I found it really difficult to have the conversation with him. I felt my courage desert me as we met and I just had thousands of words gushing out of me about everything else but the conversation we had met to have. He finally said - "Ok - so what is this important conversation you wanted to have?". Even then, I panicked. I told him he needed to give me time to settle down and warm up - and that I was building up the courage to talk. He smiled and humoured me some more.
Eventually I just decided to read yesterday's blog out loud to him. The words were there, and the thinking was there, and I guess that felt the most doable. So we searched the article on his phone (because mine was out of battery), and I read it to him.
It's hectic stuff, yesterday's blog. It's at some level a culmination of a whole year's worth of therapy and insights that are not pretty or flattering to me in any way. So it's kind of brutal to just blurt it all out, even if it's true. It's raw and clumsy and hard.
When I finished we were awkward. Neither of us really knew what to say. I decided not to be all 'socially fluid' about it. I let us both feel awkward. I let us just be real. I really did need to see if he could cope with it all. I know he's not a stranger to abuse - he's had a fair dollop of that kind of thing himself in his life. And so he didn't need to do the 'shame poor you' thing - he gets it. I get it. We're both survivors of horrible stuff and we don't need to be all 'sorry' for each other.
He asked me why I'm building a house in that same place where all that hectic childhood stuff happened. He left his horrible stuff way behind him geographically and he can't imagine staying and being regularly confronted with everything. I get his point - I'm more about transforming the place as I transform myself. Like confronting my demons and ghosts seems to be more of the process that's right for me. He copes by walking away. I cope by wrestling this stuff to the ground and not frikken letting it go until I know how it ends.
And then we just settled into a comfortable conversation. No longer awkward. Nice. He drinks more than me (most people do). We found an easy place together.
We're in the 'friend-zone'. I want to say 'for now'. That would irritate him and me. Him because he thinks 'always'. Me because I think 'you never know how shit turns out'. Nothing is forever. People change. Circumstances change.
But Friend Zone is now our current official status.