I’ve poured my heart out again. One of those ridiculous long-winded emotional spiels. The kind that leave me exhausted and worried after the fact.
Because it feels cathartic to get it all out, but the last thing I want to do is alienate the person I’m talking to. Overwhelm them. Cause some sort of secondary problem that I’m not in any shape to clean up.
And my fears twitch when they say what I was dreading they would: “Okay, but what am I supposed to do about that?”
I’ll frown. “I don’t expect you to do anything.” Because it’s true. “I can barely handle it myself, and I have access to not only what I’ve said to you but to all the things I don’t have the words to express.” All the behind the scenes information that not only defies description but I find my brain tries to actively push away.
Incidentally, that’s been an enduring truth of my life. While I’m sensitive and can be a somewhat dramatic and colorful storyteller (pretty sure I picked that up from someone else, though I’m not sure who exactly), I tend to actually be fairly emotionally self-reliant.
I expect to be the one to ultimately deal with my own emotions. What they’re doing to me. And any fallout.
I don’t expect to have someone sidle up beside me and offer that I can lean on them.
I express this as best as I can to them in this moment. Fight back the threat of being abruptly muted by a rapidly swelling epiglottis.
And then they say the other thing I’ve come to expect, “If you don’t expect me to help, then why did you tell me?”
The words escape my mouth before I even register them. “I just want to talk about it to prove to myself I can. And especially in front of someone else, someone whose opinion matters to me. A person I admire. Because if I can do that, and the world doesn’t end, then I know that things are going to be okay. That my problems aren’t as big as my fear wants to tell me they are.”
They reach out and hug me.