An old friend knows something about me. She knows I am big, and that bigness can be overwhelming to her.
That's the reason, a few years ago, she said she could only handle me if I obeyed certain rules that limited her exposure to me. The only rules she could suggest, though, were limited volume of communication, because how do you set up rules against limited intensity of communication?
The gimmick was, though, that I would be responsible for enforcing the rules. I had to keep my communication down to a level that didn't disquiet her, didn't disturb her comfort too much.
I agreed that she has the right to set her own boundaries. I work hard to respect boundaries.
I just believed that once she set her groundrules, I had a choice to play or not. I chose not to play.
After years of disconnect, she recently suggested the same deal. I recently declined again.
I know the compassionate part. This is someone reaching out, someone who wants to connect, and one has to start somewhere. Just take it one step at a time and see where it leads this time.
But I also know the trick. I'm allowed to squeeze though her keyhole, and she feels like she is letting me in, but the minute I get too big, too intrusive, too intense, too potent, she gets to cut me off sharp and claim it was my fault, my problem, my rudeness, since she declared that it was my responsibility to enforce the rule of not making her uncomfortable, not her responsibility for her own feelings.
In other words, it feels to me like a setup. I'm being set up as the bad one, the abuser, and she is ready to pounce. That don't feel like a fair deal, and does feel like it's gonna hurt.
I have a friend with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Her therapist asked me to help, even brought me into session to define the relationship.
In the deep of one night, my friend kept calling. I wrote e-mails on the calls and mailed them to this therapist.
That morning, when she saw six emails from me, she freaked. And she did what she needed to do to stay comfortable: she accused me doing something bad (using her as my therapist) and cut me off.
In other words, she treated me like an abuser. She decided that I was beyond negotiations, and just cut me off, after one night of reports.
Later, after a note from me and my friend having problems she saw the error, wanted me back in the loop. Needless to say, I was circumspect.
That's the problem, of course. I've been cut off at the keyhole a few too many times, and know how bad it feels to me. I know I'm not some tiny little being, but I also know that I am the way my mother in the sky made me.
I get that people have comfort zones. I get that I'm not in most people's comort zone. But I also get my bigness not my fault, and enforcing their comfort zone isn't my responsibility.
But I also know those damn damn dangerous keyholes are the only way into being close to other people.