I was in the process of writing this entry over winter break, but once classes recommenced, I kept taking several long breaks between my writing sessions until eventually I stopped continuing this entry altogether. Still, I want to publish this entry because there are things that I do want to send out there into the world. I'll probably be discussing similar topics in the upcoming entries. Anyhow, here is the entry:
It has been a while since I last wrote. I have thought about this journal frequently, but circumstances never lined up for me to write and submit anything. I’ve been meaning to update you guys on so many things. My life is so different than how it was since my last entry about my life.
Aside from the entry I most recently submitted (which was written ages ago), I haven’t said much to you guys since last year. Not like my journal was ever very popular, but I do wonder if anyone ever checks for updates from me. What a nice thought that is.
It’s probably just a mere thought.
I’ve reflected a lot on my previous relationships with both No’C and Root Beer. Such grand topics. I’ve also thought a lot about Mr. Train, but he’s far too prominent to get an entry out soon. I think I’ll discuss Root Beer a bit, and then integrate those thoughts back to No’C or something.
As some of you may be aware, I used to be in a relationship with Root Beer. I’ll say this now: I never truly loved Root Beer. It sounds cruel, but I knew it from the start. I was fond of him often, and I did enjoy his company at times, but I never reached the level of trust and affection that one might associate with genuine love for another.
I did write an entry (called Life Raft) where I enforced the idea of how I did love Root Beer, but I wrote that for myself. I wrote that to convince myself that I loved someone, that I was capable of loving someone again. I wrote that entry to convince Root Beer that I loved him, so that he might come to love me as well.
I suppose it’s fair that, since I couldn’t bring myself to love Root Beer, Root Beer equally couldn’t ever have loved me back. It was a very toxic relationship on my end.
I was not… happy. I honestly tried to be happy, but there were so many things that were obstructing my path. There were so many speculations and actual happenings that crowded my mind and I was, in a nutshell, depressed.
In this depressed state of mind, Root Beer was ineffective against my Shadow. I don’t know if he was capable of saving me, but I almost feel like he didn’t bother a lot of the times. I knew that I wanted someone who can deal with both me and my Shadow, and I knew that Root Beer could not deal with my Shadow.
There were a lot of things Root Beer couldn’t do for me. There were a lot of things that Root Beer did do that I wish he didn’t. In the end, I convinced myself that, given time, I would adjust. I would “get used” to feeling a certain way, tolerating certain things. Maybe he would adjust to me. I don’t know. I had a lot of hope.
I mean, I think it’s rather important to maintain hope. I definitely enjoy being hopeful more than I enjoy being hopeless.
[several days have passed]
I previously dubbed Root Beer as infidel. We started dating in May 2016, and by July that year he began showing signs of drifting. This was a very early point in our relationship, and I thought perhaps I was still raw from No’C (and I most surely was). The summer after high school (2016) was not enjoyable. I had constant breakdowns and Root Beer only consoled me in empty words.
I tried to put the blame on myself a lot of the times. When I felt that Root Beer was replacing me, I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. I thought that since I felt that No’C had replaced me, the sense of being replaced again was solely rooted in my past. Does that make sense?
I never went to a psychologist. I had planned to do so many times, but every time I could, my Shadow would hide. She would hide to convince me that I didn’t need help. Then, whenever I was in a situation in which I couldn’t access any help, she would reappear.
[two days have passed and I am listening to Coldplay]
Right before I entered university, I had a massive breakdown. I don’t know how it compared to my breakdown of early December 2015, because my memories of my breakdowns have blended into each other. I had a lot of issues that directly affected my life as a university student. Perhaps I’ll elaborate in another entry (or perhaps I already have…? But I don’t recall.).
The night before my first day of university, I scratched off some skin on the back of my left hand during that massive breakdown. It left marks that lasted for months. One of those scratches is still visible today as a slightly darkened spot.
I don’t blame that breakdown on anyone, but I feel horrible when people blame it on me. I’m certain I said this in previous entries, but I’m so tired of hearing what I should or should not have done.
