Is this self sabotage?

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So birthday was wonderful and boyfriend did do some nice things, so did other friends of mine. My boss told me an opportunity could come up in a few months in the city that boyfriend lives in. When I told him this, he was very cool headed about it. Said he would leave it up to me. I wasn’t satisfied, I asked him if I moved, would he commit to staying in that very city longer. And I didn’t like his reply of just we’ll see.

I don’t get why men don’t appreciate all that women end up doing to keep the relationship going. I always talk first after a fight. I do know that this recent one was triggered after I felt he was waffling about living in the same city while I was ready to uproot everything and go where he was. Sometimes I feel that I have given way too much in this relationship. Why does he think that being thoughtful is only about the gifts he gets me for special days?

I do know that a lot of times I start the ranting by mentioning my dissatisfaction at him not proposing and never giving me a clear answer about anything. He keeps saying he is working at it. He said yesterday that he is doing everything he is supposed to do. But how come nothing happens then? How come there is no ring on my finger and how come he still freaks out about talking to my parents or me meeting his?

And I am not able to give it a rest. Every 2 months or so I do ask him what is happening. It was more frequent before. I know people will just say why don’t I leave him if I am so unhappy. I don’t have a clear answer to that but I do know that I don’t feel ready to do that. I don’t feel ready to get back in the game again and what’s the guarantee I won’t reach the same stage with another person. Soemtimes I really hate him for making me wait. Today is one of those days. Is it self sabotage that when things are going ok otherwise, I do invariably end up asking about marriage. I mean, I am 30, I want my life to be figured out by now.

I have started comparing him to my work place actually. I have not found total acceptance and recognition at work as such. They show it by giving me one of the highest raise percentage (or so my boss told me this time) but they don’t hand over the important things to me. They don’t really trust I can handle it. Agreed, the high pressure of live breaking news reporting sometimes gets to me, but I have never given out unverified or outright wrong news, which some people have and they still get a lot of acclaim.  6 years and I am treated like a newbie and some newbies are even treated better than me. I sometimes feel my boyfriend is also doing the same. In short, I feel under appreciated and under recognised in life.

There is very little stability in my life. No place or person that is totally mine and can never be taken away from me. The young me might have thought stability equals boredom. But I know better now. I have read and read about trusting in times of uncertainty, but I just have none left. I cry every other day over having no control over my life. I am scared of taking chances now. I feel I am boxing myself in with each passing day. Part of this could also have been brought forth by the whole moving. I had really built a routine at this place but my landlady isn’t keen on renewing the lease this time so I have to go.

I wonder if I’ll always be so bogged down. Who’ll want that kind of  a wife? And I hope if I ever get to be a mother, I am not so down on myself, because I would want the child to be happy. But who knows if any of that is ever going to happen. Tonight I feel, I must just be here, same city that is growing expensive by the day, struggling, taking an over crowded train and moving from place to place every 11 months as I can’t afford a home here.

I digress. Is it self sabotage that I have so much pent up anger and once in a while I let my boyfriend have it, no matter how nice he has been just 2 days before that by getting me awesome gifts? Or is it justified that the only gift I really want from him is a deeper commitment and nothing else really counts?

 

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Financial woes

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So ended up discussing finances with my dad yesterday and the picture is grim. I don’t think our family can afford weddings of 2 girls. So it seems however much I want to get married, maybe putting it off is the thing to do. Of the two of us sisters, I have a more stable career at the moment, seems its best to therefore focus on getting my sister married.  Atleast one of us should have a good family life, she is younger by 5 years, so now is the right time for her to start looking.

I also realised that my dad doesn’t really think I am good enough wife material. I don’t know if I should be sad or angry at this or just take it as generational disconnect. I have got feelers from him before too about how I may studied too much and focused too much on my career earlier. To be honest, this was more my parents’ perception than my actual thoughts. I had wanted to get married at 25-26. I had seen my sisters in law getting married at 22-23 and have seen how now in their late 30s they are enjoying a lot of things, with the children in their early teens. I had always wanted to be a young mother. But that is not going to happen anymore. There are exactly 10 days now for me to turn 30. My sister however can focus on her family life and her career if the family finally agrees with me to marry her off first.

