I have a lot of friends who are helping me out, and I love them for it. And I care about their lives and the things that are going on with them. And in that caring, I ask about what’s going on, how they’re doing, what they’re working on.
It’s rare, but I have had a few conversations where I asked for the information that once they started telling me, I was NOT ready/able to be in a place to react appropriately. I asked for the conversation, but midway through, my brain and heart are screaming for an exit…. and I don’t know how to stop it without being rude.
Because I do care. I care about the problems they’re having with their families. I care about the issues they’re working through with their significant others. I care about the events they’re planning… Except that right now, when they tell me about them, I can only think about how I’ll never be able to work through any intimacy issues with him. Be intimate at all. Even get a hug. Or I’ll think about how he won’t ever come to another event, even just a house party. And it makes me mad at the person who’s answering the question I asked.
I know that’s not fair to them. So I try to hide the anger, and act as though nothing is wrong.
How do you know when you’re going to ask a question that you don’t want to know the answer to? I feel like I can’t win here. I’m plunging headlong into these conversations, not realizing that I’m walking into a field rife with land mines. And then I take a step and hear a click, and know I’m screwed. No matter what, there’s no way for me to win.
If my friendships make it through this unscathed, it will be a miracle.
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