Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Sophie Thing

I didn't speak to Sophie for about 3 weeks. I needed time to think, and my wounds were still smarting, so I needed time to heal. But healing wasn't on the agenda, because I couldn't get past the W's of it all. WHY did she do it? WHAT was she thinking? HoW could she do something like that to me? WHO is this person, really??
And I knew the only person who could give me those answers was Sophie, but I just wasn't ready to reach out to her. She tried, half-heartedly, to talk to me, through Facebook and emails, I just didn't respond, and she didn't force the issue. She obviously knew I was still upset, and now that we weren't being practically forced to spend every hour of every day together, I no longer needed to make the best of the situation. So maybe she was worried, I don't know. But finally, I reached out to her, via email.

Me, on July 5:

Hi Sister.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but I’ve been sorta keeping my distance from you over the last couple weeks because I’ve been thinking and trying to figure out why the whole situation in Belize is still bothering me. Because it is. I know you apologized, and I have forgiven you, but it still hurts what you did. I guess I feel like I don’t really know you as well I thought, because the person I know you to be knows me better than anyone, and knows how much I value loyalty in my relationships. And that person would know how much what you did would hurt me. Not because of the guy, because it’s me. I’m your sister. I know you were drunk, and that was obviously a contributing factor, but it’s not a reason. It’s not a good enough explanation to me for why you would do something like that. I want to know WHY you did it. Did you think about my feelings at all?? Did it ever occur to you when you noticed I was gone, why I may have left? Did you even NOTICE that I was gone?? And as much as I’ve been thinking about it and trying to figure it out, I can only come to the conclusion that I don’t really know you that well anymore. I guess I just don’t get what could motivate you to commit a betrayal like that so flippantly, without even thinking of my feelings AT ALL. Most of the time, you play the role of the older sibling, and I let you, because it’s your nature, and because I’ve never thought of myself as the responsible, role-model type. But there are some things I am wiser about than you, believe it or not.  I’m your big sister, and I have loved you, respected you, cherished you, and rejoiced in our relationship because I know it’s a rare and valuable thing. Every time I talk to Jenna, I’m reminded how special it is to have a sister that is also a best friend. So as your sister, and best friend, I want you to know this stuff. And I need an explanation from you.
You’ve changed a lot over the past couple years, and some of the choices you’ve made in your life have stood out in particular, as evidence of that change. And I think I’ve always been supportive, and adaptive to your lifestyle, or at least I really tried, even when I didn’t think it was right for you (e.g. the polyamorous thing). But I was always sure that deep down you were the same person. I never felt like you were a stranger to me. But the time I spent with you on the trip is making me wonder if you’re going through something. I don’t know, some sort of minor identity or life path crisis? I could just be reading into it too much. Maybe I’m the one having the crisis because I feel like the sanctity of OUR relationship has been violated. But I saw in you a shade of a person you used to be a long time ago; a person I thought you’d grown out of. That popular girl who constantly craves and needs the physical attention of the men around her. I couldn’t reconcile it at first, but then it occurred to me that I felt like I was in 8th grade again. That dorky reject with the popular younger sister, who has a new boyfriend every week. That night you made me feel like that girl again. Like a hovering, unwanted presence. And I don't want you to think I'm just sitting here judging you, because I'm not. I’m just trying to understand what is, or was, going on with you, if anything. 



Sophie, on July 5:

Hi Sister,

Thanks for your email and for expressing more about what's been going on internally for you. I have noticed that you've been keeping your distance, and I wasn't exactly sure how to respond to it. I figured it might be something related to what happened on your trip, but I wasn't sure if you just needed time, or if should do something or say something. Anyway, I am grateful that you reached out to me.

There are a lot of questions in your email, and I will try my best to not leave anything unanswered, but I think the key issue here is that you feel like I've changed as a person and that scares you because you feel like you don't know me anymore. I think that I have definitely changed, over the past year - but not in ways that were reflected in my actions that night. If anything, the way I behaved was more of a regression from the growth I think I've made. And I don't have any neatly fitting explanation to psychologically excuse it all away. But, I can share with you a bit of what I've been reflecting on for a while, and that your questions and points in your email bring up.

