Ex-Files: Peter’s Pants.

While I would love to be telling you a sordid sex story where someone’s pants may or may not have been the focus, that’s not what this is. It’s nothing of the sort.

This is actually the conclusion, the breakup, the finality, the end to my longest lasting relationship to date.

The short version is that it took five and a half years for us to grow in different directions, we were probably raised differently, and ultimately we wanted different things out of life. It was a shame we didn’t see all of that early enough or we could have prevented each other a lot of pain. But that is life I suppose. At least I have learned from this mistake relationship.


If you’re like me and the stories are the interesting part, here’s the long version.


Perhaps the whole thing was doomed from the beginning.

Peter often said that he didn’t feel good enough for me, and would point out where my words or actions, however subconsciously, indicated that there were things about him that weren’t right and that I was trying to fix him.

I tried reassuring him; I tried focussing on all of the rest of him that was right for me; I even tried addressing the issues head on and said that while I didn’t care, if it was a big enough deal for him to be worried about it, we could fix things easily.

To generalise things, men like to, and sometimes need to, be in charge. Or, at least, they need to be superior to their counterpart women in enough categories that they come out on top. This makes for a happier, more stable relationship, even if it is true that

The man is the head of the house, but the woman is the neck – she can turn the man any way she wants” – the mum in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

So while I was still at university, Peter and I had a fine relationship – his much-less-than-medicore-job (that was perfectly fine for a someone in their late teens) was naturally superior to my waitressing-two-nights-a-week-to-put-myself-through-med-school, and things were simple.

I noticed things starting to go downhill when work started and I was in my internship. Ignoring the fact that I was now in the superior position in both career and money, I kept telling myself that the downturn in events was more about the stress of my work, and all of the complaining I was doing – something I know he hated. There was also a lot of strain financially. I was quite happy to contribute evenly for bills and rent, even though I wasn’t actually living there (mum was still needing me at home, so I tried to balance my time 50/50 between the two houses, with perhaps the larger half of my time spent at Peter’s), but it got to a point where I was paying Peter’s share too because he was having issues with one of the jobs not paying him properly.

(It’s now just hit me that it’s entirely possible that the job was paying him appropriately but that he was lying to me – though at the time I could see no reason for him to be dishonest, so I trusted him. It would explain why he was so mad when I eventually contacted his boss and asked him to call Peter because I had bills to pay.)

With all the extra time I was caught up at work, Peter was getting to spend more time with his friends. Dodgy friends. Friends who dealt with smoking certainly substances that helped to take you away from reality if that’s what you want. Friends who also introduced Peter to the synthetic version.

Looking back now, the spiral into depression and substance abuse probably began earlier in the year, but I had always thought the start of Peter’s slippery slope was towards the end of the year, where the strain of finances and time was much more evident on our relationship. I was also increasingly frustrated by having to do all of the shopping, cleaning, and cooking when my job was much more demanding. He cooked dinner for me twice that year, and one of those was on my birthday.

I had encouraged Peter to go back to university, and though he didn’t want to finish the final semester of the first degree he had abandoned a few years before, he had thought Business was an interesting and safe option and finally seemed to have more ambition – maybe even subconsciously to aim for superiority over my situation.

I offered help whenever I thought I could give it and where I thought I might be useful, but he declined (again, I think wanting to do it all on his own), so I stopped asking about his uni work, and stopped offering help and advice. His grades were quite good, and so I didn’t know that he was failing a subject or two going in to the final exams for the semester. Which meant that when I picked a fight (unintentionally – there’s something about a two thousand dollar electricity bill on your credit card that can make you see red without any rhyme or reason for the timing of other life events) on the morning in his exam week, I was blamed for his failing that subject.

And understandably blamed too. I still feel awful that he went into an exam after I’d started a fight that very morning. But I reserve some of the guilt aside since he was failing the subject to begin with and that I think it was more to do with early depression and substance abuse (things that weren’t really clear at the time).

From then I tried my best to make things as easy as possible for him – we went on a holiday and I tried to not stress about money.

