Well, welcome to my blog. Hopefully the first fo a tool for me to get my thoughts down somewhere. I started a blog years ago, but I never knew why. Now I do.
Who am I? Nobody special. I am a working class Englishman. I am 32 years old. I am single. I live at home with my parents on a council estate in the suburbs. By profession I am a lawyer, however I am unemployed. I am also very lonely.
So why am I lonely? Well, this can be best summarised in a post I made on an internet message board earlier this year. It read as follows:-
Haven’t been around lately. Basically life has been a mess.
I didn’t think I’d do this, but I feel so low at the moment that I feel maybe I have to get down some of my confusing thoughts and seek people’s’ advice.
I recently split with my fiancé. We were together until three months ago. I had to move out of her flat as she owned it. However, it was a place the we essentially bought and refurbished together.
A little background, she is 36, I am 32. We had been together for almost exactly 3 years, engaged for the last two. Over that time we moved in together and even went to the extent where her father bought her an apartment that would basically be our home together. I even helped to design it and choose the furniture. It was wonderful, and with her family in a wealthier position than me, the home we lived was well beyond what I could have afforded anytime soon. However, I supplied all of the kitchen stuff and utilities, home cinema and so on, which I had in my own apartment, which, in turn, was then let to tenants.
It was a good life and all was going well until an unfortunate happened earlier this year. I lost my full-time job. I am a lawyer and without the fulltime job I could not hope to meet my financial commitments. Worst thing was, it wasn’t my fault. My boss had breached his contract with me in a big way and this led to tension. Add that to the fact that in the current climate nobody is hiring means that as of today I still only work part-time. Things became difficult after I stopped working full-time. I could no longer pay the bills and was struggling to even meet my own standard financial commitments. Things became tense, at the same time we were deep in preparations for the wedding and her father was pushing for it to be booked and paid for. By coincidence on 3rd of October it was the third anniversary of our meeting and I made the mistake of going out with the boys for beers. I had asked her permission, but I have since learned that I should nonetheless had stayed. Anyhow, she used that as a catalyst to bring the relationship to an end.
However, I am missing out something very important here….and that is the nature of our relationship. We couldn’t live with each other and couldn’t live without. We both had very similar personalities to the extent that we were both stubborn and also very independent in our thinking. Both of us wanted to wear the trousers in the relationship and from day one that caused arguments. Now, although we had arguments, we also deeply loved each other as well. In fact I was smitten with her. I placed all of my emotional dependence in her and she was, quite literally, my life. We had both been single for years beforehand and we both thought this was going to be it. Equally, all her friends had gotten married and moved away and I was her right hand man, if it were. We would communicate by phone, text and email always when we were apart, such as at work, and we always struggled if we had to spend any more than a couple of weeks apart.
As I mentioned before, she brought an end to the relationship. However, she did so with much regret and was, and remains, to this day, in two minds about it. Her heart told her to stay, whereas her head told her that she couldn’t live in a relationship where there were arguments once a week (she had come from a family where her parents never argued). In addition, time was not on her side and she felt there was too much risk in getting married to bm with my current financial situation being the way it was. She left the relationship very much still loving me and appeared to be pretty devastated.
For me, things couldn’t have come at a worse time. Since I have no full-time job I cannot get rid of the tenants in my own home as I need the rental income to cover the mortgage. Thus I am in a fix. I have had to move back into my parents’ house while putting my stuff in storage, which is a small working class house with a tiny bedroom for me to be in – the one I grew up in, in fact. They live along way out-of-town so I am cut off from everyone and everything I am used to. Add that to the fact that they are not very easy to live with. I have not just lost my soul mate, but my entire life right along with it.
I am almost at rock bottom. If it were not that I had my own home, and that small chance of returning there once I get back to work, then I would be suicidal right now. But I don’t know if I have the energy to go and get that job…..even though I am, at the same time, desperate to return home. I fear that I will be stranded in this misery for a long time. I had a job interview this week and have been called back, but I have to give a presentation in the second interview and have no enthusiasm for it. At present I have totally run out of money and cannot now even afford money to get out of the house and do things. I am worried I will lose my flat due to a shortfall between the flat and the rent. I desperately need a job to start the rebuilding process but have no energy. Furthermore, mya parents are not easy to live with and there is tension in the home.