I am a person who always has my shit together. Who always has a plan, a direction, a schedule, a routine, a goal. Who always feels like I have to be the one to take charge of a situation, lead and watch out for others, make sure everything goes smoothly and that everyone's having a good time. For the most part, I like that about myself, I know it is a fundamental part of who I am, and I accept it. But sometimes, it is fucking exhausting.

I've had to embrace that role in many of my relationships - sometimes, it is just something that comes naturally to me, like in our relationship, as well as within many of my friend groups. In my relationship with Brent, it was a big factor as well. I was the one who wanted to join the Peace Corps, and he agreed. Which meant we had to get married, and he agreed. I was the one who wanted to move to Chicago, and he agreed. And then start graduate school, and encourage him to do the same, and he agreed. Every major decision for both of our lives was made by me. Which is wonderful in some ways, because I always felt I was free to make my own choices, as was Brent, and if we both wanted the same thing, then it would continue to work out. But eventually, the stress of that became really taxing, and affected other aspects of our relationship...

While you are, of course, one of the people who knows me better than anyone, there are some parts of my life I've always been reluctant to share with you, or that we just never really talked about much, and sex is one of those things. Maybe it was because I was married, and it seemed weird to share it, or maybe it is just general shame/guilt around sex that I've been carrying around my whole life because of our upbringing, I don't know. It took great effort for me to tell you about the polyamory thing, and I knew you wouldn't necessarily be on board with the idea, but I wanted to tell you because I wanted you to know me. And I do appreciate that you accepted it. But, we never talked about it much beyond that.

A very significant factor in the reason why Brent and I chose to become polyamorous, and are no longer together now, is because I lost interest in him, sexually. I still loved him, enjoyed spending time with him, respected him as a person, etc. But after being the decision-making, responsible, guiding person in the relationship for so long, it became harder and harder for me to see him in a sexual way. I tried really hard. I felt really guilty. He felt rejected and undesirable, of course. Which made me feel guiltier and angry at myself for not being able to do such a simple thing - to have sexual interest in this person that I loved. This went on for years...

At first, I thought it was just a natural decline in my sex drive in general. That had happened to Brent before, and I had all those feelings of being rejected and undesirable, so I knew how bad it must feel for him, and I thought that if I just waited and kept trying, it would come back. It didn't, and I realized that I did have sexual interest in other people. Then we decided to open our relationship, and I learned a lot in that process, but that's another conversation. Ultimately, the situation between me and Brent didn't change. And eventually, I had to accept that it wasn't going to, that I couldn't force it, and all the talking about it and crying about it and going to therapy and talking about it some more was only making me feel worse and guiltier and not changing the situation. So, I was the one who said we should end our relationship, and he agreed. I was the one who said we should get a divorce, and he agreed.

So, after being in the same relationship for almost all of my adult life and then finding myself 27 and divorced, at a time when most of my friends were just getting engaged or married, I realized that I wanted to make some serious life changes and test myself and learn more about myself, and really just be out on my own. Which is a big part of the reason I came to Guatemala. I needed a change, and I wanted to see what it would be like to go off of the obvious path of life that I always felt I was supposed to take - to get a good job, work hard, be ambitious, start a family. I wanted to see what it might be like, what I might be like, living without a strict plan.

For the most part, it's been great. And I've found that I really enjoyed it, and it was challenging not knowing what's coming next, and I was afraid, and that was okay. I don't need to worry about the future so much. I also learned that, now having discovered that I can live that way if I want to, I still prefer to have a plan. I like having purpose and direction, and I'm an action-oriented person in that regard - I thrive when I have something to work toward and am taking the steps toward it. Now that I've decided I want to pursue my PhD, I'm very driven in that, and I've been really focused on reaching out to professors, writing my statement of purpose, doing research into my area of interest, etc. It's who I am. I'm happy with it.

