Life After Jaimee

Hello, first ever filtered entry. I'd never bothered to set up filters until this very moment, and I've set this one to include everyone I know in real life, with the exception of Jaimee. The reason for that is because 1. It seems I don't really know her anymore, and 2. I'm going to do a lot of talking about her that I don't want her hearing.

You're reading this right now because I consider you to be a good friend, and will do a bit of soul bearing here and may say some things you may not want to know. I also trust you enough not to relay any of this to Jaimee, despite how meaningless it may seem to you to do so. Wolfie, I'm talking directly to you here.

I'm going to try to be as honest as possible about what's going on without shitting all over everything Jaimee and I used to have, although I can't make any promises that there won't be bad-mouthing (about both myself and her) contained below. So read on if you want, and if not, feel free to skip it.

Jaimee and I were on and off for over 3 years. That's a long time. Over the course of those 3 years, we both did some really shitty things to each other. I ignored her, I treated her like she wasn't a significant person in my life, I sometimes ignored the way she felt about me. She told me multiple times that she never wanted to talk to me again and that she was a worse person for having known me. Yeah, in the beginning, we were disfunctional and twisted and the kind of couple I hate knowing or hearing about. She made me miserable, and I did the same to her sometimes.

But in our own twisted ways, we did love each other. And eventually we worked through the craziness and were a good, solid couple. I had chalked up our previous problems to us being young and long distance. When she moved to Peoria the first time, things were perfect. We'd hang out in large groups and she'd get along with everyone. We only had 1 or 2 fights in the 8 or 9 months she lived here, which was a pretty good track record, considering. We basically started over, and things were good. Money problems split us up, and she moved to New Mexico to be with her mom.

Within 2 months, she called me up saying she probably wasn't coming back and started making plans to get the rest of her stuff out there. I was pretty broken up about it, as would be expected, and begged her to change her mind. Finally she did, and we had some struggles in the 10 months she was gone. Namely, Dana. Despite what she says now, I absolutely told her about Dana while she was gone, during the time I was hanging out with her. Just ask Alan, who I was living with at the time. He'd hear me yelling at Jaimee over the phone, just trying to explain what was going on while she threw a tantrum on the other end. Ask him how vacant and emotionally drained I looked following a 45 minute conversation I didn't want to have about Dana.

In the end, and even in the process, the Dana situation was an insignificant and meaningless crush I had on a cute girl with a cool car who paid attention to me. That's all she was. But not to Jaimee.

So, yes, I started covering up when I hung out with her. I knew it was meaningless, and my friends knew it was meaningless. Shit, I never even kissed the girl. So when Jaimee asked what I did on certain weekends, I would leave Dana's name out whenever possible.

I also didn't do a good job of replying to her emails or comments she'd send. To my credit, I'm terrible at replying to emails. I get so much fanboy nonsense even to this day, but imagine last summer in the midst of my magazine articles and TV appearance, they'd get lost in the shuffle and reading and replying to my email tuned into a huge and frustrating chore. And after a couple months of her telling me how miserable she was in Peoria and how she wasn't coming back, why did I owe it to her to reply?

And then it was her sister's wedding. I was really shitty here, just to warn you. Really shitty. She surprised me by coming into town early and calling me, saying she was going to spend the night at my house and I would take her to the wedding the next day. I didn't want to do that, so I lied to her and told her I was with my dad at a car show and wouldn't even be home that night. She skipped coming to Peoria and went right to Chicago, and I spent the day feeling like shit her having lied to her.

Why did I do it? No good reason, really, but a lot of small, petty reasons (the only reason to be an asshole, if you ask me). First off, I wasn't even looking forward to seeing her at the wedding. A few months of her telling me how miserable she was with me and how she wasn't coming home took it's toll on me, and seeing her would have been extremely weird. Also, I wanted an easy out. I wanted to visit her in Chicago so that if things were awkward and different, I could leave early. If she came to my house, she'd be stuck there and I'd have to drive her to Chicago. I was honestly expecting her to tell me, face to face, that she wasn't coming back and I didn't want to have that conversation face to face. I wanted to have it on the phone when I could hang up. Or, if it needed to be face to face, I could leave when things came to yelling. So I lied like a bastard.

I hadn't lied to her up until that point. I had left out some stuff with Dana, but none of it was serious stuff. Times when I went out with a huge group, I would leave Dana's name out of the recap. Times I'd see a movie or something with her, I just wouldn't mention who I saw it with. Not exactly honest, but not lies either. This was a lie, and not a pretty one, and I felt really shitty about it. The small amount of justification I convinced myself of didn't help. Not one bit.

Anyway, so I went up the next day to visit her. And things were great. They really were. They were exactly how I remembered them. Proof that, without any outside forces, Jaimee and I are perfect. The wedding was sometime within the next few days, and it was awkward but okay for the most part. She came down to be with me in Peoria and things were still perfect, despite her being on the sick side. I think that visit made her change her mind about coming back, because I know it changed my mind about wanting her back. I stopped hanging out with Dana, even though I knew it was just a simple crush the whole time and nothing for me to be concerned about. I just didn't want any drama related to the ordeal in my life.

