Fox recently learned that he is very likely to have to move out of his current housing at the end of the semester; yesterday he brought up the possibility of moving in with me (and my mom, though we occupy different parts of the house and have a good deal of privacy). I like the idea of moving in together – I did decide to marry him, after all – and over all I feel good about the idea of him joining me in my current home. There is always ambivalence, though, and I just want to try and work some of it out.
Number One Thing I Know For Sure
The end of the semester is way too soon for me to move again. Moving is insanely stressful and my most recent move (largely because I didn’t prepare for it properly) almost killed me. I am nowhere near the right emotional and mental state to move again. I haven’t even fully finished settling in here – but I have become emotionally (re-)attached to the space.
Ideally, Fox and I would find a home together and move in there, relatively independent from our respective parents. That’s always been how I envisioned things happening. It will happen eventually. But now is NOT the right time. For better or worse, whatever he decides to do, I need to stay where I am.
I originally wanted to separate “concerns” and “positive factors,” but that’s too artificial a split. The two are so intertwined with each other, I really need to write about them both together. As they say in motivational interviewing: “You get a lot of satisfaction from playing The Sims 3 AND you need to focus more on living your own, real, life.” The AND in that sentence is the most important part: the two factors exist together and are inextricable.
I’ve gotten used to having this space to myself; my stuff is spread all around it. We’ll need to move things to get his stuff to fit, but I think that should be doable. It just messes up what order I do have – admittedly, nowhere near as much as I’d like. It also requires me to go through and likely get rid of things I’ve so far had mixed feelings about keeping in boxes and piles of clutter. It’s easier to just leave the not-fully-unpacked mess I’ve gotten used to, AND the mess conflicts horribly with the order I want for my living space and my life. I’ll admit, I hope that if Fox does move in, we‘ll go through my stuff and organize it together as part of the process of figuring out where and how his stuff can fit in. I don’t really want him controlling any aspect of anything belonging to (and therefore an extension of) me. But I do feel like I need help.
We’re both hoarders, prone to allowing our space to become cluttered and comfortable with a certain amount of clutter. We tend to reinforce that habit in each other. I’m not a fan. But this is something we’ll have to deal with eventually anyway. The question is, can I/we deal with it now – full time, without separate spaces to retreat to? Can we work together and support each other without becoming too enmeshed, without each giving up too much of ourselves in the effort to help each other? Just because we want and need to get to that point eventually doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to jump in and start trying to pull it off now. There might be other work we need to do, together and separately, before we can get to that point.
But then … the Deserter does long for stability; maybe granting it will help. The reality of my senses and emotional response will match what I know in my mind: that we have a good, real, stable, loving relationship that can withstand whatever life decides to throw at it as long as we are willing to work together through the hard times. The Deserter is furious that Fox is only visiting for a couple of days, then leaving again; no peace will come from the knowledge that we’ll see each other again soon. Whatever living together brings up, perhaps the stability of being with him every day will soothe the Deserter and help
that part of me to heal.
I also love having his company. I feel more alive when he’s here. He’s more on top of chores I struggle with, such as dishes and laundry and daily hygiene. He’ll pull me out of my depressive stupidity and get me to engage in the pleasures of real life, draw my attention to my rats who are adorable and bring me so much joy, remind my tense muscles to relax, and remind me that I am loved. Even hearing him breathe this morning helped me pull myself out of dreams that were frustrating and doing me absolutely no good; to start my day in this physical reality.
I’m concerned about having to share my food. When he’s here it feels like I expend more of my (limited) resources than he does his in order to feed us both. I don’t like sharing.
If he lives here full time he can use the resources he’d spend on food for himself to help get food for both of us. He’ll be sharing, too. We can each have things we don’t share with the other – as long as it’s agreed upon and the one who gets the item uses their own resources to acquire it. And he’ll help with cooking, something I’ve been extremely lazy about. (Or we’ll be lazy together, mwahahaha!!!)
We need to each have our own separate blanket. I’m going to insist on that tonight. Sharing blankets just isn’t working for me. I’m also a bit ambivalent about sharing my bed full time; there are pros and cons. I like quiet and having more space to spread out and being able to do whatever I want with all four pillows. I also like knowing he’s there, being able to cuddle, seeing his face first thing in the morning. I’m also infinitely more relaxed / less anxious (or, not anxious at all) when it’s time to fall asleep – if he’s there. (At least that held true last night.) I suppose there’s always the option of the couch/couch bed, air mattress, etc. as a temporary solution if either or both of us really need(s) a separate space to sleep. Again, these are things we’ll have to work out eventually.
The question is, is now the right time? And by “now” I mean over the course of the next couple months, culminating with his actual move in early summer – not, say, tomorrow. I’m dealing with a lot of crazy shit in my own life – and often not dealing with it, as evidenced by the massive amounts of time I spend playing The Sims 3. I was dreaming the game last night. I’m grieving my uncle and the old deaths I still haven’t fully grieved. I’m grieving all the things I never got in my childhood. I’m trying to help my inner child understand that she/we will NEVER get what she wants and needs from our biological mother; we/I need to get those needs met elsewhere. I’m struggling with the emotions that reality evokes. I’m struggling to allow myself to cry. I’m struggling to remain engaged in my own therapy, and to be kind to myself. It’s harder than a full-time job. I need to give myself a break from time to time. I’m struggling to celebrate my small victories, such as recognizing and asserting that need.
I need the space to do all this, but I also need support. I’ve been really hurting from lack of support. Banji has been awesome, texting or calling me to check in and chat. On Saturday we played music together – no pressure, just fun and camaraderie – and watched Doctor Who and talked about some important things. I was able to be more honest with her than I sometimes am with myself. We have a special relationship that nothing else can touch; our goal is to live within walking distance of each other so we can enjoy each other’s company more consistently. But for now our reality is still that we need to take opportunities as they come, even if they do come quite frequently. I need more than I can get from our relationship – in terms of stability – right now.
The three of us also need to work out the complexities of me having 2 equally important, equally emotionally intimate, but qualitatively different relationships with 2 different people. That’s all I’ll say for now because 2/3 of the story isn’t mine to tell. But I’ve noticed tension, and it’s adding to my stress. It certainly doesn’t help that society values one type of relationship over the other, and I sometimes find it hard not to fall into the trap of following the herd.
Baaaa! Moo! etc.