And a few days after that post, he emailed me and told me his dad had had a major stroke and was in a coma. And he is so grateful for the lessons I'd taught him about gratitude. Because those lessons are what's getting him through this horrific time.
Wow. I felt like such a bitch.
And then came the dilemma. How do I respond? Because every fiber of my being wants to call him, comfort him, be there for him.
TF told me to respond via email. Give him my words. Like I would for any other friend.
But any other friend would be getting phone calls, offers of help. And a friend that lives barely a block away would certainly be getting some kind of care package left on his doorstep.
So, I fought my instincts. Sent the email. And it just didn't feel right. But I gave myself some time. Hoped that unsettled feeling in the pit of my stomach would go away.
But the next day, I saw something at Trader Joe's that I knew he would love. So, I bought it... Left it on his doorstep with an unsigned note.
A day later, I got this amazing email from him. Thanking me. Again, with the gratitude. And I felt better about it.
Of course, a few days later, I wrote again. Sending Light and Love and shit. And it opened up some communication. Just via email. But I know what it's like to watch a parent die. It sucks. And if you haven't been there, there is NO WAY you can possibly understand. How could I fight who I am just because of who he is?
I came to this conclusion: I have to be who I am. If he chooses to misinterpret my empathies, that's really on him. I can't control his reactions. But I can control whether or not I am true to myself.
So, I continued to reach out.
Until the day I got an email where he told me that his dad had made a miraculous recovery. A week after being given last rites, he woke up. But Eric didn't tell me for two days. And that kind of fucking sucks. While he was sending me these amazingly thoughtful emails, surely he could have found 90 seconds somewhere within those 48 hours in which he could have told me that things were looking up. But, no... He strung me along.
And while I'm angry and feel used, I'm still okay with who I was and what I offered throughout the ordeal.
The husband and I went to our first session with the marriage counselor. That was fun. (heavy on the sarcasm) I couldn't stand her. He couldn't either. She certainly didn't seem to like either one of us. But the first thing he said was "I didn't like her, but I'll give her another chance. I'll go again."
The man won't hold my hand when I'm crying because he "doesn't want to get my hopes up". Doesn't want me to read anything into that. But he wants to go back to the therapist. Am I not supposed to read anything into that?
We had a long talk the night after therapy. I swear, I need to invest in Kleenex or something along those lines. I told him what I told myself: Do what feels right to you. If I choose to misinterpret something, that's on me.... He disagreed with that statement. Says I'll end up crying at him later. He's probably right about that. Damn, that guy really does know me. Or rather, he did. I'm a bit different than I was three years ago, that's for sure.
He's asking me for time. And right now, I can give that. I don't know how long I can. But today, I'm okay with that.
The other night, I took the kidlet out to dinner. And as we walked and enjoyed the spectacular scenery of our town, we happened upon a man who was looking at the same sights we were. We shared a nice conversation. He asked me, "So, is it just mom and son? Or Mom, Dad, and Son?"
I looked at my boy and said, "Both?"
Apparently, I'm not open to any other attractive men right now for anything more than conversation.
Trying out this faithful thing, apparently.