Day Fourteen

So thankful. Three meals a day, good night’s sleep, excercise, friends, family and work… I have finally found my balance.

I can’t control external events but I can control my reactions to them. I have my own space and I am making the best out of it.

I can listen to everyone’s advise but I am the only one who can choose what to do. I am responsible for my decisions and the consequences they bring.

Let’s do this.

 

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Day Thirteen

I still remember the job interview I had last april. I asked for what I wanted to get paid and the employer said yes. Three hundred dollars more than I actually make and attractive commissions.

I talked to The Burning Man about the offer and told him that I wanted to stay in his company. He said he would also like me to stay.

I stayed and didn’t ask for a raise, I thought since we were a couple building something together for our future, he would offer it himself. He never did.

During the first days of July I asked him for a raise. He said he’d think about it. A week went by and I asked him again. We were in his car, ready for a forty five minute drive to get back to the office. He said he had too many telephone calls to make, that we could talk about it at another time. Two weeks went by and he didn’t talk about the subject.

When I asked again, he finally said it. “The company is in no conditions to increase your salary. If you want to find a job that pays more than I do, feel free to go. I can support you monthly with the same amount you earn with me and you can find another job to increase your income. What I understood about his offer was: “leave the job and I’ll pay you to stay in the relationship so I can fuck you whenever I feel like it.”

The offer didn’t convince me. He can pay much more than what I make, I know that because I am the administrator and know the numbers like the palm of my hand.

I don’t want to brag about it but I am a really good at what I do. I am a great asset for the company and I’m worth the raise.

He doesn’t see it that way. He is a close-fisted miserable man. As a partner and as an employer.

I am counting the days to leave the job, even though I truly LOVE what I do. In the meanwhile my savings account and my individual activities keep on growing.

Current Status: No raise, no sex.

Day Twelve

I lost the finals. I didn’t play well and our opponents are really good players. I am scheduling paddle lessons once a week. I want to improve my game for the next tournament.

The Burning Man finally expressed how mad he is. He doesn’t approve of my individual activities and is very disappointed on how I’ve been avoiding sex. The performance included gaslighting, flying monkeys, belittlement, lack of empathy and guilt trips. He tried triggering targets that hurt me but I didn’t react to the wounds. I stared at him during his long lasting monologue and witnessed how sick he is.

I am safe and sound at home. A sacred place he has no access to.

Day Eleven

Brand new day. Got things done at work and turned down a lunch invitation from The Burning Man —guilt free.

I went to the grocery store and saw a handsome looking man. I didn’t pay too much attention and rushed through the aisles to finish my shopping list as quick as possible.

While I was in line waiting for the clerk, he approached me. He saw my grocery basket and I saw his. We had broccoli and salmon in common. He said something nice and I got nervous —the kind of nervous that involves butterflies. He asked if I lived here, I said yes and ran off. I haven’t felt that funny feeling for a long time. While I was driving out of the parking lot I saw him again. I waved goodbye and smiled, he tried to stop me but I kept on driving — I was actually flirting!

I ate sushi at home and read for a while, enjoying the air conditioning and the closeness of my dog. I took a well deserved and delicious nap and then returned to the office for a few hours.

The Burning Man called before I left the office. He talked about himself for several minutes while I was multitasking without paying attention to what he was saying. He doesn’t even notice I don’t listen to his monologues.

Afterwards I drove to the Paddle Tennis Club and won the semifinals match 6-1, 6-3. I’m officially in the finals.

 

 

 

Day Ten

I need a job. Fast.

I enjoy being by myself. I enjoy being around other people. I don’t enjoy being with The Burning Man. I am still here because I work for him and I need to pay my bills.

I don’t share any time with him or talk to him on the phone after work.

Today I left the office early and he called. I was in therapy, I muted the phone and didn’t answer. I was about to text him with another one of my excuses, but I didn’t feel like messaging him. I can’t keep on lying. It’s too much. It makes me uncomfortable and anxious. But not texting or calling him back makes me feel guilty.

I asked myself two questions after he called: 1) Do you want to call him? 2) Do you want to text him? I answered NO to both questions and promised myself I wouldn’t feel guilty about my decision.

I arrived to the tournament and enjoyed myself. It’s my space. I met some nice people from Argentina and had a great time. I also won my match, 6-1, 3-6 and 6-2. I’m ready for the semifinals tomorrow.

There’s only one thing… I feel guilty.

Day Nine (Belated)

I didn’t feel like writing yesterday. I was getting used to having good days that kept me moving with good energy towards new beginnings, but yesterday, I fell of the wagon.

I tried my best to acomplish nice things for myself but this time I didn’t feel motivated or proud to do so.

I’ve been analizing what happened and here it is. The Burning Man is getting used to my distance and feels happy about it. I know that’s what I’m aiming for, to leave him, but the thought of him getting over me was terryfing. I feel embarassed to feel that way.

We share a housekepper and she told me that his wife and his daughter are coming for the summer to Banana Town. He hasn’t said anything about it. Will they stay at his house? The daughter definitely will. The wife always stays at her best friends house, but maybe this time she’ll stay with him. By distancing myself from him, he’s run out of narcissitic supply and they’ve gotten closer together ever since.

