To Be With You

Shit. Why did I ask him to come to St. Louis?

It sure as hell wasn’t so he could watch me drop a guitar pick and almost crack a kneecap I went down so fast with a spasm in my hand so bad it felt worse than the fucking knife had.

Maybe that’s an unfair comparison since I actually really didn’t feel the knife at all when it happened. But you get the idea.

I had just looked into the pit and noticed Ziggy sitting next to Court, in the same spot Claire had been the night before, when the meat in my palm decided to curdle. That exact moment.

And the weird thought that went through my head–while I tried to pry my fingers open with my other hand, and Remo covered for me by picking up his solo early, and I wondered if people in the audience were looking at me instead of him and hoping they were looking at him–was that at least my mother didn’t see me fuck up like this. Weird because, you know, it was as if I cared what my mother thought.

Meanwhile I did care what Ziggy thought but not in the same way. In the back of my head I noted that Ziggy was very low key. No makeup or so little it looked like none, his hair down and combed into neat bangs on his forehead–I don’t think I had ever seen him with bangs before. He was in a plain black mock turtleneck like he was trying to blend in with the crew.

Flip helped me to my feet and when I wouldn’t cooperate with him trying to get the guitar strap over my shoulder he just herded me off the stage.

Which was the right thing to do. I realized that once I was not on stage and my brain shifted to thinking something more logical than just “no, this isn’t right.” Flip set the guitar aside and took my hand in his.

“How bad is it?” he asked, in my ear since the band was still playing.

I heard him fine through the earplug. “You know how it kills when you get a cramp in your leg during the night?”

“Yeah?”

“Like that. Only worse.” The cramp was in the muscles of my palm itself but it was like it spread into my fingers and my wrist.

Flip did something with shaking it a certain way that cracked my wrist and half of the spasm let go. The other half, though, no luck. “What do you want to do?” he asked me.

“Hell if I know.”

We both looked back toward the stage. Remo was looking our direction trying to figure out what to do differently, if anything. Flip gave him a negative sign and dragged me all the way to the prep area.

I sat in a folding chair with y hand tucked under my arm, trying not to crack a tooth. Flip made me take some ibuprofen and the coating on the pills was sweet, like M&Ms. Then he brought me a bucket of hot water and epsom salts. I stuck my hand in it.

I wish I could say it felt instantly better, but all it felt right away was hot and wet. Oh well.

I heard the band finish another song.

“You’re probably out of commission until at least the encore,” Flip said.

“Yeah.” Where I was sitting wasn’t all the way to the green room, but just an additional backstage area where equipment cases and some random chairs sat. It was one of the spots where friends and family could see the stage from, though not as well as down in the security and camera pit. It was weird seeing the band from this angle.

They could do it without me. I knew they could. But when I’d had the stomach flu I hadn’t seen what it looked like without me there. I caught Fran and Alan and Martin and Remo all looking off to the side to check on me. I held up the bucket each time and shrugged.

“Is it working?” Flip asked.

“Not really?”

He went away and then came back a few minutes later with a hot water bottle and a towel.

He set the bucket aside and I immediately missed it–which I guess means it was doing something. He set the hot water bottle on my leg, wrapped the towel around it once, and then wrapped the towel around my hand to sort of bandage it to the hot water bottle, palm against the heat.

That started to work. I felt a teensy bit of relief. But a few minutes later when I tried to pull my hand free again, the second it wasn’t in contact with the hot water bottle it would cramp up again. I sighed.

“I can only think of one other thing to try,” he said.

“Besides taking the other half a pill?”

“Yeah.”

“What are you thinking?”

He made a toking motion with pinched fingers.

I agreed immediately. “They only said no alcohol. They never said a word about weed.”

“Be right back.”

He came back this time with Jam, who had an actual corncob pipe in his teeth, along with a shit-eating grin. He pulled up a chair next to me and he and Flip cooperated with Jam holding the pipe to my mouth while Flip worked the lighter. I had one free hand but they didn’t seem to notice that.