I bought a house, and at the time he told me to make sure I was buying it for me because he wasn’t going to be able to pay for any of the bills and couldn’t expect that of me. I thought that was all he meant by it, but really there was the added layer that he didn’t want to be with me anymore and that I was probably going to end up in a big family house all on my own. He complained often that it didn’t feel like his house and so that he was never going to be comfortable. I probably shouldn’t have reminded him that he didn’t have much of a say in the matter anyway since he wasn’t paying me the minuscule rent that he was supposed to.

So we enter my second year of work (residency), and Peter decides to “take six months off uni” – without discussing things with me I might add, since I would have suggested that instead of focussing on short-term money solutions, that I support him while he finishes uni (and since I’d been supporting him for most of the previous year, this wasn’t going to be a big deal) so that he can have a real job and actually be able to contribute as an equal where the finances were concerned. But no, he’d thought that at least six months of purely working would mean he could earn enough to contribute and get his head back into gear where uni was concerned.

Neither of those things happened.

He said he wasn’t being paid. He also didn’t want me to interfere with trying to fix things with his work. He seemed to get paid every now and then, but that made it difficult to contribute to rent or bills.

The money he did have, he spent on himself. I never came home to the house having been cleaned, nor the dogs walked, nor the lawn mown, never was dinner ready, and only very rarely were any of the small things that I’d asked for actually done.

It became clear early in the year that he was suffering from depression, and I took him to the doctor’s to get help, and helped nurse him through the awful start to the medication. Things seemed to have reached a plateau – they weren’t great, but I was hoping that with treatment for the depression I might be lucky enough to get back the wonderful guy I’d fallen in love with. In any case, it certainly wasn’t the time to be breaking up – he was so fragile and I did my best to help him.

The day before a relatively important job interview, I asked my mum to come and stay so she could drive me to and from the interview (so I didn’t have to put any pressure on Peter in any way). He didn’t want to stick around when she was due to arrive, so even though he was sleep-deprived at that point, he went to visit his dad who lives maybe half hour away. Mum and I were happily catching up with cups of tea in front of us, and I find it’s odd that Peter hasn’t returned home as early as I was expecting. I check my phone, nothing there. As I’m putting it down, an unknown number rings. The voice on the other end of the line tells me that my partner, Peter, has been in a car accident and that I’m not to worry – he’s conscious. (Not the best word to use to a medical person no matter how true that is, because it doesn’t tell me anything in the way of injuries or whether his limbs are attached or not, or even whether they’d be working if they are still attached; nor the severity of the accident and whether I should be panicking more or less right about then. I would recommend “fine” or “okay” for general times, for future reference).

He was fine in the end. Four hours at the hospital with me telling him off when he moved his neck in the collar while we waited for the CT results to clear his head and neck since he’d lost consciousness during the accident. Oh and the severity of the accident? It seemed that Peter must have fallen asleep at the wheel, lost control of the car and it had rolled onto it’s passenger side door and been totalled.

Later we learned that the car had rolled/slid into three stationary cars (occupants all fine), but that two of the cars had been fairly expensive/new, and two (though we didn’t know which) were completely written off. Likely this meant a massive bill. Especially when Peter didn’t have insurance as it was his mum’s car – and she was only covering for CTP. Ouch. We estimated maybe $100-150k worth of damage.

We were then burdened with the task of trying to work out the best way of approaching this problem  –  my initial thoughts were that he could get a loan, maybe his dad and I could be guarantors on the loan, but everyone else was thinking he could negotiate with the insurance companies to be only paying a pittance back at a time because that’s all he’d be able to afford, or perhaps he would just declare bankruptcy.

This was when I raised my concerns with my mum – but I don’t want to be with someone who’s bankrupt for the next five or seven years; I want to be getting married and having kids in that time; I would like to have my partner share the responsibility of my current mortgage with me; I would like to be able to go together for a loan for the next place we’d want to buy and oh-my-god-what-does-that-mean-for-our-credit-rating?

Discussions with mum and her friends only came back with the awful thought – oh please tell me you’d not be counted as defacto, what does that mean for debt like that – do you share it like you would have to share anything else?

