I am intimate with few people. I have social skills, I socialize, I speak so as not to reveal. I am an introvert. The few people with whom I am intimate, I trust. I trust them to be open and honest and to say the difficult things, but to say them with tact and most importantly, humility.
There’s a lot of emphasis here on language.
When my more intimate relationships end and it is by my choice, it tends not to be because someone did something I didn’t like, but because they said something. Not something I didn’t like, but something that “set me free.”
Once it was being told, “I don’t care about you.” As soon as those words were uttered, I felt whatever emotional attachment I had to this person leave my body.
Weeks later, in conversation, they asked me why I wasn’t calling, why I hadn’t stopped in. I recounted the aforementioned tale and was met with an incredulous: ‘it’s not that easy.’ Except it was.
Another time it was hearing a friend tell me they paid their lawyer a lot of money to see to it that they could do whatever they wanted without consequences. I felt sick to my stomach and needed a shower when I got home. I have no room for such sociopathic privilege.
This time, it was slightly different. This time I took offense at being labeled, at being told what my life experience was and continues to be, and how I should see the world. Again.
Shocked that it would happen again, I lashed out. I was told my anger had more to do with “other things.” I sat in disbelief. The child in me apologized, I felt ashamed and humiliated. And then a calm came over me. I just felt…untangled. Sad, but untangled.
Indeed, there had been an over reaction on my part, but it had nothing to do with “other things.” A hundred conversations had ended similarly: in deference, with me blaming myself for being offended, for over reacting.
I was being managed and always have been ‘managed.’
The declarations of deep and profound understanding, the pursuit and assimilation of my own language, the promises of being shown love and gentleness, the poetry, and the sense of equality…all acts of seduction. All misinterpreted. All my fault.
This time, my own utterances set me free: Shit! I’ve been played.