Back to the finances, I think I may have to move to humble lodgings, it would be nice probably to get myself into a working women’s hostel. The rents are becoming prohibitive in my city and the deposits for rental accommodation are even higher. I may have to cut back a little more on my expenses and rent would be a good place to start. If not this new lease, then later. Right now I am still working under the assumption that I may get married someday, but I have to start thinking of what if it never happens or doesn’t happen when I can still afford some aspects of it.

Sometimes I am very bitter about all this. All my 20s I was surrounded by people who really enjoyed their youth, went out, met a lot of people, travelled a lot. Money was a huge issue for me and so I couldn’t do much of that. The only luxury I have allowed myself is accommodation closer to work, not even first class accommodation, just close to work so I don’t have to burn myself out with travel. I lived away once but it had a bad effect on my health. At 30 now, instead of getting a more relaxed and a better lifestyle, I think I may have to downgrade even more. I know it could have been worse and that’s the only thing that keeps me somewhat grounded. I pray to God, it will work out better.

Moving, PMS and other annoying things

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So my lease gets over end of April and my landlady doesn’t want to renew it. That means I have to find a new place by then and so far all the places I have seen are very costly. There is only one that is within my budget but that also I will have to compromise a little on my lifestyle to get into. Its completely unfurnished so I will have to invest in some basic furniture. The house hunt itself has been very humbling, in as much as pointing to the state of my finances.

As you know, boyfriend lives in a different city and he comes from a more privileged background. His move to the new city has also been facilitated in some ways by his folks, they have deeper pockets. Boyfriend earns more than me and has moved to a city which is less costlier than mine. I just feel its all a little unfair because I have worked hard enough and long enough and my life style instead of improving is just declining. The realities of adult life suck. And there are no gold stars or satin ribbons to be earned if you are a functional adult taking care of your own finances and life.

The fact that I may not even have the kind of lifestyle my parents had, when economies were simpler, makes me very depressed. Infact, the cycle of disillusionment with my own career choices has come to such a level I even resent what the boyfriend has. He got so worked up today asked me if I wanted him to live like an ascetic so that I would get company. When put like that I know that its wrong of me to put the burden of my disappointments on him.

However the cost dynamic and every thing else included has made me doubt all my decisions. I don’t know if I can sustain things like lay offs or other economic horrors that are becoming everyday in our country now. It seems like to be relevant at your work place requires much more effort now. The rewards however are smaller.

How do I keep the realities from discouraging me and making me bitter? There is so much that I am struggling with and the only thing I can come up with is I am a self made person. Have repaid the money I borrowed from my parents for my education and do send them money every month. I try to save for myself and have some insurance amount and some locked deposits. I am trying in a lot of ways to be a responsible person.

Then again I know the kind of depression I radiate is not attractive. I marvel at times that boyfriend is still around. I have been a nut case for close to a year now and unless something changes externally in my life, I feel I will become well and truly crazy. I come to my senses for a few days and then PMS happens. Frankly, I just want to stay still and be happy about everything in my life, just some peace and the knowledge that everything is going to be alright.

I also realise part of my current disillusionment is that I dreamt way too high and expected a lot more. I came from a very humble background and I expected to be super rich within just 5 years of working. I expected the salary I currently have atleast 3 years ago. To be honest, I was also misled by the boom climate prior to 2007, when I was just a student. I had heard of many who started earning 6 figures in 3-4 years, but then 2008 happened. I also had always been very clear about expectations like marriage and engagement in my relationships. I did tell my current man I wanted to be engaged within a year. Its year 3 and neither has engagement happened nor have I been able to simply move on. It has now become like a bone of contention. Added to that, his life and career has gone from strength to strength. He completed an MBA, got a good job after a one month wait. I am still at the same job and my increments have been slow. I just feel a little cheated by life at times because I used to be a straight As student, never got into any trouble as a kid and always surpassed what was expected of me. So this adult life, one without gold stars and satin ribbons or even the occasional pat on the shoulder, I am taking it very hard.

