It's amazing how an entire weekend can go from "Fab!" to "Horror!" in less than three hours.
I suspect I know what happened... in fact, Roni was the first to put it into words. She got hom, said something her girlfriend took wrong, and sacrificed us to the gods of expediency. After all, she had a LOT more to lose, even after telling me so many secrets that she has never told anyone. Even now, those secrets remain safe with me, if only because I understand the fear that drove her to say the things she apparently did.
Of course, unless she contacts me or Roni I seriously doubt I will know her side of it. But when someone leaves here making plans to see us again, and within hours seems to be telling a tale of disrespect and broken rules, I can only surmise what really happened. For my part, I remember checking in constantly, asking what she wanted, making sure all of her needs were addressed.
If that wasn't enough to make today a mind bender, it was the way Michele treated me when I dropped by, as promised, to cart of the armoire... when I spoke to her to set up a time, she wasn't feeling well. Knowing the Rob wasn't going to be able to help very much, I brough Roni and penguin_goddess to help. When I got there, and called up, M was less than please... in fact, she accused me of basically disregarding her health and made it sound like I had brought them as an affront to her.
I tried to assuage her outrage, and felt myself try to establish a boundary. I didn't deserve her anger, and made that clear: After all, I had offered to do it another time, but she insisted she wanted the darn thing out of her apartment. As it was, I DID need Kim's help, at the very least.
At that point she actually told me she was pissed because I "made her look like an asshole" in front of Kim and Roni. Never mind that there was no such judgment being made. I mean, she wasn't feeling well -- why would they think she was being anything other than... well, sick? People aren't their best when unwell.
I had a rough moment when Bijou jumped on the windowsill of the apartment and yelled at me, making it clear I should be scratching her head. I almost lost it... but concentrated on trying to figure out how to get the furniture down to the Vue, and then how to get it and the three of us back to Chez Watt. As it is, I had to scrunch down alongside of it for the brief trip home.
Through all of this I was trying to process. Once the heavy wood thing was dragged up to the third floor, I found myself in the bedroom, sobbing. Somehow, Roni here and lunar_phoenix (and, later, dcatt) all seemed to say the right things to bring me off that mental ledge. And I realized what the lesson was:
Stop taking shit from people who manipulate me by treating me like a tool.
I can't blame them (though some do) if they saw a way to control me and chose to use it. I have the power to say "Sure, I react to people who are angry by trying to please them, to some how make up for screwing up -- but I need to temper that with the realization that complete openness means I'm only responsible for not doing what I say I'm going to do. I can no longer take on what other people try to add to that. If they predicate the acceptance of my love, friendship, or even apologies on some sort of hoops I must jump through, then how much do they love and accept ME for who I am?"
I suddenly realized that people like lavendersage (yet, curiously enough, NOT lovingstones), while I know for a fact they love me, are sometimes taking advantage of my better nature. When I hear things like "you treat him too well, you're too available... if you withhold your affection, he'll be more available", I realize that I'm being violated through a crass manipulation of my desire to please the people I love.
If I approach someone with the best intentions, I want the same in return. I'm tired of being treated as if I were deliberately trying to piss people off, whether it's at work, in my social life, or ANY where.
Let this be an expression of my intent to remove the fear of rejection from my life. The people who truly love me will NEVER reject me so long as I live from a place of integrity of self, and a willingness to work through my stuff to become a better person. I can't expect perfection of myself, but at the very least I can learn to face my mistakes without fearing the loss of everything I know, everything I am.
In a weird way, the weekend went just as fast from "Horror!" to something a lot more useful. Like self respect. I wonder who will be able to embrace that?