by Niall Douglas. Last updated .
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Wednesday 13th June 2007: 10pm. I have just woken up after a two and a half hour nap and until this cup of tea I am drinking takes effect, I am feeling really rather groggy! But I was absolutely exhausted, mostly due to lack of sleep - I went to bed last night at 11pm because I was so tired, but couldn't sleep until at least 5am and I am refusing to let myself sleep in past 12pm. But then I suppose I have a lot to think about - even more substantial change continues.
I got back my exam results - I received a third for the Corporate Finance, which was very, very disappointing as I had been due for a high first. It's one of my strongest subjects, and it should have been a breeze, but I had had about two hours of sleep the night before due to the collective failings of M-, S- and I- so well, shit happens. Straight after that exam the three of them arrived at my house and all five of us (Johanna was there too as she lives with me) spent the afternoon thrashing things out - I remember Johanna cooking us all sausages for lunch. The most productive conversation myself and M- began that afternoon continued for the next two days which led to us co-writing that Socratic dialogue on subconscious self-destructivity I mentioned in the previous entry. That night, being very exhausted, I took a very early night and slept through to my Sustainable Development exam the following morning and despite the total lack of study, I somehow managed a reasonably high first. Sadly, due to the S-coding, very high and very low marks (as compared to your average across your entire time here) get discounted.
I wrote the last entry on Monday 28th May. That was an interesting point of time. The previous Friday (officially the last night of term) was a moment of transition in my life, when old things definitely ended and new things began. To be specific, I had been walking home at about 12.45am as Johanna was wanting to go out and get trashed with her friends as she wouldn't be seeing them again for a while, and I didn't think it a good idea for me to get any more drunk seeing as she wouldn't be coming home that night. M- had seen me walk past from the door of Aikman's, and ran after me. This led to quite a discussion on South Street, in which I made my position & views of her recent behaviour extremely clear, and I remember feeling at the time so proud of how well she handled me because I was being very difficult indeed.
M- then enabled me to have a discussion with S- and I- with whom she had been drinking in Aikman's. Well, when I say discussion, I would more say that I brought home to them in a very, very clear way just what they had done. The previous Wednesday when we thrashed things out, I had made it extremely clear that the destructive behaviour stop immediately, or else I walk for good - the previous night I had set up a situation where each of the three had a series of choices to make, and had just one of them chosen to act selflessly just once, the whole issue would have dissipated. Ok, that was real nasty & manipulating of me, but I had spent the previous two years trying to tell them with words about how poisonous their selfishness is, and they wouldn't listen, so I created an artificial situation where a series of their own selfish choices would lead to a cascade reaction of things spiralling rapidly downwards. Hence you see my lack of sleep, because I knew f from their absolute silence (ie; no text messages and no phone calls) that they had behaved exactly as I had hoped they wouldn't - but had expected they would.
M-, realising her role in the previous night, had actually done something about it in response to my ultimatum ie; co-write the dialogue with me. S- and I- and indeed every other person M- socialises with punished her severely for doing that because they chose to see it as betrayal, her stirring things up needlessly and her moving to the dark side (ie; to me). That led me to another bad episode the following Saturday night, which led me to cut off I- and S- completely forever with a simple & short text message. I think though they hadn't quite realised how serious I was being - it was all a game to them eg; Niall being silly - so M- enabled that confrontation, partially out of wanting revenge for how they had treated her, partially because they were living in a bubble which needed bursting, and partially because it was about time that they got a dose of my suffering back at them - which is something M- understands intimately given all the pain I have caused her since she failed me last October.
According to M-, the effects were devastating. Johanna thinks what I said to S- and I- in those twenty minutes was vindictive, but I really don't think it was. It was truthful, very very truthful - I remember opening up my full abilities to the max, and in those twenty minutes I delivered a message to their subconsciousnesses about the reality of their true nature which they will never forget - without being unnecessarily hurtful, without lying, and without malice. It's a testament to how well M- handled me only ten minutes or so before, because S- and I- did exactly the wrong thing by trying the same old excuse making shit on me instead of listening and trying to understand and being respectful. So I delivered my message to them, brutally for sure, breaking past all the normal psychological illusions people use to make sense of the world. But this was a message that I nearly died to deliver, and I knew I'd never see either ever again anyway so I could afford to burn some bridges.
So all that happened the Friday previous to the last entry. What happened next unfortunately ticked predictably like clockwork. I had pleaded with M- to help me that Friday night, begged her to do something, to be a friend to me. I had some texts from her on the following Saturday, then the following Wednesday she sent me an email to say she wasn't comfortable meeting my sister after that Friday night. I replied quite lengthily to that email detailing my current state of mind at the time, and the following Saturday I had a text from her to say she would need time to process such a lengthy email which was a week and a half ago. She was being afraid again.
