Posted by: terrapraeta | May 14, 2009

Chaos Theory


I don’t know where you heard it
Don’t know who’s spreadin’ it ’round
All I know is I’m clean as a whistle baby
I didn’t utter a sound

I never said nothing
I never said nothing
I never said nothing
I never said nothing

I don’t know what they told you
Don’t even care what about
All I know is I’m clean as a whistle baby
I didn’t let the cat out

Liz Phair, Never Said

I had planned for a quite, relaxing weekend this last week.

Friday night, we planned to go out, just for a little while, have dinner and a couple drinks and then come home and be snuggly… and whatever else might have struck our fancy 😉

Saturday we had no plans, but we usually have a bottle of wine and make a dinner of fresh vegetables, cheese, seafood… put on a little music and talk and nibble and sip.

Sunday there was football (I hate football), but that just meant I would have a little time to myself… maybe roll out a few blog entries, catch up on some reading, good stuff like that.

So what really happened?

Thursday night, my honey spent the evening with his Laura, talking about the issues that they need to address if there is going to be a chance to make this thing work. As things go, the conversations did not go as he had planned, so many of the things he wanted to talk about never really got addressed. Between talking and driving and snow storms, he ended up getting very little sleep that night.

Over the course of the day on Friday, we talked a couple times, emailed a fair amount and, particularly in the email, I sensed he was feeling pretty upbeat, even though I knew that he was disappointed with the way their evening had gone. Meanwhile, I was in a very bouncy sort of mood all last week, including Friday. I recognized, once he got home, that he was in a weird place, but it did not concern me. I figured he would relax as the evening progressed, that he could tell me his story in whatever time worked best for him. No worries.

So when he came home, we went to dinner and gradually he decompressed and began to tell me about his evening.

Unfortunately, after we finished eating, we were still talking and having a drink and he said something that struck me badly. I don’t remember exactly what, and it does not really matter, because I think the sense I took from it was of a gulf between us. Something secret or off limits. After all the energy and time we have put in to opening ourselves to one another, this was a bit shocking to me and I did not react well. I was very quiet for a few minutes, then got myself together enough to tell him what I was feeling and why. We figured it out and chatted a little more, but the mood was still wrong. So we got the bill and went home, planned to start fresh and go on with our evening.

But it got worse instead of better. Eventually, I told him that I felt like he was trying to pick a fight with me all evening. No – not really all evening, but perhaps from the point where I got upset with him, onward. There was a core of anger in him – perhaps frustration is a better term. And this is not the first time I have seen it. I think sometimes he simply needs to externalize his frustration as a way to release the pent up anxiety. But on the other side, if I accept any of the responsibility for his distress, then this makes him truly angry with me. We’ve talked about this a lot. When he gets into this place, I cannot walk away from the discussion, but I also cannot effectively respond. Whatever I say is inevitably wrong and just creates further escalation between us.

Now, I am glad that he has found a way to express and release his anxieties… but I think we need to find a better way to do it! In this particular case, it got pretty darn intense, triggered some pretty heavy reactions in me… we were up until three am hashing it all out, but eventually we got back to a good place.

Then, of course, we need to release some of other tensions, so we were up quite late.:-)

One of the decisions we made over that evening, was that perhaps we should both sit down over the weekend and write about our experiences over the last year. Talking is preferable in so many ways, but it is also rather difficult to keep a conversation focused. By writing it out, we could both get a feel for we each perceive the path we have been on, and where we think it might lead us in the future. So, on Saturday morning, we talked about each of us taking some time and just writing. By Saturday evening, I had covered the first third of my story with almost ten pages. He, on other hand, had barely organized his thoughts and started writing. Men!

I’m not going to dwell on Saturday night – let’s just say that we had our munchies and our wine… and we spent some much needed quality time together. Erased the last of any residual tension between us.

Sunday, things appeared to be going as planned. Except for the big writing project supplanting any blog entries I might have written, or books I might have read. I finished writing early in the evening and spent a little time catching up on my on line forums and blogs… and then my honey and his best friend (uhhh, “Joe”) stumbled in the front door, a twelve pack of beer in hand and ready to settle in for some serious hanging out.

That actually really appealed to me. I did not have any more desire to be on the computer, and it has been some time since we really all spent time together. So I poured myself a drink and settled right in with them.

We chatted a bit and my honey let me know that they had talked about Laura a fair amount – Joe has been excluded from some of the changes we have gone through these last months, because of an uncomfortable (and potentially damaging) conversation they had back at the beginning. Recently, my honey has been working at gradually bringing him back into the fold – hopefully without completely freaking him out in the process. Joe seemed to be better with the whole thing, now that I was involved and he could see that I really did know and accept – even approve of – what was going on.

And then I jumped in the middle between them when the subject came around to why Joe had been excluded for a while. I’m not sure that I did any good things, there, although I personally think that they both made some really good points, and if they had been really listening to one another, it could have been a great discussion. But they had to be boys, and be all tough and crap, so of course, some of the usefulness was lost on them.

Eventually, my honey started to doze off on the couch – he always tries to pace Joe when they drink, forgetting that their tolerance levels are quite different – and Joe and I continued to talk about a variety of things. Mostly Laura and my honey and me, and eventually I told him about Eddie. And, of course, their friendship, but also we talked about why he and I have never been able to get close. There’s been a lot of baggage between us over the years – and we are both fairly quiet and insular people (although I am really working on this for myself, now), so we have never gotten nearly as close as I would expect us to be.

But what happened next completely floored me. After a particularly intense exchange, he closed in on himself and told me that he has feelings for me, has for years, feelings he should not have… and I don’t know what to do with this.

Part of me says there is absolutely nothing I can or should do. I mean, I told him that I could not give him what he wanted. And I told him that we love him – he is part of our family and always will be. I told him there was nothing wrong with his feelings, and he should not feel guilty or anxious about it. But he really could not accept that this was anything but a terrible betrayal on his part.

Part of me really wants to just jump out there and make this right, make it all better. But of course, I have no idea how one would do that.

Part of me knows that, really, what needs to be done lies fully between my honey and Joe. I can be supportive to them both, but really, it is their issue just as it always has been. I’m just a vessel…

Part of me knows, deep down in my bones, that this may be something that they cannot get passed. Or, conversely, that either or both of them will bury it away until some future date when it pops back out to bite us in the ass…

(Originally Posted January 22, 2007)

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