A space offered with no expectations or demands. Not even interaction. Not with a demand to “talk things through,” “figure things out,” try to impose at all. A space to withdraw, spend time alone, be in a real home, not together, not completely alone in a dark, one room studio apartment if only evidenced by the presence of a stray cup of tea found in the shower. Just a space to be at times and in a period of reflection and safety. A real house. Spaciousness. Working opposite hours. Not the pressure of a relationship. Even on Saturdays, not there all day and late into the night. His.
I saw more clearly the other day. I think I exhausted Partner Dylan. My texts, calls, pleads, demands, longings, even things that happened around therapy. I did not fully get that. I did not fully get how he was/is feeling or maybe how he has been the past few months. How much pain.
Because my Fearful/Vigilant part came across as demanding more needs from him. Attacking. Unsafe. Confusing. Very hurtful. Something to run from to save his sense of Self.
I could see in his sadness recently that my love or care does not necessarily feel like love to him or safety. It feels like something he must do or respond and do. Something like a ticking time bomb. That makes sense to me. He is basically between pain and pain. Safe respite alone, or respite that is inconsistent, scary, and unsafe, overwhelming, hurtful, or not alone enough for what he needs.
Partner Dylan has always tried so hard to please me. At times when he has revealed just how much, I have felt sad that he was working or feeling the need to work so hard.
I would hear him use worker-terms–“trying to get back to a good place,” “Sisyphean,” he said.
Almost like there would be no respite for him, no safe space, no nurturance until he had “fixed” something.
That makes me really sad. That he would feel like that. That I am a danger or someone who could hurt his heart. Because it is true, or was true for several months overtly. More lessened at times prior. Not intentional, but hurtful. I haven’t lost my mind since I made sense out of a lot of it and still am ongoing. I love him. Making sense out of things inside has always been what regrounds me and brings me more peace in life.
Whether or not Partner Dylan wants to be in a relationship with me is separate from my values of loving him and offering what I have: a peaceful space to be most of the time alone in a real place, with a real bed, and a loud animal stubbornly intent on cuddling.
I think one of the biggest definitions of safety is that sometimes we just need a safe bedroom, lights off, tucked in, loved.
He has provided that for me in ways no one ever had.
It matters not if it is used for 5 minutes or 5 days. It is there.
In the different parts of self that my therapist often talks about, I recognize that with Partner Dylan that I have several including a Compassionate part, a Vigilant/Protective/Fearful part, and a tremendous Love/Values part.
The one at the end of the day is what my therapist would call my Wise One. That essentially is the space we come back to in ourselves when grounded. That being in touch with this Wise One is what can organize, empower, or calm the others. The Wise One is essentially the core self connected. The more any of us can get in touch with that, the more options we see available to us in how to respond to things in a way that is in line with our values in our personal selves.
Partner Dylan is one of my values, conscious to love. I am also one of my values, conscious to love. Compassion in general is also something in myself that rarely goes away. I like this.
I want him to have the space available to use as an Airbnb. He can choose to or not, but it is here.
Love wash over a multitude of things