Always finding a comfort zone, even when I’m uncomfortable…
I accused her of being selfish, not willing to give of her inner self, to share experiences, realisations or ideas.
Now, how crassly stupid is that?
She is the most generous, giving person I have ever come across. Her life has been ENTIRELY self-less, not selfish.
Who was there when I needed a lift home? Who was there when I locked my keys in? Who was there when my parents needed a hand? Who was there when one of the kids was crying? Who was there… You get the picture: she was … ALL the time; 100%; without fail.
Who was there when SHE needed assistance?
THAT was my issue, “You never let on! You always came across as being in control, that dependable hand to steady the ship in any and all circumstances.
“When it came to DOING stuff you were most generous, but that’s simple isn’t it,” I went on, “‘Things’ are easy but when it comes to ’emotions and feelings’, now that’s a different matter: ‘Can’t let anybody in there – that’s my space and I want to be alone’ seems to be the way it comes across to me.”
“I did ask for help: I for help with my book-keeping, my tax and all sorts of things but you either said it would be OK to do it later or ‘It’s easy, just have a go and you’ll see.'”
“I still think you never shared your inner most issues. That was what I was there for, to give you succour in those moments.”
“You weren’t there … I dealt with it … I let the issues go … they don’t matter to me any more. It’s just doing it in a different way to what you would do. When stuff goes wrong or I’m ill, I just want to hibernate for a bit, hide away and get myself better – I don’t like being oppressively nursed, hourly etc. however well meaning, it makes me feel more ill!”
“I see now that me and my family always expected you to be able to cope, under all circumstances and forever … err … I suppose it was being a bit unrealistic but anyway, we’ve got used to it and when you don’t behave in that compliant and super generous way it seems out of the ordinary and it looks like it come across as being a bit off hand.
Whenever I get feedback from ‘You Know Who!’ I am your Champion in the same way you were always for me.”
‘You never wanted me to tell you what went on, you just wanted to keep the peace and assume everything was going to be OK so I stopped talking about it or mentioning anything. She never thought I was good enough, she thought I was common and accused me of talking to the children as if I was from a council estate! And when I described her as an EMOTIONAL VAMPIRE, you didn’t like that either and wouldn’t accept it.”
“That’s not entirely true _______, I agreed and still do – I just didn’t like it and avoided confronting the thought anymore.”
I’m telling you all: this girl is QUALITY, always accused of not saying much or saying how she feels, but when I hit the button she comes out with some pure gems: ’emotional vampire’ Ha! It’s got my mother down to a tee, and you can just imagine the caricature in one of the dailies! Oh, I wish I could draw.
Needless to say, as You Know Who’s champion now, I’m sure she still means well and doesn’t do it intentionally getting attention in the only way she knows how. She too comes from a similarly abusive background with a domineering father who put upon her mother mercilessly and she too was an ‘accident’ at the end of a line of children with the last age gap being 6 years. She obviously went on a tactile way of getting into her comfort zone whereas my wife goes into solitude and exactly the opposite.
I of course admire both responses and love both to bits but the circle could never be squared no matter how much I ignored the obvious difficulties to stay comfortable and keep the peace.
I wasn’t so conscious when I wiggled my tail and chose my mother and I was more so when I chose my partner; now I’m in the situation that I’m going to be left with my unconsciously chosen one.
So much for comfort zones then! What bloody use are they?
The honest truth is that I’m really surprised at my lack of imagination and creativity.
I continued. “It was obvious that you were not responding positively to any enquiry I made and I just gave up: All I got was a series of ‘I don’t knows’ and ‘It’s all right – I’m OKs’ I just didn’t press the point.”
Oh don’t get me wrong, I probably did press the point in my OWN way, but I never responded to her lack of response by showing any imaginations whatsoever in trying to do it differently.
Shutting up and listening without filling a gap in the conversation with my own voice might have been a start … I find that REALLY difficult. It’s not solely that I like the sound of my own voice, actually far from it but I don’t like the silence.
By the time she was ready to say something profound and meaningful and truly share of herself in the way I’d always hoped for, I would have changed the subjuct or answered my own question in MY OWN way rather than HER WAY.
What is all that stuff about hindsight?
Anyway, I retreated myself when I couldn’t get her to open up in a way I could understand and the longer my bull in a shop approach was used, I retreated into and uncomfortable unsatisfying comfort zone and the worse it got. Combine this with 20 odd years of un-relenting stress at work and … here we are … crap, isn’t it?