When I was sixteen, I knew absolutely everything. Mom would tell me to do my homework and I'd say "I know Ma." Dad would tell me I needed to get up for school and I'd say "I know Dad." Sometimes they wouldn't even finish their statement and I would interrupt with "I know!" And it was the truth, I did know, but I usually didn't understand.
I never knew how infuriating that must be - to have someone say "Yes, I know," and know that they didn't understand. My best friend and I have this circular discussion about once a month about how I feel and what I think and I swear, if she was sitting next to me when we were talking about it, I'd hug her throat.
The conversation is one of love and life, living and existing. I think too much, says she, and I don't go out and do enough in my life. Friend or no friend, that's wrong; how are you going to tell me what I am and am not doing? What I do and do not feel? And the more she talked, the madder I got. I told her that she didn't understand and she said she did, but the more she talked the more I realized she didn't.
She doesn't understand what loneliness and fear feel like inside of my soul, she only knows what they feel like for her. She doesn't understand where I'm coming from because she doesn't understand or even know where I am in my life at this point. Eventually I told her the conversation was over, because we were getting nowhere with each other and the conversation ended (for this month at least).
She knows who I am and what I think about most things, but she does not, for all that knowledge, understand that much about me, or not as much as she thinks she does. And the more she says she does the more I feel like she's belittling anything I've said prior or anything I could say after to the point where I just shut down on her which benefits neither of us.
There are parts of me, parts of my soul that are so hidden from other people because I fear the let down that I feel always comes with trusting people. I fear moving too quickly; those who move quickly make rash and usually wrong decisions. I fear becoming a catlady, especially when it seems everyone around me is pairing off like they've gotten the call for the Ark and I didn't. She knows. I know she knows. But does she understand? Does she feel it? Does she hear it? Does it keep her up at night like it does for me? No. And I don't think it ever will, which is why I don't like having that conversation with her, because not only does it not go anywhere, it takes me down into those deep dark parts of me that are so hard to get out of and so hard to shake. If she understood, she wouldn't take me there for nothing but the fact that she frequently does just lets me know she doesn't and there's nothing I can do about that.
Is empathy only valid if we've been there ourselves? Is compassion wasted if it can't be reciprocated to those we're compassionate to the right way? Am I being too hard on her?
Talk to me,