In the weeks that followed, I kept calling her and trying to keep up with her life. I still wasn't great at the emailing thing, and I guess sometimes it seemed like my busy life got in the way of keeping in touch with her. And in a way, it did.

What's next is really sensitive information, people, so please keep it under wraps. I'm begging you.

What's next is that she told me about her miscarriage. Well, OUR miscarriage. We'd slept together during the visit to her sister's wedding, and even though she used birth control, she got pregnant. She didn't even know about until after the miscarriage. As you can imagine, that caused some huge mental anguish for both of us, and I couldn't be there for her and she couldn't be there for me, and I wasn't particularly eager to tell anyone about it. It caused issues. Lots of issues. Bad ones. I'm not good when it comes to dealing with situations like those. I'm sure I did a couple things wrong in dealing with it, but to my credit, I'd never had to deal with it before.

Anyway, so a few months later she was back in town, and things were perfect again. For about 4 months, things were really good. Then they started to fall apart.

She wasn't working, I was paying for everything, and she was miserable and taking it out on me. She was a huge bitch to me sometimes, starting fights about things that didn't need to be fought, bringing up stuff with Dana to use as ammunition, and insulting my friends. In addition, she was unappriative of my financial support, as well as mental support when it came to the job hunt and things like that. She would make snide, underhanded comments about me and my life and my friends that grinded away at my soul and my sanity, the whole time I was supporting her and letting her live in my home.

But I was convinced I was happy through it all. I mean, this is what I wanted, right?

In retrospect, I was miserable. I hated not knowing where anything was in my own home. I hated that she treated her dog better than mine. I hated her comments about how lost I would be without her, despite me being the one supporting her, despite me being the one with all the friends, and despite that I had lived on my own for years before she was ever living with me. I hated her bad mouthing my friends, and I hated constantly making the excuse that things would be better when she got a job she liked. I hated whenever she'd refer to being "stuck" in Peoria, or how she'd complain about money and say that me supporting her made her feel bad when I thought I was doing a nice thing (and never rubbing it in, by the way).

But through it all, I really did have faith that things would get better and be like how I remembered them.

So one Friday she told me they'd never be better, and she'd always be miserable with me, and how I had done irrepairable damage concerning the Dana situation. I didn't know how to react.

That Monday I got home from work and she was looking through the classifieds. I asked her why she was doing that, and told her that she had to go. I refused to make her like miserable, and I refused to let her make my life miserable. She had to go. Almost instantly, as if it was a relief, she told me she'd move in with her sister.

And in a way, it was a relief to both of us. At the same time, I was bitter and pissed off that she'd made these sister plans months ago, as an escape if she needed one. What kind of committment is that?

I tried to convince myself I wasn't bitter and angry about how everything went down. I know it's for the best, and I know we'll both be happier in the long run. But I still can't help but be bitter for some reason. I'd done so much and invested so much, just to have her always have an escape route. To have her leave me twice when I probably should have learned my lesson after the first time. I wish that if she'd decided she didn't want to get married and live with me, why did she wait until I adjusted my whole life to make room for her before she changed her mind suddenly. It would have been easier if she'd just stayed in New Mexico, and I hate that I was just her escape route from New Mexico when she decided she was bored there.

So, yeah, I'm more bitter than I thought I was, but that will fade in time.

For now, I'm enjoying being with my friends again without having to pussy foot around Jaimee telling her where I'd be. I enjoy my friends telling me I seem happier already. I enjoy doing whatever I want in my own house without being scolded, and I left the situation with a much more solid idea in my head of who I want to spend the rest of my life with. I just wish I didn't have to waste so much time, money, and energy to get there.

We both made mistakes, and a lot of them too. I guess, in retrospect, it was only a matter of time before all the bad crushed all the good there ever was. I'm better off, and so is she. I can do whatever I want and enjoy my life, and find someone who will enjoy my life with me rather than feel stifled by it.

And thanks, friends who are reading this, for not taking it too hard or having hard feelings about me when it seemed I was ignoring you. I know I turned into that guy I hate who disappears after he gets a girlfriend, and I'm sorry. It won't happen again. You guys are the ones who are always there for me, and who don't judge me or make me feel bad for certain decisions, and who cheer me up when I feel like shit rather than be the ones who make me feel like shit. You're the best friends in the world, and I didn't lose sight of that in my absence... I guess I just ignored it or figured you'd still be there when I got the Jaimee shit sorted out. Anyway, thanks guys. And I'm even talking to those friends who don't read this silly thing, like Mullens and Angie and Fabish and Alan. Being in my life and knowing you guys, Jaimee should have felt honored, not stuck.

In many ways, I do still love her as a person. She's got a ton of the qualities of a person I ultimately want to end up with, but some of the qualities I was fascinated by are the ones that split us up. I still think she's a good person who good things will happen to, and I hope she gets everything she's looking for. I'm just not sorry anymore that I'm not it.