But every once in a while, holding that all together, being responsible and having my shit together and sticking to my lists and my schedule and all of those other certainties...it just falls apart. Every once in a while, and usually under the influence of alcohol, I have a really reckless night that I tend to regret afterward. And I'm noticing that this is a pattern of destructive behavior that I need to be more aware of and I need to stop. Alcohol isn't an excuse, it's just one factor. Sex is also usually involved. And yea, I think having male attention to boost my self-esteem in some way is a part of it as well. Normally, I take more pride in and find more self-worth in my intellect, my work, my place in the world, rather than my appearance. That's something I've had to learn - to literally re-train my brain to think in those ways, to value myself, to stop hating my body and just accepting it and loving myself for better reasons. It's been hard, it takes work, and it's much easier to just seek male attention that seems to do all that for you, in the moment.

One night, while Brent and I were still together but seeing other people, I went out with some friends. This guy I was sort of seeing came and met me out, really late as the bar was closing. I was already rather drunk, and he bought us two more drinks which we had to finish quickly before the place closed. I slammed it without a second thought. He had a car and offered me a ride, so I said goodbye to my friends and went with him. We went back to his place, we smoked some weed, we went upstairs to his room, and by this time, I was pretty fucked up, but still could have made better choices. We had sex, and I spent the night. I didn't call or text Brent to let him know I wasn't coming home, none of my friends knew where I had ended up, and I didn't make the effort to get myself home so that Brent wouldn't be worried. I didn't even look at my phone. I woke up the next morning because Kal (the guy's) boss called him, waking us up. He was looking for me. I got my phone and had probably 50 missed calls, mostly from Brent. He had been worried. He had called the police. He called all my friends, they told him I was with Kal (who we knew through work), they got the phone number of the org. Kal worked for and called it, and then Kal's boss called him, and the whole thing was this huge, terrible, and completely avoidable mess. I hurt Brent, I put Kal in an awkward situation, I got my friends unnecessarily involved - and all for what? For one stupid night of me being careless.

This was probably the most extreme example, but not a completely isolated incident. Somewhat similar things have happened before. And one of them happened that night while you were here. And so, I recognize this is a pattern, and a very unhealthy one. Not one that is repeated very frequently, but a persistent pattern, nonetheless.

So, to attempt to answer your questions. I can't really say why I did it. Probably out of insecurity, mainly. Did I think about your feelings at all? Honestly, no, not in that moment. Not until the next morning, and then felt awful. If I had thought of your feelings, I don't think I would have made the choices I did. But, I didn't think of them. I didn't think of anything but myself and my own stupid reckless and careless rampage. To be honest, most of it is a total blur. I was MUCH drunker than I have been in a VERY long time, but I acknowledge and own that I made the choice to get that drunk. Which was also inconsiderate and stupid. I didn't think about why you might have left, I didn't notice that you had left, I had no concept of the passage of time, and don't clearly remember the order of events. I remember snatches of that night, and what I do remember mostly embarrasses me. I don't like seeing myself as the person I was behaving as that night either.

I, of course, know that loyalty in friendships is very important to you. And honestly, if I would have even had the faculties or the consideration to think at all before acting, I would have thought about that. But, this is going to sound stupid, but it really had nothing to do with you. It wasn't you, it was me. I would have probably done the same regardless of who I was with that night, because I wasn't thinking about how my actions would affect other people at all. Or even how they would affect myself. Really, I wasn't thinking. Just doing. And didn't even fully realize what I was doing while I was doing it.

So, I guess to attempt to tie all this together - I have changed in recent years. The aftermath of my relationship with Brent has affected me, the divorce has affected me, the move to Guatemala has affected me. But I think I've come out of those things mostly with positive changes. I have a better sense of who I am now, I have finally come out of a depression I was experiencing for many years, I am more optimistic about my future, more accepting of myself, more tolerant and accepting of others, and more willing to try new things and test my limits and challenge my boundaries, while still recognizing that sometimes, I have those boundaries for a reason and they're a good thing. But clearly there are issues I still need to work through and areas in which I still need to improve.

