Dear Papa Bear,
I just discovered this website and I thought it was an amazing place to come and get a few things off my chest. You mention limiting to one question at a time, so hopefully this letter will do that. I have to ask a bit about my mateship with Anakar.
Anakar and I have been mated for going on 4 years (this May) and we were together up until July of last year. Financially speaking, things had stopped working out. With my health problems I've had in the past I had worried about getting a job and then suffering more health problems that would keep me out of work or worse, fired. I never really tried looking for a job and the only one I had while living with him ended with termination after three months on a bullshit claim that I was more than surprised even came about (nobody misses an Andrew Jackson when they take in change, so you can't be over twenty dollars over in the register). At any rate, the health problem is intermittent but recurring inevitably, as Crohn's Disease does. But my mate was always supportive of me. He always told me to do what I thought I should do, to be happy, and to not worry about everything as long as he had things under control.
Well, he didn't expect his job would execute his hours until we were looking at having to evict ourselves from our house. We hadn't expected that and when it came to the wire, our families refused to help us for the obvious relationship issue (both families believe our significant other "teases" and "demeans" us, and both think we could do better). After a couple of months in the same town, but apart, as he was living with friends and I with my dad, I decided to move out of state to live with my other side of the family to hopefully get a job. I got a job, and my mate moved in with his family in a different state, putting us almost 8 hours apart in travelling distance. Our love is strong, and we're confident that we'll make it through, or so my mate says.
However, I have doubts. My mate is a hard worker, and he is pulling all his weight to get us back together as soon as possible, which he hopes will be the end of this year, possibly sooner if I work hard on my end too (which I have tried and will probably submit a second letter later on about). But my problem is the fact that we are so far apart, and that with money so tight it may be impossible for us to meet up. He says that we'll pull through it, that everything will work out in the end, and as much as I want to believe him, I still have doubts. I still worry that we won't. And it's all because I worry I won't be able to succeed. I have so many questions about life, so many problems with how things have to go, and yet he deals with it like he always has, and it mystifies me how he can go through it and not crack under the pressures I feel.
I guess my question is this: If Anakar is so confident we'll be together, so industriously trying to make it so that we can be, why do I doubt myself so much? That is to say, why do I feel like I can't meet him halfway and just bear with the pain of not being with him for more than a year just so that we can be together again? I feel so lost without him, he's the reason I wake up every day, and the hope in my heart, but every day without him feels so empty and it feels like without him there isn't anything good in my life.
Please write back,
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First of all, you are to be congratulated for finding such a loving and loyal mate as you have in Anakar. From what you have written here, he sounds like a wonderful person and you should thank your lucky stars each and every day that he is in your life.
You might have seen in some of my other letters to readers how I am not very fond of the long-distant, virtual relationship. Your case is different, however. You have lived together and enjoy living together, and you have plans to live together again in the future. What is happening now is simply a temporary setback until you get back on your footie paws again. Anakar knows this and is working hard to be with you again in the near future.
So, why is he doing so well with it and you are not? First of all, I’m sure he is suffering inside as much as you; I’m sure he misses you desperately. The difference is, frankly, that he is made of stronger stuff than you are. Why might this be? It could be—though you don’t say anything about this in your letter—that you have had some bad relationship experiences before Anakar and worry this might happen again. It could be that you simply lack some self-confidence compared to Anakar, that you doubt that you are good enough for Anakar and wonder if your being apart might not tempt him to find someone else. It could be that you feel guilty how your health problems may have exacerbated the financial struggles that eventually forced the two of you to move. It could be that you listen too much to your negative family and how they criticize your mate. But that is all sheer speculation on my part.
There is no worse enemy in our lives than the trolls that whisper inside our minds. They are full of lies and fear and self-deprecations. What you need to do is learn to shut them off and look at the reality of your world. Has Anakar ever let you down? Has he ever gone back on his word? Has he ever lied to you or done something deliberately mean to you? Has he ever hurt your feelings? Has he ever given you the slightest hint that he would rather not be with you?
My guess is that the answer to all of these questions is a big fat “NO!”
Now, what I want you to do is a little mental exercise: each night, as you lay your head down on your pillow, I want you to picture in your mind a shooting gallery. In this gallery are a bunch of ugly, green, warty, smelly, flatulent trolls. Each troll has a sign on his chest. Signs like “Loser,” “Fear,” “Doubt,” “Guilt,” “Blame” and so on. I want you to create in your mind some massive weaponry that you can grip in your paws and load with high-caliber bullets. Then I want you to picture these greasy, slimy, insulting trolls jumping around, trying to get away. But they can’t. You aim your gun and blast away. Each one you hit explodes in a cloud of cow farts and pickle juice, making you laugh. Shoot away. Blast those little trolls until they are just green puddles on the ground. Keep at it they are all gone, then relax and go to sleep. Do that every night until they are gone for good.
It sounds silly, but it is a mental exercise that can actually help you. These trolls are just illusions, not reality, and just as fictional are all your fears and doubts. Eliminate them. Hold on to your love of Anakar. He sounds like the catch of a lifetime. Even though he is far away, he is very much in your life and a part of you. And he will return to your loving arms just as soon as he can.
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