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Max arrives here at 7pm tomorrow!!!

9:05am Depart London Heathrow-LHR (UA955 Boeing 777)
12:15pm Land San Francisco-SFO
14:25pm Depart San Francisco-SFO (UA1478 Boeing 737-300)
16:21pm Land Seattle Tacoma-SEA

10:59am Depart Seattle Tacoma-SEA (UA522 Boeing 757-200)
4:20pm Land Chicago O'Hare-ORD
5:15pm Depart Chicago O'Hare-ORD (UA958 Boeing 777)
6:50am Land London Heathrow-LHR

I haven't seen him for 6 months... half a year! I won't see him again for another 6 months.

My friends, family, and people I meet all ask me, "How can you handle it?" The answer is: emotional numbness. Our previous record for longest time apart was 4 months. We've now discovered that 4 months is just bearable, but that 6 months is gut-wrenchingly painful and ultimately emotionally numbing.

This journal only represents .001% of my personality, thoughts, feelings, and daily life. For the past year and a half I mostly only posted once or twice a week and those merely recounts of events. These past six months have been the most difficult of my life, but I've barely expressed it on my journal. To tell the truth I've barely expressed it to those around me, mostly choosing to withdraw into a quiet introverted shell.

It's a strange and challenging thing being in a serious long distance relationship for over 3 years. I'm a naturally flirtatious and passionate person and yes, the cravings for physical attention become overwhelming at times. I love Max too much to ever do anything to hurt him or to jeopardize our relationship, but these last 6 months I have almost felt single. Single but unable to pursue affection. More like a nun, really. I only recently realized how much I've emotionally shut down. I hardly cry anymore and I've stopped talking about it to anyone. I've buried my feelings under learning computer languages, work, etc. I'm feeling more and more awkward in social functions because I've been living in my mind so much that I'm finding it harder to carry conversations, even with my own family. My father asked me last night, "How do you feel about Max visiting in two days? Most girls I know would be jumping up and down and talking constantly with excitement. You seem so quiet." I replied that there was "only so much I can say about it" and left it at that.

I am excited. I'm jumping up and down internally. I couldn't sleep last night from giddy happiness. I just can't seem to express these emotions externally anymore.

Sometimes I worry that the continuous emotional pain of this relationship has sucked most of the life out of me. I don't think it is true for the most part, but at times I feel so wasted and drained that I wonder if I will ever fully recover, even after we're married. The thought of being married is the only thing that is keeping me going. When I feel like I can't handle it anymore I try to remind myself, "a year apart is nothing when compared to a lifetime together." I'm hanging onto that thought and I will continue hanging onto it for the next 6 months apart. (The reason we have to spend another 6 months apart is because of rather complicated visa, family, and work stuff that I don't want to get into right now).

I know it has been incredibly difficult for Max as well. He doesn't express his feeling often either, but I have noticed personality changes. I can hear the pain and longing in his voice.

These next six months scare me, to be honest. Almost an entire year apart. It amazes me. Sometimes I think we're crazy. No, I know we're crazy. But I'll continue telling myself that it's because we're in love and it will all be worth it in the end.

Max plans to rent a car from Sea Tac to drive up here like he did last time. We don't have many solid plans this week except to basically never leave the bed. He rented a club suite at the Sheraton hotel in Vancouver for two days, then we may spend a day in Seattle on the way back. I'm looking forward to showing him Vancouver as it's one of my favorite cities and we have a few friends there we're going to meet up with.
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On March 1st, 2002 02:46 pm (UTC), heuteistmeintag commented:
Well, if it's been THAT long, then I'll cancel my nefarious plan of kidnapping Max when he stops in SFO.

Too bad I was in Vancouver last weekend. I woulda said hello
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On March 1st, 2002 07:35 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
I already have my own kidnapping plans.

I love Vancouver.
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On March 1st, 2002 08:35 pm (UTC), heuteistmeintag replied:
everyone loves vancouver
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On March 1st, 2002 08:01 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
That sounds like a wonderful opportunity. It's definitely not easy, but everyone handles these situations differently. I know some people who can't even handle a "long distance" relationship of only a few hours away.

I really hope that you find a workable solution or compromise, if not now then maybe a few years down the line. Good luck to you, Jul3z. *hugs*

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On March 1st, 2002 03:55 pm (UTC), somabrak commented:
Sometimes I think we're crazy. No, I know we're crazy. But I'll continue telling myself that it's because we're in love and it will all be worth it in the end.

