Even When It’s Hard.

I’m difficult to date. I know that about myself. I can be the best girlfriend ever – incredibly attentive and present in the moment. And then I can isolate myself mentally, sometimes with no warning and sometimes for days or even weeks. I think that’s part of why I’m good at endurance events. I can live in my own head for hours – for days even – and have lively conversations with myself or sit quietly in a comfortable silence. Either way, I’m good when it’s me hanging out with me. But put another person in the mix and the dynamic changes, not always for the better.

It takes a special person to handle my remoteness. That person has to be patient and confident to withstand my personal storms. That person can’t be needy because I’m not always fit to be a source of support. That person has to be a communicator because I’m often not unless I’m confronted with, “Wait a minute – let’s talk about this.” Perhaps most importantly, that person can’t be a quitter because someone who wants to quit will have opportunity after opportunity to say, “This is too hard. I’m done.”

What I need – and want – is someone who will say by words and actions, “I’m in this, and I’m not going anywhere no matter what.”

I once was accused by a partner of treating my relationship as a race that I had run up until a mile before the finish when I decided to sit down and refused to take another step. Those words, spoken in a language I understood, spurred me to action, and I got back up and kept going only to discover much later that my accuser was, in fact, a quitter who eventually said, “This is too hard. I’m done.”

For the last few days, I’ve been thinking about all the stuff that’s going on in my world that makes the coming months stressful for me. When I feel stress, I retreat into myself.  I can feel myself doing it and I know it’s not a good thing for me or for my relationship, but I tend to do it anyway. I’ve done it these last few days.

I know that sometimes this is too hard. By any measure, what I’ve done here of late has made it too hard, but you wouldn’t know it from the warmth I’ve received despite the distance I’ve created. I appreciate that warmth when I’m in the thick of the retreat, though I don’t communicate appreciation hardly at all. And I appreciate the warmth when I’ve come out of the funk that caused me to turn inward.

I don’t feel like I deserve a patient and confident communicator who has made the decision to be with me even when being with me is hard, but that seems to be exactly what I’ve found.

IMG_6520Oh and this is neither here nor there, but in case you’re wondering, I’m leading the series 2 to 1 and am ahead by 18 points in Game 4. I can’t get smug or overly confident though. It’s still early, and it looks like we’re going to be at this for a good long time.

 

13 thoughts on “Even When It’s Hard.

  1. Thanks so much for writing and sharing these words. I feel like I have found a soulmate and friend. I, too, love to sit in the silence of my own thoughts. I, too, can be a difficult friend. Thank you.

  2. You are welcome, Stephanie. Thank you for taking the time to tell me that you understand what I’m saying and that you relate. That means a lot to me.

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