1. He gets the majority of my jokes, and he thinks they're funny (which gives you an idea of the maturity level of my humor).
2. In turn, he makes me laugh, and if he has any idea how clever he actually is, he never advertises it.
However, there is more to our conversational experiences than simple hilarity (although people who have spent time with us, in person, would probably say otherwise). A recent conversation, with all typos and spelling errors left intact, went like this:
AtP: are you really therE?
me: I am.
AtP: how are you?
me: I'm thinking tonight, but otherwise, fine.
AtP: you think all the time--is there anything thats making tonight different than other times that you think?
me: More serious?
AtP: what're you thinking about?
me: Not sure where to start...
AtP: how about where you are right now
me: Wondering about you--did you meet with God's Bookstore person today?
i went back to bed for four hours after you left
me: I suppose I'm also thinking about how exhausting it is to be with my sister all day--not talking about anything that might be personal or controversial, but because I love her, sort of wishing I could be honest with her. I can't.
See. Just serious stuff.
AtP: that does sound kinda serious
me: I try to avoid that when you're around.
me: Come to think of it, I've spent most of this trip avoiding things.
Why? Because I hate being serious.
AtP: Good!! what else have you been avoiding?
me: I'm not sure--and I'm not sure I care.
me: I think if I come to UT again, I'm not going to stay with my sister. Too stressful, which is completely unfair, because she's really trying to be sweet. She knows I'm in counseling for abuse--she'll ask questions, then change the subject. You know...you shouldn't ask me about my thoughts when I'm pondering, because chances are...I'll tell you.
AtP: I count on you telling me
i'm sorry that youre stressed though
me: Why do I feel like I have to protect you from me?
AtP: i don't know... you don't though
me: Last night, I know Tito wanted us to go. Under normal circumstances I would have insisted on it, but I wanted to hear what he was saying. I wanted to hear David talk to someone besides me. But I didn't want to answer the lesbian questions.
AtP: I know.
The actual point of all this is that I am at my most vulnerable when caught in deep thinking. And AtP is right, I do think all the time, but when I'm pondering myself, my life, I'm in a fairly weak state of mind. At that point I rarely weigh my words before speaking, and I've been known to think aloud--which is no doubt, confusing to anyone listening, not to mention the discomfort it causes when I talk about things better left unsaid. However, the unfortunate AtP will just have to take what he gets when he talks to me because I don't intend, personally, to end or curtail our chat time. He'll have to do that himself, because I selfishly enjoy chatting with him. However, given his age (one-year-old), I suppose he could accuse me of child abuse...and then I might have to flirt with his Beauty Queen Mother (his words) to keep him from pressing charges...
I keep straying from my intended topic (a normal occurrance when I'm talking to or about AtP--he has that effect on me), which was "thinking." Actually, for the past few days I've been consumed with thoughts. I'm really grateful to g'pa bob, who has given me much to ponder in reference to my own thoughts--and I'm still thinking about his recent comments. I can't say more about that until I'm finished thinking, mainly because I'll change my mind several times in the process.
Another unfortunate recipient of chats with Sam during her thinking times is Tolkien Boy. He has the dubious honor or offering questions and insights that make me recognize things I already knew, but probably haven't admitted to myself, and recognition of those things always seem to catch me off guard in rather ugly ways.
me: I don't want to belabor last night's conversation, but I got some emails and comments about my blog entry (which deals with the same subject), so I blogged about the stupid subject again, and realized something interesting and, to me, a little appalling.
TB: What's that?
me: When I'm dreaming, more than wanting to be out of the situation (because in the dream I really don't feel that it's possible to escape what's happening), I desperately want someone to be with me--someone on my side who will comfort me when everything is over, and maybe help me clean up and go back to sleep. There--I was just vulnerable at you.
TB: :) How does it feel?
me: Pretty awful
TB: I'm sorry. I promise you I'll not misuse your information.
Why does it appall you?
me: Because having someone with me means that they'll witness the crap I have/had to go through. No one should see that.
TB: Remember when we talked about protecting people from the monster that we believe ourselves to be?
TB: I think that this is the same sort of thing. It's something that needs to be shared, because the burden is too great for one person.
First insight gleaned from this conversation: I didn't want to be alone when I was being abused, and in the resulting aftermath. I wanted someone with me.
Second insight: I'm having difficulty bearing this burden because it is too heavy for me. This is the first time I've admitted such a thing.
TB: Who would you have with you?
me: Someone who would still love me when it was all over. Who would care that I hurt inside and out--who wouldn't see that I was used, but would hold me and let me cry.
