Here’s something that I’ve discovered…
While there’s no off switch, sometimes you can reach a point, in a relationship with someone, where you feel like you just can’t do it anymore. They’re the person you are closest to. They are the person who has become your “safe place.” She gets to see me at my lowest, and most often my highest too. I know that she’ll take me at my worst and still be there afterwards.
Unfortunately, that means she really does get to see the worst. Just as I’ll still be there after I see Dan at her lowest and worst, she still be there for me. We are both (overly) empathetic at times.
Our lowest, is usually when one or both of us have hit some kind of limit, where we no longer want or feel able to take each other’s pain in or part of us is comparing what each has gone through, thinking that it’s not so bad. In the broad view, we never stop doing it, but in these tiny, sometimes insignificant moments, we can seem to cease empathizing with each other, each of us hoping to draw strength from the other, and neither feeling like there’s anything left to give.
Dan’s well aware of how I try to take care of and feel for my friends and my coworkers and the kids I’m involved with. It must be frustrating, at times, for her to see that and then not get it from me sometimes. She must, because I feel the same way too.
The important people in our lives are often that important because they can be hit with the full strength of the shit we are feeling, see it for what it is and accept it. And still, they’re there for you.