The Long, Twilight Struggle

You accused me of being grumpy when I came into work.

I replied I wasn’t grumpy or annoyed or even mad.

Sometimes I have a lot to think about; I am disappointed with the choice I made of who to love and be with, and I am frightened about doing them again. I am worried that I will not feel or be fulfilled, and that I will constantly, for the rest of my life, walk around with a feeling that I can only describe as a heartache that will never end for as long as I live. You know I read that one time? That having no children and wishing you had children feels like a never-ending heartbreak? Like when your 17 and your boyfriend dumps you and you think you will never get over it? Only that for me, due to what happened, it will never go away? It scares me. And I often wonder where all this came from? It wasn’t something of an issue that occupied me at all when I was younger. It was only when it was taken away from it dawned on me. When did I become like this?

But hey, I have control now. I am not pouring my heart out to my girlfriend about it. I shy away from it. I do not feel like escaping life by looking up B&Bs somewhere along  the British southern coastline, go down there alone and lock myself in that room and hide from society. But even if I keep myself in order, I have periods of feeling worried and sad. That’s what you see when I come into work with a strict face, few words and a couple of deep sighs. I am not grumpy. I am just worried about life. Disappointed with the past, and scared about the future. Maybe this is how it is when you grow old and more than before look back at your life and judge your actions? Suddenly I have a whole decade to look back upon as an adult. No wonder I am worried.

I am not grumpy. I am frightened, disappointed and worried.

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And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place

Last weekend I went to a birthday party. He turned 31 years old – quickly becoming a very grown man. I went alongside my brother and a mutual friend the same age as the birthday boy. I’m some years older than them. My brother just turned 30.

I had not spoken much to this mutual friend for a while, and I noticed his subjects had changed from somewhat childish anecdotes and memories of past drunken adventures to subjects such as starting a family, children, and pregnancies. Apperantly, his current girlfiend wants two children before she turns thirty which means he have to be up for the task within four years. He was obviously up for it from how he spoke about it. He also mentioned briefly he had spoken to the birthday boy about children just a few weeks ago, and told us that the birthday boy had admitted to him that it wouldn’t be too long until his girlfriend would be pregnant. I got the feeling from that (and from later on that same evening) that they were trying for a baby. One of the other guys in the group going to the birthday party had just become a father himself.

It is moment like these I have to fight my own mental state. I have to fight back that I feel down because I am older than them. I have to fight back all dark thoughts of failure and a feeling of loneliness which I cannot really explain. I have to keep fighting back feelings of disappointing my mother for not having been able to start a family and give her grandchildren. It can be hard to deal with.

I consider the birthday boy one of my best friends, and I remember the therapist I saw asking me last spring about what would “tip me back to where I was mentally last winter.” I immediately replied that if the birthday boy would become a father, that would be devastating to me. I am not sure if this is the case now, but I am very scared of how I will feel, act or even respond when or if this happens.

I am a competitive guy. I like to compete, and I like to win. The birthday boy had invited us all (a group of six or seven guys) to go Go-Karting for the day. I had not done that for about 17 years, but I have a bit of simulation experience which gave me the upper hand in the past at least.

On the way to visit birthday-boy, I had been fighting my demons for the past hour or so, and could not shake the feeling of being a failure or “less” than many of them due to all this new information and all the talk about children which took my by surprise.

I can’t really explain why, but I took my fight to that silly Go-kart track instead. My failures (or my feelings of failure), feelings of being a loser, someone at 36 who cant even start a family, disappointing my mother, and just feeling down and out. And you know what, I took the worst side of my personality onto the track as well – jealousy. Because I am angry, sad and jealous that they are planning, creating and looking forward to having children and a family. I was jealous and sad.

Now, the birthday boy has a bit of experience Go-Karting. He had been doing a bit of research beforehand – studying the track and reading a bit on the subject. He was ready and rumour said he was  a natural at it.

The Go-Karting we did was all time-trial. All about getting in that fastest lap. The birthday boy won the first 10 minute stint. He was about 0.300 seconds in front me. After a quick break,  I got back onto the track for the second 10 minute stint. And I wasn’t going to let him win this one.

I drove like a madman. I pushed that damn Kart so hard the wheels were screaming in pain around every bend and turn. I might end up on the loosing side of not fulfilling my biggest dream of becoming a father, but I would sure as hell end up as number one on this damn track. I wasn’t gonna let them get me down here. I had to win at something, and it had to be here. There was no other choice.

