Taking a Break

I don’t even know what to say here. My brain is kind of in a fog.

Let’s just say, keeping things as vague as possible, things have been pretty bad lately, and every day they seem to just keep on getting worse.

Stupid little fights over who solved a math problem the quickest.

Someone staring at a video on screen instead of the webcam.

Calling everything off because a mistake was made and someone didn’t want to admit it.

I didn’t know that taking the next step forward was going to be accompanied by such a huge step back.

Things have never been this bad. Not for a while, at least. And it’s frustrating because the things causing these fights are not within our control. This is the by-product of other stress-related incidents that we can’t do much about. And so we take it out on each other.

  • running around for hours catching screaming kids
  • working on a work project it turns out has already been completed
  • making a career choice that could incite loads of disapproval
  • finding out your sister is making what you feel is a huge mistake
  • learning that the family you knew and loved might have all been a lie
  • finding out your other sister is also making what you feel is a huge mistake
  • realizing just how little money you have to work with each month
  • feeling responsible for your partner’s feelings and well-being
  • realizing just how long you’ve been away from each other
  • realizing just how much longer you’re going to be away from each other
  • and realizing that it’s all your fault and there’s nothing you can do about it
  • having your beloved truck die and having to get a car note
  • having your student loans come into repayment that same month
  • trying to re-learn how to keep things to yourself
  • realizing that your new best friend is leaving soon and that you may never see her again
  • feeling uncomfortable in your body because it’s so different from what it was last year
  • being unable to do anything about it because every attempt causes some new physical pain
  • also because you can’t leave your desktop in case your partner wakes up and needs you

Jesus… I never really sat down and just looked at all the shit that’s been going on in our lives. And not just me, but TM, too.

I think it will help me to better understand what’s going on between us if I can visualize it. So let’s write it all out.

J.Z. is stressed because:

  • She wants to come home but can’t because she’s taken on obligations that will keep her in Japan for a little while longer.
  • She feels like couldn’t go home even if she wanted to because she 1) doesn’t have a car 2) couldn’t find a job and 3) has no savings.
  • She probably can’t go home for Christmas this year, but she doesn’t want to think about it.
  • She and TM will have been apart longer than they’ve been together.
  • She’s not sure she can do this teaching thing, though she really wants to – she thinks.
  • She can’t look for jobs now but it won’t be a good time when she does decide to come home either.
  • She constantly feels like TM is getting sick and tired of her.
  • She’s realizing that her family isn’t what she thought it was.
  • She’s worried about whether or not TM and her will even make it.
  • She’s tired trying to get work experience so that she can have a job she kind of loves for when she comes home.

T.M. is stressed because:

  • His sister is still moving in with a guy she barely knows.
  • The same sister is simultaneously dealing with some heavy emotional shit.
  • His other sister just made a huge move with regards to her future, and it probably wasn’t a good one.
  • He just lost his truck, which he’s had since he was basically a baby, and hoped to have for a while longer.
  • Because of that, he’s had to get a new car, and now has  couple hundred dollars going to a brand spanking new car note he wasn’t prepared for.
  • Also, student loan time, yay!
  • His boss had him working on something completely useless.
  • He doesn’t like what’s happening to his body, but he can’t fix it because any attempt to do so results in him being in pain.
  • He can’t really afford to go to the doctor to fix this, either.
  • His fiance just made a shitty mistake and he knows it was an accident, but he can’t help but feel like shit about it.
  • He doesn’t really see his friends that often, and he feels like he can’t because every time he does his fiance gets upset.
  • Also she makes him sit on skype while she sleeps, but he never actually gets a chance to talk to her, and it’s frustrating because he can’t leave to do what he needs, because if she wakes up and he’s not there then she gets super upset; lose-lose.
  • His fiance keeps trying to run away, from him, from life, from everything.
  • His fiance is seven thousand miles away from him and keeps pushing back the date she’s coming home; he’s afraid he’ll never do it, and he’ll never see her again.
  • Or that, if she does come home, it won’t be exactly to where he is, and he’ll be stuck in this never-ending cycle of distance once again…


I’m really ashamed to admit that I couldn’t see all of this before. I pride myself on having lots of empathy, and yet I didn’t have any for the one person I was said to love most in the world. In fact, he’s probably hurting a lot more than I am, because not only is he dealing with his own shit, but I’m making him deal with the byproduct of my bullshit as well.

I’m no sure I’m going to stay on this break. I think I just needed to get a little empathy, and some time apart did help, even if it was just for the day.

I don’t think taking time is bad. I think it’s good to take a step back and reflect every once in a while. That’s what I did today, and I’m scared at what I realized. I don’t know how to go about doing something now – I just know that I know more than I did when I woke up this morning, or at least I realize more, and I’m absolutely terrified at my behavior.

We need each other now more than ever. There is so much shit going on in BOTH of our lives that the last thing I need to be doing is pulling away from him, or pushing him away from me. Both of which I’m ashamed to admit I’ve done in spades these past few weeks. It’s easy to take it out on the person closest to you; but without each other, what support system do we have next? Yes, some trusted family and close friends, but no one knows us like we know each other, not anymore. We’re the only ones who can help each other through this. We have to be there for each other. I have to be there for him.

That’s what this ring on my finger means.

That’s the life-long promise I made.


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