I think, even though that breakdown wasn’t directly linked to anyone else, it… doomed me for my first year of university. I was consciously disappointed that my first year of university felt so depressingly similar to my last year of high school. It was as if nothing had changed, as if I hadn’t healed at all.
Root Beer was not the person to deal with how I was at the beginning of university. He didn’t have the time to console a hopeless soul such as myself. I have no right to blame him because I know I must have been difficult to be with. He told me how tiring it was to deal with depressed people. He has since retracted his statement, but that doesn’t change much.
Shortly after university started, I started hearing about a lot of girls. Root Beer was meeting many new ones, and he’d tell me about the interesting ones. (I might remind new readers that Root Beer was attending the university in a neighbouring city. He lived in a dormitory, as did many students from a variety of walks of life.) There was the girl who liked indie music like he did, and the girl who invited him to an orchestral concert or something, and the girl whose skin simply radiated on her face, and the girl who…
The girl who would stay up late with him and have night-long conversations with him while I waited alone for him, the same one who would go with him to work out at night, the same one who was “more uncultured” than me and with whom he would watch movies.
I tried not to get jealous. Thinking back, I’m not sure I would classify my emotions as envy, but rather just… hopelessness. Here was this human whom I had been in a relationship with for the past 6 months, who couldn’t hold his heart still, who didn’t understand that honesty is worthless without commitment, who couldn’t deal with the Shadow, who didn’t care about my breakdowns, who… who…
may be a bad human after all.
I felt that Root Beer was cheating on me. He doesn’t believe so, but he had previously admitted to feeling guilty about it. At least a part of him still had some sense to feel guilt.
I made a joke out of my situation. I would casually talk about all the girls Root Beer had gotten close with to anyone who asked. It was… odd of me, I think.
What changed? The breakdowns were following me in public. I couldn’t hide my Shadow anymore. If I was alone on the train or alone on the bus, I’d start crying.
Then came the breakdowns when I was with my friends. First I cried in the library before visiting my aniki (an older student I met at the university who played a role in my recovery after starting first year--he’s in previous entries). When I visited aniki at the bubble tea shop at which he worked, I broke down.
Then came the breakdown in the cafeteria at the university. (It was kinda funny because I was offered a small package of tissues, even though I already had one of my own at the time.)
I don’t think Root Beer was aware of these public breakdowns. After all, he had told me it was tiring dealing with depressed people and, being his “girlfriend” at the time, I didn’t want to tire him. I didn’t feel inclined to open up about my depression to him. (Frankly, nothing has changed in this sense.)
In November 2016, Root Beer visited the city. For a week, he had no classes, but classes were still ongoing at my university. I had resolved to confront him during that visit and determine once and for all if there was any reason to stay in that relationship.
In sooth, I think I was anxious to leave that relationship.
He wouldn’t talk much when we met up, so I got out my journal and we communicated through paper instead. I asked him about “us,” and he told me he no longer felt as if he loved me “romantically.” I drew a staircase and labelled the levels. The top level was where our relationship was and the next stair down was labeled as close friends.
Quick note: That day, Mr. Train had fallen ill and I thought I would attend his math lecture and take notes in his place.
Shortly after I drew the staircase for Root Beer, it was time to hurry off to Mr. Train’s lecture. By that time, we had not solved anything. Root Beer asked what I thought, and I told him that I thought we should take a step down.
Just like that, I was free again. Well, “free” as in not bound to someone else. Root Beer and I hugged, and for the first time in months, I felt like I was actually hugging him as a person. Then I headed off to lecture, found a seat, took notes, and lived the rest of my day.
I didn’t cry because Root Beer and I broke up. I was quite relieved. I did cry that night, however.
I had a minor breakdown, in fact. I called Root Beer to tie up some loose strings in our conversation from earlier that day. It was that night that I had told Root Beer about all my breakdowns. He told me I should have confided in him, but this was a lie. I did try to confide in him before, but being told that dealing with me is “tiring” is a bit discouraging to say the least.
Root Beer apologized a lot that night (“I’m sorry I didn’t know”) and he took a lot of blame, but it didn’t matter to me. I told him that everything was fine (“It’s fine; it was me who didn’t tell you about my breakdowns”). I told him what I truly thought. He called me “such a good person,” and while that was flattering, it wasn’t what I was hoping to hear.
