I was engaged in a discussion recently with Dr E. The conversation concerned relationships.
“So, when you end a relationship, tell me how do you feel about it?” he began as he unfolded his notebook and found a fresh page.
“I do not end my relationships,” I replied.
“I see, so they are always ended by the other person are they?” he asked.
He waited to see if I was going to say anything else but I remained silent. Come on Dr E, let’s see where you are going with this. You cannot outsmart me. He sat looking at me and I at him.
“Those answers suggest to me then that your relationships do not end.”
Give Dr E enough time and he always gets there.
“Exactly,” I answered.
“I see. We have discussed a number of relationships that you have and have had. With family members, acquaintances, friends and of course lovers. Now, from what you have explained to me I would certainly regard many of those relationships having come to an end, either by your doing or, though admittedly less often, at the hand of the other person.”
“Your concept of a relationship evidently differs from mine.”
“Please, expand on that point.”
“My relationships begin when I determine that they should begin,” I started to speak. Dr E frowned but said nothing. I could tell he wanted me to provide clarity to that assertion and I was happy to oblige.
“When I detect somebody who will prove of use to me then our relationship has already begun. It matters not whether we have spoken in person or even made any kind of contact. The decision that the relationship has begun rests with me.”
Dr E was making notes as I spoke.
” The nature of the relationship is defined by what use that person is to me in providing me with my fuel. If the fuel they provide is strong and potent then I will be spending a lot of time with that person, others less so. I dictate the pace at which the relationship will develop by such criteria that I understand people like you apply to relationships.”
“What criteria are those?” asked Dr E.
“Instances such as familiarity with one another, whether there is a hand shake or a kiss on greeting, the name by which we call one another, whether they can be relied on to provide information, whether they will lend money, whether we go to certain places together and how often, whether we live together, all of these things are what you measure a relationship by.”
“And do you regard those criteria as instances that ought to happen over a particular period of time?”
“No. They are all measurements by which I know people like you determine the nature of the relationship. I use them as markers by which the level of fuel can be influenced, accordingly, I will move them along at a pace which suits my demands for fuel.”
“But not according to anyone else’s input or say a generally accepted norm from society?”
“Well, the other person has to consent to the act, I mean, I haven’t imprisoned anyone in my home. Yet.” I smiled.
“But if they are to provide their consent surely that means the timescale is taken out of your hands?”
“Not at all. I just make them consent in accordance with my timescale,” I said.
“By exerting the influences you have described to me previously?”
Dr E remained silent as he continued to write.
“So you determine when the relationship begins and the pace at which it proceeds and this relationship never ends?”
“But some of the instances of your intimate relationships that you have described to me certainly fit with the concept that they have ended.”
“Not at all. If I have cast someone to one side because, as they always do, they have let me down in some way, then I will not let them walk away. They might think they have been able to do this. Indeed, in certain instances I encourage that train of thought so that the person’s defences remain down and thus they are susceptible to me resurrecting our interaction. Nobody leaves me and I do not leave anybody. They will always serve some kind of purpose, at some point and therefore there may be a pause in our interaction but there is never a cessation.”
“What if the other person decides they no longer wish to interact with you?”
“Why on earth would they think that?” I asked puzzled.
“Well, your treatment of many of them was harsh and unpleasant.”
“But no less than they deserved. People need to know their place and if they step outside of that they must be brought to heel.”
“Why?” asked Dr E.
“Because I gave them everything and each time they repay me by letting me down. That is unfair. Each time I give them the world, I really do doctor and no matter how wonderful I am to them they do not do enough in return and they let their affection become dull or they fail to provide me with the adoration that I deserve. It is wrong and they must be made to see how wrong they are punished for their transgressions.”
“So you maintain a relationship to punish the other person?”
“In part yes, but it is usually because they still prove of use to me and they have their debt to me to repay.”
“I see,” remarked Dr E and he continued with his writing.
“And when do they repay this debt?” he asked.
“That’s the problem doctor, ” I said with a sigh, ” they never do. That is why I never let them go.”