Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Talking Without Words

I don’t remember what precipitated this moment or how we ended up embraced together on the couch equally sharing in the nightmare that was my depression at that point. However, it is a night that I will never forget and was never replicated for some reason. For that one night he did everything right and I was comforted. A rare and precious gift to the deeply depressed.

I was overcome with the kind of despair and sadness where words failed me. But instead of trying to draw me out of my shell and explain what was going on in my head he just gathered me up in his arms without a word. We lay on the couch together with my head nestled under his chin and my ear pressed into his chest, listening to the slow and steady beating of his heart. And I cried. While he held me silently, I cried and cried out my pain until it wasn’t just mine, but ours.

As the minutes slowly passed in silence, only broken by the crackle of the fire and the sound of his heartbeat in my ear, I found peace. While I cried, he said nothing but held me tightly, one hand softly running up and down my back, caressing my skin and soothing me. We stayed like that long after my tears had subsided and long after the fire had died down. We lay silently in the dark together and somehow without a single word passing between us, we came to an understanding and a resolution. Somewhere in that shared experience I found the strength to go on.

I knew that everything was going to be ok and you could handle it. Your actions told me that for the first time and I will always be thankful for that evening we spent together. Even now, long after we’ve gone our separate ways I remember that night when I am alone and struggling. I know that on some level you will always be by my side in the darkness and for that I love you.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Late Nights and First Kisses

“You’re not still upset about me ditching you on Monday, are you?” I teased.

“Yes,” he replied softly, intently watching me. His eyes pierced through me and I had to look away as an impudent grin flashed across my lips.

His eyes never wavered from my face. The air between us was electric and heavy as the hour grew late. Months of shameless flirting off the ice and intense competition on the ice had culminated in this moment and here we sat, in an empty parking lot as the clock crept closer and closer to sunrise.

“You’re going to hold it over me forever, aren’t you?” I countered back as I finally lifted my eyes towards him.


“So,” I said with a sigh, “what are we going to do about that?”

“You could come over here and try to make it up to me.”

A smile played over his face and there was a glimmer in his eye as he slightly leaned closer to me.

I took a breath and leaned over, my eyes closing as our lips met for the first time. The kiss was soft, yet insistent and passionate. All his bravado and ego seemed to melt away in that moment as our hands entwined and the kiss grew deeper. Reluctantly our lips parted and I rested my head on his shoulder while looking up into his eyes.

“Still upset with me?” I whispered.


I laughed as I reached up to caress his hair and bring his head lower so I could kiss him again.

“I’ve wanted to do that for so long,” He said quietly, almost to himself, after we parted for the second time. His hand played through my hair and stroked my cheek as we just grinned at each other, the sun turning the inky darkness a soft mottled pink around the horizon.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Car Trouble

“I really appreciate your Dad looking at my car the other day. I hope he didn’t mind.”

“No, it was fine. He likes that kind of thing. He was just a little surprised to see you is all.”

“Well, tell him again I said thanks.”

There is a pause in the conversation as I watch the scenery pass on our way back to the University town. It is a sunny, warm day for early November and very reminiscent of our drives together as a happy couple.

“He said you looked sad.”

“Oh…” I reply, as I turned silently to look out the window, tears welling up in my eyes as I try to will myself not to let any tears fall down my cheek.

A day earlier I had run into some trouble with my car overheating unexpectedly, while in Mr. Intellectual’s neighbourhood. For some reason my cell phone had died on me and I didn’t know where else to go. It only seemed natural to stop at his house to borrow the phone and get a little help. It had been over a year since I had last seen either of his parents and I don’t think he’s spoken to them about what happened between us, or that we’re still friends. All they know is I don’t call or come over anymore and he’s dating someone else who they have yet to meet.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Why is it?

Why is it that when I'm sad I eat, and when I'm angry I drink?

Why is it that I have no idea how to attract the nice guy that I like, but it's all too easy to attract Mr. Wrong?

Why is it that continued interactions with Mr. Intellectual make me feel depressed and completely worthless?

And why is it that if this is the case, I continue doing the things I do?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Self Esteem

I wake up in the morning and look at myself in the mirror. I stare deeply into the dark green eyes looking back at me from the girl in the mirror. I marvel at the shape of her full lips and the curve of her neck as it meets the jaw line. The tousle of blonde hair fresh from bed elicits a small grin and for that moment, alone in the silence of the early morning I believe I am beautiful. In that moment as I look myself in the eyes I know I am a smart, capable young woman who is every bit as beautiful and accomplished as any other woman.

