What Bad Days Are Made Of

There are some days when it doesn’t take very much to get me in a bad mood. Lately, days like that seem to happen when I’ve woken up very late in the afternoon—by then I’ll have woken up several times throughout the day and in a state of half-consciousness, I’ll have chosen the escape into more sleep rather then getting up and living my life. In one of my recent conversations with my dad, we agreed that I was using sleep to escape the way some people go to drugs and alcohol—or any other addiction, come to think of it. And just like any other addiction, indulging in the thing feels great while you’re at it, but when you inevitably come up for air, you feel ashamed, self-loathing and you’re stuck with the cost to pay. In my case it means feeling exhausted for the rest of the day, reduced daylight hours and feeling like a big loser.

Today happened to be just that kind of day, and as soon as I fired up my computer I found an email from my ex. That would be the most recent ex who is still convinced I’m the woman of his life, even though I’ve supplied him with plenty of evidence to the contrary by now. I’ve been a royal bitch to this guy. I’ve been patient and kind too, but truly, I just can’t stand the person I am when I have anything to do with him. That was more or less why I took my distances from him to begin with. Of course I could point the finger and make a long list of very good reasons why he’s responsible for our demise as a short-lived couple, but at the end of the day, it was the loss of respect I couldn’t stand anymore. The loss of respect I had for myself. Of course there are always many versions to a story. He remembers the good times over the bad. Must be nice to go through life that way, but I tend to take a more realistic view, which tends to leave romance in the lurch, that much is true.

The email: an anecdote to reiterate that he can’t stand Australia, Australians and that “awful” Australian accent. Followed by a mention of how much he misses me and when are we getting together? So innocuous, and yet it ended up causing a short-circuit in my brain after too much time spent mulling it over. Why say something like that if he wants to get back together? Is it a game? Is he being cruel? Is he just plain stupid? Can someone actually be that moronic? I love Australia. I’ve seriously considered moving there. I felt right at home in Sydney and got along famously with our new family members there. The ex knows all this, it all happened shortly before we met. While we were together he spent a very long time digging and questioning until I finally came out with it and said that yes, I had had a fling while I was there. I felt angry about being coerced like that. It did not lead to higher understanding. Just more strife and accusations and resentment.

I came to question everything I took for granted about personal boundaries, love, romance, sex, intimacy, commitment with that relationship. That wasn’t the first time, far from it. I’ve always been willing to put all that into question, only this time it came at a time in my life when I was learning—the hard way—that I had to take care of my own needs first and foremost, that I had to learn to actually like and respect myself, as a matter of survival, that I had to listen to my own voice first and foremost. All that was just too much to think about today. I suddenly felt exhausted. Lied on the couch, didn’t wake until late tonight. Hoped I’d wake up with a new outlook. Now I just can’t help but wonder: where’s that big bitch when I need her? I think I’ll be keeping her close by for next time I need her. Hopefully she can keep me awake.

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