I guess some part of me hasn't grown out of the girl I was in middle school, and I don't even really know how, at that time, I came to be that way...I guess upon entering public school, because I somehow suddenly stuck out as pretty and became popular at that time, it gave me the approval of others around me, it made me automatically liked by people who didn't even know me, and deep down, I'm pretty shy, so I felt like I needed that. Or I, at least, enjoyed it because it assuaged my insecurities and allowed me to not have to deal with them, to not have to work on reconciling myself to myself.

This incident in Belize, which is a part of a pattern of destructive behaviors, is one of those things I need to work on changing still. It is not a part of the changes that have occurred in me, it is an old pattern of behavior that still needs changing. And I can honestly say that I am glad you had such a strong reaction to it. I am glad that you expressed your anger. I think it is the limit for me, if that makes sense. It's the reality check I needed to show me that this pattern of behavior can't continue. That it's harmful and hurtful to others, and to me. Which means I need to find other, healthy outlets for the stress and anxiety and pressure I sometimes feel as a result of the standards I normally hold myself to and the role I normally play, or I need to go easier on myself when it comes to those things. I still have some figuring it out to do. 

All I can tell you is that I'm deeply sorry for how my behavior affected you. And I'm embarrassed of the way I acted and am sorry that you had to witness it. It had absolutely nothing to do with my feelings about or relationship with you, and I'm sorry that it had an impact on that as well.

There are still things you don't know about me, or sides of me you've probably haven't seen much of...topics that we just tend not to discuss, or contexts in which we haven't been together. And I'm still changing, and always will be. And I tend to keep a lot of stuff inside, and it's hard for me to really share who I am with other people. But, I want you to know me. And if nothing else, I hope this helps a little in that regard.

I love you, and I appreciate your concern.


Me on July 8:

