Boarders, Volume 8


I’ve been good, right? I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do this year. I’ve been a good father. I’ve spent quality time with my wife. So why am I stuck in this excruciating limbo here in this place where time stands still and I can’t imagine anything past it?

You know me, I’m not one to complain. I generally try to expect the best from situations and people until I’m proven otherwise, and even then I’m not too quick to shift gears. I try my best to be the best I can be, and sure, I make mistakes, but I try to work through them and learn from them.

So why am I being tortured like this? What did I do in a previous life to warrant the cold stares, the hard sighs, the loud judgments and slamming doors? My therapist says I need to confront this woman who has been making my life a living hell for the past few months, but I’m never been good at confrontation. Maybe I need to start learning how.

I think I may have yelled at one person in my life, and that was an eternity ago. I don’t even remember what it was about, or how I even got so worked up that it came out in that red hot way it seems to do with others on a steady basis. I’m generally softspoken, enough that people mistake my kindness for weakness, but I’m not generally weak. I just do things in a different way.

But nothing I do has worked with her. She took me in when I had no place to go, and I will forever be grateful, but she judges me more often than not. I know I haven’t been perfect, but instead of talking to me like a human being she usually talks AT me, telling me everything without telling me anything. Because I still don’t know what I can do to make her treat me like a living, breathing human being.

And it’s gotten worse since we’ve been living here, not that it wasn’t bad before. She would come over our house and tell me all the ways I’ve disappointed her (subtly, of course). She would assume I wasn’t going to do anything to help with housework, to get the children a snack after school, or anything else. But at least then she would eventually GO, she would head back to her house and I could breathe a sigh of relief.

I can’t breathe here. It’s only five months into this living together thing, and I can’t breathe! I’d like to be able to breathe again sometime, please.


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