I proceeded to get good and baked. It had been a while.

At one point I said, “Is this an actual goddam corncob pipe?”

And Jam said, “This is Kansas! Of course it is!”

“Aren’t we in Missouri?”

He clucked his tongue. “Details! Details!”

I got baked enough that when I held up my hands to look at them neither of them really looked like mine at first. But the fingers wiggled when I sent the signals to wiggle them so they must have been mine.

And then it was time for the first encore. Flip and Remo had a quick and intense discussion that I couldn’t hear but I could see the looks on their faces and the gestures in my direction.

“I’m fine,” I insisted, in case that was what they were talking about.

So no acoustic encore that time. It was better to just go all out with loud stuff and the whole band because then it didn’t matter so much if my superfine control was nonexistent. So that’s what we did. The two fast, loud songs that were usually in the third encore and the usual fourth encore finale which was also two “send them home with their feet tapping” numbers.

The only mistake I made was I got the capo onto the wrong fret in one of them and so I was in the wrong key, which the band realized after three beats and I realized in two more when they all started to laugh and quit playing. The audience ate it up and I admit I had a good laugh about it myself because it had sounded so ridiculous. Nothing sounds worse than being a half-step off from everyone else.

I got through it. My fingers started to cramp again in the last song but I was stoned enough that I didn’t care. When it was over I flung the guitar pick into the audience before taking my final bows.

Then came the St. Louis hometown party for Remo that I had forgotten was going to happen (or hadn’t known about). I wanted to escape. But I also wanted to hit it with a little more weed, thinking that if I could get the spasm to calm down now, I wouldn’t have to do anything to stress that hand for two whole days. And this was how I ended up with Jam holding the corn cob pipe and the lighter while I toked on the bowl he had packed while waiting for Court to bring Ziggy back.

I had found a spot on a couch in a room full of partygoers who were standing up when Ziggy found me. I held out my arms and he came and hugged me, still standing up but leaning over.

“Wow, you smell toasty,” he said as he flopped onto the couch cushions next to me.

“I am toasty. The only thing that makes this feel better.” I held up my hand and examined the scars and marks. There were raised bumps where some of the stitches had been. My vision wasn’t very good right then.

It only got worse when Jam reappeared. “Last bowl,” he said. “Wanna kill it?”

“Sure.”

He held it for me like he had been. I definitely felt like I’d had enough now. “Whew. Thanks.”

“Anytime, man. You know you just gotta ask. Hey, who’s your friend?” He grinned and offered the pipe to Ziggy.

Who declined with a sly smile and a wave of his hand. He patted me on the arm. “Are you feeling better?”

“I think so? I think so.” I waggled my fingers and then winced. “Well, mostly.” I saw Court across the room then and tried to wave to her. She didn’t seem to see me at all. It made total sense to stoned me to just get up and go get her, since what I wanted to do was leave and she might be able to help with those logistics.

What I think I didn’t realize in my druggy state was how crowded the room was and how far the door was from where I was sitting. A while later I still hadn’t made it across the room and by then I had lost sight of her. I decided to give up and go back to the couch. I’m honestly not sure how much time passed.

Enough time that something blew up between Ziggy and Jam. I don’t know exactly what, only that Ziggy was seething when I got back to the couch, Courtney was chasing Jam away, and then I was trying to explain that I thought we should blow this popsicle stand.

Minutes, or an hour, later, the three of us were in a cab and I was doing the usual thing of trying to get my mouth to work while stoned and failing. The two of them were talking a mile a minute and I was still working on one or two words.

Four words, actually. “That guy’s an asshole,” I finally said.

“You were mighty friendly with him.” Ziggy sounded as snitty as I’d ever heard him.

“We’re on tour,” was all I could say. I had wanted to make some statement like you know how you live in each other’s pockets when you’re on the road but all those words wouldn’t come.

“And that excuses everything,” Ziggy said.

