Ever feel like running away?

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Hey girls!

A question for y'all:

Do you ever just get the overwhelming desire to run away? To just drive out to the airport and see how far the money in your checking account will get you?

I'm feeling that right now and it's strange because I'm content with the basic components of my life and what's going on with me right now. But still, part of me just wants to hop the first plane to the first city where nobody knows me. Or at least to San Francisco where Lee (Teddy) is the only one that knows me.

And somehow I think this feeling is tied in with the hopeless, desperate crushes I develop on the men around me. It's strange -- I love Seth and I never want to leave him, and still I find myself in the throes of these schoolgirl crush-type things all the time.

Maybe I'm just looking for some more excitement. I mean, even though I don't have a ring or Seth's last name, yet, I'm married for all intents and purposes, really. And sometimes, that can be stifling -- like I look to the future and all I see in store for me is work and babies. Bleh.

I know it's not true -- I've got school and my writing and my friends and lots of exciting things to look forward to. But why does sometimes being in a relationship feel like the end of your chance to have adventures?

Am I making any sense?

Sorry to get so deep on y'all this early in the day. : )

-- Anonymous, October 13, 1999


I want to run sometimes too. Run away from all my damn responsibilites. Sometimes I just get fed up at all the things I'm doing for everyone else and how little I'm doing for myself. I lose most of my time to my job, another bit to the dogs, more to the house, and the rest to Dave.

Where is my ME time? When do I get to just fart around do whatever I want to do? When do I get to mess with photographs, or crafts or other fun things?

When I get like this I know it's time for a mental health day. I take the day off from work, stay home and do whatever it is that makes me happy. If it's laying in bed, reading books and watching television then that's what I do. Sometimes it's errands that I've wanted to get done and there just wasn't time.

I could probably get pretty far on whats in my checking account and sometimes I'd just like to test that theory.

I know Dave would miss me a lot. Who would feed him? And who would remember to feed the dogs?

Anyway, I sypathize with you guys and I think when we feel this way we have to take time out to relax and do something for ourselves.

-- Anonymous, October 28, 1999

I think you're making absolute sense. In no way should you give up the things you love or give into the guilt trips. You have to have your own life and be happy with it before you can have a life with him.

I just hate it when they use guilt trips instead of just saying that they're lonely and wish you'd spend more time with them. It's maddening. He just has to find some of his own interests -- and it seems like the comedy is a big one.

I try to schedule my nights out when Dave is doing something too. Dave doesn't have many activities, but he doesn't bug me when I want to go and do something. He doesn't mind when I go off on weekends alone and doesn't give me too much hasssle about my comptuer time.

Often it's me that has to say, "Let's go on a date." or let's just spend some time together tonight. Somehow Seth has to understand that you're not doing these things to get away from him, but because you love them and it's what you are passionate about. But it's also important to take time for each other -- plan a date, like making dinner together and sitting down at the table and having a conversation.

He keeps himself busy with computer games and tv and movies. I just wish he'd take more initiive with the house work. If something gets done around the house it's because I do it, or I prod him into doing it. He doesn't empty the dishwasher, do the laundry, or clean a thing without me telling him to do it.

My mother did almost nothing for us. My sister and I did the cleaning, we did the shopping with her, and my father did most of the cooking till my sister was old enough to take over that. My sister and I were always having to run to the store for my mother and we had lots of chores to do. My mother made me a little too independent about this stuff.

I know what you mean about Seth being a little needy. It really peeves me off that I can't leave Dave for the day and know he'll take care of himself. He'll forget to eat, or eat a huge bag of chips all day. He completely forgets to take care of bills or responsibilites and I have to play Mom with him all the time. YUCK! I hate the way it feels and I havent' found a way around it. I'm really not sure if it has anything to do with being female, but I know a lot of women in this situation.

I mean, I can't NOT wash the dishes or do the laundry. It just piles up higher and higher and then I have more work to do. So I have to tell him to do it, but I try to be careful not to let him think that he's doing ME a favor. He has to know he's doing it because it's his damn house too. Hey dude -- Take Care of Your Damn Self for once! I'm not responsible for cleaning up after him or making sure he's happy.

You just have to strike a balance with him and maybe find some time to feed his ego and treat him special. Calling it a "date" really helps. It's all about ego with these men. And helping him reconcize that this crazy schedule is a temporary thing helps too.

oooh, I'm babbling on too.....

-- Anonymous, October 28, 1999

Not only do I wonder how far away I'd get, but I wonder how long I'd be gone before anyone would miss me...

That sounds sad, and it is, a little. But it isn't just that I don't have anyone to come home to. I think it's more that people know me and know that I value my solitude, and they wouldn't be worried if they didn't hear from me for a few days. (I mean, besides the semantics of not showing up for class or something. People call me when I skip to make sure I'm not sick, which is nice.)

I'm planning on testing this theory at our weekend, by the way!! I've gone back and forth between (a) giving a minimal explanation to my parents; (b) telling them a good friend who has friends in Philly is coming to visit; or (c) just telling my parents I'm having a study group and my friends that I'm at my parents, and leaving everyone in the dark. (The only reason I have to say anything at all is that the first Saturday in December is traditional Christmas-decorating day in my family, so they'll wonder why I won't be there. But we'll make it Monday this year.)

