Updated: Dec 27, 2020
So, let's start with some back story. A little bit about the person I am. You've ascertained by now I'm a giver, a care-giver specifically. My heart and emotions are on my sleeves, I care deeply, and love quickly. I want to believe that I've learned to forgive as quickly as I love, but that part is harder. I know I'm a unicorn in world full of people that don't believe in unicorns.
When I am upset (Meaning hurt. Angry is really hurt that doesn't want to be seen as vulnerable.), I retreat within myself. I go silent. I may disappear. I may go to sleep for several days. The longest acute episode lasted around 7 days. It took that long to process what was going on inside me. It took that long for me to understand why I reacted the way I did to a situation. In clarification, I didn't overreact to the situation. I had every right to be confused and hurt, and even angry. I needed to understand my part of that situation before I responded.
I've learned over the years if I blurt out whatever thought is screaming out of my brain when I am upset, I will make matters much worse. Another tidbit about me that I'm a little ashamed to admit is that I have a knack at picking up on the thing about someone that will hurt them the most and using that when I'm feeling attacked. I don't want to cause hurt, I don't want to be hurt. I therefore go silent and essentially disappear until I'm calm and speak like an adult with a measure of maturity.
This morning I was asked by Kurt what I wanted out of our relationship. That was a fascinating question, because yesterday I didn't think there was going to be one since he seemed frantic and using psychological techno-jargon to tell me to go away, and I was resolved to go, despite the discomfort I'd have with that.
Ok, to be fair, all of that was via text and who knows what the real intent was. So, what do I want out of the relationship?
What I had hoped for, I realize I can not have.
I wanted an emotionally mature person (check), that was capable of having intellectual and emotional conversations without shutting down (check), that would be receptive to a physical relationship (partial check) with an open emotional component, meaning a sense of intimacy (nope) and some time to make all that happen (nope).
I mourned the loss of that expectation, and am trying to imagine what else the relationship could be. One of the amazing characteristics of this person is his ability to push me mentally and emotionally. That aspect of what we may have is very valuable to me, as I don't find it often in others.
Today he proposed giving each other permission to say anything without fearing the other persons response. Great for the sender of such bombs, maybe not for the receiver. The intent is each person is free to call the other person out on their bullshit, or to inform them when they've made a misstep or really blown it. It's super easy to do that part, by the way. The hard part is being the receiver of said call-outs. The receiver has to be able to analytically accept what the sender has said without emotional fall-out, and respond appropriately. Our initial response will almost universally be to lash out with a 'how dare you' tone, and hurl hurtfulls in their general direction. It takes an immense amount of maturity (you may recall, that is what I like about him, emotional maturity) to accept the call-out is not done as an attack, not meant to hurt and is offered in love to help you grow. I eagerly agreed to this proposal.
So, what do I want out of this relationship? I still want to build intimacy. I think that's possible. I would love to have a physical connection, cuddling is my superpower. In the end I want a friend that loves me enough to be there for me when I need him and will hold me accountable when I need that. I of course will do the same for him. This is in essence what he proposed today. I think we're on the same track, whether we know it or not.
Who knows what will happen. One day at a time. Calmly, with purpose we move forward.