A Text from Chris

Chris texted me. I’m floored to have heard from him and am struggling to think of a response.

His message popped up on my phone yesterday afternoon.

I’m doing pretty good. Thank you for asking. My sibs are in town now, so, sort of a shit show here :). Mom is suffering from kidney troubles, this isn’t the first time. Hope your week is going well.

I don’t know much about kidney issues, but it certainly doesn’t sound good. And I don’t know how nearby his siblings live, but I vaguely recall at least one of the two is far enough that air travel was likely required to get into town this quickly.

As I said, it doesn’t sound good.

It’s lovely to have heard from him. On several levels, I’m completely shocked to have done so. I was so convinced I wouldn’t, and now that I have I don’t know what to say.

[Reminder about who Chris is can be found here. In brief, we went out, had a lovely time, and made plans to go out again. A few days later, he asked to reschedule our second date. His mother is ill. I didn’t hear from him again after that and didn’t expect I would.]

Compounding the issue is the fact that I never feel like I know what to say during times of crisis. My heart rises up into my throat and I want to say all the right words to convey all the emotions I feel, but generally, I feel like I just flub it up.

I’m much better at active listening and giving good hugs than I am with words when big horrible scary things are happening in someone’s life.

I’m sure I’ll figure out what to say at some point. I imagine it will come to me sometime today. There’s time. I let it slide yesterday because I… well, not really for any good reason other than I couldn’t figure out what to say and didn’t feel any pressure to respond with any immediacy. There is space with Chris for well thought out responses. Quick one-liners are not expected.

While this particular text was understandably shorter than his norm, it’s absolutely shocking to me that I heard from him at all. Truly, I’m marveling at it far beyond any reasonable degree. Mostly, I’m sure, my stunned feelings harken back to all of my “I’m not worthy” shit I’m dealing with these days.

Those feelings of worthlessness and being unlikable don’t align with the reality of the conversations and actions that have occurred with Chris thus far, though.

In a general sense, it would behoove me to figure out what to do about these feelings. It’s enough already. What I’ve been doing to try to resolve them, whatever it is that I think I’m doing right now, clearly isn’t working.

I have some ideas about what I should do, though. More on that tomorrow.

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