I tried to talk to Bear six times yesterday. He was at home all day because his work stuff is starting to go quiet. I spent most of the day sat at my desk, tap-tap-tapping away, earning that dollar (working from home), but I took a few minutes here and there to make a drink, say hello to him, make sure he was okay, so-on and so forth. We’ve had issues with the teen recently … and I mean serious issues. It’s been pretty hellish, to be honest, and there were a few moments where I actually came close to getting ready to leave. Two times in two days, actually. I almost booked my train tickets the second time, while frantically throwing pants and mismatched socks somewhere in the vicinity of a weekend bag open on the bed. I never made it as far as actually leaving, though. Bear stopped me both times. And I don’t think I really planned on leaving-leaving, to be honest. Not for good. I think I just needed a break. But he asked me not to go, and then he almost begged me not to go, and then he started writing me notes asking me not to go. So, I didn’t go. It’s been hard on both of us, but I seem to find myself worrying so much more about his mental health even though mine is literally going down the toilet.
The first time I popped my head in to try and have a conversation with him, he was on his phone, texting someone. A client, probably. I started to chat with him, about nothing in particular, and he didn’t look up from what he was doing once. Not even for a second. After a couple of minutes of talking to myself, I realised that it was probably best to come back another time. So, I went back to my desk and resumed working through my to-do list.
The second time, he wasn’t actually doing anything at all when I approached him. I started talking, he answered back, and for a full three or so minutes we actually had what could’ve been classed as a real conversation. But then his phone vibrated and it was probably important. Client, money, appointments, blah. I waited, and waited, and waited. He finished sending his text and opened up Facebook, scrolled up and down on that for a few moments, and then hopped over to Instagram. Again, I realised it was probably best to return to my work and leave him to it. He obviously wasn’t in the mood to talk to me.
The third time, I figured I’d go armed with a tactic: would he like a cup of coffee? He did, yes, so I busied myself making drinks, chit-chatting to him as I did so. As soon as I’d put the cup on the coffee table in front of him, he told me that he was about to start doing some work and would need to be left alone to fully concentrate. Feeling slightly more than dejected at this point, I figured he was just having a bad day and probably didn’t want to be sociable, so I went to walk away … once again. This time though, he stopped me: “I do want to talk to you, babe, don’t think I don’t!” But it only took a further two or three minutes of my clearly very boring voice for him to lose interest, grabbing his laptop and engrossing himself in whatever I couldn’t see on the screen. (And he didn’t do any of the work things that he said he was going to.)
The fourth time … well, I fucked up the fourth time. I made a sex joke. [Insert very straight face here.] Sex jokes don’t go down well in my house these days. Oh no, that time has most definitely passed. I can no longer mention sex for fear of one of the following responses:
“Is there really any need to make a joke about it? I don’t think it’s funny.”
“Look, I know how you’re feeling, okay? You’ve made it obvious. You don’t have to keep bringing it up.”
“Ugh, the sex thing … again.”
Fine, okay, we just won’t talk about sex anymore then. EVER.
The fifth time I dared to try and have a conversation with him – it was now getting to about 9 pm and I was well and truly lonely and in dire need of a real, human, face-to-face conversation, preferably with the man I actually fucking loved – he interrupted me mid-sentence, so I interrupted him mid-sentence right back, and then he got annoyed with me for doing it. I’m sure you can probably guess what happened … I ended up skulking back to my desk, avoiding the inevitable blow-up that would happen if I continued to try and talk to him.
And then we came to the sixth time. It was past midnight and I just really wanted something. Intimacy, maybe? A conversation, definitely. Just human interaction, I think. Even if it did result in a fight (and I was fairly certain we were in the midst of his irreversible downward spiral), I needed to open my mouth, say words, and have someone actually listen and respond to me. I have online interactions all day long; sometimes I need to have a real conversation with someone that doesn’t talk in a blue bubble.
“You’re aware you just talked at me for five minutes, without asking if I was actually watching what was on the TV?”
That’s what he said to me.
“Sorry. I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to disturb you.”
That’s what I said back. And then I ran to the bathroom, pretended to use the toilet, but actually cried for a solid five minutes while sitting on the closed lid, before running back to the solace of my desk … again.
What I actually wanted to say to him was this:
You fucking what, mate? If I’d have known it was going to be one of *those* days, I’d have gone out and had a real conversation with someone who actually wanted to have one with me, earlier on. You even told me that you thought I seemed “down”. If you thought that, why would you disregard me for the entire fucking day? Why couldn’t you have set aside a few fucking minutes of your day – in little bits and pieces too, not even one big chunk – just to spend some time with me? Talk to me? Fucking hell, I don’t even care if you laugh at me, just please interact with me.
You can PAUSE the movie you’re watching. You could’ve paused the movie for five minutes to let me talk, or you could’ve waited for me to finish talking and leave the room before rewinding the movie and re-watching the bit I just talked over. I’ve done that for you countless times, except you wouldn’t know about it because I don’t go out of my way to make you feel bad for wanting to talk to me.
And before you say I’m being overemotional, because we all know how much you love to throw that adjective about so freely, you’ve been playing the not-interested game for months. You did virtually the same thing to me last night when I tried to talk to you as you played your game, and then a few days before that. I hardly think pausing for five or ten minutes is going to ruin the couple of hours PLUS of gameplay you’re inevitably going to have — and that I NEVER give you shit for. (Because I’m a big fan of gaming myself, plus I love playing games with you.)
I don’t want the world from you. I don’t want your money, I don’t give a shit if you don’t do the housework when you say you’re going to, and I don’t even hassle you about our non-existent sex life. I just want a little bit of your time.
Give me a little MORE conversation, please.
And that’s what it’s like living with him sometimes, but I’m assuming it’s just another of those symptoms that come with Borderline Personality Disorder – a complete lack of interest. Hour after hour, day after day of him being totally uninterested in me, what I’m doing, or what I have to say. He’s told me to actually “go away” every time I tried to talk for four or five days in a row before, and not that long ago. I can handle a day or two. Three, at most. Four or more days, though? That’s brutal, especially when you work from home almost all of the time and all of your friends have jobs, husbands, or babies keepin’ them busy. And when you add that loneliness to the constant state of being on the verge of a fight, a rampant runaway teenager that’s probably getting someone pregnant, all of the money stresses that come with it being only a few weeks before Christmas, and an absolute lack of sex (again) … well, you can hardly blame a girl for needing a few days away, can you? I mean, I need a lot more than just a few days away, but I’d settle for that right now.
What I really need is for us to talk until we can’t talk anymore and then fuck until neither of us can walk, but I don’t see that happening at any point soon.
I’m not even sure he likes me anymore.
Featured image by sashafreemind on Unsplash