“Well, not everything,” I insisted.

“No, just any kind of inappropriate sex or drugs,” he snarled.

I don’t know why I was so defensive all of a sudden. Instead of agreeing, I said, “you fucking know it or you and I never would’ve slept together.” Funny how all of a sudden I had plenty of words when I was saying something I had said before.

His gasp was supposed to tell me how wounded he was by that, I think, but it just sounded like one of my mother’s affectations to me. “Don’t you fucking dare.”

“Me? Me dare? Wasn’t that you who–”

“When the fuck are you going to stop bringing that up? If you’re not past that by now–four years ago!–how the fuck do you expect to have any future? Why the fuck do we even try?”

“Why?” I was making a fist but I couldn’t feel it. “I’ll tell you why we quote unquote try.” It was probably a good thing I couldn’t talk as fast as usual or I probably would have actually said the words you manipulative little shit. “Because when I don’t try to make it work with you, my entire life goes to shit and I hate myself.”

“So you hate me instead.”

“Whoa, who said I hate you? Who the fuck said that?”

“Guys–” Court tried to interject. We both ignored her.

“What I hate is that you and I started from a place where you lied to me,” I said. “Most days… I’m over it. Most days I trust you. But if you’re going to throw the book of judgement at me when I’m down, I’m going to throw it right the fuck back.”

His voice was as arch as his eyebrow. “I’m not supposed to judge? I’m not supposed to fucking judge when you’re getting felt up by the same sleazebag motherfucker who fucked with me in LA the very same time as the incident you’re getting up on your high horse about?”

Oh fuck. Yes. No. Shit. “He’s an asshole. I told you.”

“Then I have every right to be ripshit about him being all over you and you owe me an apology.” He folded his arms.

He was scary-looking in his clean-cut utterly non-glam aspect like that, like a tax accountant or something. I mean a stereotypical tax accountant–actual tax accountants we knew notwithstanding. I could not wrap my head around why I should have to apologize–I couldn’t find the logic in that at all. All I knew was it seemed like if I apologized the fight would be over, so I wanted to, but I knew if I fucked it up it would make it worse.

Best to just keep it really general, then. “I’m sorry. I’m really sorry.”

“You don’t sound sorry.”

“Ziggy. I’m stoned out of my mind. I’m on a double dose of the muscle relaxant and I have no idea how much I smoked. I’m still in pain and on top of that you’re confusing the fuck out of me. If I sound not sorry that’s why.”

He snorted like a disgruntled dragon, as if jets of angry steam came out his nose, but he didn’t yell at me anymore, which I counted as the argument ending. I knew it had actually ended when Court got us the key to a room at the front desk and took us up to a junior suite on one of the upper floors and left us there, and when we were alone Ziggy hugged me. We hugged each other.

Him: You’re a wreck.
Me: I know. But at least you’re here.
Him: (skeptical) Does that make it better?
Me. It probably makes my stress worse, actually. But at least you’re here.
Him: You’re not making any sense.
Me: Ask me again when my head’s clear and I’ll try to explain it.
Him: Explain what?
Me: Why I’m so happy you’re here.
Him: You don’t seem very happy.
Me: Well, it’s hard to be happy when all we’ve done is fight.
Him: Mm-hmm.
Me: But I’m still happier than I would’ve been getting stoned with Jam and Flip all night.

He snorted again but didn’t let go.

(Guess what just went to press? Well, see below for a big hint. I’m waiting for a proof copy to see before we print the whole Kickstarter batch! Thank you to Gilly Rosenthol of Rosenthol Design for another brilliant design job! -ctan)

dgc_omni_III_wrap_lowres_700px


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Comments 6

  1. s wrote:

    I believe the appropriate phrase here is, “That was a clusterfuck.”

    [Reply]

    K Reply:

    Yep. Clusterfuck indeed.

    [Reply]

    G Reply:

    For the realz.

    [Reply]

    daron Reply:

    Gee, i thought it went pretty well all things considered.

