Once upon a time, the universe was barraging me left and right with things that completely overwhelmed me. Things were floating up from the depths of my mind that I had no experience in dealing with, and there was no one who I thought could help me. I was in a strange place, with the only person I knew there getting creepier by the day, with the rest of my roommates convinced that I was utterly flipping nuts.
It was in this situation that I became friends with Darkside.
He was as lonely as I was. It takes a certain amount of need for human contact to sit on the phone and summarize old movies, to read aloud websites, to not stop until his mother told him to get off the phone, or until he needed to go to bed.
Some nights it would all be too much for me, and I'd cry over the phone to him, and he'd make soothing noises and let me know that it was all going to be all right, that not everybody in the world was a pudding-brained wart on the ass of humanity (and especially not all men). When I thought I could trust no one, he proved that I could trust him.
All of me grew to trust him, to such an extent that Mona, Mona the near-mute who had to write or fingerspell or exert a huge force of will to speak even softly, spoke to him aloud.
After a while, I'd let him ask questions about things, and I'd let him give me advice about things, rather than only dissolving in tears. I'd wait to dissolve until he was alone with me, as I learned that crying alone didn't make me grow. The tears would flow, but it wouldn't bring me comfort.
Somehow, it seemed that I was crying about deeper things, and not as often. (He never saw me when I cried alone.) With infinte tenderness where I least expected it, and much whacking me over the head with textbooks because he knew it would make me giggle, he gradually convinced me that I wasn't as horrible as I thought I was, and he didn't hate me just because I loved him.
That last was a major part of things. He kept whacking me over the head with textbooks until I came to believe what he said, that he wouldn't hate me because I had fallen in love with him, that I didn't deserve to be despised because I'd fallen in love with him, and that he wouldn't force me to fall out of love with him to remain friends with him, and he wouldn't take unfair advantage of it either. He was furious with Shawn's treatment of me, became annoyed at Adam's treatment of me, and remained protective of me in affairs of the heart (or other places more southerly).
I learned to read his twitches and silences. I learned that when he snapped and snarled, it just meant 'be still and let me concentrate', not 'leave me utterly alone', though for some people incapable of being still for him, it would have meant for them to go away and come back some time he wasn't busy. I learned to tell when he was happy. I learned the precise way to be quiet so that he would tell me what was bothering him.
I'm learning the words that will get the message that he's not alone, that people do care about him, through his stubborn independent skull. It's a long way from where we used to be. I'm glad I'm whole enough to see where his weaknesses are, and help him find the ways to fix them.