Monday, December 16, 2013

I can't offer a healthy romantic relationship right now ... and it's okay

It took me years to believe in friendship. Years to really learn to live that exchange of meaning and presence that turns strangers into the people who transform your life so much that you have no idea who you'd be without them. And I desperately need friendship right now.

There is this THING that happens when I start wondering, "Might we be together? Could I give him that additional level of love that is generally reserved for one special person?"

Basically, I turn into a panic-stricken, raving lunatic.

I imagine horrible things about men who are gentle and honorable.

First Hawk.

Now Nick.

These kind men can seem to be monsters, cloaked in darkness. Ravening liars just waiting for a chance to stand back and laugh over my broken heart. Angry. Bitter. Annoyed at the person I am. Resentful of me for thinking of them, for asking to know them, for wanting to talk with them.

Of course it is all lies.

Every common sense observation of their interactions with me makes it obvious that these things aren't true. Unlike the gaslighting and emotional manipulations that characterized X, they consistently prove themselves to be kind, respectful, loving, genuine, honest ... yet my emotions just don't respond to common sense. The reality is drowned out by the bitter voices of my past, spewing poison into my mind.

I don't believe myself when I tell the truth. I can't shout loud enough on my own to fight those thoughts. My only defense is to ask for truth from the person himself, and my other friends also.

I hang on tight to the man I saw before all the craziness took over, and choose not to let go until my mind grows clear again.--Sounds like a fairy tale or something.

This is why it's a good thing I figured out friendship first. We were transparent as we built our relationship, and because we are friends above all, I can hang onto those realities no matter what.

Without the friendship, there wouldn't be a relationship anymore. I would self-destruct over every little thing, and no matter how compassionate Nick might be, he can't fix me from the inside. He can only help me heal myself. We need the friendship to handle this transition in my emotions as I process the "what might we be to each other?" questions.

Nick is capable of keeping up with me through this insanity in a way Hawk wasn't. And that's amazing to me. He invites me to call, to panic, to text ... to tell him my confused imaginings and question his intentions. He worries that he might not be available when he's busy, and that waiting to hear back from him might hurt me.

I hoped to find the kind of relationship in Hawk that Nick offers as naturally as breathing.

It wasn't in Hawk to do more than be patient with me, and I'm well aware of the fact that my request for more wasn't fair to him at all. You can't ask people to act out of character. Now that I'm not wanting more than friendship from him, I see him for who he is again. No more imagining he hates me. Our friendship was always good and solid.

I still don't understand why I kept feeling so fearful when I was the one burdening Hawk with all the weight of my hopes, and he was the one who had every right to feel pressured even though we didn't talk about my feelings much. He hasn't brought it up again since we established who we are to each other clearly. Have I mentioned he's a kind man?

I find this humorous, in a way. This transition is just too unexpected. Nick? Really?

Now it's all the same emotional junk pouring out, only this time there is plenty of room to talk it through.

It is so obviously my own problem (and understandable given my history of verbally abusive relationships, from teachers to X) and it's good to know these emotional landmines have nothing to do with the individual I'm looking at.

There was a time when even new friends triggered these responses. I'm amazed to realize it doesn't happen anymore. I've grown! Wow...

I don't know what Nick and I will become. We're friends. We love each other. And this is enough, for now. I don't want to make big decisions while I'm still psycho-girl, and Nick agrees that we have all the time in the world to find out what the future holds. We share the belief that it is more important to remain friends--no matter what happens--than to somehow force our relationship into one structure or another that might not fit us.

I just hope the other side of this process leaves me capable of offering a healthy romantic relationship to someone, because I really don't like the frustrations caused by this crazy, fearful, sick person who takes over sometimes. I'd like her to become at least healthy and loving ... even if she's still crazy.

For me, crazy might be normal.