    [Reply]

    Posted 19 Jan 2017 at 11:50 am
  2. sanders wrote:

    Can we have Nomad stickers sometime? I have my M3 one on my laptop lid and I’d love to put Nomad on my tablet cover.

    Oh, boys. You need to have this fight over LA to really let it go but that doesn’t make it suck any less in the process.

    [Reply]

    Mark Treble Reply:

    I don’t believe this was just a fight. There is undoubtedly far, far more going on here than a fight. Daron is hurt and out of it; Ziggy lays into him for using drugs (?Ziggy?), accuses Daron of letting Jam feel him up (???Ziggy???) and then blames Daron for the entire thing.

    Ziggy, who chose opiods over Daron, is castigating Daron for using pot to get through a performance. Ziggy, with “That sounds reasonable” and “I can do that” and “It’s complicated” is lambasting out-of-it Daron for allowing somebody to help him with his injury. Then, as we’ve seen countless times before, he makes Daron responsible for all of it.

    This is almost certainly an existential crisis in the making. Before he flew to St Louis, I believe Ziggy was preparing to manufacture trouble and distance between him and Daron. For what purpose, I do not know. After all, it’s complicated. And, Ziggy might be missing his minions.

    OK, start throwing things at me for finding any fault whatsoever with Saint Ziggy of the Manipulations.

    [Reply]

    s Reply:

    No one said Ziggy is a saint or has no faults. But for some reason you seem to be unable to look at things from his perspective.

    Imagine you just flew out to see your significant other that you are trying to build a relationship with, and when he walks away for no apparent reason (at least, he didn’t mention if he said to Ziggy where he was going), the guy responsible for hurting you in the past decides to casually mention that he blew your SO one night. You know JAM isn’t going to mention it wasn’t consensual. You know Daron and Ziggy are both supposed to be abstaining or at least asking permission first. How would that make you feel? I, for one, would be a little pissed off about it. Especially, for the love of god, because of who it was! Oh, and his SO didn’t bother to tell him about this little indiscretion.

    Now, once he learns that Daron didn’t actually give the green-light for this to happen, Ziggy will likely redirect his anger at the appropriate person, Jam.

    I’m also giving Ziggy the benefit of the doubt about his moodiness. He suffers from depression. He has admitted to that being worse when Daron isn’t around. He has asked Daron to call him as often as possible even if they don’t connect just so he knows Daron cares and is thinking about him. These are all valid reasons for him being upset and resentful toward Daron for not doing those things.

    I don’t think Ziggy is pulling away. If he was, why would he agree so readily to jump on a plane and spend an assload of money to see Daron for one day? I think he wants it to work but he’s feeling left out or insignificant in Daron’s life while he’s on the road and away from him. I may be wrong, but that’s how I see it and I’m willing to give Ziggy a chance instead of assuming the worst of him.

    [Reply]

    sanders Reply:

    I’m with you on a lot of this but, seriously, if you and Bill need to fight it out, do it on your own thread so I don’t have to deal with the email notifications and get dragged in.

    My analysis of this chapter stops and stars with this fight between the boys needs to happen for a bunch of reasons, and they’ve both historically acted like a bag of dicks when drugs, tours, and insecurities about fidelity and their standing with each other musically and personally have been involved. It’s a volatile cocktail but they come through it, eventually, so everyone needs to just chill.

    [Reply]

    daron Reply:

    Neither of us lost a limb or an eye and we’re hugging. That’s pretty good, I think?

    [Reply]

    chris Reply:

    Does Ziggy know about the “incident”? I read this as that may still be something hanging out there to cause another blow up… Can we all agree Jam is an asshole?

    [Reply]

    s Reply:

    It was the “inappropriate sex” comment that made me think Jam had told Ziggy. Maybe he’s just going by what he saw, but it seemed like more to me. *shrugs*

    [Reply]

    daron Reply:

    I don’t know if Ziggy knows or if he just suspects or if he’d just be upset about Jam being overly familiar with me even if nothing had ever happened. But I’m only firing on one cylinder right now (if that) so keeping up with Ziggy is impossible for me right now.

