Niall’s virtual diary archives – May 2006

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15th May 2006


22nd May 2006

Johanna Problems II

25th May 2006

My most wonderful academic daughter II

Monday 15th May 2006: 12.06pm. That week of that last entry ended up being one of unending insomnia with me finally only getting some sleep on the Saturday night I think it was. I managed to keep away the hallucinations that usually follow lack of sleep by meditating regularly, but certainly that class test suffered as a result. Actually, I have still to get back the grade (the strike at UK universities is delaying everything!).

Interestingly, I think Johanna turned a corner on the day after the last entry. I'll know for sure in six months time, but she says she has, and certainly things have been different since that point. Exactly in which way different only time can tell, and certainly things are still settling into their new configuration. So to all of you who emailed your concerns that we are breaking up - well, it's not going to happen quite just yet. We certainly have many more months to go. And whatever the case, we're still having fun going out together so it's all still good.

People still continue to grow. We're right in the middle of exams now, and despite that people should be studying hard for them many are finding it very tough to concentrate with all the emotional turmoil they are enduring. Most are very much looking forward to the summer break. For me, it'll be short - only eleven weeks - and then I'll be back to the UK and should move into our house for next year very close to the September 1st opening date. Then comes preparing for FutureSoc's events - we should have quite a few events in the first few weeks - and then we'll be progressing into third year.

I nearly have TnFOX ported to Apple MacOS X, so there's another platform Tn can run on. I shall also be attempting my economic model this summer which I'm planning to spend half my programming time upon. It's all good for the time being. Tomorrow night I get trashed with the final person of my coffee dates having got through the previous two the week before last - they go away next academic year, so we're saying goodbye to one another - and I have now spent £180 in two and a bit weeks! Next thing tonight is to write up a 500 word description for the Fresher's Fayre next September, then I'll probably watch the Sopranos and go to bed. Be happy!

Monday 22nd May 2006: 11.48am. This entry won't be published for a few days until I have spoken to Johanna, but as I am finding it very hard to concentrate and study, I think I need to get how I am feeling out of my system and hopefully get the bare minimum marks required for Honours entry. My next exam is at 2pm today, and I can't study.

Last Wednesday, Johanna hurt me more than I have been hurt since Ruth. We both knew it was coming, and I was as prepared for it as I could have been. It was an inevitability I had foreseen for over a year, and I am very proud of her for handling it as well as she did. She put into use everything I have taught her in the last few years and turned a weakness into a strength. However, as we were venturing into virgin territory of which I have no experience, nor have observed anyone else who has gone through the same, I had no idea really how I would react.

I suppose now I know. It hurts. It hurts more than anything has in years. My heart feels broken. I feel most of the time just like crying. I feel so alone. That said, my support network has been wonderful - despite the time pressure of exams, people have been doing a great job in looking after me and I have not needed so much looking after since I came here. Nevertheless, this is a journey one must ultimately undertake alone. Others can only support you.

What is surprising slightly is that I don't feel my mental apparatus collapsing like when with Ruth. I guess there is the big advantage that there is no deceit, no loss of trust like there was with Ruth. I don't feel let down in any way, nor jealous in the slightest. There is no negativity nor negative emotions. She and I have been completely honest with one another, and that is so much more healthy than the alternatives. Hence my pride in her - she has handled this inevitability superbly. And it was not like she didn't know it would affect me - she did, but knew she was compelled as we sometimes are. Some things must be let happen, otherwise they get bottled up and come out far more destructively in the future. I am absolutely sure it was the right choice - mainly because I let my intuition decide originally, and my intuition is still telling me it was the least worst option. I think these factors all act as consolation - we do not get to choose what happens to us, but we do get to choose how we respond. For some reason, I have chosen to respond like this - and until I know why, I need time to get to know my motivations.

What comes next? I have no idea. I will meditate, listen to my subconscious and let it guide me. It is of course my subconscious which is breaking into my consciousness which distracts me from study. It wants to be heard, but these exams don't afford me the time nor the mental quietness to listen to myself. Come next Wednesday, I should then get some time - but people are leaving, some of my closest friends will be gone for fifteen months or so. So they will need priority. I will still be around for nearly another two weeks yet - so something semi-stable will get sorted out between me and her for the summer break, then we'll take next semester as it comes.

I have still a number of important things to do before I leave here. I still feel capable of work - which is good, because I have plenty of it to do this summer. The work, as it did before after Ruth, will cleanse me. Put things into perspective. I am very glad I still define myself by my work - otherwise surely my mental apparatus would collapse as it did before. At least I have not repeated past mistakes - I am most definitely growing and moving forwards. And oddly, there still is no mental conflict - I am as at peace with myself as I ever have been since Ruth. That, more than anything else, will sustain me through the hard times.

