Monday, 23 February 2015
Last night. After we went our for and evening wine and chat. It wasn't a long, lingering, romantic kiss - I wasn't going to let myself go there at all, but rather a first goodbye peck. Then another more lingering one. Then a few more of those. Not 'friend' kisses. Something else. I didn't know how to respond. At all.
For months I've been working with this flame of attraction, and, let's face it, not a little bit of crushing, only to find myself repelled, over and over again, like a small child. Am I not getting it that we're just friends??!! I've had to work like crazy to take steps back. Stop myself from being pulled in again. Nurse my heart every time I get unkindly rebuked. Manage my humiliation each time. Now. Now after I have finally put him away from me with absolutely no wish to continue any pursuit of him and have my heart damaged even a little bit more. NOW, he kisses me.
Is that it? Because I'm no longer trying to bridge the gap between us, so he starts to right the balance? Because he senses at some level that I've moved on, now he tries to move me back? Because he likes having me there, giving a shit about the minutiae of his life? Because he's lonely when I'm less present?
Or maybe because he'd had too much to drink by then. Was it just a too-jolly over-rash moment? One that even he has just forgotten because of the too much wine? In which case it's over and nothing happened?
But if it was actually a purposeful kiss - then WTF? What the hell am I supposed to think?
So enough about him. Let's think about me. I made a promise to my little child inside that neither Berlin, nor any other man I am with, will be allowed close enough to hurt her. That I will hold her myself. Protect her. Keep her from harm. Use this time to practice being present with myself. I did a damn good job with Bush Man - was able to be close and intimate and joyful, but not lose myself into that agonising neediness that is so painful for me and my child. Bush Man even sent me some pics of the views on the hike he went on this weekend. Which is his way of saying 'Hi, I'm thinking about you, but not really using my words...'. And my heart DIDN'T disappear down a rabbit hole with longing and missing. I just smiled. And sent a WhatsApp to him to say I like him. And am not sad that he hasn't responded. Because he's just not a words man. I'm not feeling abandoned.
So what of Berlin for me? I don't know. I know my friends and shrink want me to stay the hell away from him - last rebuke was just too cruel to trust him too close to me. He hasn't made right what he did. He told me at the time to not be sad because he was just angry and needed some cooling off time. But once he'd cooled off, he didn't fix it. He had really hurt and humiliated me, and just did not make right on that in any way. Just slowly picked up the pace of communication over time, and last night at wine, acted like nothing had happened. Of course it's possible that he has no idea how hurt I was, and, frankly, I have not trusted him enough since that time to tell him and risk another bout of humiliation and rebuke.
So Berlin and I may well land up together in Cape Town in a week or two. I guess that will be the final telling point. If he tries to push the intimacy angle with me, which I shouldn't want, (but secretly do, if I'm honest with myself), then I'll have to have the conversation of fixing first what he broke. I need to know that he is capable of cleaning up his own messes and taking accountability for the pain he caused. Without losing it with me and breaking more stuff again.
Until then, I think, I will continue to keep him at arm's length. I have a fragile heart that needs protecting. And I'm the custodian of that.
And frankly, Berlin. If you do really want me. And I'm not sure that you do. You'll have to earn me.