There are often many things that can give you that unsettling feeling. More often than not it’s something tangible that you can at least make sense of. Like the general trepidation I feel when surprised and followed by London foxes… cunning little devils. Then there are those other times, when you can’t quite figure out what’s irking you.
I was beginning to feel unsettled, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong but slowly my life started to unravel around me. Things that had held such promise were failing to deliver as expected and not being able to make sense of it all felt very bewildering. Everything seemed to come undone at once.
I was having a few struggles at work with trying to really get to the bottom of what was expected of me in my new role, that was quite a hard blow after having started out so well. I was more than a little worried about finding myself in a position where I was as unhappy as I had been at my lowest points during my time in the contact centre. I didn’t need professional dramas in my life anymore.
I was proud of Megan, of everything that she had achieved in such a short time. I wanted to enjoy her successes with her. She wasn’t quite hitting her sales targets at work, but I knew that would come. But she was making friends and planning on going out with everyone from her work for dinners and drinks from time to time. I didn’t mind whether the invitation was extended to include me or not, the first night out it was and I willingly went along with them all to dinner in Staines one evening. It was nice to put a face to the names of everyone she had been talking about while she had been training.
Megan had more than once joined me at work functions so it was nice that we both knew a little of the people we each worked with. One day while I was at work we got into a little bit of an argument over the guy that had been increasingly attentive to her. I felt like he was being disrespectful and hitting on her, she thought he was just being friendly. I asked her not to meet up with him one-to-one as it’d be too easy for him to get the wrong idea, she resented me for it and thought I was being controlling.
It didn’t feel good to ask her to do this. I had always been upfront about the damages I carried with me from my past experiences. I worked really hard on my own perceptions and questioned my own judgement relentlessly. I was over-cautious about making sure I was reacting in a rational measured way that I often let my own feelings slide in favour of trying to get the better of my imagined issues with trust, jealousy and anything that might make me feel slighted.
This was one of the only times throughout our relationship I felt I had to say something. I tried to make Megan understand why it bothered me and why I didn’t think it was too much of an ask to either introduce me to the guy first or to meet with hime in a group setting with her other colleagues. I felt it was a very reasonable compromise. Again, she didn’t.
At length, Megan let it go and as a result made me feel like a monster, since she didn’t even try to meet me half-way with the compromises I was willing to make. I felt all the brunt of the situation, Megan obviously stopped inviting me out with her colleagues and ever so slowly started to become a little more guarded with me when talking about her day at work.
We had slipped into our little respective household roles almost without noticing. Megan seemed to be responsible for the food shopping and cooking. I was responsible for making sure all the bills were in order, planning things to do for us that didn’t mean staying in night after night. I wasn’t really good at being domesticated either, I don’t enjoy cooking, tidying and cleaning is a real chore and I prefer simple furnishings to building up a tonne of clutter.
I’m not the sort of person that is happy being confined at home all the time, I don’t enjoy being domesticated so when we couldn’t (by we, I mean Megan) couldn’t afford to enjoy activities which meant leaving the house I might have gotten a little frustrated from time to time. I wanted to plan holidays and go out on dates, I didn’t want the dating to stop just because we had moved in together.
All this happened without us truly noticing at first. In-fact it wasn’t long after this that we settled into a routine of fulfilling these roles. We both stopped going out with our friends and colleagues so much until it stopped altogether. We spent our days going to work, coming home and having dinner together, the regular little duties like food shopping and finding something to do at the weekends.
Sometimes when we couldn’t think of anything affordable to do in London we’d head home to visit family. We went to the cinema together once or twice, ate out at least twice a month and even invited our parents to come stay with us at different times. It was crazy how quickly we settled into this routine, so crazy that it was unsettling. Could the novelty of living together have worn off so quickly, or were we seeing the beginning of something much worse?
It’s easy to look back now and pin-point those little unsettling triggers. I didn’t know what came first. Was it my struggles at work, my struggles with Megan or generally just feeling a little deflated and unmotivated, the lack of affluence was stopping me from doing things I wanted to do for us, but I still believed I should have been happier. I was getting grumpy with myself for not feeling happy enough with what we had.
I didn’t feel secure, that’s what unsettled me.