Around this time I had been in Auckland for about six months. Big changes were coming.
I finally had the opportunity to move into a house, a place of my own. And also almost every IT person I had been working and training with decided to leave the company at around the same time. The only other IT staff member left at the Auckland campus was the person who got the job I had applied for that didn’t suit, and he was going on holiday overseas for a month.
It was a case of sink or swim, and anything but long hours and some occasional sleep had to wait.
I don’t know how long it was until I started having a life outside of work again, but it was at least another six months.
The next significant person I met is a real sweetie, with a beautiful heart, lets call her S. I know she cares about me and I will always care about her. But in a way S’s heart was the problem. She had decided that she was the protector of her family. Her Mum was very sick, and one of her brothers was always getting himself in trouble. So she would alway rush in to save the day, putting everything in her own life on hold to save the day.
This was hard to watch for a couple of reasons. One I was always low down on the priority list, and two generally when I saw her she was stressed out from whatever crisis she had been dealing with. So I would do my best to make her feel good, and help her relax a bit. But generally just as we were starting to relax something would come up with her family and she would disappear again for a while.
A number of times I tried to encourage S, to put herself first occasionally, but she saw this as me looking for a fight. We both tried to make things work a number of times, but eventually things deteriorated to the point where it felt like we were treating each other like a booty call.
That was the last thing I wanted.
Some time after the first couple of attempts with S failed, a friend was having a party, it was a definite couples thing. I would be the only “Single” there. So I had two choices, flag the party, or find a date. Flagging would have disappointed a friend, so I tried asking someone from work, lets call her E. I was very surprised when she said yes. We had a good night, and a other dates followed quickly. Within a month we were a couple.
For about a year things were the best I had ever experienced as far as a relationship. I was happy, and seriously considering asking the “Big Question”. Just as I worked up the courage E said she wanted to talk to me. I thought it was a sign we were thinking the same way. I started dreaming of the future.
The conversation went nothing as I imagined, she wanted to break up. I was stunned at first with nothing to say. Then I was consumed by fear. I don’t remember much of what I said but though I cringe to admit it, it must have been begging E to stay with me. She did.
What I didn’t notice was that emotionally she had already left. We would get together do something fun, often ending up in bed. I hoped eventually things would return to how they had been before. But now in the back of my head I was always scared of making a mistake and losing everything. This meant that almost anything E asked for I tried to provide.
Somewhere between six months and a year later E told me “I have news, I’m moving to the UK. Oh and by the way I have met someone else, but I’m not moving in with him. You will wait for me in case it doesn’t work won’t you?” Thankfully this time I had the balls to tell her to get out and that no I wouldn’t be waiting.
I was crushed, life passed in a sort of haze for a while. E moved countries and was living with her new man within a month. They were married within three. It turns out that often she had been coming and spending time with me, and decided that it was appropriate to use my computer to talk to her new man.
Once the haze lifted, it was basically like my emotions were switched off. I got through one day at a time. Never planning more than a week ahead. My house became the enemy who wanted to go home and be alone. I also couldn’t watch all my friends doing couple things. So I worked, when I couldn’t work I went to a mall near my house and stayed until I had to leave. I also watched a lot of movies, wishing the lives on the screen were mine.
People have often considered me aggressive which I don’t understand, but at this time anger was definitely close to the surface. Anger and Pain. I slowly convinced myself that I had been stupid believing that I could find love or even companionship. After all a lot of people better than me were alone, so why would I be lucky? So really what had happened was my fault, and I deserved what happened. Sex became an itch to be scratched, but only when I must and only with someone I didn’t care about. Any thoughts of love or family were put into a box within my mind and never looked at.
Life continued like this for years, I was truly unhappy and wasn’t taking care of my health.