I showed up the other night and she was great to offer to help me with a project before we went to small group (this is how great she is!). It was taking video of this box set I made for sale and she suggested we do it with Instagram Reels. So she showed me how and we worked on it together. But 15 minutes later I was so discouraged. About half of what she said was frustrating to me. Like she’d say something that just seemed dissonant to me, like it knocked me off kilter, or she didn’t understand or didn’t assume things I thought most people would. This isn’t supposed to feel this hard, I thought. And it felt like it was always like this.
We went to Small group and she had to join a quick facetime meeting in the car for her job. She was great. I was proud of her and I told her so. I was feeling better. We arrived and the small group started out fine. I felt like I just accepted who she was as good, and that made anything she would do just fine. But eventually a couple things she said sounded irrelevant to the conversation or felt a little bit behind or baby-ish or something. It made me a little unsettled but I was still doing okay. But as we got into the Bible study discussion some more things sounded that way and I was tanking. We were going from person to person giving updates and I told them I was planning to marry B in the summer sometime. But it was tough saying that when I’m feeling such discomfort.
Why do my feelings fluctuate so drastically, and the status of our relationship feel so extreme good or bad? As the discussion went on, I had to remind myself I just like her presence next to me and I did.
But still, by the time we left, I was triggered hard core. Why did I always have this discomfort? Why did it feel so dissonant when we worked on the box together. Why is this always a problem? These were the questions in my head.
I have been trying to tell myself recently something my rOCD counselors had told me: be okay with the discomfort. I think this is a great tool; this would have helped me but I was gone beyond recovery. I’m not even sure what did it. What she said. I wish I could tell you. Maybe it was just the pressure of telling all her friends I planned to marry her, because that is the answer they had been wondering.
That night I spent the night (resolved to behave sexually) and as we lay next to each other I told her, “I’m not doing well. I just don’t understand what to do. Sometimes I just get so frustrated with our communication. I get disappointed. Like half of the time.”
She was sad. I didn’t need to say that. She said she guessed she wanted to know so that she knew how to pray for me, but that it didn’t feel good. I felt a little relieved, getting that off my chest but I was making her carry it.
The next day I went for a run, worked out with a friend and met up with her. We did more video stuff and this time it was wonderful.
I need to tell myself it isn’t “always” hard. That day she spent like 5 hours helping me with the box project and it was great. I felt so much love because she was investing in my project. We were so kind.
So I told myself, I need to mark these moments so that I can remember them as strongly as I remember the negatives. And I did mark how I felt in my memories, but as I thought back, I also remembered plenty of things she said that bothered me.
Here are a couple quick examples, and you can tell me I’m ridiculous. We were looking for a big envelope to put the box (a 2″ tall shoebox size) into. We were looking for one that was similar to one that held something I had received recently. We passed by some that looked the same to me except for the color and said, “What about these?” She said they aren’t tall enough. I looked at her like, what are you talking about. I said something like, “They box will make them tall.” In my mind it was just like the other envelopes. Any envelope would look thin before you put something in it. It sounded incredibly stupid to me. Turned out that was the one we got.
Then she said she had to find the restroom. She looked toward the back, didn’t see it and then started walking toward the front. The front looked very unlikely to have it and I glanced to the back and saw it. “It’s back there.” I held that against her too. How did she not know it would be in the back of the store? Aren’t they pretty much always back there?
Then we were watching a movie, Captain Marvel, putting together the boxes. A big part of the movie was these shape shifters. And at one point she asked something like, “Oh, how did that lady turn into one of the aliens?!”
“They’re shapeshifters, hunny,” I said. At least I didn’t tank like I did last week when she asked what I thought was a really obvious question about the movie Avatar.
I just have to let those go. It’s hard though, when I’m trying to remember good moments, and many of the things she said just seemed wrong like these. But she did a miracle with organizing and packing these boxes. And I told her over and over how amazed I was at that. I just can’t focus on the things I didn’t like she said. I need to remember she had amazing smarts in how to put together these boxes, and as a team we got the job done.
I talked to my brother tonight and he reminded me not to tell everybody about my qualms with Betty. And don’t tell Betty hurtful things if they’re not productive. I think that is one of my compulsions: to tell her the thing that bother me. It makes me feel better.
But I remember telling a girlfriend she looked kind of fat in a sweater when she asked. She could tell I was shut down and kept pushing for what I was thinking. Now I realize I probably gave her a psychosis.
January 8, 2021