She’d Rather Wait

I’m still not feeling well and am not in the mood to write, so today is Throwback Thursday. The following dialogue took place between Alma (a 92-year-old woman I used to take care of) and myself. Alma passed away early last year at the age of 94.

May 30, 2015 at 11:08am

Alma – The weather’s been awful this year, hasn’t it?

Vicki – No.

A – You don’t think all this rain’s been awful?

V – No, awful is a destructive tornado, or being flooded out of your house. The weather we’ve been having here is terribly annoying, but I wouldn’t call it awful. That, to me, is like daring God to show us how much worse it can be.

A – What do you mean?

V – I mean, maybe it’s better to thank God for how good we’ve got it than to complain about how terrible it is.

A – I’m gonna wait for it to dry up a little.

The Heart-Head Dialogue

Heart:  You have to admit that it was real!  You know that, don’t you?

Brain:  Yes.

Heart:  Then what’s the problem?

Brain:  The caterpillar is real, and so is the butterfly, but the butterfly can never be the caterpillar again.

Heart:  But remember what she once said:  Love never dies.

Brain:  Yeah, I remember … but she said that when she loved me.

Heart:  Maybe she still does.

Brain:  Maybe, but the words in her last messages were just so cold compared to the way she used to communicate with me.

Heart:  Yeah, but she’s going through hell.  And she did make the point to say, “You have to know I love you”. Just like Jackie said, she may feel robbed of this thing she waited four years to finally have, only to have it torn away with this prognosis.

Brain:  Right … and that makes sense.  It was one possibility I hadn’t thought of.  But still, they say actions speak louder than words and her actions would lead one to believe that she can’t stand to hear my name or to see my face.

Heart: Don’t judge such a complex issue with a single proverb.  Don’t jump to the conclusion that she’s  repulsed by you now.  Maybe she can’t stand the sight or thought of you because it hurts too much.  

Brain:  Right, that’s what Jackie thinks.  Or maybe she is repulsed now.  Or maybe my aggressive need to understand the situation has made her realize that even if she was guaranteed the next 20 or 30 years, she dodged a bullet.

Heart:  Or maybe not.  She said she didn’t know how to tell you, so she knows you weren’t aware of the situation until she finally did tell you.  Maybe she had a better idea of what she was getting into than you realize.  She did stress on several occasions that she knew you better than you thought she did.  For those four years she was falling in love with you, she was probably also studying you.  She did make the point to say she wanted everything – your strengths, your weaknesses, your insecurities, your quirks, your fears, your intelligence, your wordiness.  She wanted it all!  Every fucked-up piece of you!  She had much more insight into you than you had into her when you started your two-month romance.  Who’s to say that it wouldn’t still be growing if it weren’t for the prognosis?

Brain:  Maybe.  This could have all been so easily understood two months ago if we had just been able to have a half-hour heart-to-heart talk.  If she could only share her feelings with me as easily as I share mine with her.

Heart:  But she can’t.  She’s either trying to protect you or herself … or both.  Remember, she’s an empath.  Even if she’s blocked your connection, as you believe she has, maybe she’s still able to pick up your pained and panicked vibes through your messages to her.  Even the loving ones.  Maybe she just can’t handle it.

Brain:  Or maybe she feels nothing anymore.  At least with the connection I could feel her love.  Now I can’t feel anything.  Maybe her plea “You need to stop” was her way of politely saying, “I can’t fucking stand you anymore!  Leave me the fuck alone!  Go away!  You make my skin crawl!”

Heart:  Is she normally the sweet, sappy sort?

Brain:  Well, she always has been with me.  With  me she has always been sweet, loving, nurturing, mushy and has always been free with telling me how much she loves me … even during those years she couldn’t tell me how she felt, she still made herself vulnerable.  As far as it related to me, she wore her heart on her sleeve.  I was the one who was standoffish and reserved.  There was a time that she probably would have cut off her right arm for me.  She adored me.  Long before we ever revealed our feelings for one another, she once said that if anyone ever caused me harm she’d end up going to prison over me.

Heart:  But we’re not talking about you.  We’re talking about what you know about how she relates to others who don’t get a special place in her heart.  Is she the sweet, sappy sort?