While I didn’t think Peter would expect me to take on the burden of his debt, I didn’t want it to be a legal obligation that I would have to sell my house to cover his bills, and then be left with a massive chunk that I would still owe. Especially since some of the money I used for the deposit was from my dad’s last will and testament. It hurt to even think that I might lose that all in one swoop, and even more so when I didn’t know if I wanted to still be with this person – even if they maybe got better from their depression.

I researched and came up that we had to have been living together for two years for the relationship to count as defacto – I breathe a small sigh of relief to Peter: we’d only been together for the less than six months at my house, and even if you added in the entire year before where was half-living at Peter’s place, it would still only total 18months max, so it was okay – I wouldn’t have to sell my house.

His reaction was not what I expected.

He said “I guess we were raised differently then”. He meant that if the rolls were reversed he’d have sold his house and born the brunt of the one hundred thousand dollars or more of debt that would have been nothing to do with him.

We argued.

I don’t even think we agreed to disagree on that one. I was incensed. Especially when it comes out that because it is his mum’s car, she’ll be the bearer of the insurance companies’ bills and had decided that she would probably declare bankruptcy herself. I thought it was interesting that I was raised differently, in that I could never expect either of my parents to take on such a massive responsibility for something that was my fault and that I should have the balls as an adult to stand up and face.

 Anyway. We let the differences in how we were raised slide, and things went back to the stale not-great-but-I’m-waiting-for-you-to-transform-from-toad-to-prince-already.

I did everything that I could. And I tried not to complain about work. Or nag or start arguments about the lack of housework or that I’m never home to find dinner waiting for me. Nor that the finances were even tighter because without a car, he couldn’t work, and his wallet and phone were still in the damaged car, which was still being held in police custody while the investigation was being conducted. It also meant that I was kind enough to lend him my credit card (and then later I even paid the bill for his car to be towed from police holding — all of the promised IOUs for this now non-returned-money live in a box in my head labelled “bad debt”).

I guess the main sore spots of the money of mine that he spent – when the credit card was supposed to be for food or emergencies – was on video games (because they gave him something to do and kept him happy), and on lots of synthetic marijuana.

His substance usage at this point had been sporadic and minimal and mainly with friends on nights off. But with less work, and perhaps less purpose in the mornings, plus a significant increase in his frailty and depression, he said smoking the stuff even on his own was something that enabled him to relax and that he enjoyed, it helped keep him happy.

But the smell made me sick, I didn’t like the person he became when he was high, and I worried about going to work smelling like any kind of funky incense and how that might impact on my medical registration. So I asked him to not smoke it in the house. Then when that plan failed, I asked for not in the bedroom. Then I had to ask not while I’m around. Then I had to add in the proviso not when I’ll likely have time off and want to spend it with him.

That last addition to the smoking rules was created on a Saturday morning before I went to visit my mum for the weekend. I made it clear that I was going to return on Sunday afternoon-evening and that I would love to spend some quality time with Peter since we were rarely getting any time together. I said it clearly – I didn’t want him smoking the stuff on Sunday so that way I could enjoy the evening with the person I love, and not while he’s high.

I sent a text before I left my mum’s that Sunday – giving him just over an hour’s notice that I’d be coming home. I was hopeful that maybe the place would be cleaned (I had kind of asked), but I was mainly hoping that he wouldn’t disappoint me and that he’d have stayed away from the pot.

It was the highest I’d ever seen him.

I walked into my house – unclean and untidy, in the same state I’d left it in. I walked to the bedroom to try to find where Peter was – maybe he’d fallen asleep? He was coming out of the bedroom, holding the pipe in one hand and the lighter in another. His face was slack and quite space-cadet. His eyes were bloodshot and droopy. His mouth was ruminating slowly on what was clearly the lack of saliva that probably meant he hadn’t heard my car come up the driveway, and instead of coming to greet me, he was heading to the kitchen to eat the snack food I’d bought for myself for work lunches.

I couldn’t even say anything.

I saw the redness of rage clouded by an intense disappointment in both him and myself – what the fuck was I doing? (And I rarely swear, so this internal dialogue was quite emphatic).

