I think the best way to tell this story is in text messages: I'm going to just lay them out here for you to follow. Some of them are disjointed and out of order as often happens in a text conversation when both people are typing at the same time - just read - it should make sense as you go on...
The last thing I told you about was Berlin asking me: "Trudy? Can I tell you something?" at 1.32 AM. Then nothing for hours and hours. and then
So have you got the story so far? His online lover just killed herself as far as he knows. Hectic!!! Only who is she really? He has not met her in the 3 or 4 months they've been chatting online. He's hopelessly in love with her. And is now devastated that she is dead because of him flirting with another woman online - a 'trick' set up by her 'ex husband'. And there's a 'brother' who is really pissed off at Berlin right now.
And I'm suspicious as hell. It all seems like a crazy made-up drama, not unlike the kinds of things that have played out on the Catfish series I've loved to watch. Too many obvious issues: they have never met; or talked on Skype; she doesn't kill herself when her 'husband beats her up' but does when she and Berlin have 'harsh words'.
But he doesn't see these inconsistencies yet. He's drowning in shock and sadness and guilt and loss. And now at his most vulnerable and disoriented. Probably ever. So I go practical. Immediately. Not the most empathetic or consoling approach, I do confess, but I was suddenly sure he had been set up, and the only way to really support him was to sniff out the scam if I could.
Shew. And now I have some time to myself before I go back in to help him. I'm quite shattered actually. Because besides empathising with his shock and grief (which I can feel, viscerally in my own body - does everyone feel that?), I also feel my own heart taking a beating. He lied to me. Left me behind and 'went off' with this woman he is now 'Madly in Love' with. Left me hanging. And didn't let me out of my misery for months because he thought I would be 'sad'. Fuck. Sad doesn't even come close to it. His abandonment of me couldn't have been worse timing than if I'd accidentally walked in front of a bullet! I was already broken from John's saga, and was just not equipped to deal another discard and abandonment. It sent me down a very deep hole.
I know this is my bitter inside voice talking - I've learned a lot about how I create abandonment in the people who love me by how I keep them away from my neediness. But Berlin I had let in. I showed it to him. He headed for the hills and left me so alone. And I will say to him sometime that I know it's not his fault that I was SO vulnerable when we met. But I was. And I opened myself to him. And he left. And now he's back needing me - nobody else knows about this 'Affair' side of his life, so he'll need a friend.
And my readers roar 'Noooooooooooo! Not you!!!!' Let him find another fucking friend!'
And my shrink says: "Stay away from the hall of mirrors! It's not safe for you there. You are conditioned to nurture and care. It's what you're driven to do. It's the medicine you take whenever your own needs are not being met. You are now dangerously vulnerable to this man. Be careful Trudy, this is NOT your safe place."
And it IS a hall of mirrors. That nightmarish place where you reach your hand out to touch the thing you desire only to find it was an illusion. Illusions within illusions. Layers and layers of intrigue and lies and spun stories. I am so very fresh out of my own Truman Show. Only to find a bit of it here - things not completely as they seemed with Berlin - hoping we could find a way back together when there was really no chance at all. His mirrors. My mirrors. You see what I mean by the Universe having her little joke?
There's even a remote chance that another mirror still plays out evilly in the background. What if Berlin is a Sociopath himself? And is clever enough to make this whole thing up to try to hook me in and con me?? It's the perfect bait - create a drama that I know well and con me into rescuing him, and then charm his way into my pants. An earlier version of Trudy would have scoffed at this possibility. But this Trudy, poor, brutalized Trudy, savvy warrior woman Trudy, is watching. Carefully.
This isn't the end of yesterday's story. I'll continue in my next blog. I just didn't want to lose all the lessons I am engaging with in this part. Most importantly, I am resolved to not allow this 'drama' to pull me back to Berlin. If he had wanted me, he would have sought me out. He didn't. He wanted someone else who turned out to be a phantom. A lot like John turned out to be my phantom, only on a whole other level. So we both are playing in the mirror room and I need to step out. I decide to walk with him on this road, but I'm no longer looking for a relationship with him. That ship has sailed. He has shown that he cares little for my heart, and I need to practice self care in this process, by protecting myself.