Tuesday, January 21, 2014

In which he dreams about being engaged, and I realize I'm not being entirely honest with myself yet.

Recently I've been dreaming of Nick a lot. I don't have romantic dreams ... thankfully ... I'm not sure how I'd cope with that just now. Usually we're helping our friends on some epic quest, or I wake up convinced he's sleeping beside me, with a sense of support and comfort. I forget most of them ... keeping only the emotional memory of a dream with Nick, usually a residual feeling of confidence. 

Last night he dreamed of me. Since he's losing his voice right now, he typed it out in hangouts, and I have to admit I'm impatient for him to get his voice back for more than health, now. I want to hear his voice to get a real sense of  his internal process, because writing isn't his thing. 

The crazy part is that he dreamed a specific scenario that has been on my mind as I face the lingering romantic attraction I feel toward him. I never told him about it, because ... I'm in denial. 

He typed, "I had a dream that we got into a decade long engagement before getting married. Like 9 or 10 years!! The biggest irony is that after it all the dream ends with us setting a date and I get nervous cold feet about it. The marriage part is what woke me up." 

I've been thinking how difficult it is to even consider a romantic relationship right now, and not only because I panic every time I become interested in anyone. I can't easily move for the next 5-6 years while the kids are still legally attached to their father. Also, for the next ten years the kids will still be in school or college and that will affect my choices, too. Then, I'd need to find someone who can handle the fact that I fully intend to live in assorted countries for at least a few years, and possibly be somewhat nomadic for the rest of my life. 

I thought, even before I met Nick, that I should just see who ends up walking beside me over these coming years, and see whether we want to keep going on through life together once I'm finally out of the home-parenting stage. I'm not convinced there is anyone out there who could handle my specific set of circumstances "in a relationship" right now. 

So, yeah, long engagements without confidence for marriage, even after all that time.... 

I swear he read my mind with his dream. 

My reaction was a jumble of laughter, because the dream seemed so out of character for Nick (Does he ever think about getting engaged to anyone?... a question I want to ask now.) and a sudden rush of fear and introspection, which I unsuccessfully tried to communicate with him. It didn't help that he kept typing questions marks, leading me to explain further ... and dig myself in deeper without having a real sense of his response. 

So, yeah, ... chat isn't the place for depth with Nick. 

If I'd realized what I was going to do to myself, I would have saved it for voice once he recovers, because that's our communication-norm. I might not have gotten overwhelmed if I could have heard his tone in response to my craziness,... although I didn't realize I'd destabilize in the first place. Hindsight and all that. 

Humor quickly spun into panic. 

I feel both a very strong desire to be with Nick in a platonic, best-friends-forever way, and a desperate fear of my inclination to wonder about more. I know how crazy it makes me feel to even think about how our romantic-relationship needs for freedom and security could so easily clash and hurt us both, so I consciously put up a defensive wall around that idea and refuse to think about it. 

His dream knocked a hole through my self-protection, exposing strong ideas and feelings on the other side. 

I don't do well when I feel misunderstood, especially about relationship factors. While I trust him to accept me and work through stuff ... I also hate, hate, hate it when anything comes between us even for a few minutes. I told him I was feeling emotionally unsteady and he firmly reassured me that he didn't think my reaction was a big deal. Thankfully, I'm not losing my mind here. 

That's a huge thing for me. I trusted his word, and my emotions stabilized. A few years ago I'd have gone into at least a week of depression over that awkward conversation, convinced he was lying about it being okay, and reviewing it over and over in remembrance of how truly terrible I had been. Today, I'm not worried. I'd have to look up the conversation  to remember what we said. 

All the same, now I know something lurks ... or so it seems. *sigh*

I wonder if my wall will grow back before he regains his voice? If so, we might not talk about it again. I'm okay with not facing that particular emotional landmine just yet. Maybe never. I don't mind plateauing for a time. Sometimes I wish growing could wait while I just feel okay for a while.