After I was done, I could hardly pull myself out of the small Go-Kart. My arms were numb. I struggled heavily pulling off my drivers suit. I could hardly take the helmet off my head. My hair was completely soaked in sweat. My mouth felt like a cotton ball. I desperately craved for a water. I was dizzy, and I could hardly stand up. I looked at the others. They seemed fine. Everyone was a bit tired, but I was completely worn out. All this after 20 minute of Go-karting and I consider myself in pretty good shape. All my jealousy, anger, frustrations and anxiety was left there on the track.

We looked at the track times. I did it. I was first. An inner sigh of relief. I was quickest. I had beaten the kart-researching-most-likely-father-to-be birthday-boy. I had beaten them all. I felt fucking good. Its not a side to my personality I am very proud of, but it made me feel better. I had thrown out of all my demons and insecurities for the evening. They were left on the track. I was first. I won. The old guy won.

Outside, I overheard one of the guys saying I had been driving like a person possessed.

Afterwards, in the evening, I had a headache and felt sleepy. I didn’t feel better until I had had considerable water to drink. I was dehydrated.

Two days later and my arms are still sore.

 

Ghosts of girlfriends past. Part 7.

Right, I’ll do something else now. I’ll re-visit a few of my short-time and long-time girlfriends (don’t worry, there’s not many of them!) and do a short summary of it. I might turn out anything from hilarious (mostly the first ones) to very serious crap. Anyway, I’ll do it because it feels like something I want to do.

Girlfriend #7: The one who changed her mind

Who was she?
She was a pretty blue-eyed blonde my own age. I met her at a reunion party. I got in touch with her a few weeks after the event. We immediately hit it off. We had much to talk about, and spent hours telling each other about our lives. I am still confident it was mostly about her, but I chipped in. I dug deep down and poured my heart out. Like she did. It was fantastic at first. She had two wonderful children. I got involved with them as well, especially the youngest. I was prepared, and more than happy, to give her the stability she so rightly deserved. There was only this thing…

Why did you date her?
She was pretty, very caring and I immediately took to her. She was kind. And I wanted a family. I guess we hit it off while both being in a bit of a dark and emotional place.

Why didn’t it work out?
Well, let me say this at once; no one has ever been so fucking nasty to me when we broke up than she was.

She came to me after a month or so and said she was willing to give me children even if she had two of them, because she loved me that much. She understood it meant much to me. She changed her mind three months later. It put me in an extremely difficult situation where I had to choose between her and her little family and the potential of my own biological children in the future. For some time I didn’t know what to do, and I was furious she had changed her mind. This is a thing you just have to be 100% certain about from the get-go. No hesitation. Generally speaking; are you open to children or not? She thought it was all about her too. She wasn’t able to seperate between my general wish for children and the potential wish of having them with her. Anyway, you can’t go back and forth on this, otherwise shit will happen – and it did. In the end, I broke it off. My desire for my own children weighed too heavy on me. If you ask her, I’m sure she will say she broke it off, or we agreed upon it together. Fine. Whatever.

The last we really spoke to each other online, she sent me really nasty messages implying I was mentally unstable and not quite right in the head. Never before have I experienced such nasty and unappropriate accusations. I am still shocked!

Where is she now?
She found some other guy a month later and even had the nerves to tell me on Snapchat and even saying “he was everything she looked for in a man”. After that message I deleted her from my Snapchat and Instagram and unfollowed her on Facebook. I mean, what the fuck?!

What would you like to tell her?
Plenty.

Listen, I know your ex boyfriends really screwed you over and I guess after those experiences you immediately think you see the same in me. But I put a lot of trust in you. I told you about myself and what I had been through lately – and you used it against me. You accused me of some very serious stuff and I can’t forgive you for it. Is this how you talk to people you love or did love? Yeah, we were both in a dark place last winter, but I tried to help you with your problems. You simply used mine against me.

In the end, I feel pity for you. I am so sorry you have had to go through so much shit in the past you did not deserve. Honestly, nobody deserves what you’ve experienced, but you made some choices when you were younger. You had a choice. You chose wrong. If we had met at 25 I think we would have been great. If I had met you 10 years down the road – it would have been great as well. It’s just the wrong place and wrong time. But here’s your problem; I could have given you everything you wanted. Stability. Someone faithful to you. Someone who could protect you, love you and keep you safe. But you decided the cost was too great. No more children. And so our roads split, and we won’t talk again. But I will never forget what kind of position you put me in, and what you accused me of.

Dark places requires dark songs, and this sums up how everything was in February.

Ghosts of girlfriends past. Part 5.

Right, I’ll do something else now. I’ll re-visit a few of my short-time and long-time girlfriends (don’t worry, there’s not many of them!) and do a short summary of it. I might turn out anything from hilarious (mostly the first ones) to very serious crap. Anyway, I’ll do it because it feels like something I want to do.