Even though it was seven or eight o’clock at night, I clipped up the dogs and went for a walk to burn off some of the steam. I called my mum.

I’d been keeping the drug use from her because I didn’t want her to seem him in that way – I didn’t want her to think that there was more to why he wasn’t good enough for her daughter. Don’t get me wrong, my mum liked him to begin with, but I think she’d hoped I was going to fall for someone more successful, or perhaps more good looking, or perhaps smarter, or maybe less flamboyant.

At this point I still hoped the relationship had the potential to be saved if he could only get over the depression then I could have back the same guy from a year or two ago. So I told her they were herbal cigarettes. This seemed less worrying than marijuana, even in its synthetic form. I thought that if the relationship could be saved, that I didn’t want her to look at him as someone who had ever been a pot smoker. (Months later after we’d broken up she said “they weren’t herbal cigarettes were they”. Smart cookie she is.)

I vented for over an hour, with hot angry tears welling but not quite falling, and I can’t even remember what kind of conclusion I came to about it all. Just that I was so angry that he’d done everything I asked him not to. Recently I wondered if he did all of it on purpose. But I don’t really think he was that cunning, nor in the right frame of mind to be able to formulate such a convoluted break-up-plan.

After I got home from my phone call with mum, Peter and I argued. We reached some kind of agreement I think, and somewhere along the way he moved to the spare room to help give me some space. I still got to clean up most of the rubbish that lived on his side of the bed (including two juice boxes that had exploded – orange juice on the wall and cupboard, and pineapple juice on the floor and corner of the bed  = excellent. p.s. physically cleaned the orange juice off the wall some two months after the break up, that was how stubborn I had been, and how awful things had gotten).

This meant that a few weeks later when my mum called me to say she thought she’d broken her arm tripping over the dog on a walk (I promptly told her to call and ambulance and that I’d meet her at the hospital asap – likely about an hour and a half later), I turned to Peter, and explained that if my mum has broken her arm she’ll have to come stay with me for the next week because I had four night shifts to go until my holidays and she’d not be able to cope on her own – which meant that he’d have to get out of the spare room, so I’ll let him know if I’d need him to kindly change the sheets over and move his things out of that room and that I’m sure as a couple of five years we would cope reasonably well with sleeping in the same bed.

Didn’t quite expect the huff that followed. Nor the annoyed tutting/sighs that I heard through the walls when I finally got her home to my house around 1am and our arrival (with mum’s dog) made my dogs bark.

The final chapter of the relationship had opened on a Wednesday.

We had a short conversation because he’d decided, again without me, that he wouldn’t be going back to uni for second semester either. This time more because of the depression and he was just starting to sort of see some improvements. There was more to it, but the rough gist of the conversation was thus:

In a fairly calm manner, I asked when was he going to grow up, when was he going to finish university, when was he going to be an adult and be able to contribute to the running of the household, to the bills, to the mortgage, when was he going to get it into gear and have a job to earn money to show he could provide for me and hence would be in the position to propose and for us to get married?

His half-joking mostly-not reply was that we both knew I was the one in the relationship that wore the pants.

But I don’t want to always wear the pants, I tell him. I want to be equals in this relationship; I would like to not have to go to work if I don’t want to; I would like to be able to continue with time off work when it comes time for me to go on maternity leave however far into the future; I would like to not have to wear the pants, but I don’t have a choice in the matter right now.

He responds. But he doesn’t want to wear the pants either. He doesn’t want responsibility. He just wants to be happy.

(And that doesn’t include me?) Implied, not outright stated.

Conversation concludes somewhat awkwardly and I leave the moment for working out what it all meant for later, because I didn’t want to have to face the facts: what I felt and wanted was that I did not want to be with him anymore, because even without the depression, I didn’t think that he still wanted to be with me, and how on earth was I supposed to break up with someone in a state like his, especially when he lived in my house?

I woke up the day after, on the Thursday – the morning after mum had broken her arm, and Peter and I have another short conversation. Again, there was more to it, but the important part was thus:

He said I get the feeling you broke up with me yesterday.

