Leaving it behind
Our friend BP stopped by just after my study group left one night. He came into my room where I was putting the finishing touches on the homework set we had just finished and began to talk, "I was downstairs at PJ's just now. I came by because I wanted to talk to him, but his girlfriend Lara came by a few minutes after I did."
Hearing Lara's name still hurt a bit but, not wanting to BP to catch on, I murmured agreeably.
"She comes in and plops down in the chair that PJ was sitting in. The whole time I was trying to talk him, she is sitting on top of him and touching him. Doesn't he know how much that bothers me since my break up? I don't want to see that."
Mentally I'm thinking, "I don't want to hear this. Can't he tell how much this is hurting me?", but now BP is on a roll venting and all I can do is try to partially tune him out. My lack of response finally had its desired effect when BP left, seemingly relieved at having told someone who understood how tortured he felt and seemingly oblivious to the pain he had just pushed onto me.
I sat on the floor of my room, surrounded by a haze of depression and emotional pain. My friend from across the hall came over with her copy of our homework and settled down to work, but I couldn't keep my focus on my textbook. I wanted to be smaller somehow and protected from all this pain. Without saying a word I got up from the floor and went into the bathroom. I left the lights off, feeling safer in the pitch dark room, and went into the far corner of the shower stall where I sat with my arms around my raised knees.
At first it was difficult to quiet my rioting thoughts and I was afraid of someone coming in to find me. What would they think of me hiding in a completely dark shower stall? But after a few minutes my body began to adopt the quiet of the room and I felt some peace. The pain was still there but I didn't feel so completely overwhelmed by it.
The door opened and I braced for discovery. My roommate, BLB, turned on the light and said my name. Thank goodness it was that friend, someone I felt safe revealing my weakness and pain to. I responded and she opened the door to the shower area. She gave me a hand getting up off the cool tile floor and with just a few words I followed her out, leaving most of my pain behind.