Questions--Four Days Later
Tolkien Boy: Of course, of course.
me: I don't like these questions.
Tolkien Boy: Okay. Do you want me not to like them, either?
me: You won't. However, since I seem to be compelled to do as I've been asked, I'm going to ask the assigned questions.
Tolkien Boy: All right. I'm ready.
me: And you remember all the crap about honest answers, no emotional consideration, and we have to still be friends when we're done, right? I think maybe I'm feeling defensive. Sorry.
Tolkien Boy: I do remember.
me: Okay. Part of the stupid assignment was that I had to tell you what I felt when we were together after meeting devil-cousin--which I did, and I would have done anyway without the assignment, but knowing that I was asked to do that might help put this question into perspective. So, the question (by the way, asking this makes me want to throw up--very upsetting): Will you tell me what you were feeling--even if it was nothing?
Tolkien Boy: Afterwards?
me: Yes. Specifically when we were alone.
Tolkien Boy: I felt very calm. I kept expecting it to be awkward, but it never was. I felt sorry for you and the things you were thinking and feeling, but there was an added feeling that what you were going through was a necessary passage, if I can use those words. I felt, strangely enough, very relaxed. Angry at your cousin, of course, but mostly just glad that I was there.
me: Why were you glad?
Tolkien Boy: Because I was, on many levels, happy to be with you. I enjoy our conversations, even when the subject matter is sad. And I was happy that I could be around to be the human being present when you were in need of comfort.
me: We're supposed to have a dialogue now (I hate this so much!). I'm supposed to tell you some of the things I told my therapist, then listen to your responses.
Tolkien Boy: All right.
me: 1. I don't know why I wanted Tolkien Boy to stay. I like being alone, especially when I feel out of control. I don't know why I wanted to be held. I don't like people to touch me.
Tolkien Boy: Do you want me to respond now, or is there more?
me: There's more, but I'll number all the parts. I'm supposed to listen to any comments you may have.
If you have none, that's fine.
Tolkien Boy: Well, I don't know when the number is done. But I'm going to assume that it is.
And I don't know the reasons why you felt safe. I know that you were safe, because I would never do anything to hurt you, and I think you could feel that. I hope you can, anyway. And I think you really do want to be held by people, and loved by them, but you need a space in which you know they won't take things from you.
me: I can't do the rest right now.
Tolkien Boy: Okay.
me: Do you understand that pretty much everything (including the cousin meeting, and my overstaying my welcome at your house the night before) that took place in those two days, was completely out of character for me? And I don't understand.
Tolkien Boy: Do you want me to respond to that?
me: I don't know. I'm confused. I think so.
Tolkien Boy: I think that much of your character has been forged in trying to avoid "meeting" your cousin--whether physically or mentally. It's no surprise that you acted in a way that seemed out of "character" when you decided to meet your cousin for real. When you were with me, you allowed yourself to feel human emotions and fears. And that's a wonderful thing, even if it feels strange and makes you doubt yourself.
me: But now I want to hide from everyone. I feel that they--especially you --know all the ways in which I'm vulnerable. Maybe I'm afraid. That sounds stupid.
Tolkien Boy: It shouldn't. If I were you, I'd be terrified of me.
me: So, you won't be upset if I told my therapist that I love you, but I wanted you to go away?
Tolkien Boy: No, of course not. Do you want me to go away now?
me: I want everyone to go away. I feel like I just triumphed over myself, and failed the humanity test.
Tolkien Boy: How so?
me: However, my stupid therapist says that's me being afraid and trying to put walls up again. He says I need to figure out how people really feel about me (which is terrifying), and stop running away. And I'm supposed to learn how to allow myself to be vulnerable in a relationship--and then keep that relationship intact. I think I hate him right now. Okay, this is crap, and too much to ask of me and of you. No one does this! Part of the dynamic of friendship is allowing each participant the freedom to build walls as necessary. My apologies--thank you for answering my questions and for commenting. I think I need to be done with this.
I'm going to go to bed, I think. Good night.