This was the first time I had been in a serious long-term relationship where I lived with someone and shared everything day-to-day. For me it’s like a divorce….and a divorce that left me with nothing to boot. Add that to the loss of my career, my home, my money and my independence and you can imagine I’m pretty damn down.
I’m now deeply depressed and have no energy for anything but sitting around drinking more than I should (well at least while I could afford it) and watching TV.
How do I beat such depression and misery?
This post perhaps doesn’t do it justice. It also predates a two-month attempt a reconciliation, which ultimately failed after I became ill with the effects of the stress.
See, her father was a very well-respected surgeon in Iran. He was a millionaire. As such we lead the high life. Travelled all over the world. Dined in the finest restaurants. Shopped in the finest stores, and so on. However, this also came with a lot of pressure. In his eyes any prospect husband for her daughter had to be continually successful and treat his daughter like a queen. This meant that there was no sympathy when stress got too much and the pressures of life were difficult to cope with.
I had become unhappy in my career after two frustrating jobs, both of which coincided with our relationship and once I was made redundant from the second through not fault of my own I really struggled. I was moody, depressed and would drink more than normal. I made job application after job application with no luck, such was the result of the economic downturn. There were no savings as I had plowed so much money into keeping up with the relationship there was not much left when the redundancy happened. She was paying all the bills and I was struggling with my share of the food costs. We stopped going to places since I couldn’t pay out. Of course after this went on for a little while people had started telling her I was out-of-order for just living off of her. Of course, all the family and friends were comfortable financially. They didn’t seem to grasp the concept that it was possible for a professional man to fall on hard times. I wanted to pay, I just couldn’t.
Bless her, my ex was a decent woman and had previously stuck by me on other occasions when I had health difficulties. But she had grown up with a privileged life and couldn’t face the prospect of living a financially constrained life. Add this to the pressure to marry and the fact that we argued quite a bit and she just couldn’t face the prospect of marriage. Part of me doesn’t blame her as part of me is selfish and I sometimes wonder if I would have done the same had I been on her shoes. To her I must have appeared a failure. A crumbling man who was no longer successful, walked around depressed all the time and ate and drank too much to get away from it. I was not the man of strength she had been brought up to marry.
For me, the years with my ex were years of firsts. In 2006, about 2 months before I met her, I bought a property and moved out of my parents’ house for the first time. I had always lived at home because I never wanted to spend money on rent. I considered it a waste and wanted to both enjoy my money and also wait until I had the financial ability to buy. Well I had gotten to that stage. But I also wanted to meet someone. I was always shy around women and had not really had any proper relationships up until then. By then I was 28 and I felt it was about time I grew up and found someone to settle down with. I had signed up to online dating and had been dating for about six months. It had proved unsuccessful and I was about to give up on it when I came across my ex. We arrange a first date, which I cancelled until she convinced me to go. Ironic that she should have ended up the one I built a relationship with.
Until then I had always been successful in my career. Always progressed. I had been lucky enough to work for good firms and have some very important court cases. Around about this time I felt that I had gone as far as I could in the firm I was in and decided to move. I put out my CV and was in demand. I got to choose the job I wanted. If only that was the case now. What I didn’t expect was a difficult working environment where I was unhappy. I moved a year later and, whilst the environment was superior, my contract was breached by my employer, which unfairly lead to my redundancy.
The thing is that I had never faced a serious relationship. Especially one that proved to contain a certain amount of conflict. It was a huge learning curve throughout. At the same time I was getting used to having moved out from my parents and, with her, I had moved two further times to new homes during the time I was with her. All of this didn’t give me time to stop and think. But at the same time I was desperately unhappy that my career wasn’t going anywhere. Despite this there was no financial hardship.
