Thursday, September 13, 2018

El Cajon - the Big Box Man

I haven't posted about personal stuff for a while and eeeeeverybody loves a good story, so here goes.  I didn't want to write about it before so I wouldn't jinx it.  I also had to put a little distance on this because it was still too raw to write about recent events.

I fell in love about a year and a half ago.   We moved in together. He cooked amazing breakfasts for me and took my dog for long walks.  We called each other constantly, sent text messages and little video clips.  We spent Saturdays in bed watching movies and eating popcorn.  He became (after a learning curve) amazing at doing things for me on special occasions like decorating on my birthday and Valentine's Day, flowers, cards, little surprise gifts.    It was long-distance at first which made it hard, but building blocks towards something bigger.  He was 100% loyal.  I never had to question him with other women or doubt my trust in him.  It was all very comfortable and natural and the kind of relationship most of us hope for.  But nothing is ever perfect in any relationship.

Sidebar:  I always struggle with pseudo names on the blog to keep the characters anonymous.  He's from a suburb of San Diego, so I'll call him, "El Cajon."  I didn't realize that the English translation of El Cajon is "big box" or "drawer".  Fascinating....  Maybe I should just call him "Big Box" since he's a big guy of 6'4".

The Dream:  I believe in the messages contained in dreams.  I rarely have dreams with this amount of clarity and emotion:   Several weeks before meeting him, I had a dream that I was in love with a very tall American man who worked at Camp Pendleton in California.  He was leaving to go back to California (to see his daughter) and said he would return as soon as he could.  He had a black dog named Sara that was always next to him.  Before he left, he gave me a necklace with 3 hearts; one was engraved with "happy birthday", the second with "Happy Valentine's Day" and the third was blank.  He walked away and I literally woke up sobbing and screaming, "Don't go!"  I also still felt completely in love with this dream man.   (Ironically, EC is very tall and worked at Camp Pendleton and is American.  He didn't used to like dogs, however, and to the best of my knowledge, doesn't have a daughter - who knows.  Overall - very accurate.)

I met him when his cousin brought him to my apartment.  He was visiting from San Diego and looking for a job - could I help?  Our eyes locked and we spent the next few hours talking like we had known each other for years.  I love those experiences; old souls, who you have only just met.  He was going back to San Diego after first going to visit his brother in Muscat and asked me if there was any way I could go there to see him for a few days.  I booked a room at the Al Husn at the Shangri La.  We had a 3-day honeymoon and that was it;  THE most romantic 3 days of my life:  Wine delivered to the room at sunset that we drank on the terrace. A private beach that we went to every day; ate hamburgers and had mojitos on the beach.  Hours just hanging out and talking.  (Followed by other romantic trips like taking a private jet to Turks & Caicos with my family - courtesy of my sister -  trips to Savannah and several to Virginia.)  (Although, notably, I was never invited to San Diego to meet his parents - yet we regularly spoke on the phone.)

I should explain that I know El Cajon's entire extended family in Kuwait.  I have known them for 2 decades.  His cousin, Hmood, has been like a brother to me over the years.  So, it made it easy to be with EC, already knowing a lot about him.  EC got to know - and become - part of my family.

Getting to know you....getting to know all about you....

EC has a quick temper and a stubborn streak (both unfortunate attributes that I also possess; Pisces and Aries; water and fire) and with any little argument, he would call, "drama" and want to bolt.  (I love the fact that he said, "You're too Arab.  You're full of drama.")  By drama - I'm not a runner, I try to work it out. Maybe not using the best communications skills I should, but at least I communicate.  But... I get it; that's the way people are now.  Instead of communicating like the adults (we supposedly) are, people choose just to leave.  There are no more real, lasting relationships because people (one or the other) just aren't willing to put in the effort.  People (usually men) these days just choose to hook up without a serious relationship (because that would entail work and perceived "drama").

By the way, my philosophy on ANYONE who says, "I hate drama" is usually the main perpetrator of drama.  That should be an immediate flag.

So whenever we had a problem, I would usually back down and be quiet (rather than being accused) and we would still have unresolved issues (which gee - is just what happens when you can't or won't communicate).  Little things snowball into big things, resentment builds up.

