Guest post: Holding relationships together, perspectives from the home front.


This is a post from someone who wants no credit.  I asked for a counter to my post on holding relationships at home together.  He wrote the following for me, and made me cry.  I mean really cry.  So if you are considering jumping on the Peace Corps bandwagon and you have a relationship at home, this might be helpful for both of you.

Disclaimer:  We moved to Sacramento just before I left the first time around.  We had not built any type of friendships or community.   A year and a half later and we are still struggling, well he is struggling with that lack of connection to his new home.  We moved so he could be closer to his kids and some days I feel responsible for abandoning him.

in the beginning

“It’s only two years.

It’s only two yeas. That’s what I was telling myself, when this all was beginning. Before she left, I thought two years, no problem. It will go by quick. But now it’s dragging on and seems to have no end in sight. We have been together for five years, two years is nothing. Five years have gone by like nothing. The first night I met her I fell in love. I remember like it was yesterday.
Five years. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long, that I have been with this perfect woman. I’m not saying she is perfect in the sense she has no flaws. But perfect for me. The perfect fit. My missing piece.

Time seems to move faster and faster the older you get. But a really good way to slow time down, is to send someone you are madly in love away for a few years.. You start to second guess everything. Our first date was at a Peace Corps rally, so I knew what I was getting into in the beginning and have always supported her. I supported her all through the build up to her joining the Peace Corps. I told her to follow her dreams, that she could do anything, and I didn’t want to stand in her way. And when she came back from Africa, I think part of her wanted to stay, but I told her that she needed to go and complete this part of her dream and I encouraged her to leave only to regret it seven months later.

us

I wish I never did now. I miss her madly. Often times think I am falling into a deep and dangerous depressive state, where I sometimes worry what I am thinking. Sometimes my imagination runs away and thinks some negative thoughts.

If only I told her to stay.

I am often worried about others dreams, and find my own dreams being squashed because I wasn’t thinking of what I want. Well now she is seven months into this thing, with twenty more to go.. Wait, Twenty more? Awe.

It’s only two years. I keep saying and I feel no better.

She asked me to write something about how I am coping with her being gone and to tell the truth, it’s not pretty.
We moved to Sacramento a little over a year ago. I still haven’t really made any friends here. So some days can get a little emotional. I might hear a song, or see something in a movie. Maybe just pass by somewhere we were. Or maybe walking in the store and finding the same brand of wine we shared the last night she was here. Sometimes it seems for no reason at all.
It’s not all the time but maybe at least once a day, and you never know what will set it off.

Been riding my bike more. I feel good getting exercise, and getting out letting my mind wonder as I ride around. But you need to have a destination. Otherwise I’m not that interested in riding. So I have a few. I’ve gone to a trivia night on Tuesdays. That way I might meet some others and maybe get a friend out of it. Biking to a bar downtown. For the same reason, and have a few drinks before the ride back. And biking to support groups, just so I can talk to some people and maybe share with them and have someone else understand what I am going through is comforting. Doesn’t matter what the support group really is, doing it “fight club” style. I haven’t found a good way to deal with this yet, I’m still learning.

passion

It’s only two years.

Some days I don’t want to see the light of day. I could lay in the darkness in my room all day if I feel I don’t have a purpose. Gotta make a purpose. Go out and surround yourself with people. It’s good to get out. Even if I feel more alone sometimes, and sometimes I feel invisible when I do go out. Sometimes it maybe better to give up. Hide from the world and hope time passes.

I like the idea of time travel. And imagine myself as a time traveler that can only travel forward in time. I close my eyes and focus. Minute later look at the time. A minute has passed. I am a minute closer. Good job. Musick is a good way to time travel. I drive around with the music cranked up so loud it hurts my ears and there is definitely more feeling in music the louder it is. Sometimes classical. I feel like I am in a Stanley Kubrick movie.

Open communication is a good thing, and in this day and age there is no reason to not have some sort, on a daily basis. Via text, message, email or call. For me, I think it’s good to schedule one or two nights a week to stop what you are doing and call and talk.

Just because she is 3000 miles away doesn’t mean we can’t have a date night. Spend some time getting the same ingredients for dinner then cook together at the same time, and later enjoy a candle lit dinner over FaceTime. “The chicken is Devine.” “Mmm, more wine?” “Yes, thank you dear.”

unconventional date

I have been trying to eat a little healthier. I am learning to use kale, and other healthy ingredients when cooking. I don’t eat every day, but have been making an effort. Every once in a while I’ll realize I haven’t eaten in two days and I will force myself to at least eat a salad. But then days like today I had a full meal, and a sandwich before bed.

I don’t not eat on purpose. Usually I am busy at work when I am hungry. I tell myself I will stop for lunch after I finish a certain job. By the time I finish I’m no longer hungry. So I end up not stopping. It’s a very common occurrence, I should bring my lunch so I wouldn’t have to break away and could just eat while I’m working. Hmm, I seem to remember a time when this girl I was dating made sandwiches for me to take to work. She used to put notes in my lunch sometimes. She was cool, you would like her.”

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