I had breakfast with a friend this morning. We were catching up on the last six weeks since we last had a substantive conversation, so there was a lot of data to push through in a small time-frame.
We talked about a lot of things, but we were sometimes talking about relationships. He's going through some changes right now, and trying to figure out what he wants and what his boundaries are. I don't consider myself any good relationships really, and he wasn't exactly looking for advice. But he did ask about what it had been like back in the day, when I was trying to make a multi-faceted fiasco of a relationship work. I did my best to answer his questions.
I am better at talking about those events now, but only marginally so. I've approached the emotional aspects of what that time in my life was like. I've come to a greater understanding how a lack of support meant that I was fielding a bunch of difficult mental health challenges through self medicating and reactive behaviors. Specifically, I feel like I have a much better understanding of why the three of us reacted to each other in the ways that we did, and how the variety of challenges we were each facing funneled into creating that disaster. I just happened to be on the receiving end of the explosion when it went off. It took me a long time to get to this, but: c'est la vie.
But it was in talking about this, and the genesis of that relationship, that I realized what today was. Sitting at breakfast was fifteen years, almost to the minute, since the most sideways moment in my life. I had a much harder time talking about that part of the story.
I haven't revisited that time very much. I took it into therapy years ago, but on such a base level. Like it was a fact that I needed to convey, but not something that I really thought had a lot of influence to it. Which is fallacy, of course.
But even trying to talk about it this morning was full of all of these barriers in my head. I wasn't able to be really genuine about it. It wasn't a fear of being vulnerable, or talking about something that should be swept under the rug. I was comfortable discussing this subject material. Instead, I am sure that my inability to discuss it came from a lack of understanding of what it meant to me. And when I run into that situation, it is always a big giant blinking sign pointed right at the thing I need to work on.
I wish I could say that those fifteen years went by really quickly. They haven't. They have been full of different flavors of trauma and joy and work and struggle and happiness and slogging through messes. It feels like all that happened several lifetimes ago now, which they have in a sense. That happened to a me that is so different now that I can't remember. Or maybe I'm not able to remember since I've blocked it off. It's hard to tell the difference.
What I can do is see that distance. I'm still not entirely square on all of what happened, and maybe that is not a reasonable goal. But I am better, and I am getting better, and I've got tools and support for working through problems when they come up. I'm on much more stable ground. So when I look back at that distance, I am happy that I've traveled it. I know that fifteen years from now will also look as long, and I hope to have made the same amount of personal progress in that distance as well.
I'm happy to be here. I hope I managed to get that idea across at breakfast.