the past’s welcome is wearing thin

remember that pic i posted a few entries ago that came to me by way of amanda? well, when she sent it to me she mentioned she had a second one. she described it in passing as me “sitting in front of a door with an awesome drawing of a TMNT”. fortunately, that meant it’s not one of the pictures that i shuddered to write about in that past entry. but it piqued my curiosity. i didn’t remember the picture, and i wasn’t sure which tmnt drawing it was referring to. so i asked her if she had scanned it, and if so if she would send me a copy. her response was “Are you sure you want to see this? You didnt seem to like the other one that much, and I have to admit, its the better of the two. 🙂 Well, you asked for it…….”
phliktid-hart-h-3-door.jpg i’ve chopped it up a bit, just because i don’t particularly want to post the whole picture. this shows the door in question, and the chalk drawing of a teenage mutant ninja turtle i did on it. i can see it would have been room h-3 of hart hall — a nice, big corner room with four windows right above the lounge. i tended to stick articles or comics i thought were interesting or funny on my door. i also would put commentaries about any number of things up. drawing or writing stuff in chalk on the door was also something i did a lot. the desk to the left is the right corner of my desk. i can see some comic books, some cds, the drawn/written upon envelope of a postal letter (something else i always did), and some binders…probably for rocket science. looking around my desk right now, it doesn’t appear things have changed much, other than the rocket science. i wasn’t a huge fan of the tmnt, but for some reason i liked drawing them at that point in time. my roommate that year (whose name was bill) had his family visit one time, and his little brother loved the tmnt. so i looked at a comic i had and drew a pretty cool pic in pencil of…raphael, i think…and put it in a comic bag with a backing board and gave it to him. he seemed pretty excited at the time. and you can sort of see my arm and leg on the right, which we’ll get to in a bit.
and now for a major shift…
a couple of weeks ago i was bored and futzing around on the computer and somehow i ended up looking at some stuff from tamara’s blog. i never had done that before, and i hadn’t really ever planned to, but it happened. it was an odd experience. i sort of perused some things and read a few entries.
one thing that struck me was how she only ever mentioned her marriage or my divorce in passing, mostly just to say it was the right thing for her to do. it’s like she denies her feelings from then, her perspectives, her love, her commitment. it’s kind of funny, since we used to laugh about how her dad had seemed to completely block out negative things from his past. he certainly wouldn’t talk about them, but he wouldn’t even admit to remembering things happening. i guess she got those genes. *laugh*
so as i had kind of always assumed, she quickly mentally brushed aside most of the good times and things about me and us (e.g., she claims perhaps the only way we were compatible was enjoying a lack of activity? an absurd claim), erased all of the lying and such she’d done to me and others, and put it all in a nice box that said “right and good choice” and put it on a shelf.

i read some negative comments about me that she’d never told me. for example, she claimed she had hated my last name and avoided using it. she actually seemed to take some amount of literary pleasure in describing how horrific my last name was to her. was this merely her flair for storytelling? or had she always completely hidden this from me? it’s kind of funny if she actually always felt such loathing for it, yet spent all those years biting her tongue so completely that it wasn’t even hinted at or joked about. silly girl.

an interesting bit i learned was how googly she was over alistair while we were still married. haha. the guy she trash-talked. i’m honestly not sure her blog version of events is true though, since she tends to gild things until she gives up on them. (it would be kind of funny if she falls into that female stereotype though — i.e., trash-talking guys they’re actually attracted to.)
in fact, in general most of the mentions about me or our time together or the divorce leads to one of three conclusions: she’s lying now (on her blog); she’s manipulated the past in her mind to try and justify and deal with things; or, she was lying about all kinds of things to me throughout our marriage. i prefer to not believe the last one, and it honestly seems pretty unlikely. the first one is possible…but the middle one seems most likely.
it used to really anger me that she was out there lying about and misrepresenting me and our relationship. it’s still annoying, but time has lessened the anger a lot. plus i doubt she brings it up much. and these days, any direct effects to me are fairly unlikely. and to some degree, i’d think the cracks in the spackling are probably obvious to people.
as a serious aside, one bit of truth from her blog is that she said she probably wouldn’t be here if she’d stayed with me. that certainly seems possible. she had a history, and she was pretty fscked up as time progressed. i felt like she was driving us into the ground, evidently she felt like she was trying to save…herself, our marriage? whatever it was, she was ocd about it. and not in a good way.
obviously the big theme of her blog is her struggle with eating disorders, which almost killed her at least once. i did learn this started right after she broke from me, which i’d always wondered about. interestingly, she seems to somehow on some level blame my being overweight and her time with me. well, sometimes. i honestly didn’t read much of the eating disorder stuff. it’s not a part of my experience with her.
the most curious thing was her entry about the day she ran into me recently at brasil. i’d written about it, but it was interesting to get her perspective. she evidently wished she was skinnier and more put together in the brief moment, but quickly got over it. she then went on to talk about how horribly fat i am. (for the record, i’ve been pretty much the same since some time before we split.) i think she needed to defend that comment about me, since she followed it up by stating that it wasn’t the fat cells that disgusted her, it was knowing that my weight was due to my “ironically narcissistic self-loathing” (if i recall correctly). it’s kind of sad so much of her view seems to be based on weight. it seems she thinks her being skinnier is her being happier/successful/good, and i guess vice versa — therefore my weight must correlate the same. or something. i mean, if i’d lost a bunch of weight would she have had to conclude i was happy? or less narcissistic and/or self-loathing? (heh.)
maybe that’s why she used to drool over that pic of me from years ago…i must have been satisfied and happy then, since i was skinnier. which brings us to the me from the pic above…
phliktid-hart-h-3-me.jpg i sort of remember that printed sweat shirt. why in the world would i be wearing something like that? i remember that watch — a gold fossil with a brown leather band. it was from one of fossil’s first years i think. ah, and the sides of my head are shaved, which is a look i’ve always liked. but i’m not sure it liked me. i think the round mound of bangs make it worse. but they’re wrapping to the side of my head, and they sort of did what they wanted. hopefully the reason i’m wearing that sweater shirt is because it’s cold…i thought my tastes had improved by then.
anyway, i just want to state that i can tell you for a fact i wasn’t happier in those pictures. and my gaining weight over the years, both before and during our marriage, wasn’t due to unhappiness. do i like being overweight? no. have i put in much effort over the years to do much about it? no, not much at all. but perhaps my weight is a sign of my laziness, enjoyment of foods high in starches and fluids with too much sugar, a job and hobbies that involve being sedentary, genetics, and a general lack of enjoyment of exercise.
tying your judgments about someone’s self to their weight — or clothing styles, haircut, cleanliness, punctuality, or any number of other things — is about as valuable as other stereotypes and generalizations. i would have hoped someone with her past — personally running into stereotypes and generalizations and trying to combat them — wouldn’t fall into that kind of trap. but then she surprised me a lot once she had no use for me anymore.
anyway, some of it was new to me, and i tend to think and analyze stuff, so it gave me some new things to mull over. in the end though, i think it helped reinforce that there’s no good justification or reasoning for what happened with her. she’s just…who she is. the good, the bad, the dreamer, the hurt, the broken. when we married, i (we?) believed we would do whatever it took to honour our vows. eventually, through our time together, she fell apart, she gave up, she changed, and i was churned under. i was collateral damage in her quest to find herself and to find happiness. i’ve tried to learn from the events, from mistakes i did make during those times, but the consequences that were brought down upon me still feel inadequate for my mistakes. saying/hearing “life’s not fair” doesn’t really make it better either. then again, perhaps i got the better end of the deal in the long run.

