Sitting here with a large bottle of water and my little computer. Amy Winehouse is singing “Someone to Watch Over Me,” which is heartwrenchingly hilarious in only a novelist’s mentality. I realized that I had a few more things to say about this friend breakup, if only for a chance to have *that* blog title in my portfolio… However, what I have to say isn’t about her. It’s about what one feels in that Internet safespace. It has nothing to do with our personalities in the slightest.
Emotionally freebasing crack with someone over the Internet was a mistake, but our friendship was not. It is highly unlikely that we would run into each other, but not impossible. I realized that I started to fear an “IRL” relationship- not because I didn’t desperately want it- because I realized that none of that closeness in our world made any sense in the grand scheme of things. Were one world to collide with the other, it would be noticed.
Even over the Internet, our worlds collided plenty. We are both such strong women. I love us together. We can just be as big as we are, and we are huge. Both first children. Both well-acquainted with fighting like first children. So alike in some ways, so different in others. It is a match made in novel heaven, and I could kiss Novel Jesus for it. Because of Novel Jesus, I am blessed in all measure.
I had to pull back when I realized that I was letting her stories become more important than my own. That was not of her- it was entirely on me. I started to check out of my own life a little bit, and it did not go unnoticed. This morning I had a revelation… that whether I wanted to admit it or not, she was becoming a rebound from Diane. That I was freebasing emotional crack with someone over the Internet to get away from having to think about my own pain and my own recovery and my own bleeding, broken heart. That I was taking this incredibly healthy, loving relationship and using its dopamine to fill a dark place. I wanted to spare her from me just as much as she wanted to spare me from her. OH MY GOD THAT’S IT. We’re pushing each other away because neither of us want the other to be exposed to our really dark places. Ooooh, that’s chewy.
I wanted desperately to live in her world, and had to stop it immediately when I realized that it was a continuation of the same pattern I’d had with Diane, not because of anything *she* was doing, but because of my actions behind the scenes. There’s no way she could have known my internal dialogue, so I’m glad she can read it here if and when she’s ready. The difference is that Diane’s world was false; there was no there there. With this woman, there is nothing but clean, pure, white light coming at me. It’s so bright I have to avert my eyes (WELL STOP IT!). It’s not that her world wouldn’t overlap with mine, it’s just that I’m in one place geographically and she’s in another. There’s no way to create normalcy AROUND the freebasing crack emotionally. There’s no small talk. There’s hello and a line of coke to start the night, but that is not unusual. Ask anyone who’s ever been in a serious internet relationship EVER. It happens. Your heart jacks up as if speed has been directly injected.
The take-home message is that I was more interested in living in our little bubble world at times than I was interested in living my actual life. It conflicted me and screwed me up because I was trying to make so many things work at once that something had to give or everything was going to fall, all at once and with force.
I know she probably feels really shitty about now, especially since I was so quick to go to guns immediately to stop the pain. She didn’t know how bad it was, because she couldn’t look at the whole picture of my life, and neither one of us were honest with the other. We fell back on old kid tendencies and didn’t express frustrations, boundaries, feelings, anything that would occur in real life friendship every single day.
I realized that I had to leave her in peace when I realized how quickly I was willing to give up the entire life I’ve worked to build in not even a second’s time in order to live in that bubble world forever than on the ground. And since you are the reader and I am the writer, I will only say that if you knew this bubble world like I did, you’d want to live in it, too. It’s like waking up every morning and freebasing crack.
The problem is once people are addicted to crack, it’s extremely difficult to get them back off. You just snap your fingers, and it’s done. The emotional version works exactly the same way. You get a kind of emotional fibromyalgia when the stimulus is missing.
Let me see if I can explain this in clearer terms.
I fell in love with her mind the same way that I fell in love with Christian’s. Christian was a buddy of mine in PDX back in the day that became well-known in the global hacker community. When we met, he’d just finished his black hat days after catching the FBI’s eye and not wanting to irritate them any more than he had to.
One night, Christian came over to our house after having smoked several bowls and taken an Ambien… he must’ve also been drinking Red Bull, because he didn’t seem intoxicated and drinking Red Bull is akin to breathing in their community. Anyway, he launches into this story about how he got noticed by the FBI, and by the end of it, I didn’t sleep for three days. The thing that saved Christian’s friendship with me is that he was my apartment complex neighbor and I could match the face with the voice and make all of those connections that helped our relationship to feel normal…. when in reality, he could have been reading every packet going in and coming out of my house. Because I loved him, I didn’t care. I was proud of him. I wanted to write a book about him, and he said he would do it, and then he moved so the project tanked at a mutual loss of words.
Being together was emotionally freebasing crack because Lisbeth Salander was sitting in my living room. Being together *longer* allowed me to see his heart. I can’t be together longer right now, but I want to. I think the best thing that you can do as a friend is admit it when you can’t be one, even when you thought you could originally. You have to be able to hold it in your mind that it’s going to cause pain and you have to feel it with them in order to still feel like a decent human being afterward.
The love didn’t end, though. I still see stars. It just has to look different in terms of which world I spend my time, because I have a wife and two cats and two friends who occasionally crash at my house to think of. 😛 The entire point of my entry is to say that I am in so deep with this relationship that working on a different balance has to start with how much I’m willing to hear and take on after our conversations as it does with the conversations themselves. I am not the type person where I can say, “could you be a little less, um…..” Because no. I can’t. That part of my programming was never installed. Emotions don’t go backwards, they only go forward. I can only back off a nerve if I’m not paying constant attention to it, but of course I’ll spend a lot. Her feelings matter, and I know I hurt them. I just can’t be the one to comfort her, because that attention will turn into paying more attention to her hurt than I do to my own need to separate.
I know me. We’ve met.