Hmm. My friend across town is indeed easing herself out of an emotionally draining, if not abusive, relationship. She’s doing what she needs to do to extricate herself and get herself back on her feet. She knows the guy she was with was no good for her, her children, her future. Her family doesn’t like him… She knows, admits, she made a mistake. She wishes she had done things differently. But she’s learned things about herself.
And I was able to say, finally:
“He didn’t seem right for you.”
“You deserve better than that.”
“He seems very insecure.”
“Are you scared of him?”
I was able to acknowledge that I couldn’t be the same friend to her when she was with him, because he was in the way. Because he made her a different person. I didn’t lie. I was a friend.
And I think she was honest with me–something I had stopped expecting.
I do not regret this lunch I had today.
So this neighbor across town, the one I believed was leaving the man for whom she left her husband? I’m supposed to have lunch with her today. (When I learned she was leaving, I was so very relieved it prompted me to contact her and ask how she was, and we scheduled a lunch date.)
I am already regretting this lunch, scheduled in about three hours.
See, I don’t think she’s really left him: Her Facebook and LinkedIn profile pictures feature him with her. Their facebook relationship statuses still indicate that they are a couple. They apparently are still working together. She continues to wear the engagement ring he gave her (he wanted her to keep it, and she wears it to keep other men out of her life).
I think she is easing her way out of an emotionally abusive relationship, as slowly as she can. I think this fool of a man believes they’re still together, that he still “has” her, that he is just generously giving her the space she needs to be on her own for a while. I think she is letting her old friends know as much as she can let them know, or worse, what she thinks they want to hear. I think I think I think.
My head might explode.
I’m going to have lunch with her, and she’s going to tell me partial truths and she’ll sugar-coat situations and she’ll feign ignorance or actually be ignorant and I’m going to have to try to be… blank.
Blank. Meaning, not pass judgment. Not say what I think. Not question her, relentlessly, until she simply admits what we can all see. Nope. That kind of thing is just not done.
I’m an idiot to have agreed to lunch. A blank-faced idiot.
Who lies, with silence.