Reality, or unreality, sets in as soon as I walk out the door and I am flooded with a sense of shame when I see the other women I thought I could compete with. All appearances of confidence melt away as each passing woman is sized up and I am found lacking- they’re thinner, better hair, better skin, perfect make up and more ‘put together’ clothes. It doesn’t matter that in the darkest recesses of my unconscious mind I know I am just as gorgeous and probably smarter than these women, but my self-esteem can’t compete with the constant loop of negative chatter in my head. It is like this all the time.

This is what bothered me the most in my previous conversation with Mr. Intellectual. She is better than me. I was never able to measure up, no matter how selfless I was, no matter how generous I was with my time, with my heart, with a million little things I did for him. In the end, I just wasn’t good enough. I felt it in the relationship and now that he’s found someone else I am reminded of it almost every time we speak. She’s thinner, more sexually adventurous, happier, smarter, and more worldly. The list goes on and on. However, the most telling thing for me is his behaviour towards her. More specifically the things he would do for her and has done for her that in six years together he couldn’t or wouldn’t do for me. Actions speak louder than words and in a couple of days he will be flying a continent away to spend over a month with her in Europe. He couldn’t even find the time for almost two years to come visit me just over an hour away at my University.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Rose of Sharon

When I'm not busy with MA things and work I enjoy cross-stitching. I recently started a new pattern, Mirabilia's "Rose of Sharon." I don't know exactly how many hours I've worked on it so far but my best guess is somewhere around 15-20 hours. I was hopping to give it to my mother for her birthday, but I know I won't be remotely close to finishing this piece before April 3rd. So, perhaps I'll give it to her for Christmas?

This is what it will look like when I'm all finished. 'Rose of Sharon' is the second piece I've stitched on linen. The first one took me almost 2 years to finish, partially because I let it sit in my drawer for nearly 9 months, and partially because it took me a while to become comfortable stitching on linen. All my other projects had been done on aida cloth and were all quite small in comparision.

Mirabilia's Rose of Sharon

Thursday, February 16, 2006

“…it was an 8, or 9.”

Maybe I was asking to get hurt, but last night for some reason Mr. Intellectual and I got into a discussion about our former relationship over MSN. The crux of our conversation focused around our sex life after wandering around a few other avenues I was curious about- like when I packed on the pounds near the end of our relationship and I got “a little…big” as he phrased it. One very interesting revelation he brought forth of his own volition was that he finally took a cold hard look in the mirror and realized he was, in his words, a “conceited little twat” and is now trying to rectify the situation. Not an easy thing to do and I’m happy he finally acknowledged one of the main reasons why I had to leave, although I’m not sure he’s made that connection since he did not express that.

So, what precipitated the talk on our former love life? Curiousity finally got the better of me and in a moment where we were discussing things with a level of honesty we haven’t shared in quite some time I just flat out asked. While the answer was somewhat surprising to me, it wasn’t all that unexpected. Overall he rated our sex life an 8 or 9 out of 10, with one of the biggest problems being quantity over quality. We lived over an hour apart for the better part of 4 years and he rarely came up to see me at school, so that was always a major source of contention and an obvious damper on the frequency scale. He also stated that he would ideally like sex twice a day, everyday, which was a bit of a surprise since we rarely did that even when we had the entire weekend together with no interruptions.

There were two areas in what he called, ‘fundamentals’ that were lacking in order to make it a 9 or 10 all the time. What was it that would bump me up to a 9 or 10? Anal sex. While he includes this as part of the fundamentals of good sex, along with blowjobs and a multitude of positions I see it as more of an extra. I always knew he was extremely interested in trying this out, but whenever I tried to discuss it seriously with him he’d joke around and shy away from it. My basic stance on anal is that if my partner agrees to go first then I’ll gladly give it a shot. However, after a couple of years with him I was open to the idea, but it was one of those things that I wasn’t going to do without discussing it first and agreeing on a few things. He could never talk about it honestly with me, so it never happened. He described it as being quite amazing and a very intimate act, while I replied that it has an element of the dominant/subordinate relationship that I wasn’t all that into along with a measure of humility.