It will be worth it, trust me. You're not crazy, you're devoted, and that's beautiful. Speaking as someone who held a long-distance relationship for two years (oh, the massive phone bills..I probably could have bought a car with what I paid in phone bills, heh), being together in the end is the greatest reward, and you'll always have that wonderful story of your solid devotion to each other, strong enough to hold onto each other across the miles for years. The story can't begin to describe all of the intracacies of your relationship, but it is special.
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On March 1st, 2002 08:08 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
Thank you so much Tamara, I really really needed to hear that. The phone bills we've racked up are immense too, as well as plane fares. I think we could have bought a house with the plane fares so far, but at least we have a ton of air miles now.

We are devoted, you are right.. and I'll remind myself of the story when I'm feeling down.
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On March 1st, 2002 11:03 pm (UTC), sari replied:
i agree with that poster as well because i've been maintaining an overseas relationship online for over two years (moving together within six months) and i am SURE it is worth every piece of waiting time. sometimes it just has to go this way. :) so, good luck to you both.

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On March 1st, 2002 11:37 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
Not that I would wish this kind of difficulty on anyone, it does my heart good to know that there are others out there in similar situations and making it work. I need to see success stories.. and I hope that we become one as well. Thanks. :)
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On March 3rd, 2002 10:39 am (UTC), sari replied:
yes :) it's supporting to continue the journey. :) all the best to you!

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On March 1st, 2002 08:42 pm (UTC), gracejustis commented:
I wish you a wonderful week with Max! :)

I'm so sorry for the pain of the separation, and for the feeling of not being able to talk about it. Withered is a hard image for me to think about. I have to believe there's a way to miss deeply without feeling so drained...But I have no answers :(

Love to you.
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On March 1st, 2002 11:48 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
"I have to believe there's a way to miss deeply without feeling so drained...But I have no answers :("

I think there is a way and it comes from internal strength and the ability to stay optimistic. I'm working on both of these. I need to try to make stronger connections with people around me too, so that I have a better support system and to just feel a little less alone. It's too easy to get caught into negative thought cycles when spending a lot of time alone, at least for me it is.

Thank you for commenting, I really appreciate it. *hugs* :)
On March 2nd, 2002 06:24 am (UTC), gracejustis replied:
That makes a whole lotta sense. I have a habit from withdrawing from friends at the moments I need them the most. I have this "don't want to burden you" thing that has actually ended friendships...when I thought it would safeguard them. I've got a lot to learn about connecting yet. But you're right. It is the key.

*hugs* to you too :) Have a wonderful night!
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On March 2nd, 2002 07:21 pm (UTC), mrbad commented:
Wow, what a beautiful post.
You touched my heart with this
and wish you both strength and courage.
Your emotional pain is so scary.

On a lighter note:
Vancouver will never be the same when you two leave ;)

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On March 22nd, 2002 02:12 am (UTC), nomi replied:
I'm not sure how I missed this comment before, but thank you kindly mr. bad.. :)

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On March 22nd, 2002 02:16 am (UTC), mrbad replied:
Well in retrospect, it looks like you had a good time ;)
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On March 21st, 2002 06:03 am (UTC), gulch commented:
So... another 6 months. Hang in there - it's all worth it. Can't say that we've gone that long, but I once spent 4 months in a cold squat in icy, snowy London while Gill was travelling around India. No emails, no chat, no phone-calls, all we had were letters that took over 2 weeks to go each way. It was hell, but an incredibly beneficial sort of hell - more purgatory perhaps. I was constantly worried that Gill had been kidnapped or died in an earthquake or something. Then, Christmas day, I arrived in Delhi with a bottle of champagne and some proper cheese (not things you tend to find in India). The reunion was earth-shaking. Ever since we've found that short periods apart (I could never contemplate 4 months again!) have kept our relationship strong and exciting.
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On March 22nd, 2002 02:09 am (UTC), nomi replied:
Four months without email/chat/phone is nearly as bad as six+ months with all 3. One thing I attribute to keeping us together is the ability to chat every day online and talk on the phone every other day. I completely understand the absence making your relationship stronger. No one who hasn't gone through it could understand what it feels like. The reunion is always mind blowing, though. It sounds like yours was very romantic. :)

Four months in India is quite the adventure. A close friend of mine spent a year in India by herself at age 19. I had similar worries for her that you had for Gill, but I think it was a great experience for her.
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