[ Actual move not for about six weeks, so been getting things ready at home. Meanwhile, Michael went on a major binge.] Michael came back today from being out of game for 4 days. Being out of game after a bender isn't unusual for him, but the length of this was. A couple of days is normal, but 4 days had me a little worried. He said he was on social overload and knew it was longer than usual, and would talk to me when he could about what is going on. I know this will happen when he is here, but I think it will be easier when I can just peek in on him to make sure is OK. He was also annoyed with me, but I'm used to that. I left a lot of little short messages for him on Battle Net over the course of about 3 days, just like a mini diary of what's going on. I asked him if he had seen any of them and he replied quite tersely that he had seen all ...of ...them. Made me laugh; I bug him on purpose to make sure he knows I'm around for him and to keep him from just shutting down.
We talked for a long time tonight. Michael was drunk, but I expect that right now. He wanted to thank me for talking to Mary [not her real name. All names in here, except Michael's and mine have been changed to protect their privacy.] and letting her know that he is harmless and just wants to be her friend. Nothing more. I like seeing him being social, but apparently, it is really costing him. He had to have a longer Hermit Time because he allowed himself to get overloaded with his harem. He said he is going to have to start self limiting that. Yeah, right.
Then he started taking about our Grand Adventure and how excited he is, but how terrified he is as well. He has people, family, he has to tell and I don't think he is looking forward to that. To be honest, I have been kinda worried he would back out of the whole thing, but I don't think that is going to happen now. He was adamant that he wants to come, that he needs a new start, and he is excited about being able to live without all the problems he has now. I realize, whether he is able to get rid of some of those problems or not, that “fixing” him isn't going to be easy or quick. But I prefer at this point to have him very positive about the experience.
Michael is being a bit Hermity today (a word I invented just for him). Not just today but for the last couple of days. Over the weekend he helped power level a couple of people and that kind of intense interaction with others just drains him. He is regenerating while in this Hermity mode. I understand that, but it is hard to communicate with him for long when he is like that. However, to continue getting ready for him, I sent him a series of questions I need him to answer, what he likes to eat, things like that. I told him to do it only when he wasn't annoyed by it, if ever. Hawaii is in 4 weeks, and I need to be ready for him before I go to Hawaii.
I got rid of my fish and my birds yesterday. Not a big sacrifice, been largely ignoring them for a while now. I needed the room in the living room for Michael, so the fish are gone, and the birds were just messy and I felt guilty about neglecting them.
I continue to look forward to Hawaii and Sam. I haven't told him about Michael moving in, not sure what he would say, but at this point in our relationship it really is my decision. I have no idea where we are going with this, if anywhere. He is the first man I have been with in years, so I'm enjoying that, and he is too. Hawaii will be very revealing, 10 days with him 24/7. We will either be solid at the end of it – or not. We'll see.
Had another long marathon session with Michael yesterday. He had been up all night and called me at 5:30 a.m. because he wanted someone to talk to and he was feeling guilty for not talking to me for a week. I told him no need, I understood, but I also told him that my own insecurities rear up and then I wonder if he is getting cold feet. After yesterday's talk I can put that fear to rest.
We talked about so many things over the course of an almost 6 hour conversation. He is teaching me to pet battle in game and during the course of that and the conversations about it, other things pop up. Things which are significant and revealing. I have been taking his friendship with other people for granted, but I now realized how rare and what a gift it is for him. He has never had friendships like he has made here before. He has never felt as wanted as he does in the guild. He doesn't know how to manage that, to limit and protect himself, so he allows himself to get overloaded and then has to “run and hide for a week” as he puts it. I am very proud of our guild and love the people in it. Never more so than for what they are doing for Michael. Without even thinking about it they have embraced him and made him feel loved and accepted, men as well as women, and it is a rare and wonderful feeling for him. The confidence that has given him has made him borderline egotistical, but he will learn to handle that as well because he is aware of it. I have never met anyone as self aware as he is. I guess it comes from years of solitude.