The few times we had problems that I openly discussed, he would get furious (and he's not a shouter or an arguer, but an inwardly-furious, smoldering, storm-brewing person).  You can tell by the evil looks, the head turns, and the passive-aggressive "punishment"; usually in days of silent protests or disappearing acts.  It happened a few times.  Ok, I understand the concept of "space" but say the words, "Can you give me a little while to process.  I need space... a break."  Be a man and just effing SAY it, don't disappear.  (Like last Christmas when he went to visit his family and didn't call me/pulled a disappearing act from Christmas Eve until several days after Christmas!  That's just mean.)

I guess I should have caught the thing he said to me in Savannah, "Don't make me angry or I'll leave you."  I didn't remember it until later. There were signs...

So when we had an argument that started with deodorant (did I just say "deodorant"?  Yes, I did), it ended with him saying that he was going to move out.  It wasn't just about deodorant.  I was in the process of closing on a house that I bought in the US and under a lot of pressure and asked him to help me with some stuff around the house.  He said he doesn't do housework and he "never goes in the living room, so why should I clean it?  I warned you.  I'm under a lot of stress!" (work-related apparently, not closing on a house).  It was one of the few times I pushed back instead of trying to placate the situation.  THREE days of silence later, when he's still in the apartment, I asked him if he was ok to cuddle again.  "No, I'm moving out at the end of the month."   I felt numb.   No one likes threats.  'Ok fine.  Why wait 2 weeks.  Leave now.'  So he did.... and proceeded to tell friends and my family (not me) that I had kicked him out and that he really wasn't going to move out permanently; he just needed space.

My sisterfriend said that living with me and my purchase of a house was maybe too much for him; and that perhaps he felt pressured/controlled/confined -  like I expected him to move into suburban life someday and become a husband.  That was not my intent.  Real estate has always been part of my plan with or without him. The house is for my (and my dog and cats) future.  And he's welcome to buy his own real estate.  I wasn't trying to box him in.  It was an investment!  MY investment.  EC was the one who asked to move in with me in the apartment.  But again, if he felt this way - or any other - he could have articulated it to me.  Use your words.

Sidenote:  I visited with a psychic-medium later and I hadn't told him anything about him.  As she was leaving my house, I said, 'I had a boyfriend, but he dumped me a few weeks before I got this house....'  Her immediate response (without skipping a beat) was, "Oh that was planned.  He was trying to find a way to break it off with you before you even saw the house but he was just waiting to accomplish his goals."  Sonofabitch!

When I had the man-balls 2 week after he walked out to ask him to talk about things, he told me (gleefully with a sparkle in his eye - guess he wanted to retaliate some more)  that he "didn't know how to tell me" this, but he "wants to be just friends."  I suggested we maybe go talk to a therapist and work on our communication.  "No!  I like the way I am and I'm not going to change.  I know myself."  He ended the very emotional conversation (ok I was emotional) with, "Have a good night."  Have a good night?  How the phuck am I supposed to have a good night?  Or those to follow?

I love hard; I hurt hard.  I'm not going to apologize for it.  I am who I am.  I stay hurt for a long time.  

I usually don't want  to get involved in another relationship for a long time either.  I wasn't looking for him when he (quite literally) walked through my door.  I was content with my dog and K9 hobby lifestyle.  So, I'm going back to that.  Unfortunately, I have to see this guy every.day (except weekends).  Every day.  Why?  Because I found him a job - and close.  That makes it very difficult and emotionally-trying for me.  I've asked him to leave.  It has got to be humiliating for him.  But he won't.

I've tried to be "just friends" and put on a professional, business-like appearance, but that's not working for me. I'm not a hypocrite (read the poem I wrote in another post, "I can't be just your friend").  I don't have a poker face and I usually end up taking jabs whenever I can.  Then I feel guilty because that is unkind.

I don't want to believe that he got what he wanted out of our relationship and just put an end to it. That quite simply, he didn't/doesn't want me.  Was it all fake?  Was I being used?  I don't want to believe that all the help I gave him in lifting him up in his career (and his confidence) was for nothing.  Little things like regularly sending encouragement cards or gifts when he wanted to quit an go back to San Diego and messages; bigger things like financial assistance that was promised to be returned and never was (it isn't about the money, it is about the content of his character).  Now that he's doing VERY well and I needed his help, he walked out when he knew I needed him.

Those actions (not words in the air) resonated, making me question/doubt all that came before.  How can you just walk out in a day on someone you love?  How can you - in days and months to follow - look them in the eye and act like you never knew them romantically and shared that life?  That you're just some kind of business associate?

"You're too kind, you give to much."  I'm not going to apologized for it. I am who I am.  And unless you prove me wrong, I'm going to be kind to you.  

