Last night I went to a couple’s house after being invited as a politeness move. I would have bailed, but my adoptive parents wanted me to go and I can’t bail on them… again. I got there and I saw a person from church where the agreement is that we have is to ignore each other at all costs… and this person saw me. Immediately, stress hormones flowed through my system and I realized that it may have been wise to just bail. It was clear that this person wanted to be away from me, but the other’s didn’t see it. The couple wanted us to be together as a group despite the behavior being manifested by both of us, mainly from this person. When this person realized that there was no hope for sex segregation, this person left.
One would think that I would feel victorious or relieved, but I felt… aware. Aware that my being there was a disturbance to the group dynamic that was the intention of the church couple. I was aware that my being there caused awkwardness on both sides, although the awkwardness is as much this person’s fault as it is mine. I knew that the best thing that I could do was to not speak because, in my mind, that would make my presence less torturous (I would have not spoken if she wasn’t there anyway, because I had nothing to say about what was talked about). I didn’t feel responsible in the sense that I am not the cause of all tension. Yet I felt sadness because my being there was going to cause discomfort to the people there, including my adoptive parents and my friend (the persons spouse). I was aware that the car ride that my friend had to endure was going to be a torturous one and I knew that I couldn’t do anything about it. I was aware that this public display of conflict and avoidance could make things difficult in the future. In fact, my Pastor (who is awesome at conflict resolution [sarcastic tone]) could tell me that I should have not gone there instead of trying to actually facilitate the resolution of tension, even though I had no idea that this person was going to be there.
I am old enough to see the subtleties of this type of situation and my INTJ traits are developed enough to be able to understand how real and grave the situation is and can become. This caused worry and the need to think about how best to react if the worst case scenario happens.