So the thing about my Boyfriend is this. He’s a Virgo, right? And fully obsessed with over-analysing and over-thinking things, like most Virgos are.
There are a lot of things that bother him – mostly to do with himself, and dealing with his temper and trying to be a better person, a better man, a better father and a better son.
He’s constantly plagued by the feeling that he’s not quite good enough, that he’s not entitled to make mistakes and that if he does make mistakes, it means he’s not a good person. Can’t seem to grasp the fact that making mistakes is what makes us human.
Along with this tendency to over-analyse and over-think things is his tendency to dwell in the past. To bring up things that have happened many years ago, and want to go over them, in excruciating detail.
When I say he has a tendency to dwell in the past, the part that bothers me most is his tendency to dwell in *my* past. To bring up things about the way I used to live my life, the person I used to be, and the things I used to do.
He has a serious issue with a certain aspect of my life. For politeness sake, let’s just say that in this regard, I had what is sometimes known as a “very checkered past”. Some things happened to me. Things that removed the most important illusion we have in life: choice.
As a result, I did many things, after that (voluntarily, mostly) because I felt that the choice that was taken away from me, made that thing in life, not as important as it should have been. And if it wasn’t important, then why should it matter if I did it again and again and again.
He has a problem with this. He has a problem with the fact that he is (in his words) “one of many, and not,” as he wishes it could be “one of few”. Fair enough. I wish I could change that too.
He gets angry with me when I say I have no regrets. And I say I have no regrets, because if I admit to regret, that’s like admitting that a huge chunk of my life was a waste of time. And also saying that everything that happened to me in the past, that lead me to where I am today, means nothing.
I’m a believer in the “everything happens for a reason” life philosophy. There is no such thing as a co-incidence, and there’s no such thing as an accident. Every single little decision has a major impact on my life, somewhere down the road. Be it the next day, or in twenty years time.
All the pain, all of the self-loathing and destructive behaviour lead me to where I am today. Loved by a gorgeous, generous, dedicated man. A man who will do anything for me. Give me anything. A man who is father to my beautiful, funny, clever little son. And if going back into my past and removing any of the shitty things that happened to me, or the shitty things I did meant there was the slightest chance I wouldn’t end up where I am today, there’s no chance I would do it.
He understands this thinking of mine. He grasps it, but doesn’t seem to be able to comprehend it. He battles, still, with the things I have done in my past. And yes, I know, Sheena – I’m allowed to have a past. Also, I know that he loves me and that I love him – but would he have stayed with me, knowing my past, if not for the fact that we had a Kid together? He says (and I can’t fault him for his honesty) that he doubts it.
I don’t see this as a negative, either. If not for The Kid – the chances of me dealing with all of his issues about my issues and his temper, are slim to none. I was like that. I had a tendency to gap it, given half a chance. Commitment-phobic and self-absorbed? That was me, before The Kid.
And then The Kid came along, and cemented the fate of two people who were meant to be together, but clearly needed a little push. A little incentive. And we made it work. Being with The Boyfriend really has made me a better person. I’m not nearly as selfish as I used to be, I put the needs of my family before my own. I listen to my conscience and even acknowledge its presence, most times. I’m a better person. A kinder person. A more affectionate/loving/emotional/committed person than I was before. I feel better about myself and I’ve put my past, and the person I used to be, behind me.
But someone hasn’t. And that someone reminds me that I used to be that kind of person. By his inability to accept and deal with my past. Lately he’s been asking questions. And asking of me more than I feel capable of giving: excruciating details – the how, why, when, where, why not and every single other little detail his Virgo brain can think to pick over and examine.
Sometimes my stories don’t match, and his elephant memory (fuck me, he never forgets ANYTHING) picks it up and I’m left scrambling around in my brain to try to remember. *My* memory sucks and I pay no attention to the kinds of details he does. So asking me questions and getting my sparse answers only seems to leave him more frustrated.
It also has another negative side-effect. It makes me hurt. At the time I was doing what I was doing, I was blind to it. I didn’t notice the self-destruction and the pain. Until I eventually got to a point in my life and that pain was no longer there, and I could actually identify the source of that pain. So bringing all of it up, hurts. Helping him deal with his issues hurts me.
So when he asks questions, I withdraw. He gets angry because he thinks I’m lying. He doesn’t believe me when I say I don’t remember. And I actually don’t. I’ve replaced most of those memories with good ones. I’ve let those memories fade, by not evereverever allowing myself to think about them.
I reached a point the other day. When he sent me a text message along the lines of: ‘dont get cross, but I have another question. and I need you to answer it, with some detail‘. I said I’d try, and he asked the question. And I refused to answer it. Not because I was ashamed. But because I’d reached a point where I could see that my answering his questions wasn’t helping him any more.
It was only fuelling his tendency to over-think things. Providing him with more unanswered questions. Ones that I would eventually have to tend to – at the expense of my own personal sanity, and at the expense of everything I have become.
And so I refused to answer any more questions. But my refusal to answer questions left things up to his own imagination. And, like any other man (and Virgo) he assumed the worst. Which was far worse than what happened, in reality.
I need him to accept that I’ve changed. I need him to accept that my past is done, and there’s nothing he (or I) can do about it. I need him to let me be the better person I am because of him. I need him to leave it alone. I need for it not to matter to him.
How do I get that?