We did talk about us and our relationship vis a vie the guild. I told him that I will never put him above the good of the guild as a whole. He agreed that I should never do that and that he would never ask or expect me to do so. I admit it has been sometimes hard for me, very hard at times, for me to stand back when he is being an ass in raid and disturbing others. Simon especially, when he was raid lead, had a lot of trouble with him and would talk to me about banning him from vent, and I always told him he needed to do what he felt was necessary. Ironically, he did one time ban him from vent and most of the support of the raiders came down on the side of Michael. Many have told me that Michael is the reason they love to raid with us and that he makes raiding fun. Michael truly has become an extremely important part of the guild. He also told me that it is fairly common knowledge about our plans. I have to take the blame for that, I have told a few people and in a small community such as ours, word gets around. However, neither one of us is bothered about that. Let people think what they will. He says that, from what he has heard, there is positive support for the idea, and I have found this as well.
Then the talk turned, as inevitably it will, to the move and the changes coming up. Things that he needs to do. He had mentioned his bank to me before, but today it became a significant issue. Apparently Michael has been scared to death that he is overdrawn with his bank and he can't do anything about either finding out or doing something about it. And when I say scared, I mean paralyzed with fear. He said it has been keeping him from sleeping. Apparently he had a checking account that had maybe $30 in it, and it has been inactive for a few months. The bank takes money out each month for a maintenance feel. (My opinion about the bank and their “maintenance fees” is not printable.) I told him he could just call and see what the balance is, and that's when I realized he was emotionally unable to do that simple step. So I called the bank, gave them the situation and asked just generally, whether they would continue taking fees out once the balance had been exhausted. I was told that no, the account would be closed once it reached a zero balance and no overdraft fees would be accrued.
When I told Michael about this his relief was extreme. Not just because he doesn't have a debt he owes and can't pay, but just knowing one way or another, what the situation was, and not having to constantly worry about it and not be able to do something about finding out. I can't imagine what it must be like for him. Simple things we take for granted on a day to day basis absolutely terrify him and he has no way to cope. When he is being social, i.e., drunk, it is easy to forget how seriously disabled he truly is. Later, after he had slept for about 9 hours, he came online and told me that because of the simple act on my part of calling the bank and sorting that out for him that he got the best sleep he has had in a long time.
Our conversation, as I said, went on for almost six hours. We covered many topics, the move being a large part. At one point he asked me what my birthday was. I told him the date, and he said no, he meant the actual birth date, the year, and wanted to know exactly how old I was, even though he knows. So I told him I would be 68 in just under a month. He said he wanted to be able to tell people how old I was when he tells them about the move. Wants to reassure them that he isn't going to be my boy toy (my term, not his). Being brutally honest here, I hated the reminder of the differences in our ages. Don't get me wrong, as vulnerable as Michael is, nothing would be worse for him than any kind of relationship with me other than friendship. But a girl can dream, lol.....
And that takes us full circle back to trying to define our relationship. I think I may have a handle on it, at last. There is true love and caring between us, something we are very open about. He tells me quite sincerely that he loves me, something he seldom says to anyone, even to me, and I believe him. I also love him and tell him that frequently. But if it isn't romantic love, what is it? I think I have finally figured out that Michael is my best friend. Someone I can trust, confide in, know will always be there for me. He brings elements into my life that have been missing for way to long. Laughter - I have laughed more in the last six months than I have in the last 10 years. I can't remember the last time I laughed until I cried, but it happens frequently now. He gives me the companionship of someone who wants to be with me. Someone who expects the best from me but sometimes gets the worst and still comes back. Who expects me to continue to learn and grow, to not lean on others, to be strong. When I told him that, it moved him almost to tears. I know he has had a few good friends in his life, but I suspect not many are as close as we are, and such strong friendships are rare in my own life as well. I think the kind of friendship we have may be rare in many people's lives. It is no secret to either one of us that this Grand Adventure is going to benefit both of us equally. Few things are done out of simple altruism, and certainly not this. I benefit as much as he does, and for all the reasons I have stated above. I truly want him to become an independent person who can function in society without help, so I keep that picture firmly in my mind as my goal. I know that means that some day he may move out on his own and I know, too, that it may be difficult for me then, especially if I have no one in my life. But I also believe I am meant to do this, and that this will sort out the way it is intended to. Perhaps this is a Kharmic debt I owe. Who knows?
[I have come to believe that the bond between us is because of our souls being connected in some way. Soul mates maybe, but almost more than that. We reflect back on each other, see ourselves in each other, recognize the fact that my strengths are his weaknesses, and vice versa. Our souls mirror each other and so are familiar, yet opposite. But we have a strong need to help each other become more than we are now, because as he grows, so do I and as he heals and becomes whole, I do as well.]