What did I want to hear? I’m not sure. Something that would let me forgive that monstrosity of a relationship, something that would condone my unreasonable desire to be loved by someone like Root Beer, something that would justify why that relationship lasted as long as it did.
What a waste of six months of my life, I thought. I still don’t approve of how I let myself get into such a toxic relationship.
[two days have passed yet again]
On the bright side, I’m out of that relationship and I have been for over a year now. Upon reflection, that relationship was not entirely unfortunate.
I mean, granted, like I’m sure many relationships start, there was a period of infatuation. I don’t know if I was infatuated with Root Beer, but I was excited to being part of a love. I wouldn’t say that that period of time was absurdly special or anything. That’s not quite what I’m getting at.
To the dismay of some, I think my relationship with Root Beer helped my outlook of my relationship with No’C. While I was dating Root Beer, I consciously tried to not compare the two souls. Perhaps that’s why I reached this conclusion so late in my story.
See, Root Beer and No’C aren’t polar opposites; they did share some qualities, some faults. I think during my time with either of them, they both could not handle the Shadow. That’s fair, I think. She is something that I can’t quite handle at times either.
[Perhaps a week or two have passed.]
Root Beer did end up engaging in a relationship with another human, the one to whom he would spend entire nights talking. No’C also got close to another human shortly after we broke up. However, No’C felt guilty far earlier than Root Beer, and as a consequence, he ended his relationship with me quite early compared to Root Beer. I’m grateful somehow that No’C ended his relationship with me the way he did.
This may contradict what I’ve said in the past, but I no longer feel that No’C cheated on me. His heart did stray and he was aware of this, but he ended things when he sensed that he would develop deeper feelings for someone else. With Root Beer, I felt that he simply indulged in the company of other girls with no regard for me.
I also know that No’C didn’t stay up talking to other girls because through nearly the entirety of our relationship, up until and beyond the end, we would share night calls. Granted, nearing the end of our relationship, No’C talked less and less to me and seemed to sleep earlier and earlier.
With Root Beer, we wouldn’t have night calls often. I recall him ending calls early in the event that his wifi connection would cut off and his phone would switch to data. When university started, we had even fewer calls. He’d be busy with other girls, my Shadow assumed.
I remember asking Root Beer about our relationship. I told him I wanted to discuss it. At this point, I was still willing to fix things. He told me that since he had a midterm in five days from that day, he didn’t have time for me. This bothered me.
Ah, but it did remind me of myself. I remember prioritizing school above No’C. However, I know that I was studying when I said I was studying. When Root Beer used a similar excuse, it seemed insincere and, well, like an excuse.
Ah, I remember when silence wasn’t terrible. Before my relationship with No’C started taking a turn for the worse, there’d often be periods of silence. For example, when he was sleeping and I was studying. It was a nice silence, dear readers.
Perhaps my first instance of a painful silence came the night of my major breakdown of December 2016. I started breaking down during a call with No’C (this was after we had ended our relationship) and he hung up on me. He said it was painful to listen to me breaking down.
In hindsight, perhaps that incident adds to the reason why I didn’t feel inclined to enlighten Root Beer about my episodes of peaking instability.
There was a lot of painful silences after No’C and I stopped having calls. Even calls with Root Beer wouldn’t completely cure the pain.
It may sound selfish, but I wished Root Beer had tended to me more.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a relationship like my relationship with No’C. Every day had at least one good thing, at least a single thing to confide in. For most of our relationship, I remember having wholesome conversations at night. Seldom if not never would we run out of things to talk about. No’C had so many stories to share.
I’m sure No’C must’ve been annoyed with me since even stories he told me seemed like new stories. I’d forget stories and he’d tell them again. He didn’t make it seem like he was irritated, but he must have been. Perhaps my excitement to hear his stories made me unable to sense anything beyond the story.
Ah, that reminds me. I know Root Beer didn’t completely tolerate my depleting memory. Of all the fews things I recall, I remember Root Beer distinctly saying he hated having to repeat himself.
(As I grow older, it seems many people don’t like having to repeat themselves…)
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