The last month was empty. Empty of joy, empty of support, and loneliness and bad feelings were knocking on the door, eager to fill the void I was creating.
The house I live in on my tiny London street has lost the title of Home. Even though I try not to hate, there’s a lot of other negative characterization I would give that house. Sullen, depressing, dry of all its magic and charm.
There are two kinds of people living in my house. One group has constant work schedules, waking up at 8 am and driving out into the day, parties on the weekends and most of the weekday nights; good friends that moved in not three months ago. The next group is a pair of ex-lovers, refusing to talk to each other, look at each other passing through rooms, standing in the cold, dried up swimming pool they had swum in the summer before. Though we don’t mention it, we’re both trying to make it through this dark chapter in our lives. I’m finding friends to give me life again, I’m not sure I can say the same for her.
She haunts her room most hours of the day, and her computed plays her endless stream of podcasts like a broken record, in an attempt to compress the voices in her head telling her she’s worthless – she doesn’t use headphones. She wears old pajamas when sitting down to knit, procrastinating all of her studies. She only goes to class when she can afford to be around less than 20 people, and she fears busses and her larger lectures. I haven’t seen her in the 300 seat room we had one class in since early October. No, I wasn’t taking notes for her.
As if her absence proves that she doesn’t have much of a life, she epitomizes the negative interpretations of the phrases like, “If you want to get to know someone, go into their house,” or, “You are what you eat.” Her cat follows me into the living room each morning, sometimes at noon, to remind me she hasn’t been fed yet. Normally, there’s a pizza box left beside the trash can, though the recycling bin is 10 lazy paces and 4 downward steps away. She goes grocery shopping with her mom whenever she arrives in town to visit, and although they bought her a car, she’s recently taken to ordering groceries online. This is what living alongside someone with BPD and depression looks like. I hold my ice cube of empathy for her, but all sympathy has melted away.
My least favourite moments come when she talks to the cat as if she was on a stage. It’s easy and comforting to talk to pets; they’re your source of innocence, joy and (if they are a dog, which there is none here) unconditional love. But when she talks about something I have a stake in like dishes or an upright toilet seat, I have to keep it together and remain as still as a broken boulder. “Look, Rowena, I’m contributing to our househould!” she’d say in her I’m-so-insecure-and-I’m-going-to-make-sure-I-impress-you voice to her cat. I’m on the couch in the other room, somewhere between guilty, confused, and livid.
When I told people, “I got over her very quickly after our breakup,” I thought was telling the truth. The truth is that most people think they’re right when they’re angry. Seeing as she’s the topic I’m choosing to talk about, and this is my lifestyle journal, I don’t think I’m as over her as I thought. I think I was talking about being over our relationship. Now I’m not over her life choices. They’re really, really upsetting for me. I’m too stubborn of a person to do anything about it: to talk to her, to try and make things better, I’m too stubborn to leave and move the name from the bills.
It’s made me uncomfortable to play anything in the house. I’ve spent some nights and days in the practice rooms in the Music Building on campus, though I have an upright piano at home. I’ve spent my best nights when she’s not here. Reflecting on my thoughts on her, I feel I’m very embarrassed to be around her. I’m ashamed and frightened and not in control. I’ve spent several months of my life actively trying to make her life better, and not only have I failed and left it, I wasn’t aware that the whole time I depended on her happiness.
So many good things are outweighing the cons to breaking up. The most notable things to happen from our breakup for me included a shouting match where I brought up her dead brother, seeing people for coffee, an inconsistent meditation habit, finishing three novels, giving myself a haircut, and more walks. As far as I can see, she can only brag about how much she binges on podcasts, her week-long record of not showering, hooking up with two guys the week after we broke up (of which they only lasted an hour and a half each), and never cleaning her room since the breakup, but hey, she had finished knitting a pair of socks!
As I was finding myself, I was subtly looking for a romantic engagement. I wasn’t sure if I wanted a one-off or a serious relationship, I think it all had depended on what they wanted. Now that I’m seeing someone as of late, I’m consciously reminding myself to maintain the life I’ve built for myself. The reason all my relationships have fallen apart was that we had depended on each other too much, or at least, I had moulded my life to compliment theirs. Especially because it’s so early, I want to give us each our own space so that we always have our lives to enter back in; we can continue shaping them and growing as individuals, until the next time we meet and we can share our time again.
(I don’t believe much people read my posts, so I’ll post this out of wanting to keep stories fresh. Maybe I’ll delete this if this site ever gets a lot of attention, but I wanted to have something after 6 weeks to share. Maybe it will be an incentive to write more positive posts, and move this guy to the bottom of the list.)