Friday, March 22, 2013

Well, then.

He broke up with me last night. It kind of came out of the blue-- I thought he seemed really happy to spend time with me on Monday-- and I was pretty heartbroken because I really liked him. Sure, there were things that needed to be worked on, but we talked about stuff on Tuesday, and I thought things were good. Granted, on Tuesday he also told me that he would be happier and find me more attractive if I weighed less, but he said he still thought I was cute. I was pretty embarrassed and a bit hurt, but I asked to talk to him about it, we made plans to talk yesterday, and I thought things would be fine. But after I brought up my concerns about his comments on my weight last night, he just said he was losing excitement and interest in me, and didn't think there was enough to keep the relationship going. He brought up some issues I had been working on, but it was basically that he didn't find me attractive anymore so he wasn't willing to give me any time to work on those things.

I cried for a while last night. It certainly didn't help that I've been feeling the effects of the anniversary for a while (tonight is pretty much the main night), and he was originally going to come up and spend the weekend because he knew it'd be rough for me. I think part of what hit me hard was how it seemed he pretty much wanted me to accept that he wasn't interested in me anymore and just go away. He didn't want to discuss anything. He didn't mention wanting to be friends. He basically just wanted me to say "ok," stop talking, and disappear from his life. I don't think he ever wants to speak to me or see me again. I'm a bit bewildered and hurt. I know we hadn't been dating for all that long, but to just suddenly and completely kick someone out of your life like that? Especially just because you think they're too fat? On Tuesday he seemed ok with the fact that I was working on my weight, but I guess he decided he wasn't willing to wait after all, and I wasn't worth even being friends with.

Last night was hard for a while, but it turns out I have amazing friends, and I am stronger than I realize. My self-esteem has been suffering for a while (I'm used to feeling bad about my body, but it's rare and discomfiting to feel stupid-- but he was brilliant), so I spent some time just feeling really shitty about myself. But then after talking to friends and going through half a box of tissues, I wrote some bad poetry for myself-- ok, I don't think it even counts as poetry (it's a list of affirmations that are not in complete sentences and are creatively indented :P)-- but somehow that did the trick, and I am feeling better about the breakup. It feels like it's started to heal; I just need to not poke at the scab too much.

So now the pressing issue is the anniversary, because my plans to spend it with him got thrown out the window last night. I'll spend time with friends, and I'll manage tonight and the rest of the weekend somehow. I guess I just need to focus on the fact that despite some setbacks, I've been doing pretty well with moving on with my life. The trauma doesn't define me anymore. While I will always consider myself a survivor, I am also a vet student, a researcher, a friend, and perhaps most importantly (:P), a slave to 2 adorable kittens. There are people in my life who love me, and I have to believe that they see something in me that makes me worth caring about.

Here's to five years.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

In Which Time Marches Onwards

The end of March is approaching. It will be five years. I worried a little that the fact that it would be five years would somehow make this anniversary different, more difficult, somehow-- I guess because people and organizations tend to celebrate five-year reunions? I keep getting emails from my undergraduate class about the five-year reunion coming up. I should have graduated with them, but I didn't because of what happened the first weekend of my senior spring. I could still attend (Dartmouth considers you part of the class you entered with and not the class you graduated with), but I'm not sure I'd want to go back to campus anyway. I went back for an important meeting at my fraternity that solidified and implemented the change in the permanency clause, and I thought maybe that would help me feel kinder or fonder feelings towards them again, but when I looked at how they were going to conduct trials, and when they asked me to recount my story and be available for questioning by the undergrads, my response was a pretty unceremonious "are you kidding me?" (ok, that might have been the G-rated version of what actually went through my head). So that was that. I have a handful of fond memories of my time there, but I don't really have any plans to form more, and I am ok with that.

I've been thinking about the anniversary a lot this month, more so than I have in the last two years. I've been a little worried (ok, that might be an understatement) because I've just started seeing someone; I really like him, so the last thing I want to do is fall apart and give him the impression that I am an unstable ticking time bomb. For the most part, though, I've been ok. There have been a few sleepless nights and a few days when my stomach was unhappy with me (thanks, enteric nervous system), but I think I might have brought that on myself by worrying about it being five years specifically and by fretting about what to tell him. I wanted to be open and honest with him. I also wanted to spend the Weekend with him. However, I was nervous about making him uncomfortable, or putting pressure on him, or just plain saying too much too soon, which I know I've done in the past.

And then I proceeded to start fraying at the edges yesterday, which is a week too soon, so it threw me off-balance. I managed to keep it sequestered until the prospect of being alone that night unlocked the door and let the ugly fear and memories and feelings out, and then I kind of lost it and started crying. (I did make plans to spend time with friends after I knew he was going to leave, but somehow that didn't quite stop the flood.) I felt awful, embarrassed, and scared that I actually was an unstable ticking time bomb. I had to remind myself that it's the end of March, and that I'm normally okay. In fact, this year marks the first anniversary where I feel like I've significantly moved on with my life and really accomplished things, which is awesome, even if it is four years behind schedule. I'm well into my first year of vet school, my grades are good, I was granted funding for my summer research (as a Merial Scholar, too, so I get to go present at a conference in August), I'm president of an organization and co-vice president of another, I have an amazing group of friends, and I'm seeing someone I really like. I've been impressively stable in the past year or so, with only a few minor episodes (most of which were brought on by people making rape jokes, which is shitty and not really in my control), which I was able to get over in a few hours at most. So yeah, life is quite good-- it's just the end of March that sucks.

This week is my spring break. As my physiology professor has emphasized to us, it is not a break from studying-- it is a break for studying. I have an overwhelming amount of material in several classes to catch up on and a final exam and 3 practical exams the week after break to study for (and they're all on the same day, too, because the scheduling gods didn't receive their blood sacrifice or something). I was worried that falling apart last night was a sign that I would have to spend this week taking care of myself instead of doing all the work I badly need to do. I'm feeling more optimistic now, though, so hopefully this lasts. I work best with carrots dangling in front of me, so I am gathering said carrots and also making sure I'm not alone when I know things will be rough for me. I have a lot of wonderful, caring people in my life, for which I am very grateful.

This year the dates don't quite line up, so the 25th is a Monday, but I'm pretty sure Friday is still going to be when I will acutely feel it. I asked him to spend the weekend with me, or at least Friday and Saturday, and he was really sweet about the whole thing. Haven't planned for Monday night yet, other than having an appointment with my psychiatrist in the afternoon. Overall I think this anniversary will be ok. I think I will want to set aside some small amount of time to remember and to affirm to myself that it was not my fault, that I did what I could to protect myself, that I am stronger than I give myself credit for sometimes, and that I have moved on. But otherwise I think it will be a more-or-less normal weekend where I can be happy and enjoy his company. Yay for that.