We’re in This Together

Listen to We’re in This Together by Leslie D. Lanagan

The last entry was about catharsis, but I didn’t put it up for that reason. I put it up because it shows a very specific pattern, common when both people have trauma reflexes. Here’s why. Some people react by feeling. Some people react by thinking. One or the other is attracted because of something I learned from my friend Donna Schuurman. Google her. She’s fantastic. Basically, the connection to each other is that one person is doing all the thinking and one person is doing all the feeling. We have compatible wounds. I know it to be true because every woman I’ve ever been with save Dana was the thinker. Dana was just as much a tenderheart bear as me, and we didn’t divide up emotional labor.

Relationships like that are amazing, but only for a short while. Then someone does something emotional or logical that makes the other one mad, because either one person didn’t think about it and one person didn’t feel.

I have a feeling that the reason I’m attracted to women like that is because they’re the other side of me. I have something they lack and vice versa. Everything goes great until one of them does something stupid and/or hurtful and the thinker can’t get over it because the feeler has no frame of reference for what that’s like, especially if you have ADHD and therefore no executive function or impulse control. It has to be managed.

But I’m not saying my friend participated. Maybe it’s something I did to myself based on past history, but I don’t think so. If it wasn’t my sexuality, it would have been something else, and I’d be stuck in a fixer/pleaser relationship where neither of us were happy. When you can’t share emotional labor, it gets old fast…. for a normal person. For an INFJ fixer/pleaser, that feeler goes to eleven.

Because my friend’s huge time commitment, I noticed that sometimes, she was the complete version of the thinkers I’ve either been friends with or married. Sometimes, she was tracking with me like white on rice. So I don’t really know if my analysis of the problem is correct. I only know my perceptions of what happened. My truth and and NOT Truth Almighty Amen, Spectacales, testicles, wallet, watch.

I can only speak to what I’ve been told, and it’s not like there’s magic tricks to find out what happened. I have to find my own closure, because I have definitely done enough to push her away, because I couldn’t stand being constantly in the dark for no reason except time. Thus, waiting it out unless either one of us were triggered by something that the other said, and we would inevitably fight about it, because I have never been invited to talk about anything. If there’s a problem, don’t even think about saying it. Once trust is broken, it’s always broken because both of us (the feeler and the thinker) turn on each other. Two things about that. If someone is determined to misunderstand you, they will. If someone is determined to be unwilling to accept love when it is offered, they will.

I said “I would bet dollars to donuts that you’re never going to like me, because I like you so much more than you do.” It’s true for some people, it’s not true for others, but when someone is hiding something from you, just run. Get your own closure. Leave room for grace or don’t. Hold them to your standards, and let them hold you to theirs. If they’re different, the pattern will never change because according to my Facebook wall, “don’t spend a lifetime translating your soul.” Therefore, I was constantly confused and left out, because I never knew whether she was trying to push me away or protect me. It was always up for grabs. If nothing else, it was unfair; a game of dirty pool I didn’t want to play.

Even if she didn’t see it, I felt it. I can believe it was all about time, or it might have been covering up a deeper issue. I have no idea. But what I do know is that it’s over for now. That’s solid, and I needed a break. We’re both too much for each other, and nothing will change until she does. It’s not because I blame her for what happened. I was telling her my perception of what was currently happening.

It bothered her that I gardened. It bothered me that I would get two or three words responding to a paragragh, and I didn’t know if something applied to one question or the whole thing. Automatically assuming often went sideways. But I had to guess. I didn’t have any information.

To me, that said more than anything else. I don’t like being treated unfairly, and I don’t like being confused. It didn’t bother me that my friend was straight and married a man. That’s a non-issue. It was that I got left out of everything, and I didn’t know if it was because I’d done something wrong or not. Again, when trust is broken, it’s almost impossible to win it back.

I tried so hard, but in the end it doesn’t even matter. Finding my own closure was better than being quixotic about everything. I don’t feel like I’m fighting a brick wall anymore, because it would have done as much good.

This is because I couldn’t get her to stop sugar coating and be out with it. Do you choose me as being your friend or not? What are the limits, what are the rules of engagement, anything that would have been helpful to know. Again, I will wait forever if she’s willing to lay it out, but I don’t think she’s capable, and not because she’s a thinker. I really think she doesn’t have time, and maybe she’ll come back and say what she meant and maybe she won’t.

Based on past history, though, I can guess that it’s over. That’s because traditionally it is either a PowerPoint presentation on what a judgmental dickhead I am, or three words I can’t understand if I speak in her love language. I don’t know if it’s an emotional or logical problem, or whether my gardening was such a problem that she ran. Traditionally, because of her determination to think that I am being an asshole to her when I write, she ignores me. I also know that she doesn’t have time to play games and wouldn’t, it just feels like it when the responses reading me the riot act are so long and the ones that love her up are so short.

What I know for sure is that I can’t make sense of it, and I’m done trying because I’ve offered all sorts of solutions to the problem, like creating a Google Docs folder instead of writing letters so that she could see what I was up to on her own time.

I also don’t think she knew that she was getting the first draft of something, and that I would pick and choose lines to publish from it later, but only from my work, never hers. If you agree to be a friend, you agree to be a lockbox, and that’s why I felt left out.

I never knew whether my words were being shared with other people or not, and she did until Dana and I broke up. I can only hope that I’m so uninteresting that it’s not worth it to her to talk about it.

Here’s the last two things. First of all, the answer we were looking for is “I’ve had your food” in terms of trading dick for a live-in chef. Whether it’s true or not is irrelevant. Secondly, if her husband is reading, the only thing I want from him is “man, does she ever have you pegged.” According to Facebook wisdom, we’re in this together, boo. I do…. whether she ever chooses me or not.

I’m just not hoping. I am just ready to say “welcome home” if she’s willing to do the work. I need her to go from A minor to C major, but it’s ok if the chord is suspended or diminished. The resolution is the best part.


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