Monday, June 20, 2016

Fragile pride

Caveat: Most of the post was written immediately following a fight with Giant. Then I saved it, and did some heavy editing on it a few hours later. However, it's still the same day, and I'm emotionally worn out. It's now past midnight, and I'm dead tired, stressed out, worried and sad. And depressed, let's not forget the clinical condition that's fucking up my mind and my emotions. 

I post this now, despite all of this, because I want the written testimony to how I'm feeling. I want to be able to look back and examine my own mind. If I wake up tomorrow, feeling or thinking something completely different, I will write about that too. But I want the blog to show me, fairly uncensored. If that means I show you the fluctuating madhouse that is mind mind these days, then so be it. It's who I am.

I make mistakes, and I'm quick to apologize. I don't have much confidence in general, but especially not these days. Sure, I'm good at some things, confident with some things. But even in the fields where I'm the most confident, like at my workplace.. If I make a mistake or hurt someone or misstep, I'm quick to accept the blame for it. I strive to correct my errors whenever possible. Sure, I can take the lead. I quite enjoy being in that position (both sexually and professionally). But I'm quick to let people know that I don't know everything.

However, I will not take the blame when somebody else has made a mistake. I'm quick to point out unfairness, if someone tries to shift blame onto me for things I didn't do. I won't accept being given unfair criticism or blame, if I have a choice. I won't let my own happiness be compromised, so someone else can feel less guilty. (Well... I try not to let that happen, anyway.)

Giant is very different from me when it comes to admitting mistakes. On the inside, I think he's just as insecure as the rest of us. But his walls are higher, his shell is harder. I don't think this makes him stronger than me (or Saint, or T), even though he might seem that way at first. It just makes him more brittle. Like a porcelain vase, so beautiful, so strong, so polished, and yet so fragile. I think he's aware of how brittle those walls of his are, yet he fears to live without them. And so he protects those walls with all possible force. And that comes off as pride.

So on the outside, Giant strives to emit this aura of perfection. He portrays himself as someone who knows it all, who doesn't need any help or advice, and who doesn't make mistakes. A glossy facade. (This isn't the case when we play, of course. Then he's got a lot less walls. But I'm talking about daily life here, not play sessions.)

In our regular day-to-day life, he has a very hard time admitting mistakes. He's often too proud. Too proud to admit that he might not know all the things, might make mistakes, might not make all the right calls. Oh, he admits to the theory of it! But not when he's in the middle of a discussion. And yes, he has apologized to me before, but it's usually a long time coming. So far, it typically happens after I've apologized first. Usually after a long, painful argument.

Giant's one of the leaders of this volunteer project that we're both heavily involved with. (In fact T and Saint are also volunteers for the same project.) And he's a good leader, and a good volunteer. Usually. Today, Giant (whilst trying to help) made a mistake when working on that project. It was a fixable mistake, so nothing major went wrong. It's just caused Saint and me (or him, if he does it himself) quite a bit of extra work, at a time when we're all stressed and over-worked already.

The conversation about that mistake could have gone like this:
Me: "You did X! You shouldn't have done X, it's made all sorts of problems for us."
Giant: "What?!? I thought I was helping! I'm sorry, I didn't know this would happen."

It didn't go like that.
I was really worried on the onset of this, because Saint is already so strained. I tried to protect him from having to do even more. So I quickly and forcefully pointed out the mistake. (Granted, I could have been nicer about it.) It blew up into this huge argument. I'm beginning to recognize the patterns now: When Giant has made mistakes or feels insecure, he tends to go "this argument is pointless" and try to derail or evade the argument. Alternatively, he shifts blame onto someone or something else (in this case: me). Usually, he will vary between these two strategies.

True to form, Giant (being tired and stressed out himself) immediately started blaming me. Then he went over to saying we shouldn't even be discussing this. Then blaming me again. And then finally playing the "boss card" (I'm in charge, we won't discuss this anymore!). It was a complete communications' break down.

Our fight today made me seriously consider quitting the project, both as a volunteer and as a participant. I volunteer because I enjoy the work. Being treated like I was today is not enjoyable. Regardless of our personal relationship.

And it's not the first argument we've had lately. A lot of our communication, especially when one or both are tired or stressed, feels strained. We both hate the fighting, but it keeps happening anyway.

Why do they happen? First, it was his lies that hurt us. I'm sure that's part of the strain, even though it's not as much in the front of my mind anymore. (The healing has slowly begun.) Secondly, this is a trying time. We have a lot on our plates. We're stressed. We don't get enough sleep. But Third... It feels to me like his fragility/pride is getting in the way. Why can't he just admit to a mistake, without us having a huge row first? And what can I do to help with that?

Today, I had to make a not-so-veiled (and very serious) threat to abandon the project. But he did eventually apologize, without me having to apologize first. So I'll stay on. And I should be happy, but this doesn't taste of victory. It tastes of defeat. It was just another pointless argument, all based on our communications breaking down. Again.

I just don't know how to handle it, don't know what to say or do to avoid these heart wrenching arguments. (And these are my failings, my errors, which I willingly admit to.) I should know what to say, I should be able to figure him out! I've just never been with anyone too proud to admit to mistakes before. Not like that. I don't know how to handle it. Especially when he's so fragile underneath it all. I don't wish to cause him harm!

I love him. Hopefully, we'll find a way to handle this... When we're less stressed, less over-worked. (And in my case: Less sick.) We just need to hold on until then. Not let go, not give up. And keep working on this together.

I love him. He's worth it.
It's just hard, sometimes.

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