An awful lot of why I respect Noah as much as I do is because of his single minded fixation on his goals. Which is not to say that all of his goals serve my goals--they don't. But he's very honest about that. He is very specific about which sand castles he lets me build--that was the result of years of screaming at him about doing that inappropriately with other people he dated. Ok, I didn't scream. But I was vehement.
If you are not going to fucking do something then you are a piece of shit asshole when you give women the impression that you will. That is rude, disrespectful, and disgusting. I didn't hold back. That was pretty surely hard to live with. But he decided that he wants to be married to me. He stopped letting chicks do that. Then he stopped dating them because he wanted to keep me.
Noah is having a good time where he is currently working. I have specific areas of disgruntlement which have resulted in me poking him with a sharp stick. This lead to him poking his head up around and looking around at options. But he has this buddy at work. Sigh. Ok. I will keep putting up with areas of disgruntlement. I don't actually have any right to complain about his job. He's the one who has to do it. I am a fascist about enforcing that his work day has an end point.
Any extra time you "choose" to give your company is time you are choosing to not spend with your wife and kids. Why are you doing that? Why are you saying fuck you to me? Living with me can't be easy. I expect him to work ridiculously hard while he is at work so that he can advance (no really--this is an expectation) and then to walk out the door and pretend that work is almost invisible. That's a tall order. He's delivering but the strain is becoming more apparent.
Every so often I have a window into what it is like to be Noah. I understand his perspective just a little. An awful lot of why I respect Noah as much as I do is because of his single minded fixation on his goals. Noah exists. Noah is a force shaping change. It is unpredictable and sometimes everything he works for gets thrown away on a whim.
And for being able to create things out of thin air he is paid handsomely. I think I hold it against him. Sometimes I think I should have deliberately married a loser--that way I would feel like I had gotten what I deserve. Instead I got Noah.
I think that Noah and I fit together partially because we are both so alienated from society yet we are really lonely. Not many people are as alienated from their families as Noah and I are. Noah doesn't have abuse issues like me--nothing like. But he doesn't feel like part of that family. It is weird to me. They don't really understand him--ok. They are ignorant and violent in defense of their ignorance--ok. But he feels no obligation whatsoever.
I feel obligation. I feel terrible guilt about walking away from Aunt Vonnie and my niece and nephews. I feel horrible guilt that I abandoned them to the horror. I can't believe they are my problem. I can't fix them. I can't make their lives better. I just have to run if I don't want to be like them.
I think that part of why this relationship works for me is Noah has handed all of the day to day money over to me. I get to be in control of my financial safety. In 2011 we spent a bit over $28,000 more than Noah made. It wasn't a problem--I had the annuities and then we had Sarah's rent. This year I have already saved $7,000 of Noah's income. He didn't get a raise. My book hasn't even paid off the editor. If the next few months are on target I will have spent $40,000 less this year than last year.
I need to be the one controlling spending. When I am the person doing it I can dramatically shift my lifestyle and feel ok about it. Other people have different priorities. I can't handle feeling deprived at someone else's whim. It makes me angry and rebellious. If Noah set our current budget I would freak out. I am cognizant that I am reaching my goals on time or a little ahead of schedule and I try to eek out occasional blips of stress relief.
But from where I am sitting I have a freezer stuffed full of a wide variety of meat I feel good about eating. I have to have a variety or I get pissy and nasty about eating at home. I can't eat all beef all the time. I have preserved enough local berries to get us through till next year. I have stocked up on dry goods. My grocery budget for the next five months will be almost nothing. I have saved enough that I have already paid next years property taxes in that budget column.
When I am feeling anxious or if I want to buy something I go look at www.mint.com. I am trying to keep my focus on what I'm doing. When I want to spend money I am generally trying to distract myself or soothe myself or get some feeling of pleasure. I know that the thing won't make me as happy as having the feeling of safety.
This month our bank account cash balance will hit $40,000. This is the first time in my life that has happened because of a slow accumulation instead of from a random extra check arriving. It feels different.
