Last night, after I finished posting, I had some more realizations about how I feel. I have to say, I’m feeling better and better about things, if only because I feel like my thinking is on the right track. Does that make sense? When things are bad, one of my touchstones is not just figuring out what I need to do, but why I need to do it. Or why I feel the way I feel. Knowing that I feel bad is definitely important, but the why is what shapes what I do about feeling bad. All my whys are finally lining up.
Anyways, last night’s realizations. I was texting with Issi about how I feel about the situation, and it was our texting that helped me firm up some of my whys. Issi mentioned that I could just say that I don’t want to live with her anymore, it’s not negotiable, and since it’s about her personality, it’s not really fixable. She’s her, I’m me, we don’t get along, so we should leave it there.
I said that part of the problem was that both Jon and Lora thought that Lora and I *did* get along really well. Jon was surprised at the level of animosity I felt towards Lora, when I first started talking to him about a month ago about how unhappy I am living with her. Because it does appear that Lora and I get along fine.
And I realized that that is technically true. Lora and I do get along fine. Or at least “ok-ish”. I don’t particularly like large parts of her personality, like the way that she can be a hypocrite about saying that something is gross/ugly/stupid because she doesn’t like it, but then reaming someone (like Jon) out for being insensitive and judgement if they say that something is gross/ugly/stupid because they don’t like it. But honestly, most of her personality quirks that I don’t care for (and aren’t related to Jon) are more things that I find obnoxious than unacceptable.
When I write about the things that I cannot stand about Lora, nearly all of them have to do with her treatment of Jon or her behavior around Jon. It’s the abusive, controlling, demanding, high-maintenance bullshit that I’m completely and utterly sick of. It’s how, if Jon meets Lora and me out somewhere, he has to say “hi” to her first, or she will throw a fit about how he is “ignoring her” (which she did at a wedding, of all places). It’s how she’ll regularly hold up our date night by an hour or more, but also jump all over Jon’s shit if he loses track of the time and accidentally spends five extra minutes with me instead of going in at nine on the nose to spend time with her. It’s the way that Jon and I stopped dancing to music in the kitchen when we’re cooking together, because if Lora comes by and sees that, she gets incredibly jealous and then picks a fight with him. I mean really, that last one is a constant theme – any time that Jon and I are discovered to be having fun that Lora isn’t having, she gets deeply insecure and either picks a fight with Jon, demands to have the exact same fun, or both. And with the three of us living together, she does find out about nearly all of our fun. It’s not like we can hide it from her. It’s not like we should have to hide it from her.
But more than anything, it’s about how she treats Jon, not how she treats me. That is what makes it so hard to say anything about this. And by “hard” I mean “makes me wonder how much of my business it is”. Because it’s mostly not about how she treats me, which I could handle directly. And have been, since I put my new boundaries up about a month ago. In fact, it was putting up those boundaries and feeling no better about things that partially caused me to question exactly why I’m so unhappy with Lora. I did start enforcing them and calling her out on things. Yet, I felt no better.
I felt no better because it’s mostly not about how she treats me. It’s about how she treats Jon.
Oh, there are a few things that have to do directly with me, and I do confront those head on, when they happen. I have gently smacked her down numerous times when she’s tried to control Jon for me. For example, a while ago, I gave up refined sugar, in hopes that it would help me with my insomnia and a few other health issues. One night, when the three of us were watching TV in the living room, Jon came back with a cupcake to munch on. Lora said “Absolutely not. You do not eat that around Liz. Put it back or eat it in another room”. I said “Whoa, whoa, whoa, stop. I am fine with Jon eating a cupcake in front of me. I am find with you eating a cupcake in front of me. If I have a concern about Jon’s behavior, I will talk to him about it. I don’t need help there”.
That has been an occasional situation that occurs when the three of us spend time together, and while I don’t love it (and am cognizant to all the giant screaming red flags that it displays), it’s more annoying that a deal-breaker.
It all comes back to the way that she treats Jon.
Another thing that I realized in my texting with Issi was that my usual MO for dealing with a person with Lora is to walk away. As I said yesterday, I firmly believe that people have the right to be assholes. I’ve met plenty of people who I didn’t care for and most of the time, my feelings are “This person isn’t to my taste, but that doesn’t make them a bad person. So I’m not going to hang out with them, because they’re not someone I want in my life.”. There’s no need for a confrontation, or taking someone to task, or a slap down, because hey, maybe someone else thinks that they’re great.
If I were to use a word other than “asshole” to categorize a lot of Lora’s behavior, I’d go with “high-maintenance”. Some people are into that. Maybe a part of Jon finds that appealing and that is a need that Lora fulfills for him. If so, that is one thing that wildly different between Jon and me. And it’s a thing that I can’t live with. Not 24/7. It’s too much; too exhausting. I don’t want it in my life at all. For Jon’s sake, if we didn’t all live together, and I had a few months to recover, I think I could deal with it once or twice a week, because I know that it would mean a lot to Jon if he was able to have some time that was the three of us. And then we could go back to our separate homes, and I could shut out a large part of Lora’s ridiculous behavior.
So, all that said, yesterday I said that I don’t like Lora for herself. I’m not completely sure if that’s true. Honestly, how true it feels seems to hinge on how shittily she’s treating Jon. When I try really, really, REALLY hard to think about Lora when she’s not being shitty to Jon, and how I feel about that person, I feel like “meh”. She’s OK. I’m not actually sure if I could truly like her or not, for herself, because of the way she treats Jon. It clouds my judgement too much. It takes up too much of my mental and emotional real estate, to be able to see past it.
These last few days have felt like being emotionally constipated for months and finally pooping it all out. I feel so good, so light, so free. I feel like I can finally focus my emotions on other things, because at long last, I’ve gotten a handle on all the whys of my feelings. I have exorcised my Lora-demons and can move on to the next plane of existence.
The only thing that would make it possible for me to continue to live with Lora (or consider living with her again) is if she stopped acting like an abusive, controlling, high-maintenance asshole towards Jon. It doesn’t matter how well she treats me. It wouldn’t even matter if we had everything in the world in common, she smelled like fresh donuts, and thought that I should be crowned Queen of the Universe. As long as she’s a shitbird towards Jon, I want nothing to do with her. Full stop. It doesn’t matter if Jon is OK with it or willing to live with it. I am not willing to live with it. I am not able to live with it.
Now I just need to figure out how and when to tell Jon.