Note: The "Trooper" in question is not actually in the military. It's a metaphor, people.

May 4, 2008

PTSD and Packing

As the days quickly slip by on the calendar --getting us closer to moving day-- it seems my sanity is also slipping. Before I elaborate, understand this:
  • Yes, I'm excited about embarking on this phase of my new relationship with Wine Guy.
  • Yes, I am looking forward to starting fresh in a new place (I've been in my current apartment for six years and have been ready to leave for the last two).
  • Yes, I am (over)eager to adopt a dog and take it to dog beach.
OK, now that the optimism is clearly stated, let's get on with the pessimistic, neurotic head games, shall we?

  • I'm terrified (and a bit disappointed) that we are moving in together without being engaged. That was a promise I had made to myself after my failed living together experience with Only Child and, even though this seems more than right (certainly "righter" than it did with Only Child), I'm still scared that I'm getting myself into a "Why Buy the Cow/Milk for Free" scenario.

  • I'm scared that we will end up realizing we hate each other once we are actually in each other's faces 24/7. Right now we see each other primarily Friday nights through Sunday nights and pretty much do our own things during the week. Maybe that was all we could/should handle? (For the record, I do think this fear is "normal" and falls under the "you gotta take a risk" category.)
These are both "what if..." fears and I think they are the typical side-effects of an overactive, semi-neurotic mind. But I'm also suffering from what I can only describe as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As I've said before, I have some serious "abandonment issues" that are under control for the most part but, when under stress, they can rear their ugly heads and make my life hell. They stem from my dad's sudden death when I was 5 and were recently exacerbated by Naval A-hole's heartless disappearance.

No matter how ridiculous I know it to be intellectually, I seem to be holding my breath and waiting for Wine Guy to just plain disappear. (This is not anything new - read A Ride on the Baggage Carousel for a little reminiscence of my early days with Wine Guy and a refresher on the pure evilness of Naval A-hole.) Perhaps Wine Guy will decide he doesn't want to move in together. Perhaps he will just die in a car crash. Either way, he just stops calling. That's my fear.

The other night he said he'd call me back later. By 10pm I was in tears and called him expecting the worst. He was stunned to hear his crying girlfriend on the line. As far as he knew, he just got busy on the computer and didn't realize how late it had gotten. No biggie. I knew it was no biggie. But this deep, dark, creeping feeling that settled in my stomach during the hours I waited for his call were stronger than my common sense.

I KNOW Wine Guy is not an asshole. I know he would never do such a thing. I also know he loves me and wants to be with me. And, finally, I know that all my worrying and paranoia is starting to drive him crazy. So, if I can't at least stop thinking and feeling these stupid thoughts, at the very least I should STOP sharing them with him.

So forgive me readers. I suspect you will have to be the ones to bear the brunt of my neuroses. Feel free to share your thoughts right back.



Anonymous said...

I just want to offer my support and empathy for your feelings- I lost both of my parents before the age of 16, so I completely understand your abandonment stuff. That completely irrational fear that can suddeny bring you to tears when someone doesn't call when they were supposed to is unmistakeable. I also had my own "Naval A-Hole" type situation about year ago, and it certainly set me back as well. I think you are very self-aware and willing to take responsibility for your feelings, and I know taking those big relationship steps causes more than a little anxiety for so many reasons. I also think it sounds like Wine guy is ready and willing to bear at least some of the brundt of your neuroses- as I am sure you do his. Sorry for the long comment, I just so empathize with you and wanted to offer my support!

mimi of 'sexagenarian and the city' said...

i have no wisdom except to say i understand Entirely everythng you said, absolutely everything, and experience it all myself. WG sounds wonderful and also patient with your anxieties. being engaged at this point would probably create its own set of worries, bad dreams, concerns, questions, so it's probably better to live for a while with the anxieties generated by Not being engaged! i think once you're in the new house [apt?] and once you've had the joy of breakfast on tuesdays together, you'll find you're very happy.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog and am so happy to read of this relationship progressing so nicely. Have you talked about marriage, or as living together as a prelude to marriage? If you have a general time frame it helps to share it, otherwise, you will end up frustated. As far as actually living together, i am sure you two will be so happy you made the choice and get along beautifully. good luck, Jessica

Anonymous said...

Maybe this is easier said than done, but try to enjoy the moment. As another commenter said, engagement comes with its own set of worries. Just enjoy each other. There are no guarantees, even when married.

lizriz said...

Forgive me, I've missed a beat - If you don't want to live with someone you're not engaged to, why are you? Maybe things are going too fast and that's why you feel a little topsy turvy?

That said, I *totally* know how you feel here, and I wish I knew a solution besides whiskey. :)

Dating Trooper - Dating is Warfare said...

Thanks everyone for your encouraging comments (and thanks for sharing yourself a bit anon #1).
Liz, very fair question and, trust me, this is a debate I've been having with myself the last few months. Eventually my romantic side was defeated by my common sense side. But not before my romantic side had a very clear discussion with Wine Guy about what this means to it.

Basically it's a money issue - he wants to get all his debt paid off before we get married. And I want a ring dammit, so that will have to wait a bit too. I resisted that argument for awhile, but it got to the point where I just realized that this was what he had to do and that I have to trust what he tells me. Why hold my life back and resist what I want (which is to be with him) because of some "rule" I made for myself before I ever met him? It didn't reconcile. So I had the "this DOES mean we are getting married" talk with him and jumped right in.

Michele said...

I know it's easier said than done but please try to relax. I promise, when you get as old as me, you'll look back and think OMG why did I waste so much time worrying and being upset about guy stuff. It really will all be ok. Hang in there and good luck with the move.

Jaclyn said...

About us readers bearing the brunt of your neuroses - that's really an excellent plan. People reading your blog understand what you are going through, and have been through similar experiences. We just want the best for you, and if you need to share your fears here that is just fine with us. This is a scary step, and it is normal for you to be nervous.

Nicole said...

One of the best things you can do is to keep talking to him, even if it's driving him crazy. Because the minute the lines of communication stop, there's a problem. You may be freaked out because he didn't call, you don't say anything, you worry more, he finally calls and you get all emotional and he has no idea why.

I commend you for being so open with him!

Anonymous said...

Maybe you don't want to live together before engagement because you instinctively know that it is merely a 'dry run'.

Marriage is commitment. Living together offers no such commitment. Yes, you can get out of a marriage, too, but it is more difficult and time-consuming to do so and that difficulty is what prevents people from making rash decisions to dissolve the union without giving it serious thought. Statistically, people who live together before marriage don't do very well if they ever get married. But good luck!