I do not speak.

He said he’s getting his dad to pick him up shortly and he’ll move out.

That was the end.

Anticlimactic wasn’t it.

It still took him two months to move all of his stuff out of my house.

It was an obvious enough break up that there were no doubts or questions left unanswered, but it was painful and so there’s little hope of returning to something of the solid friendship we had before it all started.

He’s doing quite well now. He’s off medication, looked happy and healthier when I last saw him, and has since moved to the states to work on cruise ship (as part of his mid-twenties crisis).

I think ultimately, he didn’t want to be with me, but didn’t know how to end things when I was completely supporting him, and besides, how do you end things with the person you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with? Especially when they’re still of that mindset and that surely there’ll be better days. Horribly bleak prospect to have to burst their bubble. Somewhat fair ’nuff then that he turned to getting high. Wish he had found the guts to put his pants on and break up with me when he first had the thought.

He tells people I broke up with him. I let him take the pity if that’s what he wants. I’d have had to have said it all anyway, he just saved me the trouble.

If you’ve stuck with me until now (I’m sorry and thank you), my theory today might be a bit abstract, but it’s perhaps simple enough for the occasion:

Theory #24: Pants have two leg holes: it’s easier to walk when things are distributed evenly.

– Dr Gigi.


Charming Memories.

(Stories to do with my charm bracelet – might be a bit boring for some of you! No theories today.)

Let’s go back to my 20th birthday: I really, really wanted a charm bracelet. I had made enough hints to my then-boyfriend (Scott) that it was obvious what would be the perfect gift.

… I got a laptop instead.

That sounds like I was disappointed.

On the contrary, I was thrilled to get a laptop (yes, something I needed), but I do admit that part of me was a little let down that it wasn’t a small jewellery box with a charm bracelet waiting for me to collect little memories of my life into one small, simple piece of jewellery (and one that I always envisioned happily telling the stories of each of the charms to my children or grandchildren).

Scott, a small group of his friends and (mostly) my parents had contributed to be able to buy me the laptop and Scott had relied on his connections with computer people he knew to get a discount.

Later I learned that he had actually not contributed a thing because my parents fronted up almost all of the money and the $20-50 per contribution from each of his friends was enough that it looks like he probably made a bit out of my birthday present. Not the greatest boyfriend ever.

I did get a bracelet from my group of friends (at least someone listened) – but it was already full of charms and dangly bits so wasn’t quite what I expected. Still have and love that gift.

This lack of understanding about what I really wanted was helping to pave the way for things to go poorly with Scott, though that is probably a story for another post.

Ultimately, I had hoped that when Christmas rolled around a few months later there would be a charm bracelet waiting for me (I was not subtle about the hints). I can’t even remember what he got me, but it wasn’t a bracelet.

This meant that sometime in the following January when Peter, my closest friend of that past year and one of Scott’s closest male friends, handed me a small gift bag with “Pandora” written all over it, I was ecstatic to finally get the charm bracelet I wanted (though at the time of course I wanted a traditional charm bracelet, and probably in gold — I’ve now come to fully appreciate the flexibility of the pandora design and am quite happy with silver since all of the charms are hence less expensive and that my yellowish complexion doesn’t suit gold all that well anyway).

Peter got me two charms to go along with the bracelet:

Pink Four Petal Flower Charm

Heart Drop Dangle Charm






The first one representing the friendship that we had, and the second expressing the feelings we had of more than just friendship*.

*Also a story for another time I’m afraid.

Blue Dew Drop Dangle Charm








Much later on, Peter gave me another charm (above) to mark how long we had been together. I can’t even remember if it was for my birthday or Christmas or our anniversary when he gave it to me.

Last year, while on my Paediatric term, I was working an evening shift (and hence getting to wear my comfortable scrubs i.e. pyjamas to work). I was called into theatre to be in charge of the baby once it had been delivered by emergency cesarean section. This meant I had to change into hospital theatre scrubs, but instead I put the hospital scrubs over the top of my casual ones and took off my watch and jewellery, putting them into the pockets of the scrubs on top, to get ready to scrub, glove up and catch the baby.