TB: Do you think that person exists?
Third insight: Somehow I still believe that no one really cares. I don't think there is anyone who can look at the actual reality of all that happened without flinching away from me. My belief system keeps telling me that everyone would just rather that I continue to hide all the ugliness from them and pretend that nothing happened and that everything is fine. But after all these years, I still want someone to hear all the bad stuff, all the horrifying details, and then to take me in his or her arms and tell me I'm not ugly or evil, and to say (s)he would have protected me if possible. Admitting that I want this is rather horrifying to me.
TB: I think he and she does exist. I understand that it doesn't help you much, my belief,
but I think there are several people in your life right now that would/will hold you, love you despite anything, and don't see you as used, ever.
me: Can I just tell you how tired I am of reliving everything. Underneath being afraid and sad, I'm just tired.
TB: Can I ask you a very difficult question?
TB: Do you think God was with you when it happened?
TB: How does that work, in your mind?
me: I know he was. I know I was protected. But I don't think he was...I just felt very alone. Especially immediately afterward.
TB: Yeah. Have you ever thought about taking that up with him?
me: I've done so. My head and my heart are in such different places. And this desire to stop having to deal with it alone is making me crazy.
Fouth Insight: I'm having difficulty believing that God could have been present when I was being abused. As a rational adult, I do believe he was there, and that I had some protection granted me, but the child inside still feels desperately alone and wants a real corporeal person to love and comfort her. She cannot understand how God, if there is a God, would allow her to be hurt as she was, and I cannot seem to help her understand.
TB: Is there someone, a physical person, you can go to and relax with? I mean, let them take part of the burden?
me: I feel incredibly guilty just talking about it with you.
TB: Why? I want to help bear what I can.
me: Maybe because for me, in my life, it's about the worst thing I've experienced. I'm protecting people (you) from me again...yes?
Fifth Insight: Even people who will listen to me patiently have limits. This was a very gentle suggestion that it was time for me to find someone else. I wasn't quite ready to do so at that point, but started moving toward acceptance of his need to stop talking as soon as the suggestion was made. However, I had one more insight to glean before the conversation was over.
me: When I think about the experience, the worst thing was not the act itself, it was trying to process everything when I was alone, having to clean and dress myself, wanting to go to bed and sleep, but wondering if I'd be left alone or if I'd have to endure more. Sometimes I see me in my mind's eye, and I want someone to hold me--I want it so badly I could scream. TB, I think I need to stop. I'm terrified that I shouldn't be saying these things.
TB: Why shouldn't you say them?
me: They make me cry and they're awful.
TB: They make me cry too. But I want you to be able to let them go, too.
me: I don't want you to see me that way.
TB: Because I can hurt you then?
me: No. Maybe. Mostly because now you know. You know what makes me cry.
TB: That you are alone and asked to deal with something horrific on your own?
me: Yeah. And that I'm not strong enough to do it. Someday, I'm going to have to ask for help, and I don't know if I can--and part of me is angry that I even have to. Everyone should have someone--they shouldn't have to ask.
TB: I think you have a lot of people who want to help. You might have to allow them to.
me: Every time I talk about things like this with you, I feel like you've just witnessed me having a temper tantrum. I used to believe that one of my tasks in this life would be to learn how to come to terms with the things that have happened to me. Now I'm afraid that I'll never be able to do that on my own, and my task will be to find the people who will be able to help me and still love me--which is much more difficult. Or maybe, it's more difficult for me to feel justified in asking for that help.
TB: Yes, I can appreciate that.
Sixth Insight: It's possible that there are people who actually can help me. Not in a therapy way, but in the way that I need to understand that others can know all that has happened to me, and still love me. Even if I never experience being held and protected, there might be those who would have done so, if given the opportunity. There is a correlation between my need to be physically held/protected, and my subconscious belief that this cannot happen because of my personal filth sustained when I allowed myself to be used by another. I had thought that Darrin would fill the need I have for this but there are two problems that stand in the way of his being able to do so: First, as my husband, I expect that he will love me regardless of my past--in essence, it's not a choice for him, but an obligation, and I can't seem to get past that. Second, Darrin has yet to be able to listen to the extent of the abuse. He stops me before I can tell him. He is unable to hear what I need to say. I understand that it makes him feel angry and frustrated, but the child inside believes he just doesn't want to know--that he doesn't care enough about her to allow her to talk. This is, of course, untrue. I know it's not true. I just don't feel it.