I can’t hide it anymore. I tried. I wanted the relationship to be publicly dead so we could work on our issues in private. We started doing some really good work, listening to each other and trying to hear what the other needed. I sent peace offerings because I truly believed that saying I was sorry wasn’t enough if it didn’t come with changed behavior as well. I wanted to be the friend I couldn’t when I was so ill, stuck in the middle of a morass I thought I’d never be able to release. I put things on her plate that never deserved to be there, because I didn’t have Diane anymore, and that dark place in me that believes others’ stories are more important than mine reared its ugly head. The sunflower within me leaned toward her light, because it was immense and powerful when it shone upon me. I felt special in a way that I’d never felt before, because I was truly sharing my pain, rather than someone just listening. We had our own emotional shorthand, our own fights that ended in “make up text,” kisses on my boo-boos of enormous proportion. Because I was so far away, it made perfect sense at the time that sharing ourselves over text was a way to be close to each other without the impossible task of meshing schedules…. although I was excited by the possibility of having her visit Houston so I could show her my house, take her to my Mexican restaurants, take her to all the places I loved because I thought that just like having Dana and Chef there making Houston feel different, she would be no exception. Back then, it wasn’t a thing for us to visit each other, because the rabbit hole had not become something to isolate us from each other rather than bringing us together. Dana and I had a huge guest bedroom, and nothing would have pleased me more than for it to become “Argo’s Room,” if only for a few days of getting to know each others real personalities instead of the ones we presented to each other in black & white. For instance, we are both fucking hilarious, and the days of flipping each other shit are the ones I remember so very fondly.
But things happened that because of my abused nature, I had a hard time dealing with on my own. I should have gone to therapy immediately, rather than trying to heal myself on my own. For instance, we were intoxicated by our conversations from the first time we had a real conversation. My favorite memory of that day is when she said she ran to Eminem, rapping as she went along. I said, “I’m sorry… you rap to Eminem! Explain to me exactly how I’m not going to fall in love with you….. USE BIG WORDS.” Of course, I was joking at that time, but Argo took it seriously and said, “you won’t fall in love with me, as adorable as I might be. You’ll just fall in love with absolute and complete honesty.” It was just true… and at the same time, she is, for a fact, adorable. 🙂
My abused nature says that I need to know everything about you in the next twenty minutes… you’re my new best friend, call me every day. It was intense and beautiful, this way that we came together in moments of need for both of us. I cannot tell her story, but I can tell mine. When I began throwing up all my emotions about my abuse, for the first time in my life, getting angry and despondent that I hadn’t been smart enough to figure it out long ago, she took those wounds and cleaned them with disinfectant, putting on band-aids and xs and os for support.
Wires were crossed in ways that I never meant for them to happen. Dana was just as completely threatened as I was, because I was not immune to the fact that Argo was getting energy that wasn’t supposed to go to her. Dana and I had a coming to Jesus meeting over it, because I could handle not talking so much with Argo, not sending so much energy her way, but my boundary was “you cannot take her away from me. I need her.” Separating from her completely would have been damaging for both of us, and it has been every time it has happened, because it’s happened now more times than I can count. It is the continual dance of intimacy, having a close moment and realizing that shit got real and pulling away from each other afterward.
I kick myself every time it happens, because I have never had a friend who was willing to be wrapped up in me, that it actually would be damaging to her to pull away. I’ve underestimated friendship my whole life, partly because I believed that if there was no sex involved, there couldn’t possibly be that much emotion attached to a relationship… and partly because I didn’t think I was worthy of such a relationship to begin with.
After I became so mentally ill and needed my psychology and psychiatry adjusted back to normal, Argo’s attitude toward me never changed. She still saw me as someone whose bad side would always be lurking underneath… that nothing I could do would correct the way she felt… although she did say that the peace offerings I sent her were very cool and thoughtful, which made me feel like a million dollars… a win at the end of a long football game where we’re just grinding it out. Thus, my impression that we were doing good work to rebuild from the scorched earth up.
But I made a mistake, and instead of seeing it as a mistake that I dearly wanted to rectify, she used it as justification that I’d always be this dark personality, that I’d never really get away from it, and I just couldn’t live like that anymore. I couldn’t live with someone hanging my past over my head, because any credit I’d earned was destroyed in a hot second, rather than seeing me as the entire narrative I am. I will always be a work in progress, I will never be perfect, and I also will never make her dark opinion of me come true.
It was Lindsay that opened my eyes, that every time Argo says something negative about me, I lose the light in my eyes because her opinion means so much that I can’t take in others’ love of me, the people who really want me around and value my opinion and treat me like the lovable nerd I am. When I get into this dark, dark space, the thing that sustains me is realizing that people really do treat my Facebook and Twitter pages like “the hot list,” and if I look at my stats by country, I have literally been read in EVERY country in the world. Taking that in is just enormous, and something I continue to wrap my brain around because it is too much to take in all at once.
Argo can have all the shitty feelings she wants about me, because it’s not my job to listen to them anymore. It’s my job to find people who want to support me in all that I do, rather than getting under my skin in a way that makes me take those shitty feelings and start the worthlessness loop running hardcore. I don’t hear from her when I am doing great things, but I will always hear from her if she feels the need to read me the riot act. Living like that is so harmful that I can’t take it anymore, because our relationship will never change unless she can give me some credit, and she. Just. Won’t. We both think it’s better not to communicate now, and I am ready for it. I never thought I would be. I never thought I would be strong enough. I never thought I’d be ready to slice out a piece of my own heart and call it good.
But don’t get me wrong. I won’t get over this overnight, or even over months. Slicing out my own heart is so much harder than having someone else do it. I don’t want to be angry, I don’t want to be sad, I don’t want to create problems where they don’t exist. It is just a letting go, and I am accepting of it.
Because I just can’t live this way anymore. I am not the person she thinks I am, and her insistence that she can read me over e-mail is not reality and never will be. I am gestalt in the best sense of the word- more than the sum of my parts. Now it’s my job to decide what I’m going to do with it.