Monday, September 15, 2008

I think it's over

Derek's response to my letter:
Hi Mattilda, it's Derek -- just want to let you know I got your letter today. And I'm really pissed off about it. I felt that I made it clear that I didn't want to communicate about our conflict for a couple months and you disregarded that. And I realize, you know, perhaps you don't have a lot of people to talk to, but it might be the time to do that. ‘Cause I don't want to respond to drama when I've set pretty clear boundaries with people, no really clear boundaries with people -- that was something we went back and forth around. And so I'm not going to read it and I'm sorry if this is painful for you, trust me it's not easy either, but I gotta do what's right for myself. That's it -- I hope you're well. I love you, and, you know -- we'll talk in a couple months and see, and see what's there. Okay. That's it -- bye.

Here's what I want to say: no, darling, we actually said a few weeks, not a few months, and it's been almost 4 weeks now, I just checked my calendar to make sure -- just because you changed your mind in between our last conversation and now doesn't mean that I know you changed your mind, or that I consented. And what is that ridiculous passive aggressive comment about the number of people I have to talk to -- how does that relate to anything? I can talk to any number of people about our relationship, but actually that's not the same thing as talking to you. Although I guess it's not as traumatizing. And no, you did not set clear boundaries, especially since now they've shifted -- and even the boundaries you did set, we did not go back and forth -- I asked you questions about what your boundaries were, and you responded.. And what do you mean -- we'll talk in a few months and “see what's there?” Like our relationship is some separate thing from us and we’re going to stare down on it and -- oh, what's there? What's there? Let's see what's there.

Meanwhile, my body: everything from belly to neck is stuck and hollow, I'm holding myself just to stay aware. Freezing, I'm freezing again -- freezing, and shaking, and I don't want to hold it all in I don't want to hold it all so yes, music pounding with that crazy crazy echo-ey metallic wind chime yes I know I can’t dance for long without hurting but I need to dance so that I don't hurt, where is the balance there is no balance there is no balance except here in that bass building base how could anyone call that monotonous when repetition means it's your body and then those times yes those chimes irregular beats oh give me those chimes again again again okay I need to stop. I stop, I'm still freezing. I want to say: I'm not interested in you controlling the terms of our relationship like I've done something wrong by telling you how I'm feeling, so why don't we just say it's over. I guess we'll just have to consult one another about when we might want to talk again.

Yes, there's a part of me that wants to say just that, to go all the way there with the drama because I never go there and still there's drama. All this drama. Could it be worse?

But I don't, I mean I don't want to call when I'm still shaking and unable to think past rage and desperation -- grand illusions: you think you’re angry, I could rub your anger out with a brush of my hand, do you know what I mean? I mean I'm wrong -- of course I've learned that it all just goes right into my body. Really I'm not looking for power I want openness and vulnerability and accountability, although sure I'm enraged and I want to express it and I don't know how.

My response to Derek’s message:
Hi darling, it's Mattilda. Thank you for telling me you got the letter, and that you're not going to read it. Actually what you said before is that you didn't want to talk about our relationship for a few weeks, not a few months, so that's why I sent a letter now. But a few months sounds fine -- just for clarity, why don't we say we'll talk about our relationship in January? And I'd like you to read my letter before we talk. Oh -- and probably you weren't thinking of going to my book launch, but I'd like to ask you not to come, because it'll make me too sad and I don't want to be sad at my book launch. Okay -- just let me know how all of this sounds, and hope you're doing well! Love you --


ohthehorrror said...

Mattilda, I am so very sorry.

ohthehorrror said...

Sorry, I have more to say.

I wish I could hug you.

I know you crave openness and vulnerability and accountability, and I am sad you can't get that with Derek. You can't have vulnerability in a relationship when only one person is willing to be vulnerable. It's a two way street.

When I feel closed off, usually it's my body/mind trying to protect me. Most of the time my body/mind is responding to threats that aren't really there anymore so the closed off turns into suffering. But sometimes the threat is real and closed off is protection and solace, as if my body figures it out before my mind does and is just desperately trying to make itself heard.

I am not trying to pontificate or give out unsolicited advice, please don't take it that way. What I am trying to do is relate. Maybe your body is trying to tell you how to deal with Derek because your heart isn't listening because it needs open, vulnerable and accountable so desperately. You are vulnerable and open and Derek is not, and it is so traumatic to make yourself vulnerable and open only to be dismissed by someone who is infinitely more closed off than you could ever be. Maybe your body already knows that.

Good luck on the book launch. I plan to buy a copy as soon as I can afford it!

And hang in there. Everything will open up again.

D. said...

Hugs, sweetie. Wish I could bring you some warmth.

By the way, on a different note, I saw a cat sitting in someone's window when I was walking by the other day, and I took a picture of it for you--will send soon!


mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Ohthehorror, oh I love hugs -- originally I wrote that I want openness and vulnerability and hugs and accountability, maybe I should change that back!

And you're right:

"You can't have vulnerability in a relationship when only one person is willing to be vulnerable."

Yes yes it's true I mean you can have it, but, well, it hurts -- I just want to be present and not shut myself off, even if I am protecting myself I still don't want to be shut off.

And Deena, yay for more hugs! And cats in windows, they always make me happy...

Love --

seitzk said...

I hope the universe throws especially charming and poignant little street tableaux in the direction of your camera for a while! I am so sorry about the emotional awfulness. I wish I could make it better, but I guess telling your blog, and thus me, is a way to make it better a bit. Anyhow - I read your words and I would offer you a hug if that might help.

Emily said...

hey babe it's killer. what is this queen's problem???!?? WTF?!?

on the other hand, I continue to be really moved by your emotional skill at both having a genuine emotional response and letting it move through your body, trying not to hold it all there, and being creative and gentle in your communications with Derek.

love you lots and see you soon,

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Seitzk, yay for street tableaux!

Killer, what is this queen's problem, indeed! And thank you for this:

"on the other hand, I continue to be really moved by your emotional skill at both having a genuine emotional response and letting it move through your body, trying not to hold it all there, and being creative and gentle in your communications with Derek."

Love --