Friday, July 08, 2016

Tyler/Alan: Countdown

Kitty and I have had a few dinners with Alan's family since I've been here. It's a strange feeling, because we hardly know these people yet they treat us like family. When I was Lauren, it was a little easier to get used to because I was around her family all the point to where I started thinking of them as "my" family. The Schmidts are very nice people but I've only met them a few times. And this last one really didn't go so well.

We were at a small backyard get-together over the weekend. Over the course of the night, she had a few drinks. Alcohol seems to have a pretty random effect on Kitty... sometimes it makes her very friendly and even frisky, sometimes it makes her moody or sad. I have actually tried to limit her drinking but I couldn't really find a basis to do so since she's a grown woman and it's not always this bad. On this particular night it made her just nasty. Made her want to spill her guts to anyone who would listen about how inattentive I was, how I had shortcomings as a provider, how there was no future with me... the implication being that I just didn't live up to her ex, Chet. This all stemming from the fact that I tried to convince her to take a temp job to lighten the financial load, and because I also work nights when she feels we could be spending time together. But nobody in the audience really got that context.

For me, it was embarrassing, and I had to basically drag her home early. For everyone around, it was confusing. We were supposedly this perfect match that had been together for years and had a really solid foundation, but the reality is we just started sleeping together a few months ago out of convenience. A need for comfort. A rebound.

I don't think Kitty gets the whole "rebound" thing and I feel bad that I have ended up hurting her. She wanted to leap into something more serious, committed and constant, because that was what she was used to. I just needed to blow off some steam and I really thought we were on the same page. I saw too late that we aren't. She expects a lot of my attention and I need a bit more freedom to find myself before I can be with someone the way I was with Meghan.I think the issue is that she sees me "in-character" as Alan, her "loving boyfriend," and wonders why I can't be like that all the time. And I can't explain it, I just... can't be.

When we got home, we sat down and tried to have a long talk. She was in tears, talking about how I had embarrassed her by taking her away from the party and treated her more like a problem than a person.

I told her I respect her feelings too much to continue this arrangement. I felt like if it just wasn't working out, we should go our separate ways. As I said that, I felt the familiar sting of what a mistake it was the last time I did (honestly, if I wasn't so bull-headed, with such easily-wounded pride, I'm sure I could have worked it out with Meg.) This time, I didn't think I would have the regrets.

But she turned it around and begged me to reconsider. Please, she said, she's happier with someone than without, even in this situation. And she feels like we do get along (a lot of the time we do!) and that makes it worth working for. She also took the opportunity to take a few jabs at me for being a quitter. Ouch. Fair, though.

I said I really didn't know where I was at right now with the whole relationship thing. And in the back of my mind I'm thinking, "Better keep things stable. We're almost at the finish line, going back to the Inn, and if I break up with her now she might decide just to steal Greta's body." It sucks that I would suspect her of doing such a thing but I really don't know what she's capable of. It would be easy.

So, despite myself, I said yes. We're continuing to try. Maybe I'm a fool, but I want something in my life to work. At least for a little while. I don't know if either of us is the good guy here. Or even the bad guy. We're just two mixed-up people trying to find some happiness, you know?

And I realize the more I write in here, the more I'm not a perfect person and I have my own demons to face down. Commitment issues, communication issues, just personal problems that have plagued every good and bad relationship I have ever had. Maybe in my next life I will finally start to get the hang of it.

In some ways it was easier being Lauren. If I can forget all the pain of yearning for Meghan and the angst of being forced into the life of a teenage girl, at least I didn't have as much leeway to really screw things up for myself. How's that for self-loathing? Sometimes I would rather just give up control of my life again, because it couldn't get any worse. Anyway, sorry for the pity party. Needed to vent. Thanks for listening.

-Ty

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