HI Sister,

Sorry for taking so long to respond; I didn't mean for it to go this long. At first I was just thinking about what I wanted to say, and then I just...didn't wanna think about it at all, and I kinda just left it longer than I meant to. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to explain to me some of the things that have been going on with you. A lot of what you told me about you and Brent's relationship, I sort of already knew. Either from just being around the 2 of you, or based on things you've said in the past. As far as the polyamory thing goes, when you guys told me that, it alarmed me because I recognized it as a symptom of unhappiness, not as this...period of marital enlightenment that you guys were making it out to be. And that's why I had a problem with it. I didn't think it was the right way to go about trying to fix your relationship. I know it can be emotionally taxing to be in a relationship (any kind of relationship) that forces you into the role of caregiver/adult/responsibility all the time. That's how I felt in my relationship with Abbie. Ha. To be honest, that side of me kind of scares me, because I don't like thinking of myself as the motherly sort; I equate it with being old for some reason. Maybe that's part of the reason I always let you take control of situations when we're together. If you would rather not always play that role when we're together, that's totally ok with me. In the case of our trip, I just thought it would be easier for both of us because you know the area better than I do, you speak Spanish, etc. 
As far as changing goes, I do believe we are constantly in the process of becoming who we are supposed to be. Actually, when I reflect on just the past 5 or 6 years of my life, I made a lot of drastic changes, and I think just from one year to the next, I became a very different person. Not so much when I was younger, but mid-20's to 30's has been a big change for me, and I think that' normal. It's obviously different for everyone, but it's important to be aware of the changes, and for there to be some intent behind it. Self-awareness is a rare and wonderful thing. Not many people have it. And I think your last email shows that you do, so that's good. 
Recognizing your pattern of destructive behavior is also good. I do remember that incident in Chicago with Kal. I was one of the people calling you that morning. I had forgotten about it till now, but Brent did call me pretty early that morning, worried. I can't really offer much advice on how to prevent this from happening, because it's never really happened to me. I mean, sure, there have been several times I've gone out, gotten shit-faced and had some regrets in the morning. But my actions never affected anyone but myself, and maybe the other people I was drinking with. I'm really good at drinking nowadays. Haha. I don't really know how I do it, but I manage to get just barely drunk enough to feel good, and then just maintain that. So I never black out or do anything too dumb. There are exceptions to this of course, but generally I'm pretty good about knowing when to stop. Maybe that's just because I used to drink more in my early 20's and I learned my hard limits, or maybe it's just because I hate that feeling of not being in control of my body. (That's why I have no interest in hard drugs) I dunno, maybe it's just because I'm 31 now, and I get hangovers much more easily. The only advice I can give you is to rely more on the people you go out drinking with. You and I don't go out much together, and I like getting drunk with you, so I wasn't paying much attention to how many drinks you had that night. But in the future, I will. When I go out with Taryn and we get wasted, we always take care of each other. It's just understood. And that's important, not only to prevent you from making stupid decisions, but for safety's sake.
You're right that we were raised to think sex is bad and shameful and therefore you should never talk about it. And we are definitely products of our upbringing, but I DON'T really think there's anything shameful about sex. And I don't have a problem talking about it with you. I just don't really go into many details about my sex life with anyone. Unless it's like a funny story or something. I'm just kind of a private person when it comes to that, but I don't feel more uncomfortable talking about it with you than any of my other friends. And I hope you don't think I was judging you because you wanted to have sex with someone on the trip. Because I don't have a problem with that at all. I just think it's important to be cognitive and responsible about it. There's a reason I've never gotten pregnant or had STD/STI's in my life, and that' because I'm careful. It's also partly cuz I'm celibate. Which is unfortunate, and not really my choice. :/ Last night I went on a tinder date with a guy who turned out to be an ex con. FML. Well, this concludes my email. We don't have to talk about the thing in Belize again, I feel much better about it now. I mean it's no longer keeping me up at night, so we can just move on. Well I'm starving so I'm gonna go make breakfast. Bye!


Shsiter (<--- that's what I just typed. wtf.)

Our emails continued, but it's not important to include them here. I genuinely felt much better about the situation, and something about being back in the States made it easier to move on and forget it. It was sort of like a bad dream I had. And I'm thankful and lucky to say that I can look back on our Belize trip fondly now, despite what happened. It's no longer a tainted memory. Just sort of a blur.

Friday, October 16, 2015

The John Thing

When I came back from C.A. I was exhausted, both physically and mentally, and I had a lot to think about. With John, and with Sophie. The John thing seemed like it needed more immediate addressing however, and I wasn't quite ready to talk with Sophie about The Thing That Happened. I was still processing, and I needed the time away from her (finally) to think about it.
The John thing consumed my mind for days. Mostly because I was so caught off guard by the whole thing, and because I was so on the fence about what to do. At one time it had seemed so much more cut and dry. I was interested in him, he was interested in me, but it just never happened due to timing and distance. But now that the opportunity was really presenting itself, it felt...off. I dunno. Like I said in my last post, I felt I had already shut the door on this, and now it was open again, and I was peering in, but not ready to cross the threshold. So I analyzed, and overanalyzed, like I am wont to do. How would it work? He still lives in another state. I don't really want to be in a long distance relationship, but just starting out it would be silly for either of us to move. That would put things on a way more serious level right off the bat. So, what to do, what to do? And do I even wanna try to move on with this guy? I mean his track record isn't exactly promising. Years and years of saying stuff to me, and telling me he's gonna do things and never actually coming through. He's flaky! And he's an odd bird. He's bad at communicating and too hard to read. So that would also need to be addressed, but it's not like I can turn him into someone he's not! And I'm also not attracted to him anymore the way I used to be. I mean I still think he is attractive, I just...I'm not attracted to him anymore. I know, I'm shallow, it's a problem. It's not that I think looks are the only thing that matter, cuz I don't, intelligence and humor, and some degree of success (as in, you're not living in your moms basement) are also very important, but if I don't find the person physically attractive, I won't ever be able to get past it. And the kicker to all this is, I really wanted to like him, and to be into it, I just wasn't. So I kept trying to talk myself into it. And I told myself I was being silly and ridiculous to let a good guy go, and I should at least give it a shot and see what happens. So after 3 days, I texted John, and we had this little gem of a conversation, which somehow spanned over a couple days.