When the hardship came the “why me”? Questions began. Still we were together and that kept me going. When it ended, that was when the depression started. It peaked after I had moved back to my parents. I had no money and found myself without a bed to sleep on, lying on the floor. I had done it all and had been reduced to poverty. I cried and cried on and off for weeks on end. I hide inside wine bottles. I became paranoid about my ex, checking her Facebook every hour to see what she was up to. We had maintained contact and even ended up reuniting for sex several times. Not the best idea on reflection, but I was so miserable that the mere possibility of being close to her and intimate again was too inviting. It was an escape from a situation I didn’t want to face.
We carried on meeting 2 months until she signed up for eHarmony. At 36 she was convinced she was running out of time and felt that she needed to find a husband. She now concedes this was a mistake. The break up was hard for her. She still loved me, but, in her eyes, she felt there were things she could not live with. I may have been miserable when stressed, but there was also a good side to me that, frankly was vastly superior to a lot of men. I am very loving, very giving with my time and my money and always go that extra mile to try to do things that I thought would make her happy. I am also very much in touch of my feminine side. A lot of this was taken for granted as she was used to a life of material privilege. Yet I knew in her heart of hearts she had found qualities rare in many men and she realised this very clearly when she tried to date others. As a result she never got past the initial dating stage. She ended up breaking down at work and it was this that lead her to revisit the relationship in February this year.
The two months we spent together this year were great. But we still argued and my financial situation was dire and I was becoming ill with the strain. She had made it clear that her family would not entertain a reconciliation if I was still in a financial mess and jobless so I still felt pressurised. Plus, whatever we tried we could not help bickering. I had also been travelling a considerable distance. We had been living in Richmond and my parents live in Hertfordshire so in was a huge schlep all the time. When I told her I needed rest the relationship came to its natural conclusion. But neither of us really reacted to the end the second time as we did the first. it was as if we had revisited it and we knew in our hearts that whatever we did there was always going to be some level of frustration, be it my frustration with the added pressure, hers with the stress and financial situation and the bickering. I knew that even if all the rest were ok, if the bickering remained we were doomed to either a miserable life or a future divorce. It was hard to accept but I think it was from this point on that I began to feel acceptance that it was over.
Of course the months have been hard. Acceptance or not, it is very hard to be without her, I loved her and I had not experience that level of emotion before. I think about her every hour of every day. I feel sad when I am not with her. I still can only think of her sexually. Half of me still wishes we could turn the clocks back and start all over again.
Also, without being in work I find that I have no distractions. I also haven’t had any money for a year to be able to get out there and find new friends or hobbies. All of my old friends are coupled off and have either moved away or pretty much gotten on with their lives. I was not one to make casual aquaintances so the few friends I had were good, but once they had found partners the dynamic changed. Of course, my Ex and I had found friends through her sister’s friendship circle, but once that ended so did my contact with them (despite them being my “Facebook friends”).
My home life has been difficult. I have a very fractured relationship with my father. He has helped me financially to keep my property, which I hope to move back to. But to live with he is horrid. He is, and has been for years, perpetually miserable. All he does it moans and argues. He never smiles or says anything positive at all. I do not respect this kind of behaviour so I have been conflicted with gratitude for his financial help and resentment for his behaviour.
For months I just could not find a way to motivate myself. The reduced contact with my Ex has enabled me to let go somewhat and look back on who I used to be. I used to have confidence. But that was replaced by an all-consuming feeling that I was doomed to failure. It was just one bad thing after another and I went from wondering when it was all going to end to thinking that it was due to get progressively worse until the end of my life. I just couldn’t be bothered anymore. Well, recently I have a little of my old self back and so I have plowed my energies into getting a job. I have given up on employment agents and for my efforts I have thus far secured myself three interviews. I hold positive feelings that I will have a job by the end of November, which is when my tenant leaves my flat. The prospect of going back to my old flat has given me hope. By going back there I will once again but myself in a frame to get out there and meet new people.
But, I am not the man I was. I have conflicted emotions day in day out and I feel conflicted emotions in a way I never used to. It is my hope that perhaps I can attempt to articulate them by writing them down. I don’t intend to just focus on that. Indeed, I am also just going to use this as a diary, somewhere to put my opinions and thoughts down.
Today marks the 4th anniversary of my Ex and I meeting and, ironically, Tuesday is the first anniversary of our initial break up. I just seemed the right time to do this. To help myself move on.