I'll probably make another entry soon. Until then, be happy!

Thursday 25th May 2006: 12.24pm. I thought it important to keep the last entry to make it easier to explain in this entry. The night of that last entry everything changed, but I'll get to that in a minute.

From this time last week until last Monday, I was in pain. I was lonely. I kept telling those who care most about me that I was lonely, and all I wanted was some companionship. However, none answered - they put in a token amount of time, you could see how difficult it was for them and they left.

However when my academic daughter learned of my misery, despite having an exam the next day, she said "let's go for a quiet drink". She like most of my coffee dates spends our coffee time talking almost entirely about herself, but on that night she barely mentioned herself at all. She was hungry, so we went to a restaurant and she ate a pizza while we drank a bottle of wine. All that time, we talked about me. We had never done that before. And she, out of all of them, was the only one selfless enough to keep me company. Despite being the youngest. She also reminds me the most of Johanna out of all my coffee dates.

By the end of the night I was in a good mood for the first time since the previous Wednesday. I knew I had made a breakthrough. But I slept on it first, and when I awoke I was sure I had made a breakthrough. The pain was gone. And this is why:-

We are all consumed by fear. Fear and doubt. These emotions make us selfish and afraid. All my coffee dates kept saying to me "you have to think of yourself" and I kept getting worse and worse. Then with my academic daughter, I realised why: every one of us detaches parts of our personality into others, especially those we are close to. My coffee dates had detached substantial parts of their personality into me as they always talk about themselves. These fragments of personality were full of fear and selfishness, and had joined with the part of me that was fearful and selfish. This was what was causing the pain.

One I could see it, I embraced the selfishness, said goodbye and let it go. With that, the pain vanished and it were as though the wool were pulled from my eyes. I can see so much more clearly now - patterns, colours joining and linking us all together, flowing between everything. I went straight to Johanna's, told her all this and realised that she had intuitively seen this in me, and had acted to enable me to see it too. To paraphrase Star Wars, now she had become the master and I the student.

I am so, so grateful. I bought my most wonderful daughter a bunch of flowers and told her how great she is. I told my coffee dates how wonderful they are, and how much they have helped me. And as for Johanna - well, words cannot describe my love for her. She has enabled me to see things in a new and better way, and how many people ever do that for you? It is nearly the greatest gift anyone can give you.

With the fear, I now know me and Johanna can get married. I always worried about it before, but now my mind is clear. Of course, that's still a long way away yet, and there remains much to do. But I am no longer afraid of marriage and spending the rest of my life with someone. We are now equals - it is still too soon to say yet for sure, but in the last few weeks she has found a peace and calm she has not experienced in years. Much as I did many years ago. I personally don't see how she could have known how to enable me as she did without reaching the required level of understanding, clarity and peace, but time will tell.

So that's basically that. I feel quite emotional after writing all that. I hope my coffee dates will not be offended when they read this - I should add that they are among the very best people I have met since I came here, and I am exaggerating their selfishness considerably to make my point clear. I know they all care about me deeply, I could see it during the past week like never before and I am sorry I must say these things about them in such a public place - but without writing about them, I could not explain what has happened to me. Thing is, none of this could have happened if they hadn't been selfish - they have helped me past this just as much as anyone. I hope they will forgive me for writing all of this, but I think it could be helpful to others.

On other news, we are very nearly at the end of term. My exams have not gone well for all these reasons, I will deal with it when I get the likely very poor marks which at least hopefully will be above the minimums. One of my coffee dates, the ex-girlfriend I was talking about in this entry, has just left St. Andrews for her year abroad about an hour ago. I will miss her terribly. I kinda fell in love with her a bit from the moment I met her, and that love has grown the more I have spent time with her. Of course, many people say you cannot be in love with more than one person at once, but I have always been in love with Ruth since I first met her and that has never wavered. So I guess it's not the case for me (or you might say I don't know what love is). Anyway, I will likely not see her again for fifteen or sixteen months, and when she comes back she will be quite different from before. Better almost certainly. Before this week I was scared to tell her how much I love her, and am very grateful I did tell her this morning before she left. I hope she will be okay.

I am losing three of my coffee dates for their year's abroad next year - two have now gone with one to go. The first is also a wonderful girl (indeed, I very much wanted to kiss her night before last when we bumped into each other at the student's union, just to express how much I care for her and will miss her, but I thought I'd put her through enough the previous week - which is a story not for these pages), but it's easier to express yourself with her without her getting upset so I knew she knows. She left yesterday morning. The aforementioned left today, and the last leaves this weekend. I will be staying in St. Andrews for at least another week as I have some important things to take care of, plus I'd like to spend more time with Johanna. And oh, the Future Society is now official having become ratified yesterday!

Anyway, it's now 1pm and lunch is on, so I will depart. Be happy everyone!

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