Friday, April 23, 2010

What used to be a man...

...is now an emotional wreck. This ulcer is taking it toll on me physically and emotionally, and I officially lost it last night.

I don't like to lose my grip on negative emotions. "To the dark side, that path leads." Emotional outbursts often leave me feeling ashamed and regretful. But things came to a head last night, and the shiny exterior of Rob, all-around nice guy, and beloved Bor to many, shattered into so many pieces.

After making my blog entry yesterday, I tried to take a nap. I informed my housemates, Cody and Ray, that I was going to lie down for a bit. No sooner does my head hit the pillow than I hear the front door open with the arrival of Steve and Wyatt.

These two are nice guys. They're funny guys. But when Steve is in the mix, there tends to be no control over the tone of conversation. Steve, not really having a home to call his own, has been crashing on various couches. (The main place he stays is often referred to as "home," even though it's not any kind of permanent residence.) This led to a warning from me a week or so ago, when he was spending the night, in which I flat-out threatened him. "Disturb my ability to get some rest, or wake me up, and I'm kicking you out." I later apologized for this threat, and believed my message had gotten through.

It hadn't. Not only is Steve loud, but he inspires others to be loud. And just when I'd finally drifted off to sleep, the noise from the living room had me wide awake...and pissed off. All I did was shuffle out there and glare, to which everyone apologized. But it was Steve that remained tha main culprit.

The night went on as usual, which meant a call from Neko. She wasn't in the best of moods, so I had her read my recent post, "Holy $#*%!!!", while I was on the phone with her. As we all know, it's not what you say, but how you say it, and the way I spoke of my terrifying adventure to the ER had her laughing. (Mood improved...I'm a good guy.)

However, as our conversation progressed, I learned that she's in emotional turmoil. She has two great guys in her life, one of whom she claims is me. The two of us treat her with caring and respect, to which she is completely unaccustomed. And it all started with me teasing her that she was falling for me. I even sang, "Rob and Neko sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G..." She became quiet, so I asked what's on her mind, and that's when the revelation was made about her emotional confusion.

I have been EXTREMELY open and honest with her. We've even discussed how I'm in a great position to sabotage her relationship with the other guy, thereby placing me ahead of him, but haven't done any such thing. It turns out that that tact was worse than anything I could have done, as she said, "You really are a nice guy, and I hate you for it." (Well, I helped get that sentiment out, but that was her basic message.)

Thus began a lot of talking from me, in which I flat-out admitted that every call I make has an ulterior motive. I DO want to win her affections...and that I don't want to be the source of any pain for her. The other guy, whom I'll call "Dan," was in her life first. She's going to see him in May. My coming late to the game has created confusion, especially when she called me "her Rob" at one point, and didn't even know when that happened. "When did I become so attached to you?" But when she first called me that, I returned it by calling her "my Neko," which still makes her giggle like a school girl with a massive crush.

But it's not fair to her. My calls are always an effort to win her over, even if our conversations are trivial or filled with "silly flirting." I calmly explained that I didn't want to be the guy who made her emotional state such a mess, and that there was now a HUGE difference between what we WANT to do and what we SHOULD do. The former is that we continue on our current path, thoroughly making a mess of her head. The latter is that I stop making calls to her, thereby reducing her emotional distress. Mind you, I wasn't making any effort to tell her to vanish. I made it clear that "my Neko was welcome to call me whenever she wanted." But the calls from me would have to stop, because I AM making an effort to gain all of her attention, thereby leaving no room for Dan. It wasn't fair to her. It wasn't fair to him, (although I'm not terribly invested in how he feels about things).

So there I am, doing what's right, and being a nice guy in the process...which leads Neko to a lot of crying. "I really hate you right now. Why'd you have to go and be so damned nice?" It made things worse that I told her to take some time to think, maybe call her best friend to discuss what was going on. This brought even more tears. When asked WHY she was crying, she stated that she had no idea. But I had some, and shared them. For all the bed relationships she's had in the past, along come two guys AT THE SAME TIME who treat he almost like a princess. But I made it clear she can't have both of us, and he was in her life first. Better that I should back away a bit and give her room to breath, rather than stifle her emotions. And if she DOESN'T want me to back off, she could say as much...and understands that such a path will be filled with me devious efforts to bring her into my life. (Yes, very devious. I will "nice her to death.")

