That is the Cher song that has been stuck in my head for quite some time. It somehow gives me comfort on the nights when I feel I am the only person in the world falling asleep alone (well, with my sweet dogs so not always completely alone). Sleeping in Simba’s arms was always my happy place, and it has been quite an adjustment to learn to be alone again and spend most nights in motels for my job. I was very independent before him and had no problem sleeping alone, funny how time and people can change a person so much.
I haven’t visited this blog in forever, I find it too painful. I also stopped reading all of the other intercultural relationship blogs I once adored because it just hurt too much to see what seems like everyone else finding their happily ever after and not understanding why Simba and I couldn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy for my online blogging friends and would never wish for you guys to fail, but I hope you know what I mean. I loved being part of this “group” of crazy white girls in love with our nepali/indian/asian men and enjoyed the camaraderie and sense of belonging that came with being one of those girls. When things turned dark for Simba and me I guess I also felt I no longer could be a part of this wonderful and supportive group I had come to rely on for friendship and advice and that felt very isolating, so I just ignored blogs altogether. Writing is therapeutic for me though and even if I have no readers or followers I’m going to try to get back into it just for my own sanity. I probably should start a new blog altogether, but honestly I am not very technically inclined and Simba is the one who got this one all set up for me.
Simba moved out and we technically ended things last summer (2014). The months leading up to that were some of the worst days in my memory. We were not kind to each other, to say the least. I was an emotional wreck he hated me most days with an alarming intensity. It was very hard for me to comprehend how someone who once loved me fiercely could hate me with such vitriol, but in hindsight I probably had become rather unlovable and difficult because of the resentment that had built up in my heart and separated us.
Even in those dark days though we had moments of light and laughter. I remember going out to dinner a few weeks before he moved out and when we got home a tree had fallen and knocked out all electricity to our neighborhood and blocked the road to our apartment. He was very protective, and held my hand as we navigated the dark road. I remember feeling so safe with him in that moment. World Cup was also playing and we had fun watching every soccer game we could together. Before Simba I found soccer boring, and post Simba I do not watch it alone…but with him I learned to enjoy the game and I loved to see him happy when his team did well. We also invented a game called “Yellow Ball” which was entirely silly and something only we would find so addicting and fun and I have fond memories of us laughing and playing that game even during those difficult times.
We had adopted a puppy the previous winter and even though we certainly had our share of fights regarding her she also brought us a great deal of shared pride, joy, and laughter. In so many ways we made a dynamic team. I believe that we would have excelled as parents (together) and my biggest regret is we didn’t get that chance, but that is a topic for another post/blog altogether. On that note though, when well meaning friends and acquaintances learn that we are no longer together they tend to make comments like “Well, at least you didn’t have kids together” or “It’s a good thing you found out it wouldn’t work before bringing kids into the picture.” Wow, those comments always sting deeply and I have no idea how to respond to such an insensitive comment. “Actually, it was our dream to have a family and kids and we would have been great parents even if we didn’t work out as a couple.” Maybe I’ll try that next time if I have the courage. I’ve never met a parent who regrets their child, so it seems very foolish and hurtful to assume someone is happy they didn’t have kids.
In general though one of the many things that has been hard to deal with is that most friends and family seem to want to pretend Simba and I didn’t even exist. Because we never had a wedding, in their eyes we must not have been very serious and not worth mentioning. My sister-in-law commented recently she had no idea we were even engaged. One close friend actually forgot his name and said “That guy you were dating, what was his name?” and many act like he must have been nothing more than a casual boyfriend.
But for 8 years he has been my closest and best friend, my confidant, the guy who made me laugh with his silly antics and witty expressions and the person I still dial first (even if I stop myself) when I have something exciting or devastating to share and only his enthusiastic response or comfort will do. Most of my happiest memories were with him. How am I to pretend that we didn’t exist just to make everyone else comfortable? That is hard.
I miss Nepali culture too. His friends were amazing and that has been a big loss because in some ways I actually enjoyed their friendship and company more than some of my own American friends. They were all couples though and of course there is no place for the white american ex of their Nepali friend, no matter how well we got along. Momos. I miss Mo Mos tremendously. I miss the noise and laughter and random people singing and playing guitar while others play cards in Nepali gatherings. I truly fell in love Simba first, but then I also fell in love with his culture and Nepal.
We still spend time together and when I was with him recently he casually mentioned that he is going back to Nepal for the first time in more than 8 years and he will be there for 6 weeks. Much to his annoyance, I broke into tears when he told me this even though I am so happy for him that he will see his family. He was upset with my sadness, and I admit my feelings were selfish but my emotions often get the better of me. For so many years I had dreamed and planned to be on that plane with him when it lands in Kathmandu. I have pictured it in my mind, imagined how he would be holding my hand during the descent (I hate flying) but he would also be pointing out the window and showing me his city and he would be giddy with excitement.
I had envisioned his parents meeting us at the airport, and in my head I practiced my “Namaste” and things I could do or say to put them at ease. I was so looking forward to Simba showing me Kathmandu, taking me to Freak Street where he spent his youth. Showing me the temples that he so often told me about in our early days. I have never been to Nepal, but I love it just the same because of him. That is why it hit me hard that those dreams are officially dead when he told me he had booked his flight.
I also suspect he will be having an arranged marriage during his trip and I can’t seem to come to terms with that even though I know I must. We got engaged on Christmas Day, and to think of all we have been through together and him calling a stranger his wife just a few short years after he promised me “forever” is hard to imagine. But that is life, one of my favorite sayings is “If you want to make God laugh tell Him your plans.” That has been very true, nothing at all has worked out according to my plans. I’m 31 now and clueless about dating in this technology obsessed society, I don’t even know how or where to start because I so firmly believed I would be with Simba forever and we would have little curly haired caramel skinned babies and celebrate Dashain and Christmas and be happy. Yes, I was very naive and gullible, but the years I spent with Simba planning our life together were mostly very happy years and I loved him deeply and part of me always will.
I’m all over the place but just needed a space to write out some thoughts. I’ll try to be less sentimental and sad next time.