I was in a relationship with someone who was running away from his reality. I thought, in building a life together we could circumvent this facet, but it was a crack in the foundation.
The funny thing about grad school is that it takes people from varying socioeconomic statuses (SES) and thrusts them into the same class. So it wasn't until after we were well finished with our PhDs that we had to confront our differences.
He very much wanted to deny his wealth and status, and I think dating me was a part of that rebellion. But he never thought about where he wanted to be, economically, or what my experience would be, having been the child of immigrants who rose from low to middle class. See I know what poverty is--deep, 3rd world poverty, too, not just American poverty. It's a shift in value that demands one be comfortable with inaccessibility and few options. You take what you get and you do the best you can with it.
When it came to a point that our futures were open...jobs weren't secured, plans weren't final...our SES as a couple came to the forefront, and with it, all of his fear.
He was afraid to live a life I grew up in and was familiar with. His idea of poverty is skewed and extreme and irrational, and something he very much didn't want. He also associated me with such poverty, whether he was conscious of it or not, I'll never know.
So now, as I struggle to switch careers, dangling in the air after I took a gigantic leap, I can only hear his voice in my head, insinuating and continually suggesting that a path with me meant homelessness and hunger.
Those words echo.
And tear me down when I need to be strongest.
And at this point in my healing, my heart breaks again because I'm beginning to feel this is an unforgivable perspective. All that friendship, love, and hard work, gone.
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