Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Saint Monday

I went over to CK's last night around 8pm, riding over in the twilight. The air was cooling rapidly and I stopped to pull on something with sleeves. We managed to have a quiet, close night which felt so necessary after Saturday. I had planned to write about my thoughts, but we were lying together in bed and I didn't want to disturb that closeness.

It was a sweet, intimate moment before sleeping. We lay close, foreheads touching at times, while I stroked her hair, neck and face. Occasionally she'd reach out to rest her hand on my leg or side or press a kiss to some part of me, forehead, shoulder, lips. She said this morning that it had felt calming and safe, likely why she slipped into sleep so quickly.

We both had come to see Saturday as a cascade of my being overwhelmed, triggered by my grief. The grief and shame left me beyond the ability to observe what was happening around me. How unsettling this might be for CK, especially when she wasn't feeling up to the effort of being around a gathering and was trying to force herself to get through it. When I felt myself starting to panic, lying there next to her falling asleep I sat up and tried to focus on the facts. It was hard to keep a hold of them and not slide into unreasonable fear at my needing her and feeling like I was unsupported.

I finally was able to settle into doing metta practice, just focusing on the two of us and my breath. That we be free of our anxiety and fear, free of shame, free of anger, free of suffering, and that we be happy. I did this in between the times I would call the contingency planning hot line every 30 minutes for updates on the negotiations, dozing a little here and there.

Finally at 1:08AM the hot line reported that an agreement had been reached. CK woke up briefly as I was really trying to settle to sleep finally. I told her there news, unset my early alarm, and lay down. She stroked my neck and shoulders a little, dropping a kiss between them, and I again felt the intimacy of the moment, the comfort.

She awoke anxious. I awoke disoriented and exhausted through and through. The weather quickly turned into a loud thunderstorm. The claps rattling the whole flat. Atari fled and hid at first under the tub and when CK wanted to shower he hid under the sofa. When the rain came, hard, the wind blew it into the open windows which she rushed to close up.

As per normal on Mondays I did not get done what I wanted to be working on -- the error Apache gives when trying to load the PHP5 module. I ended up mostly working on reports and account issues in the new change control tool. I'd helped do a requirements meeting for some reports and having put together the notes from the meeting I wanted to work on the reports and views while it was all still fresh in my head.

Around 4:25 CK messaged me that she'd been told she was no longer going to be involved with a project. It was done in an unprofessional, indirect way, which made it even worse. Yes, I'm biased, but even if I were not I'd still find that it was not handled in a mature way. I feel such a protective emotion rise up in me when she's hurt or mistreated. There is a part of me that finds it a little silly since part of the reason I respect and love CK is her ability to take care of herself, she certainly doesn't need my protection. Regardless of that I would protect her from hurt if I were able to.

I had felt that while lying there in the dark keeping my anxiety at bay with metta practice. I have been so hurt in my past that I just want to be able to tell the world to go the hell away, pull up a big blanket to hide under. It is absolutely absurd and it is our interaction with the world that enriches us. But in feeling the hurt, all of it, there is part of me that just wants to say, "Enough!"

AM made soup, exactly the kind of meal I love when I'm tired. I sent CK a message that she was welcome to come have some, and hugs, if she wanted to. I know that both she and I withdraw when we hurt, that asking for comfort is terribly difficult if not impossible. When I spoke with her I was happy to hear that having that option was helpful to her.

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