Friday, 29 November 2013

small things

Hi everyone! Not much to say today, things at home have been rather peaceful, Josh is playing all the time and we're a bit distant now. He's been going to bed at around 7am. But I don't complain, it's nice to know he's focusing on the game.
Actually I think he's getting a bit obsessed, today he was talking about Poker in his sleep. He sometimes talks in his sleep, but I hadn't heard him going on about his hands yet.
This is my last day working away from home, yeaaaahhh! Next weak I'll go back to my usual routine of waking up only an hour before I have to be at work, instead of two. So, more free time to do what I want.
Christmas is coming and, although I'm not religious, I enjoy the season. Josh usually sets up our x-mas tree (I'm not very good with the decorations) and our house is all cozy and warm, I like spending time just laying on the couch with a blanket reading a book or watching my fav TV shows. I'm following Boardwalk Empire now (season 4) and reading The God of Small Things, beautifully written.
Let's see how things go, Josh has been winning some money, I hope he keeps it up and things can take a positive turn by the end of the year.
Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

what's in it for me

Hello everyone. Josh didn't win anything special during the Micro Millions event, so.. no miracles so far. However, he did go deep in several tourneys and won a few hundred dollars, which is excellent and gives me a little hope for the future. I'm thinking that if he wins a large sum of money soon (like, by the end of the year), I can either give us another shot at being happy, or leave him without feeling guilty, because he has the money to support himself.

Meanwhile, I'm focusing on my recovery. In one of the books I'm reading, the author asks us to describe the gains in our relationship. Since there are always reasons to stay in a codependent relationship, what are those reasons in my case, what do I gain by having a relationship with Josh? Many of you asked the same, I guess it's part of my recovery to answer it and be completely honest.
I'm not alone. Sometimes I wonder if being alone wouldn't be easier, because I wouldn't feel half the anxiety I do by living with Josh... but I like having someone else in the house in case something happens to me, like I get sick or something. I feel protected or safe, having him here. Also I tend to scare myself at night and have nightmares, it helps when he's here. I also enjoy his company when watching movies or shows on TV.
I get my share of laughs. Josh is funny and we do have fun together.
Josh occasionally teaches me stuff I don't know. He's into mathematics and statistics (which I'm not) and, since he watches a lot of TV, sometimes he shares stuff he learned in History or Science channels.
He cleans the house and walks the dog. But this is a constant struggle, he doesn't do it willingly and we usually fight over his lazyness (or any other reason his offers as to not have done his tasks). Don't know if this is an actual "gain".
He has his family's beach house. I truly looove it there.
We have our dog. And in case we part, he's taking the dog. Although I'll admit it would be like 90% grief and 10% relief, since I pay for all the dog expenses and also I wouldn't get stressed like I do when he doesn't walk the dog (which is something he frequently neglects).
This is basically it. A pathetic little list. Obviously he has a lot more to gain from this relationship than me... this, along with what I admitted in my previous post (especially because of it), has got me thinking and thinking... and worrying.

I had trouble sleeping last night from confronting this reality and the simple urge to leave Josh. I have to take things slow, I'm afraid to rush out and create a more painful situation than it has to be. My options would be: simply move out and leave a note telling Josh he had like 2 months to go; break up and keep living with him until he finally left (too painful and a bit scary); break up face to face and  then move out, facing his anger and the whole drama of him watching me pack and leave.

Another question I have to ask myself is... is leaving Josh going to fix my life? Or am I, again, searching for solutions outside of myself, when in reality I could find happiness regardless of Josh being in my life or not?

A lot of thinking to do.

Thanks for reading.



Friday, 22 November 2013

the most important question you can ask

Hello! I read a very interesting article (click to read it all) about the things we want in life and how our perspective on them is actually wrong, I thought of sharing it with you.
According to the author, to become a fully accomplished person, we got used to asking ourselves a question - what do I really want in life? - and then lead our lives in a way that somehow would result in succeeding at those goals.
The thing is, answering that question doesn't get us anywhere. Our answers will always be something like to "live a care-free, happy and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when you walk into the room." Which basically means nothing and will only contribute to make us feel like loosers for the most part.

So, the alternative would be starting to ask ourselves another question - what pain do I want to sustain in life (in order to achieve certain goals?). What are we willing to do or put up with, in order to achieve this or that? That is the million dollar question and can really change our lives.

