A is for Adam

This is the beginning of a meme that I will call the Dictionary of Me. It started over at Bella Dia’s blog and I found it on Cherry Blossom Adventures. Although I know I won’t be as disciplined to do one letter per day, I think it’s a great opportunity to open up to anyone reading my blog and also to help me fine tune my writing skills. I often post on here with a spare five or ten minutes, not giving much consideration to the style or composition, and it’s something I want to minimise from now on.

I encourage comments, because I find it hard to open up at the best of times, but it’s even more difficult when I don’t even know that anyone is listening. I encourage you to share back, particularly when you can identify with what I am writing. It’s nice to hear that you’re not alone!

_________________

And so I begin with A is for Adam.

Adam is my partner. We met in January 2005 when we were working on a television program together. Our interaction throughout the production of the show was limited, in fact it wasn’t until May 2005 that we had a conversation that lasted longer than about 90 seconds. According to him, he’d taken notice of me straight away, but said I looked ‘very important’ because I was always in a rush (LOL). Then one weekend, I brought my son to the set with me and at that point he’d assumed I was married. So the flirting was limited until the night of the wrap party, when several alcoholic beverages coupled with cheesy cover band music and a dance floor meant that we got a little more up close and personal.

Our versions of the story from there will differ, mainly because I went home early that night and denied him a drunken snog. He will also claim that I was the next person to make contact, when in fact it was Adam who emailed me the very next day. A week or so of flirtatious emails and he asked me out for a drink. Although he will claim it was me who suggested the drink.

Either way, we had our first ‘date’ on May 26th, 2005. It consisted of 6 bars, 50 or so drinks, limited food and 5 hours of non-stop conversation. We swapped shoes because we discovered we had the same sized feet. We swapped stories about our lives and our loves. We swapped spit at about 1am in a dark corner of Der Raum.

The following couple of months were very casual. I’m not one to ever rush into a relationship and overly keen guys tend to scare me a bit, so the casual development of our relationship was just my speed. Of course from Adam’s point of view – a perpetual bachelor with only one serious relationship to speak of in his 33 years – he was coming to grips with the possibility of committing to a woman with a child.

It was a Saturday night in July that we turned a corner into a serious relationship. I was having two of my dearest friends over for dinner and on the Friday night, I met a few of Adam’s friends and it was hard to miss the obvious ploy to have himself invited to my dinner party the following night. I cast a casual invitation as I left for the evening that night, and proceeded to freak out in the car on the way home. That casual invitation meant three things. a) he was going to meet two of my friends, whose opinion I valued highly, b) he was coming to my house which at the time was a 30 minute drive out of the city which in turn meant he would probably need to stay the night, which in turn meant c) he was going to meet my son for the first time. EEEEK!!!

That evening went surprisingly well, and the following morning the meeting between my son and Adam also went more smoothly than I expected (although I think I was flipping out about it to the point where I forgot to speak most of the morning). And so from there it was like a switch had been moved to the ON position and our relationship blossomed.

Since that time, like any couple, we have had our highlights and our lowlights.

The highlights include, in no particular order:

  • our two week trip to Vietnam together in May 2006, given to me for Christmas in 2005
  • the incredible email exchange and stolen phone calls while Adam was overseas for 6 weeks at the beginning of our relationship
  • our weekend away to Healesville in a cottage , just the three of us
  • our ten course degustation dinner at Momo‘s with two of my best friends
  • our New Year’s Eve stay in Palm Beach in Sydney in 2005 with two of my friends and two of his
  • our subscription to the MTC in 2006
  • our Christmas’ together in 2005, 2006 and 2007
  • our roadtrip up the north coast of NSW in December 07 and January 08
  • the friend’s weddings we’ve been to together

The lowlights cannot be overlooked, because currently we’re giving this relationship our third shot:

  • My birthday in 2006 was an unmitigated disaster
  • Our trip to Daylesford in 2006, which was a birthday present, was awkward and disappointing for both of us as we struggled with being on totally separate emotional pages
  • I called it quits the first time in September 2006, and we got back together a month later.
  • The period we were together between November 2006 and January 2007 was some of the most testing times of my life. Again we were not on the same emotional page and the efforts made to repair were undermined with feelings of hurt, distrust, dishonesty and retribution.
  • January 26, 2007 – Australia Day. In the morning I told Adam I could see the contempt he had for me in his eyes. We went to the Big Day Out, had an awesome day and then came home, tore each other’s hearts out and split up again.
  • In May of 2007, we stopped talking altogether after months of deliberating whether it was worth giving another shot. We both moved on with our lives; for him this meant dating another woman, for me this meant hours and hours of psychotherapy with a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and a string of so many incredibly unsuccessful dates that I considered writing a book.

