January 28, 2004

Eject and Reject

Break-ups, at least in my experience, tend to be quiet affairs. It's not the stuff that Hollywood portrays a break-up as. It's not really any sobbing, wrenching, pleading kind of spectacle. Grief from a break-up is private. In all of the relationships I have ever had but one (where I was pushed around a bit), my break-ups have been quick, just a few words to actually pontificate the endless stream of words that really mean "It's over", and the participants grieve and cry in private.

Most of the time you never hear the relationship break. It just does. It starts with a little crack in the foundation, which happens when you aren't paying attention. Just a small split in the bottom of a wall. And any home-owner will tell you that a crack, if not contained, will just grow and grow, and sprickle off into a vine of other cracks. The walls begin to bow, the ceiling falls in, the stairs go wonky. You do finally reach a point where the cracks are so great that you can spend all of your time trying to repair them, or you can move.

And in my home relationship, we are moving.

We had another version of "The Talk" on Friday night when I was sufficiently liquored up. He told me he believes he will stay here in the house for the year, and can do if I pay my half of it until May (which I think is fair and will do). He said he wants to get started on his life again, and I need to get my belongings over to England as soon as humanly possible.

I am still breath-takingly stressed over the visa question, which hangs in the air like so much chest-squeezing fear (and the rejection of my Swedish citizenship just another slap in the face by this country. I get it. I am useless and not welcome here. I get it.) I got the Dream Job, I have the chance to start over...now I am waiting for one administrative detail that could make or break my dreams. Dream Job won't sponsor the visa, since it means they must go before some government board and swear there are no local candidates who can fill this job, which in this time of economic recession, there surely are.

If I don't get the visa and get out of here, I will just take to my bed and never get back out again. It's that simple. So I sit here by my pc hoping the UK government will believe in me, and as I have been hit with the flu today, I sit here in feverish, angry misery.

Partner Unit's mother has offered to take our beautiful dog. They love him madly, and I have to be honest-he will get a better life living in the countryside with a retired couple than he will with me-a mommy that works all day while he stays home in a flat in the outskirts of London. It breaks my heart to lose my Partner Unit, my house, my dog, and my history all in one go, but I don't see any other way.

I talked to Dear Mate a bit. I told him that I hurt like mad knowing that Partner Unit has wasted 5 years of his life on me. That I am upsetting his life and breaking his heart. And, as Dear Mate said on the phone, the only thing Partner Unit is guilty of is loving me too much.

I can't express how much this hurts. Partner Unit and I went to the grocery store together, and I thought about what a great guy he is. He is mad about me, and most of the time he is wonderful and kind, sweet and attentive. It's true-I cannot talk to him about deep, personal issues and his temper is scary and vicious, the stuff that makes me cower in nervousness, but the rest of the time he is a great partner.

And I am breaking his heart, and I feel terrible about it. He even turned to me in the car and told me the single thing he wanted most in life is to just be with me and love me.

I am the worst person in the world. And I have to be honest-so far, this break-up hurts worse than the break-up with Kim.

Partner Unit has started clearing out things. The burning and purging that I have been going through since losing my job, the throwing out of possession and items. Boxes placed in the hallways and cellar to be thrown away, items from lives he had before me and during me. And I have started to look around with a narrow eye and a heavy heart, wondering what will be coming with me, too. Will I throw everything out like I did before I came to Sweden? I came with just 10 boxes and a few pieces of furniture. Will I have even less this time?

I tried to hug him last night, to seek comfort in him and with him, but he doesn't want me near. His heart is breaking, my heart is breaking, and I wonder if I can get through everything that is happening without losing my mind, my friendships, or my heart.

And now we have begun taking boxes and boxes to the tip, to throw them away. Him, since he wants no memories of me. Me, since I can't move it to England, in which my last remaining and clinging dreams still linger.

And we are throwing our 5 years together away.



PS-if my posts seem down right now...well, it's cause I am. Something much more positive scheduled for tomorrow.