Brain:  No, from what I know about her she isn’t.  She’s rough around the edges.  I think she probably shows love or affection to most people in a more lighthearted, casual, jovial manner.  Only the few who she’s closest to probably get to see the more vulnerable side of her.

Heart:  So if she did encounter someone who made her skin crawl … if she encountered someone who she wanted to leave her the fuck alone … how would she handle that?

Brain:  She’d probably tell them, “Leave me the fuck alone,” and if they didn’t, she’d probably be prepared to fight.

Heart:  So if you suddenly became that person who made her skin crawl, what makes you think she’d continue to be gentle with you?

Brain:  But she just wants me to disappear.  She doesn’t even want my love.  She doesn’t even want my comfort.  It’s as if I no longer exist.

Heart:  Or perhaps she can’t handle you in her life now because she’s facing the reality that she’ll no longer exist very soon.  Think about what Jackie said – just because you don’t think you’d handle it this way doesn’t mean that someone else wouldn’t.  We’re all different and we all handle our emotions differently.

Brain:  But we could still be making memories now.  She’s still among the living!  The last time I heard her voice, I didn’t realize it would be the last time … but I think she did.  I think that might be why she ended the call so abruptly.

Heart:  This is her shit though.  She gets to call the shots.

Brain:  But I was a part of her life, too.  We both wanted things to work out.  We were just taking our time.  I wish I could take back some of the things I said after she went silent for so long.  I had no idea what was going on.  My letters to her grew in emotion and pride because she wasn’t telling me anything.  I was feeling humiliated and vulnerable and as if I had been played for a fool.  All I could assume was that she wanted out and was going cold to avoid telling me that we were toast.

Heart:  But you both know better now.  You’ve explained your emotional state during the silence and she’s explained that she simply didn’t know how to tell you.  It would have been different if your relationship had progressed beyond these early days, but it didn’t.  Perhaps it would have been better, or perhaps worse.  It is what it is though.  Perhaps she knows you can’t give her what she needs now … or perhaps she knows you can and she doesn’t want either one of you getting even more attached to something neither of you can expect to have in the long-term.

Brain:  When did you become the over-thinking heart?

Heart:  Sorry, all I’m saying is that it was very real at one time, wasn’t it?

Brain:  Yes.

Heart:  She has known what she wanted for the better part of four years.  She was just waiting on you to come around.  She was afraid of scaring you off, so she remained patient knowing that it would be worth it in the end.  You finally came around and she couldn’t contain herself.  She showered you with the affection she had been bottling up for four years.  She knows how fragile we both are … that’s why she had such an innate need to take care of us … to protect us.  She wanted more than anything to be our heroine.  She got what she wanted … for a couple of months, at least.  Then she was robbed of everything.  Stop second-guessing everything!  Stop looking for that one little thing you might have said or done to run her off!  It’s so much bigger than that!  If it weren’t for your over-thinking and your stupid pride, we might have had two or three years with her instead of just two months.

Brain:  I know.  Ultimately, that’s what’s killing me.

Heart:  If you weren’t so broken, I wouldn’t be so broken now!  Remember what she used to say?  “Follow your heart – no matter what”. If you had only followed me, things might have been different.

Brain:  Great way to make me feel better, heart!  Fuck you!

Heart:  Hey, we’re in this thing together!  An INFP brain and a pure heart may not be the best combination, but we can do this!  We just need to start working with each other instead of continuing to work against each other.  But now we have to show her what true love is by giving her the space she needs … even if that means never getting a chance to say “I love you” one last time.  She knows how we feel.

Brain:  Over the last four years she has increasingly become such a big part of my life.  Even during those times when I would disappear, i would think about her and try to tame my feelings for her.  I had no idea how intensely she felt for me.  If only i had known!  To think of a world without her in it is torture.

Heart:  I know.

Brain:  I miss her so much!

Heart:  So do I, brain.  So do I.

Tear Ducts:  I sure hope you guys are able to work this thing out one of these days.  I’ve been working every single day for over a month now and I’m exhausted!

Heart:  Get used to it, ducts.  This is just the beginning.  We still have a long road ahead.