Girlfriend #5: The Marriage

Who was she?
She was the one I married and stayed together with for 10 years exactly. I met her online via myspace in the summer of 2006 after giving up local girls and aiming for the foreigners again. I didn’t even plan this one. It just happened. We had a long distance relationship for a few years which gave me the pleasure of travel. I love travel. She moved to my country and we lived toghether for several years after that.

Why did you date her?
She was exotic and beyond pretty. Extremely smart, smarter than me perhaps. She liked the same music, and was into science fiction as well. We quickly developed a common sense of humour which worked really well. We worked really well toghether being out travelling. She pushed me to write books and follow my interests. We got two dogs and had a pretty good time for quite some time. We married. Mostly because it made living together easier, but I loved her dearly for a long time.  There’s more on everything else in all my other posts though, so I’m not gonna repeat myself.

Why didn’t it work out?
I honestly don’t know. I know what her issues were, and I could not find a good way to help her deal with it all. At some point she just didn’t find me interesting I guess? And I gave up. I just gave up trying to get her to go to bed at normal hours. I gave up trying to make her do her bit around the house. Oh, and the IVF project really took its toll. It simply died out. If she hadn’t initiated anything, I think I would have anyway. I sometimes think I deserve better, but what relationship is perfect?

Where is she now?
She still lives in our old house. I moved out. She has a job now. She finally found one when I was moving out. I don’t know how she’s doing or anything. I don’t know. I don’t want to know.

What would you like to tell her?
What happened? I don’t really understand. I can only act on the present and the information I had and have. When did all the shit happen and go so badly? I honestly did everything I could. I was patient, I did everything around the house. I was being realistic about the IVF, I know, and was terrible at comforting you. I honestly don’t know what I could have differently. I am often worried that you feel very depressed and feel lonely – but hey, your decision. I thank you for having the guts to initiate the break up. I don’t think I would have had the balls. I don’t know. I want you to be happy. I hope you’re getting the help you need and can sort through everything that goes on inside of you. I’m doing alright now, but I am terribly sorry I lost my best friend. The most horrible memory I have is from the day you came to me and showed me the stick that said you were pregnant. Your voice was trembling when you said it. It meant so much to you. But of course, like a lot of things in your life, it doesn’t go the way you want. I am so sorry. I guess that was the make or break moment. The pregnancy was nothing but a chemical pregnancy and simply disappeared.

When all that stuff happened, I often played this song. I knew I was in for troubling times. I felt the rain coming in.

Ghosts of girlfriends past. Part 3.

Right, I’ll do something else now. I’ll re-visit a few of my short-time and long-time girlfriends (don’t worry, there’s not many of them!) and do a short summary of it. I might turn out anything from hilarious (mostly the first ones) to very serious crap. Anyway, I’ll do it because it feels like something I want to do.

Girlfriend #3: The one out of desperation

Who was she?
She was a collegue at work ca late 2000, early 2001. She had blue eyes and semi-short brown hair. She was 17, I was 20. She wasn’t very attractive, and not very bright either. But, she was quite experienced for her age. If you know what I mean. She had just broken up with a boyfriend of hers, and turned to me. I wasn’t attracted to her, but convinced myself that I was.

Why did you date her?
I was lonely and sick of having no one. I was 20 years old and had not been in any form of relationship or having had any form of physical contact with any girls except during the summer of 2000 when #2 was visiting. I was tired of everything. So I went for it.

Why didn’t it work out?
Well, she quickly got bored of me and went back to her ex (or was it someone else?). I can’t remember it bothered me that much really. I was more pissed off that another female collegue which I considered a friend immediately pulled back from hanging out with me when I wasn’t with her any longer. I felt that was a shitty thing to do. We stayed in contact for a while, and then it fizzled out.

Where is she now?
Oh, boy I have a few stories to tell. I called her once a few years down the road, and she bluntly told me she just had an abortion due to a “two-night-stand”. I think she told me the guy she met after me was abusive as well. Then years after that she suddenly appeared on national TV because her family (two kids, husband) had massive financial issues. No idea how that worked out. Very embaressing stuff. I remember thinking; imagine if she had gotten pregnant with me. I would have been stuck having to relate to her for the first of my life. Jesus Christ!!

What would you like to tell her?
I will be as blunt as you were; you’re not terribly bright and I am very pleased you dumped me quickly. It would have been a bloody nightmare otherwise. I hope you make sure your children stay in school, get the right education, and learn a couple of things from your poor life choices. I dodged a bullet there. Good luck.

She had a thing for this song – and I couldn’t fucking stand it.

