Being The Smaller Person (Looking Back)

So yeah this is the part of the trip where I don't regret my actions. I seriously don't know if there was a better way to go about things. All I can remember is being put in a very awkward and difficult situation. So here I was in a strange land with now an equally strange person. I realized this person had a lot more control of my near destiny than I did. From Madrid on, everything was booked by her. In most cases, I didn't have a clue about where we were staying, dates etc. I'd only booked travel arrangements, so trains from one destination to another and our flight to Italy. However, she held all the tickets, booking confirmations etc. So I had zero control on what came next. My friends were all saying I told you so. My mother was in fear thinking we would get into a really bad argument. I always felt like she would just up and leave. However, I was continually battling with the potential loss of things I hadn't found yet. I wanted to go home and I wanted to continue this trip of a lifetime. I was trying to assess the risk of each decision. The what ifs and the shoulda, coulda, would as. 

Some kind of way I'd come back to the hotel and things were patched. Or so I thought. So I allowed myself to have a decent evening and a better morning. We'd both gotten up and parted ways which was best. Then we attempted to do something together. We'd both been eyeing this art exhibit in an official building. We'd actually stopped in before to inquire about pricing, times etc. So this time we went that direction and once there she translated. Apparently, the guard told her there was nothing to see there. So we quickly exited and headed back towards the city center. I asked if we could see another museum and she acted as if that was fine. She then began to mumble about the cost of entry and how if they couldn't take credit cards she wouldn't go. I offered to pay and she declined. I offered to not go at all and she told me to go on my own. Then suddenly she just stopped walking and went on a tirade about never wanting to go in the first place and how frustrated she was with me.

We were standing in the middle of a popular shopping district. It wasn't like we we're alone and there was no scene to be made. I was taken aback because she was purposely holding things in that really didn't apply to that moment. She had all day, in fact all Summer to say the things that she said. In essence, she was grossly tired of me and she just wished she had traveled alone. I didn't even think to ask what caused that blow up or if there was something I could do to make anything better. I pretty much just matched wits with her and then walked away. I did this because I too was tired and she was beyond convincing. All I said was "you invited me" and I left because I could. At this point, the both of us had our own understanding of the environment we were in. We also had our own room keys and our own means of communication. The other day and days before she was the ruler. Before that afternoon she held all the control. In this case, I didn't have to argue, I didn't have to relate and I had the means to do whatever I wanted. Instead of crying or being in fear of what was to come - I simply took my day back.

I spent the remainder of that day and the rest of the trip in control of me. It was very important that I controlled my own destiny. It seriously didn't matter what she said, how she felt or what she did - but I was not going to let her rule over me any longer. I stumbled upon a mall and I bought a phone charger. I then went over to a home store and bought a sterling silver spoon so that I could eat whenever and wherever. I also decided that she was nobody. She was a stranger. She was someone I could ask to do things or offer things to. However, she was no one that I could trust, confide in or care for. She was merely someone just there and to be mentally tolerated but for only so long. It sounds awful putting this revelation to page but that was where I had to go to survive. 

If I had allowed her to keep trying to defeat me I would have made several mistakes. I probably would have lost any ounce of self control. I just may have eaten everything in sight. I may have also squandered my money. I also could have just upped and left too early in the game missing out on the rest of Spain and Italy. By putting myself in a mental position of "this bitch is cray" I was able to enjoy the remainder of my trip. From that day on I no longer shared my financial status with her. It was clear that if I starved that was okay by her as long as she had what she wanted. So I chose to starve some days and splurge others. I informed her that she would get what she was due when I went home. I also made sure she was aware at all times when and how I was going home. I wanted her to be clear that I was done with her. I also wanted her to know that this is ultimately what she wanted. I was simply doing as she asked. 

So as much I could have been receptive or even attempted to side with the tiny part of her argument that was just and right - I never did. I still don't. There simply is no excuse for people that make their beds but refuse to lie in them. In my humble opinion, I never did anything wrong. I was just a weak, small person to her, for her. The reality is she may have never been able to stop her perceptions, resentment and guilt. Or at least she couldn't stop by herself. As I said she was beyond convincing and she was becoming quite insufferable. She wouldn't eat, every mutual decision was an argument, she'd take insane risks, spend goo gobs of money… So in looking back, I pretty much had to be a new me to decipher the old her. She had always been who she was and whatever I did or didn't do - didn't magically make her act that way. She pretty much began to show her true self and I'd never seen that side of her in over two years. Those days where we went our own separate ways I really wondered why. Was it some sort of lesson to teach or something she had went through that she felt was just to pass on? In the moment, it didn't matter what her reasoning was. I had to gain something from this "lesson".

I began to understand the test before me. She was testing me and I had to learn how to respond. In one fell swoop, she had allowed me to conquer a million fears. If she hadn't already forced me to face them I was in constant mental preparation to face yet another. It was anticipated for her to continually attempt to break me. So I just had to get comfortable with going the rest of the trip as if she wasn't there. I needed to not care if she left me stranded. I needed to lose the fear of her drowning. It was okay to eat alone in a new place and revel in my thoughts. It was also okay to attempt to reason with her despite her being so irrational. All my life I'd been told I was sheltered and people would run the gamut of traits I lacked. I was told how I never communicated well, couldn't deal with politics, negotiate, strategize etc. Now I was having to do all of the above.

The reality was she still "managed" the trip. She took care of the bookings and did hold all the tickets. In that came a lot of responsibility which I thought she was more capable. 
Surely, if the shoe was on the other foot she would have done all she could to take that aspect of the trip over. So I allowed her to maintain that control. In fact, there was really nothing I could do about it. She'd already screwed up by buying her return tickets farther out so she couldn't up and leave. She also depended upon me for those said bookings and if I didn't continue on I had zero obligation to pay her back. From that point forward when things went wrong in her department of responsibility she owned it. I didn't feel sorry for her. I had no empathy. She wanted to have control so I let her have it. At times she was really being challenged and I had no compassion. The only thing I asked of her was patience. I asked that she send my things from Nantes and I'd pay her back by a specific date. Once that occurred, I had no reason to continue any sort of relationship with her. I never wanted to see her again.

I still had my questions and wondered why and she eventually answered them. She also apologized. She profusely thanked me for my presence. She complimented my loyalty to our friendship. She seriously felt like we still maintained one. I accepted all of the above but slept with one eye open the remainder of the trip. She wasn't the type of person that had people I could call. I couldn't call her mother and say reel her in. She had no friends back home that I could ask what should I do. Her dad had considered me the responsible party so I didn't even want to go there. She had no one I could contact because that was it. There it was - my whys, my answers - the real one. I was not the only person walking around in amazement of her turn on me. This was an inevitable conclusion be it at home or Spain or in outer space. She didn't want anybody be it friends, a boyfriend, a relationship with anyone at all. I was just a causality. The trip was just background. So mentally I let go. Then emotionally I let go. Then physically I left so she could be …alone.

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