Things That Turn Me Inside Out
It's difficult to explain exactly what happened. Perhaps I'll start with the conversation bits, and move on from there.
Samantha (quoting Conrad): "Often far away there I thought of these two, guarding the door of Darkness, knitting black wool as for a warm pall, one introducing, introducing continuously to the unknown, the other scrutinizing the cheery and foolish faces with unconcerned old eyes.
Delightful Friend: gotta be one of the more telling lines in literature
Every time I knit or see women knitting, I think of that
Samantha: Do you knit?
Delightful Friend: I have in the past
I had to learn for a play I was in
Samantha: I have awards for my knitting--don't tell anyone. I don't do it anymore.
Delightful Friend: My dear! Is there anything you can't do?
There's too much sarcasm there--and I wish I'd said nothing. I hate the fact that I'm uncomfortable that I shared in the first place. I feel that gnawing need to retreat and hide. I don't understand why I feel shame about this. Perhaps because much of what I have learned to excel at has been under the auspices of my overbearing mother. Perhaps because even though I'm good at it, truthfully, I hate knowing how in the first place, and I don't know why. It's frustrating and I don't understand.
Delightful Friend: How can you even stomach talking to me, I have to wonder sometimes
Samantha: I don't understand why you would ask that.
Delightful Friend: Well, I mean, you've withstood so much in your life ... have been so strong under pressure ... and here I am squishing like a grape in the winepress ... squelch ... and yet you don't even get mad at me...
My first impulse is to feel sick at the thought that anyone would ever believe that I would judge his life against my own. Perhaps if I had chosen everything that has taken place in my life (and, of course, I never would), then there might be some sort of bizarre, sick heroism in it. But since I didn't, and I don't consider surviving heroic by any means, there can be no comparison. The things that trouble each person are as large and difficult to him/her as the things I have been troubled with in my own life. It's like saying because I can't run a marathon today, the six miles I ran are pointless, which is deceptive and untrue. For me, six miles is a marathon, for it is all I can do today.
My next impulse was to feel that I was a fraud. Somehow, I've given the impression that I'm some sort of martyr or weird paragon of suffering. Truthfully, that's as far from the truth as anything can be. I've had bad things happen to me--but other people have, as well. It's not like I want to be held up as the cereal box kid for surviving sexual abuse. In truth, there are only two choices in a situation like mine--live or die. I chose to live, which doesn't make me amazing, just stubborn--or perhaps too cowardly to follow through with an act which could have stopped the pain I continue to feel today.
Finally, I just felt sad--sad that my friendship is not acceptable on a normal level--that I can't share everyday troubles and burdens belonging to someone I love, without inspiring guilt. I felt sad that my friend's knowledge of me impedes him from seeing me as just another person, offering a shoulder when he feels down. I wondered if I can ever share my past with someone, without it altering how they feel about me. I just wanted to be someone who understands, who wants to help, who wants to cheer up and give love to a friend.
Delightful Friend: Wow, look at you.
Samantha: I can't--no mirror. What?
Delightful Friend: Thine avatar...thou remindest me that I must need changest mine
Samantha: Oh..I forgot I put that one up. That's my metaphorical image.
Delightful Friend: a hott woman wrapped in money?
Samantha: A painted lady worth $1
Delightful Friend: how is that metaphoric at all?
Samantha: That's how it feels after what has happened to me. I'll take it down.
Delightful Friend: Oh, I see...don't take it down if it means something to you
Samantha: Well, I put it up when no one was around--just forgot to take it down--silent venting.
Delightful Friend: :) Does it help, silent venting?
Samantha: More than you know.
Nothing left to say. Except, maybe, I don't know how to feel in my own skin. And I hate finding that out in casual conversation. I also hate the vulnerability that comes as I realize after all these years, I still don't know who I am.