Ghost of girlfriends past. Part 2.

Right, I’ll do something else now. I’ll re-visit a few of my short-time and long-time girlfriends (don’t worry, there’s not many of them!) and do a short summary of it. I might turn out anything from hilarious (mostly the first ones) to very serious crap. Anyway, I’ll do it because it feels like something I want to do.

Girlfriend #2: The American

Who was she?
She was a quiet, American girl with dark hair from Texas. We spent countless of hours talking online through several years. Maybe three years. Maybe more. We exchanged so many e-mails, and had so many chats online. She had the same interests as me (sci-fi, music, aviation and so on). She had very low confidence and few friends. Her dad yelled at her a lot. At her sibblings too. We were instantly drawn to each other because of those interests and quite simply for being lonely. She came to visit me for a week in 2000. We hung out and made out even if she had a boyfriend back home. I came over to see her in the summer of 2001. Then, some time in late 2001, things fizzled out communication-wise. We still talk, but rarely. Often when she’s out driving or going somwhere when she’s away from her boyfriend.

Why did you date her?
I didn’t really date her, but we were very close. People living so far away from each other can still have a very tight and personal relationship. For a good while, she was my only friend. Without her, it would have been a very lonely state of affairs. I really liked her. I liked her because I found her pretty and smart. She was insecure and lonely. So was I. My only friend.

Why didn’t it work out?
Well, she found a boyfriend in 2000. She’s still with him. He’s in my opinion not good enough for her. He ruined everything. That and drugs. I wasn’t into pot, and I am still not into pot. She got into it, most likely because of him. And so we naturally drifted apart when I met someone else in late 2001 early 2002.

Where is she now?
I think she’s somewhere in in the southern states working as a waitress and living in a trailer? It’s a sad situation really. She should have finished college, gotten a degree, a good house, a good income and a good supporting husband. Instead she got none of it. Just braindead boyfriend with a fucking drug addiction.

What would you like to tell her?
You should stop this before you look back at your life and understand how much you have missed out on. You love travelling, have you done any of that? No. Shouldn’t you aim for something better? You are too good for your shit job. Too good for him as well. I know your dad really messed you up, and your low confidence and self esteem is due to that, but you don’t have go on about it like this. You deserve so much more. I’m sorry I couldn’t help you or guide you. I felt it was impossible for me to assist you in any way.

Please, break up with him. Move somewhere else, get help from your sister (she really wants to help you), find a proper job, meet someone that treats you right. Otherwise this will simply turn out to be a wasted life when you had the chance for so much more. That’s heartbreaking for me to know.

She was a big music fan. Often of the modern (at the time) nu-metal bands of the day. While I can’t really define Tool as nu-metal, she was a big fan. This song was on the radio the entire time when I was in the States visiting her.

Ghosts of girlfriends past. Part 1

Right, I’ll do something else now. I’ll re-visit a few of my short-time and long-time girlfriends (don’t worry, there’s not many of them!) and do a short summary of it. I might turn out anything from hilarious (mostly the first ones) to very serious crap. Anyway, I’ll do it because it feels like something I want to do.

Girlfriend #1: The first kisser

Who was she?
I was 12 and she was 11. She was the prettiest girl in elementary school. Albeit a small school, I can’t believe I managed to pull that one off. But hey – we just kissed. We were kids after all. She loved Micheal Jackson. Her whole room was plastered in Micheal Jackson posters. When MJ died in 2009 I sent her a message about it, but I felt she didn’t really give a shit any longer. I guess not all stick to their guns, so to speak. Can’t blame her for it though. She kissed me in the dark while at a birthday party once. We shut the light off and pretended to play hide and seek. I think she kissed me even twice. It rocked.

Why did you date her?
She was pretty. That’s about it. I liked pretty girls, and I still like pretty girls.

Why didn’t it work out?
Well, after a while she decided to drop me and be into someone in her own class. I was actually a bit depressed about it. The I forgot all about it. She called me one afternoon and wanted to break up, but didn’t have the heart to tell me. So, she made me spell it, dropping one letter at the time.

When she graduated high school and the school newspaper had a short introduction about her, it was mentioned she once had a very short boyfriend. I didn’t really prefer that funny remark (still don’t).

Where is she now?
I think she lives in Oslo. She has a small child. Older guy perhaps? That’s about it. She’s on my Facebook though. Not really someone I mingle with daily. She’s still stunningly pretty though.

What would you like to tell her?
I hope you’re not dumping boyfriends by making them spell the letters any more. And the guy you dumped me for is so fucking fat now. Your loss. 😉

I remember we watched this, sitting on the floor at my parents house – holding hands. Good times though.