Sharing this is not easy, but I believe that writing about it will help me keep on moving to the exit door.

I already walked my dog and shared some time with two neighbors. That made my mind get over the obsesive thoughts of The Burning Man.

I have a long day ahead of me. I will feed my dog, have breakfast, go to work, have lunch with my bestfriend, have an appointment with the best psychotherapy I’ve ever met in my life, and finally, I will close the day playing my third paddle tennis match of the tournament.

I know it’s just a fall. I will stand up and keep going. The only way to get to the other side is crossing through the thunderstorm.

 

Day Eight

I feel better and stronger every day. I am thankful for having the courage to accept the reality and to move forward in a different direction.

I’ve been taking care of myself on a daily basis. I am eating healthy, I sleep a minimum of eight hours a night, I excercise, I meditate, I read, I write, I work and I try to be around good-hearted and positive people.

There’s been a huge improvement in such a short time frame. I feel proud of myself. The wall that I’ve built around myself is working. It gives me space to heal and distances me from The Burning Man.

Yes, I still have to find a new job, quit the one I have at his company and break-up with him… I’ll get there. I will.

Day Seven

The anxiety and the fear have decreased remarkably. My appetite is back and I’ve been sleeping much better. I am so thankful.

I woke up late, walked my dog, fed him and left to work in a hurry. I skipped breakfast —not good. I screwed my three meals a day commitment. I’ll make it up to myself tomorrow.

Work was great. I finished all my office tasks and drove South to see a client. The meeting was a success. I drove back to Banana Town and had two options: go back to the office and bump into the Burning Man or go to the grocery store and have a late lunch at my place. I chose the second one.

I ate sushi, walked my dog and got ready for a paddle tennis tournament. I met my partner in the court, he seemed nice and strong. We lost our first match 4-6 and won the next two 6-2 and 6-1. I enoyed playing with him, we uplifted each other when we made mistakes and celebrated our winning shots.

The entry fee was $250 mexican pesos per person. When I was handing the money to the organizer, my partner took the money and handed it back to me, saying he would take care of it. I was astonished and thankful. He’s a gentlemen.

I Hope You Lose Your Keys

A very special friend sent me an unusual commencement speech today. It knocked me off my feet. A savagely and brilliantly written jewel. I’d like to share the masterpiece, but before I do, I’ll tell you about my keys.

A few hours ago, I was fighting for three lives Day Six. After we survived, we got back to my apartment, and there it was, another stone in the shoe: my keys were missing. The heat was up, I was sweating and the dogs were already savouring their water. The one that was in their bowl. Inside the apartment. From which I’ve lost the keys.

Damn it. While we walked back to the “fight or flight” performance spot to search for the keys, I thought about the commencement speech and my options.

—What if I don’t find the keys? /  If I don’t find the keys, I’ll call the locksmith. / Yea, with your phone, the one that’s locked up in your apartment. / Shit. I’ll ask for a phone and call a friend to help me out. / Ha. Do you know any telephone number by heart? / Shit. Okay then, I’ll knock on my neighbors door and he’ll help me out. / I don’t think so, his parking space is empty. / Shit. Then we’ll wait for a neighbor to arrive. / Good luck with the heat and the dehydration.

We searched for the keys for around fifteen minutes, I was sweating like hell and the dogs wouldn’t stop panting. When I was about to give up, I saw the beautiful UK flag keychain with my beloved keys! We hurried back home. The air conditioning embraced us like never before and all I could feel was gratitude.

 

So here it is, the best commencement speech I’ve ever read…

“From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted. I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either. And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion. Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.”

—John Roberts

 

 

 

 

 

Day Six

I closed the door to my apartment and left with my dog and his guest to the park. I only carry a shoulder bag with my keys, poop bags, cigarretes, a lighter and a flashlight when we go for a walk.

The dogs did their thing, I picked up after them and kept on walking while they sniffed around. Suddenly, there he was, the killer dog without a leash.

The dog’s name is Manchas. The owner doesn’t pick up after him and doesn’t use a leash. About four dogs have been injured by her dog, and sadly, one of them didn’t make it. When this unfortunate events ocurred, she never apologized or took care of the vet’s expenses.

The neighbors and I have written several letters asking her to keep her dog on a leash but she keeps on doing her thing. My dog has been attacked twice by him. The first time I had to carry my dog and dump him in the trash can so the damn dog wouldn’t bite him, during the process, I fell and got bruises on my hands and knees. The second time, I had to kick the dog and since I was wearing flip flops he bit my toe.

 

Getting back to where I was… The minute Manchas was aware of our presence, he stampeded toward us. I grabbed tightly of both leashes and screamed like hell so the owner would get her dog. She never ran to leash her dog, she walked calmly as if she was enjoying what was about to happen.

I was in a fight or flight situation, and I chose to fight hard. I tried to keep my dogs behind myself so they could avoid his bites and I confronted the dog with my shoulder bag and the just used poop bags, while doing so I cursed the damn dog like I’ve never cursed anyone in my life. My anger was so reckless that the dog chickened out.

Once the dog was leashed, I still had anger left. I confronted the owner and looked her straight in the eyes while I yelled all the rage I had silenced in the previous incidents. She backed down with fear and ran away.

We are now safe and sound and with no bruises.