You can predict what happened here I bet.

The newborn baby needed to be transported to special care nursery so I didn’t go the usual way out of the theatres and ended up staying in the hospital scrubs until the end of the shift. That was where I took off my top layer of scrubs and added them to the pile of other scrubs ready to be taken back to the changing rooms for cleaning.

I realised when I got home that my arm was empty.

The following afternoon when I got to work, I discovered that the scrubs had already been taken to be washed.

Attempts over the next 1-2 weeks to contact lost and found or the washing services, all of it was in vain. I did not get my bracelet back.

It devastated me. What was worse was that to help the pandora bracelet stay on, I had a small gold bangle that was adjustable size-wise, and was given to me by my grandparents when I was a baby. It absolutely broke my heart to have lost that piece of jewellery, I may never forgive myself for not properly checking the pockets before I was so eager to get out of the door.

I ended up buying a replacement of the bracelet and charms, not too long after Peter and I had broken up. It was a bit of an impulse buy, but I was shopping with my mum and explaining how upset I was to have lost it, and that it meant more to me for a thousand other reasons than the connections with Peter. I’m glad I did buy another one, and now it means much more to me since I paid for it all.

The following charms were then added to the bracelet:

Sparkling Square Dangle Charm

Dandelion Clip

Milkway Clip








The one on the left was given to me by Peter’s mum after she stayed with us for a week after his car accident. Considering this was after I had lost the bracelet it was a little bit weird. I think of this charm as the downfall with Peter and I, and his car accident and everything it represented. Again, that is a story for another time, sorry.

The clips were more so that I could unclip the bracelet and not fear for the safety of all of the charms. The Dandelion one reminds me of Gallifreyan (Doctor Who written language), which I love; and the Milkway one is a reference to how much I love the night sky and how I used to study astronomy because I found it fascinating. Perhaps neither of those are that exciting reasons to have charms, but they were the prettiest of the clips and I thought they were more interesting than the plain ones!

And that’s as far as I’ve gotten with building up my charm bracelet in almost a year.

Though I have thought about what other charms I would like to include.

  • Finishing Med School/becoming a doctor:

Medical Charm








  • Quilting:

Vintage Scissors Dangle Charm








  • Buying the house:

House Charm








  • Narcolepsy diagnosis and treatment

Treasure Chest Charm








  • Post-break-up-from-Peter (cup = furnishing my house/getting the things I want/drinking a lot of tea; elephant = painting I did that helped occupy my time):

Tea Cup Charm

African Elephant Charm








  • Graduating from pre-med:


Graduation Cap Dangle Charm








  • For all of the dogs, but also representing my little guy’s paralysis and spinal surgery:

Dog Dangle Charm








  • Ex Files (Scott = bear; Mitchell = duck; Alex = glasses I think, though candy would be better)

Polar Bear Dangle Charm

Duck Charm

Celebration Glasses Dangle Charm








  • Ben (haven’t decided which of these, or maybe all of them, or maybe I wait until things develop more):

Camera Charm

Snake Charm

Pineapple Charm

Passport Dangle w CZ Charm













  • Dragons are always special to me (I was born in the year of the dragon) – no specific reason though except that I like it:

Dragon Dangle Charm








  • Holidays (with Peter), particularly the first holiday I paid for after I’d started work:

Cruise Ship Charm








  • When I move:

Sydney Opera House (c)








  • Buying my first car (this isn’t as important, but it was still a big life moment):

Car Charm








There’s still a couple of other big moments in my life (my grandmother and dad passing away), but I haven’t found the perfect symbols yet.

We’ll see how I go, I don’t want to take up too much room with random things on the bracelet, but I love that I can change things around as I want.

Ultimately, I like the stories behind it all, so I guess it’s just what is important to me in the long run.

– Dr O.


Society determined the rule: you are not to talk about your ex with your new partner. But I figure that’s more about the post-break-up feelings – either you’re talking about them too much because you want to be back together, or you’re complaining so much about them and/or how it ended. Neither of those situations is great for the new person to have to listen to.

