Posts tagged with "friendship"

backstory

It’s taken me a gen­er­ous dis­tance, as well as a healthy break from the pain, to real­ize I don’t under­stand what my mom thought of me. In my ear­li­est years, I believed she loved me, cause none of her demands were unrea­son­able. After all, chil­dren are often help­less and don’t even know what’s best for them­selves. Then I grew up, and devel­oped an iden­tity of my own. That meant I had dis­tinc­tive needs sep­a­rate from hers, and she would deny every one of them unless they were in line with what she wanted. It was impos­si­ble for me to believe there was any love at all when she was the cause of so much of my pain. I’ve since come to real­ize that rela­tion­ships are full of nuances, and that it’s pos­si­ble to love some­one whole­heart­edly and be ter­ri­ble for them at the same time.

Continue read­ing “backstory”…

to start with an end

The break­ing point hap­pened one night, when an acquain­tance I’ll call Thomas chided me for not get­ting back to him sooner about a din­ner invi­ta­tion. Thomas was upset enough that he needed some time off from hang­ing out. I didn’t under­stand, as he never expressed his con­cern, so I had no idea there was a prob­lem in the first place. I apol­o­gized for hurt­ing him, and pleaded with him to let me know next time so it wouldn’t hap­pen again. Still, the sit­u­a­tion didn’t sit well with me; my belated reply was due to the fact that I was in a dif­fi­cult place of my own, about which he never asked or con­sid­ered. I was left con­fused, and sad that I’d unwit­tingly hurt some­one so much as to need a break.

So I called my best friend at the time, look­ing for sup­port. “Avail?” was my usual code-word by text, to let him know I could wait until he had taken care of every­thing else, as I never took his time for granted. But this time, I was shaken enough that I needed more than just an ear, and told him, instead of ask­ing. When I finally got him on the phone, he dis­missed every­thing I tried to say, over­rid­ing it with, “This is what you need to do. Mark three months from now on your cal­en­dar, and call him then. He’ll for­get by that time”. I tried to explain my feel­ings over and over, that I wasn’t look­ing to make amends but try­ing to under­stand the sit­u­a­tion, and this was the most mean­ing­ful answer he could offer. I broke down when I knew I wasn’t get­ting through, when I real­ized he wasn’t an ally at a time I truly needed it, and that he never was.

Continue read­ing “to start with an end”…

200 miles just to learn

The only time Rob and I ever had a pri­vate con­ver­sa­tion was the night before Aaron’s wed­ding, when we were the last ones up out of the grooms­men stay­ing at my house. Aside from that, I wasn’t sure if I’ve ever con­nected with him on a per­sonal level; I’ve been dis­cov­er­ing how dif­fer­ently some behave when oth­ers are around, and with Aaron or Mel in the mix, he’s got even more to prove than usual.

But I could always tell that under­neath the brash and indomitable impres­sion he gives the world is a wis­dom not shared by many. It was exactly that kind of aware­ness I was look­ing to be in the com­pany of, so I took the chance to visit when it would be just the two of us. Even though we’re so dif­fer­ent in so many ways, it turns out the things we have in com­mon are more sig­nif­i­cant, and I dis­cov­ered he’s exactly the kind of friend I need right now.

photo montage

 

The man-cave mostly fea­tures posters of comic book heroes and car­toon fig­urines, the only pic­tures being found in a lit­tle frame next to the com­puter. It was strange to see two of myself in there next to one of him suck­ing back a beer with Trevor. That was back when I rocked my hair with a part down the mid­dle and occa­sion­ally some solid colour, though I don’t remem­ber any­thing about it oth­er­wise — a strange anom­aly in a per­son with a pho­to­graphic mem­ory. Lost the hoodie, still have the coat, won’t be caught wear­ing those glasses again.

The only other peo­ple who have a pic­ture of me in their homes are Aaron and Alex. I always take those pho­tographs as a telling sign of your rela­tion­ship with some­one. It means they care enough to want you around even when you’re not there. I guess that’s why each of them have more pho­tos of me than both my par­ents com­bined, and why Rob calls me brother.

changing dressings

 

The nurse comes every day to change the dress­ings and keep an eye out for infec­tion. Aside from the list­ing hob­ble, you’d never have an idea of the pun­ish­ment this body has borne under­neath, until a wince when the tube drags against his shirt. That and the fact that there isn’t a bot­tle of Blue in his hand. Otherwise, the acci­dent didn’t change Rob at all. He’s still the happy-go-lucky, take-it-on-the-chin kind of guy. To him, the world has always been sim­ple, an equa­tion that can be solved with mus­cle and mass, and he car­ries both answers in spades.

Under any other cir­cum­stance, I’d hate him. He’s obnox­ious, stub­born, and proud; a type I don’t get along with. But I’m also on his good side, which means he’s loyal and lov­ing unlike any other, and he shows this every time he squeezes the breath out of my chest until I’m weak and com­ing up for air. Through him, I’m learn­ing to under­stand and accept the peo­ple I’d oth­er­wise turn away from.

Lisa-time, me-time

Our reunion ended on a cliffhanger, where *Skins SPOILERS* Tony gets hit by a bus, Sid finds Cassie, and Angie breaks up with Chris. But fin­ish­ing a sea­son means we have the chance to start some­thing new (or resume another show), and we tend to alter­nate between com­edy and drama, sweet and savoury, while sur­rounded by kit­ties in the lit­tle nest we make for ourselves.

girl and cat

Cats warm their balls in your hair and make eye con­tact to show dominance.

I didn’t real­ize how hard it was to go a whole month with­out her until I saw her again. The time we’ve spent over the last few years has made me com­fort­able enough to let my guard down, and it’s good to be reminded that we’re capa­ble of such things every now and then, espe­cially when still deal­ing with trust issues and emo­tional trauma.

The things we share are often small and sim­ple, as they’re mostly about plea­sures and we’re eas­ily pleased. Actually, it’s more like she’s eas­ily pleased, while I’m pleased when oth­ers are happy. It’s a dynamic that works really well for both of us. I love myself when I’m with her cause she appre­ci­ates me in all the intri­cate ways I want to be appre­ci­ated, and that gives me a lot of the val­i­da­tion I need in my life right now.

thousand-yard stare

Heather G left a pack­age out­side my door after try­ing to make plans and get­ting what must have been a dis­tant answer. Organic herbal tea, 80% dark choco­late truf­fles, and not only sushi from my favourite restau­rant, but my favourite kinds too. She knows me extra­or­di­nar­ily well for a per­son I barely get a chance to see, and she cares so much even though she has no idea what I’m going through. It’s helped me real­ize that some peo­ple are bet­ter at being what you need, that you can’t expect every per­son to fill all the roles in your life. I’m also try­ing to fig­ure out what those needs are right now, and how to express those needs to oth­ers (or how hard it is for me to express them).

It always takes me a while to recover from these kinds of weeks, and this one was par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult. When the cops showed up, I pulled the whole Drexl Spivey thing and ate my Chinese, car­ried on like I ain’t got a care in the world. I know what they need to hear, espe­cially the sec­ond time around, and what’s more, I know that noth­ing they say will make a difference.

Everything has left me feel­ing numb and over­stim­u­lated. Almost all the hours are spent in Far Cry 3 with a bolt-action sup­pressed Z93, wast­ing time and lives in appro­pri­ate por­tions. Losing myself in that world and not get­ting any­thing pro­duc­tive done at all was an easy deci­sion. I know I deserve to be okay for a lit­tle while, and we all deal with our dam­age in dif­fer­ent ways.