View Sidebar

A Million Little Pieces Of My Mind

Relationship 2.0

By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 3/3/2024
Posted: 1/18/2012
Page Views: 6596
Topics: #Jason #Codependency #OCD #Peoria
I explain how Jason and I got back together.

A glance at the masthead shows that Jason and I are back together. This is what I hoped would happen, though I had no idea if it would, when we broke up.

I left Jason in mid-October due to his OCD and my codependency which made it impossible for either of us to get a grip on ourselves while together. I was very upset at the time, of course, because I still loved him with all my heart.

My two local kids, Jenny and John, and my ex-husband, Michael, helped me move out and into Michael's apartment until something else could be worked out. After two weeks, I moved into Jenny's three-story condo, from which she had just moved but on which she still had two months on her lease. That gave me a month-and-a-half or so to figure out what to do next.

John sat Michael, my ex-wife Mary, and myself at Michael's dinette table. "You're all used to each other," he said. "Why don't you just move back into the big house? You don't have to spend time with each other, you're all friends, and the shared rent would be reasonable."

I did think about this. In fact, I spent days considering it. In the end, I realized the mortgage plus utilities for that huge place would still be pretty steep. Plus, what if Mary or Michael had a rough month, financially speaking? I couldn't make up the difference, still on unemployment payments as I am.

Meanwhile, Jason and I continued to text. I had left abruptly; after a week or so he agreed that what I had done was necessary. He begged me not to write him off, and I asked him for the same courtesy. We both needed to work on our respective issues, and then…maybe. That was the most I could promise, then; and if Jason had called it quits on the spot I wouldn't have blamed him.

Instead we graduated to phone calls most days. But after I moved into the condo, and three or four weeks had passed since we separated, I offered to meet Jason in person. We did so, and despite my nervousness, Jason did nothing to trigger my fears of a repeat OCD performance.

So Jason came to visit again a few days later. And again, a few days after that. And then he spent the night. As time progressed, Jason showed how seriously he had taken getting well. He'd used the techniques in Brain Lock, the book I'd gotten him from the library, to control his OCD obsessions about me. He'd also seen a therapist. And I used the anti-codependent skills I had learned to resist any approaches to a relapse I sensed—and most of the time, it was me, not Jason, who was being triggered by nonsense.

I was nervous about telling my kids about this too fast, because I knew how upset I'd been when I left Jason and I knew they would have a tendency to blame him, even though I had made it very clear that Jason was sick, not evil. And Jenny had pointed out to me that I, too, had contributed to what had happened. Also, if Jason wasn't able to control his OCD, I didn't want to put them through another breakup.

As Jason said, "I know perfectly well this is our last chance. If it doesn't work this time it never will and we'll need to cut our losses. But I'm also determined and confident that it will work!"

So we got together in settings that wouldn't challenge either of our issues; for example, we hiked out to Hieroglyphic Canyon, just the two of us.

Jason hiking to Hieroglyphic Canyon.

So, by the time Christmas dinner came around, Jason and I were back together and invited as such to Christmas dinner at our dear friends Barbara and Peter's with the rest of the family; and everyone treated Jason as I hoped, with respect and love due my spouse from those who love and respect me.

That's about when Jason made another suggestion regarding where I would move on New Years' Day, when I had to vacate the condo. He and his ex, Mike, and Mike's boyfriend Charles, were moving into a large, two-bedroom apartment in Peoria, just a few blocks from the lake house I once lived in. Why not move in with him? My share of rent would be less than $250 a month, plus ΒΌ apartment utilities.

It made sense, but I wasn't quite ready to make the commitment, yet. I wanted to be absolutely sure this time, and not move too quickly, which I have historically tended to do.

Since I couldn't afford to move back into the Big House, and I couldn't afford to pick up the rent on the condo, I had few other options. I looked at apartments in Mary's complex, but found them far too small for me to live in. My computer would not have fit. Not even my TV would fit!

So, with time running out, I applied at Michael's complex, an older place with roomy two-bedroom floor plans and a quiet campus. I could picture myself there, but I also knew I would be lonely except for those nights Jason could stay over. And since he had had no OCD relapses, it was becoming evident that only my own fears were keeping me from moving back in with him again. Even as I handed the cashier's check to the apartment manager, I regretted it. However, thanks to my breaking my lease in Chandler when I moved out (and Jason couldn't afford to stay on his own; we were barely managing together) I failed the credit check and was denied.

So, with relief, I accepted Mike, Charles, and Jason's offer.

Which meant, by December 27, I had to move my stuff from the condo into the Big House garage, and then on December 31, move it into the new apartment in Peoria. Fortunately I had Jason's help, because the box spring to the bed that Jenny had given me got stuck in the narrow stairwell.

Box spring stuck in stairwell.

Jason saws away at the recalcitrant box spring.We tried the rest of the day and evening to get it loose, then finally had to rent a hand power saw from Home Depot. Jason cut at a few key spots on the frame and we were able to get it downstairs and into the garage. Of course, it was no longer usable as a box spring, but at least it was no longer in the condo.

I stayed a couple of nights with Mike and Charles in the small apartment from which they were moving. Then, a day after Mike and Charles moved into the Peoria apartment, Jason and I got movers to take our stuff there, too.

The new apartment is on the third floor, and there are no elevators. And I still have my leg to consider, as it still isn't back to "normal" (and probably never will be). But that's what movers are for!

Paul with Ming.The four of us have easily slipped into comfortability with each other. Because Mike and Charles' hours are different than Jason's, rarely are all four of us here at the same time. We also have two dogs and three cats. I walk the dogs once a day, and Jason and Mike get them the rest of the time.

So, bottom line: Jason has learned to control his OCD and I my codependency, the reasons we separated. He is again the man with whom I fell in love, and I am again the man with whom he fell in love! So we're back together, we're both happy about that, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for us!