Worst. Girlfriend. Ever.

I’d just had my heart brokenTwice.

I was also feeling desperate.

My artist friend decided to take me around to “visit some people.”  The people he took me to meet were all girls.  We went to several apartments full of girls.

She was the only one who blatantly flirted with me.  So she was the one I liked.

My friend warned me that she was just a flirt.

That didn’t stop me from getting attached.

She was sweet at first.

After a couple of months she started to show her true colors.  By then we’d lost our virginity to each other.

She was critical.  She’d make fun of me – the way I walked, the way I talked, etc.

I didn’t have a job at first.  She said if I didn’t have a job I was worthless.  I took my first phone job because of pressure from her.

She wanted to go out to dinner and a movie every night.  I’d spend entire paychecks on dates with her.

She’d insist they weren’t “real dates” because I didn’t call her in advance to set them up.

I’d take her roses every week.  That didn’t make her nicer to me.

At one point we were engaged.  I bought her a cheap little gold ring.  It was all I could afford.  Later she got upset and threw the ring at me.

I hid things from her because I was afraid she’d be mean if she knew.

I quit one phone job because I couldn’t take it anymore.  I lied to her and told her I was still working there.  I didn’t want to deal with the consequences of her knowing I had quit.

Before I got another job her sister’s husband’s brother decided to sell his car.  My girlfriend decided I was going to buy it.  She was tired of driving me around.

I didn’t have enough money to buy it.  She decided she would lend me the money.

A few weeks after I got the car a found another job.  I finally told her I’d been lying about working at my previous job.

She was furious.

I didn’t see her for a few weeks.  Eventually she started seeing me again.

A few weeks later we went out.  I was really tired.  Neither one of us could decide whether to go to dinner or to a movie first.  Eventually she got mad and told me to just take her home.

I did.

I dropped her off.  She slammed the door as she got out.  I drove off and didn’t look back.

There was a girl at work I sat next to.  We would joke around together.  I think she might have dated me.  I think things were going in that direction.

After a couple of weeks my girlfriend begged me back.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to get back together at first.  I ended up getting back together with her because it was easy.

What a mistake!

She used to taunt me with this line from Poe’s Trigger-Happy Jack: “You can’t talk to a psycho like a normal human being…”  Ironic that she would say that to me…

The abuse didn’t usually cross over into physical abuse.

One time she kept pinching my arms.  She wouldn’t stop.  A little while later a bunch of red marks showed up on my arms.  She had the nerve to ask where they came from.

I’m pretty sure she was bipolar.  She was never officially diagnosed.  Any time I even hinted that she might need some kind of help she’d get mad.

She had threatened to move out of her parent’s house multiple times, but never did.  Eventually my mom’s water heather started leaking and soaked my bedroom floor.  My girlfriend talked me into getting an apartment.

There was a neighborhood I liked.  It was close to her work.  She told me I shouldn’t move there.  She talked me into getting a cheaper apartment in a much rougher neighborhood.

Sometimes I wonder if she was trying to kill me.

Eventually she cheated on me.

Her family went on vacation to the same place every year.  She told me she always got sick and had a bad time.

We’d been together about a year and a half.  It was vacation time again.  She wasn’t going to go.  She was going to spend time with me instead.  A few days before her family left she announced she was going with them after all.

That Saturday I had a bad feeling I’d never had before.  I decided to go to her house, just to set my mind at ease.

I looked in the window.  Her family never closed the blinds.  She was sitting on front of the computer with a guy I didn’t recognize.  I found out later it was a guy from Texas she’d met in a chat room.

I guess she couldn’t find anyone closer…

She came to the door.  She tried to calm me down.  I asked her when she was going to come get her stuff from my apartment.  She said she’d let me know.

She’d broken up with me multiple times.  I guess it took me breaking up with her for it to stick.

She’d still come see me every few weeks.  One time she stopped by on the way home from work.  Eventually it became obvious she wanted more than conversation.  I thought she wanted to get back together, so I went along with it.  Afterward she told me we weren’t getting back together.