I spoke last entry of the confusion I felt about what to do about her. That confusion had lasted throughout that time period. She kept stringing me along, performing a holding action, but not actually doing anything about it as I had begged her to do. For me these last few weeks have proceeded incredibly slowly - days seemed like weeks. But I knew that for her time would be proceeding rapidly, characterised by trying to not think about things, so I gave it a while. This time last week it dawned to me that she was going to do nothing - fail me yet again - and after that the way forward became clear. I told her by text last Friday (the two week anniversary of that night in Aikman's) that as of next September, we would not see one another again. As she told me yesterday, her immediate reaction was "Niall is breaking up with me!" and she has had a difficult weekend since.
However, it cannot really be any other way. I know I said I'd give her a chance, but if you think about it, it's unworkable after the summer. The girls really have trashed my reputation here in St. Andrews to the extent that I am no longer welcome in any of the social groups we both have. That leaves me with virtually no social opportunities at all. I feel somewhat upset by this, but I also think it rather a good thing in a way - these people should have known better. I have behaved impeccably since I arrived here, it's just that it doesn't look that way if you don't know the backstory. And these mutual social groups should have wondered about why I have done the things I have done instead of just assuming I was being nasty & vindictive because the girls have painted me that way - when in fact, I was really being precisely the opposite.
I think this all works out very well indeed. Sure, I have come out pretty badly from this, lost my reputation and a lot of friends but then none were actually really friends to begin with as has become extremely obvious of late. I could be angry, point to all that I have done for each and all of them over the years, but I'm not angry anymore. Just hurt & disappointed. Since last Wednesday, I accept my fate - this all can become very good for me indeed.
I explained all this to M- yesterday, and I think she agrees that there is no longer any choice. Were we to remain in contact during fourth year, it would be very messy and difficult indeed. I have decided that I am to play absolutely no further part in their, or their social groups, lives whatsoever after early September. So I have suggested to her that we make this summer the most fun possible, perhaps to try and make up to one another all the pain & hurt we've caused each other over the past year.
We were already heading in that direction anyway as I suggested to her the day after that Friday in Aikman's that she try to figure out why she won't be a friend to me. She did say that Friday night that it's because she doesn't like me, so I suggested that we write out the top ten things we like & dislike most about one another. Here's what I wrote about M-:
In case you're wondering, yes I do have her permission to publish that. I also have her permission to publish her list which she wrote after reading mine. I scanned it in because I am framing it with a picture of her to sit next to my bed from September on:
I'm not exactly sure why it's so important that I stick those four lists on to the internet for how many billion people to see for all eternity. Especially as her real name will probably never be published here, so no one will ever know who she is. But I guess that she's someone that I have loved as much as any girlfriend, and I'm pretty sure that she loves me just as much in return, so when she says that I'm breaking up with her, she is sort of right. We've had all the shit from a bad relationship, just none of the fun, sex or good times really. Despite how awful it's been for both of us from the beginning, our love for one another has strengthened and grown despite the odds, and I think that's why I want this published here. This is a perfect example of the essence of human nature at work - what is the true source of hope in a world gone mad. As I wrote at the start of our Socratic dialogue to I-:
Niall: This dialogue is a composite of conversations that M- and I have had since yesterday afternoon when I set you that ultimatum. If two people, who have hurt one another as much as we have this past year, can come together and jointly write something like this, then I think it really demonstrates something important. It really has been most insightful.
It's hard to convey how I feel right now, reading her list and that quote. I would best describe it as a sense of awe, gratefulness and humility. I feel so proud - of her, of humanity itself, and of the world. And I just wanted to say that in this diary, conclude with how I am feeling, and my thanks to her for letting me publish that.
Anyway, it's after midnight now, and because of my nap I'm not that tired, but I think I might go for a walk somewhere. Be happy everyone!
Later that day ... It is now 3.13am and I have just returned from my walk. At this time of year, the sun never really sets in St. Andrews - you get this twilight, and I decided to walk to the Northern beach past the golf course so I could properly witness it next to the sea. Curiously enough, just as I was walking past Aikman's, M- rang me as I had wanted voice confirmation that I could print the above rather than just a text. So I decided to join her for a pint, then I walked her and A- back to their home before continuing to the beach.
I had wanted M- to come with me, I think she even knew that without me having to say it. But I knew I was intruding, I had been around her when she hadn't prepared for it beforehand, and as always she reacts to that by becoming defensive & trivial. And besides I had watched her during the night so obviously shrouded in fear - marinated in it - that she could not have seen what I saw as I watched the waves wash across the shore as the tide came in, under a sun which never sets. A pity. But I knew she was there with me as she lay in her bed at home, probably wondering if she should send me a text message but too afraid to do so [NOTE: stop the press, just received an email from her sent at 3.08am in reply to my promises I made to never again do half of the bad points she listed!].
It's a funny world we live in. I don't laugh at the oddity of life enough. But I sure did chuckle as I walked home! Be very happy everyone!