Posted by Everydaystranger at January 28, 2004 06:56 AM | TrackBack

Helen - I've been through the whole visa process - in reverse, being a UK citizen trying to work in the US.

It's a minefield...and I understand the whole 'company sponsroship' - I tried, and failed, even with a company that was willing to 'appear' to be following the rules, after advertising the position state-wide Human Resources found a reason to dismiss every applicant for my job for one reason or another, leaving me in the frame. Basically though I failed cos the company ended up in administration before the whole process was completed!

Hope you have better luck!

Posted by: Phil at January 29, 2004 01:59 PM

Girl, going through big changes is scary. I just went through a huge one...course, I didn't lose a person in the process but I do understand at least a little.

In fact, it's still hard these 4 1/2 months later. Somedays I still question if I made the right move. Did I do the right thing? Time will tell. I really hope I did but sometimes you have to take that leap of faith, take that chance, squeeze your eyes shut, go for it and hope beyond all hope you didn't just screw everything up.

Maybe you don't have these particular feelings; it's just my way of saying I am empathetic to your current situation.

You can't be "up" all the time, Helen. Don't worry about what we might think if your posts are "down". It's all part of life and we lurves ya during good and bad times.

You better know that you will always have us around to listen. That's all we can do right now...and I hope it's enough.

You are supported, you are loved and you will be alright.

Posted by: Serenity at January 29, 2004 12:34 AM

No, you're not the worst person in the world; you're human. It takes guts to know when it's time to move on and do it. You do PU the favor of allowing him to get on with his life, and hopefully you will soon be happy with your situation. All my best wishes in this hellish transition period.

Posted by: brj at January 28, 2004 10:05 PM

Sounds like a rough time, H. Hang in there and best of luck with the visa.

Posted by: Dave at January 28, 2004 08:36 PM

I tried to hug him last night, to seek comfort in him and with him, but he doesn't want me near.

You know I don't exactly like to take up for the Partner Unit, but I can relate to this bit. If you're trying to "get over" someone, about the last thing you need is that person trying to reach out to you. You know that it isn't meant as a tease, yet it feels like a tease.

As for Sweden giving you the "you're not good enough" message . . . honey, they're Swedes. That's a compliment.

Posted by: ilyka at January 28, 2004 06:14 PM

i think everything happens for a reason. and as much as this break-up is killing you right now, it will get better.

i'm crossing all my fingers and toes in regards to your visa. and i'm sending as much love and positive energy as i can muster your way. *smooch*

Posted by: kat at January 28, 2004 05:20 PM

This may not work for you but I looked at my divorce like the loss of my mother. Something I cherished was suddenly gone and there was nothing I could do to change that. I spent some time grieving for what was lost. I realized there were plenty of good memories and important things learned that I would always keep in my heart. And then I moved on.

Instead of focusing on the five years behind you look ahead to 55+ years of potential your life holds in front of you. You're young, you're beautiful (I mean the inner kind, well the other kind too!), and you've got so much more potential than you give yourself credit for.

Your job/location don't make you who you are. You will always be the Helen we all know and adore even if you were a bag lady in [insert dreadful place here]. You'd still blog though, right?

I hope you're feeling better soon. In every way possible, little flame.

(let's see if I don't suck today. *hits enter key*)

Posted by: Paul at January 28, 2004 05:05 PM

I really doubt that your Sweedish citizenship issues have anything to do with the country not liking you. Bureaucrats everywhere don't give a shit about anyone.

I doubt PU feels his time was wasted. I was married once, for 5 years, and it was very rocky - I've blocked out most of the details. But it wasn't completely wasted: it taught me a lesson. And I left that marriage (with kids) with nothing but some psychic scars and what I could fit in the trunk of my car.

It was a devistating time for me, and I was broken and terrified... but it ended up opening doors for me that I never dreamed were possible.

There's always more doors, Helen... there's always more doors.

Posted by: ThatGuy at January 28, 2004 04:44 PM

You didn't waste 5 years of anyone's life... I'm a true believer in the concept that everything is a learning experience, and I think both you and PU needed one another in that point in your life. And now, it's time to move on.
I'm here for you if you need anything.