An example from the article:
"If you want the benefits of something in life, you have to also want the costs. If you want the six pack, you have to want the sweat, the soreness, the early mornings, and the hunger pangs. If you want the yacht, you have to also want the late nights, the risky business moves, and the possibility of pissing off a person or ten.
If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is a fantasy, an idealization, an image and a false promise. Maybe you don't actually want it at all."
Since I'm searching for what I really want as part of the therapy process, this was a good exercise for me. When it comes to my relationship the (painfully) real answer is "I want to be with Josh, I am willing to have arguments regularly regarding his bad habits at home, I'm able to sustain the stress of living with a man who doesn't bring money home regularly, I want to feel nervous and sad every other day, I wish to doubt my future and get frequent stomach aches, I'm willing not to ever have children to stay with Josh, if I have to, I am able to wait for him to become what I need forever, even if that means waking up someday and be an old woman that no other man will want, I am ok with giving him an allowance so he can pursue his dreams and hopefully become what I wish him to be."
Hm... yeah. I know it's bad. But it's reality and I have to deal with it. I mean, do I really want these pains? Not really, but since that's what I have to put up with in order to be with Josh, the answer is yes, I really want them. For now. Hopefully my therapy and building my selfesteem will change my answer a bit.
When it comes to playing poker, thinking about Josh, I think his real answer wouldn't be "I want to be a successful poker player", but it had to be something like "I want to play poker and deal with months of insecurity, bad beats and coolers, I want to put my relationship at stake, I want to spend many sleepless nights playing and most of my days watching videos on Youtube to improve my game. I want to spend years trying to accomplish something even if it means reaching the age of 40 empty handed and with no job perspectives." I wonder if he'd really answer this, if he's aware of this... I guess I'll ask him later.
What about you? What do you really want in life? What are the pains you want in your life?

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

no means no?

Hello everyone. Just keeping the blog alive here. Things at home have been peaceful for a week (wow), Josh is spending lots of time playing the Micro Millions thing, yesterday he entered a 21 thousand people tournament and won 200 dollars, he played for 6 hours and got to the final 200 players. It was a little frustrating because I was secretly hoping he'd go further and, who knows, win the 15K first prize (that would be awesome), but... yeah.
He said he was going to change his strategy a bit and start playing MTTs (he only played Sit and Gos for the last year), from now on. This is somewhat "refreshing" to me, because I always thought he should play MTTs. Not that I know what I'm talking about, but I figure that if he can pay like 8 dollars to win 15K, he should try it from time to time, even if it's a long shot. He always said it wasn't a good idea because the game doesn't work based on "long shots", but on long term persistency and repetition, which means he might have to play dozens of MTTs to make sure he'd win something decent and he couldn't risk his bankroll like that.
Now, after seeing that he has gone far in several tournaments, he got his confidence up a little, and decided he's going to play more of it. Not sure if he plans on stopping SNG, but I don't think so and I hope not, I think he should play both to keep things balanced.
Now, regarding our relationship... What happened last time we had a huge fight was a small victory for me (not giving in, making him buy his pills and pick up the Dog License for me), but unfortunately, for boundaries to be deeply set, they must be tested, and those tests happen when we disagree, have a fight and I stand my ground (or not). So, I passed my first test. The problem is that sometimes fights don't happen often enough (ridiculous, but please understand) and this tends to make me "softer" which in consequence makes it more difficult to keep my boundaries when the next altercation arrives.
I was talking to my mom about this the other day. Her reaction was the same as many of yours: it can't be that difficult to leave someone if you're not entirely happy with the person. I showed her the book I'd just bough (Codependency for Dummies) and explained to her that I've had this problem since my teens, that I spent my whole life saying yes to men when I really wanted to say no. I didn't get into many details (she's my mom), so I didn't mention anything sexual (which happened several times), but I did admit to her that I'd accepted a guy's request to be his girlfriend (when I was like 20) only not to upset  him, and then I got home and texted him saying I was sorry but I didn't want to be his girl after all. She was a bit shocked to know this, lol. I can tell you a dozen stories of situations when I said yes instead of no (with other men, not Josh), for a single reason: not to be unpleasant and create what would be an awkward situation for me.
So we talked about how this problem only happens when it comes to men, because I have no problem standing up for myself with women. And we talked a bit about my real dad and how he might have influenced me to become like this, since I was always trying to make him love me and he was very demanding and cold and always busy.
So... yeah, to answer those who accused my therapist of being a charlatan, I disagree completely. It's very simple, actually. Imagine you found out that the way you lived your entire life was wrong, unhealthy or even dangerous for you (and I've had more than one dangerous situation because of my inability to say NO, the worst being almost getting raped). Imagine you'd have to learn how to live differently. Do you think you'd be able to change a little chip in your brain and wake up a new person? No.
It takes time. It takes tests. This can last months or years, depending on the situation. I'm still coming to terms with the reality of my life: I have to change the way I lead my life. And this has to be done in small steps. First I say no to buying him pills, then I say no to having sex if I'm tired and don't feel like it, then I say no to getting his dinner on the way home just so he doesn't have to move, then I say no to doing just about anything that goes against my will. Simple... but difficult.
Hope you guys are ok.

