Friday, July 25, 2008

All that hatred

I'm thinking about all that hatred Derek directed my way and I guess I'm still in shock. I don't really understand. I still wonder what he wants from our friendship, that's one of the questions I didn't get to ask. I don't understand what I said that he could have interpreted as a dismissal. I mean, at one point he said: I think I've been a good friend. I said: of course you have, you've been an amazing friend! I don't understand why he looked at me with all that rage, looked at me like I wasn't worth anything except spite, looked at me kind of like that time when he was on the highest dose of psych meds and his pupils got all tiny and one time he said: wouldn't it be great to know how to gut an animal with your bare hands?

And this time he was looking at me.

I was trying to remember when the conversation happened, how long it's been I mean I know it was on Tuesday because we get together every Tuesday now that Derek goes to meditation on Sundays. But then I thought wait, Tuesday -- that was two days ago. Oh, it's only been two days.

My throat feels a bit raw because when I'm stressed I hold my chest up and out, Killer said that's where grief is stored -- and that makes sense. I haven't been able to feel the grief yet, I mean I felt it right away but I stopped myself from crying because Derek wasn't giving me that space. Sure, I could've taken it, but it felt hopeless. I caught myself thinking -- if you want me to be hold it all in, I'll hold it in. Which is terrible. Our relationships shouldn't be an endurance competition. It never has been. It's always been so nurturing.

I already miss Derek, and it's only been two days. When the phone rings, I wonder: maybe that's him. Even though he's not going to call. I'll be the one who calls first. Then I worry: what if it is him, and he says something awful. Then I wonder whether I want to call, if he's going to respond to me with so much rage. Maybe a letter would be better. Next week Derek is going away for a 10-day silent vipassana meditation, maybe I'll call and leave a message saying I don't want to talk until he gets back. Or maybe I should send a letter beforehand, a letter telling him how I feel again. Except, I guess, how I feel is what set him off. But I still need to tell him.

What did he say? Something about how he's been having conflicts with everyone he's close to and I was being manipulative because I -- because I told him things I felt resentful about, so I wouldn't feel resentful anymore? I don't understand what he thought I was trying to manipulate him into doing. Into feeling bad -- that's what he was saying, even though I don't have any interest in that. I actually thought he would listen, and then it would be okay. Maybe he felt bad anyway, and that made him angry. I keep trying to think: what did I do wrong? I can think of a few things that I would have phrased differently, like when I said maybe that's what you heard, but that's not what I meant. I could have said: maybe that's what I said, but that's not what I meant. I was going back and forth in my head just beforehand too, so I'm not actually sure which one I chose.

But those are small choices. Overall, I think I was totally respectful, I acted with an incredible amount of love and even generosity and I thought I was honoring his request to be more involved in my internal process I was trying to share. I wanted to share something we maybe don't have anymore, it's so intense that suddenly everything is on the brink. I know that's a lot to think after just two conversations, I know that we might resolve everything, I just don't feel so optimistic.


keidy said...

I have no idea where all his hatred is coming from. However, I do not think your wording would have made a difference. When people get angry they get defensive and rarely listen to what is being said. I really hope you are able to work things out with him. I also think Grant has been very helpful and supportive. It was nice of him to talk to you in the midst of this problem.

I am really happy to get your book early. I look forward to seeing you when you tour.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Keidy, I think you're exactly right -- my wording would not have made any difference (although I'll probably still keep obsessing about all the details).

So great to see you in San Francisco -- and I'll see you on the East Coast in the fall!

Love --