So how did we get back to where we are now? One Sunday morning in late July 2007, I met my friend at Richmond Hill Cafe & Larder for brunch. As I waited for her to arrive, a familiar dog walked up to me and on the other end of the lead was Adam and his new girlfriend. It was an incredibly bizarre moment for me. My heart leaped into my throat and started beating so hard I thought I might find it hard to speak. How I managed to stand and extend my hand to his girlfriend, I do not know. I cannot even recall what I said. My son was ecstatic to see Adam and most of the talking was done by him as I regained my composure. My friend arrived at that point, walked into this awkward scene and created a reason for the whole thing to end. I was so relieved.

But then Adam came back, on his own, without his girlfriend. He made small talk and then said that he’d like to speak to me later that day. My friend looked at me in shock as I agreed to speak to him later that day. Somehow over the course of that very blurry day, I agreed to meet him at his place that night ‘to talk’. What about, I had no idea. As far as I could see, he’d moved on. I’d been on 25 dates and not wanted to so much as kiss any of them. There was no spark with anyone I met. But the minute Adam walked back into my life, my heart ached, my stomach flipped and my head started to spin.

I tried to push all of those feelings aside when I went to meet him that night. In my mind, I’d already closed the door on ‘us’ because I had to, and I didn’t particularly want to reopen it. But that is exactly what happened that night as we poured out our hearts to one another and realised how far we’d both come in terms of reaching a level playing ground.

The path from there to us reuniting again was also very hard on both of us as there was now a third party involved. But by the end of August, we made a decision to start to date again. To take it slow and go back to the beginning and rediscover what we first fell in love with. We drew a line in the sand and forgave each other for our history and discussed how to move forward, not how to dwell in the past. We were honest, we openly communicated and we made genuine promises.

Going in to what I have learned about myself over the last 3 years is for another post entirely, but one of the most positive things about my relationship with Adam is how it has forced me to grow. It’s made me look at myself and assess the reactions I have to those around me. It’s made me realise how closed off I had become, how strong the feelings of self-preservation have been in me. And the same goes for Adam – we still have our lowlights, but he is a different man to the one I met in 2005. I’d like to think that I too have forced him to grow and consider things about himself that he never before gave a second thought. The best bit about it is that now, this third time around, I feel like we are growing in the same direction. Sometimes at different paces, but definitely both looking straight ahead.

Adam and I have most recently decided that we will attend couples counseling. Perhaps another post in itself, we want to go to overcome some of our communication issues. We recognise that our previous problems are not for lack of love or devotion to one another, but primarily are caused by mutual communication dysfunction. With some skills and insight into how to overcome these, we know we will be laying a perfect foundation for our future together.

***

B is for Bitch 
C is for Chocolate

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3 Comments

  1. Justine, I am so happy that you have also decided to start the A-Z Encyclodia of me…..

    Your first post in it was excellent and well written. I am jealous! It is very hard for me to put things I want to write into words most of the time.

    It sounds as if you and Adam are moving forward with your life in a mature way that will be beneficial for you both. It is obviously that you both love each other very much…sometime it takes a break for people to realize this.

    I can totally understand communication barriers as my partner and I often have problems, due to my lack of Japanese skills and his lack of English, altough it is not so much that we don`t want to communicate just that it is tiring sometimes to try and talk about something important if I can not find the right words.

    I wish you and Adam the best of luck!

    Look forward to your next post!

  2. Thanks Lulu! I’ve spent most of the night writing this, when I probably should have been doing work – but this felt much more rewarding. One of the better meme’s I’ve come across, so glad I clicked over and found your blog.

    I have such admiration for you having a relationship across a language barrier – although sometimes I joke that this is precisely what I am attempting with Adam! We honestly speak different languages sometimes and it can be so frustrating. I can only imagine what it must be like to actually be speaking two foreign languages!!

    Thanks for your speedy comment.

  3. Hello to both Jussie & Adam,
    Being not so blog literate it has taken me a while to find this entry, but I am so pleased that I have eventually come across it.
    You guys make such a great couple and like everything in life that is worthwhile, any relationship needs lot of hard work, fun, laughter, compromise and most importanly communication. To find your soul mate is a wonderful thing but your relationship will still require constant care and attention.
    My love to you both and of course my gorgeous grandson.
    Mum xxxx


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