I recently got a text from a friend that they’d meant to send to someone else. It was a not very nice thing about me. They had never said this to me. I said “wow. ouch”. They responded “It makes me sound like a bitch, but I love her. I just think it’s post trip annoyance”. I said “No. Ouch because you are talking to me. Great. Thanks”. They had confessed that they were trying to manipulate situations and that they had all these unresolved feelings with their partner and that they’d been upset with me about that.
They finally realized they were talking to me.
They’d never voiced any of his with me. I had no idea they’d been annoyed at anything. I was unaware they were orchestrating situations. All of it. I was oblivious. I thought they just liked to have time alone and kept leaving the group to kinda reset, you know, how introverts do. They had said I was being a “score keeper”.
The score keeper thing stung because very recently I HAD been a score keeper, comparing things people did here and did there and I’d had an insecure bout. (I apologized profusely). I’ve worked it out and have been more diligent about comparing and and it’s paid off. I’m not keeping score and was not in way doing so on our trip.
I sat with that for a bit and reflected and then talked to a friend who was there. I think the person was having her own stuff. My friend hadn’t observed any weirdness in my behavior either and after a bit of gut checking I realize it really wasn’t there. I had no ulterior motives and had been totally real in my feelings and actions. I had not been overly affectionate to anyone or tried to get attention or been glued to anyone. I’d done nothing further than hold hands and exchange light kisses and had spent all of my time with my group and not with any one individual. There’d been lots of opportunity for them to get attention and they actually had gotten a good deal of attention. The person kept leaving and doing separate things, but that hadn’t made the person we share any closer to me. Instead of telling him she needed more time, she tried to just “let me have him”. Had the person simply said what they wanted and needed, they’d have easily had it. This isn’t about me and I don’t have to pick it up. I didn’t have any special alone time with anyone or do anything untoward, regardless of how the person had acted. I just hadn’t noticed and hadn’t reacted. I was enjoying myself and thought everyone else was too.
So we come to tonight. I can be sensitive and supportive and listen and forgive and be kind. We’ve all been there. We’ve all struggled with our own emotions at times and let them tell us ugly things that weren’t true. This isn’t about me and my friend. It’s about my friend and their friend. They had feelings they weren’t addressing and needs they weren’t communicating or meeting. They were trying to hold things back and pretending to be pleasing and it was biting them in the ass. Whatever we hold back always comes out sideways. It’s just how it works. Stuff is coming out.
It’s another of those lessons in “say what you want and you just might get it”. Had my friend simply told her honey they needed a walk or a few minutes alone or something they’d have gotten it and all would have been well. I love when I can be reminded of a lesson from the experience of OTHERS now and then. It’s like a freebie. Now, to go mend fences and support my friend.