by Niall Douglas. Last updated . This page has been accessed 4,250 times since the 6th August 2006.
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Monday 19th June 2006: 3.12pm. Another birthday of this online diary slips past without me noticing ... yes, it's eight years old now. Incredible if you think about it. I'm currently sitting in UCC in my Dad's office theoretically using his supposedly really fast internet connection. It's slow. Real slow. I'm getting at best around 1.6Mbps which translates into around 200Kb/sec. That's shocking for a 100Mbit ethernet connection direct into HEAnet. I did some testing, and it turns out there is a massive packet collision rate - put simply, the UCC network is very badly routed. I yearn for St. Andrews where even in the middle of the day you sustained 1500Kb/sec ...
Anyway, I've been back around one and half weeks. The last few weeks at St. Andrews didn't really let up - the pace continued relentlessly, though because exams and other fixed commitments had ended, one could be considerably more flexible in how one organised one's day. Nevertheless, I got virtually no coding done - but I did get a lot of worthwhile strong-connecting with others, sometimes over coffee, sometimes over alcohol and sometimes over other substances. I very much missed that connecting for the first few days after getting back here, though I know it was an artificial bubble only possible because everyone knew the summer was coming and therefore we could do things we wouldn't ordinarily be able to do. No doubt, I will have greatly worried them that we shall continue come next September, and indeed we shall - but only in ways society cannot so easily judge upon.
Johanna and I have become increasingly strained since the last entry - she did something extremely stupid that put herself at risk, others at risk and furthermore broke a promise to me by doing so. She is becoming increasingly unsettled - she has been plagued by dreams for the last week - almost certainly her subconscious trying to tell her something loudly - especially as the dreams are very similar and are basically repeating the same theme night after night. Needless to say, much of the optimism I had last entry has dissipated.
Indeed, I personally take the view that I can't see how we can continue going out as things presently stand. There is an obvious pattern that she is increasingly hurting me subconsciously, without intent, and that suggests that her subconscious mind has some issue. She says it's because of two things: (i) I don't give her my full attention and all of my love, I am partly in love with others and her subconscious (not conscious) mind has a problem with that and (ii) I don't let her take care of me, so she feels a need to take care of others. And in both of these things, she is quite correct.
She has also raised issues of us communicating properly, and spending quality time together. I have put in the effort to see her during this semester, but I honestly admit it's mostly been late at night when we're both tired and I rarely spend the night as I can't sleep in her lumpy bed. All these factors are part & parcel I am sure.
However it misses something more fundamental. She screwed up her exams and didn't make her minimums (I just only made them by the very thinnest of margins) so by the book, she's out of honours and can now only repeat second year, take a general degree or drop out. This annoys me a great deal, because I know she didn't really try. She went to the beach the day before the most important exam she had and did no study whatsoever. I don't mind so much if you don't make minimums and at least tried your best - had I not made mine, I could genuinely put hand on heart and say I did try my best given the circumstances. I can't, and she can't, say the same for her.
Which brings me to my point: I am relatively fine if a friend, even a close friend, fucks up big style. I can assist to the extent I can, and they get to live with the consequences of their actions so they can learn from the experience. God only knows, I have done enough of that myself during my short life so far. However, if your lover starts fucking up big style, they also fuck up the life of their partner big style. This is the duty of being in a long term relationship. If for example she doesn't get into honours next year, she should by rights refuse a general degree as it's effectively two years of expense down the drain. As much as me throwing away my first degree was fine, I also knew at the time I would probably be going back to take another one and this time to do it well (admittedly, I had thought this would happen in my thirties rather than twenties). Most people can't afford that, either by time nor money.
And if she were tempted to take it, how could I know she wasn't doing so out of fear of losing me? It's how our relationship started, and it is what has characterised it ever since. Every attempt I or she has made to overcome this has thus far failed, and it is increasingly poisoning our relationship. Actions out of fear always poison things in the long run - I learned that majorly with Kathryn by deliberately causing her to act out of fear of losing me (ie; emotional blackmail).
The alternatives are that she get a job (unlikely to be in St. Andrews), or to return to Sweden. Either way she won't be living with me next year, and this also means we probably break up as well as putting me to a great deal of inconvenience and cost while I find someone to replace her in our shared house. In many ways, her not making her minimums is the biggest hurt she has caused me so far. It removes all our options for staying together, and puts me in the unenviable position of having to choose when to break up with her - not so soon as to not give her enough time, but also not so late that she makes bad choices out of fear of leaving such as enrolling for a general degree. I really, really don't like that she has forced this on me - having to choose whether to dump her for my & her own good. Having to think constantly if I am doing something because I genuinely think it's best for her, or if I am doing it because I fear her dragging me down with her. Back down to where I used to be.
Who are you? What do you want? Where are you going? These are all questions I have known the answers to for some years now. And if forced, I will choose my work and loneliness and purpose over being there for someone no matter what. What a horrible choice to have to make. I abhor myself for even thinking it. And yet, I must.