The second factor that prevented me from achieving that mythical 10 were my knees. I badly injured my knees at 16 while snowboarding in an ice storm and had trouble spending a lot of time on them. I don’t think it helped that shortly thereafter I started spending extended periods on me knees in his parents basement on a concrete floor covered with a cheap, high-traffic pile carpet with little to no padding. Don’t get me wrong it was fun at the time, but not the smartest thing for my poor knees. The consequence for my stupidity was that I had to be careful during sex so as not to cause more pain. Which meant that I couldn’t do woman on top, or the doggy position for too long before my knees would be in too much pain and I’d have to switch to something else. This was always a disappointment to him and I knew it, so that response came as no surprise. It didn’t help that my subsequent weight gain exacerbated the condition. Surprisingly my knees are doing a lot better these days. I lost the weight and I started working out and stretching to strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments in my knees and I rarely, if ever, experience the kind of pain I was in during our relationship.

Overall his answers were not all that unexpected in and of themselves. I knew that I was giving him what he wanted and unselfishly giving of myself to the point were it became a one way street, while he had no idea how unsatisfied I was at times. His selfishness spilled over into the bedroom and it affected how I felt and responded to him. I started to withdraw sexually months and even years prior to our break up because I wasn’t getting what I needed from him outside the bedroom to feel completely uninhibited when we were together. The natural giver in me started to die because it wasn’t being nurtured and appreciated. The reciprocation and consideration were missing and it led to a lot of hurt feelings and resentment, even to this day. The legacy of which has spilled over into my subsequent relationships, or lack thereof and cause me a great amount of concern.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

It Wasn't All That Bad

I know I’ve talked a lot of angst and hurt feelings between Mr. Intellectual and I, however it was not all that bad. In fact when it worked, it worked very well between the two of us and I miss a lot of that.

I miss ‘rummaging’ in the couch together, which entailed cuddling, tickling, kissing, watching movies, laughing together and most importantly spooning for hours on end.

I miss cooking dinner together, and how he’d wrap his arms around my stomach and cradle his chin on my shoulder while I stirred the pasta or we waited for something to bake in the oven. He’d nuzzle behind my ear and kiss the back of my neck, which was a well-known weakness I had. Every time we did this together I’d fall in love with him all over again.

I miss our late night talks in front of the dying embers of a fire, wrapped in a blanket and entwined together as we discussed politics, current events, history, philosophy, movies, school, books, and how much we loved each other.

I miss catching his eye across a crowded room and the silent understanding that would pass between us like lightening.

I miss cradling his head on my chest while I ran my fingers through his hair and we dreamed in silence together.

I miss how it felt when we made love. The smell and feel of his skin and the way his pupils would dilate until I couldn’t see the ice blue of his irises anymore, just the intense darkness of his pupils as we locked eyes. Until the day I die I will never forget his eyes. They were one of the first things I noticed and the last thing I will forget about him. They are an incredible shade of blue, with a small dot of brown in the left eye right beside the pupil. He hated that ‘flaw’, but I loved it because it was part of what made him, him.

I miss driving around in the car together with our hands entwined over the gearshift.

I miss tracing the curves and shapes of his naked body with my fingers. Feeling the muscle and bone structure and how everything fit so perfectly together.

But mostly, I just miss how happy we were to be together and it didn’t matter what we were doing, what mattered is that we were doing it together.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Emotional Blackmail

For the last several months I’ve allowed a “friend” to emotionally blackmail me. Why? Part of me just didn’t want to deal with it and the instability that this person exhibited. I had bigger things going on and I have difficulty standing up for myself at the best of times. I was hoping against hope that the person would come to and exhibit a newfound maturity and we could perhaps be real friends. Obviously that hasn’t happened and most likely won’t.

Today I stood up for myself. After another confusing and angry outburst from the “friend” over email I could not sit back any more and allow myself to be controlled by their actions. I’m fed up with allowing people to walk all over me so I firmly, but politely severed all contact. It is something that I have been trying to do for the past 5 months or so.

Next I need to work on the skills necessary for a polite rejection. I’m horrible with letting men who are interested in dating me know that I’m not interested in a second or third date. Like the typical woman I have difficulty being assertive. I absolutely hate confrontation and disappointing people, especially if I have to see them again in the future. However, by not making my feelings known and standing up for myself I only make things worse and unnecessarily allow it to negatively affecting my daily life.