Rough night last night. I don’t wanna be here typing forever so I hope I can vent relatively quickly. But the storytelling does get away from me sometimes.
Some context for the first part: shortly after I broke up with my husband back in the day, I withdrew a few hundred bucks from our joint account together (the only account either of us had) and opened a new account at that same bank for just me. I was very clear that I was leaving my husband and this new account had nothing to do with the joint account at all. And yet a short while later I got a charge on that account that I didn’t recognize – and it turned out to be one of Ex’s bills. “Oh yes,” said the helpful idiot at the bank, “We linked your account to the joint account so that if there’s not enough money in one of them to cover an automatic withdrawal, it automatically comes out of the other, instead. It’s a safeguard to keep you from being charged NSF fees.”
So obviously I was fucking furious with the bank for linking the two accounts when I had specifically said not to. I was also pretty pissed off that I’d been made to pay one of Ex’s bills when he made six figures and I made $20/hr and was entirely supporting myself for the first time in almost a decade. So frustrating that he made so much and mismanaged his money so fucking badly that it fell to me to bail him out. But it was only forty bucks and it’s not like I hated Ex. I decided that if paying that bill helped Ex out then it was worth the small sacrifice (I did get the bank to unlink our accounts so it wouldn’t happen again, though).
Except when I talked to Ex about this and asked him what the bill was even for, it turned out to be for his pager service. “Wait, your pager broke months ago though.” Yep. “So…you’ve been paying forty bucks a month for a service you’re not using. Except for this month, when I paid for a service you’re not using.” Yep, he kept forgetting to call them and cancel. And so I became pissed off again.
Back to the present: when Dandette left, she took the Xbox that had been our Netflix conduit. The Dandy and I set up my Apple TV unit from my old place so we could continue to have Netflix…except I didn’t know the password for our account and neither did The Dandy. And at the time he seemed really gung ho to cut Dandette out of his life completely, and didn’t want to text her asking for the password.
So fine, I reinstated my old account. The Dandy makes six figures and I make approximately $20/hr (and I don’t even work full-time hours like I did when I was married) so I would have preferred that he keep on being the one to foot the Netflix bill, but I damn sure didn’t want him opening up communications with Dandette in order to do so. I would make this sacrifice in order to keep him/us safe.
Except then he went ahead and hung out with Dandette one night socially. And had a phase of thinking he wanted to continue to be friends with her. So what the fuck am I spending money on Netflix for?! He was on perfectly good speaking terms with her and could have just asked for her fucking password.
Anyway. The other night I asked him where he stands at this point on the idea of being friends with Dandette. He said he wants to remain on civil terms but sees no reason to have her be a part of his life. So that’s good; I hope he keeps on thinking that.
Last night, I asked if he’d cancelled his Netflix account yet. He said he hadn’t. And we got into a bit of a fight about it. The Dandy has no problem making phone calls or dealing with bureaucracy so it seems to me there must be another reason for him not having dealt with this by now. I said that if he’s keeping the account so Dandette can use it – if he wants to throw her that crumb because he feels sorry for her or whatever – well, it’s his money and he can do what he wants with it. I don’t care too much. But I want to know.
Apparently – for some fucking reason – the Netflix account is in Dandette’s name, even though it’s The Dandy’s credit card attached to it. And The Dandy insists that the only way he can stop paying that bill is to cancel his credit card and get a new one with a different number, which would be a huge inconvenience to us.
I’m not entirely sure this is true, and I think it’s worth a try to call Netflix up, explain the situation, and at least try to get the card taken off the account.
The Dandy apparently has been having a rough time at work lately and is perpetually worn out, so me asking him to do this extra thing infuriated him. He got angrier at me than I think I’ve ever seen him get, and although he was controlled about it – he flung his arms up and started to raise his voice with me but then walked away from me instead – it rattled me.
After a few minutes collecting himself he came back calmer and explained his feelings to me and we hugged. He said that aside from the inconvenience factor in cancelling the Netflix account, Dandette is probably using it and if he cuts it off she’ll probably freak out, and he doesn’t want to deal with that. He said the monthly amount is basically nothing to him so it’s just easier to maintain the status quo.
This still leaves me feeling bitter that I’m spending money that doesn’t really need to be spent, and wondering how long Dandette’s shadow will hang over us. I really want the two of them to be severed from each other’s lives entirely but there’s this one stupid thread connecting them still (and how long will The Dandy allow this? Will he pay her Netflix bill for months? Years? The rest of his life?). What other threads (aside from the obvious one of her still having a bunch of her stuff at our place) will end up surfacing?
But it is The Dandy’s money and The Dandy’s choice. And if he’s of a mind not to talk to her then far be it from me to make him message her asking for the password to her account so we can keep using it. Truth be told it’s convenient having my old account back again, anyway; it has a few years of history on it, so the system is better at recommending other things I’d like and stuff.
A bit later, I had an entirely unrelated talk with The Dandy about how my anxiety seems to be spiraling lately and I hate it. I don’t sleep properly but I’m not napping during the day, either, or getting anything productive done. I sit on the internet all day trying to use it to drown out my thoughts. And I don’t even know what I’m anxious about; my life is pretty good, actually. So am I just doomed never to be happy?
The Dandy pointed out that I’ve been pretty obsessed lately with the idea that my body is breaking down – I threw my back out a while back and injured my arm and neither of those things seems to be healing particularly quickly or well. When he said that, I immediately burst into tears, so I’d say he hit the nail on the head.
