In Sex Love and Obesity Part 13 – Peter had just moved in, one of my dearest friends had just passed away and the arguing in our relationship had started escalatingmover differences in our priorities.
June and July are difficult months for me. I have a trouble dealing with the grief of losing my Dad between Father’s Day, the day he passed away, (July 5th) and his birthday on July 20th. That year in particular was harder than normal as I was also grieving and mourning the recent loss of one of my dearest friends.
Starting a new relationship probably would have already been a struggle for me. But starting a new relationship where you’re fighting half the time was taking a toll on my mental health and wellness. I was exhausted and depressed. Working two jobs to try to make ends meet had me beat and worn out. The additional worry of Peter getting close to running out of money before finding a job was escalating my stress levels.
How was I dealing with it all? Well, let’s be honest. I couldn’t turn to food to deal with my feelings, so I was exercising. A lot. I was running a half marathon almost every other weekend. I was putting in 3 hours a day of exercise at the gym with the classes I was instructing. I was coming home at night drinking, smoking cigarettes, smoking marijuana and despite the arguments that were going on, we were having amazing sex on a regular basis.
Sex, drugs, alcohol, and exercise. That is how I was coping.
It was a few days before my Father’s birthday and Peter had just landed one of the most amazing jobs there was to be had. Great pay and medical insurance walking in the door on day one. When he came to the grocery store I worked at to tell me about it, we were both ecstatic. “Start thinking about what kind of ring you want and what kind of house we’re going to be looking for kiddo.” Those were his words.
At that moment, I thought everything was about to turn out the way we had planned. Happily, ever after. I’d stop working two jobs, we’d stop being stressed out and fighting over money. We’d have less to argue about. Things would get better.
The day before Peter was about to start the job I had decided to go out for a morning run around a nearby lake with a friend of mine. He hadn’t been running since we finished our half marathon together, but he did enjoy getting on his bike and going for a ride. He decided to take his bike down to the lake and ride around to check on us.
The lake is a loop mind you. No matter what direction you go in, you’re going to go back to the same place you started from to get back to where you caught the loop. My friend and I typically ran in one direction. But, that morning we decided to go the opposite way.
When Peter caught up with us, he was irritated that we hadn’t gone in the direction he thought we would. He got short with us. He gave me a hard time about it and then took off on his bike in a huff with a “I’m going home.” – To this day, while he would never admit it, my friend and I both believe that had he not been having a little temper tantrum and rode off in a huff as fast as his feet could pedal, what happened next might never have happened.
We got about a mile up the road and stopped to go to the bathroom when a gentleman on a motorcycle stopped us and asked us if one of us had a boyfriend biking around the lake. He proceeded to tell us that Peter had fallen off his bike and was hurt. Luckily, my friend’s car was parked at the parking area we at. We jumped in the car and rushed to find him.
When I got there, the ambulance had just arrived. Peter was laying on the ground. “I think I broke my leg.” I heard those six words and something inside me literally shut down. He told me later that the look on my face when I got there was cold and uncaring. I denied it. I assured him that I was just responding to the situation and trying to make sure that I was dealing with the Paramedics who wanted to move him too much.
That was the first lie I ever told him. He was right. The moment I walked up and saw his foot pointing in the wrong direction I knew he had broken his hip. I knew he had less than a couple hundred dollars left to his name. I knew he wouldn’t be starting that new job tomorrow. I knew there would be no medical insurance to cover whatever costs we’re about to be occurred. I knew that it would be months of recuperation before he would be able to work, and I knew that I was going to have to take care of him physically and financially. We weren’t even two months into a new relationship.
This was way more than I had signed up for.
I argued with the paramedics about how they were going to move him and where they were going to take him. They wanted to stand him up and have him sit down on a gurney. Believing his hip to be broken, I didn’t want them to do anything that caused movement at the hip joint. He got an ambulance ride to the hospital and my friend and I loaded his bike up. We grabbed my car and ran home to walk the dog knowing we might be gone for a while. As soon as we were done we headed over to meet him at the hospital.