A few months later she was over to visit.  I walked her out to her car.  I went inside and looked out the window at her for a while.  She sat in her car looking back at me.  After a few minutes I looked down.  After several minutes I looked back up, and she was gone.  I went to bed that night still missing her.  The next morning I didn’t miss her any more.

I still owed her the money for the car when we broke up.  She had also bought me some things over the course of our relationship she decided I “owed” her for.  I decided to give her the money rather than argue with her about it.  It seemed like a small price to pay to have her out of my life.

Initially I gave her the checks in person when she’d come to visit.  Once I didn’t miss her any more I started mailing them to her.

I delivered the last check in person.  She’d held onto one of the keys to my car.  She’d threatened to take the car if I didn’t give her what she said I owed her.

After that I cut her off.  Moved.  Changed my phone number.  Blocked her email address.

I’m sure she’ll be mad if she ever reads this.

She’ll probably never talk to me again.

That’s probably for the best.

I feel trapped

“If you hate your job, you hate your life.”

– Dale Partridge

I really want to quit.  But I feel like I can’t.

I’m burning out.  Burned out.  Beyond burned out.

And no one seems to care.

“Just keep going.  We’re depending on you!”

I’m running myself into the ground.

“Stop complaining!”

I’m overwhelmed.

First-world problems, I know…

Maybe I’m just tired.

I never want to hear that phone ring again.

Why can’t people ever think for themselves?

In my dark moods I think some people are too stupid to live.

I’m tired of being a doormat.

I feel like my work is stupid and meaningless.

I hate myself for doing something only for money and being so gutless.

How much longer do I have to keep doing this?

I was secretly relieved to get kicked out of college

I didn’t want to get stuck in a job I hated.

I didn’t want to be mistreated by employer after employer.

I was a computer science major.  I was planning on becoming a programmer.  Then I read this:

Now let’s talk about death marches, mandatory uncompensated overtime, the beeper on the belt, and having no life. Men accept these conditions because they’re easily hooked into a monomaniacal, warrior-ethic way of thinking in which achievement of the mission is everything. Women, not so much. Much sooner than a man would, a woman will ask: “Why, exactly, am I putting up with this?”

Eric S. Raymond, Women in computing: first, get the problem right

For those who are unfamiliar with ESR, he is sort of the godfather of the open-source software movement, and a master programmer.  He knows what he’s talking about.

I wanted to be able to be a family man.  That blog post didn’t give me a lot of confidence I’d be able to do that, or much else I wanted to do.

My enthusiasm about school had already started to cool.  I had to take classes I wasn’t interested in.  A lot of the work seemed like busy work.

I talked to my wife about the doubts I was having.  She left me know she would be very unhappy if I quit.  So I tried to soldier on.

I didn’t do a good job of it.  I wouldn’t do assignments.  If I did them it would be hurriedly, at the last minute.  A lot of times I skipped class altogether.

This went on for a few years.  Then when the university told me I had to switch majors it ended.

I was disappointed, but also relieved.

A few months before the end of my last semester of college, I discovered James Altucher.  Glenn Beck had him on his show to discuss an article he’d written, called 10 Reasons Why You Have to Quit Your Job This Year.

I started reading through his blog and listening to his podcast.  Among other things, he says he regrets going to college:

When I was 19, I won some money in a chess tournament. So instead of using that money for my college tuition I decided to drop out of college and buy a car.

I bought a used 1982 Honda Accord. I drove it around for a few hours since they let me drive it right out of the lot.

But when I saw my girlfriend and everyone else taking their classes I got a little jealous. I returned the car and cancelled the check and entered my sophomore year of college. But I regret it now.

James Altucher, 8 Alternatives to College

James was a college graduate.  A computer science major, like me.  He graduated college and did programming work for them for a few years.  When he got a programming job in the real world, and he couldn’t even program.

I was more conflicted that ever.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to finish school.  I wasn’t sure I wanted a programming job anymore.  I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to get a programming job if I finished school.

But I didn’t want to upset my wife.

That summer the university gave me a reprieve.