Have any of you felt jealous of other more privileged people around you, or even your own partner? Have you ever felt you have put in so much into everything and you are just running on empty but you are trapped? I discussed the possibility of quitting my job and moving back home with my folks and finding something there. It wasn’t well received, turns out the situation at home is also quite bad and my salary is necessary. Suddenly I felt a sense of panic about just how important jobs are for all of us and especially for those who have children to feed. No wonder a lot of kids think their parents are uncool. Its not so much as uncool, its more like the parents are just doing whatever needs to be done and don’t have the luxury of enterprise that the teen has.

Ok, that’s a lot of disjointed thoughts.

The downward spiral of trash talking myself

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Two days ago another episode happened. Some common friends who just discovered they knew boyfriend and me were comparing notes. So the person known to me, comes and tells me how they were comparing notes and then says you guys aren’t getting married anytime soon isn’t it? So I reluctantly say no. Then he asks me have I asked boyfriend why not. I shush him in a very fun way, but it sets the tone for 3 days (including today) of my being mopey and snarky and feeling I am trapped in this relationship.

I want marriage and I have made no bones about it to boyfriend. Approaching 30 in less than 2 weeks from now, I feel like time is running out. If I spend a year or two more with him, my ovary might just dry up I feel. Already my periods are scanty. I have cried, pleaded and gone on and on about how important it is to me. But at 3 years, I havent even once spoken to his folks and he gets irritated when the topic of marriage is brought up. He has in the recent past told me about how I tend to complain about my job, my financial status and everything else always and fail to look at what’s working for me. True as that may be and I know I am no saint, I still feel that this decision is stuck because of him. My folks are ready to meet him, I have staved off all the plans they had of marrying me of, I have stood up to them. His folks, I have no idea about, because he refuses to talk much about it and he gets angry if I say he hasn’t really been working to get it done. Also the last time we were all in the same city,  I asked him to talk to his mom and he said she just went silent as if she hadn’t heard what he said and refused to discuss it any further. We had a fight that day, but ultimately made up. Its tough for us to stay mad when we are around each other.

I may have to allow for the fact that he is younger and that 1.5 of these 3 years he was abroad doing an MBA and he has now got a job in a different city. But even so, I feel now is time enough. Yes, I havent shut up enough about it. Sometimes I feel incredibly thankful that he still listens to my rant, but what gets my goat is I don’t get a concrete response. I just get an I love you and sometimes pls stop and slow down. I am not getting the reply I want. It has come to such an extent that I feel all the romance is gone. What girl doesn’t want to be surprised by a proposal? And yet it has come down to me having to badger him to tell me one way or the other so that I may make peace with it.

At this point, sometimes I don’t see any other option than just breaking it up. I have mentioned to him that I will have to move on if nothing happens in any way on my 30th birthday. I feel the pressure of my age. I feel the pressure  of not having had anything figured out and I feel the pressure of certain physical realities. I also feel the pressure of being 30 and not having one solid relationship other than my parents who are aging and may not be there one day. I have spent 3 days feeling sorry for myself. Yesterday I couldn’t get out of the bed for half the day, thinking how horrible that I may have to just break up with him and that there didn’t seem any other option. Today I have vented to him the entire day and he has been listening, didn’t lose his temper much. But all I got out of him was an I love you. No plans, no talk of how he planned to get us to the altar by the end of this year as he claimed in January.

I feel like the world’s most unlovable person that I have to give ultimatums and that communication seems to be only difficult for my relationships. I have fought hard for everything for the last 7 years or so and I feel so drained now. First it was the job, then it was getting my parents to acknowledge I am an adult, then the failed relationship that made me skeptical of everything and now waiting 3 years for the love of my life to formally commit.