But I wonder exactly how compulsory is this relationship ‘rule’ is supposed to be?

What if you want to know about someone’s ex? Are you allowed to ask questions that encourage someone to break the ex-silence rule?

My mind has been on the Ex-Files. As in… Ben’s Ex-Files.

He’s shared some of the stories with me, but not all of them, and not all of the information I’ve recently become privy to was welcome. As an Orist, there are just some things you do not need to know.

But all the same, I’ve been obsessing about the stories pre-Ben&me – the Prequels, if you will.

It’s not about whether he might go back to any of the exes if given the opportunity – he just doesn’t seem the type (please don’t laugh at me for how lame and naive that sounds).

It’s not about discovering any possible flaws of his – because, as we’ve established, he seems fairly perfect at the moment.

It’s not about learning the mistakes those girls may have made so I can strive to be the perfect girlfriend – I might be insecure, but I’m still my own person: I’ll do what I want to do; I ain’t putting down any eggshells to walk on.

Trouble is, I haven’t been able to quite put my finger on the source of this neurotic obsession with Ben’s exes.

If you’ve not experienced this before, it’s the kind of obsessing that comes with crushes (particularly of the unrequited love category), or in the post-break-up analysis phase: either you just want to know them better, and that includes knowing their past and their people too; or you’re wanting to know their every move to be able to determine whether they’re happy without you and/or if they’ve moved on already.

It’s not quite as stalkerish as it sounds… Ultimately, social media does not help in this phase.

I think I’ve figured it out, on a few levels.

Partly, I’m jealous. I want to know him better, and I wish I could have been with him a million years ago when we first met and it could have saved us both some heartache and trouble if we’d known where this was going. (But I’ve learned things along my own path, and we weren’t parts of each others’ lives then, so I do just have to let this one go).

I’m impatient. And I like stories. They’re pretty much the point of human existence – the stories of our short, insignificant lives. It’s why movies and books are wonderful. But since works of fiction have endings already, they don’t invade and persist in my thoughts quite as much.

And finally, I realised… I’ve not been with someone with a history before. Not for long enough anyway. Mitchell, and Scott were firsts in that category; Peter and I had been friends long enough that I knew his already; Alex, I didn’t get to be with long enough; and Arni, I didn’t want to be with long enough. 

I don’t know whether I should try to explain this to Ben – that since he’s the first guy I’ve been with whose stories I don’t know well enough, I can’t help but try to find out more. Maybe then he’ll understand why this is a topic that exacerbates my neuroticism; and maybe he’ll share more of his history with me.

But do I even have the right to know any of Ben’s stories that may have come before this one with me in it? (And just as importantly – do I even want to know?).

Histories are complicated. They help shape who we are. But that doesn’t mean you need to know and understand any part of history to be better equipped to tackle the future.

This is all especially difficult when you’ve got someone who isn’t big on communicating.

I don’t think I have any theories today; it’s all riddles. Which makes me think of Doctor Who:

“The Silence will fall when the question is asked.”

– Dr O.

Leaving it for history’s sake.

I’m going to award an extra +10 points to Peter* on the Tally for the life lesson he taught me.

*Don’t fret, he gets another -11 because I remembered one of the worst GTFO moments: his claim “I was raised differently” when I wouldn’t contemplate selling my house to pay his debts. Lucky person they’ll be who gets him next.


Theory #12: If it isn’t essential to the plot, leave the mistake for history’s sake.

Peter taught me that, though perhaps not quite so poetically.

He liked the weirdness of things. He wore odd socks deliberately. He went through phases of different brightly coloured hair.

And ruined my bathroom cupboard in the process.

But that’s another story, and perhaps another -11 points come to think of it.

Pete’s thinking was that something is more likely to be special or memorable or meaningful if it has a quirk, a mistake. He loved the two squares I stuffed up in the quilt I made him because it showed that the whole thing was handmade.

It makes me think of the Mona Lisa – is she actually unfinished, or is the intentional unfinished look why her smile lingers just so?