He embarrassed me in the emergency room. His phone, which let me just say where Peter is concerned, is like permanently attached to his hip so that he can constantly share every aspect of his life on social media, was about to die and none of us had a charger. I wanted his phone so that I could call the company that he was supposed to start working for and let them know what was going on. I wanted to compose an email to the HR department that might help secure the position before the phone died and I couldn’t get to the contact information. He wanted the phone to post pictures of the situation on Facebook, ask the world for prayers and answer chat messages back and forth asking if he was okay. Again, we had very different priorities and it caused quite a scene in front of my friend when we fought about it.
When they told us that his hip was indeed broken and they were transporting him to a different hospital for surgery, my friend and I told Peter we were going to go get some lunch and we’d meet him at the other hospital. I walked out of the emergency room and broke down in tears. The stress of the entire situation was just too much for me to deal with on top of a grief ridden heart. My friend tried to console me. When I couldn’t calm down she suggested the one thing she knew might help me deal with all the overwhelming emotions. “Come on Pandora, why don’t we go finish our run.”
In this relationship, my running was a source of contention.
I was already constantly being accused of loving running more than I loved him. To this day I have never admitted to him that I left the hospital and went running.
Later, I was verbally attacked for the better part of 20 minutes because I took to long to get to the hospital. He was highly offended that we’d been unthoughtful enough to stop and grab Indian Buffet food rather than going through a drive through and rushing home to get his charging cord and getting back to him before his cell phone died. The buffet really hadn’t taken much time, you grab a plate you put food on it, you eat. It was the run that delayed me 30 minutes. But I needed it emotionally and he would have never understood that.
When we got back to the house I called him to find out where the charging cord was and let him know we were on our way. He freaked out over the word “we.” He let me know under no uncertain circumstances that he didn’t want my friend coming with me. He only wanted me there, nobody else. He wanted to be alone with me. My friend, who had canceled her plans for the day to be there for me, to offer moral support and help us deal with the crisis could hear every word he said.
“Don’t worry about it Pandora, I don’t need to go,” She assured me when it started to cause a fight. He’d just slapped another one of my friends in the face with his lack of appreciation and gratitude. That was two in less than two months.
When I arrive at the hospital, alone, I told him that I was really stressed out and worried about how we were going to pay the bills. We’d had so many arguments over money that we were both acutely aware of the other’s finances. I knew he only had a couple hundred dollars to his name. He knew I was struggling to pay the bills. He also knew I had managed to stash away a little nest egg of a few thousand dollars in a savings account.
That savings account was what I called my “get the hell out of dodge money”. It was the same amount that I had in my savings when I moved to Oregon to be with my husband. It was the same amount I had when I left Oregon and moved to North Carolina to take the new job and be with Superman. It was my “This all went wrong I need an escape plan” money. Someday if things worked out with us, it would have been my part of a down payment on a house money.
“What are we going to do Peter? How are we going to pay all the bills?” his answer, floored me. “I guess we’ll just have to dip into the savings.”
“Oh. You mean my savings?”
This was turning into a nightmare. From where I was sitting, albeit completely unintended on his part, this relationship was turning into every other relationship I had been in. I was stuck with all the financial burden. I was concerned at the huge differences I was seeing in our priorities. I was trying to make responsible decisions. I felt like he was playing the part of the boy that would never grow up. I was unhappy. I was resentful. This had all happened in less than 8 weeks of living together and I was nowhere near capable of dealing with it.
The rose-colored glasses were about to come off. The amazing sex life we had was the glue that was holding everything together. It was the one thing that made me turn a blind eye to everything that was wrong. His broken hip was going make sex a complete impossibility for quite a while.
Without the sex to act as a band-aid in the times that I felt emotionally wounded by him, he was about to lose his ability to use sex as a tool to convince me that were meant to be together. Without the sex as a distraction, I was about to start seeing how dysfunctional and toxic this relationship actually was.
Stay tuned for Sex Love and Obesity Part 15 – When Tragedy Reveals Toxicity
Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and Cooper Institute Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies. Her training and coaching services are offered exclusively through GoGirl Fitness Studio.