forgotten that I'd been unfaithful to him, once. Maybe he hadn't thought of it as being unfaithful. Maybe he had. Maybe he'd done the same with his ex and just never told me. Maybe, maybe, maybe. But I hadn't forgotten. It was stuck in my mind like a festering sliver. Throbbing away so painfully, but so deep under the skin you can't see it.

I knew I was unhappy, but I also knew I had to stay.

I just didn't, consciously know why.

I was still going to school and working evenings and weekends. Jeff got a part time job bussing tables in the evening, but his money went to buying gear. Amps, better guitars, alcohol, illegal substances I turned a blind eye to, but would be spoken to by the landlord about. So I covered for him. With landlords and workplaces and soon I was paying our rent, buying our groceries.

I didn't mind in some ways, because he was a genuinely talented musician and I believed he could make it.

And I loved him.

Didn't I?

I took out a student loan, the first and last I'd ever take out, to help with costs and I kept telling myself he was "the One" and that all this hardship was worth it. You can convince yourself of that sometimes when you're in a really really dark place. You can convince yourself of that sometimes when your relationship is killing your spirit. There's that whole teenage grunge angst thing that makes you feel like you're really really part of it all. Like you "get" it.

I was twenty, living on my own with my hot, musician boyfriend. I was holding down a job and University.

Why did I hate my life so much?

I probably could have ignored things with Jeff for a lot longer, but then he started sleeping on his own.

He put a mattress down in the living room and told me that his late shifts at the restaurant were so tiring he needed the sleep to himself.

He started putting me down while we were making love, pointing out the things I was doing wrong. Something in the back of my head started telling me, very quietly, that this wasn't ok. This wasn't right.

Someone who loves you *wants* to share a bed with you, no matter how tired they are. Someone who loves you appreciates you while you're being intimate, loves sleeping with you, enjoys your company. This wasn't right.

But I felt like I had no real proof, that maybe the voice in my head was wrong.

And then one night he had some friends over. I headed to bed while they were still up because I had to work in the morning. You know, to pay our rent.

When I got up to catch the bus for work the next morning, I found him cuddled up on his mattress with a girl. One of the girls had stayed over, and apparently his arms were the only place she could find to sleep.

"Nothing happened," they assured me. "Look, she's still wearing all her clothes."

But I finally agreed with the quiet voice in my head. It was over.

Now I just had to figure out how to get out.

To be continued . . .


Blogger About the girl: said...

I hope you realized that you can do better and that achy little voice in the back of your head. In your heart. Where ever it may be, is your intuition telling you that you could do better.

We've all been there, I was with a guy for 3 years and I had the same little voice yelling at me on a constant basis. He ended up cheating on me, we broke up, and he's not engaged to the girl he cheated on me with.

We can do better. We all can, it's just a matter of listening to that voice. Because it's ALWAYS right, even if we don't want to admit it.

Thursday, February 04, 2010 9:08:00 am  
Blogger Alice Ayres said...

I so know the feeling of that sticky kind of misery you should get out and the inside voice is screaming, and usually so do all your friends but for some reason (cowardliness? inexperience? feeling lost?) we do it longer than we should…until, in my case, all the love was gone and only indifferences with a little bit of hate and pity remained.

Thursday, February 04, 2010 10:37:00 am  
Blogger the one in the back said...

Well put...achingly well put.
Nothing that can be said to you can possibly make you feel better about this past situation of yours. Sadly, people your ex's case, for the worse.
Sounds like he mistook your kindness for weakness and really exploited it. What's even worse was the sacrifices you did for him. And for what?
I'm glad your instincts kicked in and told you otherwise. I'm not saying that whatever infidelity you did is justified, but you did what you had to do.
So you feel bad. You can start by forgiving yourself, and given different circumstances, you probably won't have done such a thing. Bottom line, he should've taken WAY better care of you. God knows you did.

Thursday, February 04, 2010 2:26:00 pm  
Blogger Ms Behaviour said...

So what's the real reason you felt so guilty?

Thursday, February 04, 2010 4:44:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

About The Girl, I do realize that now, yes :) And, yeah, that little voice is a good one to listen to! :D

Alice, I guess as long as we get out at some point it's ok . . . and we have to forgive ourselves for not handling it perfectly :)

TOitB, I'm pretty ok with it now, I mean you can't change what's been, right? Definitely, put in similar situation now I would react very differently. And now I know that he, yes, should have taken better care of me too.

Ms B, I think it was probably the feeling that I'd let down someone's trust and hadn't been true to what I believed in.

Thursday, February 04, 2010 5:52:00 pm  

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