I didn't speak to him again till September. I spent a couple days after that conversation sort of reeling, but... Fuck it. That's exactly the conclusion I came to.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Central America: The Final Chapter

So we're sitting at that restaurant, eating, awkwardly, and suddenly I feel like I'm going to shit my pants. Lol. My stomach had been feeling a little weird. So I excuse myself, and set out in search of the bathroom, very hurriedly! Of course, when I find it, I need a key, so I'm farting as silently as possible as I run to the bar to get it. When I finally made it to the bathroom, I discovered that I had, in actuality, shat my pants! Never trust a fart. Ugh. Thank god I was in a bathing suit and wearing a loose cover up. And thank god it was a private, one-stall bathroom and no one else was at that restaurant! I whisked off my bikini bottoms and ran them under the faucet, added a little soap and scrubbed. It was like, a turd in my pants, just a little shart, haha. Sorry if that's TMI, but THIS is how my morning started, guys! And because I was fighting with my sister, I couldn't even tell her and then share a laugh about it. But it was fine, and I felt a lot better after using the bathroom, and no one was any the wiser!
So after breakfast, we meet John and our snorkel guide, Kirk, at the dock. Kirk was so nice, he bought us giant bottles of water and gatorade, both of which we all needed after our night of drinking. And, best of all, he showed up with Sophie's clothes. The embarrassed look on her face when he gave them to her was almost worth all the shit she put me through.
I was trying so hard on our 1 hour trip out to the Cayes to play it cool, and not let on how pissed I was, because I didn't want John to pick up on anything. The less explaining I had to do, the better. Once we got there though, it was easy to just forget everything that had happened the night before, because it was SOOO BEAUTIFUL. The water was as clear as glass, and turquoise everywhere! It was a tropical paradise in every sense of the word and I was just soaking in the sights and wishing I had my Mark IV to take photos! But of course, I didn't bring that because it would have gotten wet. And the snorkeling was so much fun! We saw tons of beautiful corals and fish, and we swam with sea turtles and touched nurse sharks, and searched for conch shells! It was amazing. Around lunch time we took the boat to a PRIVATE ISLAND for lunch! It's own by a fancy resort, but anyone can eat there. It had the most amazing view. Since I wasn't feeling very conversational, I went and sat in the hammock and watched the pelicans diving, while Sophie, John and Kirk were drinking and talking. We went out for more snorkeling after that, and by the time we headed back, we were all exhausted. Kirk dropped Sophie and I off first, and we walked down the boardwalk in mostly tired silence, but my heart was pounding, because I knew I wasn't just going to let this all go.
By the time we got back to the hostel, it was threatening to boil over and all it took was Sophie making some casual small talk for me to lose it. I can't even remember what she said to me, but I'll try to recall the conversation as best I can.
Me: You know, I spent the whole day trying not to think about last night so that your SLUTFEST last night wouldn't ruin this trip, but if you think I'm just going to forget about this, you're delusional.
Sophie: ((Stunned silence))
Me: Do you even know WHY I'm mad at you?!
Sophie: Actually...no. I mean I have some ideas, but could you tell me exactly why?
Me: You spent the whole night flirting with a guy I told you I was going for! We AGREED on this! I made it very clear to you! And then, as if to prove something to me, you proceed to FUCK HIM right in front of FUCKING EVERYONE in the bar! And did you even notice that I left?? NO! You decide once isn't enough and you need to rub it in my face and fuck him right in front of me A SECOND TIME! It's not even about the guy, Sophie, I don't give a shit about him, but you KNOW ME, and you should have known how much of a betrayal that would be! If you weren't my sister, I would literally NEVER speak to you again! That would be it! Friendship over!