And I'm no angel and I'm not blaming him for everything, but for sure for how he "made a decision" (as he said)  to end it abruptly without trying.  Like we meant nothing and it wasn't worth it for him. He decided FOR me. For us.  For a future together.   I never cheated or lied or did any of that.  I was 100% loyal and he (and his family) could (and did) count on me for just about anything.  But, I'm also stubborn and have a firey temper (usually lasts in a hot flash and then disappears just as quickly).  Do I believe that I am worth fighting for? Hell yes.  No one is perfect.  No one has things they can't improve upon.  I just thought it would be together, so I felt (and feel) terribly betrayed.  It was the way he "decided" to do it.

I spent several months wishing we could work it out.  Trying my best.  Sending him messages that were never returned.  The only return he gave me was on business matters.  I know - I humiliated myself by sending him messages, and maybe I should have played some kind of a game, but I tried.  One returned, "I miss you too" would have made me happy.  I say that phrase to my real friends almost every day.   I've never ended a relationship with someone that I couldn't be friends with - or acted like he hated me or just ignored me.  I find it very uncomfortable and not-at-all necessary.  Especially since we run into each other on a daily basis.  Especially since our families know each other.

Dear, well-meaning, well-intentioned friends and family have told me, "move on" or "stop bringing up his name." Yes, I get it.  They mean well.  But hearing those words seems to diminish how I feel and how much it all meant to me and what I feel was done TO me.  It's grief.  It is mourning. The person I knew has died, replaced by someone I don't know.   We all deal with it in our own ways.   I read something recently that said, "the mind has been altered by the trauma where the person can't forget, and therefore can't let go - regardless of how much effort they put into trying. .... this spiritual/positive/inner peace stuff may be invalidating."  They have to deal with it.  And in my own way, I write about it.  Or write poetry about it.  Or bore my poor mother to distraction by talking about it.

And this to the small-minded/nothing-better-to-do blog haters out there... you are now going to send me anonymous mail saying, "I see you're with another fuckboy again...." or, "You keep picking losers" or "the wrong ones."   Bring it on, little bitches and pray that karma isn't watching you because it all comes around.  I am strong enough to handle anything your words can throw my way.

In my years of running this blog, I have realized/learned/been educated on the fact that everyone has problems (and if you have turned your energy into hate directed towards others - then you, my friends DO have a problem).  Most people are not vocal about relationship problems.  It's private.  Even fewer discuss their relationships publicly on the internet. (In private, I write him daily letters that I will never send.  I vent how I really feel about detailed, specific events with him and it is VERY therapeutic!)   It's unfortunate that I'm no longer blog-anonymous as I used to be, but I don't do this to hurt anyone (or gain anything other than the comfort of writing my own words) and I wouldn't write about it if I thought he would ever see this.  This is my therapy.  And perhaps it will make someone else feeling bad feel a little stronger knowing that we all have struggles together.

Everything is meant to be; good or bad.



6 comments:

layla said...

Awwwwh, I'm so sorry hun. He sounded like a winner in the beginning and it just sucks how things have taken a nasty turn. I can't believe you now have to see him everyday. And you've done so much for him too. Congratulations on the house though. I love how you're looking after yourself and not waiting for The Man. Stay strong. Mmmuuah!

Desert Girl said...

Thanks, Layla. I chatted with his niece a few days ago and she said how grateful he is for the help I've given him. I should have been grateful for the gratitude, but I felt kind of like some kind of distant benefactor from a charitable organization instead of a partner. I know I'm being too sensitive. (I didn't tell her as much - just thanked her.)

Desert Girl said...

Layla - and thank you for the congratulations on the house. I should have bought one YEARS ago when I first got to Kuwait. It would have been paid off by now and I would have had a "base". I love it and someday my dog will love inheriting it I'm sure. :)

The Mad Hatter said...

So sorry to hear about this, i have never commented on your blog although i read it from afar and am amazed how kind and strong you are mashallah i know the feeling when people say move on and think it's so easy that we can forget memories just like that! i loved this quote by Nejwa Zebian Never wish them pain. That's not who you are. If they caused you pain, they must have pain inside wish them healing that's what they need and i couldn't agree with her more.

Inrab70 said...

Heal well, take care of your health, screw that guy and most importantly congratulations on the housseee!!

Christina Avanesian said...

Sorry you had to go through this babe! Sending you lots of love and positive energy.