She banged into my study, gave me a very sharp angry look and almost shouted “For the past three days I am worried, angry and sad. I am not talking to you, not eating properly and not sleeping properly. You have seen me going through this, and how do you react? Nothing, you are simply normal. There is no change in you, as if nothing wrong has happened. Do I really exist for you?” and with these statement she started sobbing.
I kept looking at her, startled by her sudden violent reaction. I was not expecting that.
I said calmly “I know you are disturbed during the last few days. But you never asked my view on this and I assumed you wanted to deal with it on your own. If you wanted anything you could have easily asked me once. So, I just thought I should give you some privacy and not disturb you”
She again erupted “To hell with your understanding. You can’t even understand a simple thing about my emotions. The truth is I was expecting care, I wanted you to show me that it matters for you. It’s not about giving a solution to me, it’s just being with me in my difficult time”
My reaction was instant “Now what is this? I am always with you. How do I know that you are expecting a solution and all that you need is to discuss the issue? I mean why is it so difficult for you to express your feelings to me?”
“What the hell?” her reaction was equally violent, she again said in a high tone “Is it me who is having difficulty in expressing feeling or it is you? You think your feelings are precious or what? What do you want, that someone should come begging for your feeling and then only you will express it?”
I knew it was difficult for her to understand my thought process. I don’t even expect anyone to understand me.
I got calm and said in similar calm tone “It’s nothing like that. All I expected was that you express your feelings to me. If I need you in certain occasions, I will not hide and just come forward and ask for it. But, you didn’t do that. So, I thought maybe you don’t need my support in this”
And she paused, but kept sobbing. After a long pause she said “Feelings are not for discussion, express or show off. They are to be felt. All I was expecting was understanding, an understanding where heart, mind and eyes speak. It’s not asking for support or companionship. It’s just being with someone when the other person needs you. And if I have to ask you that, there is no meaning of such relationship.”
I said “I don’t understand this. What is wrong in expressing what your want? Or just discussing the problem with me? If you don’t express it, I may misunderstand you? What will happen then?”
She was still calm, she said “Can you really express everything that you feel? You can’t. Why do you need to get confirmation about you feelings? You just do what you feel like doing. If you thought or knew that I was sad or disturb, why didn’t you just came and asked me? Why you were waiting for a confirmation from my side?”
She again paused for a while and said “you don’t trust yourself, nor you trust your feelings. You think expressing them will lend you to someone problem. Or I may not like it. You just don’t believe in true understanding or the miracles of true feelings. You are just selfish. You want people to come to you and ask for your feelings. Things doesn’t work like that in a true relation. You don’t ask for feelings. You just express it as the way they are.”
This time I got angry and said “No, I don’t believe that. What if my feelings are not wanted or things are not the way I believe them to be. What if something wrong happens if I express them. How do you decide which one is better – ‘one who always cared but didn’t said anything’ or the ‘one who cared and said but made the life miserable for everyone around’. Things are not so simple for me”
She replied immediately “I knew you will come with a strong justification of your cruel and selfish nature. The fact is, you are just insensitive. You are selfish. You are scared. You believe in putting boundaries, limitations around you so that you are not hurt, your feelings are safe.
“Ha, Ha!!” I almost laughed “Am I cruel and selfish? Don’t we ourselves become selfish when we look at other person in our own personal agenda? You were looking for care and understanding and were expecting from me, but you didn’t looked it from my point of view. Why didn’t you came and asked for my care? If I come and ask you whether you need any help, that is understanding and love for you. But you can’t come to me asking for it, then it becomes my understanding issue. What is this, isn’t both ways it is my fault? Aren’t you just trying to cover your own insecurities?”
We both became silent. No one has the answers or justifications for the doubt coming to us. She must be thinking, why she even came to me asking for my care. I was thinking why she didn’t came earlier.
Am I really selfish? Or, it is her understanding problem?