And all of this feels weird because I don't earn any of it. I feel that so acutely. I am the manager. It helps me not spend money on myself. I use the money in service of our shared goals. I have a specific small subset of the budget that is my personal spending money. I need cheaper hobbies if I am ever going to Starbuck's again. The book. Race entry fees. Running shoes. A Disneyland annual pass. Lady Gaga tickets. I think that's a pretty awesome year of fun things. I'm glad to not do a lot of smaller things. No I'm not. I'm lonely. But I still don't want to change my priorities. I'm doing what I want to be doing.
It is weird to feel envy for what people have and do and know that I am consciously choosing to not do it in favor of other goals. I don't compromise. It's kind of weird to recognize about myself. I am on my own course. It doesn't overlap with other people very often. Other people don't want to do things in the times and ways I want to do them so I do them alone. That's ok.
That's the direction I have to grow, isn't it? It's ok that I am alone. I am doing what I want to do. Other people don't share my interests or timing. That's ok. It just happens that way sometimes.
This is a lot of why being with Noah is so weird. We are trying to figure out how to grow closer together. It's hard. Everything we do seems to want us to be separate in space. We don't overlap in hobbies much beyond sex. That's a hard one while we have kids around. I have all kinds of issues. I have a brick wall between my sexuality and my children.
At least until they can read. Then I will tell them that if they read my blog they will have to learn how to self-select out of information they don't want. Ha. I hope they won't find it till they are basically adults. But I'm not going to hide it. I just don't need to bring it up or talk about anything I write about spontaneously. It isn't their business.
I think that Noah and I are comfortable with one another because neither of us has much expectation that the other will change to be more like us. We will change, but in often weird and surprising ways. I see some couples that become practically one person. Neither of us want to renounce main character status. You can't be that deeply pair bonded and be a main character.
I think that is where the longing for G-d comes in. That would be something I could love without having to give up the essential aloneness that seems to be part of my self-identity. God could love me even when I wouldn't allow myself to believe anyone else could. Sometimes I don't allow Noah to be someone who loves me in my head. I mean that when I am thinking of him it doesn't occur to me that he could love me. He couldn't act like that and love me at the same time. In my world view those things are incongruous. But not in his world view. He is on a completely different track than me.
I can't change him. He will always do things that make me feel alienated and alone and completely unloved. That doesn't mean that he stops loving me during those times. It means I have attachment issues. I do not believe there is a way for me to try to change him that would prevent those feelings from happening. I think it would be unhealthy to try.
That is what my sister does. She wants people who will "try harder" to be what she wants. But at the end of the day they are still them and they just aren't good enough. It's a bad cycle.
Noah isn't perfect. But he is consistently him. I can predict him. I asked him to stop dating people because there would always be bad communication because he would be trying to tell me what he thought would hurt me least. Not what was true. Because that is what he does. If he's not in a situation where his sex life is on the line he doesn't worry so much about just telling me.
My sister believes that relationships are good or not based on how much time you spend with someone. This is why she doesn't work and she dates people who don't work. They can be together 24/7. It's awesome! It has been hard for me to deal with how much separation is "normal". I feel abandoned all day every day. I feel hurt. I feel unwanted. I know that these are entirely irrational feelings. I know that Noah is doing the right thing in every way by working.
When I was a child I couldn't imagine that being a grown up meant learning to tolerate being alone. Being away from you is part of how people support having a relationship with you. I didn't understand. I feel like I still don't.
Someone on the internet (obviously a sound source) said I was a train wreck who depended on my husband too much. I couldn't agree more. I just can't work out how to depend on him less. I try to just not talk. I try to not be demanding. I try to just be grateful for what he offers.
Oh who the hell am I kidding. I'm very demanding. I'm sorry for it. I just can't see a way to survive that involves less demanding. I mean, I could do the ghost thing. But that's not really surviving. I don't want my kids to learn that.
I have to act in a way I want them to act. I want them to believe that their needs are worth meeting. Sometimes that involves being demanding.