7 comments on “the past’s welcome is wearing thin”

  1. I *was* a huge TMNT fan when I went to A&M. There was a TMNT video game in the Commons that I was so happy about (because I lived there). Your drawing of Rafael is impressive. Also your shaved hair sides are impressive – I used to really love that look too.
    We so should have been friends back then – stupid big school. You should have hung out with Jeff Frank more. 😛

  2. That picture of the young rocket scientist in-the-making and the mention of hart hall brought back some memories. My memories of Hart Hall are most related to the hours of Wolfenstein 3D I played in your dorm room. Wasn’t Moose your roommate then? Wow. I’ve been so busy the past few years, I haven’t had much time to think about the old days.
    I think you’re on the right track with your assessment of Tamara-gate, “she’s just…who she is.” and you did get the better deal. As someone once said, “You don’t break God’s laws, they break you.” You simply can’t live the way she is/was and come out unscathed, so to speak. I can say from my perspective, that knowing you has meant a lot to me over the years and that meeting you at A&M (a la the Scatered Few t-shirt story) was quite literally an answer to prayer at at time I really needed a concrete answer to prayer.

  3. You know, mostly what I remember about your shaved hair sides was that football game we went to right after you’d (re?)done the shave. Baaaad sunburn. I just remember a bunch of us looking over at you sometime during the 4th quarter and saying, “Dude… Terry…” 😀

  4. You should submit that pic to muletsgalore,com. I still think it’s funny that I met you @ A&M but have no recollection of it. (One time when you were over @ Jesse’s next door to me & Raj. Think I met Ash too.)

  5. That picture really is from some time ago! I don’t have any mental picture of you looking that young, so I don’t know if I had met you at that point or not. Or maybe I just recently had… I do remember that you were living in a corner room at that time.
    I think that I remember that sunburn that Vance mentioned too, although I don’t recall if I saw you with it at the game or sometime after.

  6. jamie: i actually did hang out with jeff a fair bit there for a year or two. not much in his social circles though, i don’t suppose. so maybe we met but didn’t know it.
    ash: yeah, moose was my roommate during the wolfenstein 3d times, there in b-ramp of hart hall. the circumstances of our meeting were pretty amazing, and you were the kind of person i’d been looking for for years living around me but never had found. so yeah, it was really cool. the funny thing is, i didn’t really like that scaterd-few shirt and i almost never wore it. i loved the band, but that’s the only scaterd-few shirt i had at the time. tamara used to always say that if we were opposite sex, we’d be married. i don’t know about that myself, but i do think we’re kindred spirits.
    vance: yeah. i remember that. i had no clue during the game, but…yeah, it was bad. i think i had that haircut for awhile, so it was probably just a clean shave after having it grown out a bit mixed with not usually spending hours out in the sun at once.
    redkev: mullet? but…it’s not really a mullet. i don’t want to sound too defensive, but i’ve never had what i define as a mullet: long in back and short on top. mine was long top and back…sort of like an extra wide mohawk (except i never wore it up like a mohawk). or maybe long on both top and back is some kind of defined mullet variant. but really…my clothes are bad enough, do you have to put me in a mullet too? 🙂
    ack: that was…um…h-3 hart hall…so…1990 maybe? i don’t think i met you until…well, i think it was 1991 or 1992. steve kessler lived in h-1 when i was in h-3, so i might have met you without knowing you at some point before. i don’t remember if you were at that game or not. i don’t think so, but i’m not sure.

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