Rarities of collectible items are often worth much more than the original because of a slight error in the manufacturing process. Interesting that the slightly faulty can be more valuable merely because of its mistake.

I have deliberately left the painting in my lounge room as it is – because I know that it is imperfect, and I know where those imperfections lie, and that makes it special because it is mine.


Ultimately, I’m just trying to explain future actions for any lack of backtrack editing on this blog.

If correcting an error is not essential to the end goal, I will leave said error – for the sake of The Orist blog history.

– Dr O.


p.s. Never fear my little Sheep(pl), I still very much like Ben, and Peter and I are never, ever, ever getting back together. Easy fond memories do not mend feelings easily.

Ex Files: The Tally.

Ok, so Kiki’s vlog has me a bit hooked.

I know. Hopefully not a massive potential for trouble, right?

(I thought about linking to Kiki’s vlog, but I figure that’s one step from Ben reading this, and really, while I’m happy for the world to hear my crazy thoughts, I’d like to keep Ben a little ignorant of that side of me for a little bit longer.)

Kiki tallies up the points of her exes to try to find the best ex (in the context of being able to be friends with your ex):
+10 points for practical knowledge imparted by them
+20 points for emotional lesson learned
-11 points for GTFO moments

My theory on it all? #8: Experience the bad and you can better appreciate the good. (+20 specifically to Peter for that one).

I know I haven’t told all of the stories yet, but they’ll come with time. For now you can get the summaries. If there’s actually someone reading these and you’re interested to hear one of the Ex Files stories specifically, you’re going to have to comment!

(Note: pseudonyms for Exes 1 through 3 are not set in stone, but I’m pretty happy with them 🙂 Wish I could share them with you since I’m pretty proud of how I came to them all)

Ex #1: Mitchell
+10 for all of the help with debating/mooting/study/other school activities
+10 releasing sexual energy can help with better sleep
+20 just because a guy seems perfect to everyone else, doesn’t mean you should settle for them if you’re feelings aren’t 100% in it
+20 long distance, even for a short period is difficult – you have to put in the effort
-11 (because I need a negative here for him) for the guilt I felt because of the guilt he felt about how it ended (?because I didn’t know how to break up with someone at that point)
Total: 49

Ex #2: Scott
+10 attempting to improve my computer/video games skills
+10 improving my cool-factor by getting me to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer
+20 my first. (should count for something)
+20 standing up for oneself is important
-11 should have stood up for me when his dad was being a bully
-11 grabbing my boobs in public. constantly
Total: 38

Ex #3: Alex
+10 learning to be confident enough to wear a naughty nurses outfit (and to show just a little of the sexy lingerie too)
+20 mutual fun flirtatiousness
+20 essentially a one night stand + walk of shame (bucket list achievement?)
-11 essentially a one night stand
Total: 39

Ex #4: Peter
+10 how to check the air in my car tyres
+10 (Because I’m sure I learnt more practical things in 5 years, I just can’t remember)
+20 excitement in the danger
+20 ultimate trust associated with being with someone you know inside out
+20 importance of knowing what’s bad to be able to appreciate what’s good
-11 artificial-mj smoking (even with the where and when I’d asked him not to)
-11 let 2x juice boxes explode over walls/furniture (in the bedroom), and didn’t clean them up
-11 vomiting on me while I slept
-11 allowing me to do everything for him and not being able to do anything for me
Total: 37

Ex #5: Arnold
+10 squats = sexy butt
+20 sometimes sex is just about getting some and not about the emotional connection
-11 photos of his muscles. still getting these btw. oh and the pictures of his penis.
-11 implying I need to work out to get a better “booty”
Total: 8

Ok fine, so Ex #1 was probably always going to be the winner – still wouldn’t ever go back there though, he’s good in the outer edge of the friend zone. Weird that Scott and Alex both ended up with more points than Peter – relationship with Peter means more to me overall, even though the last year was pretty awful.

I may update these if I remember more things, but I feel pretty good about the tally as it stands.

Thanks goes to Kiki 🙂 Highly recommend everyone does this – really helps to put things into perspective.

– Dr O.


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