J had a rare day off so we decided to go on a drive out to the country. We ended up at a small family zoo in the middle of nowhere that J somehow heard about and wanted to visit for ages. We were expecting to see lots of majestic creatures, but instead we saw a few cockatiels, rabbits, lizards and one beaver. It was more of a kid’s zoo, which I didn’t mind because some of the animals were quite cute, but J found a million things to complain about that I wouldn’t hear the end of all day. He wanted a world of lions and tigers and nothing else. As we were leaving the place he was rude to the staff, and once in the car he sped off, nearly knocking several families over, he was so determined to get away.
I felt trapped with him at that point and I couldn’t wait to get home and away from him. After a full night and morning with him I knew that this was not turning into a happy relationship. I could hardly remember why it was I liked him so much in the beginning. I’ve heard it said the ones who annoy you most are the ones you care about the most, and I suppose it’s true in the case of my mum and my closest friends – but with them I can accept their annoying habits because it’s just one part of them as a whole, it’s not the only thing about them. With J, the annoying bits have become so overpowering I’ve come to dread seeing him again.
It’s not just the constant complaining and bitching about others, it’s all the crap he talks all the time. He has these conspiracy theories that he got from the internet, I’m sure he doesn’t really understand them properly. It makes me question what I’m really getting out of this relationship. For a few months the sex was quite nice, but I’m even finding that quite boring now. He gets tired so easily – and I’m not saying I’m an animal in bed because I get tired too. We both get so tired after half an hour of mild foreplay it’s almost not worth taking our clothes off.
I’d feel horrible dumping him now, so I don’t know what to do. If I was to dump him I couldn’t just do it by instant message like a teenager would, we’d have to sit down face to face and I can’t bear the thought of it. Hence I am trapped once again by my own inability to take action. This is how you lose control of your life, by allowing yourself to get stuck in situations you don’t like through your own politeness. If I could give advice to anyone young and clueless about these things, it would be to stay away from relationships that you haven’t chosen. Do the choosing, then you might just be in with a chance of feeling OK about yourself.
Another way I’m trapped is in my own home. I’ve realised that I don’t get on with the landlord any more, and I would like to leave this flat, but I know it would upset him so I can’t bear to make the break. Instead of doing anything useful I’m allowing a mighty resentment to build in me. It builds on all the small things, like it did the other day when he asked me if I’d seen a missing pair of sunglasses, and I could tell in his tone that he expected me to know where they were. Ever since then I’ve sensed an awkwardness in the air which is just perfect because I feel exactly the way I did in 2003, when I lived in a place with people that made me want to slit my wrists.
If you want to know what I’m doing to make these situations better, it’s nothing. I only know how to sit in my room and let things fester, I’ve never done it any other way. This is who I am. When I was talking the other day about how much progress I’ve been making thanks to the swimming and the gym going, I was only telling part of the story. That makes me hate myself, the fact after all these years of fucking trying I still haven’t managed to write one line that tells the full story, that isn’t hiding or missing something out.
I think the only really good thing about redundancy, if I get it, is that it will give me a good excuse to run away from all these situations. I’ll be able to tell J and the landlord I’m taking my money and my professional skills and I’m moving to Europe. If I get the customer experience job, I’ll have to stay here and face things. I think last week I was really pinning my hopes on redundancy as I thought it would be the only way I could leave London. This week I’m reminded that I can leave London whenever I want, whether I’m working here or not. I don’t have to stay in this flat forever just because I’m working in London, that’s for sure. But without the big excuse of being made redundant to back me up, I don’t know what I would tell the landlord. If I say to him “I’m not happy here,” he’ll want to know why, and I’ll have to spend hours explaining it to him, justifying myself until I’m so tired of arguing about it I’ll be ready to give in and stay.
It’s easy to say why I’m not happy on paper: I don’t like the rules about not being able to leave anything on show in the kitchen or bathroom; I don’t like how small it is, and I’m bored of the area. Actually saying those things to his face would terrify me because we don’t have an honest relationship. Whenever I see him I’m basically keeping him happy by pretending everything’s fine here. He always says I should tell him if there’s a problem, but I know if I was to say anything he would disagree with me and play devil’s advocate until the cows come here. I may as well just stay unhappy in my room forever, it would be much, much easier.