Confessions of an emotional parasite

She is an unusually accepting person. Unusually accepting of other people—unusually accepting of me.

Once in a while you meet someone you’ll let close enough to get a good look at you. They get past your defenses. Your desire to let them see you, to be close to someone, overcomes your need for distance and isolation. The combination of their personality and the timing and the circumstances creates a momentary hole in an otherwise impermeable barrier. This person floats into your inner sanctum through a crack in the wall as effortlessly as a gas particle in a vacuum.

Actually, her personality had a lot to do with it. Our meeting was random, but that our interaction carried on for so long and to such an extent can only have been because of who she is.

I didn’t share everything with her, but I knew I could tell her anything. She wouldn’t judge me. Importantly, she never made me feel like I was bothering her with my stupid problems. I’ve had a fair number of confidants, but everyone I know is so goddamn busy living life that every time I talk to them I only feel like I’m pestering them. I always feel like I have to get it out quickly, and if the listener is short with me then my problems are fucking stupid and I should shut the fuck up.

That my problems don’t matter is the truth, ultimately. My problems are boring. They are relevant only to me, and there’s only one of me. The conclusion to all my agonizing thoughts over whatever is worrying me is always: Fuck it, it doesn’t matter. And it doesn’t.

Most people I talk to make me feel like an emotional parasite. She manages not to, somehow.

The most important thing she ever did was to make me feel accepted by a female—to demonstrate that I am not as low as I tell myself I am. This uprooted all the dark beliefs I held about myself. It cracked open the black dome of isolation and let the sun shine in. It was painful and blinding and ecstatic.

I never felt so satisfied in my life.

Her drifting away afterward was also necessary, otherwise I’d just find another safe zone in her and hide there. To create a real effect, a true anagnorisis, she had to hit me and then pull back so I couldn’t latch on to her. It’s the only way I’d learn to do any of this on my own.

It wouldn’t have been enough to grab hold of the cancer I was killing myself with—she had to rip it out as well.

Mythologically, one of the functions of the feminine is to tell the masculine to get off its ass and do something.

I went through phases of believing she did it for herself, or she did it out of pity, or that it never really happened and I dreamt the whole thing. Things that give you hope and reveal to you just how great it could all be if you tried—these things are so painful that sometimes you have to bury your head in the sand. Otherwise you have to accept that you’ve always been able to reach out and touch all those impossible things and you have been wasting your life all this time.

And you look ahead and you see that you have so much left to do, so much more to endure. You wish you could just go to sleep and never wake up.

That will happen someday. But for now you don’t have an excuse. She showed you that it’s not quitting time yet.

1 comment
  1. Marcy said:

    I saw this post in my tag surfer. Beautiful reflection and analysis. Even the temporary can be real — a painfully healing truth.

Give him a piece of your mind

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