Monday, July 21, 2008

Dealing

I say when I first moved back to San Francisco, and you were on all those psych meds and drinking all the time and lying about everything and you couldn't deal with any critique, that's where I got this pattern of thinking about everything for months until I could talk about it without an emotional attachment I mean I could say the same thing I just didn't feel like I was about to die. I mean I did that for five years, and the same thing was true with Jeremy and that was around the same time but that was just nine months. With you it went on longer, and now I do the same thing with everyone and I want to ask you to help me to feel more secure.

As soon as I start talking, I notice that Derek pulls back, inside himself and he gets all tense. I guess I didn't expect that -- I thought we could have this kind of conversation without tension and I say that but he says: those are your issues and you need to deal with them. I say yes, those are my issues but they're about my relationship with you and there are two people in that relationship and I'm trying to involve you in my process instead of figuring everything out in my head, you always say that’s what you want.

Then I say I feel ridiculous about this, because it happened so long ago, but I never really felt angry about it, and that's when Joanne died and I came back to San Francisco and I was staying with you and you were my support system and Alex and I had just started talking again since he didn't talk to me for over a year after we broke up and we then just randomly ran into one another and supposedly it was okay. And the three of us made plans to go to a bonfire in Corona Heights and I had to cancel at the last minute and you two went and I guess you were madly drawn to one another and had to have sex at that moment and then you ended up moving to Oregon together and leaving me and I didn't even want to be in San Francisco. This is where I start crying, but what really makes me sad is that Derek pulls away further, even moving his foot so that it isn't touching mine. What I want him to do when I cry is to hold me, that's always what I want. Instead I get that release but also it’s distance I'm not looking for distance. This is when Caleb says catharsis.

I say I'm talking about it now, because I didn't really feel angry at the time except right away -- I decided that I liked seeing you together and then we ended up in a three-way relationship, or not a three-way relationship but I ended up facilitating your relationship like whenever something would go wrong you would both call me. And I know it's been 10 years but I realize that it comes up in weird ways, so when you're talking about another relationship I feel annoyed and dismissive and I don't want to feel that way.

Derek says you need to let that go. I say I'm not interested in letting go, I'm trying to tell you how I'm feeling. Derek says why are you telling me all of this? I say I'm telling you because I don't want to hold these resentments inside and you've asked me to do that but then when I say something you can't deal. I say listen, mostly what I'm talking about is that five year period when you couldn't deal with any kind of critique and you were always lying about everything and right when I first saw you on the psych meds I said they change your personality, they make you more manic and more depressed, and then when you were drinking you were always lying about everything and I said right away: why are you always lying about everything? But you couldn't deal at all -- you would get enraged and then I would hold it all inside because I didn't want to lose you.

Derek says we've talked about this before and at that time I pulled away from everyone, I mean I thought about killing myself every day it was a terrible time and I know I was not present in our relationship and if there's anything I can do to help you feel better just let me know. I say thank you, I can definitely think of some things, but in the past that's something you’ve said you didn't want me to do so I'm trying to give you the opportunity to participate. Derek says why are you trying to make me feel bad? You should have pulled away; you should have taken care of yourself. I say I'm not trying to make you feel bad. Derek says I just listened to you for 10 minutes, and we've already talked about these things before, we've had two conversations about the same things. I have too much confrontation going on in my life right now and this is overwhelming.

Now he's angry and trying to hold it in, I'm angry and trying to let it out. I say do you want physical distance from me, I'm asking you because I don't. Derek says yes. I say I just wanted to make that clear, I think we can still have this conversation and hold one another and it doesn't have to be adversarial, but of course I'm going to respect your desire for distance.

I say you're right, we've had two conversations about some of the same things, but three conversations about a five-year period doesn't seem like a lot to me. Derek says maybe you're right, maybe we need to talk more, but I'm not feeling good about this, I'm not feeling good at all. I say I'm not feeling good either. Derek says I think I'm going to leave. I say do you want a hug? Derek says yes. We hug goodbye, and I feel some sort of sad resignation I'm not sure what's next.

I'm thinking about how, when we started talking, Derek said I feel really good about our relationship I feel like something shifted over the last six months and I feel closer to you I don't have much to say I feel really good. I feel good too, I mean I felt good I guess I thought that the hard part would be speaking, I thought my fears were rational and really Derek would be supportive and listen well and it would all be fine. He’d listen and then it would be okay. That's all I wanted. I always used to believe that talking made things better I mean that was something I learned with Derek something we learned a long time ago something I still believe. The truth is that Derek usually can't deal, I mean on my birthday all I said was: when you got all grumpy it shut me down. And he said: I wasn't grumpy, maybe I was a little bit annoyed. And I said okay, when you got annoyed it shut me down. And Derek said I thought I was doing a good job of not showing it. But never: I'm sorry I shut you down.

He wants me to say what I'm feeling in the moment, but when I say what I'm feeling in the moment he can't deal. Even when I said it annoys me when you look to your cell phone all the time while were hanging out, he couldn't even deal with that. And then when I think about something for a while before bringing it up, he can't deal it that either.

But the worst thing he said was you should have pulled away, you should've taken care of yourself. He meant I should have dropped him as a friend, which wasn't what I wanted. If I’d pulled away for five years, we wouldn't still be friends -- there's just no way. I mean it's never happened before. Derek probably wasn't thinking that, but I'm not sure.

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