I said other things in the heat of the moment, and I felt really good about it too, just letting her have it. Oh yea, now I remember. She asked me if she could borrow my shampoo. During and after I screamed at her, she just had this completely blank look on her face. Maybe it was shock, because I have never, EVER yelled at my sister like that. Granted, I'd never been so hurt, betrayed or angry at her before, so I guess there's a first for everything. I didn't give her a chance to say anything though, I turned around and stormed into the bathroom, and slammed the door. I don't think she would have had anything to say right then though, because honestly, it was like all those things I had said to her, were only just occurring to her when I said them. But I was only seeing red at the time. When I got out of the shower, she was gone. That was around the time I noticed the HORRIBLE sunburn I'd gotten on my back, from being facedown in the water all day. ((sigh)) I made myself as comfortable as I could (considering my sunburn) in a hammock outside and settled in to read Drums of Autumn. I'd only been there a little while, when John approached.
He had run into Sophie on her way to buy some shampoo and she told him I was here. So he got in the hammock next to me and we chatted for a bit.
"So right after you and Sophie got off the boat, Kirk asked me if we were dating." He said.
I almost laughed out loud and sarcastically said, "Why, cuz we were so touchy-feely today on his boat?" (We didn't even sit next to each other!)
He laughed at that, and gave me a sideways glance, which was unreadable, as usual.
"Well I think he likes you."
"Hmm." Just what I need. Another complication! I ended up telling John that I was mad at Sophie, but I didn't go into the specifics. I just told him I was embarrassed and annoyed about her behavior the night before. He seemed to understand, maybe even more than he let on, but he didn't force the issue.
She returned shortly after and went inside to shower, then John left when I said I was thinking about taking a nap. But I didn't take a nap, I stayed in the hammock and read some more. Then Sophie came out.
I looked up from my book.
"I understand why you're mad, and you have every right to be, and I just wanted to say I'm really sorry. I know it's no excuse, but I was really drunk, and I wasn't thinking about what I was doing, or how it might affect you, or me. I was just wasted. And I know I hurt you, and I'm just really, really sorry."
I couldn't look at her or say anything, I just nodded. I could feel her sincerity and her remorse, and it was validating my hurt feelings and making me want to cry, so I just didn't say anything. She went away.
About a half hour after that, I went in.
"Do you wanna go get something to eat?" I asked her.
She smiled and agreed.
I wasn't ready to forgive her, and I was still hurting, but I was ready to stop being mad. And I really DIDN'T want the short remainder of the trip to be sullied. I just wanted to move on, and have fun again. So I made the decision to make the best of it. And she's my sister. I love her. I knew eventually we'd get through it.
We went to one of the places we hadn't been to yet for dinner, and ran into none other than Kirk! I whined at him a little about my sunburn, but we told him we had a great time, and he asked if we wanted to join him for dinner tomorrow night at this "Great little place" he knew about, so we agreed. Then he disappeared for a bit, and he came back with fresh aloe for me! It was seriously a lifesaver too. I milked Sophie's guilt and made her slather my whole back with it when we got back to the hostel and then we both collapsed into bed.
The next day, I was in so much pain from my sunburn, and so physically exhausted that we really didn't do anything except lay around. John went on another dive, so he was gone the whole day. But we were supposed to go out to dinner with Kirk that night. I ended up getting talked out of that by John though, because he informed me that the restaurant Kirk wanted to take us to was expensive and romantic, and that he probably expected something from me. So I told him I was sunburned and miserable and we couldn't go. Lol. So we decided the 3 of us would go somewhere to dinner, sans Kirk, since it was mine and Sophie's last night in Belize.
So John texted me shortly after he came back from his dive, and this is how this convo went... He was Air B&Bing it there, and had roommates of sorts, sharing a beach with him, from Portland. And he had invited me to go skinny dipping at his place with them. Just in case you're wondering who the "hippies" are that we keep referring to, lol.

