“I feel like we should share our darkest secrets.”
This was the text message I received at work one night after my second date with Ollie.
Ugh. I was torn. Already? I hadn’t let anyone into my darkness since The Catfish and my guards were still on high alert.
Should this be a red flag or am I being too cautious? I thought to myself.
It’s not a secret that JBlondie craves communication. I want to know all about you and I love when you ask questions about me in return. Share moments from your childhood with me, and I’ll probably immediately care for you. Explain to me your deepest fears, and there will be no need to sweep me off of my feet, because I’ll already be head over heels. However, this seemed just way too fast. Ollie was trying to force emotional intimacy, which only made me want to add bricks to my towering walls.
Due to his comment on our second date about how I was “keeping it close to the chest,” I felt obligated to share something about myself.
But I’ve never been a fan of “Beige Love,” “Beige Sex,” or beige in general…it’s just so…beige? Don’t you think? So per usual, I ignored the flashing red lights and proceeded down the rabbit hole.
“You first,” I replied.
Ollie responded with three options.
1. A secret I have only told one other person.
2. The reason why I gave up on my family a while ago.
3. Something about you (well, really US).
I’m sure you can guess which one I chose….let’s be real. When it comes to JBlondie, the darker the better.
As Ollie confessed to me the secret he had only told one other person (via text messaging…weird right?) I found it incredibly strange that someone, who I had only known for two weeks, was going to give me this piece of himself to hold onto.
After he was done telling me his secret, I wasn’t sure how to respond. You see, as a therapist I have been jaded. I witness the results of neglect, abuse, and abandonment on a daily basis. Tell me about your horrible childhood, and I would bet every dollar in my bank account (which is currently $ 4.16) that I’ve heard at least one story worse than yours. Tell me the tale about how your father didn’t come to your soccer games or how your mother called you fat, and I’ll show you ten people who are institutionalized to psychiatric units because no one has ever given enough shits about them to teach them how to function in the real world.
As a society we are incredibly desensitized…but that’s another tangent I’ll save for later. Let’s get back to Ollie…
To be honest, I was a little horrified by my reaction to Ollie’s “secret” because my immediate thought was “oh that’s nothing.” I completely realize this is absolutely unfair of me. Minimizing someone’s darkest moments is incredibly cold, but a first thought is a first thought…and I couldn’t help it. I also HIGHLY doubted the fact he had only told this to one other person.
After I responded APPROPRIATELY to Ollie, he made note of how it was my turn to share. I detested this feeling of owing him something. I wasn’t ready to share the weight of my emotional baggage. Was he trying to see if I was too damaged for him? Or was he simply trying to dive into deeper waters with me?
Being fair, I provided him with three options as well. I kept my explanation somewhat surface. I admitted to him there was much more to this discussion, but it’s one I’d rather have in person. He accepted this and we moved on.
Ollie and I Face Timed a couple of nights that week and while I was excited to know more about him, I tried my best to keep him at a distance. I told him about my inability to cook, my forgetfulness, and my obsession with sloths. I was hoping he’d slowly fade away realizing how dorky and weird I was…but instead he inquired,
“Is this how you push people away?”
“Yes,” I answered.
“Well I’m not going anywhere, so you’ll have to push a lot harder,” he responded.
I was silent.
“Do you hear me? I’m not going anywhere,” he repeated.
With that statement I took a deep breath and my impenetrable shell began to crack. This was how I always imagined things to begin. Ollie seemed to be everything I wanted…deep, intense, and overwhelming. He was red in a world of beige.
Unfortunately, Ollie was brought into my life to teach me the meaning of the phrase “Be Careful What you Wish for.” It’s a lesson I would learn for the last time, because I would never repeat the same mistake again…
Note to Self: Once you share certain parts of yourself, you never get them back…