-- Anonymous, October 16, 1999

I do the same thing -- I think about going and then I think about how everyone I know would react, if they would care, if they would even notice. And, of course, I have to be so self-deprecating (even in my running away fantasies) that I always think that most people I know (like the people at work and in my writing class) would hardly notice and wouldn't really care. ;)

Maybe this is akin to that daydream where you start wondering who would come to your funeral?

Elizabeth, are you really going to test your theory on our weekend? What a perfect opportunity! And then you wouldn't have to explain the journal thing! But, of course, you will eventually, because I'm sure a ton of people will miss you and then they'll ask you where you were!

Mostly, my urge to run has passed again. But I think that has more to do with being so involved in the play and having such a good time doing it. Things are a little tough in my house right now -- money is tight and there's a little resentment floating around underneath the surface, so I think that wanting to run was a reaction to some of that.

Oh well, it all comes and goes in cycles, doesn't it?

-- Anonymous, October 20, 1999

I agree, Colleen. I think that so many times I get so caught up in doing things for other people that when I actually stop and realize that I'm doing that -- It makes me start to wonder when do I get to do something for myself.

It's funny -- my mother did EVERYTHING for me and my family. I always swore that I wouldn't be like that and to some extent, I'm not. Basically, if I don't feel like doing something (like cleaning the bathroom) and Seth doesn't want to do it either -- it doesn't get done. Whereas my mother would have cleaned it whether she wanted to or not just because she felt it was her responsiblity. Anyway, she did everything for us and I've tried hard not to be a carbon copy of her, but still, I find myself in the "responsible" role more often than I'd like.

Do you think this has anything to do with just being female? Like most women still (after all these advancements in equal rights) end up subconsciously assuming the role of the one that takes care of everything?

Still, sometimes things go deeper than me just wanting to goof off and do stuff that I like. I love him to death, but Seth can be a little needy, and that just has the opposite effect on me -- it makes me want to run far, far away.

Like last night, I told him that I'm going to need to an extra rehearsal for the show b/c Pete and I feel we need it and while he didn't get angry or say no, he did pout for the better part of an hour and make comments about how I'm never home anymore and I must not like to be around him. When I finally got annoyed to the point where I told him to knock it off, I was doing the show for me, end of discussion, he finally admitted that he's been feeling lonely without me.

Which is all very sweet -- but, still, he can't expect me to spend every moment of my free time with him, can he? I know I've been out a lot lately -- with the play and writing class -- but still, I see him on weekends and on Tuesdays and every night when I get home from rehearsal and class and even on most Fridays (unless we have a rehearsal) and, besides, this schedule isn't forever. I mean, am I spending that little time with him that I really am neglecting him? I don't think so.

It's frustrating because there is so much that I want to do for myself and now I feel like whenever I try to do something else, there's going to be this issue of Seth feeling lonely and abandoned. The problem is that he doesn't have many close friends outside of the ones we've made together and he doesn't have a class or anything to go to, so I guess he feels lost when I'm off doing my own thing.

But I won't give the things that I do for myself up. I think that would be wrong. I love him but if I couldn't do what makes me happy -- I'd just end up resenting him.

I think some of it has to do with the fact that he feels like he's being "replaced" by my other interests -- writing, acting, my journal. It's funny but he never complained when I was out two-three nights a week and some weekends teaching SAT prep or when I was out two nights a week taking my GRE class. It's just the stuff that I feel passionate about that threatens him -- possibly because he feels like I can't love him as much if I love these other things?

Or maybe he's just afraid that I'll run away with Kevin or Ken or whoever.

What's the most frustrating is that Seth is nothing like Jeffrey (my ex), who was so controlling and so boring and so jealous that he made me feel like I couldn't have any outside interests that didn't involve him. He made me feel like I couldn't go out with my friends alone. For four years we did EVERYTHING together and I did nothing that I wanted -- I gave up writing, and acting and just about everything. I didn't even see movies that I wanted to see becuase he wouldn't go.

Seth, on the other hand, is supportive and encouraging about everything. Even though he acts like a jealous baby, he would never ask me to give up writing or theater or my journal. He doesn't stop me from doing things with other people that don't involve him. Yet, every once in a while, it seems like he still has to lay this really maddening guilt trip on me just to let me know that he resents the time I spend away from him and that just frustrates me to no end! Part of me would rather him come and say -- "I don't want you to ever do anything without me again!" so I can just argue with him and tell him how silly he's being. But when he does it this way -- by encouraging me to do things and then making me feel slightly guilty every once in a while -- it's almost not even worth a reaction because I know he's not asking me to give anything up.

Am I making sense?

Meanwhile, if his comedy ever does work out -- he's going to be on the road for weeks at a time and I'm going to be all by my lonesome at home. Even now, when I do have more free time, he seems to be out at comedy shows/clubs at least twice a week and I don't complain. And you know, that's one of the reasons that I want to develop some things that I can do on my own -- If I'm going to be apart from him while he's on the road, I still need to live my life. I can't just go to school or go to work and then come home and sit in my apartment waiting for him.

You know, I've written so much that now I've confused myself! I'm going to stop now. : )

-- Anonymous, October 28, 1999

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