Friday, 15 November 2013

one day at a time

Hello everyone, didn't want to end the week without updating, but things at home are pretty much the same... we have peaceful days and then along comes another fight.
I was hoping for some huge breakthough in my therapy session, but nothing like that happened. My therapist says I'm not ready to leave Josh just yet and I should focus on myself, my boundaries and self respect, to stop the codependency. This can take months. She also suggested we had couples' therapy. I asked Josh but of course he said no, therapy isn't for him, there's nothing wrong with him, blablabla... obviously.
Meanwhile his bankroll isn't getting any bigger and I'm considering my options, leaving is looking pretty good to me, but... the house, the relationship, what will become of Josh... those things still worry me enough not to let me move out.
Now with the Micro Millions in PokerStars we'll see if he wins something amazing and something changes. Or not. As for me, I'm not in a good mood right now.
Hope you guys are doing good!

PS: Someone asked me what platform I use to keep this site, but I can't find that comment, it's gone. Anyway, I use Blogger, not Wordpress. Blogger has several themes you can use, this green one with the poker chips fit perfectly :)

Friday, 8 November 2013

a long update

Josh didn't leave. Obviously. And unfortunately. If he had left, my beliefs and personal confidence would still be intact. But as he didn't, he had a lot to tell me and that, besides hurting me, made a huge mess inside my head. Right now I'm totally confused and feel terrible, like a kid caught doing something bad. I'll try to explain his arguments as well as possible.
First a little background.
During 2012 I was caught in a situation with an abusive tenant - I rented a family house (which I later sold) to some... man, who never paid the rent, destroyed the interior of my house and, worse, left me with a debt of 700 euros - because electrical power and water supply were in my name. I had to pay bills he accumulated and had lots of trouble getting him to leave (he was living there with two kids without water or electricity, gross). Ultimately it was Josh who got him to leave, by showing up with some friends that apparently intimidated him.
I am now accused in the police of robbing my own house, because the... man, to get back at me, fabricated a story of me going in "his" house and leaving with several electrical supplies, gold and whatnot. Josh is one of my witnesses as to those are all lies, but the process is still pending.
But moving on. When I first rented the place I was conviced I'd get paid 300 euros monthly (a bargain, but our market is terrible now), so I increased my expenses:  joined an expensive gym and started having piano lessons. An extra 160 euros a month, that I didn't have because wasn't getting paid.
Later that year, I got into another situation, this time with a cat. I bough a Scottish Fold kitten from this... woman, that ended up dying just 12 days after. Besides the horrible experience of having the cutest kitten sick and dying in our house (and all the trouble it created, since I was at work all day and Josh had to take care of it), it was another disaster to my account. I remembered having 200 euros in my account and withdrawing 220 to pay for the kitten. It was a mistake. I paid for the cat (I bought it alone, Josh didn't go with me and didn't participate in this, I just called him and he said he was ok with it, if I wanted it) and I had to pay for the Vet and then to take the woman to court for selling me a sick kitten (she didn't want to give me my money back). I ended up spending about 600 euros in all this and only got 220 back.
Meanwhile, that was also when I got my arm tattoed and spent a total of 1250 euros in it, in about 4 months. So, during that year, I spent money I didn't really have and still did my life as usual - out to dinner, parties, some make-up, etc. During that time I was also helping Josh: lending him money for his expenses, that he later paid. We did this, as I said, until the summer of 2013 - I lended, he paid (my problem was that he didn't pay when I wanted him to).
As I said in a comment (and may have mentioned earlier) I have now over 70 thousand euros in savings, from selling that family house and so on. That money is safely stached in savings accounts that grant me small interest every year. Smaller than the inflation rate actually, which means I'm not winning anything, I'm just not losing as much as if the 70K were in my current account.
Josh's point of view is the following:
When I lended him the 5K, he was supposed to make it to SuperNova level in one year, but only if he would play certain stakes. This meant that he either had to win at the game, or couldn't withdraw money every month. Or else, he'd have to lower his stakes. Since he didn't win and I demanded him to withdraw money every month to pay for his expenses, although he made 4500 dollars, his bankroll went down to less than 2K.
So, if I had cut back on my expenses a little (since I was going through all those difficulties), I wouldn't feel as compelled to demand monthly payments (this is true, I admit to that), which wouldn't have caused him to lower his stakes and ultimately (along with the ridiculous bad luck he's had, according to the EV graph) made it impossible to reach SuperNova or to keep his bankroll.
In Josh's opinion, if I'd moved part of my barely profitable savings - let's say 5K - to my current account and had used it to help pay for my expenses along the year, I wouldn't have felt so stressed, wouldn't demand monthly payments (he'd pay me back everything by the end of the year) and none of this would have happened.
Regarding his hair loss pills, he said he didn't understand why I couldn't pay for them because his only issue is that he doesn't have money in his current account, only on his credit card (that receives his PokerStars withdrawals) and the pharmacy doesn't take credit card payments. So I'd pay for the pills and then he'd go to the supermarket and buy me 23 euros (their cost) worth of stuff, with his credit card.
He thought I was being extremelly selfish on this particular occasion (pills) and that I was always blaming him for my poor decisions regarding my money. He said he didn't know if he could live like this, so he was leaving as soon as he got a ride to go. His bag is packed. I seriously doubt he goes, because I know he still loves me (or, as you might ask, does he love my money?).
He also said my low self esteem is always causing me to doubt that he really loves me and making me think that he's only there for the money, but that's bull, because he knows he can survive on his own, even if not with the same quality he has with me. And that he's only trying to earn more money to please me (so we can have a family soon) because if it was only for him, he'd live with 400 a month and didn't give a damn.
This was basically it. My head feels like a drum and I had a bad day at work yesterday. I don't know what to think, but I must find out what I want. I didn't buy him the pills though, he asked his grandmother and she paid for it. I'll go to therapy later, which will be good. Got to get my thoughts together. I think he has a point, but I'm afraid to be manipulated. Maybe I'm crazy and a bit paranoid and can't believe he loves me for me. Maybe not.
Thanks for reading all this, appreciate it.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