My crying wound down. I felt deeply messed up but also kind of numb and in slow-motion. When I’m like this, being held and petted is the fastest way to make me feel like a human again: stroking my upper back usually gives me some kind of braingasm within about five minutes and I have a huge stress-cry that lets all the yucky feelings out and then I feel amazingly better. Even just skin-to-skin contact with a loved one at these times makes me feel like I’ve been dying of thirst my entire life and their body is a lake I’m diving into – instant, desperate euphoria.
The Dandy had sat down at his computer, I’m guessing preparing to get on the internet and watch YouTube videos for another few hours until sleep (it was currently 1am and lately he’s been staying up until about 3). I was like “Spoon me plz” and he nodded. Or I thought he nodded. But when I sluggishly dragged myself to the bed and flopped down on it, he didn’t come to me. I lay there with every molecule in my body pulsating in need of his touch, just waiting for the rush of comfort and release I’d feel the minute he cuddled up against my back and put his arms around me, and he:
- wandered out of the room to turn off all the lights that were on elsewhere in the apartment.
- turned off his computer monitor.
- plugged his phone in to charge.
- fed the cats
- took off each item of clothing he was wearing, folded it, and placed it in his dresser.
I’m probably missing some other little tasks he did. And he didn’t do any of this with any sense of urgency, either; he plodded. Did he even hear me when I said I needed to be spooned? Maybe he heard me tell him what I needed but then had a total brainfart about actually doing it, as has happened before?
The Dandy had finished putting each individual item of his clothing away and was now standing naked in the middle of the room. I think he may have been fiddling around taking the elastic band out of his hair to free it from its ponytail, but to my outraged eyes it looked like he was just fucking standing there with his hands on his head, surveying the room.
“You’re killing me right now,” I said.
“I’ll be there in a minute. I just need to finish doing some things,” The Dandy said. So he did understand that I was waiting to be spooned.
It was too much and my brain just kinda snapped. I got up and said “I give up” and started to cry. It appeared that my well-being was not a priority for The Dandy, and in fairness it’s nobody’s job to take care of me but me. A hot bath wouldn’t take me down to normal nearly as quickly as cuddling would have, but it would have to do. I started heading for the bathroom, still sobbing. The Dandy caught up to me, put his arms around me from behind.
“I have to work tomorrow,” he said, like he was explaining something to a slightly stupid child. He says that to me, in that tone, kind of a lot. As if I don’t understand what work entails. As though I’m asking for some huge, life-ruining thing instead of, every damn time, a small favour that barely infringes on his time. “I wanted to get everything ready for the morning.”
He told me to come to bed. I kind of hated him at that point and didn’t want his affection anymore; too little, too late. But I went and lay down anyway.
The Dandy spooned me and I cried and cried and cried. Not the happiness-based release-cry I’d been gunning for when I first asked to be spooned. I was rage-sobbing. The Dandy has gone to sleep with lights on in the apartment a hundred times before; he’s gone to sleep with his clothes thrown on the floor. And yet tonight, when I desperately needed him, those things took precedence over my well-being. What the fuck.
When the first bout of crying wound down, I managed to say: “I have explicitly told you several times that I have a hard time asking for help with my anxiety and if I manage to ask, it means it’s an emergency. I’ve even specifically said that when I need to be spooned I need it immediately and it will break my heart if you opt to do something else instead. But you still didn’t do it.”
“I wanted to get everything ready for work tomorrow so it was all out of the way and I could cuddle you for as long as you needed and then just go to sleep.”
“It takes like five minutes to reset me when I’m like this. I just wanted to be in your arms and get petted until I had a stress-release cry and then I would’ve been pretty much better. And I waited and waited for you to come do that and you kept not coming.”
“I didn’t know. I thought you might need me for a long while so I was making sure I could accommodate that.”
“You didn’t tell me that, though. I told you I needed you and you just sort of wandered off, and I didn’t know if you’d heard me properly or you didn’t make the connection of what I wanted or what. That’s happened before. And most nights you stay up way later than this so I had no idea you were thinking of going to bed for the night, either.”
The Dandy petted me silently for a long time and then said “Sometimes I’m not great at communicating until ten minutes after the fact.”
“Yeah, I know. I’ll ask you to come help me with something and you’ll say okay but then flat-out walk out of the room and not bother saying ‘I’m just gonna go hang up my coat and I’ll be right with you’ or anything like that. And I’m left there like ‘wait, what…?'”
The Dandy chuckled like he only just got how baffling and infuriating that stuff is from the other side. “I suppose I need to stop assuming people can read my mind.”
“Would you have an easier time narrating your thought processes to me if you pictured it in Morgan Freeman’s voice?”
“Ha! No. I dunno. I guess I just have to try to get into the habit of being more clear.”
He held me and petted me some more and I finally got the emotional release I needed and then I went to bed.
I appreciate that he’d understood I was in need and had been preparing himself to focus on me for a long time if necessary. Knowing that does make me feel better. But it still bugs the shit out of me that he didn’t clarify his intentions at the time, that he moved so slowly while doing these preparations, that he did shit like turning off all the lights before bed when he’s never really cared about that before. I don’t get it.
And I’m not entirely done feeling unsettled by how angry he’d gotten with me earlier.
And I think I’m gonna have to ask him why “I need to work!” comes up so often, with him.