There are many, many emotions flying around right now – partly because of my parents being here, partly because of the change of seasons, partly because my ex is sending the wrong messages, and partly because I’m pretty sure I’m pms’ing hard.
This past Sunday, after little sleep (as always) and walking around the city with my parents all day, I went over to Boyfriend’s to sleep – as has become the habit. My mom said she’s surprised he hasn’t just told me to move in yet. I’m there 5 out of 7 nights, I have keys, space in his wardrobe for half my clothes, and I’ve taken over his bathroom. However – it’s been not even a full 2 months yet (not that that seems to matter, at the pace we’re going) and his flat is only one room. As in, there’s a small bathroom, a small kitchen area, and then one big room that functions as bathroom/living room. Though I’m pretty sure once he buys the 3-room flat in January, that he told me about, my current flatmate will have to find a new flatmate.
I wasn’t ready for this – to give up finally enjoying my solo time and to be reabsorbed into another relationship so soon. However, it happened. And he’s too good to pass up. And unlike a certain former boyfriend of mine, I’m capable of embracing this good thing without regrets or backward glances.
I’m at a point right now where I’m wondering how much to tell him, how much to share. I’m a blank page with him – I am only what he knows of me now. The past is the past and I am what I’ve worked hard to become over the past few years. I’ve traded in my get-him-with-sexual-innuendo tactics for showing what an excellent domestic goddess and mother I’d be. The Ex and I bonded over sex. The Current and I bonded over our commitment to relationships and desire for family & home.
How much of the past do you bring into a new relationship? There’s some things, like my brief stint as a stripper 12 years ago, that, while I don’t think he’d judge me, he wouldn’t like it very much, and I can leave behind because there’s really no point in telling him. It’s in the past and I wasn’t exactly famous or anything that someone might come along one day, see me, and yell, “Hey!! Aren’t you that stripper from such and such club?”
But then there’s things like the abortion I had, with my then boyfriend of 4 years, when I was 21. On one hand, I say it’s none of his concern because it was 9 years ago. On the other hand, what if it comes up in conversation and he wishes I’d told him? Good Catholic boy that he is, he’s **not pro-choice (though not fanatical or evil about it). I’m strongly pro-choice. Though, having had one, I’ve always felt that I never wanted to be “one of those girls” who has two abortions. So I know that if there were to be an accident now, I couldn’t and wouldn’t do it again. (Which is a conversation we really need to have, because in our fanaticism over each other and the new sex, we’ve not been too careful – which, I KNOW better, but I’m not used to thinking about such things. I went off the pill back in March because, after 14 years, I wanted a break – but I think I might have to go back on it again, for the time being, as long as it doesn’t make me crazy.) So yes, this is a conversation we have to have. So do I tell about the past or no?
Then there’s my mental health. Which isn’t really a past thing – it’s very much present, always. But do I talk about the past to illustrate the present, or as a warning? Last winter was very bad for me. VERY bad. Aside from all the things that were happening in my life at the time, the winter was long and dark and hit everyone pretty hard. I was drugged up, heavily. The drugs (the antidepressants and antianxiety pills and EXTRA anti anxiety pills for the mornings and te sleeping pills) didn’t do much good in fighting off the major symptoms – the black depression, the raging anxiety that had me wanting to jump in front of trams just to escape my pounding heart, the lack of sleep & accompanying horrific exhaustion, as well as the insane emotional outbursts that had me screaming and wailing at Ex Boy about how I’d go home and slice up my arms further if he didn’t just shut up and be more emotionally available… yes, I was one of those. The pills didn’t do shit for the symptoms. But they DID keep me in a drugged up stupor enough to make me pass out every night before I could do any real damage to myself. You may read this and think I’m nuts or something along the lines of, “Oh my god, you freak, what’s wrong with you…” but if that’s your attitude towards mental illness there’s not much I can say to make you understand. It runs in my family, big time. It’s par for the course, for me. Normal.
So how much of this do I tell Soldier Boy? It’s not that I think he can’t handle it. I’ve already had moments – a morning where I woke up cranky and out of it, my head in a fog and heart racing. I glibly said that my problems with the season had started. He asked how long it would last. 6 months, I said. If I’m lucky. He nodded and went to the kitchen to make me coffee. Then he came back with my coffee, set the cup down and gave me a hug.
So last night, after the day with my parents, I got to his place and all I wanted to do was cry. For many reasons. He was cleaning the flat, and I insisted on doing the dishes, though he tried to insist that I just sit down and relax because I looked exhausted. He hugged me, and I started to cry all over his shirt. He has this way of … noticing things, and taking it in, quietly. He kept a close watch on me, made his presence known, but let me pretend I had successfully hid my little episode. He’s an angel, this kid. In so many ways. And I wonder… or I know, that there are parts of me he’ll never know or have full access to – because there are parts of me that no one ever will, and not even Ex Boy did. But there’s a bigger part of me that feels fiercely protective and devoted to him, in a way that… well, I’d be really surprised (and sad) if this ever turned and went badly.
It’s funny. I thought, with Ex Boy, that he was the one and only for me. I thought that if I ever lost him I’d be devastated beyond recognition, and wouldn’t be able to feel anything for a long, long time. I had a few months where I felt like my life was falling apart and I’d never get my shit together, but I did. I bounced back pretty quick, actually, and here I am running towards something good. THIS one, I think, would really have an affect if it ended. The little weasel wiggled his way right into my life. And I’m glad for it.
So my original point. How much do I tell. Logically, I know he’d be able to handle it. Psychologically, or… the fucked up part of me is terrified. I told him today that sometimes I think he’s too good for me. He is all that is good and right with the world. He’s a guy who’s had one one-night stand in his life and still feels badly about it (no, really – I said he’s a saint.) Oh, dear god. One night stands? I’ve had far more of those than actual boyfriends or even dates. Then there’s the drugs and weekends of binge drinking. Errg.
I’ll spend the next few days picking through the boxes of memories and stupid-shit-done in my life, and deciding what to share. The thing is, with me, I know that so much of this comes up or is a part of why I think the things that I do today – my opinions have changed so much on different topics.
So really… how much do you tell?