We ended our call on a happier note, with only the aftermath of her crying to deal with. Like many people, she dislikes such fits of emotion because it stuffs the nose, makes them sound funny, etc. She will call when she wants...which I honestly hope is soon. I've been falling for her, as well.

In the rest of the trailer, it was a night filled with the usual suspects. And as Cody headed for bed, with Steve in the living room, I started getting angry...Genuinely anger.

I'm still trying to adjust to the fact that I live here now. While the two guys I live with may be overgrown juvenile delinquents, gamer geeks, and slobs, I have it pretty good here. If I say I have a problem, they do their best, (which is sometimes pretty bad), to help me. Still my frame of mind has conversations like the following occur from time to time...

Me: Cody, I know you're working soon. Are you going to need the shower?
Cody: Why do you ask?
Me: Well, I was going to shower, but I have no obligations, so if you need it...
Cody: Rob, you live here too. Go take your damn shower.
Me: Shoot me for being considerate.

So there's Steve, in the living room, playing video games while Cody retired, and I was angry that he'd once again been clearance to spend the night without anyone asking me, in my precarious medical state, if it was okay. I went out to the living room...

Me: Steve...? Is anyone coming to get you to bring you home?
Steve: Ummm...I guess not.
Me: I see. So you intend to spend the night, and no one asked me if I was okay with it?
Steve: (Stunned silence.)
Me: Well, that's just f****** great. For all the times I'm reminded that I live here too, I'm never consulted about you spending the night. This is great, because the guy who interrupts the rest I desperately need is now getting to enjoy the hospitality of our home. I am sick, Steve, and you are making me sicker! I moved here for the express reason that I can no longer live alone, and you are making things worse!
Steve: I'm sorry.
Me: No you're not. Because if you were sorry, you'd make some changes to your behavior. Instead, it's like dealing with a kid who can't control his mouth...ever!
Steve: (coming across as though merely placating me) Okay, Rob.
Me: Yeah, that tone is definitely winning me over.
Steve: Okay, Rob.

(This is NOT word-for word, as my memory falters when I'm enraged, and encompasses two separate conversations, but the sentiments are here.)

I returned to my room and fumed for a bit, and took a Xanax to calm me down; my emotions were rapidly getting out of control. Feeling as though he'd taken a patronizing tone with me, I resisted the urge to head back to the living room and just kick Steve out...into the thunderstorm that was raging.

How Cody didn't hear this is beyond me. I was NOT using my "indoor voice." And Ray had gone out with a few people, including Siege, for a few drinks. So when Ray came home, it apparently became a quiet discussion in the living room about getting Steve somewhere else...

...and I learned this from Siege, who came to my room to talk. He'd heard about my ulcer adventures, and the moment he mentioned them, I broke down. Tears streamed down my face as I asked, "Why can't I go through a single month without SOME disaster striking? I mean, just when I think I'm done with one problem, another manages to start up. When do I get a break? Is it really asking too much to have a month off from all of my medical dramas?"

Siege did his best to quell my anger and frustration. As backward as it seems, one thing he said connected. "I know it's terrifying to think about losing your foot, but if they took it, it would be one less thing to worry about." It's true...and yet despite it being so problematic, I have been rather attached, literally and figuratively, to my feet. That, and I have the silly superstition that once imbs start coming off, the diabetic has about 10 years of life left. (Don't ask where it comes from; I'm not up to telling that tale.)

Somewhere during our chat, I learned that Ray and Steve were in the living room, attempting to find somewhere else he could spend the night. It being 2:00 AM, I wasn't going to have that bit of guilt riding me for the next few weeks, so I returned to the living room. "Steve, you can spend the night. But it can't be an automatic assumption that you're welcome here, especially after waking me from the rest I desperately need." Ray attempted to intervene, telling me that they were going to get Steve somewhere else, to which I repeated that Steve could spend the night, but people should really consult ME, as well.

Siege and I chatted a bit more, and then he was on his way. By then, my Xanax dose was really kicking in, so it was bed time. This morning...? Well, I was supposed to go for an MRI on my left elbow and C-spine, but I called and explained that a diabetic ulcer was complicating my life. They were fully understanding, and I did NOT reschedule, further explaining that until I know what path this wounded foot will take me, making and keeping an appointment would be difficult.

And now...? To be honest, I'm exhausted. I just want some rest. So I'll on my way, try to reassemble the man I usually am.

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