On the flip side, I met a cabbie yesterday who offered brief respite from my self loathing. Our city is very expensive and living here is damn hard if your income isn’t monthly 6 figures. And cabbies live on 4 figures. He complained about the rising prices and all the other challenges being a human being brings to you. But he had a simplistic, deal with it attitude and a grateful heart. For a few hours, after that, I was able to rein in my emotions. But this morning, I again lost it to the devil of fearful thinking.

Another achievement, I started covering the state legislature for our news channel and I am liking it. Also I tried 11 different eateries. So the 20 before 30 is on track.

What’s not on track is my emotions about how my life is turning out. I feel I can’t live as a single woman forever and if I have to I will be very bitter. I can’t but help feel ridiculous when I hear of one more engagement. I know if I break up with him, the healing will take 6 months to a year and I may not be able to be in another happy relationship till then. But most of all, I feel the fairy tale of marriage and a blissful life is tearing apart right in front of my eyes and my hopeful heart can’t bear it. I can’t seem to bear that for some of us life may not be all peaches and roses and that the only solace to take is that it isn’t worse than it is.

Sorry for a pessimistic rant.

Single and happy or single and miserable, no just single?

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This is a topic I have struggled with. The cultural narrative of being single beyond a particular age is about either being single and awfully sad about it or celebrating singlehood and the joys of it. But is life that straight jacketed? I intellectually know it isnt but I am emotionally struggling with it. This piece here furthers that point with respect to singlehood :

http://www.rolereboot.org/life/details/2012-01-single-and-happy

(I don’t have any grandiose conclusions to this piece. Instead, I offer this: I think that women, both partnered and single, would benefit from being more honest about the joys and struggles that come with either situation. How wonderful for a single woman to talk about some of the struggles of being single without being automatically judged as miserable, or to be able to share her happiness without someone thinking or saying “Yes, but you don’t have a man.” Conversely, how wonderful for a married woman to be able to admit she sometimes longs for alone time, or that sometimes marriage is difficult.)

 

Sickness and loneliness

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I woke up at 5 am today with a massive pain in the chest. For the next 4 hours, I couldn’t move much and had to just keep lying in the same position. There are no doctors in my area until 12 noon and I live alone. I had to wait till then to go to a doc. I have had this kind of debilitating pain before, they said it could be costochondria or a Vitamin D deficiency and I did complete a 3 month course of medicines, so this time the recurrence took me by surprise.

But I was angry at life, God, at my boyfriend at at my own decisions that I end up being alone when I am sick. As I lay down in pain I kept alternating between fear and resolving to do something so that I don’t end up sick and alone anymore. I kept thinking what did I do wrong that it has been this way for some years now. Is it luck? Is is some stupidity on my part? Why dont I have the brilliant support system that everyone seems to have. I wonder from time to time that if I suffer a heart attack and die inside my room, no one might get to know for a couple of days. Sure my parents might call frantically at work and someone might be sent to check on me, but otherwise just nothing, no one. My boyfriend is another town, my parents too and there seems to be no possibility of them or me being able to move to each other and handle the job and finances part.

So I am angry. I feel betrayed by life and I don’t know why I have to have this loneliness to bear and I remember myself to have been lonely forever now. The meds have worked and I feel a little better now but I am just so disappointed with myself and life.

Do I reveal too much?

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I am too open with people. Colleagues, friends, everyone knows all that is going on in my life including some details of my personal life. I do tend to censor with people who I feel might take it the wrong way or spread it around, but yes I am pretty open. But I am being told that I should censor more. I am being made to feel guilty about revealing much or becoming good friends with others soon. Do you guys feel its wrong? I agree being open about my problems makes me vulnerable to judgements and attacks but this is the kind of person I have been always. So I don’t really know now what to do.

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