    [Reply]

    sanders Reply:

    Dude, that’s kind of intensely overblown for what I said. If you need to go on a tear about how much you think Ziggy’s up to no good, start your own comment thread instead of trying to pick a fight of your own with sarcasm about Saint Zig.

    It’s one fight of a series of fights and existential crises between these two, wherein they’re both historically abusive, hypocritical, manipulative little shits. If you’ve been paying attention–and I know you have, Bill– I’ve taken them both (and Jonathan) to task for being assholes in the past. I’m just really uninterested in analyzing the drama today past saying this particular fight has been brewing and needs to happen, like lancing a boil.

    [Reply]

    daron Reply:

    I dunno if I’m ever “letting go” of LA. I mean, it’s our origin story. We’ll have to live with that for as long as we stay together.

    [Reply]

    Posted 19 Jan 2017 at 12:04 pm
  3. G wrote:

    At least the basic issue you have to discuss is out there, and at least you both had the presence of mind to not take the argument further under the current circumstances. I hope the real conversation goes well and includes hugging. I hope you two end up having some plain old fun and simple pleasure too.

    I was wondering when the Jam situation would come to a head, so to speak. And he didn’t remember Ziggy from all those years ago? Too many drugs, I guess. Or he’s really that much of a douche.

    I’m really glad that you are happy and that you are holding each other. That says something all by itself. In the past Ziggy might already be on a plane.

    I’m worried about your hand and Ziggy’s tour. That sucks. Can you not be injured for an extended period of time at some point, please? For my sanity?

    [Reply]

    s Reply:

    In my experience, the “winner” of a given circumstance tends to not remember the “loser.” Ziggy was nothing to Jam but a minor obstacle to get in a woman’s pants. He has no reason to remember or have I’ll feelings toward Ziggy. Ziggy’s the one who got hurt.

    [Reply]

    s Reply:

    *ill

    Fucking autocorrect

    [Reply]

    daron Reply:

    I don’t know if Jam realizes who Ziggy is, but at least now I know Ziggy realizes who Jam is.

    The LA argument is at least a familiar, reliable argument between us. Which might be why I’m not as upset as i could be. (Or maybe that’s the drugs.)

    [Reply]

    Posted 19 Jan 2017 at 12:20 pm
  4. Mark Treble wrote:

    I’m accepting Sanders’ suggestion and starting my own thread.

    s is completely right.

    Imagine that you just flew out to see your significant other when he falls on stage. is led off injured and doesn’t appear again until the encore. Like Ziggy. I certainly wouldn’t cut him any slack. I think that I should pick a fight with him as soon as possible. That will straighten him out and further the relationship we’re trying to build.

    Ziggy’s SO didn’t bother to tell him about this little indiscretion. Ziggy’s proper course of action should be to AVOID asking Daron about it. Instead he should believe every word told to him by an asshole, and make snarky comments because that’s the guaranteed best way to put my SO in his place And Ziggy’s failure to tell his SO about preferring to be with Janessa was completely different. And his admission that he wouldn’t have told Daron about Limelight Girl except that he was caught with his pants down doesn’t count. As I noted at the time, the “ask permission” only applies to Daron. As it should.

    I’m also giving Ziggy the benefit of the doubt about his moodiness. He suffers from depression. Absolutely, because Daron’s depression, anxiety and insecurity are nothing compared to Ziggy’s, and he just needs to snap out of it. Nobody should ever give Daron the benefit of the doubt; after all, he’s not Ziggy.

    You don’t mention Ziggy turning full blame on Daron for the fight, but it’s clear that Ziggy was fully prepared to be gracious and loving until Daron walked away. The fact that Daron was injured. in pain, and unusually toasted is irrelevant. Ziggy was that way for months, so he’s perfectly justified in getting upset with Daron about it. Daron was stoned, and while many people wander and lose focus in that state, it’s no excuse for Daron. He was with Ziggy and that must take precedence, injured or not, stoned or not. And, Daron didn’t even attempt suicide and run off to India. It couldn’t be THAT bad.

