Lia means well, she really does. But no matter how hard or often I try I cannot talk to the woman. I know she wants to help… but every time I attempt to engage her in conversation about non-superficial things I walk away feeling worse than I did before. Part of it, I think, is that she gets an idea in her head about how I must feel, and then she insists on responding to that idea instead of listening and responding to how I actually feel. Then I have to argue and re-explain, and she gets frustrated that I am not listening to her, and next thing I know we’re both yelling at each other; she’s upset that I don’t appreciate her and I’m upset that I’ve gone from being merely frustrated or confused to frustrated or confused and misunderstood and set upon for not having the “right” feelings, and it’s rage-inducing and miserable all at the same time.
A recent example: somehow she’d heard (or deduced) that Westel and I have been talking about our relationship again, and that we’d again settled on monogamy. It wasn’t an easy decision and I’m still not entirely comfortable with it, but I’m dealing and it will get easier. When Lia broached the topic with me, ostensibly looking to give me a sympathetic ear, I took a chance and confided in her that one of the big issues I’m still wrangling with is that I’m making this decision about how to live my life for a man. I’m changing who I am and adapting my expectations for a relationship to suit a man. There’s other factors involved in it as well, of course; I do think it’s the less terrible of two uncomfortable choices, given that monogamy hurts me a lot less than the idea of polyamory seems to hurt Westel, and there is nothing wrong and everything right about doing what is best to promote a healthy partnership with a worthwhile partner. But there’s still that little voice screaming that I’m betraying myself by changing for someone else – anyone else, really, but especially someone I’m sleeping with – and that voice bothers me.
Lia’s response? All change is painful, but as you grow up sometimes you learn that change is for the best. Sticking with one thing forever leads to stagnation and death of the soul.
What? What? My problem isn’t change, my problem lies in reconciling with the reasons why I’m making this particular change. I don’t mind change; I live for bloody change. Bloody hell, if I wanted to stick with the same thing forever I’d have been inclined to monogamy from the get-go and I wouldn’t be having this thrice-bedamned quandary! Her response to my explanation of my situation was well-rehearsed and recited and had nothing to do with my actual problem.
And it’s that moment of realizing that she never really wanted to hear what I had to say at all, she only wanted the opportunity to deliver her pre-prepared speech to me so she can feel soooo adult and mature (wasn’t I the one counseling her through relationship issues a few months ago?) and fucking helpful, when I really lose my cool. Not only am I struggling with deep and painful issues of who I am and how I define myself and my own self-worth, but oh right, just in case I forgot, here’s a handy reminder that the people who are among my closest friends don’t actually care about me so much as what I can do for them – and even though in Lia’s case that’s very little, it doesn’t change anything.
As Stavier is someone on whom I rely frequently and heavily I would like to be able to get along with his lady wife. Besides that, I actually do like Liealia when we’re not dealing with matters of my emotions. But she seems to think she’s being a terrible friend if she does not get in my business, and that I’m a terrible friend if I don’t let her in my business, and her insistence on perpetually misunderstanding/ misappropriating my business is going to be the death of one of us eventually.
And by one of us, I mean her.