It’s been 2 weeks. Ron is still in the hospital; ze hopes to be released on Tuesday.
We’ve spoken on the phone several times; I’ve generally done my best to be supportive and our conversations have been mostly good.
I also visited zir once during the week. It felt a lot like how things had been around May Day, before the … crisis. I was happy to see zir and ze seemed calm, reasonable. We walked part of the grounds and sat on a somewhat secluded bench. Ze asked me to play a song on guitar, so I did, carefully focusing on the music. Then ze handed me a composition book and put zir arm around me, leaning in as I reviewed its contents. It felt good to be close, but at the same time there were alarms going off in my head. This was not what Fox and I had agreed would be appropriate for our first rendezvous, and I was allowing Ron to overstep the boundaries I’d promised to myself.
We talked and ze stroked my arm and hair and kissed me and it was wonderful. But then ze had both arms around me, essentially, and was leaning in …
“We shouldn’t get too into this right now,” I said, gently but firmly.
“You’re right,” ze said, backing off. “Time check?”
We had about 10 minutes. I hugged zir close, tears in my eyes. There was a potent silence.
“I was very hurt by some of the things you said and did while I was at your house.”
“Are there any specific things we need to talk about?”
I told zir the main things that had hurt me, choosing my words carefully. Ze listened, explained zir perspective, said things like “I didn’t mean it that way,” … and apologized. It almost seemed like an afterthought, but it was there, and ze seemed to mean it. At one point ze lovingly kissed my hand, and as ze released it I noticed ze was crying.
I forgave zir. We agreed that it was good we were able to have that conversation – especially our first time seeing each other since …
“We still have a lot to talk about, though,” ze said on the phone that evening.
“Oh, yeah, definitely,” I agreed.
“Oh, good. I’m glad that’s not the be all and end all of that conversation.”
“Far from it.”
The conversation raised more issues than it resolved, at least from my perspective. Two things Ron said really concern me: 1) that I’m “pulling zir into” a situation that goes against the way ze was raised and 2) that ze was pushing my boundaries so hard in order to learn whether ze could trust me.
I feel like, by saying I’m “pulling zir into” a situation, ze is not acknowledging nor utilizing zir agency. This relationship is something we’ve entered together and need to navigate together; that means both of us taking responsibility and working together to make sure we’re both safe.
Now Ron knows ze can trust me, but at what cost? I don’t know if I can trust zir – or even myself! I need time. I need to take things much more slowly than ze seems ready to recognize. I need to heal. It may be mainly old wounds that have been reopened, but they’re seriously affecting my quality of life. I’m getting majorly stressed out by my volunteer work and struggling to fulfill my responsibilities. There are times when I don’t want to do anything. Or don’t have the energy to do anything.
I can’t maintain a loving relationship with someone who needs to break me in order to feel safe.