the sh** has hit the fan

This morning before coming to work, Josh and I had a fight and he told me he was leaving me. I left the house anyway, right after he opened the closet to supposedly pack his stuff, because my country is on strike today and I only had one bus to catch if I wanted to get to work.
It all started last night, when he asked me if I had bought him his hairloss pills. I hadn't. I told him I wasn't going to buy them because that wasn't on the deal and I already have my bank account below zero (-550 euros actually). Besides, he already ows me around 100 euros for food and stuff that I wasn't supposed to be giving him. I feel bad. As his girlfriend, should I be helping him without asking for him to pay me back? This is what's going through my mind now, I already know your answer.
So, since I wasn't agreeing on buying him the pills, he refused to help me on something I needed. Our dog got surgery last month (I think I mentioned it) and I paid for it. It was over 500 euros, which I had to get from my savings because my account was already below zero then. We have insurance for the dog, but in order to get my money refunded, the insurance company asked me for the dog licence, that people can get in their local City Hall. But as I'm working far from home now, I have no way to go to my City Hall and get the document. I had asked Josh to get it before the pills' situation. After he realized I wasn't helping him with the pills, he told me he wouldn't get the paper and didn't care if I never got my money back.
That infuriated me. He said "I'm always doing stuff and you refuse to help me, so I refuse to help you too! I only do what's on the deal from now on!" and I told him in that case, and since the dog is actually his (because when we got separated he took the dog and that's what will happen if we part ways again), I wouldn't pay a single dime for him anymore (it pained me to do this, because I absolutely love my dog), his expenses like food, pest control or insurance. Josh just said "Fine!". I also told him that he was totally unfair saying that I don't help him, because I pay his bank loan, his bills and for his "housekeeping", and he'd have to get used to the idea that soon that help would end. Then I opened the door to go to work. As I did this, he said "I'm leaving, I'm leaving right now to [his family's beach house]." I stopped for a minute, the open door in front of me, but then I remembered everything I've been reading about codependency and "enablers", and I just left.
It was excruciating for me to do this. I got on the bus and felt sick, I called my therapist and texted my best friend, but no answer from both of them. During the trip to work I tried to remember everything I read online last night about codependency and enabling, specially on how enablers are allowing a person to live a lie; how enablers are stopping an addict (or debtor) from dealing with the consequences of their actions; and how enablers must STOP enabling and be very very strong, following through with their actions and their beliefs, even if the addict/debtor/gambler/child tries to manipulate them or pressures them to their limit. This was the case. 
My therapist called me when I was getting to work and she told me to try and relax, that I hadn't done anything wrong... that is my biggest fear, that I've been unfair and am losing my relationship because I wasn't giving enough, or was being selfish or was focusing too much on money... I don't know.
Now I feel terrible. I'm afraid of what will happen when I get home. Josh is so very proud, that I actually believe he might leave, after the threat he made and seeing that I didn't break. I pray to god he didn't leave, but I also know that if he did, it was for the best. Now I have to survive this day at work and gather my strength to see what's waiting for me at home. What if he commited suicide or something? God I'm so scared. You might think I'm crazy but I'm holding my tears right now. Damn, how did I get into this?
I hope everything works out, please Forces of Nature, almighty God and Goddess, let it be all ok when I get home. Please.