    Ziggy, uninjured and completely sober, was fully justified to further intensify the fight by picking apart injured, in pain, and high Daron’s answers to his questions and telling Daron he doesn’t sound sorry after Daron gave Ziggy the apology Saint Ziggy so richly deserved. Daron’s just lucky that Ziggy didn’t beat him to a pulp.

    I’m willing to give Ziggy a chance instead of assuming the worst of him. And that is as it should be. As the center of the universe, Ziggy has no obligation to give Daron a chance but is fully justified in assuming the worst of him.

    Two chapters earlier, before the flight, Ziggy admitted to being resentful and was going through the motions of being supportive. It can’t possibly be that Ziggy was prepared for a fight before getting on the plane. Not Ziggy, never Ziggy.

    The most bothersome thing about the entire incident is ‘“Then I have every right to be ripshit about him being all over you and you owe me an apology.” He folded his arms.’ This is the manipulative Ziggy we’ve seen over and over and over and over. Regardless of what happens, Ziggy turns blame on Daron, who accepts it. If Ziggy is in fact trying to build a relationship with Daron, manipulation is unlikely to do the trick. He’s had four years to stop it. I think it’s time for Ziggy to choose between Daron and the orgasmic pleasure of manipulation. What do you think he’s going to choose?

    [Reply]

    Posted 20 Jan 2017 at 3:42 pm
  5. Meg wrote:

    I honk on the world of gray there isn’t one person that is right and another that is wrong. Sometimes both people are making good choices for the wrong reasons or good choices for the wrong reasons. Sometimes both people are doing exactly the right thing based on the information they have but still end up in conflict with each other.

    In this specific case we know exactly what is going on with Daron. Or at least as much as we can given his recollection is inhibited by significant amounts of pot. But we really don’t know what is going on with Ziggy. We don’t know what has been happening back in LA. We don’t know what was said between Ziggy and Jam. We don’t know what he was thinking when he watched Daron get pulled off the stage then not come back until the end of the concert.

    Based on his past behaviour I think it is safe to say Ziggy has narsissitic tendencies and isn’t very good at taking other people’s perspective. He loves Daron but isn’t very good at thinking through what is going on with Daron except as it impacts him or how best to get what he wants. That isn’t really okay and is not going to lead to a healthy relationship unless he he changes. But change takes time and maybe he is trying. He is definitely better than he was 4 years ago.

    And Daron isn’t perfect either. Where Ziggy tends to be self-centred and manipulative, Daren tends to be self-sacrificing and uncertain of his own wants and needs. Then he will lash out verbally or physically when he feels attacked or like his needs aren’t being met, despite having been unclear about them. This is also not good and is unlikely to lead to a healthy relationship. But like Ziggy, Daron had made a lot of progress too.

    I think this argument actually demonstrates the progress they’ve made. Yes they argued, but they are coming from different perspectives (right or wrong) and they each have so much baggage and personal crap that it is amazing they are ever able to fit in the same room. So yes they faught but they Daron apologized (whether he was in the wrong or not it appropriately ended the argument), Ziggy accepted the apology (despite knowing Daron was just apologizing to end the argument) and they they showed each other their continued affection for each other both verbally and physically. They can go to sleep happy with each other even if they know this discussion may need to be brought up again when they are both calm and sober.

    My thought after this chapter was not stupid f*cking Ziggy, making trouble again, my thoughts were definitely, ‘well done boys. You managed to have an argument and end it without saying anything to really hurt each other, without having to get a separate room because you aren’t talking to each other (or something worse).

    [Reply]

    Posted 22 Jan 2017 at 11:20 pm
  6. Mark Treble wrote:

    Meg,

    Agree they managed to have an argument and still wound up hugging and sharing a room. That’s progress. Several things still bother me, though.