Posted by: amber at January 28, 2004 02:53 PM

msd, I *love* that song, especially as sung by Anne Sofie von Otter.

And you're right, it is so very appropriate to the here and now!

Posted by: Gudy at January 28, 2004 01:35 PM

"Itīs not healthy, the blame game.", that was the part to remember Helen. Miguel.
p. s. - well you got me thinking Helen, dangerous think. Iīve had a song in my mind for quite some time, and today driving to work realized why. Rickie Lee Jones does a Beatles cover, and part of the lyrics go something like:
"And in her eyes you see nothing
No sign of love behind the tears
Cried for no one
A love that should have lasted years!"

Posted by: msd at January 28, 2004 12:44 PM

I have to take exception with something, Helen. He did not waste five years of his life with you. Right now it's difficult - all you can see is right now and right now sucks in a major way. But right now is not the past five years. The two of you have had wonderful times, challenging times, beautiful times, ugly times, tender times...well, you get what I'm saying. That five years meant something, it wasn't wasted for either of you.

Posted by: Jim at January 28, 2004 12:15 PM

Miguel dearie-I'm not doing the blame game against him-I blame myself.

Posted by: Helen at January 28, 2004 11:28 AM

melanie, helen, from my experience it takes two to end a relationship. Itīs not healthy, the blame game. Well just my opinion... sometimes things arenīt just suposed to happen, and love just isnīt enough. But Iīm throwing some at you. Miguel.

Posted by: msd at January 28, 2004 10:12 AM

I've been where you're at. I've also been where 'Partner Unit' is at. I know it sucks ass now, but you've overcome so much in your life already that I have no doubt you'll land squarely on your feet when the smoke clears and the dust settles. Best of luck with the move and just remember, you're not alone.

Posted by: James at January 28, 2004 09:37 AM

Yup Melanie-that's one of his anger examples. And that was a tame one.

Thanks for the cheering up-ness, guys. I think I just seem to have SO MUCH happening right now, a few things great but much of it bad.

Going back to bed with the flu now-but not the bird flu, it's yet another reason why I am glad to be a veggie :)

Posted by: Helen at January 28, 2004 09:35 AM

This is not an exchange between a woman and her great partner.
"He shows up within minutes, livid. "Where the fuck have you been?" he screams at me.

Now, I had spent the whole evening before in a state of severe fucked up seasickness. I had had a miserable evening and was tired. I didn't understand what he was talking about. "What?" I asked. "I just got off the boat."

Him (screaming): The fuck you did! I was waiting outside of customs. There was no way I could have missed you. So where the hell have you been and what have you been doing?

Posted by: melanie at January 28, 2004 08:50 AM


'nuff said.

Posted by: Gudy at January 28, 2004 08:46 AM

The breaking up is hard, but you're doing the right thing. You can't stay with him because he loves you, you need to stay with him because you love him, and that's not the case. And you're not "throwing away" 5 years together - you'll always have those 5 years as memories and experiences to live and learn from.

We will have to harness the power of blogdom to get your UK visa. Someone must know someone who can help.

Posted by: Simon at January 28, 2004 08:22 AM

He's right...there are so many people out here pulling for you.

There's nothing anyone can say to make this better, but know that we are all here for you. It seems like when things are this bad all anyone wants is someone to talk to, to pour their heart out to...we're all listening, continue to pour away.

Posted by: Laura at January 28, 2004 07:41 AM


It sucks. There's no other way to put it. I remember once, really getting injured. Laying there, hurt, and the only thing going through my mind was "well, this is going to suck for a long time." I knew what was ahead of me: a lot of hard work getting back to full health. It wasn't just the injury, it was the sure and certain knowledge that I wasn't going to be myself for weeks.

For you, it'll be longer. And there's no good news, only sucky news.

I feel awful for you. I often tell you that you have a lot of people pulling for you out here in the ether. And you do. Just keep that in mind.

Posted by: Jiminy at January 28, 2004 07:29 AM
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