It’s Friday! I can’t tell you how happy I was about that this morning! I was even happier at 4:00 when I could leave school! I brought stuff home to do over the weekend, but I still plan to do a whole lot of nothing as well.
This is the first weekend that I am officially single. Sweet Tea and I weren’t a couple anymore last weekend or the 2 weekends before that, but the logistics of getting her moved took a bit of time. Understandably. So this weekend it’s just me, my kids, and a few friends spending the night. Despite the full house, it is quiet. Calm. It’s the first time that I’ve felt that in quite some time.
I am fairly easy to get along with. I’m laid back and easy going most of the time. I do like a clean and clutter free house. My rule of thumb is if you use it, put it back. If you made a mess, clean it up. And do it right then. I don’t leave a sink full of dishes to be washed the next day. I make my bed, fix the couch pillows when I leave the couch, wind the hose after I’ve watered the yard, put my dirty clothes in the hamper, hang up clean clothes when I take them out of the dryer, and various other tasks that don’t take much time at all. (Maybe a little OCD for some people, but I assure you I don’t white glove test things!) What I realized about myself while Sweet Tea and I lived together is that I stopped doing many of these things. She didn’t do them, so originally I walked behind her and did my stuff and her stuff. After a bit, I stopped picking up after both of us and things got messy. That stressed me out. All I had to do was ask her to pick up her stuff and she did, but something about having to ask bothered me. When we first started dating, I saw that she didn’t care much about those things. She rarely made the bed, let clean clothes sit in a laundry basket, kept dishes in the sink, and had piles of dirty clothes on the floor. It wasn’t a big deal, really. Many people have similar habits. I went into the relationship with my eyes wide open as far as neatness goes, so there were no surprises.
Sweet Tea also had a bit of a temper. If you’ve read her blogs at all, you can see she was never scared to share her opinion on a matter. She didn’t have any problems calling people douche canoes or asshats or lazy. She was, admittedly, abrasive, and she would react out loud to things that bothered her. Her reactions were always just words, but I am a lover of words, and they echoed in my head. And even though I saw that abrasive side fairly quickly after we started dating, I wanted to date her. I didn’t like the abrasiveness, but I tried to ignore it. And then I couldn’t. It seemed to be everywhere. In everything that she said. I know much of that is my perceived idea of what it looked like. But even so, it was enough that I couldn’t handle it anymore. After a bit, I looked at my life and discovered that after two years together, I didn’t like who I had become. I don’t blame her at all. It was me. I was not my best self with her. I let my fear of her reaction to things control me. It was crazy. I rarely saw or hung out with anyone outside of our relationship. I didn’t want to give her any reason to complain or question me. The few times I did see family during the holidays or have coffee with friends caused so much drama that it made me physically ill so I stopped having friends. She didn’t ask me to, but it felt easier somehow.
Sweet Tea was an avid TV watcher. She recorded several shows and watched them in her random free time. When she was watching the TV, I made my kids tiptoe around so as not to disturb her. She hadn’t ever asked me to keep the kids quiet, but I didn’t want there to be any drama so I guessed at what might create it. Sometimes I managed to avoid the drama, but other times I felt like I created it myself quite by accident. To me it felt like drama and conflict were our middle names. I don’t like conflict, but I normally don’t run from it. I can’t stand drama, but I usually avoid it by avoiding those who seem to gravitate towards it. Now I’m not saying that Sweet Tea was dramatic or a terrible, horrible person or even mostly at fault. I know that I am stubborn and like things to be my way, especially when it comes to the house. I know that I can be indecisive and frustrating. I have plenty of my own issues. What I am saying is that together we were drama and conflict. Add 6 kids to that mix and it was too much. Kids walked on eggshells avoiding each other. It wasn’t good. We could have gone to therapy to try to fix it. We did go to 2 sessions, but my heart was no longer in it. I knew that I needed to be free to be me again.
And now I am here, picking up the pieces. I know she is doing the same in her house with her kids. I wish her well.