    First, the argument was totally unnecessary. All that was needed to avoid it was Ziggy giving Daron the benefit of the doubt and not assuming the worst, as s has said. Ziggy has simply never done this from the beginning of their relationship. Yes, that argument ended acceptably. What about the next one, and the one after that, and the seventy-nine that follow? Being unable to give your partner the benefit of the doubt and not assume the worst is one symptom (and a major red flag) of a huge underlying problem that will eventually have to be addressed.

    Along with that, Ziggy has nearly always forced Daron to apologize and/or accept blame, whether deserved or not. That is yet another red flag symptom of the same underlying problem.

    You are absolutely correct. “Then he will lash out verbally or physically when he feels attacked or like his needs aren’t being met, despite having been unclear about them.” He is rarely clear about what he wants, but it need not result in a fight, manipulation, and assigning blame where none is needed. However, it is necessary given another correct observation of yours. “He loves Daron but isn’t very good at thinking through what is going on with Daron except as it impacts him or how best to get what he wants. That isn’t really okay and is not going to lead to a healthy relationship unless he he changes.” Nearly all of us are unclear at some point, but a relationship requires your partner to at least make an attempt to think through what is going on with the other. And that is a third red flag symptom of a gargantuan problem that has existed since shortly after they met.

    Those three symptoms are accompanied by a multitude of others. One is projection by Ziggy. He couldn’t find the truth with a pack of bloodhounds and a GPS, but he accuses Daron of lying. He can’t go a week without screwing anything short of a household appliance, and never tells Daron about it unless he’s found out. And, this is the second time he’s gratuitously accused Daron of being involved with another guy.

    Take a look at http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/10/13/21-warning-signs-of-an-emotionally-abusive-relationship/. It is not necessary for all twenty-one to exist. Four to six is sufficient for a diagnosis. I count thirteen that have been blatant throughout their relationship. Fourteen, if you count the threat of suicide. Ziggy didn’t threaten, he attempted suicide in front of Daron. The most common reason for attempting or committing suicide in front of someone with whom you’re in a close relationship is to cause the other person to feel responsible and experience pain.

    I have essentially no doubt that they are in an abusive relationship, and Ziggy is the abuser. Unlike the author of the article, I have found that abusers can change. Daron does not believe he is in an abusive relationship, but nearly every victim of emotional abuse feels that way.

    Yes, Daron has faults; the unsteadiness of their relationship is not entirely Ziggy’s fault. But, that’s quite common in cases of emotional abuse.

    I’ve been out of town for a week, and write this with the benefit of having read the next two chapters. The “ring” scene gives me great hope that Ziggy can eventually stop the abuse. But, that’s almost certainly going to require some introspection on Ziggy’s part. Daron confronting him about the abuse won’t cause the introspection. The sole time Ziggy has been truly introspective he realized that he has been abusing Daron (late in Ziggy’s diary). But he chose to do nothing about it, and the next time they met he blamed Daron for his life not being perfect, after Ziggy attempted suicide and ran off to India for a year without contacting Daron.

    I hope the two can have a Happily Ever After Ending. I have hope that Ziggy can engage in introspection, acknowledge the abuse, and stop it. Individual acts on Ziggy’s part might be excused, and the resident Saint Ziggy worshipful congregation supplies explanations every time. The four-year pattern is nearly impossible to explain without accepting that Ziggy is abusive and Daron is his target.

    Cards on the table: I practiced psychiatry for a while before leaving medicine entirely about three decades ago. This isn’t hatred for Ziggy, being unable to understand him (no one really can), or trying to make trouble. It’s application of skills, learning and experience. Abusers can change, but it takes far more than being nice from time to time or changing a single abusive behavior. Without acknowledgement of the underlying problem, Happily Ever After will never come. Which makes me sad.

    [Reply]

    Posted 30 Jan 2017 at 7:06 pm

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