So that's what we did. We went to dinner, and didn't say anything else about it. It was still kinda weird though, for me at least. I told Sophie about it of course, and she told me she liked him, a lot, and she thought I should go for it, but I wasn't so sure. MONTHS and months of back and forth, and him being flaky, and the fact that I'd pretty much moved on from the idea of anything ever coming of all that... It was like reopening a door that I had shut and locked a while ago, ya know? And I was feeling so emotionally raw after everything with Sophie and I, I just couldn't deal. I wasn't equipped at the time, and there wasn't really a good way for me to explain that to John. ((Sigh)) But I sent him this message after we got back to the hostel that night.

The rest of our Central America trip was pretty bland. Just a lot of traveling, and being stuck in bus stations and on boat docks, waiting around. And most of that time was spent vacillating between my 2 options for what to do about John. Should I go for it? Or should I move on? ((Sigh)) We did go to a MidSommer Festival party with some of Sophie's Swedish friends who work with her in Guatemala. That was fun. I even danced and flirted with a cute guy, who chatted with me about journalism and photography for the better part of an hour. He got me drinks too!  I was hoping for a just a little bit of making out, but then I found out his ex was also at the party, and he seemed like he might still be into her, so I left it alone. I was heading back to the States the next day anyway.

All in all, my trip was an adventure. Like a rollercoaster with it's ups and downs. And you haven't heard the last of the drama with Sophie OR with John.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

To Tide You Over...

Sorry it's taking me longer to write out this story than I'd originally planned. It's just...I start writing about it, and I get upset all over again, and I have to put it down. And I've done that like 6 times. Ugh. So I'm gonna try to finish it all in one post and be done with it, but please be patient with me! I'm still here!
And to answer someone's question, everything I write is real! This all really happened to me, I just changed everyone's names. Be back soon!

Misadventures in Central America: Part 3

I have literally been having the month from hell, and circumstances have kept me from blogging the last week. I've just been so...ugh. I'll get into that later though. I know you guys are dying to hear what happened with me and Sophie in Belize. So, here goes.

I set my alarm for extra early the next morning, hoping I could slip out for snorkeling without even waking Sophie up. The guys were all gone already. They must have left at like 5am or something. I was still really angry, but most of that anger was already dissolving into hurt. But I wasn't just angry about what happened, I was mad because I thought this was going to ruin the whole vacation for me, and I was mad because I still hadn't had a chance to yell at Sophie about it. And I just couldn't stand to look at her stupid face. Then just as I was making my escape, Sophie rolled over and looked at me with that sleepy, hangover, confused face and said, "Where are you going?"
She hesitated, then said, "Can I come?"
"I don't care what you do, but I'm leaving." And I did.
I still had like an hour before we were supposed to meet our guide, so I walked down the beach in search of a place for some solitary breakfast. However, that was not to be, cuz some random native I passed by started walking and talking with me, and I was just too tired and upset to shake him off, so I just let him walk with me. He ended up coming with me to this breakfast place, and I somehow ended up telling him I was fighting with my sister. I didn't get into specifics, but it came up in conversation when he asked how I came to be in Belize and why I was breakfasting alone. Shortly after I ordered breakfast, my stomach started bothering me. Could have been from alcohol the night before, or drinking unfiltered water, I dunno. I didn't have time to wonder, because Sophie was approaching from the beach.
"Can I join you?" She was still acting like a dog with it's tail between it's legs.
I had decided to make the most of the day, and try and put aside my feelings until later. I mean when would I be in Belize again?? Plus, I didn't wanna be fighting with my sister in front of John. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but it was worth a shot.
To be continued...