Things are still going really well with the beau! We’ve been seeing a lot of each other and I’m being introduced to his friends and last night, his parents. I’m proud of how I’ve been handling these, feeling a lot less social anxiety than I have in the past. Beau is very sweet and asks me to tell him if I feel like he’s asking too much. He even thought to ask if I felt okay with surprises. I’ve been meeting his friends only one couple at a time, which is a lot easier for me.What I’ve been struggling with is answering all the questions… they are pretty much the same ones all the time (brackets indicate the unspoken part of that answer):
* What do you do? – I’m a student.
* What program are you taking? Is it a three year program? – [Insert description of program no one's ever heard of] – Yes (but I’m doing it in six).
* What do you want to do afterwards? Can you actually make a living from that? – I’d like to have a little workshop at home and have a tiny production of I don’t know what yet (that way I can work at my own rhythm and respect my limits). – Sure, I can get by on that (and even if I can’t, disability will pay out the difference).
* Do you work? – No.
* Then how to you support yourself? – I get help from the government (I’m on disability).
* What kind of work/studies have you been doing for the past 12 years? – I did a few semesters in university (totally flunked them); I also took a course in floristry (which lead to a burnout), worked a little in the domain but didn’t like it (lasted 6 weeks part-time before being hospitalized); other than that, I’ve done a few odd jobs (very few, never for long) and some volunteer work (most of it not being actual volunteering but therapeutic activities provided by the hospital). (I’ve been very sick for the past 10 years, in and out of the hospitals and therapy, and unable to work). (Realistically, it seems very unlikely that I’ll ever be able to hold a full-time job).
There are so many things left unsaid in all these discussions, and I’m usually left with a guilty feeling about having left them out, as if the whole things was a lie. I’ve tried my best to be honest, I don’t want to lie. I realize that a lot of those untold things will have to come out sooner or later – the first being the school thing. They’ll be asking how much more time do I have left in my program and I can’t say 2 years, as they’d expect, but 5. If they don’t figure it out before, they’ll know for sure in two years’ time, especially since the beau is graduating then.
How does one deal with all these topics whilst respecting your privacy and boundaries?
I’m not ashamed of my illnesses and my past, they’ve made me who I am today and I think I can be proud of who I’ve become, on the contrary, I’d rather they knew about them and this problem will be solved. I just don’t know how to go about it without dropping it like a brick. I’m afraid of what reactions Beau would have to deal with as well, especially with his parents. Any concern from his loved ones would be totally understandable. I just think he’s already being brave enough by staying and giving this relationship a chance in spite of it all, he doesn’t deserve to have to also justify himself to others.
As for me, I’d kind of like it if he did have that discussion with his friends and parents while I am not there. The issue would be out on the table and people would have a chance to come to terms (somewhat) with it before I had to face them. I believe that’s something I can discuss with him, tell him that if his friends inquire, it’s okay to tell them the truth, I won’t be mad at him for it, quite the contrary. Maybe it would also lessen the burden for him if he was free to discuss the topic. He hasn’t mentioned it, but I imagine if you can’t go your closest friends, your confidants, to talk about your struggles, worries, or just your reality, it must eat you up inside… and, like it or not, he will need to talk it out at some point.Continue Reading...