Saturday, February 23
Kent and I ordered breakfast. The waiter left our table and I told Kent about my meeting with JB.
“I spent half my life living with someone I don’t know,” I said. “I’m freaking out.”
Kent shook his head. “Wow. That meeting. The way you described JB. You just described me.”
It felt like Kent slammed me in the head with a bat. I stared at him waiting for elaboration.
“Maggie would have described me that way when my family got together and did an intervention on me. They told me I needed to stop drinking and everyone read letters telling me how they felt. I sat there playing with a piece of paper. I folded it, unfolded it, folded it in different ways. If she could have, if she’d been able to articulate it, Maggie would have said about me what you said about JB.
“Brenda, I was so out of touch with my feelings I couldn’t tell you what I was feeling. I couldn’t label them. There was a soul in there, but it was buried deep. It wasn’t until I was in treatment that I started getting in touch with my soul, my feelings.”
“I wanted to see JB cry. Get proof a soul was home.”
“That’s exactly what they do in treatment,” Kent said. “They break you down so you can rebuild yourself. When I was sitting there folding that piece of paper, I was cringing. I didn’t want them to see me cringe. Believe me, that smile JB had on his face, he was gritting his teeth and cringing behind it. Appearances are everything to him.”
“I wanted to see something, anything, that indicated JB wants to change. I don’t believe he does.”
“I didn’t want to change until I was forced to,” Kent said. “I tried not to go to treatment, but they had a reservation for me and a plane ticket. I guarantee if JB started therapy, they’d focus on his childhood for a long long time. He grew up in an alcoholic home and learned to stay under the radar. He learned to push his feelings down, be invisible.”
“Well, he’s on his own now.”